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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 02:29 PM ET, 05/04/2010

In D.C., broad support for medical marijuana

The D.C. Council's vote today allowing doctors in the nation's capital to prescribe medical marijuana falls in line with the views of a large majority of Washington residents.

A Washington Post poll conducted earlier this year found broad support for such a measure, with eight in 10 Washingtonians in favor of allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, though with some divides on how permissive the law should be. Most said it should be available to any patient whose doctor thinks it could help, but 17 percent favored limiting it to those with serious illnesses and 18 percent felt it should only be available to the terminally ill.

D.C. residents' views on the matter were similar to those nationwide, according to a Post-ABC News poll conducted in January. In that poll, 81 percent favored medical marijuana.

In D.C., support for permitting medical marijuana is highest among whites (89 percent favor it compared with 75 percent of African Americans), in Northwest (85 percent back it) and among those with more formal education. Looking ahead to the mayoral contest, among those registered Democrats who said they were undecided about whom to support in the primary, 76 percent felt medical marijuana should be permitted, 14 percent said not.

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Q. Regardless of what you think about the personal non-medical use of marijuana, do you think doctors should or should not be allowed to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes to treat their patients?

SOURCE: Washington Post poll conducted Jan. 24-28 among a random sample of 1,135 adult residents of the District of Columbia. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  02:29 PM ET, 05/04/2010

Categories:  D.C.

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