Marijuana grows in a greenhouse operated by Minnesota Medical Solutions in Otsego, Minn., in May 2015. (Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune via AP)

Poll reveals vast support to give veterans medical marijuana to treat PTSD

Veterans Administration doctors should be allowed to prescribe marijuana pills to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to 87 percent of registered American voters who participated in a recent Quinnipiac University national poll.

The poll, released Monday, asked 1,561 registered voters nationwide whether they support the use of marijuana for veterans, as well as broader questions, including whether general use of marijuana should be made legal in the U.S., and whether it should be made legal for adults if prescribed by a doctor for medical purposes.

The university surveyed voters from May 24 through May 30, and separated demographics by political party affiliation, gender, age, ethnicity and whether they had a college degree. The results in total revealed vast support in favor of marijuana use for medical purposes, overwhelmingly as it pertains to veterans.

Of the 1,561 total registered voters, only 9 percent opposed marijuana prescriptions in pill form for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. For voters in a military household, meaning one or more members is a veteran or on active duty, 82 percent showed support for veterans’ use of marijuana.

“If you serve your country and suffer for it, you deserve every health remedy available, including medical marijuana in pill form,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll in a news release. “That is the full-throated recommendation of Americans across the demographic spectrum, including voters in military households.”

Voters were more divided on the use of marijuana in a general sense, with 54 percent supporting national marijuana legalization.

Men also far outweighed women in the same category, with 60 percent of male voters showing support for the general marijuana legalization, compared to just 48 percent of female voters.

“This is just the latest in a string of recent polls clearly showing that most voters support legalizing marijuana,” said Tom Angell of advocacy group Marijuana Majority in a statement. “These results and similar ones before them are exactly why, for the first time ever, every remaining presidential candidate has voiced support for letting states legalize marijuana without federal interference. This is a mainstream issue that politicians are finally starting to embrace instead of run away from.”

Categories that showed opposition to the nationwide legalization of marijuana included Republican voters, with 62 percent opposing the general legalization of marijuana, as well as older demographics, with 57 percent of voters over age 65 also expressing opposition.

Still, where it involves medical use for adults, as prescribed by doctors, voters were far more likely to show support for marijuana use. When used for medical purposes, that same category of voters over age 65 showed 89 percent in favor of marijuana legalization.

“The fact that a majority of American voters favors legalizing marijuana in general shows how attitudes about the drug have changed,” Malloy said.

The Quinnipiac University Poll conducts public opinion surveys in states including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Colorado.

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