Survey: Six in Ten Physicians Say Cannabis Is a “Legitimate Medical Therapy”

Rochester, MN: Nearly six in ten primary care physicians believe that medical cannabis is a "legitimate" therapeutic option, according to survey data published in the journal BMC Family Practice.

Investigators with the Mayo Clinic surveyed the attitudes of primary care providers in a large Minnesota-based health care system.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement that "medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy." That finding is consistent with both national and state-specific surveys similarly showing that most doctors are supportive of medical cannabis access.

Nonetheless, half of respondents expressed discomfort in talking to their patients about medical cannabis options, a finding that is also consistent with prior data. Many expressed a desire to receive additional education about cannabis in order to become better versed in the subject.

Authors concluded: "Providers generally believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy. Significant opportunities exist to: 1) close knowledge gaps for clinicians through the collection and dissemination of information about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for state qualifying conditions; 2) alleviate concerns about drug interactions by exploring opportunities for information sharing between dispensaries and traditional medical practices; and 3) expand the knowledge base about how medical cannabis impacts patient QOL (quality of life)."

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "A survey of the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about medical cannabis among primary care providers," appears in BMC Family Practice.