Exploring Medical Marijuana Knowledge and Perceptions among a Community-Based Sample
Background: The increasing number of states legalizing marijuana suggests that a growing majority of adults now see marijuana as offering more benefits than risks. As use increases, the need to better understand user characteristics and the nature of their beliefs also increases. Purpose: This exploratory study investigates the knowledge and perceptions of medical marijuana among community-based individuals. We theorize that demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, social network, health status, and knowledge about marijuana are associated with the number of conditions the person believes marijuana treats. Methods: The study utilizes a convenience sample, a non-probability technique of individuals attending a local festival (n = 141). The dependent variable for this study is a count of the number of conditions participants believe medical marijuana may be used to treat. The study includes three measures of demographics and two measures of SES. The remaining measures, social network, health status, and marijuana knowledge were operationalized using proxy measures. The data were analyzed using OLS regression. Results: Most respondents (81%) were Black/African American, 77% were females, 38% were 41 years or older, 53% had a salary greater than $30,000, and 87% had private insurance. The regression shows that having private insurance and higher perceived health status are negatively associated with the dependent variable. Having more comorbidities, better perceived mental health, knowing that marijuana may be obtained from a dispensary, and agreeing with its use have a positive association with the dependent variable. Discussion: Knowledge and beliefs about medical marijuana vary by user demographic. While some of the beliefs are accurate, some individuals are more willing to believe in the efficacy of medical marijuana solely based on anecdotal reports. Consumers of lower SES could benefit from targeted educational messages and access to medical-grade cannabis.
Cooper, Lan'Tejuana S.; Davis Weaver, Jullet; Crowther, Vanessa; and Lewis, Marisa
"Exploring Medical Marijuana Knowledge and Perceptions among a Community-Based Sample,"
Florida Public Health Review: Vol. 19, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/fphr/vol19/iss1/10