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Journal of Drug Policy Analysis

A Journal of Substance Abuse Control Policy

Ed. by Kleiman, Mark / Kilmer, Beau

2 Issues per year

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.408
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.612
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.625

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An Analysis of Applicants Presenting to a Medical Marijuana Specialty Practice in California

Helen Nunberg
  • Independent Researcher
/ Beau Kilmer
  • RAND Corporation
/ Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
  • RAND Corporation
/ James R Burgdorf
  • RAND Corporation
Published Online: 2011-02-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1941-2851.1017

While 15 states and the District of Columbia provide allowances for medical marijuana, little is known about the individuals who seek a physician’s recommendation to use marijuana. This study provides descriptive information about 1,655 applicants in California who sought a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana, the conditions for which they sought treatment, and the diagnoses made by the physicians. It presents a systematic analysis of physician records and questionnaires obtained from consecutive applicants seen during a three-month period at nine medical marijuana specialty practices operating throughout the state. The analysis yields insights that may be useful for future research on medical marijuana and marijuana policy, including: 1) very few of those who sought a recommendation had cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis; 2) most applicants presented with chronic pain, mental health conditions, or insomnia; and 3) half of the applicants reported using marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs.

Keywords: medical marijuana; California; ballot; drug policy

About the article

Published Online: 2011-02-28

Citation Information: Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, ISSN (Online) 1941-2851, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1941-2851.1017. Export Citation

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