This is the story of how medical marijuana saved my life in more than one way.

First, a bit about me. I’m a 32-year-old husband and father of two. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where I was just an average low-income family boy. I first tried marijuana as a young teenager around 13. I would smoke on the weekends, at parties with my friends. As I got older into my later teens, I experimented more with marijuana — at times I would smoke every day. After high school I quit smoking for 5 years for working purposes and to please my future wife.

I had my first child in 09, and after a few years my next child was born and I was struggling with the stress of parenting and living with depression. So I turned to my doctor for help. I was in to see him every other week for new meds and dose changes etc. Then in 2012, I said there must be a better way than taking all this medicine and feeling no better then I was before.

That’s when I decided I would try marijuana again, since it was starting to become legal in some states. At first I would smoke on the weekends and after work. The more I would read and learn about it, the more I started to look at marijuana as my medicine and not the evil drug I was told it was my whole life. I discovered the doses that would help my mood and anxiety, and after 2 years I was completely off all prescription drugs. Not only that, I was finding myself happy and more active.

After some life-changing news from a family member and a look at my own life, I knew the next step was something that I had to do. I started regulating my medicine, and found it was really helpful with my food and weight loss efforts. It’s now 5 years later and I’m 120 lbs lighter and in the best shape of my life, and the happiest I’ve been in many years. That is why I would support the rights of all people in the world to be allowed to use marijuana as a medicine.