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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Michigan Finds Most Americans Say Medical Marijuana Should Not be Used by Kids or in Front of Kids—Legal or Not

Medical marijuana and children do not mix, most Americans say.

[Photo: Dr. Matthew Davis]

While nearly two-thirds of people agree that their state should allow medical marijuana for adults, half as many – just over a third – say it should be allowed for children, according to today’s University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health that included a national sample of adults in the U.S.

Eighty percent of respondents go even further, saying adults shouldn’t be allowed to use medical marijuana in front of kids – a view most prominent among parents of children under 18 years old.

Nearly half of states now have laws permitting medical marijuana, and few such as Michigan enforce stricter rules for children’s use of medical marijuana. The Mott poll is the first to measure the public’s views about the use of medical marijuana for children compared to adults.

“We found that while most people support state laws that permit medical marijuana use among adults, the story is dramatically different for children. Medical marijuana is a controversial subject when we’re talking about kids,” says Dr. Matthew M. Davis, director of the National Poll on Children’s Health and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.

“Our findings suggest that not only is the public concerned about the use of medical marijuana among children, but that the majority of Americans worry that even exposure to it may be harmful to kids’ health. As is typical with anything involving health, the public’s standards are much higher when it comes to protecting children’s health,” says Davis, who is also a professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health.

Ten percent of respondents in the Mott poll either have a medical marijuana card or know someone who does, while 7 percent either use marijuana when children are present or know someone who does.

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