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Republican Congressman Admits Using Weed In Office For Arthritis Pain

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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A GOP congressman admitted to using medical marijuana to ease his arthritis pain while speaking at a marijuana conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

Rep. [crscore]Dana Rohrabacher[/crscore] said he previously attended a “hempfest” in San Bernardino, and was urged to try the drug after years of suffering and sleep deprivation from arthritis.

“I haven’t been able to go surfing for a year and a half, and I’ve been in severe pain,” Rohrabacher told Cannabis Radio. “And you know what? I tried [a marijuana-infused topical preparation] about two weeks ago, and it’s the first time … in a year and a half that I had a decent night’s sleep, because the arthritis pain was gone.”

The California Republican is the first sitting member of Congress in recent history to admit using medical marijuana. Although medical marijuana is legal in California and 23 states across the country, the drug is still illegal under federal law.

Rohrabacher is a long-standing supporter of drug policy reform, and is one of the sponsors of a measure that blocked the Department of Justice from using funds to prosecute medical marijuana patients and businesses.

“Now don’t tell anybody I broke the law, they’ll bust down my door and take whatever’s inside and use it as evidence against me, whatever it is,” Rohrabacher said. “The bottom line is, there’s definitely cannabis in there and it makes sure that I can sleep now.”

The benefits of medical marijuana are hotly disputed, but there are a number of studies suggesting the drug can help patients with a variety of conditions.

There is strong evidence to suggest marijuana can treat pain and muscle spasms, according to a review of the available research on medical marijuana published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which examined cannabis’s medicinal benefits among more than 6,500 patients.

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