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TMCNet:  Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll Finds Over Three Quarters of Americans Favor Legalization of Medical Marijuana

[May 20, 2014]

Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll Finds Over Three Quarters of Americans Favor Legalization of Medical Marijuana

ANN ARBOR, Mich. & WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--

Over three quarters of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR (News - Alert) Health Poll.

Truven Health Analytics™ and NPR conduct a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The survey asked respondents to share their views on both medical and recreational marijuana use. The results showed that 78 percent of Americans believe that medical marijuana should be legalized, an opinion that was found less frequently with ascending age. However, just 43 percent of respondents said recreational marijuana use should be legal. Overall, 91 percent of Americans believe there should be age restrictions on recreational marijuana use, and 51 percent there should be age restrictions for medicinal purposes.

When asked about their most significant concern when it comes to marijuana use, respondents most frequently cited the impairment of the user's senses (22.2 percent). Addiction (15.5 percent) and fear of marijuana acting as a "gateway drug" - or a drug that leads to other drug use - (12.1 percent) were the next highest concerns, followed by access by minors (8.1 percent), and abuse (6.1).

"Surprisingly, there is relatively little science about the long term health effects of the use of this drug, so physicians lack solid evidence to help decide whether or when to rescribe it," said Michael Taylor, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Truven Health Analytics. "As opinions continue to evolve on the subject, it will be interesting to see if an upward trend in the clinical utilization of marijuana emerges."


To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food allergies, and organic and genetically modified foods. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here.

Truven Health Analytics maintains a library of poll results here.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® Healthcare Survey, the nation's largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from 82,000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3,010 participants interviewed from March 4-17, 2014. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

About Truven Health Analytics

At Truven Health Analytics we are dedicated to delivering the answers our clients need to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs. We are a healthcare analytics company with robust, widely-respected data assets and advanced analytic expertise that have served the global healthcare industry for more than 30 years. These combine with our unique perspective from across the entire healthcare industry to give hospitals, clinicians, employers, health plans, government agencies, life sciences researchers, and policymakers the confidence they need to make the right decisions, right now, every time. With our healthcare-specific expertise and tools for managing complex and disparate data, we understand how to implement and integrate tailored analytics that drive improvement.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as Micromedex, ActionOI, 100 Top Hospitals, MarketScan, and Advantage Suite. Truven has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Chicago; and Denver. For more information, please visit http://truvenhealth.com.

About NPR

NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.


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