Stress and Migraine
by Mr. Wright

When I ran across your website by way of a link from NORML's site, I knew I had to respond. I am an 18-year-old freshman political science major at SUNY Geneseo and am a passionate supporter of the abolishment of marijuana prohibition. I am not ashamed to admit it. Marijuana has played a huge role in my life over the past few years. Without it I don't know whether I would have made it through this especially trying time. I originally used marijuana as a recreational drug, smoking before concerts or going to play lazer-tag high with my friends. But I soon discovered a different use for this beautiful plant. I was the older of two sons living with my mother and my alcoholic and often abusive stepfather. In addition to dealing with the normal stresses of adolescence, I was faced with much greater issues. Between problems with school, my girlfriend, my family, and financial issues I soon found my self overwhelmed. One particular time comes to mind. During midterms week of my senior year in high school I reached my boiling point. Within the span of a couple weeks I had broken up with my girlfriend, separated with my best friends who had moved towards "harder" drugs, was in danger of failing multiple courses, and was faced with the possibility of my mother, my brother, and I having to move out of our 5-bedroom house and move into an apartment because things with my stepfather had escalated and he refused to move out. I have never been under so much stress in my life. It is bringing me to tears to write about it. I honestly thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. To make matters worse, my migraines were acting up and my prescription medication wasn't even touching them. The only thing that got me through that week was pot.

Now some may see that as an unhealthy way of dealing with such problems, but I don't think many of those critics have had to deal with problems like I have known. Especially not at 17. Marijuana has become a means of escape for me. A way to relax when relaxation seems impossible. A way to laugh when you've been crying for days. And to those critics I would like to ask, what's so wrong with smoking marijuana anyway? Studies have shown it does less damage to the human body than alcohol. That is what bothers me most about prohibition. The demonization of marijuana users and the stigma attached even to its advocates. If pot is the only thing that can help my migraines, who are they to tell me I can't smoke? For me it isn't only about the treatment of migraine but the prevention.

My neurologist determined that my migraines were, in fact, stress related and referred me to a psychologist for stress management. He should have just said "take two bong hits and call me in the morning." Seriously though, the psychologist was a great help and we have become great friends but marijuana has played an undeniable role in the prevention of my migraines. Also undeniable, I believe, are marijuana's therapeutic qualities. And I think anyone who has smoked would agree with me.

Since the time described above I have become very passionate about legalization and I think we're on our way. Despite being a known, and self-proclaimed, pot-head I was Senior Class President, Student Board Pres., Co-Editor of the Yearbook, member of our area's all-star math team, brainstormers team high scorer, member New York State second place Div III Odyssey of the Mind team, member of National Honor Society, acted in the senior play, was voted most artistic in my class and scored a 1290 on my SATs, all during my senior year which also happened to be my year of heaviest marijuana use. So for all those who would like to think of stoners as unintelligent, lazy, delinquents I have (at the risk of sounding vain) only one thing to say, "Take a look at my resume. And while you're at it why don't you let me see yours?"