Although I posted the results of my survey a few days ago, I was not going to release it for comments until I posted the narrative. If you could see and feel my hands right now, you would know that it will be a while for that narrative to be completed.
In August, when I first offered a survey; I had hoped to receive hundreds, up to a thousand responses. I am so glad I didn’t. I printed each survey, blocked out the names, and then divided the work by gender. I had not anticipated the level of work involved in completing a tally. A few people offered to help, but I had given you all my word that direct information would not be shared. Even with the names blocked, I didn’t want to give up anything.
From the beginning, there were those who announced they would not participate because the questions made me sound like a cop, some were distrusting because I was new or unknown, others spoke of payment for completion, and many stated that the survey was too long. Of those who did respond, there were questions that were not answered. If I were do to this again, I would leave off the political and Compassion Clubs parts. With the term “Compassion Club” having so many different meanings, it might be worth it to develop the Club part into a separate survey.
I doubt that I will forward a copy of these results to Rep. Horn and the House of Representatives as I had planed, but here is my presentation to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association. The comment line is open.
The following is the total results for my Medical Marihuana Survey
94% of those who responded had used marihuana in the past
88% of those who responded are using marihuana as a medication now
The age of these men ranged from 24 to 62, with the average age being 40
Seventy-five per cent of the men were White, while 25% of them were African-American
Twenty-five percent had achieved a High School education or less; 38% had an Associate degree or better; while 37% had post-graduate degrees.
82% of those who responded were located in southeastern Michigan; the other 18% were from lower central/western Michigan.
41% are employed
39% received disability
21% are unemployed
80% have health insurance
Some of the qualifying conditions included: Crohn’s disease, fractured vertebras, MS, broken necks, Thoracic outlet syndrome, Arthritis, Fibromyalgia
88% are patients
70% are registered with the state
70% grow their own
55% acquired from other patients; 30% did not; 15% did a few times
(This was before the CoA decision prohibiting patient-to-patient transfers)
50% acquired from dispensaries
(This was before the CoA decision prohibiting patient-to-patient transfers)
10% of respondents reported as caregivers.
No one, patient or caregiver reported transferring to a dispensary
GROW ROOM SPECIFICATIONS
25% report using part of their basement; 38% uses a cabinet; 12% uses a spare room; 12% uses a closet as a grow space.
75% use fluorescent lights, 53% use High Pressure Sodium lights, 10% used T-5
65% used soil as the growing medium; 42.5% used hydro; 15% used coco fiber
*Some people use more than one method or style of growth
MODE OF USE
65% were not aware that marihuana could be consumed in ways other than smoked (pre 2008)
After 2008, consumer discovered other ways of use from the following sources:
45% Compassion Clubs meetings
61% other patients
81.5% use a topical application
94% ingest their medication
Of those who ingest
75% uses some form of medible (medicated edible) – such as a tinctures, oil, candy, cereal deserts, brownies, capsules, butter
92% utilize more than one mode of use
The reasons stated for the different modes of use are:
Ease of use
Medication is used how times per day:
62% use once per day
22% use up to twice per day
2% use up to four times per day
14% use as needed
50% use only in evenings
Amount of marihuana used per day:
27% depends on the form of use
28% <1 gram
36% 1 gram
3% <2 grams
6% <4 grams
HOW MUCH DO YOU SPEND ON YOUR CANNABIS TREATMENT EACH MONTH?
10% < $ 100
25% > $ 100
50% >$ 200
5% > $300
10% Too much
OF THOSE PEOPLE USING ALTERNATE TREATMENT FOR PAIN RELIVE
50% Physical Therapy
50% Pain Medications
POSITIVES AFFECTS OF USE
Improvements to health that have been note since using cannabis:
Allows an appetite
Stable eye pressure
Decreased blood pressure
Noticed improvement in quality of life:
Use fewer pharmaceuticals
Have less pain
Before usinusing cannabis, these other medications had used:
Abilify, Acetaminophen, B-12 injections, Bactrim, codeine, Darvocet, Demerol, Flexeril, Folic Acid, Humira, Ibuprofen, Imitrex, Imuran, Klonopin, Methotrexate, Motrin, morphine, Oxycontin, Neurontin, Norco, Prednisone, Prozac, Remicade, Skelaxin, Soma, Tylenol 3, Valium, Vicodin, Wellbutrin, and Xanax.
75% of patients were still using these other medications, including:
Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Imitrex, Vicodin, and Xanax
55% of patients are using less of these other medications
How much is spent each month for these other medications?
25% spend $0, 25% spend $1, 20% spends up to 25% of the total prescription cost, 30% spends <$30
NEGATIVES AFFECTS OF USE
Finding a doctor to certify them
100% noted a fear of arrest
UNDERSTANDING OF THE MICHIGAN MEDICAL MARIHUANA ACT
85% of those responding voted in favor of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
When looking for information explaining the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the sources used were:
65% Compassion Club meeting
17% MMMA web site
MEDICAL MARIHUANA COMPASSION CLUBS/ MEDICAL MARIHUANA EDUCATIONAL MEETINGS
For the purpose of this survey, Compassion Clubs are the community-based, educational and support groups whose interest is in sharing information pertaining to the medical use of marihuana.
85% of responders were familiar with Medical Marihuana Compassion Clubs
75% of people had attended a Compassion Club meeting
Those who did; do so:
To gather information
To meet other people with similar view
15% of people started their own clubs
25% never attended a Compassion Club meeting because:
There was none in the area
A fee was charged
The patient did not want to be recognize/known
85% stated that these meetings meet their expectations
10% had no expectations
Most people felt that Were the meeting times convenient
Meeting place was close and after work was the most noted comment
The meeting locations were said to be very adequate
When asked if the host/hostess were knowledgeable about the law, most said: Very much so
100% of Clubs provided guest speakers, and the information provided was helpful
I also asked about pending bills in both the Michigan House and Senate, which relate to the medical use of marihuana, and may circumvent the Medical Marihuana Act that was approved by voters in 2008. These bills included:
Senate Bill 17 would amend the Public Health Code to prohibit a person from organizing or operating a marihuana club or bar; or knowingly allowing land or a structure on land he or she owned or possessed to be used as a marihuana club or bar.
SB 259 - would ban any synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractions of cannabis and synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure or pharmacological activity, or both.
SB 321 - will not allow a person receiving personal protection insurance coverage due to an auto accident to receive marihuana as medication.
SB 377 - will dismiss the privacy aspect of the Medical Marihuana Act, and allow the names of patients to be distributed to law enforcement agencies.
SB 418 – this bill will make it impossible to sue or create a private cause of action against the State or a political subdivision of this State.
SB 504 – this will establish a buffer whereby a person can be prosecuted if they conduct a transfer of marihuana within 1,000 feet from a clearly identified house of worship or school, other than a home school, unless the transfer occurs inside the residence of a qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card.
SB 505 – the 2008 law disallows a person with drug related felonies from being a caregiver, this bill would disallow persons with any type of felony from being a caregiver.
SB 506 – defines a bona fide physician/patient relationship.
House Bill 4850 – makes it illegal for patients to acquire or transfer marihuana.
H B 4854 – will make it illegal for a caregiver to advertise for or to patients; or of the availability of marihuana.
This section elicits the least amount of responses. All respondents stated that they are not in favor of theses bills, and would prefer lawmakers allow the MMMA to function as written. The exception was SB 505; which would disallow all felons from being a marihuana caregiver.
When asked for the opinions of the purposed changes to the law?
If there are to be changes, should they be made by legislators or the voters?
All responders think the voters should make any decisions on any changes.