I am 37, and I am an appointee in the Clinton Administration. Obviously, because of my professional position, my name cannot be used. I have suffered from Crohn’s disease for almost 30 years, having gone through 13 major surgeries. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that has numerous symptoms. With me, the main problems have been severe abdominal pain, nausea, and loss of weight and appetite, and uncontrollable diarrhea (until I had my colon and rectum removed in 1980. Now I have an ostomy, and the diarrhea problem has subsided).

In 1985, after another major surgery, I began smoking marihuana. I found it worked much quicker in responding to the severe pain and nausea than any prescription drugs. Also, many of the prescription painkillers (Darvocet, Percocet, Demerol, and morphine) are much more addictive and actually cause more problems for the Crohn’s disease patient, including retarding one’s appetite even more.

Since 1985, I have found that smoking has enabled me to carry out a fairly normal life, even at times when my disease has been quite active. I am able to work, although I am not able to use my preferred medication when I have had to travel for work. The chance on getting caught would be too much of an embarrassment for me and the Administration.

I am always nervous when I need to medicate given my professional position.

Also, while I have never been arrested, or caught, the fear is always there. It is also difficult for a political appointee to quietly obtain pot for medicinal usage - a problem I am currently experiencing. I am out of marihuana, and I am very much in need, as my symptoms have been very severe of late.

Thanks for your work, and do not hesitate to contact me for any assistance I can provide. You can include my e-mail address for anyone who wants to write.

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