Rare form of "rheumatoid arthritis". I was put on Vioxx and given an open script for painkillers. By the time I was 21, I was on 4 prescriptions, including 1 to counteract the digestive problems from the Vioxx (later pulled from the market for KILLING PEOPLE), and another to bring down my blood pressure which was inexplicably high. It was that point when I looked in the mirror and decided I was no longer going down that road. I flushed my pharmaceuticals down the toilet and never touched another one. That was 12 years ago, long before the Daily Paul and long before I ever even thought about anything of substance. Hell, it was in the pre-911 "innocent" days, and I could already see where my life was headed. I sucked up the pain for a few years, but slowly began to study alternative medicine and soon became my own doctor. Diet was most important to my recovery, followed by exercise, and using natural medicines (plants and herbs) to reduce inflammation and dull pain. One of those medicines is cannabis.
I travel for work and pleasure, and never take cannabis with me across state lines (except for now into Washington from Oregon, where I have a medical card). I've gone cold turkey for 2 weeks or more at a time with no issues while on vacation and work travel. When I moved to UK for a 3 month consulting stint, I didn't touch the stuff as I would never risk any run-in with law enforcement over something so petty. What I experienced was a return of fatigue, stiffness and pain, but certainly manageable. I was also on a bad traveling consultant's diet, which I now recognize as contributory to those symptoms.
I've found no side effects to cannabis(I use a vaporizer and sometimes edibles, as needed), and it certainly allows me to push through any fatigue, stiffness and pain with relative ease.
I use it daily for medical reasons, but also because I can and want to, and find it makes me more creative, more open-minded, and more able to and willing to ask divergent questions. How it opens the mind over regular usage is quite astonishing. The stereotypes of the "stoner" are just that: stereotypes. There's a reason the government doesn't want people thinking a bit more deeply about things, and marijuana is a pretty good tool for deep thinking.