New research featured in the New England Journal of Medicine found that as the issue of marijuana legalization continues to spread across the country, the inclination of doctors to want the drug legal continues to rise. According to a new survey, 76 percent of doctors would approve the use of medical marijuana.
Even the survey’s author admitted he was “surprised by the outcome of polling and comments, with 76 percent of all votes in favor of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes — even though marijuana use is illegal in most countries.”
According to an article in 420Intel, the survey included responses from 1,446 doctors from 72 different countries and 56 different states and provinces in North America. Also, almost 120 went the extra mile and posted comments about their decision on the survey. Doctors were given a hypothetical case about a 68-year-old woman with breast cancer that had 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 North American physicians said they would approve medical marijuana. About 78 percent of doctors outside the U.S. supported cannabis.
One doctor, Dr. J. Michael Bostwick, a professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, wrote a commentary for the survey. Bostwick said, “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.”
Doctors who were against prescribing marijuana claimed they made their decision based on lack of evidence, uncertainty over where the marijuana was coming from, and problems with dosing and side effects.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, but it has also been linked to medical benefits, has been shown to relieve pain, improve mood and increase appetite. But the National Institute on Drug Abuse still claims that the proposed benefits aren’t enough proof for the Food and Drug Administration to approve cannabis federally.