By Emily Drooby
Brooklyn gets first medical cannabis dispensary on Flatbush Avenue right across the street from the Barclays Center.
Citiva sells cannabis oil which can be used in things like vaporizer pens and capsules.
Employee Colleen Hughes, who is also a patient, said medical marijuana has helped her manage pain she was treating with opioids. Hughes, said, “Medical cannabis can actually help people bridge the gap between being bedridden and actually getting up and being able to wash their hands or do menial tasks.”
But not everyone agrees. For years, Monsignor Joseph Nugent, has worked to help people recovering addicts. He said, pot is a gateway drug.
Nugent, the pastor at St. Paul and St. Agnes, said, “It’s ridiculous that you’re using a substance that causes disease, addiction, to ease the pain of another disease, it just doesn’t make any sense, to me, at all.”
Bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio agreed. In an interview with Currents News in last June, he talked about the dangers of pot, but he did mention a potential benefit.
Bishop DiMarzio, said, “It’s a gateway drug, it leads to further drug abuse…That’s not withstanding the medical benefits where people are into chemotherapy, very strictly regulated, it can be helpful to them.”
Doctor Blanca Vazquez said CBD, a component of the plant, has changed the way they treat epilepsy, but patients using medical marijuana should remain under the care of their doctor.
Dr. Vazquez, who is also the epilepsy program director, NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, said, “They should have a great partnership with the doctor. It really is something that your doctor should be clear, what are the indications for the medical marijuana use, because a lot of these products are not FDA approved.”
If you or anyone you know if suffering from addiction. Monsignor Nugent suggests either reaching out to your local Catholic Charities for a referral or his parish of St. Paul and St Agnes.