"Let's spend the time researching, looking into how these plant medicines were made to help us," the two-time Grammy winner says during end-of-life psychedelic conference.
Melissa Etheridge has thrown her influence behind the progressive psychedelic movement sweeping the country.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter appeared during The End in Mind virtual conference last week to advocate for the use, research, and discussion around psychedelics, particularly in the application for treating end-of-life distress in hospice or terminally ill patients.
“I truly believe that psilocybin is a real key in helping people through the fear of death,” the iconic rock and country star said on camera from her home in Los Angeles, California.
“We have much research into how psilocybin can help with fear with the terminal ill, especially cancer patients,” she continued during her appearance at the End Well Project's virtual event, focused on psychedelics improving end-of-life care . “It definitely helps with pain, but it helps with understanding how our spirits are not our bodies, and how our spirits are eternal.”
Etheridge has been advocating for drug reform since getting arrested in North Dakota in 2017 for the possession of cannabis oil, which she used to treat pain from breast cancer. But this is the first time, to our knowledge at least, that she has spoken out in favor of psychedelics.
“I think the discussion of psychedelics and plant medicine is extremely important,” she said. “I have a deep belief that these entheogens, these plant medicines that have been on earth since the beginning of time play a big part and are here for the purpose of helping us humans guide ourselves and our loved ones into the journey [after death].”
Etheridge lost her son, Beckett Cypher, in May of 2020 when the 21-year-old passed away due to an opioid addiction. “Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” she said in a statement after his death. “My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today. He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends.”
She didn't mention her son during the conference, but she stressed the benefits of psilocybin and other plant medicine in regards to guiding loved ones through the process of death.
“All we can do is to do our best to help our fellow traveler on this journey that we call life; this journey that has a definite beginning and a definite end for each and every one of us,” she said. “Let's spend the time researching, looking into how these plant medicines were made to help us at the end of our journey.”
Melissa Etheridge, who is currently on tour in the United States, has racked up 15 Grammy nominations throughout her long career, and has won two. In 2007, she won an Academy Award in the Best Original Song category for I Need to Wake Up from the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Last month, she released her 17th album, One Way Out.