Bipolar Disorder
by Marty Curlett

I am a 28-year-old man who suffers from manic-depression. I live with my wife of six years and have a 3-year-old son. I am employed as a surgical technologist and I am enrolled full time in a computer engineering program at a local college. I smoke cannabis in order to get relief from the constant mood swings that my condition dictates. I normally consume

My medication in the morning orally (eating baked goods) so I can function in this society without being labeled as a "stoner". In the evening I usually smoke between 2-4 grams of high quality cannabis that I cultivate at home. The doctor that diagnosed my abnormality prescribed a drug called lithium. This, however, gave little if any relief. I consulted him about consuming cannabis and he stated "off the record" that it is a wise thing to do if I experienced relief. I have yet to find a physician to recognize cannabis as a reliever of the extreme mood swings that I receive. I have used cannabis for a better part of my life, since I was 15. I was first introduced to the plant by my parents, who taught me to respect and love the beauty of such a magnificent plant. I found that it would help my medical condition purely on accident. I was taking the lithium and decided to smoke a little of the herb. I was truly amazed at the difference it made my life. My wife was happy with the change, and my son now has a father that he can predict. I have been using it as a medication ever since—about 2 years. I have also found that my studies have improved dramatically, I have always been an "A" student but never really got anything out of my classes; now I find I can concentrate and really learn what my instructors are teaching. I plan to graduate in 2001 and will graduate with honors. Luckily I live in a very liberal state and county that does not hassle medical users very much; however, my use would not constitute medical use due to the lack of written documentation to the approval of such usage. In short, I am living proof that cannabis works and does not destroy one's life in the process, but instead it proves how beneficial it can be to one that suffers the same way that I do.