A poll published with the participation of 1,446 doctors revealed that 76% percent of those polled approved of the use of medical marijuana for treatment. The almost 1,500 poll participants were from 72 different countries and 56 different states and provinces in North America. The results of the poll were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and of those doctors who participated, 118 doctors on both sides of the coin provided commentary further explaining their poll responses.
According to Michelle Castillo of CBS News,
Doctors surveyed were given a hypothetical case about a woman named “Marylin,” a 68-year-old woman with breast cancer that had metastasized — or spread — to her lungs, chest cavity and spine. They were asked if they would give her medical marijuana to help her with her symptoms. More than three-quarters of the North American physicians approved the use of medical marijuana in this scenario. About 78 percent of doctors outside the U.S. who responded supported the use as well.
Numerous studies have proven marijuana to provide an array of benefits for different medical conditions.
The medical use of marijuana has been show to aid in pain relief, appetite, nausea, improved sleep, mood improvement, and more.
Marijuana is the most commonly used ‘illicit drug’ in the US and has seen an increasing improvement of legal status both for medicinal use and for recreational use. Currently 19 states and the District of Columbia allow for the possession of medicinal marijuana with a prescription from a doctor and Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Colorado have been the first to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
One of the participating doctors, Dr. J. Bostwick, a professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. was in favor of the medical use of marijuana and provided commentary about it’s beneficial uses saying, “There are no 100 percents in medicine. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that this is something we should study more. Forgive the pun, but there’s probably some fire where there’s smoke, and we should investigate the medicinal use of marijuana or its components.”
Those who opposed prescribing marijuana pointed out the lack of evidence, uncertainty over where the marijuana was coming from, and problems with dosing and side effects. – Michelle Castillo, CBS News
Among the participating doctors who opposed the use of medical marijuana was Dr. Gary Reisfield who also provided the following commentary to HealthDay Magazine
Heavy marijuana use is associated with numerous adverse health and societal outcomes including psychomotor, memory and executive function impairments, marijuana use disorders, other psychiatric conditions such as psychosis, poor school and work performance and impaired driving performance. – Dr. Gary Reisfield
Doctors on both sides of the discussion questioned whether the use of marijuana for medical or any purpose should be the choice of the doctor or the patients. “Common in this debate was the question of whether marijuana even belongs within the purview of physicians or whether the substance should be legalized and patients allowed to decide for themselves whether to make use of it,” the authors said.