I lived in the middle-eastern US in 1996 when California's Prop. 215 passed. The mindset was (and still is I think) of the nature that marijuana is just an illegal recreational drug and is looked down upon. Even I thought it was ridiculous that these "sick" people needed marijuana...it all seemed to be a ploy for stoners to legalize this bad, evil substance.
Then, I got "sick".
I am a patient suffering from multiple sclerosis, and have found amazing amounts of relief from marijuana.
I was diagnosed about 6 months ago.
My neurologist put me on a steroid treatment, involving 10 grams of methylprednisolone through an IV for 5 days, and then a tapering dose of oral prednisone for the next 19 days after that.
I ate everything I saw for those whole 24 days, got acne all over my chest, and gained 15 pounds. My level of disability improved soon after the treatment began. About five days after the treatment was over, I was back to almost the same level of disability again. I have nothing to show for all the toxic steroids I put into my body, and who knows what other medical problems will come up as a long-term side effect to this treatment.
Next, my neurologist put me on Rebif, a MS disease-modifying drug.
This consisted of giving myself a shot Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week. Hey, at least I got the weekends off, right?
The biggest side effect I had with the Rebif was "flu-like" symptoms, so after about a month and a half of feeling like crap all the time, always being tired, and not feeling like the Rebif was doing me any good, I stopped taking it.
I felt a lot better within 3 days after discontinuing the Rebif, so I decided that feeling better now (I'm 21, let me enjoy what I can while I'm young.) was much better than feeling horrible for what basically is supposed to result in my MS progressing 30 percent slower than without treatment.
I have been through Amantadine, Baclofen, Ultram, Provigil, Soma, and Prednisone, plus some that I probably have forgotten. All of these medications either provided little or no relief, and/or had very undesirable side effects for me.
Before learning that I had a disease that was probably MS, I had used marijuana maybe 10 times in my whole life. I started using it more regularly, and noticed that I was feeling much better all around when smoking marijuana. I could get around better, I felt better, I was in a better mood, and I ate (something that is often very difficult for me).
Being a California resident, I obtained a doctor's recommendation, and am now legal to use medical cannabis in California, and would like to see it made legal everywhere.
Marijuana is now the only medication I am using to treat my condition, and I would be so much less functional without it that I don't know what I would do (or COULD do for that matter).