As the gears of the state’s rule-making process grind slowly forward, frustration and impatience best describe the feelings of New Yorkers who rely on cannabis as medicine.
While the Office of Cannabis Management continues to assess the latest round of public comments on proposed rules governing personal cultivation by medical patients, a trio of such patients recently offered their experiences and opinions on growing their own to NY Cannabis Insider.
A former firefighter and EMT from Suffolk County, Joseph Ortiz was on duty one night in 2007 when a drunk driver struck him as he walked along a roadside. He said he has since undergone 29 surgeries and remains in treatment today. With multiple serious injuries and suffering from chronic pain, he turned to pain killers for relief.
But amelioration proved elusive, so Ortiz began exploring alternative means of healing, including cannabis.
“Cannabis helps me with a higher quality of life and functionality,” Ortiz said. “I haven’t found anything in Western medicine that equates.”
His inability to legally grow his own cannabis to treat his medical conditions frustrates Ortiz greatly. Labeling himself as “high consumption,” he bemoans the cost of his medicine.
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