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As a medical student working in other states, Matthew Jackson, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine saw first-hand how medical marijuana benefited patients — often more effectively than harsher prescription medications. He knows that an increasing body of scientific evidence supports the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis as a treatment for a range of serious medical conditions. Dr. Jackson, who is finishing his training at Peconic Bay Medical Center on Long Island, wants his patients to have the best available treatment.

“I’m interested in working in gynecology and oncology. Medical marijuana should be one of the tools available to me. Some patients will do better with and be more likely to use medical marijuana than other treatments,” he says.

Dr. Jackson knows patients who use medical marijuana that they have obtained illegally on the street. “When patients are forced to purchase marijuana illegally, it puts them at risk, and there is no good way to monitor safety,” according to Dr. Jackson.

Dr. Jackson is deciding if he will stay in New York or move to one of the seventeen other states that allow physicians to recommend medical marijuana to their patients. In New York, Dr. Jackson cannot recommend a treatment he knows would help his patients because medical marijuana remains illegal.