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Friday, April 4, 2014
New Survey Shows Majority Of Doctors In Favor Of National Marijuana Legalization
According to a new survey from WebMD, a majority of doctors nationwide support the national legalization of medical marijuana. WebMD, which is a highly regarded, award-winning provider of information/tools to manage health, surveyed 1,533 doctors from 48 states. The results of the survey are as follows:
69 percent say it can help with certain treatments and conditions.
67 percent say it should be a medical option for patients.
56 percent support making it legal nationwide.
50 percent of doctors in states where it is not legal say it should be legal in their states.
52 percent of doctors in states considering new laws say it should be legal in their states.
In addition to these statistics, 82 percent of oncologists and hematologists called for medical marijuana, saying that the drug has delivered real benefits for patients.
The report recognized that medical research has been limited due to the federal government's view of marijuana as a “Schedule I” substance, which places marijuana among the most dangerous drugs. According to the feds, Schedule I drugs have ““no accepted medicinal use” and have high potential for abuse.
WebMD Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Michael W. Smith, stated that even though the medical community may not be aware of long term effects due to lack of research opportunities, doctors still “support using marijuana as a potential treatment option for any number of medical problems,” adding that “many doctors already prescribe it” in the 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) where medical marijuana is legal.
The results of this survey expand the argument for the rescheduling of marijuana. Though the American Medical Association has not come out for or against medical marijuana, they have called for the federal government to review their classification of the drug, and urged research grants to be issued for the clinical research of cannabis.
420 Investor Alan Brochstein told Benzinga that he views these survey results as "huge news" for the cannabis sector, noting that broad support from doctors might help to advance the case for marijuana’s rescheduling, opening the door for future medical studies. “As more research emerges, potential benefits and risks will become more clear,” which would bring more certainty to the industry.
Just last month, for the first time ever, the Feds approved a medical marijuana study at the University of Arizona. This signaled a major shift in medical marijuana development research.
Due to the increasing support for medical (and recreational) legalization, WebMD has launched the Marijuana on Main Street Special Report, which is designed to help patients/recreational cannabis users recognize the potential health benefits and side effects of marijuana.