Estimate: Worldwide Population Of Lawful Medical Marijuana Patients

From the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines
IACM-Bulletin of 8 April 2012

World: Increasing numbers of patients use cannabis for medicinal purposes

An increasing number of patients in the world are using cannabis for therapeutic reasons, with available data from countries, which have installed programs for their citizens. Good data are available for Israel, Canada, the Netherlands and many states of the US with medicinal cannabis laws and registries. In several more countries only a few patients are allowed to use cannabis for medicinal purposes, including Germany, Norway, Finland and Italy. In many other countries such as Spain and some states of the US without a registry such as California the number of medicinal users is estimated to be high, but no detailed data are available.

The numbers in California with hundreds of cannabis dispensaries and clinics that issue medical cannabis recommendations are unclear, since the state does not require residents to register as patients (see below**)
Most of the 16 states that allow the medicinal use of cannabis require a registration. Recently the press agency Associated Press published data on registered patients in different states of the USA based on state agencies responsible for maintaining patient registries:

State: Number of registered patients (per 1,000 of the whole population) —
Colorado: 82,089 (16.3)
Oregon: 57,386 (15.0)
Montana: 14,364 (14.5)
Michigan: 131,483 (13.3)
Hawaii: 11,695 (8.6)
Rhode Island: 4,466 (4.2)
Arizona: 22,037 (3.5)
New Mexico: 4,310 (2.1)
Maine: 2,708 (2.0)
Nevada: 3,388 (1.3)
Vermont: 505 (0.8)
Alaska: 538 (0.8)
Patient registration is mandatory in Delaware, New Jersey and the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.), but their registries are not yet up and running. Washington State has neither voluntary nor mandatory registration.

Data from Israel show that in August 2011 6,000 patients got medicinal cannabis (0.8 patients in 1,000). It is estimated that the number increases to 40,000 in 2016 (5.2 patients in 1,000 citizens).

In Canada 12,116 patients were allowed to use cannabis on 30 September 2011 (0.35 patients in 1,000 citizens).

Numbers of patients using cannabis from the pharmacies in the Netherlands were estimated to be 1,300 in 2010 (0.08 patients in 1,000 citizens). However, many patients in the Netherlands use cannabis from the coffee shops or grow their own.

In Germany about 60 patients are currently allowed to use cannabis for medicinal purposes.

(Sources: Associated Press of 24 March 2012, website of the Israeli Prime Minister of 7 August 2011, UPI of 31 October 2011, Pharmaceutisch Weekblad No. 20, 2011)

**[Editor’s note: CA NORML published a white paper last May estimating that California has 750,000 – 1,125,000 citizens who possess a physician’s recommendation to use cannabis medicinally.]

19 thoughts

  1. Pingback: ?? - Page 123
  2. As long as the #s keep rising there is hope
    Saw a snake in my yard yesterday
    For some reason confused him with Obama
    But he slithered away before I could ask him bout his canibinoid patent.

  3. Kinda funny how the Pot cause is an help to many cause’s. I feel like I’m stuck at the wall of right or wrong. I”m stuck at Cannabis laws are crime’s against humanity and Treason against the Republic.

  4. Yet somehow the FDA never quite sees the potential of marijuana as medicine.

    I wonder what the holdup could be.

  5. If the numbers keep growing it can only be a positive! Hopefully worldwide it can spread and more and more sick patients can get the relief of this magical plant!

  6. you know, i was skeptical about cannabis easing pain a few years ago until i had to go through a rash of surgeries(2 lower back, 1 neck and 2 hernias).i did not fill any pain meds prescribed to me. i simply took a couple draws off the pyrex every 2 or 3 hours and it was a much more pleasant experience.with none of the side effects and, discomfort was real manageable. no waste of insurance money. made a believer out of me!! herb is a great benefit for much more than pain.its good emotionally as well. my life was pretty well rounded until drug testing stepped in…three years without it and, im quite miserable. it was amazing to feel the difference both physically AND emotionally..i had consumed cannabis for thirty two years in mostly small onsey-twosey doses….a great prescription for a content and comfortable life….i miss it alot. peace to you all

  7. What about california and how many all together combined? If that data ever reaches 1 million, then the world will change!

  8. Vote in Colorado this November…

    …to help the ailing budget
    …after a failed drug war….
    …it is time to eliminate a useless agency the DEA, because it is DEAd and makes no difference anywhere except to kill competition and drain more funds, like Communists were supposedly doing…the reds are coming…
    in the name of the drug war…pretending to protect the safety of the people, while being in truth a fascist paternalist stupid excuse to protect certain special interests.

  9. Ya, all this is good and fine IF u live in 1 of these states. If u don’t, don’t tell me it just bumbs me out that the goverment is so @*&^ stupid not to legalize it that I’m tired of hear about it.

  10. Where is PA? i am a former penn state student. I would love to making hemp paper, biodiesel, ethanol, rope, and God knows what else if PA would just go ahead and legalize just. We would school California’s economy if Shuster would just introduce a few ballot measures. Dont even talk about medical here. lets just focus on 0% thc hemp. I dont need the good stuff cuz it almost got me 30 days in county

  11. I know i got some mennonite peeps who back me. They frown on the internet, so just give them a voice when you vote

  12. Thank you NORML for these data. I was just searching for these numbers for a publication. I will reference to this website.

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