New York, NY
Director of Palliative Care Services and Co-Director of the Center for Supportive Care & Clinical Ethics at Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Craig Blinderman would like to be able to legally prescribe medical marijuana to patients who might benefit from its use.
“I am convinced by studies showing the benefit of medical cannabis for chronic and neuropathic pain, appetite stimulation, and nausea,” says Dr. Blinderman. He notes that, compared to other prescription medications, medical marijuana is relatively safe and causes minimal harm. “Marijuana has been used throughout history to treat a range of ailments. More and more doctors are using medical marijuana in states where it is legal. It doesn’t make sense that doctors in New York cannot use medical marijuana in their practice,” he commented.
Dr. Blinderman, who treats patients with cancer and other life threatening illnesses, says that many of his patients have asked about the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, and some have broken the law and used it to ease their pain and nausea. “It’s disappointing that I cannot provide my patients with a therapy that I know can benefit them,” he says.
Because medical marijuana is current illegal in New York, Dr. Blinderman cannot use a therapy he knows could help alleviate the suffering of his patients.