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    Posted January 2, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Changed your mind about marijuana?

    I like weed, and I'm a good person.


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     robcat20 says he doesn’t feel like a criminal for liking marijuana and smoking it daily before going to bed. He says his job as an insurance agent is stressful, so he uses marijuana to help him relax. “It helps me tremendously. I wake up refreshed and ready to take on each new day,” he said.

    robcat20 is a county captain for the Ohio Rights Group, which is now gathering signatures for a petition to put the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment on the November ballot. “This, if passed, would legalize medical cannabis and industrial hemp,” he said. “You know the saying, ‘As goes Ohio, so goes the nation!’”
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    Before I take you down the proverbial rabbit hole of my curious cannabis culture, you should know more about me. I am 33 years old, a successful businessman, a loving father, devoted husband, registered republican, active in my community with charities, church and I give piano lessons in the evenings to children with disabilities. -- I LIKE WEED, AND I'M A GOOD PERSON -- As strange as it sounds to many in my rural Ohio hometown, that is the case. A simple, yet poignant statement that sums up most of my adult life. I don't feel like a criminal, and I don't act like one either. I enjoy smoking at the end of the day to help me relax and give me creative inspiration. I used to use beer for this, but the empty calories were really doing a number on my waistline. But pot gives you the munchies, right? Absolutely. It enhances many of the things that we consume, allowing you to taste flavors you didn't know existed. But instead of commenting on the nutty after-notes of a bag of Fritos, I enjoy veggies, in a way that a person not using cannabis couldn't. So, how did someone like me "turn" to weed? Well, like most people, I experimented with it in college. And like any experiment that yields positive results, I went on to full-scale testing, which transitioned nicely to habitual implementation. But isn't it a gateway drug? Surly I must be an addict to other substances, right? Well, I won't lie there, I struggled with a terrible addiction to prescription narcotics for about 18 months in my late 20's. Every last pill that I took was prescribed to me by my Dr, after dozens of kidney surgeries. I was not out trolling the mean streets looking for a fix, they were handed to me by a physician. When I explained that I am starting to become too tolerant to the pills and I want to stop taking them, my Dr helped me ween off. The withdrawal was worse than the pain that I had initially, so as an off-the-record tip, my Dr told me that I might want to consider marijuana to help with the withdrawal and pain issues. Boy, was he right! It is a pity that he could have lost his license for this tip, as it was exactly what I needed to still be productive in my career. I still use cannabis to manage pain from the frequent kidney stones that my body produces, and it works MUCH better than the narcotics ever did. Also, unlike the narcotics, I don't wake up feeling anxious until I medicate. Amazingly enough, the frequency of my kidney stone production has gone from on average 25/year to about 3/year. My Dr attributes this to better stress management, "You are far more relaxed than you used to be," he told me. Most days, I do not use cannabis until after my day is done and my child is asleep. If Ohio is able to pass the Ohio Cannabis Rights Act (OCRA) this November, I would no doubt sign up to get a prescription, however, if the federal government were to remove cannabis from the Schedule 1 list and make it legal, I would not have to tie up a Dr's time to get a piece of paper that says that I can buy a plant. When you think of it that way, it sounds silly; imagine needing a prescription to buy an aloe vera plant for a minor kitchen burn, silly. I am counting on the voters in Ohio to get it right this time and legalize cannabis for (at least) medicinal use and allow Ohio's farmers to grow industrial hemp. I would love to transition to edibles and non-smoke variations of pot, as they are just as effective and loads healthier for my lungs.


    Yes, I would absolutely purchase retail pot. It has helped me to become a better father, neighbor, parishioner, businessman, teacher, husband and friend. After all, I like weed, and I'm a good person.

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