Although the topic of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes might have been considered controversial in the past, there has been an increase in evidence for the medical benefits of marijuana, such as fewer drug doses being prescribed as a result of its legalization. In addition, some of the possible negative consequences of medical marijuana legalization that were often used to argue against legalization have been found to be unsubstantiated.
Medical marijuana laws, usage, and prices vary from state to state. Not only can prices differ dramatically by state there can also be significant differences in medical marijuana prices between cities within the same state. As some states have more relaxed medical marijuana laws than others, and some have even recently legalized marijuana for recreational use, the number of medical marijuana dispensaries open in each state is also quite varied. The number of medical marijuana patients and caregivers can also fluctuate depending on the state. While Colorado had a legal medical marijuana patient rate of 19.8 per 1,000 residents in 2016, Nevada had a rate of only five.
If current trends persist, medical marijuana will continue to grow as an industry and public support with it. According to surveys from recent years, public approval of medical marijuana has indeed increased, remaining above 77 percent since 2011. Medical marijuana patients seem to also be satisfied with the treatment they experience, with a majority reporting that they would be highly likely to recommend medical marijuana to friends or family for treatment.