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Richmondville, NY

At the tender age of twenty-six, Richard Williams was diagnosed with HIV. Once a burial plot salesman, Richard was now faced with his own mortality.

As a result of his illness, Richard suffers through symptoms such as swelling joints, vomiting, and extreme pain. Although he was prescribed pain pills nothing helped to relieve his pain and he feared the possibility of addiction.

After trying for years to work and maintain his job Richard was asked to go on disability by his employer. No longer able to afford living in Lake Caramel on his now fixed income Richard had to relocate to upstate New York.

After years of suffering Richard decided to use marijuana. When asked how he feels having to break the law, Richard replies, “I don’t want to be a criminal. I don’t do anything wrong, I don’t want to break the law, but I need it.”

When asked how the marijuana helps him Richard replies, “It changed everything.” Richard is now able to work part time on his feet as a videographer. “After twenty-five years I am now looking towards the future,” Mr. Williams states.

New York does not currently permit the medicinal use of marijuana, so Richard’s only options are to break the law or suffer with pain. This is a choice no one should have to make.