To the Editor:

Re “More Seniors Are Choosing Pot Over Pills” (front page, Nov. 17):

As a primary care doctor, I have been discussing, recommending and prescribing cannabis to my patients over my entire 25-year career. I have known it was a medicine since I saw it help my brother Danny during his unsuccessful battle with childhood leukemia.

My family procured it for him illegally in the early 1970s as they had heard about the benefits. It was transformational, as Danny could now hold down food and, importantly from my perspective, play with his little brothers during the time he had left.

As primary care doctors, we do not prescribe “perfectly safe medications” ever. No drug or medicine comes with zero toxicity. Rather, we prescribe the medicine that we believe will have the least toxicity and that will alleviate whatever ailment we are treating.

I have found that having medical cannabis in my toolbox has vastly improved my ability to treat anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain, to give a few examples — problems that plague our older populations, and that are often unsafely and ineffectively treated by current pharmaceutical options.


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