One-Third Of Docs Back Prescription Cannabis, Survey Says

Wellington, New Zealand: One out of three New Zealand doctors say they would prescribe medicinal marijuana if it were legal to do so, according to a random survey of 500 doctors conducted by the national Green Party. Among physicians who reported their knowledge of medicinal cannabis as “high,” 42 percent backed prescribing marijuana.

“The more knowledge a doctor holds, the more favorable their opinion of medicinal cannabis is,” the survey noted.

In addition, 47 percent of doctors surveyed said they knew of “patients who have discussed the option of cannabis for medicinal use,” and 20 percent said they were aware of patients already using medical pot. Ten percent of respondents said they currently had patients who they believed would benefit from medicinal cannabis.

Possession of marijuana, even for medical purposes, is a criminal offense in New Zealand.

A 2001 survey of US physicians conducted by researchers at Providence Rhode Island Hospital found that nearly half of doctors with opinions supported legalizing medical marijuana.

More recently, an online unscientific poll of physicians and nurses by Medscape found that 88 percent of RNs and 76 percent of doctors favored “the decriminalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.”

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. To download a copy of the New Zealand survey, please visit: