Rockland County doctor treats son with medical marijuana

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STONY POINT -

A Stony Point doctor is using medical marijuana to treat her 6-year-old son who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, known as Dravet syndrome.

Dr. Piperato says she tried giving her son, Vinny, seven different medications, but many of them came with serious side effects.

Eventually, the Stony Point Medical doctor decided to try medical marijuana. She says she is only one of about a dozen doctors in Rockland County that can recommend medical marijuana.

Vinny now takes his new medicine from a dispensary orally three times a day. His mom says he is doing well on it and has shown no side effects.

Medical cannabis became legal in New York state after the state Legislature passed the Compassionate Care Act in 2014. However, since it is still illegal federally, insurance companies don't cover the high costs. Dr. Piperato says the medicine can be anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars a month.

New York state only allows patients who suffer from 11 different conditions to qualify for medical cannabis, but Dr. Piperato believes people with other conditions can benefit from it.

"I think cannabis as medicine should be between a doctor and a patient," Dr. Piperato said.

There are currently no medical marijuana dispensaries in Rockland County.

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