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Melissa Etheridge Arrested For Cannabis Possession Crossing the Canadian Border

The folk-rock star has been vocal about using cannabis to combat the pain from cancer, but customs agents in North Dakota weren’t concerned with Etheridge’s health and wellness explanation.

by Zach Harris

Even rock stars aren’t safe from the long arm of the law. A new report has recently surfaced from a North Dakota customs stop late this summer, with TMZ revealing that folk-rock superstar Melissa Etheridge was arrested for marijuana possession.

According to Hollywood’s most successful crew of paparazzi, Etheridge was leaving Canada on August 17th, the day after performing at the River Cree Casino in Edmonton, when her tour bus was stopped at a customs check on the American side of the border in North Dakota. At the border crossing, drug-sniffing dogs boarded the bus and directed customs agents to a bottle of cannabis oil.

And while the cannabis oil is legal under certain circumstances in Canada, and is totally legal in Etheridge’s home state of California, the same cannot be said for North Dakota, where total prohibition is still the law of the land. Accordingly, Etheridge was placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Etheridge told law enforcement officers on the scene that she uses the oil to combat the lasting effects of breast cancer and pleaded not guilty to the possession charge.

Since being diagnosed in 2004, Etheridge has been incredibly vocal about the success she’s had with marijuana-based medicine. “It worked even better than they said it would,” Etheridge wrote in a testimonial op-ed for the MMJ advocacy group New Approach Missouri.

Judging by her smiling mugshot, we’re guessing the folk-rock star was able to medicate before customs agents boarded the bus and confiscated the goods.

If Etheridge can find any comfort in the invasive arrest, at least she’s joining a club with some pretty prestigious members. Tour buses have long been a favorite target for quota-filling drug cops, with artists like Willie Nelson, Lil Wayne and more caught in the open road tour trap.

In fact, just last month rocker Todd Rundgren was nabbed for possession of two cannabis vaporizers and a bottle of THC concentrate at the very same North Dakota customs stop where Etheridge was pinched.

So if you happen to be a 420-friendly musician taking a tour bus around Canada, heed this warning - finish your stash before heading back to the states, or at the very least make sure you cross the border somewhere a little more chill than North Dakota. We hear Washington State is nice.


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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.



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