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    Majority of doctors approve of medical marijuana use


    Faced with a 68-year-old woman undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer that had spread to her lungs, chest, and spine, more than three quarters of doctors surveyed recently by the New England Journal of Medicine said they’d prescribe medical marijuana.

    In the survey, doctors were presented with the hypothetical case of Marilyn, who complained of no energy, little appetite, and a great deal of pain. She had previously tried several pain medications, including oxycodone, and lived in a state where medical marijuana is legal.

    Seventy-six percent of the 1,446 doctors surveyed said would give the woman a prescription for medical marijuana. Although survey respondents came from throughout the world, the majority (1063) was from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

    According to the survey summary, most of the doctors favoring medical marijuana use pointed out the drug’s ability to relieve suffering, the known dangers of prescription narcotics, or had personal experience with patients who benefited from marijuana use.

    Opponents of medical marijuana use cited lack of evidence of its effectiveness, lack of provenance, inconsistency of dosage, and concern about side effects, including psychosis.