A recent national poll has shown support for medical cannabis stands at 89%. The poll was conducted May 24 – 30 by Quinnipiac University, surveying 1,561 registered voters nationwide. This poll closely mirrors the results of a 2014 CNN/ORC national poll, which showed the support level at 88%.
In fact, the support was strong across all ages and party affiliations. While Republicans and older Americans have typically been the least likely to support legal access to medical cannabis therapy, their support levels were show at 81% and 89% respectively. Again, these results nearly replicate the 2014 CNN/ORC poll, in which 84% of Republicans and 84% of voters over age 65 stated their support. Unfortunately, the less than 20% of senior Republicans who oppose medical cannabis are disproportionately represented in Congressional committees.
Medical cannabis opponent Kevin Sabet questioned the findings of the survey, noting that the survey used the term "prescribe" instead of recommend. Ideally, a survey would provide the most precise question working possible; however, explaining the subtle difference between a "prescription" and a "recommendation" is something that is difficult to achieve when conducting a survey without running the risk of biasing the responses. As Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said, "That was the intent of the question: Do you want doctors to be able to write that script so our people get it in their hands, rather than just say, 'Hey, you should look into this.'"
Regardless of the wording of the survey, there is clearly an overwhelming level of support for physicians to be able to use medical cannabis therapy as another tool in their toolbox to treat their patients. This fact should make politicians more likely to support medical cannabis legislation both at the state and national level; however, far too many politicians are still blocking significant medical cannabis legislation. You can take action to move medical cannabis forward in Congress by asking Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to bring the CARERS Act (S. 683) to a vote.