Legalization of Marijuana for Medicinal Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

The design of the study was to compare the patterns and frequency of recreational drug use of various types, and of the attitudes expressed by residents of California to the behavior and attitudes on the same issues in the 10 other states after California legalized marijuana for medicinal use in 1996. The number of respondents in California was 2,651 and a total of 12, 916 in the other 10 states. The Trevino and Richard study (2002) involved a sample of 188 drug users and non-drug users surveyed for their responses to questions about their opinions about the legalization of marijuana, and also of other illicit recreational drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

The Page, Verhoef, Stebbins, Metz, and Levy study (2003) utilized a self-reported questionnaire developed specifically as a tool for this study designed to identify differences in the choices made by patients with MS to use marijuana as a means of mitigating the severity of their MS symptoms. It collected demographic data, information about severity of disease symptoms, diagnoses, previous types of experiences with marijuana, beliefs about drug use, knowledge of the reported value of marijuana for medicinal purposes for the treatment of specific MS symptoms of and patterns of use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. It also inquired into the subjective beliefs of the patients about the degree to which medicinal marijuana had been helpful in alleviating their MS symptoms.

The 2011 Reinarman, Nunberg, Lanthier, and Heddleston study utilized information collected from 1,746 admissions to 9 medicinal marijuana clinics in California during the process of their intake into the facility after their initial application. It focused on the attitudes and previous experiences of the applicants in relation to marijuana for both recreational use and medicinal use prior to their participation in a legally recognized dispensation facility. The data included medical histories and the nature of the symptoms for which the patients had previously sought relief through medicinal marijuana and those for which the patients were currently seeking relief.

The Trevino and Richard study (2002) collected data from recreational drug users about their beliefs and characterizations about the legalization of marijuana and other drugs for recreational purposes and compared those responses to their respective types of prior experience with recreational drug use.

Conclusions and Implications

Contrary to expectations, the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use has not been demonstrated to change recreational use patterns in the community. Meanwhile, prevailing beliefs and attitudes about illicit drug use in patients suffering from diseases whose symptoms are amenable to mitigation through the use of medicinal marijuana exhibit marked differences in their decisions to try that particular modality. More importantly, those patients with prior exposure to and experience with recreational marijuana use were more likely to express beliefs that doing so was beneficial. The most important implication is that the relative effectiveness of marijuana for MS and other diseases whose symptoms can be alleviated by the use of medicinal marijuana depends substantially on perspective and prior attitudes. Therefore, it would make sense to educate patients who could benefit from medicinal marijuana to understand its potential value and to acclimate them to the potential side effects to minimize reluctance to try a potentially valuable modality and also minimize the negative impact of common side effects.

References

Khatapoush, S. And Hallfors, D. "Sending the Wrong Message': Did Medical

Marijuana Legalization in California Change Attitudes about and Use of Marijuana?" Journal of Drug Issues, (Fall 2004): 751 -- 770.

Page, S.A., Verhoef, M.J., Stebbins, R.A., Metz, L.M., and Levy, J.C. "Cannabis Use

as Described by People with Multiple Sclerosis." Canadian Journal of Neurological Science, Vol. 30 (2003): 201 -- 205.

Reinarman, C., Nunberg, H., Lanthier, F., and Heddleston, T. "Who Are Medical

Marijuana Patients? Population Characteristics from Nine California Assessment

Clinics." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Vol. 43, No.…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Khatapoush, S. And Hallfors, D. "Sending the Wrong Message': Did Medical

Marijuana Legalization in California Change Attitudes about and Use of Marijuana?" Journal of Drug Issues, (Fall 2004): 751 -- 770.

Page, S.A., Verhoef, M.J., Stebbins, R.A., Metz, L.M., and Levy, J.C. "Cannabis Use

as Described by People with Multiple Sclerosis." Canadian Journal of Neurological Science, Vol. 30 (2003): 201 -- 205.

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