GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif, admitted that he used medical marijuana to ease arthritis pain. He seemed pleased with the experience because he claimed it actually worked.
In a meeting with a group of marijuana advocates on Capitol Hill, the 68-year-old U.S. representative spoke about the federal issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana all over the country, followed by his very striking admission. He was the only Republican among the five speakers in the gathering.
A Surfer's Life
Rohrabacher recalled how he used to surf for more than 30 years and how the physically demanding hobby affected his physical health. He has been out of the waters for about a year and a half already because of severe pain. During the meeting, he even demonstrated the paddling motion he used to do as a surfer and said that he can barely do that now.
The congressman, however, said that he did not regret the physical ailments he obtained from surfing, particularly because there is something that can be done.
Using Marijuana: The Big Reveal
Rohrabacher's use of medical marijuana started when he went to a San Bernardino hempfest. A vendor came up to him and showed a topical solution with cannabis contents, which he can use for his aching shoulder.
The congressman tried it about two weeks ago and for the first time in a year and a half, he had a good night's sleep because the pain from arthritis was gone.
"Now don't tell anybody I broke the law," he said sarcastically. He added that authorities will break in his door and grab whatever they can use against him. In the end, they will really find cannabis in there - the thing that makes him sleep these days.
Rohrabacher's Confession: A First In A Long Time
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of non-profit organization National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, says this is the first time that a congressman has made public his medical marijuana use.
No legislator over the last three decades has admitted use of marijuana illegally. In the early 1980s, Stewart McKinney and Newt Gingrich initiated a bill that centered on the former's need to use medical marijuana.
Rohrabacher is among the most prominent conservative leaders on amending marijuana laws in the House. He is also the maker of a provision in federal law that bars the Department of Justice from intruding in medical marijuana operations in the state level.