This is Me Open Access
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Balinda is a 62-year old survivor of cancer and HIV. Less than a year ago she was rapidly deteriorating from the side effects of her medications. The legalization of medical marijuana in the District of Columbia saved her life. Today, she struggles to make ends meet while raising her thirteen-year-old granddaughter and often can't afford marijuana. Even when she can, she is forbidden to use it in her subsidized housing and risks losing their home. Together they make and sell art to help cope with their traumas and to pay for the marijuana that keeps her alive. Balinda is just one of many who could benefit from medical marijuana, but have trouble getting access to it and continue to face the stigma that comes with using it. This project tells Balinda's story in a short documentary film, still photos and a narrative essay.