Do Physicians Use Marijuana?

Carol Peckham


February 05, 2015

In This Article

Marijuana Usage in Physicians

The Medscape Lifestyle Report 2015 included questions on physicians' use of marijuana and their opinions on legalization. Other surveys have been conducted on physicians' attitudes toward medical marijuana, but very few have asked about doctors' own history of usage. A 2013 Gallup poll[1] reported that 38% of Americans have tried marijuana, a percentage that has increased by only 5% since 1985. Only 7% say they are currently using it. In this year's Medscape survey, physicians report a lower rate of history of marijuana use, with just under a quarter reporting ever having tried it. Three percent say they've used marijuana in the past year, also a lower percentage than that found in the Gallup poll for the general population.

There is no difference in marijuana usage between burned-out and non–burned-out physicians. There is also very little difference in usage between male (25%) and female (21%) physicians (Figure 1).

Figure 1. History of marijuana use by gender.

Marijuana history varies somewhat by specialty, however (Figure 2). In this survey, emergency medicine physicians report the highest history of marijuana use (31%), followed by plastic surgeons, orthopedists, and psychiatrists at 29%. The least likely to report ever using marijuana are nephrologists (15%), endocrinologists (16%), and rheumatologists (17%).

Figure 2. Marijuana use by specialty.


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