Here's Why Melissa Etheridge Smoking Weed With Her Kids Is Okay

Melissa Etheridge
Phil McCarten/Reuters
It's legal for recreational use in eight states and legal for medicinal use in dozens more, so it's no surprise more parents are coming out to talk about smoking marijuana. And the way singer Melissa Etheridge sees it, there's nothing wrong with smoking up with your kids ... the adult ones, anyway. 

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The singer has been a vocal advocate of cannabis usage since her battle with breast cancer in 2004. Not only did it help her deal with the side effects of chemo, but she said it helped open her mind to new ways of thinking. 

And now that her two oldest kids are 18 and 20, Etheridge says she's been known to take a toke or two with them, telling Yahoo! it brings the three of them closer

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If you're feeling the urge to judge, quickly take note of Bailey Jean and Beckett's ages. They're not little kids. No one is handing drugs out on a playground. 

Etheridge makes very clear in her Yahoo! interview that she doesn't share her stash with her younger kids, 11-year-old twins Johnnie and Steven. In fact, she tries not to smoke it in front of them, although they do walk in at times (as kids do).

"This is medicine, and they see an herb and they see that's where my medicine is. I treat it just as any other medicine in the house, just as a bottle of vodka would be, you know, 'This is for Mom; you don't [try] this. When you're grown-ups, you can deal with that.'"

It's how we treat a number of privileges of adulthood -- from alcohol to driving -- so why not weed? Especially when legalization is a growing trend? 

Granted, the Etheridge kids are both younger than the 21 age limit in most states that have signed off on recreational marijuana usage, but then they're doing it with their mother, which puts it into that gray area wherein an 18- or 19-year-old has a beer with Mom and Dad, learning responsible alcohol usage. It would be interesting to see laws address that area and acknowledge that parents can help their kids learn to bridge the gap between not using and using responsibly. Not to mention Canada's expected to make 18 the limit when legalization goes into effect in 2018 ... and both kids qualify. 

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Etheridge is clearly committed to looking at marijuana as something that needs to be treated with respect and not abused by her kids, which isn't anything to sneeze at. Kids -- even adult kids -- can't help but be affected by the way their parents role model behaviors with drugs and alcohol. 

And while the Etheridge kids might like smoking with Mom, the fact that she's so cool with it could end up turning them away from the drug entirely. Statistics from states where marijuana has been legalized have shown that usage among teenagers has actually decreased since regulations went in place. After all, as soon as the old folks start doing anything out in the open, the kids go running. 

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