Even though I am qualified for Medical Marijuana Certification, I still feel like I’m doing something wrong…

One of the most difficult things to do is bypass the stigma associated with marijuana as an illegal substance.  Medical Marijuana is derived from a natural source and acts on cannabinoid receptors that naturally exist in your cell membranes and which even naturally occur in breast milk!  Medical Marijuana in New York State is strictly supervised and monitored in its production for the highest quality.  A popular concern is the fear of addiction and using a “psychedelic” drug.  Medical Marijuana:

  • is derived from a natural source and
  • acts on cannabinoid receptors that naturally exist in your cell membranes and which even naturally occur in breast milk!
  • CB1 (exists in the brain) and CB2 (found in your immune system and throughout the rest of your body) are your body’s cannabinoid receptors. So, it can be said that your body is “built for cannabinoids” which can play a healthy role in boosting your immune system; protecting your brain, nervous system and cells against disease; relieving pain and inflammation; and more.

Think of Medical Marijuana as a supplement and nutrient, not a drug.  Medical Marijuana is used for holistic healing, not for “getting high.”  Doc Tommy explains it quickly:

Q: What should I do when I’m criticized for even considering medical marijuana as a treatment option?

* Perspective creates reality
* Natural Medicine/Supplement vs. "drug"
* Healing & Holistic vs. "get high"
(Video best viewed in Chrome browser)

This short video by the United Patients Group makes it easy to understand how cannabinoids affect our bodies.

See Considering Medical Marijuana and Understanding Dosage

What is the difference between Medical Marijuana and “street weed?”

See Considering Medical Marijuana and Understanding Dosage

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Is Medical Marijuana a “gateway drug” – will I become addicted?

There is no conclusive evidence that marijuana leads to the use of other illicit drugs.  According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, fewer than one in 10 marijuana smokers become regular users of the drug, and most voluntary cease their use after 34 years of age. By comparison, 15 percent of alcohol consumers and 32 percent of tobacco smokers exhibit symptoms of drug dependence ( source:  NORML).  As with any medication, personal responsibility is paramount. The same risks involved with the misuse of any medication apply, except that in New York State, Medical Marijuana is carefully cultivated from a natural source and strictly supervised and monitored in its production for the highest quality. It is your privilege to have the control of and the responsibility for the THC to CBD ratio that you determine is right for you. As always, responsible use of a controlled substance allows for us to keep our privileges and for many to benefit.

See Understanding Dosage and Resources

 Who can be Certified for Medical Marijuana in New York State?

A patient must be a valid citizen residing in New York State; provide valid ID; and must provide legitimate health documentation that qualifies you for Medical Marijuana Certification.  There are restrictions on what medical conditions qualify for Medical Marijuana Certification.

Please see Becoming Certified – How It Works which outlines New York State Medical Conditions that Qualify for Medical Marijuana and How To Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in New York State

What is involved with my office visit for Medical Marijuana Certification?

The Medical Marijuana Certification Process in our office involves a 2-visit protocol to ensure the highest standards:

Initial Screening for Qualification Approval:  Dr. O’Brien will conduct a routine History and Physical Exam.  After confirming a qualifying serious condition, Dr. O’Brien will determine if the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the primary or adjunctive treatment with medical use of marijuana.  Dr. O’Brien will then consult the prescription monitoring drug program registry for the purpose of reviewing a patient’s controlled substance history.  We reserve the right to refuse any patient for non-compliance with NYS Medical Marijuana Certification Requirements.

  • All patients must supply the appropriate documentation to adhere to the NYS Medical Marijuana Protocols which include verification of your condition from your physician/specialist and other information to support your diagnosis.

Receiving Certification: After the patient’s initial screening for qualification approval, the patient receives a temporary Certification with instructions to complete the process in accordance with NYS laws.  (Don’t worry! Dr. O’Brien will help you with the NYS website.)  A copy of the Certificate is placed in the patient’s health care record.  Usually, within Within 2 -3 days,  New York State will mail Certifying patients their NYS Medical Marijuana Certification Card that should be carried with them at all times.  Note: Certifications expire after one (1) year except under certain conditions (Certification restrictions).

See Becoming Certified – How It Works and Office Policies

What types of MMJ is available and how do I know which is right for me?

Medicinal Marijuana is Distributed in 2 Forms:


a) Tincture: An oil that is placed below the tongue (Sublingual) and absorbed, thus bypassing the liver for quicker onset of action.

b) Syrup: A viscous (Thick) liquid, that is swallowed and absorbed in the small intestine. Liver is not bypassed, this onset slower of action.

c) Pill: A capsule is ingested and absorbed in the small intestine. Liver is not bypassed, thus onset slower of action.


A cartridge filled with a oil is placed in a Vaporizer. Heating coils within the vaporizer heat the oil until it turns into a vapor. The vapor is then inhaled. Thus, absorbed in the lung bypassing the liver for fast onset of action.

Your treatment will be a blend of the active ingredients of cannabis to yield the greatest benefits with the least amount of unwanted effects – preferably none. Because Medical Marijuana is derived from a natural, herbal source, like most herbs (and other medications), its properties can affect everyone differently. Some people may benefit from a higher THC concentration and others from a higher CBD ratio.  As with any prescribed medication, start with a low dosage and progress slowly to find the balance and method that works best for you.

See Understanding Dosage

Is Doc Tommy connected with MMJ Dispensaries?

Doc Tommy (nor any of his associates) has no affliliation with the MMJ dispensaries in New York State.  Doc Tommy is your MMJ physician who will oversee your process and progress with your Medical Marijuana prescription for as long as you are legally Certified for Medical Marijuana in New York State and a patient in good standing in his charge.

See Office Policies 

Where can I find more information on MMJ?

It is important to keep up with the progress of the laws and how to ensure that you maintain your rights to MMJ.  Our Resources page has a list of news, legal, and educational information to stay in the know.

OK, I really did read all the wonderful info you provided, but I still have a question…

DocTommy.com - all rights reservedComing soon! Doc Tommy’s “MMJ Q&A Show” consists of video segments where Dr. O’Brien will answer questions sent in by the public.  Members of Doc Tommy’s mailing list will be notified first, and you can follow Doc Tommy on YouTube for new segments and to review past segments.

To ensure that you don’t miss the launch of this exciting, new series, be sure that you’re on Doc Tommy’s Mailing List!