AIDS by John

 I have worked in the addiction business since 1992 and was into helping people achieve total abstinence.  I was drug- free for almost 12 years -my drug of choice was (and is) marijuana.  I relapsed on the weed in 1998 and stopped again in 1999, just before being diagnosed with AIDS.  I started the anti-retrovirals treatment in Oct. '99 and managed to stay off the weed until Apr. '99, at which time I was diagnosed with PCP pneumonia and had to take a whole whack of Septra DS along with the anti-retrovirals.  My opinion (and I am a health care worker who continues to help people with addiction issues)  has changed regarding marijuana as a medicinal agent.  Medicinal marijuana has helped me continue to function and work full-time.   The weed has helped minimize the constant nausea I feel, has helped me maintain my weight (why wait until you're cachexic?), and has stopped me from feeling the awful "buzz" the medications give.  I believe that I have the right to smoke marijuana in order to feel well.