One of the first patients to receive medical marijuana in New York is telling her story.
Brittany Barger, 27, was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer more than a year ago and said she turned to medical marijuana as a last resort.
“My body hasn’t reacted the way I wanted it to for chemo,” Barger said. “I can’t do surgery because it’s way too dangerous, and if I can come here and get some type of relief, and I feel like this is my choice.”
Barger said she was tired of taking dozens of pills that only made her feel worse and with the help of her doctor, she obtained marijuana capsules at the Vireo Health Dispensary in White Plains last Thursday.
“At the end of the night it’s your health,” Barger said. “You either want to feel better or you don’t.”
Barger said she doesn’t feel high when she takes the pills and if anything it’s what she doesn’t feel that matters.
“When you are going about your day and it’s like, ‘Hey I haven’t had to stop and wait and calculate how long it is until I can take my next dose of pain medication,’” Barger said.
She’s regained her appetite and attributes that to the marijuana.
Dr. Laura Bultman, with Vireo Health, said patients like Barger will put a new face on what it means to be a medical marijuana patient.
“These are not stoners,” Bultman said. “These are your neighbors, they are your moms, your sisters.”
Eight dispensaries opened in New York last week.