Monday, September 4, 2017

Olivia Newton-John Opens Up About Cannabis

In news that went 'round the world in places as far-flung as the Kansas City Star, singer Olivia Newton-John told Australia's The Sunday Telegraph that she is using "legal and easily obtained" medical marijuana in her home state of California to treat cancer.

“I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing,” she says. “It’s a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal."

“I will do what I can to encourage it,” she added. “It’s an important part of treatment, and it should be available. I use it for the pain and it’s also a medicinal thing to do — the research shows it’s really helpful.”

It's hard to think of a more wholesome international star than Newton-John. So fresh-faced she played a high school girl in the 1979 movie Grease at the age of 29, the Aussie beauty's first hit was Bob Dylan's "If Not For You" (which I contend may have been written about marijuana). Along with singing sentimental songs like "I Honestly Love You," she asked her audience, "Have You Never Been Mellow?" and tried to break out of her good-girl image with "Let's Get Physical" (which was more about exercising than sex).

It was during a tennis game at the home of the songwriter for "Physical" that Newton-John first noticed back pain, which turned out to be her cancer metastasized to the sacrum of her back, 25 years after she underwent treatment for breast cancer.

"As far as I am concerned, my pain level is gone,” she says following her treatment. “I had terrible pain — I was limping and walking like a duck and a penguin for a while, [but] that part of it is gone."  

Newton-John in front of the ONJ Cancer Wellness and Research Centre
Newton-John's daughter Chloe Lattanzi owns a cannabis farm in Oregon, and her husband Joe Easterling is the founder and president of Amazon Herb Company, which sells botanical supplements from the rainforest. After marrying in 2008, the bride and groom attended a private Incan spiritual ceremony on a mountaintop in Peru, according to Biography.com.

“I don’t want to scare women that it [cancer] could happen again, but it can, you don’t know why,” says Newton-John. Indeed, some chemotherapy drugs can cause leukemia years later, but breast cancer survivors are seldom screened for it.

"Cancer survivors are as common as Grease fans at her concerts," noted the Daily Telegraph. She has founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre in Melbourne and will host the ONJ Gala on September 8 and a fundraising walk on the 17th.

UPDATE: Olivia has revealed that her husband grows medical cannabis for her.

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