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About half of Ohio adults have friend or family member who regularly uses marijuana

Jan 10, 2020

For just over a year, Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions have been able to buy medical marijuana. Currently, 47 dispensaries are licensed to operate throughout the state.

To measure reported use of medical marijuana and to better understand perceptions of harm related to the drug, the 2019 Ohio Health Issues Poll asked several questions about marijuana.

OHIP is a telephone survey to measure Ohio adults’ opinions about health-related issues, and has been fielded annually since 2005. The survey is conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati on behalf of Interact for Health.

“As policies around marijuana change in Ohio and throughout the U.S., it is important to monitor how public opinion evolves,” said O’dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Interact for Health. “Tracking data about use and attitudes related to marijuana can help Ohio leaders understand the impact of the medical marijuana program.”

Medical marijuana

OHIP found the vast majority of Ohio adults (83%) have not sought information about whether they have a medical condition that can be treated with medical marijuana. Of those who indicated they had sought information, OHIP asked if a doctor had written a recommendation for use of medical marijuana—only 2% said they had.

Knowledge of marijuana and perception of harm

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the U.S., with an estimated 44 million Americans age 12 and older have used it in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

OHIP asked if respondents had a friend or family member who regularly uses marijuana. About half (46%) of Ohio adults said yes.

Another way to measure the impact of marijuana in Ohio is to understand whether its use is perceived as harmful. About half of Ohio adults (47%) said they think regularly using marijuana is a great deal or somewhat harmful. Individuals who do not know someone who regularly uses marijuana are more likely to perceive that it’s harmful.

For more information about OHIP, please visit

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