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Doctors in New York overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, according to a recent survey. According to a study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 71 percent of NY physicians agree that cannabis should be a therapeutic option available to qualifying patients.
Researchers at New York University surveyed practicing physicians to examine their attitudes about medical marijuana. The study concluded 71 percent of said that cannabis ought to be legal for medical purposes, and 76 percent acknowledged having patients who reported using marijuana for symptomatic relief at some point in their lives. The study also revealed 84 percent believe that opioids posed greater risks to patients’ health than cannabis.
These New York results are similar to a 2014 nationwide survey of over 1,500 doctors conducted by WebMD. In that poll, a majority of physicians endorsed medical marijuana.
A total of 164 responses were analyzed in the New York survey. Physician participants were primarily located in New York City and surrounding areas. More than 75 percent reported having patients who used cannabis for symptom control, and 50 percent reported having patients who inquired about marijuana in the past year.
At 69 percent, pain was the most common symptom for which cannabis was recommended. A whopping 84 percent of the doctors say opioids have greater risks than cannabis.
The survey concludes:
Given that the majority of surveyed physicians support [medical marijuana] as an option for patients, few are registered and have adequate knowledge of [medical marijuana]. Although our study sample is small and geographically limited, our survey results highlight key physician issues that are likely applicable to practitioners in other states. Concerted efforts are needed at the federal, state, and academic levels to provide practitioners with evidence-based guidelines for the safe use of [medical marijuana].