Marijuana

Medical marijuana: 137,556 patient applications received, 69% of approved applicants are male

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released the latest data about medical marijuana patients in the state, and the numbers are fascinating. As of March 31, the most recent date available, 137,556 people have applied to the patient registry, and 123,890 -- most of them male -- have valid registry ID cards.

Among the cliches exploded by the digits is the theory that the registry is dominated with teens and twenty-somethings who are faking medical problems in order to purchase weed legally. According to the CDPHE, the average age of a patient in Colorado is forty -- 39 for men, 42 for women. Moreover, only forty patients in the entire state are minors, meaning that they're younger than age eighteen. Males represent 69 percent of all registry-card holders.

Another surprising statistic involves doctors who've suggested that patients try cannabis to address their medical conditions. More than 1,100 doctors in the state have written MMJ recommendations -- a greater number than many observers would have likely predicted.

The vast majority of patients -- 56 percent -- live in the Denver metro area, which includes Boulder. But patients can be found in virtually every corner of the state, including some of Colorado's least populous counties: sixteen in Kiowa County, nineteen in Jackson County, 35 in Lincoln County. Most list severe pain as a qualifying condition, with smaller numbers citing muscle spasms, nausea, cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc. Around 63 percent have designated a primary caregiver.

Look below to see the county-by-county patient breakdown, plus totals involving conditions and user characteristics:

Table 1: County Information: Table 2: Conditions: Table 3: User Characteristics: More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Medical marijuana card arrives more than two months after cancer patient died."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts