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How Much Marijuana Use is Medicinal?


A common saying among cannabis users is “all use is medicinal”. The truth of this statement will vary depending on someone’s past experience and definition of medical use.

For me, whether you are using marijuana to relieve a specific ailment or just to reduce your overall stress level, you’re using it to alter the current state of affairs when it comes to what you consider a physical and/or mental issue. Many would classify that as medical use. In any case, I would submit that it does not matter what the reason is for your cannabis use; it’s no one’s business.

But, as we all know, being in other people’s business is the norm today. For example, a new study reports on the cannabis use of some 165,000 people during 2016 and 2017. Prohibition and the subsequent fight to repeal prohibition have made it seem normal for everyone to have an opinion on someone else’s cannabis use. Should they be allowed? Well, maybe we can let them use some cannabis, as long as we feel the reason they are doing so meets some arbitrary standard. Are they sick enough to use cannabis? What happens if someone we feel is not sick enough gets ahold of some legal cannabis?

According to the above-linked study published in the JAMA Open Network, 46% of cannabis users do so for medical reasons. Twenty-two percent do so for recreational reasons. Other interesting data includes 25% of 18-to-24-year olds using medical cannabis and over 75% of all users saying their primary ingestion method is smoking.

“Adults with medical conditions, especially those with respiratory conditions, cancer, and depression, were more likely to use marijuana. At present, marijuana use prevalence decreases with age, even among people with medical conditions,” the study’s conclusion reads, in part. “Because public perceptions of marijuana are becoming more favorable and medical conditions increase with age, older adults might also become frequent consumers of marijuana. Hence, continuous surveillance of marijuana use across all age groups is warranted.”

To be clear, if cannabis users want to voluntarily give information on their use for research purposes, I have no problem with that. What bothers me is the notion that only certain reasons for cannabis use are good enough and we need to find out just how many people are using cannabis for the “wrong” reasons.

There is no wrong reason to use cannabis. Adults should have the ability to decide what is right for them and act accordingly. Maybe one day we will get to that place, but for now, entirely too many people feel their opinion on what others do is not only valid, but needed.