Patients For Safe Access
Stephen Garland - PFSA Conference 2022
My name is Stephen Garland, a serial entrepreneur and event manager of the last 30+ years working mostly in music. I have worked and created events in 7 different language countries of which I am proficient enough to work in but fluent in none… they say! I have lived, worked and partied in Ireland, England, Finland, Belgium, Holland and mostly Catalonia, Barcelona in Spain.
My career was mostly driven by my first love music. I created and ran for 7 years Barcelona’s Irish Festival El Feile… I introduced the 1st professional comedy show ever to happen on the Iberian Peninsula, which would later lead to Barcelona comedy Festival which will see it’s 14th edition in November 2023. 90% of the people and artists that I have worked with all enjoyed Cannabis for their own reasons. I have always loved to use Cannabis as I would drink a glass of wine.
Unfortunately for me I was diagnosed with the jackpot of PPMS a disease I managed to stop for now, fingers crossed, but it also gave me neuropathic pain in my lower limbs. For which I self-medicate… with the most effective natural treatment the magical plant that is Cannabis. Spain in their wisdom, well really after 30 years of activists fighting have ensured the right to grow Cannabis and the right for like-minded people to come together and share knowledge of how to grow and best use Cannabis in the safest environment. The CSC (Cannabis Social Club) is non-profit, non-commercialised and members have to consume on the premises or in their own homes.
Sadly people in Ireland are being told by politicians that there is a programme, there is the MCAP, that has a tiny number of people able to access. It is too restrictive for most, it lists 3 conditions and MS is one of them but only for spasticity. I do not have spasticity I have neuropathic pain so not covered or even recognised unlike Denmark of same population who have 2500 patients on their access programme. 2 hours from Dublin I am not a criminal, I am a gardening enthusiast I have a terrace filled with plants. I grow the strains that give me completely the effects that I want and every now and again when I want to listen to music and have fun I have a strain that does that.
My ‘Covid Years’ were spent doing 2 postgrads in UCD and Trinity in Innovation, the latter in Healthcare.