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New York, NY

Jim Lister has lived with HIV since 1989. He struggles with periodic bouts of nausea, restlessness and fatigue. As a result of his illness Jim has accelerated deterioration of the joints in his feet, legs and hands leaving him in debilitating pain.

Jim finds great difficulty in performing daily tasks that many of us take for granted. He explains, “My condition means that I have to avoid social and professional engagements unless absolutely necessary. I never know when my next episode is around the corner.” He takes several prescription and over-the-counter medications that do little to alleviate his suffering. “Marijuana is the only medicine that diminishes and subdues the pain, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms that dominate my life.”

Jim must make a choice between breaking the law or living without his vital medication. He chooses medical marijuana and as a consequence faces the fear of arrest and prosecution. “I am not a criminal; however, I must watch my back like I am one.”

New York does not currently permit the medicinal use of marijuana, so Jim must choose between living as a criminal or suffering with symptoms that could be dramatically eased if medical marijuana were legal. This is a choice no one should have to make.