It has been established that medical cannabis has great pain-killing properties. However, is the herb effective enough to substitute opioids? Researchers asked Americans about their attitude to cannabis as an alternative to analgesic drugs.
The opioid addiction has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. More than two millions of patients have a pill dependency, and nearly 90 people die each day because of opioid side effects. Though physicians do not technically advise medical cannabis for treating pain, they can recommend patients to apply for a medical marijuana program in some states, including Washington.
On April 17, the Marist poll released the results of a new cannabis-related survey that the company conducted with the assistance and sponsorship from Yahoo News. Researchers carried out telephone interviews with 1,122 adults from March 1 through March 7.
According to the poll results, 67 percent of survey participants believe that the consumption of such popular opioids as OxyContin and Vicodin is more dangerous than the use of cannabis, even when these opioid drugs are prescribed by a physician. In contrast, only 20 percent of respondents consider medical cannabis riskier than prescribed drugs. Other participants were not sure which method of pain management was safer.
When the researchers asked about medical marijuana legalization, 83 percent of respondents answered that people should have legal access to the herb for medicinal use.
However, 70 percent responded that cannabis might be harmful to pregnant women trying to relieve nausea and pain. The opinions of respondents also divided when they were asked whether children should be treated with medical cannabis after its legalization.
As for marijuana addictiveness, 49 percent of surveyed Americans responded that the herb led to addiction, including 20 percent of participants who thought that cannabis also stimulated people to consume other drugs.
Studying an average pot consumer profile, the researchers found that 52 percent of respondents had used cannabis at least once in their lives, while 44 percent of those people consumed weed currently.
The gender of a marijuana user is mainly male (55 percent) while only 45 percent of pot consumers are females. The majority of weed users are Millennials (52 percent) who do not have a college degree (69 percent), are not involved in any religion (71 percent), and earn less than $50,000 per year (54 percent).
Though most weed users are parents (54 percent), only half of them consume weed with their children, while parents with underage kids (30 percent) try to avoid using cannabis in front of their children (93 percent).
As for the political views of marijuana users, 43 percent of them are Democrats, 42 percent are independents, and only 14 percent of weed smokers are Republicans.
During the last presidential election, 68 percent of marijuana users backed Hillary Clinton, while only 32 percent supported Donald Trump.
The Yahoo/Marist poll results had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.