Johnson: Smoked Daily, Pot Relieved Nausea 

Johnson, 41, was busted with three joints of marijuana at Richmond International Airport Feb. 28. He was not arrested or charged with a crime for carrying the pot, though Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney Wade Kizer says he should have been. At Monday night's school board meeting, Johnson resigned from his two-term position as the city's 5th-District school board representative.

The marijuana possession is only the latest incident to trouble Johnson. Three months ago, he stepped down as chairman but kept his seat after being publicly rebuked for posting his personal profile and sexual proclivities on a Web site where men go to cruise for sex, Manhunt.com.

Of his latest indiscretion, Johnson says: "I can't say I'm surprised because I knew what I was doing. But quite honestly, long before this happened, I was in a position of being ready to step down." The fighting between the city administration and the board, and among the board members had gotten to him, he says.

For now, he'll focus on his business, Stratford Hills Antique Market, which he says he's neglected for three years. He'll look hard at "underlying issues," for his behavior and plans to start therapy soon.

"I feel fine," Johnson says, thwarting rumors that he is possibly suffering from cancer or HIV. "I am not deathly ill," he says, adding that he hasn't smoked pot since he was caught Feb. 28, and that he's taking other medication for his nausea that doesn't work as well.

Support from friends and loved ones has kept him afloat. "What most people don't realize is I have a partner. Throughout everything, he's stuck by me when most would have packed their bags," he says, adding that the two have been together for 12 years. Johnson says he doesn't rule out running for some other city post in the future.

"What has happened to me in the past few months makes me feel sad. It was bad and it was wrong. I just hope people will remember the good," he says. "They can say a lot of things about Steve Johnson but they can't say he's not honest." S


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