25). The interviews followed a semi-structured agenda designed to collect information from participants about their reasons for, and perceptions of, medical marijuana use. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and de-identified. Qualitative codes were developed from the agenda and emergent topics raised by the participants. Results: Three themes emerged related to medical marijuana use, including (1) comparison of medical marijuana to other medications (i.e., better and/or fewer side effects than prescription medications, improves quality of life), (2) substitution of marijuana for other medications (i.e., in addition to or instead of), and (3) how perception of medical marijuana policy impacts use (i.e., stigma, travel, cost, and lack of instruction regarding use). Conclusions: Several factors prevent pervasive medical marijuana use, including stigma, cost, and the inability for healthcare providers to relay instructions regarding dosing, strain, and method of use. Findings suggest that medical patients consider marijuana to be a viable alternative for opioids and other prescription medications, though certain policy barriers inhibit widespread implementation of marijuana as a treatment option.

KEYWORDS:

Medical marijuana; cannabis; marijuana policy; prescription substitution; qualitative interviews

PMID: 31179810 DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2019.1618336 ShareLinkOut – more resourcesFull Text SourcesTaylor & FrancisMiscellaneousNCI CPTAC Assay Portal Supplemental Content Full text links

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