Well I have to agree that marijuana is a legitimate (well ok, still technically illegal...at least growing it and selling it and possessing more than x amount of grams) alternative to treatment for AS for the chronic pain associated with it.

Let me elaborate if I may.

My husband was 25/26 when he was diagnosed with AS (previously Drs thought it was bursitis and then a slipped disc). This man, even as a teenager, while hanging with friends who did occassionally indulge, would not have considered trying it...and was very much against it in his house. (Myself, having done it in highschool way back when didn't really consider it worth my time).

Fast forward a few years and now we're living in Central America, where surprisingly the doctors there treat both the disease itself and the pain (which strangely the doctors up here seem to consider the pain to be less than something worth consideration), and the doctor down there prescribes marijuana. Needless to say (now this is 2002 we're talking about) it took a month or so to convince my husband that you know...it's not going to hurt any worse than anything else.

And you know what? For the first time in 8 years, he slept through the night...pain-free. And it carried over to the next day...the effects of a full sound sleep, without pain.

Now of course, we come back to Canada and trying to get ahold of that stuff even in small amounts (as it was used only before bed and on a "as needed" basis) is difficult at best. And the prescription from the doctor (legal meds) to sleep do nothing, don't help the pain, don't keep him asleep, and make him feel dopey and lethargic the next day.

Really, it's not for everyone. But for some, it helps. I just wish I could find it here as easily.