Oct 20, 2016, 2:52 pmOct 21, 2016, 6:57 am

Nyack man with autism says medical pot helps him focus

Andrew Greenspan hopes his story will help loosen medical marijuana state laws

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A young man from Nyack is speaking with FiOS1 News about his claim that using medical marijuana has had "surprising positive affects" on him, and he's pushing for more research to find out if there is a potential benefit in using medical marijuana for those with autism.

Andrew Greenspan was prescribed medicinal marijuana about five years ago when he was diagnosed with both neuropathy and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The 24-year-old is also classified as a high functioning autistic man. He says he was shocked how much the marijuana helped the effects of autism.

"It helps me with things on the spectrum like eye contact or being open minded and not as rigid, and just more social," Greenspan says, who adds that medical marijuana has also helped pushed him to write and perform music.

"Marijuana might be helpful for things like anxiety – some of the social difficulties we think of with autism disorder," says mental health expert Dr. Alexandra Stratyner, PhD.

However,it is important to note that Dr. Stratyner says there is little to no research proving the efficacy of treating people with autism with medicinal marijuana. She adds newer studies show cannabis is more addicting than previously believed.

Greenspan says he hopes sharing his story will help push for more research on the matter. He also says that he is by no means in favor of marijuana being legal recreationally. But, he says New York State laws remain very tight on medicinal marijuana use and he would like to see those loosened.

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