by Jeff Ludwig

I have been successfully using marihuana to control my asthma for the last 6 years or so. I developed asthma as a fairly young kid. I have many triggers, dry hay and grasses, chemical fumes, excessive dust. I have been prescribed Marax, theophyline, and an albuterol inhaler. I used to get an asthma newsletter update with my inhaler refills. One of these was about inhalers going from bronchodilators to steroids as an anti-inflammatory.

I had been prescribed steroids as an anti-inflammatory for a tendonitis kayaking injury. The doctor gave me a scary list of side effects (including bizarre and unusual thoughts), and had me carry a card in my wallet so anyone treating me would know I was/had been taking this steroid. I thought the possibility of the long term use of this type of drug seemed like a bad idea. I was in college at this time, and was doing a research paper on herbal medicine. I decided to become my own doctor and research treatment for my asthma.!

My first asthma herb was lobelia. This helped ease my asthma attacks but did not really help when I was having an attack. I also worried because lobelia is a strong relaxant, there is such a thing as too much. I also wanted something to relieve an attack more quickly. I discovered mullein, historically mullein was smoked to relieve asthma. It made sense that smoking would get the chemicals into your lungs quickly, like an inhaler. Mullein helped some, but didn't really provide total relief. I also tried smoking coltsfoot to relieve asthma. Again some relief, but not really what I would call controlled.

When I was 26 I had a friend that really liked to smoke pot. I had smoked here and there while growing up, but always feared the consequences of using illegal drugs. By starting semi-regular use of marihuana I found I didn't have as frequent asthma attacks. I wanted to get away from the use of lobelia, so I started using mullein in tincture form, and smoking for instant relief. I do get instant relief from my asthma attacks, with a couple of hits of marihuana. I now use marihuana tincture, (easy to make yourself), and smoke marihuana on a regular basis (in a glass pipe or water pipe) and have my asthma totally under control.

Even if I go into a major trigger zone and start having an attack, smoking will always bring relief. It is ridiculous, this prohibition of the marihuana plant. Why are we forbidden from growing, processing, and using such a wonderful medicine? We are being exploited by the medical system, forced to BUY their drugs, rather than being allowed to heal ourselves. Who are the real criminals here?

Thank you for what you are doing to end the prohibition of my medicine.