Ogdensburg Doctor Among First In Region To Prescribe Medical MarijuanaPosted: Updated:
One of the first doctors in St. Lawrence County to recommend patients for medical marijuana is reporting good results in treating symptoms associated with cancer.
Oncologist Alka Srivastava in Ogdensburg has certified about half a dozen patients for medical marijuana.
She is the only doctor in the county publicly listed as certifying patients for it, although there are more than 300 statewide.
Medical marijuana was legalized three years ago, but it took a while to get the system running.
Srivastava said she has seen the benefits in patients she treats at the Richard E. Winter Cancer Center.
“Patients do seem to tolerate it well. They do report improvement in their symptoms of nausea, vomiting, losses in appetite and improvement in pain. And one drug is able to do all that,” she said.
The nearest medical marijuana dispensary is in Plattsburgh, where patients take certifications received from doctors to pick up the drug. Srivastava reports interest among her fellow doctors and patients.
“Most of the patients are just asking me if I prescribe medical marijuana and if I think it will relieve their symptoms, and I say yes and we go ahead and recommend it,” she said.
Although Srivastava certifies only cancer patients for medical marijuana, it has been proven useful as part of treatment for other diseases such as epilepsy, AIDS, and glaucoma.