92% of patients say medical marijuana works

In Advocacy, Feature Stories by Chris DollardLeave a Comment

News Item

Today the Washington Post reported that 92% of patients surveyed in California say that medical marijuana alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer.

The Public Health Institute, in partnership with the CDC, surveyed 7,525 Californians, summarized by this table (click to enlarge):

 

Survey-prevalance-of-medical-marijuana-use

 

The author, Christopher Ingraham, concludes with this statement:

“In considering the efficacy of any kind of medical treatment, we should listen first and foremost to the patients. The debate over medical marijuana has largely been dominated by vested interests and advocacy groups on either side – patients’ voices have been either silent or ignored completely.”

Analysis

Although some people might be tempted to discredit this research by saying “Of course medical marijuana patients say it works, that’s why they’re using it! And most of them are probably just using it with bogus prescriptions/authorizations. They just want to get high.“, we have to preempt that dismissal as another pre-programmed, hackneyed response to any kind of evidence that MMJ actually helps people.

According to the study, marijuana is used equally by many groups of people, cutting across all racial/ethnic and age group categories, ranging from 2% to 9% of the general population.

There is a massive, public experiment going on globally, and has been going on for many years (indeed for over 5,000 years), concerning the use of MMJ for many health issues across the board. It’s a huge, ongoing clinical trial that is being only sporadically tracked at best, so most of what we have for evidence is “anecdotal” – the sweeping condemnation that people in health care and politics like to use to dismiss the notion of efficacy.

At what point does massive use and positive outcomes qualify as efficacious? How many millions of patients who benefit from cannabis medicine every day will it take to un-dim the lights in peoples’ minds about this issue?

Without question, the general public is far ahead of policy-makers and the health care establishment. Perhaps more of them need to heed what the Washington Post reporter so aptly said: “we should listen first and foremost to patients.

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