Medical marijuana is often steeped in controversy, with some saying it’s a giant con and others saying it’s a necessary treatment to help alleviate or even reverse certain health conditions.(1)
For example, several law enforcement officials in California are not in favor of its legalization, saying that they feel medical marijuana doesn’t even exist and that related businesses are nothing more than a large sham that’s been authorized by voters.(2) It’s a loophole, many say, that allows people to get stoned legally.
On the other hand, there are findings that show medical marijuana is indeed beneficial to health and far from a sham, helping to do everything from stopping the spread of HIV throughout the body and slowing the spread of cancer cells to preventing glaucoma-related blindness and relieving overall pain.(3)
California study supports benefits of medical marijuana
Such benefits continue to surface, helping the pro-medical marijuana arena.
In fact, a study published in the 2014 journal Drug and Alcohol Review shows that 92 percent Californians who reported ever using medical marijuana said it was helpful for their condition.(1) “This really adds to the literature,” said Marta Induni, of the Survey Research Group at the Public Health Institute in Sacramento. “This is the first estimate out there that’s population-based. This represents California, unlike other studies either in a clinical setting, or maybe taking a convenient guess.”
Furthermore, it was found that 1 in 20 California adults report having used medical marijuana to treat a serious condition and that use spanned all genders, races, ages and counties.(1)
Despite some omissions, study researchers positive about findings
Study authors are aware that it did not include prisoners and that it could be under-reporting, as some may feel uncomfortable disclosing their use. At the same time, it may over-report, as the study did not ask if they do indeed have a recommendation from a doctor to use medical cannabis.(1)
The survey didn’t ask how much of it people used or the time span in which they did, only whether they used it in their lifetime.(1)
Still, researchers remain satisfied with the findings, going back to the fact that it wasn’t based on a mere guess or conducted in a clinical setting. “We need to do more of this type of research for effective policy decisions,” said Induni.