I am a 35-year-old law school graduate living in New York City. I have always worked hard and earned a good living. I suffer from depression and take Prozac, which helps but not enough. One of the symptoms of depression is fatigue, and I use marihuana as a stimulant. It acts as a simple tonic to me. I do not take any other drugs -- in fact I recently underwent knee surgery and was very reluctant to take the painkillers that were prescribed for me.

Pot helps me to overcome the lethargy I often feel due to my depression. It allows me to exercise and do household chores that my depression sometimes keeps me from doing otherwise. I am surprised by the "diminished-motivation" argument against marihuana since it has always given me stamina and helped me tackle onerous tasks.

I have always felt horribly guilty about my marihuana use, influenced by stereotypical negative portrayals of potheads and of course its criminalization. Only recently, due to reports on medical uses of marihuana, am I starting to think of it as a substance that is not bad for you. I am encouraged by reports that s how it does not act as a "gateway" substance to harder drugs. I would prefer to take nothing! But I am glad that marihuana exists to help me.