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Friday, July 22, 2011

Most Medical Marijuana Patients Are White, Educated, and Employed, Study Says

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 2:35 PM

click to enlarge Just your average stoner
  • Just your average stoner

A Californian with a job, an education, and every opportunity this society can afford him (minus perfect health).

Meet your typical medical marijuana patient.

A study conducted by a sociology professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz has some interesting revelations about the state's medical cannabis patient population. Craig Reinarman analyzed about 1,746 people seeking doctor's recommendations for medical marijuana at medical clinics throughout the state between July and September of 2006.

What he found was that 75 percent of patients surveyed were male, and over half were white. They're also more likely to hold jobs than the California population as whole -- and they use medical cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs -- and in some cases, alcohol.

What's even more compelling is that 40 percent said had never used marijuana prior to becoming a patient. A gateway drug, indeed.

The study is admittedly narrow: There's no way to judge whether the patients who were surveyed are an representative sample of the whole, Reinarman writes. And on top of that, without federal approval for clinical research as well as a larger sample size, many of the  conclusions come down to informed speculation.

Up Next: Read about why women are more reluctant to use marijuana.
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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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