Study Reveals Truth About MMJ

A common misconception about medical marijuana is that the program is often abused and is more about getting people high than helping sick people. You can see this narrative play out in Florida as the Vote No on 2 campaign continues to claim that the Florida medical marijuana bill is full of loopholes and will be abused like it is in California. They even released an accusatory video to bolster that claim.

Unfortunately for the Vote No on 2 campaign, science is nonpartisan. According to a recent study published in the October edition of the peer reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Review, California’s medical marijuana system is in fact not subject to as much widespread abuse as people believe.

According to the study, 92 percent of respondents that used medical marijuana used it to relieve the symptoms of serious health issues. As many as 1.4 million Californians, or 1 in 20, currently use medical marijuana and roughly five percent of Californians have used medical marijuana at one point or another.

Prevalence was evenly distributed amongst the Californians regardless of race, gender or education, with use ranging from two to nine percent for all demographics regardless of region. A larger percentage of whites used medical marijuana, but they are the ethnic majority in California so that is to be expected.

The most common medical conditions that medical marijuana patients reported having were chronic pain, arthritis, migraines and cancer. People against medical marijuana often roll their eyes when someone mentions chronic pain, but they’re just being cold, callous and incredibly ignorant.

When 47 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain, it stands to reason that chronic pain is a serious national health issue; it is such an issue that doctors often prescribe dangerous and addictive pain pills to combat it. According to the CDC, for every prescription pill death in this country, there are at least 825 people using prescription pills for non-medical purposes; there are 45 deaths every day from prescription pill abuse, so where you do you think the real danger is?

While it may be true that eight percent of respondents are not using medical marijuana for a serious medical condition, you have to look at the broader context. If you found out that eight percent of police break the law, would you call the police force a Trojan horse for organized crime?

At least eight percent of congress has to be corrupt and yet no sane person would argue to abolish the legislative branch, even if it is tempting. There will always be bad apples, but when you consider that the vast majority of people using medical marijuana are using it for the right reasons, the benefits far outweigh any potential consequences.

The researchers contend that their study “contradicts commonly held beliefs that medical marijuana is being overused by healthy individuals.” I will admit that even I thought California’s medical marijuana system was being abused and I was genuinely surprised to learn the truth. However, this study confirms something medical marijuana proponents and patients have been saying for years: medical marijuana is about helping people, not just getting them high.


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