Most Doctors Support Legalization Of Marijuana Nationwide

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Although the consensus isn't the 100 percent sweep hoped for, more than half of U.S. physicians feel that medical marijuana should be legalized nationwide. Two-thirds of them say patients should have the option to use it as a treatment for pain and other ailments in which cannabis offers relief, according to a recent survey.

The survey was conducted by Medscape where more than 1,500 doctors were surveyed between Feb. 25 and March 3, and covered more than 12 different physician specialty areas.

For example; oncologists and hematologists were the largest percentage of doctors who acknowledged the benefits of medical marijuana, their vote coming in at 82 percent. They believe that patients can experience real benefits from the drug and think patients should have medical marijuana as a treatment option.

About half of doctors who practice in states where marijuana isn't legal yet said it should be legal, even in the states that are currently considering legalization.

However, more than half of the doctors surveyed - 53 percent - did not support the legalization of recreational marijuana use.

Another survey conducted by WebMD, "Marijuana on Main Street," had 2,960 random visitors to their website between February 23 and February 26. This survey indicated that 50 percent support the legalization of medical marijuana nationwide.

And in regards to recreational use, about 51 percent from the WebMD survey did not support legalization.

But the results from a poll taken last year, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that three out of four doctors (76 percent) would prescribe medical marijuana to a patient experiencing painful symptoms from advanced cancer.

Researchers found that "physicians in favor of medicinal marijuana often focused on [their] responsibility as caregivers to alleviate suffering," they wrote. "Many pointed out the known dangers of prescription narcotics, supported patient choice, or described personal experience with patients who benefited from the use of marijuana."

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