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Sag Harbor, NY

Michael C., a husband, father, and friend was diagnosed with Chronic Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) thirteen years ago but has been living with symptoms since his late twenties. For years after his diagnosis, Michael worked hard to push past his symptoms and continue his career reconstructing and building houses until he was no longer able to do so. “I just no longer had the strength,” he says.

In order to cope with his symptoms, which include muscle spasms, numbness, and tingling, Michael has turned to medical marijuana. “It is not a cure, but it is much needed relief,” he says. Michael tried the drugs prescribed but found them often to be ineffective, and he feared the high possibility of addiction.

New York does not currently permit the medicinal use of marijuana, so Michael is forced to choose between breaking the law and suffering with symptoms that could be dramatically eased if medical marijuana were legal. He also worries about the impact that his breaking the law to relieve his symptoms could have on his family and friends. “I am an upstanding citizen, I pay my taxes, and I support my community. This is a choice I should not have to make.”