Survey: 40% of Medical Pot Users Able to Stop Using Pharmaceuticals BY JULIE FIDLER for Natural Society
GNN Note – Now that it is possible to conduct research on marijuana / cannabis we are finding some of the side effects are not as harmless as being portrayed. We will be published articles showing the other side of the cannabis argument over the next few days.
Getting into the minds of cannabis users is essential to shaping policy
Medical marijuana is a touchy subject and many people are still on the fence about whether it’s a legitimate medicine and should be legalized. If you’re one of those people who remain unconvinced, perhaps this new study will change your mind.
In a survey of 450 adults who identified as current cannabis users, 78% said they used cannabis to treat a medical or health condition. Nearly half of those users – 42% – said they were able to give up pharmaceutical drugs because cannabis did the trick.
Another 38% of current cannabis users reported they were able to cut back on their use of pharmaceuticals because of cannabis.
Highly addictive opioids were among the pharmaceuticals that cannabis users were able to quit or reduce. Some 26% of users said they were able to wean themselves off opioids with the help of cannabis. 
In the study, people reported using cannabis for a variety of medical or health conditions, including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), menstrual cramps, and headaches. Some even used cannabis to alleviate side effects from chemotherapy and to ease HIV/AIDS-related nausea. 
Respondents said they trusted medical marijuana more than pharmaceuticals and said cannabis was more effective and had fewer side effects. They also said that, in many cases, pot was more available and cost-effective than pharmaceuticals.
Daniel Kruger, a study co-author, said: 
“People are not only self-medicating, but they’re self un-medicating.”
Nearly 30% of current pot users said their doctor didn’t know they were using medical cannabis. 
The survey shed some light on the mindset of medical marijuana users, which the authors said needed to be explored to help shape future marijuana policy.
The authors of the study wrote:
“Given the state of the science of medical cannabis, even basic information about users’ attitudes and behaviors would be helpful.”