The national web survey was conducted by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion (MCIPO) during June 7-8, as part of their continuing investigation of the social, political and economic issues confronting the U.S. health care system.
The study conducted among 911 physicians and 1,192 members of the general public indicates that both groups share parallel views on this issue.
Among the findings:
-- The majority of physicians (73%) and members of the general public (78%) report that they approve of marijuana use to alleviate symptoms such as chronic fatigue, nausea and pain commonly associated with AIDS, cancer and glaucoma.
-- 75% of physicians and 80% of the general public believe that the federal government should not be able to prosecute people who use, grow or obtain marijuana prescribed by a doctor for chronic fatigue and pain.
-- More than three fourths of physicians (76%) and the public at large (82%) approve of state laws allowing the use of marijuana to alleviate chronic fatigue and pain.
"As we have seen in earlier studies, physicians' and the general publics' views are generally in accord with one another," noted Glenn Kessler, co-founder and managing partner, HCD Research. "In this poll, physicians expressed a similar level of support for medicinal marijuana use as they did in our previous research relating to issues such stem cell research, physician-assisted suicide and the Terri Schiavo case."
MCIPO Director Chris Borick noted, "The survey results indicate that both physicians and the public maintain views on the use of medicinal marijuana that contrast with the recent Supreme Court decision that supports federal restrictions on the use of medicinal marijuana even when a state permits such use."