I am 43 years old and have been smoking pot for about 23 years. In the beginning it was a party thing, have a smoke and share some laughs with your friends. For the past 13 years it has become more medical than party. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which affects the muscles, causing chronic pain all over my body. I am stiff and sore all the time. I don't sleep well because of the pain. I feel terrible all the time and it has affected my lifestyle to the extreme. I can no longer take long walks or work in my garden or go up and down stairs without pain. I also suffer bouts of nausea that last for weeks at a time.

Smoking pot alleviates the nausea so I can eat; it relaxes my muscles so they are not as stiff and sore; it helps me stay in a better frame of mind and not get depressed about the chronic illness.

Pot, of course, is not always available to me and I go for long periods of time without it. When a friend stops by and we smoke one, I am instantly transported to a lighter place with a little less pain and no nausea. I wish it were not a crime to cultivate marijuana so I could grow my own and have a private source to ease my pain. All the medications my doctors have prescribed have many unpleasant side effects. I choose not to use most of them because they do not alleviate the pain or nausea as well as pot does. If it were up to me, marijuana would be a legal drug. It is the best drug for my pain.

Thanks for giving me a place to tell people that pot is not a terrible thing. In my opinion, alcohol is a more potent and deadly drug than weed, yet it is legal. There are no pot-related deaths as there are with alcohol. If the government grew pot and packaged it like cigarettes and sold it in liquor stores to people of age it would be a godsend to me (and I'm sure the government would make a lot of money!). Again, thanks for letting me tell my story.