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    Posted December 27, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Changed your mind about marijuana?

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    Wanted: Legal Marijuana


    First and foremost I am a law abiding citizen. I have been in the military for 17 years and would never risk my career or the livelihood of my family for doing something illegal. That's why I hope marijuana will be legalized soon and if not federally legal, hopefully it will be legal for medicinal purposes in Florida where I plan to retire from the military in three years.


    I'm not sure if I will become a regular marijuana smoker but I would like to try it. I have had Ulcerative Colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease since 2002. I suffer with anemia, aching joints, rectal bleeding, and other debilitating symptoms. I have been prescribed corticosteroids (prednisone) that hurt me physically and psychologically. I have suffered with anxiety ever since being prescribed prednisone. I was later prescribed 6-mercaptopurine, an immunosuppresant with the potential threat of liver damage. Enough of a risk where I had to have my blood tested every week. Then I was put on remicade infusions, this is where they infuse you with a biological med similar to chemotherapy. It made me violently ill because my body rejected it. Finally, I am on Humira, another immunosuppresant, it is a shot I give myself in my stomach once a week. It's side effects are risk of severe infections, developing rare types of cancer, and a host of other ailments.


    At times the meds are worse than the disease. As a result of the side effects of the corticosteroids I am now on Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Klonopin to combat the anxiety I have had ever since experiencing prednisone induced psychosis.


    When you are sick and desperate you are willing to try anything to get better. I have tried fish oils, boswellia, high doses of Vitamin D, licorice, chamomile, wheatgrass, and an all vegan diet. Nothing has helped keep my colitis in remission. I am still desperate and still willing to try anything. However, I will not take prednisone, 6-MP, or Remicade ever again and I am desperate to get off of Humira. I have read plenty of articles on the benefits of marijuana, including how effective it is at treating inflammatory bowel disease. It is also common knowledge now that the side effects are minimal when compared to prescription medicines like the prednisone I took and the vicodin I take almost daily for the abdominal and joint pain that I have.


    I'm sure the majority of people who suffer from a major illness are as desperate as I am to find something to relieve some of the suffering. I hope I can legally try marijuana. Maybe it will just be another non-effective treatment to add to my list but I won't know until I try it.


    Lastly, I want to again point out that I am a law abiding citizen, I am a college graduate and I have had a successful military career. I am a husband and a father. I am not looking to get high for thrills, I am hoping to use marijuana to improve my quality of life, so I can be a more engaged husband, father, and member of society. It would be a disgrace if our elected representatives allow this farce to continue.

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