Cancer Patients Want to Use Marijuana, and with Good Reason

Joel Brown says that he didn’t know a lot about pot’s properties before he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer in 2014. “But when you’re facing death, you want to really become part of the treatment and figure out what’s going on,” he says. “So I started looking at alternative therapies.”

As a 28-year-old chef living in Toronto — where marijuana is legally available — Brown was now facing six months of regular chemotherapy. He says he immediately started investigating how weed could help him cope with his treatment. And he’s not the only one.

A new survey shows that if marijuana is legally available, a lot of people with cancer are likely to use it, and even more are interested in learning about how it could help them during their illness.

A team of researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center surveyed 926 cancer patients at the Seattle Cancer Center Alliance and according to results published Monday in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, about 25 percent of patients used marijuana in the past year.

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