A new Texas poll shows that, according to the data collected, 61 percent of the state’s medical cannabis users use medical cannabis as a substitute for prescription drugs.
The survey, which was sourced from InformedTexas.org and conducted by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in partnership with Texas NORML, found that over 60 percent of patients who allowed medicinal cannabis use also reported it as Use substitutes for prescription drugs that they preferred not to take.
The survey examined a sample size of 2,900 people and asked them about their medical cannabis use. 61 percent of those questioned stated that they had “replaced” drugs such as opioids or benzodiazepines with medical cannabis. This is similar to the information found in several similar studies, but is noteworthy as the survey was recently conducted and the number of people reached.
“With the passage of the Compassionate Use Act in 2015, the state of Texas officially recognized that cannabis is medicine,” explains the background information of the survey. “However, the vast majority of Texas patients are barred from participating in the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) due to legal restrictions. Our recent survey of 2,866 Texas residents who use medicinal cannabis sought an insight into the needs and experiences of that population. The survey was conducted online between August 11, 2020 and October 6, 2020 and participants were recruited through medical cannabis patient networks. 22 percent of those surveyed were military veterans. “
Most of the respondents say they use cannabis to treat pain. Over half of the veterans surveyed said they also use cannabis to treat PTSD symptoms. Four in ten respondents said that cannabis “improved their quality of life”. These results are in line with what many proponents of chronic pain or PTSD regularly express.
The history of cannabis in Texas
The survey also provided some interesting background information about the state of Texas and its relationship with cannabis. El Paso was the first city in the United States to criminalize cannabis, according to the study. The city council voted to ban cannabis on June 14, 1915, claiming it was a lethal drug. This followed unsupported claims that cannabis was responsible for knife wounds in Mexico, a rumor that fueled the racist war on drugs. By 1937, the whole country had followed in El Paso’s footsteps, and cannabis was officially banned and criminalized.
Now it is a sign of progress that the state of Texas, while not leading the way in legalization, is slowly trying to roll back the ban.
“The illegality of medicinal cannabis in Texas is an obstacle to understanding the motivations and implications of medicinal use,” the survey explains. “To fill this knowledge gap, co-author Viridiana Edwards designed a survey to ask Texans about their medical cannabis use. This report provides a description and analysis of the survey results and recommendations on how lawmakers can improve cannabis policy to better meet the needs of citizens. “