A study of medical marijuana users in California, conducted by The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, has found that medical marijuana users are in some ways just as stereotype would suggest: young men using marijuana for pain relief. In other ways, however, the study reached some startling conclusions, namely that medical marijuana users are less likely to use alcohol, cocaine or prescription drugs than the population as a whole.
Excerpted from a NORML blog discussing the study:
Seventy-three percent of patients are male and use is heaviest in the 25-44 year age group.
Eighty-three percent use it for pain, 70.7% to improve sleep, 55% for “relaxation”, 41% for muscle spasms, 41% for headaches, 38% for anxiety, 28% for nausea and 26% for depression.
Fifty-one percent say they use as a substitute for prescription medication, and 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.