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Study: Doctors Generally Unconcerned by Cannabis Use, GOP Docs Less Likely to Recommend MMJ

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Republican doctors are less likely to recommend the use of medical cannabis than their Democratic counterparts, but the study also discovered that, in all, doctors cared less about cannabis use than they did other “risky” behaviors such as tobacco use or sex with a prostitute.

“Republican [physicians] are more likely to discuss health risks of marijuana [with their patients], urge the patient to cut down, and discuss legal risks,” the authors wrote.

Democrats, on the other hand, were more concerned about how a patient who owns firearms stores their weapons if they have children than they were about the patient’s cannabis use.

In the study, conducted by Yale University researchers, 233 doctors were asked to rank nine hypothetical patient behaviors on a 10-point scale. The behaviors included a range of issues – including cannabis use, previous abortions, depression, not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle, etc. – in an effort to determine their attitudes based on their political affiliation.

Marijuana use garnered a 5.7 rating, along with previous abortions. Not wearing a motorcycle helmet and sex with prostitutes ranked at the top of the list, with an 8.4 score. Tobacco use and depression ranked slightly second at 8.2; alcohol and obesity had an average score of 7.8; and firearms in the home got a 7.4 score.

Tennessee Congressman Rep. Phil Roe, a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and chairman of the GOP Doctors Conference, said that “party affiliation should have nothing to do with patient care.”

“I never once treated a Republican or Democrat cancer in my life,” Roe said in a Washington Post report. “When a patient walked into my office, I didn’t know if they were a Republican or a Democrat, and I honestly didn’t care.”

Roe said most patients will seek out the best care regardless of a physician’s political affiliation.

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