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Askal Ali, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/Principal Investigator - Pharmaceutical Sciences

1415 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Pharmacy Building, East Wing Office # L-1540
Tallahassee, FL 32307


Askal Ali, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Fatimah Sherbeny, Assistant Professor, Economics, Social and Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Knowledge and Perception of Pediatric Patient Caregivers on Medical Marijuana


Since the use and benefits of medical marijuana for pediatric patients with cancer remains controversial, the study aimed to measure the patient caregivers' knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of medical marijuana. The responses to an online survey revealed that parents/ caregivers have little knowledge about medical marijuana and there appears to be a need for better understanding from this population.



The subjects in this study were 23 parents and caregivers of pediatric patients (ages 0-18) via social media and as referred by 138 pediatric cancer doctors.


A 45-item survey was developed and sent to pediatric cancer centers and doctors via information provided by the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research to request consent of pediatric patients' (ages 0-18) parents and caregivers. The survey was shared with Floridians via social media platforms, word of mouth, the Florida Association of Pediatric Tumor Program and medical marijuana prescribers. Response data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and comparative analyses.

Findings and Implications


Analyses of the responses reflected the following: in regard to medical marijuana, 44% of respondents had very little knowledge and 22% had a lot or some knowledge; on side effects, 44% had little knowledge, while 56% knew a great deal; as far as having their child use medical marijuana, 38% were neutral or comfortable with it, 50% were worried. Finally, 37.5% indicated that the benefit of medical marijuana outweighs the cost and side effects.


The responses to an online survey revealed that parents/caregivers have little knowledge about medical marijuana, and there appears to be a need for better understanding from this population.

Impact on MMERI

MMERI may wish to use findings to educate statewide shareholders of the need for pediatric parents/caregivers to have accurate and current information on medical marijuana. Moreover, MMERI should recommend an expansion of this small study to a larger population to focus statewide.