Florida may not have voted to legalize medical marijuana, but at least one legal state has noticed the benefits medical cannabis can bring to patients. Recently, public health data gatherers in Sacramento released a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review (2014) reporting that of a representative health survey of 7,525 California adults, one in 20 (or about 1.4 million people) have used medical cannabis to help treat an illness or condition. Of those Californians, a whopping 92% felt medical cannabis was helpful in treating their disease or illness.
The authors of the study also noted that the results “lend support to the idea that medical marijuana is used equally by many groups of people and is not exclusively used by any one specific group,” and that both men and women used medical cannabis at similar rates. Different races used medical cannabis at slightly contrasting rates, but they amounted to less than three percentage points.
Additionally, The Washington Post touched on a 2013 survey in the New England Journal of Medicine that resulted in nearly 8 out of 10 doctors supporting the use of medical cannabis. Thus, we have doctors and patients of different genders, ages, and ethnic backgrounds all attesting to the efficacy of using medical cannabis to treat their conditions.
The data is encouraging, doctors endorse it, patients rely on it, and we have 23 states (and Washington D.C.) already on board. The fight’s not over, however, until the other 27 follow suit — we have a lot more education to spread, support to offer, and work to do to make sure that next time a state like Florida has a medical marijuana measure on the ballot, it passes with flying colors.