There are naysayers who believe the concept of medical marijuana is really just an elaborate scheme intended to move cannabis into the American mainstream, with people like former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg calling it “one of the greatest hoaxes of all time.” However, a new survey released this week by the Public Health Institute finds the majority of medical marijuana patients in California — 92 percent — agree that the herb has been beneficial in calming the symptoms of their suffering from conditions like cancer, chronic pain and migraine headaches.
The latest statistics, which were produced under the thumb of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using data from the California Behavioral Risk Surveillance System, were determined by polling 7,525 legal adults who reside in the state of California. What they found was that five percent of the respondents, from every age range, claimed to have used medical marijuana to combat a “serious medical condition.”
“Our study’s 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,” wrote the study authors. In fact, both men and women reported similar usage rates, but the younger end of the spectrum conveyed the bulk of its use.
Although the survey did uncover a certain level of racial disparity in medical marijuana users, researchers insisted “the absolute difference in prevalence between the racial/ethnic groups is less than three percentage points, which may not have much importance in practical terms.”
Interestingly, even though medical marijuana has been legalized in 23 states, opposing forces continue to suggest it is a scam. Yet, the latest study results strongly disagree with this sentiment. “Our study contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals,” wrote the study authors. “The most common reasons for use include medical conditions for which mainstream treatments may not exist, such as for migraines, or may not be effective, including for chronic pain and cancer.”
Perhaps it is time for lawmakers to start listening to the patients when it comes to medical marijuana legislation. This study makes it perfectly clear that if there is a “con” in the realm of the medicinal cannabis industry, it lies in the politics of the argument, not in the medicine.