A new study out of California examines the state’s medical marijuana patient population and sheds some light on some of the misconceptions about patients themselves.

Dale Gieringer from California NORML provides an analysis of the study and has gleaned some very interesting findings.

*Medical cannabis use is higher than average among Blacks and Native Americans, lower among Latinos and Asians.

*73% of patients are male.

*Use is heaviest in the 25-44 year age group.

The study also breaks down reasons for use, pain being a reason cited by almost 83% of respondents from 9 California assessment clinics – taking the top spot – followed by use to improve sleep and relaxation.

Even more interesting:

51% use as a substitute for prescription medication (showing that medical cannabis may offer significant health cost savings)

Medical cannabis users report significantly lower alcohol & cocaine use than the average population,  supporting the substitution theory that more cannabis use may lead to less abuse of other drugs.

There is a growing body of evidence that cannabis can be used even to wean drug addicts off of dangerous substances, like the above-mentioned cocaine and alcohol. That’s something that opponents of medical marijuana will deny to the bitter end, no matter how much evidence there is.

Yet the truth can only be held back for so long. With the emergence of the internet  and social networking, information can no longer be contained. Instead it is broadcast worldwide and accessible by anyone whose home country isn’t clamping down on the web.

Fortunately we haven’t reached that point in the U.S. yet, so the truth has nothing to hold it back. The lies of the government and of those who have a vested interest in people continuing on the path to prescription pills and alcohol no longer stand up to scrutiny.

Medical marijuana patients are just like everyone else, except that they have chosen a safer alternative to manage their ailments.

Joe Klare