Most Doctors Want Marijuana Legalization — Even More Than The Rest Of America Does, Study Finds
America's stoner docs are at it again: On Wednesday, a study revealed that American doctors are even more interested in legalizing marijuana than the rest of America. The study compared doctors' feelings toward cannabis with those of the public at large, and the results are in: most docs are cool with it. Congress, do what your doctor tells you.
The study found that 56 percent of the doctors believed marijuana should be legal nationwide, compared with 50 percent of the general public. When doctors were asked whether the drug was an effective treatment, the gulf between the two groups' opinions grew larger: Among doctors, 69 percent said pot could help patients with certain health issues, and 67 percent said it should be an option for patients.
Only 52 percent of consumers said they believed weed was a useful treatment for certain health conditions.
The study, which was conducted by WebMD and Medscape, surveyed more than 1,500 doctors and about 3,000 others. In a news release, WebMD's chief medical officer, Dr. Michael Smith, hinted at the belief that marijuana, currently classified as a Schedule I narcotic, is less likely to lead to dependency and abuse than commonly-prescribed painkillers.
One of the most documented uses of medical marijuana is in the treatment of pain. Medical marijuana may be a better painkiller than narcotic painkillers, like oxycodone, with less potential for addiction. More research will help us better understand how best to use medical marijuana in the treatment of many conditions that cause chronic pain.
Marijuana was recently made legal in Colorado and Washington state, though it is still considered illegal on a federal level. Both Oregon and Alaska may follow suit this year. Eighteen states plus DC looked into legalizing the drug this year, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, and though some of those bills were killed early, allowing marijuana for medical use is becoming a more palatable option for legislatures on the fence about decriminalizing or legalizing the drug.
We know at least one person is pretty stoked about this.