An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.


Kathryn Lawler
Abigail Strauss, BS
Allison Kaczmarek, MPH, PhD
Mary P. Martinasek, RRT, MPH, PhD


In this study, we aimed to explore current physician assistant (PA) student and alumni attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions towards recreational and medical marijuana.


We conducted a cross-sectional study with PA students and alumni (N = 62) from a mid-sized university in the southeastern United States. We used an online QualtricsTM survey of 40 questions pertaining to both medical and recreational marijuana.


When asked about counseling patients on medical marijuana only 50.8% felt comfortable. Even fewer were comfortable with discussing drug interactions (39%). Participants felt that edibles were the safest route of administration (46.8%). The majority felt patient counseling should be incorporated into health sciences courses (79.7%). There was a statistically significant association between their knowledge and their comfort in answering questions about marijuana (p < .001) and between their knowledge and their comfort in addressing drug interactions (p = .005).


Our results align with previous research concluding that a greater amount of marijuana education should be incorporated into healthcare professionals’ curricula.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 11, Number 1, February 2024
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
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