Wasting Money on Stupid Drug Laws: Rock Star Arrested in ND for Marijuana

It’s just now surfacing in North Dakota’s news, but back in August rock star and Grammy-winning artist Melissa Etheridge was arrested for possession of marijuana while crossing the Canadian-North Dakota border. Etheridge was returning to the United States from a performance in Alberta, Canada when her bus was stopped and then searched with K-9 dogs by Burke County authorities at Portal– one of many border crossings in the state.

KX News Reported that:

“A search of the tour bus found several items and forms of marijuana, including cigar-type cigarettes, a vial containing a liquid, and green plastic containers with a green wax-like substance.

“Etheridge told authorities the cigar-type cigarettes were marijuana and dipped in hash oil, the vial was hash oil to smoke in an electronic cigarette, and that the wax-like substance was a marijuana infused balm for topical relief.”

In 2004 Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer. And in 2005 she returned to the stage by performing a duet with Joss Stone in a tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammy’s . But as a result of her diagnosis with cancer, Etheridge began self-medicating with cannabis products. As a resident of California, she actually has a cannabis card that is issued by the state to those qualifying with a variety of conditions.

Though North Dakota legalized medical marijuana with passage of Measure 5 back in November – and the legislature later modified it with Senate Bill 2344 last session – the law hasn’t been fully implemented. And it likely won’t be for another year or more.

An analysis of the state’s Department of Health website for medical marijuana shows the majority of it “under construction”. A clear indication of how slowly implementation is moving along.

Regardless though, North Dakota’s legalization doesn’t help Melissa Etheridge. Though she has a cannabis card from California, I find nothing in North Dakota’s law that recognizes reciprocity.

Was Etheridge in technical violation of North Dakota law? Yes. But this is a clear illustration of why such laws are an unnecessary waste of time and resources for law enforcement– not to mention taxpayer dollars.

Aside from her having a history of cancer and possessing a cannabis card from her own state, Etheridge wasn’t harming anybody by possessing the substances that she was. So, what was gained by arresting her? Let me tell you… absolutely nothing.

To me, Etheridge’s use of marijuana is far less troubling than her association with the Democrat Party. She supported Bill Clinton in his run to the presidency in 1992. She also performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in support of Barrack Obama and supported Hillary Clinton for President in 2016 .

The only thing the arrest of this Grammy-winning rock star accomplished was proving just how stupid our drug laws are.


1. http://www.ktvq.com/story/36633155/melissa-etheridge-arrested-in-north-dakota 2. http://variety.com/2017/music/news/melissa-etheridge-arrest-marijuana-canada-border-vape-pen-1202591722/ 3. http://www.myndnow.com/news/bismarck-news/melissa-etheridge-arrested-in-nd/839485615 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OQHqBXuxA4

5. https://www.ndhealth.gov/mm/Default.aspx

6. http://www.myndnow.com/news/bismarck-news/senate-bill-2344-the-medical-marijuana-bill-has-one-last-step-before-becoming-law/691705864 7. http://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/Implementing-Measure-5-Medical-Cannabis-for-North-Dakota-400619211.html 8. https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/pictures/out-and-proud-celebs-2011156/15637/ 9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNgxdQkDcu8

10. http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/magazine-feature/7487669/2016-election-daya-prince-royce-melissa-etheridge

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About T. Arthur Mason 878 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.