New York, NY: An estimated 70 percent of physicians acknowledge the therapeutic qualities of cannabis and over half believe that the plant should also be legal for medical purposes, according to survey data released last week by WebMD/Medscape.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents say that cannabis can help in the treatment of specific diseases and 67 percent say that the plant should be available as a legal therapeutic option for patients.
Oncologists and hematologists were most likely to express support for the use of cannabis for medical purposes, with 82 percent of those surveyed endorsing the plant’s therapeutic use. Rheumatologists (54 percent) were least likely to say the cannabis provides therapeutic benefits.
"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.
Over 1,500 physicians representing more than 12 specialty areas participated in the survey, which possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent.[Errata: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the majority of respondents favored the legalization of marijuana for non-medical purposes. The poll indicated that the majority of respondents supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.]
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.