Medical marijuana (MMJ) is currently legal in 35 US states, with an estimated 3.6 million state-legal medical cannabis patients. Although there are currently over 440,000 MMJ patients in the state of Florida, there are limited data on their demographics, reasons and patterns of use, and successes or failures of treatment. The goal of this study is to examine the demographics, perceptions, and use of medical cannabis among patients in Florida, as well as their perceptions of the quality of information received from physicians and dispensaries. One hundred and fifty-seven MMJ patients completed an online survey regarding their characteristics and use. Patients in Florida shared many characteristics with patients in other states, such as race, use frequency, and administration technique. Patients most commonly used MMJ to treat their symptoms of anxiety, pain, and stress and reported great therapeutic effectiveness. A majority (65%) of patients also reported either a reduction or total discontinuation of at least one prescription or over-the-counter drug. The findings highlight the need to further investigate the use of MMJ as a viable treatment for pain and anxiety and to improve access of quality cannabis information to patients, physicians, and dispensary employees.
Keywords: Demographics; Education; Florida; Medical marijuana; Opioids; Survey.
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