SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, April 22, 2015
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans believe that adults should be allowed to use medical marijuana, but far fewer think it's appropriate for children, a new survey finds.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their state should allow medical marijuana for adults. But just over one-third said it should be allowed for children, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital national poll on children's health.
Four out of five respondents said adults shouldn't be permitted to use medical marijuana in front of youngsters, an opinion that was strongest among parents of children younger than 18.
The poll also found that 10 percent of respondents either have a medical marijuana card or know someone who does, and that 7 percent use marijuana in the presence of children or know someone who does.
"We found that while most people support state laws that permit medical marijuana use among adults, the story is dramatically different for children," said poll director Dr. Matthew Davis, a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the medical school.
"Medical marijuana is a controversial subject when we're talking about kids," Davis said in a university news release.
"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," Davis said.
"As is typical with anything involving health, the public's standards are much higher when it comes to protecting children's health," he added.
Medical marijuana is permitted in nearly half of states. A few have stricter rules for children's use of medical marijuana.
Advocates say medical marijuana can be a safe and effective treatment for symptoms of diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and HIV/AIDS for adults and children. However, there has been little research into the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana in children, the researchers said.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about the medicinal use of marijuana.