WebMD/Medscape Special Report: Marijuana on Main Street While Doctors Favor
Legalization More than Consumers, Opinions Differ by Specialty
Oncologists and Hematologists Lead the Way on Advocating for Legalization
Sixty-nine percent of doctors say it can help with certain treatments and
conditions; Fifty-two percent of consumers agree
NEW YORK, April 2, 2014
NEW YORK, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD Health Corp. (Nasdaq: WBMD), the
leading source of health information, today released Marijuana on Main Street,
a special report that provides an in-depth look at the debate over medical
marijuana. Asnumerousstates consider bills to legalize medical marijuana,
WebMD surveyed nearly 3,000 consumers and Medscape surveyed more than 1,500
doctors about their attitudes regarding legalization, marijuana as a potential
treatment option, and the perceived risks and benefits of its use to help shed
light on this evolving issue.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:
The Marijuana on Main Street special report includes full survey findings,
analysis, expert commentary and patient stories.
"Despite more than 20 years of anecdotal evidence about the medicinal effects
of marijuana, doctors and consumers remain in search of answers," says Dr.
Michael Smith, Chief Medical Editor, WebMD. "The findings of our
consumer-physician survey indicate the medical community's support for the use
of marijuana as a treatment option, particularly among clinical specialties
that have pioneered research. Yet these survey data suggest additional
studies will inform decision-makers' confidence in where medical marijuana can
help and where it might not."
PHYSICIAN OPINIONS ON LEGALIZATION
Amid ongoing debate of whether medical marijuana should be legalized
nationally, the Medscape survey finds that overall, 56% of respondents are in
favor of national legalization. Peer-review data on marijuana's health
benefits remain limited.
Physicians who responded (69%) state medical marijuana can help with certain
treatments and conditions. But the results show that physician opinion varies
by medical specialty. The report finds:
o67% say medical marijuana should be a medical option for patients.
o50% of those practicing in states where medical marijuana is not legal say
it should be legalized.
o52% of doctors practicing in states considering new laws say medical
marijuana should be legal in their states.
o82% of oncologists and hematologists believe marijuana can deliver real
benefits that can help patients – among the highest specialty response
rates. These specialties are also the most likely to say that marijuana
should be a medical option for patients (82%).
CONSUMER MEDICAL NEED VOICED
In WebMD's companion survey of 2,960 consumers, respondents had similar levels
of support for medical marijuana, including:
o50% support making medical marijuana legal nationwide.
o49% of those living in states where medical marijuana is not legal say it
should be legalized in their state.
o52% say medical marijuana can help with treatments and conditions.
o45% say the benefits outweigh the risks.
The WebMD and Medscape surveys found that doctors and consumers were not as
supportive of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. More than half of
the doctors (53%) and consumers (51%) surveyed oppose legalizing it nationally
for that purpose.
The debate over legalized marijuana continues among both healthcare
professionals and consumers.To view the WebMD/Medscape Special Report,
Marijuana on Main Street, visit
WebMD/ Medscape Survey Methods
The WebMD Medical Marijuana Consumer Survey was completed by 2,960 random
WebMD site visitors from February 23 to February 26, 2014. All WebMD visitors
had an equal probability of answering the survey. The sample represents the
WebMD Health consumer network online population with a margin of error of+/-
1.8% at a 95% confidence level, using a point estimate (a statistic) of 50%.
The Medscape Medical Marijuana Physician Survey was completed by 1,544
physicians representing more than 12 specialty areas who are members of the
Medscape panel, from February 25 to March 3, 2014. Respondents were selected
randomly from the appropriate practice area/specialty and invited via email to
respond to the online survey. The sample represents the Medscape online
population of these physicians with a margin of error of+/- 2.5% at a 95%
confidence level, using a point estimate (a statistic) of 50%. The
specialties represented are Cardiology, Primary Care, Gastroenterology,
Infectious Disease/HIV Care, Neurology, Obstetrics/Gynecology & Women's
Health, Hematology/Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery,
Psychiatry & Mental Health, Rheumatology, and Urology, as well as several
WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is the leading provider of health
information services, serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals,
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theheart.org, Medscape Education and other owned WebMD sites.
SOURCE WebMD Health Corp.
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