Dec. 11, 2014 – Rock star Melissa Etheridge has a line of marijuana-infused wines in partnership with Greenway Compassionate Relief, a Santa Cruz, California dispensary for medical marijuana.
The singer used medical marijuana after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2004. The wine can only be sold as a “wine tincture”. The cannabis is not heated and the “cold extraction” process during fermentation produces a compound that she claims is less psychoactive than compounds present in marijuana smoke or present in cooked food items such as brownies.
Talking to CBS News she described the effects of the wine tincture as causing a little buzz from the alcohol and “then get a delicious full body buzz.” However, the medical profession is not endorsing using it recreationally or therapeutically. Dr. Stephen Ross of NYU’s Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship points out that prescribing alcohol for cancer patients is not a good idea since “alcohol is carcinogenic and highly toxic.”
The CBS report noted that there are about 90 cases of wine tinctures available for sale but only to people with the correct prescription in California. Marijuana is not legal in California and a proposition to legalize it was struck down by voters in 2010. Governor Jerry Brown opposes legalization. Last March he was quoted on another network as saying, “….if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”