Come to Melissa Etheridge's and you might smell something funny.

In an interview with NBC's Dateline airing this weekend, the rocker opens up about her high-profile battle with breast cancer and admits for the first time to smoking medical marijuana to help her cope with the side effects of her chemotherapy treatment.

"Instead of taking five or six of the prescriptions, I decided to go to a natural route and smoke marijuana," Etheridge told anchor Stone Phillips during the sit-down, which airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The segment also features Etheridge performing two songs.

Prescription-obtained pot is legal in California and nine other states. Doctors say the drug helps to relieve the chronic pain many cancer patients endure as they undergo radiation and chemo. However, federal law has yet to embrace medical marijuana and the Supreme Court ruled in June that those who smoke it can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.

When Phillips asked her whether or not her doctors approved of her toking up, Etheridge replied: "Every single one was, 'Oh, yeah. That's the best help for the effects of chemotherapy.' "

Asked if seh was at all concerned about being arrested, the two-time Grammy winner replied, "No, I didn't worry. But it was worth it."

Etheridge announced she had been diagnosed with the disease last October and underwent a successful lumpectomy a week later.

In February, she made a triumphant appearance at the Grammys sporting a bald head and joined Joss Stone for a rousing rendition of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart.

After months of treatment, the Lucky singer was recently declared cancer-free and has returned to making music.

Two weeks ago, Etheridge released a greatest hits collection, The Road Less Traveled, featuring the new single, "I Run for Life," an anthem she wrote about her struggles against breast cancer.

As for how she's doing now, Etheridge told Phillips the health crisis really reshaped her priorities, putting her family ahead of her career.

"Cancer's like the ultimate excuse. . .who's gonna say, 'Oh, no, you have to show up for this one?'. . .It's the ultimate eraser," she said, adding that her life "became simple and cleared up."

As she continues to write, record and perform--and may even star in a sitcom--the entertainer also intends to use her celebrity status to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.

Etheridge surprised about 300 UCLA students by turning up at a cancer biology class last week and relating her struggles; the class was captured on camera for a special airing Monday on MTV's college network, MTVU.

Meanwhile, all sales of "I Run For Life" are being donated to breast cancer awareness initiatives.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
- -