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J Am Board Fam Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;26(1):52-60. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2013.01.120089.

Colorado family physicians' attitudes toward medical marijuana.

Author information

1
St. Anthony North Family Medicine Residency, Westminster, CO 80031, USA. elinkondrad@centura.org

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Over the last decade, the use of medical marijuana has expanded dramatically; it is now permitted in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Our study of family physicians in Colorado is the first to gather information about physician attitudes toward this evolving practice.

METHODS:

We distributed an anonymous web-based electronic survey to the 1727 members of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians' listserv. Items included individual and practice characteristics as well as experience with and attitudes toward medical marijuana.

RESULTS:

Five hundred twenty family physicians responded (30% response rate). Of these, 46% did not support physicians recommending medical marijuana; only 19% thought that physicians should recommend it. A minority thought that marijuana conferred significant benefits to physical (27%) and mental (15%) health. Most agreed that marijuana poses serious mental (64%) and physical (61%) health risks. Eighty-one percent agreed that physicians should have formal training before recommending medical marijuana, and 92% agreed that continuing medical education about medical marijuana should be available to family physicians.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite a high prevalence of use in Colorado, most family physicians are not convinced of marijuana's health benefits and believe its use carries risks. Nearly all agreed on the need for further medical education about medical marijuana.

PMID:
23288281
DOI:
10.3122/jabfm.2013.01.120089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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