Mount Vernon, NY
Lauren Carter, a lifelong resident of Mount Vernon, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 5 years ago at the age of 23. Since her diagnosis Lauren has experienced steadily worsening neurologic function.
“I was diagnosed, and my life changed instantly,” Lauren says. Lauren worked as an emergency dispatcher for the Mount Vernon Police Department but was forced to go on disability due to her illness. “I could no longer see or walk on my own and had been missing too many days of work,” she reports.
After viewing a documentary about multiple sclerosis, Lauren began using medical marijuana. “When I use medical marijuana, my tremors stop, the pain stops. I can sleep. I can eat. I can see partially out of both eyes. I don’t suffer from side effects like my many other medications, and most importantly I can cope,” she says.
Now on a fixed income, Lauren moved back home with her mother. Lauren’s mother understands how medical marijuana helps her daughter but worries about being charged with a crime and the dangers of purchasing it off the street. “If it were legal and bought from a legal dispensary, my mother would allow me to use medical marijuana; she hates watching me suffer, but she is afraid” says Lauren. “Every day is a battle with my body, and medical marijuana helps me to fight. I shouldn’t have to break the law to get it.”