How would you react if you discovered that the United States government believes that marijuana is beneficial and may serve as a cure for various illnesses? And that the same government has a patent, No. 6630507, to not only acknowledge but own the idea?
If you’re like most Americans, this fact may come as a shock.
This is one of the facts presented by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his two-part special documentary on weed and medical marijuana. The first part was aired on CNN in August 2013 and the second part in March 2014.
Why is the Sanjay Gupta Weed Documentary Important?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, is a practicing neurosurgeon and, thus, has detailed scientific knowledge of how the human brain functions. Until recently, and for most of his earlier life and career, he was a big voice in campaigns against marijuana. In January 2009, he was behind the piece “Why I Would Vote No On Pot” published by Time Magazine. It was quite unexpected, therefore, when he recanted his stance and publicly apologized for standing in the way of marijuana decriminalization.
In this documentary, Gupta separates facts from myths by talking to marijuana producers, researchers, doctors and patients. He visits several labs and farms and makes trips to countries like Israel and the United Kingdom where he discovers state-sanctioned and funded efforts to make marijuana safe and accessible to patients.
In contrast, only 6% of marijuana research in the US investigates its medicinal benefits; the rest are concerned with the harm the plant causes. But even this 94% of anti-marijuana research does not justify the inclusion of marijuana as a schedule 1 substance with high potential for abuse and the assertions that it has no accepted medicinal use.
Dr. Gupta explores in his documentary how the “politics of pot” have ostracized those pushing for acceptance of the cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana as a healer and not a destroyer. This is in the face of research confirming that CBD is more efficient than pharmaceutical drugs, which come with serious side effects and overdose risks.
Weed is Making a Massive Difference in People’s Lives
The Sanjay Gupta Weed Documentary puts faces and names to those who are in dire need of cannabis as the only remedy that works to alleviate their pain and suffering. One highlighted story is that of Matt and Paige Figi, who fought to give their daughter Charlotte an opportunity to live a normal life. After using a form of marijuana low in THC and high in CBD, Charlotte recovered from the endless attack of seizures that conventional medicine had failed to cure.
Charlotte’s father wonders in one clip,
“My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn’t know about this? How come they didn’t make me aware of this?”
The plant from which the first low-THC hemp oil was extracted for Charlotte’s treatment, which the growers named “Charlotte’s Web,” is now the hope of cannabis refugees who have begun relocating to CBD-friendly Colorado.
Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed” documentaries are an objective look at the place of marijuana in medical practice. They call for a conversation based on scientific reasoning and facts rather than clinging to long-held beliefs and giving priority to the politics of the day.