Medical marijuana in New York

New York State could be the next to legalize recreational marijuana, mainly as a way to help solve the state’s fiscal problems brought on by the pandemic. 

New Jersey recently legalized adult-use recreational marijuana.  

But as more states are legalizing the plant for recreational use, many more have been allowing it for medical purposes.

Curaleaf in Forest Hills offers the plant, which is helpful for people suffering from chronic pain. That includes Sarah Sankarsingh, a mother of three, who lives in Astoria.

"I had a bad car accident in 2015 and suffered severe whiplash. They had me on a lot of pain medication, nothing was working.  I suffered from every side effect you could think of, that they say you might suffer from," said Sankarsingh. 

Eventually, Sarah’s pain management doctor recommended medical marijuana and gave her a prescription. She was directed to Curaleaf, a dispensary in Forest Hills, and met Dr. Stacia Woodcock. Dr. Woodcock helped Sarah navigate what would alleviate her chronic pain.  

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"We offer different ratios of cannabinoids.  Everything we sell is in a ratio of THC and CBD. THC is what causes that euphoric effect. CBD does not. So the different ratios, high CBD equal THC, expect different effects and patients can use them differently.  Any condition an opioid can be prescribed for, doctors can prescribe medical cannabis instead in New York State," said Dr. Stacia Woodcock of Curaleaf. 
"During the opioid epidemic, there’s been a shift to cannabis," said Dr. Houman Danesh, Director of Integrative Pain Management at Mt. Sinai.  "It’s worth a try. But you just want to make you're not supplanting one addiction for another,". 
Dr. Houman Danesh has directed some patients to cannabis but says it’s not always a one-size-fits-all. 

"We’re definitely starting to approach CBD as aspirin where it can solve almost any problem.  The more data we collect, the more we can know what to use it for, to help more people, which is ultimately what it comes down to," said Dr. Danesh.