Does your doctor recognize the medicinal value of cannabis? It may be more likely than you think, according to a new survey from Medscape and WebMD. Joining in the majority of Americans, medical professionals are warming to the healing properties of marijuana and joining the fight to make it available to all.
Their survey polled 1,544 doctors across the country, most of which said that medical marijuana should be an option for their patients. The doctors responding came from more than 12 specialties and 48 states—some with existing medical marijuana laws and some without.
“The medical community is clearly saying they support using marijuana as a potential treatment option for any number of medical problems,” said WebMD Chief Medical Editor Michael W. Smith, M.D. “In fact, many doctors already prescribe it.”
However, Dr. Smith explains that doctors want more evidence and more research on the plant to provide hard scientific evidence of its benefits.
“Health professionals are still unclear as to what the long-term effects may be. The findings would indicate a strong desire to have the DEA ease the restrictions on research so that additional studies can be done to conclusively show where medical marijuana can help and where it might not.”
Currently, though the number of studies affirming the many benefits of pot are climbing, they are limited by a lack of funding and some researchers not wanting to be involved when cannabis is still considered a Schedule I substance by the federal government. In a word, they are scared, and rightfully so. In keeping marijuana a Schedule I substance, the feds retain the ability to prosecute anyone accused of possessing, growing, selling, or even researching the “drug.”
According to the survey:
- 69 percent of doctors say cannabis can aid in the treatment of certain conditions
- 67 percent say it should be a medical option for patients
- 56 percent say medical marijuana should be legal nationwide
As 10 states are currently considering new medical marijuana laws, 52 percent of doctors in those 10 states support medical marijuana legalization. Another 50 percent of doctors in states with no medical marijuana laws would like to have it legalized there too.
Used for everything from chronic pain, to depression, and debilitating seizure disorders, marijuana sadly remains the most criminalized medicine on the market. It’s a shame considering how harmless it is, particularly when compared with the pharmaceuticals making billions for corporations who care less about health and more about wealth.