Majority of Physicians and Other Medical Professionals Favor Legalizing Marijuana Nationwide

Results of a new poll show that most healthcare professionals support legalizing adult use and medical marijuana.

Most medical clinicians believe medical and recreational marijuana should be legal, according to a new poll from Medscape Medical News.

The survey of 1,800 medical professionals posed two questions, including:

  • “Should recreational marijuana be legalized nationally?”
  • “Should medical marijuana be legalized nationally?”

According to the poll’s results, a majority of all categories of medical professionals support legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana.

Of physicians, 67 percent said they favored legalizing medical marijuana nationally and 53 percent voiced support for legalizing recreational marijuana.

Support for legalization was even higher among the other categories of clinicians:

  • Of nurses/advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), 82 percent agreed that medical marijuana should be legalized, while 57 percent said they support recreational marijuana.
  • Among people working in health business/administration, 88 percent said they support the legalization of medical marijuana, and 72 percent favor legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • Of pharmacists, 71 percent replied that they favored making medical marijuana legal, and 54 percent support legalizing recreational marijuana.
  • Among psychologists, 82 percent voiced support for medical marijuana, while 61 percent said they support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The survey also inquired whether clinicians living in states with legal medical marijuana recommend the substance to patients. Fifty-nine percent of physicians said they had recommended medical marijuana, while 59 percent of nurses and 52 percent of pharmacists said they had done so.

When asked whether they use cannabis personally, most said they do not, either for recreational or medical purposes.

Psychologists (13 percent) and those in health business/administration (15 percent) were more likely to use medical marijuana than physicians (6 percent), nurses (6 percent), and pharmacists (8 percent).

Psychologists (20 percent) those working in health business/administration (19 percent), and pharmacists (18 percent) were found to more likely use marijuana recreationally than physicians (9 percent), and nurses (11 percent).

Marijuana Laws

The new Medscape poll suggests that medical professionals’ attitudes toward cannabis laws are similar to those of the general population. Polling in recent years has consistently shown a growing majority of Americans support legalizing recreational and medical marijuana.

Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law, but 30 states and the District of Columbia allow comprehensive public medical marijuana programs. Nine states have legalized adult use marijuana.

The poll from Medscape Medical News was posted May 9, shortly after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced he would be introducing federal legislation to decriminalize marijuana. The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would give states the option to decide how they would treat marijuana possession.

Congress has yet to take any significant action to overhaul federal cannabis laws and are unexpected to do so before the November midterms.

Additionally, despite widespread favor for ending prohibition, a recent report revealed that Donald Trump’s White House is attempting to contest the growing support by secretly establishing a committee to portray marijuana legalization in a negative light.

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