Neurology News

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Do Doctors Think About Legalizing Medical Marijuana?

There has been a great deal of attention in the lay press recently to the legalization of medical marijuana — but what do the clinicians and prescribers think about these efforts? A new survey compiled by WebMD set out to answer this important question. Most doctors (including neurologists), they found, were optimistic about marijuana’s role in improving patient care.

The Medscape Medical Marijuana Physician Survey was completed by 1,544 physicians from more than 12 specialties between Feb. 25 and March 3, 2014. The invitations to the online survey were sent over e-mail to participants chosen at random by specialty. Neurologists, who were among the survey respondents, reported the highest number of patients asking if medical marijuana might help them (70 percent). 

When asked if they believed that marijuana “could deliver real benefit” to patients with certain conditions, 69 percent of clinicians answered “yes.” Furthermore, 68 percent of doctors said “marijuana should be a medical option for patients.” More than half of responders said medical marijuana should be legalized nationwide. (The margin of error of was ± 2.5% at a 95% confidence level.) 

How about neurologists? In an upcoming story in the April 17 issue of Neurology Today, we will look at what neurologists have to say about the potential benefits and knowledge gaps in offering medical marijuana to patients. For now, see our previous coverage on medical marijuana for neurological disorders: