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  Poll Examines Medical Marijuana Support
Posted by CN Staff on December 17, 2004 at 23:21:58 PT
By Elizabeth Wolfe, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press  

medical Washington -- Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use, according to a poll done for the nation's largest advocacy group for seniors.

More than half of those questioned said they believe marijuana has medical benefits, while a larger majority agreed the drug is addictive.

AARP, with 35 million members, says it has no political position on medical marijuana and that its local branches have not chosen sides in the scores of state ballot initiatives on the issue in recent elections.

But with medical marijuana at the center of a Supreme Court case to be decided next year, and nearly a dozen states with medical marijuana laws on their books, AARP decided to study the issue.

"The use of medical marijuana applies to many older Americans who may benefit from cannabis," said Ed Dwyer, an editor at AARP The Magazine, which will discuss medical marijuana in its March/April issue appearing in late January.

Among the 1,706 adults polled in AARP's random telephone survey in November, opinions varied along regional and generational lines and among the 30 percent of respondents who said they have smoked pot. AARP members represented 37 percent of respondents.

Overall, 72 percent of respondents agreed "adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it." Those in the Northeast (79 percent) and West (82 percent) were more receptive to the idea than in the Midwest (67 percent) and Southwest (65 percent). In Southern states, 70 percent agreed with the statement.

Though 69 percent of those age 70 and older said they support legal medical marijuana use, less than half agreed it has medical benefits. Seventy percent of respondents age 45-49 said they believe in the medical benefits of pot, as did 59 percent of those in the 50-69 age group.

And while 74 percent of all people surveyed said pot is addictive, older respondents were more likely to think so: 83 percent of those 70 and older, compared with 61 percent of those aged 45-49.

Generational lines also divided those who have smoked pot: Just 8 percent of those 70 and older admitted having lit up, compared with 58 percent of the 45-49 group, 37 percent of those between 50 and 59 and 15 percent of the 60-69 set.

National polls in recent years have found majority support for allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Last month, the Supreme Court heard arguments over whether federal agents can pursue sick people who use homegrown marijuana with their doctors' permission and their states' approval.

The Bush administration has argued that allowing medical marijuana in California would undermine federal drug control programs, and that pot grown for medical use could end up on the illegal market and cross state lines.

The AARP poll of adults age 45 and older was conducted Nov. 10-21 by International Communications Research of Media, Pa. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

* __

On the Net:

AARP: http://www.aarp.org/

AARP Magazine: http://www.aarpmagazine.org/

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Elizabeth Wolfe, Associated Press Writer
Published: December 17, 2004
Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press

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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 20, 2004 at 10:26:47 PT
Related Article from Health Central
Seniors Support Use of Medical Marijuana

December 20, 2004

Marijuana should be legalized for medical use, nearly three-fourths of participants in a new AARP poll said. Among participating seniors 70 and older, 69 percent supported legal use of medical marijuana.

AARP, with nearly 35 million members, has taken no official position on the issue, according to the Associated Press. The question, which has come up on scores of state ballots in recent elections, is also at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case to be decided next year.

More than half of those questioned in the AARP poll -- 37 percent of whom were AARP members, said they believe marijuana has medical benefits. Moreover, 30 percent conceded they had smoked marijuana at least once.

The poll of 1,700 adults, age 45 and older, was conducted Nov. 10-21. Its sampling error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Copyright: 2004 ScoutNews, LLC.

http://www.healthcentral.com/news/NewsFullText.cfm?id=1505433

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 18, 2004 at 19:18:06 PT
Still, This Is Huge!
The AARP is a powerful political lobby. With AARP advocating medical marijuana, laws are sure to change.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by billos on December 18, 2004 at 14:32:13 PT
....This is Protection?............
NEW YORK - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising doctors to consider alternatives to pain reliever Celebrex in the wake of a study that showed it increased the risk of heart attack and strokes at high doses - - -

ADVISING?......TO CONSIDER?.....yet in the wake of NO studies; all persons who smoke cannabis will be sent to prison?!?!?!?!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by 13th step on December 18, 2004 at 07:43:11 PT
Mayan's link
You know, I would LOVE to get pulled over by a stoned cop.

Think how nice and mellow that would be...

"Ya got any donuts?"

There was a cop in my area, a few years ago, that was very friendly to all he pulled. Numerous stories exist about how if he pulled you over, and there was the smell of cannabis about you, he would say things like, "why don't you guys go home, and party a little more safely?" or "you don't mind if I get some of that?"

Now, I never experienced this, and only have the local lore, but lots of people I know claim to have met this officer, and verify that he was this *kind*. (pun intended)

Granted, most I've heard about usually take your stash and send you on your way, heard that even some say they get comments like "Thanks, don't have to buy it now." Or some such.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by mayan on December 18, 2004 at 06:52:29 PT
Canna-Cop
The police are corrupted to the core thanks to the war on this amazing plant...

Lincoln officer's arrest prompts immediate drug testing for force: http://www.sj-r.com/sections/news/stories/42908.asp

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on December 18, 2004 at 05:59:00 PT
Same ol
I'm getting tired of wishy-washy polls and editorials saying that medical marijuana is good. We've got to move BEYOND that stage - everyone knows it's good. The issue is not "should medical MJ be legal" or "is medical MJ effective" it's "WHY is medical MJ illegal" and "WHO is responsible for the suffering"

e.g., the poll question they should be asking is "Should President Bush be bitch-slapped for attacking medical MJ patients?"

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by mayan on December 18, 2004 at 05:54:39 PT
Huh???
Though 69 percent of those age 70 and older said they support legal medical marijuana use, less than half agreed it has medical benefits.

Why would someone 70 or older support mmj if they didn't think it had medical benefits? That boggles my mind. Some of these folks support something which they don't even believe exists. I guess some of the old timers probably couldn't hear the questions that well!

Bypassing the media blackout...

Green Party Candidate David Cobb Blasts Kerry, Says He's Thwarting Recount: http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=502

Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of potential criminal activity: http://freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/996

Ohio Update: http://www.votecobb.org/

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by dr slider on December 17, 2004 at 23:33:35 PT:

AP schmapee
The AP couldn't make it through two sentences before their bias oozes forth. Those who see the medical benefit "believe" so, those that call it addictive "agreed" so. Agreed with whom?

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