Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article written by Tanya Ebert MD, Yuval Zolotov MHA, Shani Eliav RN, Orit Ginzburg RN, Irena Shapira RN and Racheli Magnezi PhD MBA
IMAJ 2015: 17: July: 437-441
Background: Cannabis has been used throughout history for different purposes but was outlawed in the United States in 1937 followed by most countries. Although recently reintroduced as a medical treatment in several countries, the use of cannabis in Israel is permitted for some medical purposes but is still controversial, eliciting heated public and professional debate. The few published studies on physicians' attitudes to medical cannabis found them to be generally unsupportive.
Objectives: To examine, for the first time, the experience, knowledge and attitudes of Israeli physicians towards medical cannabis (MC).
Methods: A 32 item questionnaire reflected physicians' demographics, knowledge of and experience with MC and their attitudes to this treatment.
Results: Seventy-two physicians participated in this study. Physicians generally agreed that MC treatment could be helpful for chronic and for terminally ill patients (n=61, 79.2%). Oncologists and pain specialists did not agree unanimously that MC can undermine mental health, whereas other physicians did (P < 0.001, df = 4). Physicians who recommended MC in the past (once or more) agreed more than physicians who did not with the statement "MC treatment in Israel is accessible to patients who need it" (P < 0.05, df = 2).
Conclusions: In contrast to other studies we found partial acceptance of MC as a therapeutic agent. Further in-depth studies are needed to address regulatory and educational needs.