By Juli McDonald

WESTFORD (CBS) – News of the statewide ban on vaping products has left medical marijuana patients devastated. Many scrambled to fill prescriptions Tuesday but went home empty handed.

Kathy Deschenes of Westford explained to WBZ that vaping oil has been “a complete game changer. I’ve been so thankful for it.”

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She lives with chronic illnesses that cause pain and nausea. She wanted relief, but not through opioids or smoking medical marijuana. Edibles didn’t help. But vaping oil has been a ‘godsend.’

Prescription marijuana vaping oil (WBZ-TV)

“I push through my day. At night after dinner I sit on this couch; I have to keep my feet up most of the time. I vape for a short time. It gets rid of the pain. I’m able to sleep because I’m not in pain,” Deschenes said.

But now she dreads sleepless nights ahead — perhaps for many months. She felt stunned and also frantic to learn of the statewide ban what would prevent her from filling prescriptions.

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“People who use medical marijuana are already dealing with a lot. And this, almost feels like a punishment,” she said.

Kathy Deschenes of Westford (WBZ-TV)

Deschenes still works part-time; She knows there are patients who have it far worse. But this blanket ban feels cruel to those who need vaping oil to make every day feel livable.

“It’s a big deal; a big deal for a lot of people who need it. I thought we lived in a kinder state than that,” she said.

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Deschenes has already contacted the governor’s office and the public health council. She desperately hopes they’ll prioritize patients, before they explore approving products on the retail side.

Juli McDonald