CNN’s third “Weed” documentary debuted Sunday night, and the program is CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s biggest statement on medical marijuana yet.
“We should legalize medical marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now,” Gupta wrote in the days leading up to “Weed 3’s” debut on 4/20 Eve.
Anti-legalization group Project SAM — a group that “believes in an approach that neither legalizes, nor demonizes, marijuana” — is one of the leading voices in the movement against legal cannabis.
The group’s president Kevin A. Sabet, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, agreed with some of Gupta’s findings but also added that the documentary “irresponsibly portrays the drug as a silver bullet for a range of conditions.”
The full text of Sabet’s response to CNN’s “Weed 3”:
Of course, we have to study marijuana to examine its medical potential. The goal, according to the Institute of Medicine, should be to develop non-smoked medications based on marijuana’s components for specific medical conditions. As the FDA’s Deputy Director told Sanjay Gupta, “We want marijuana studied to decide its safety, its efficacy, and its reliability, and we want that as quick as we can.” SAM wholeheartedly agrees with that point of view.
In fact, Gupta’s own investigation showed that the government is growing marijuana strains for research purposes, something SAM fully supports.
But by not highlighting the potential dangers of marijuana — including the millions of people who have been negatively affected by long-term marijuana use — “Weed 3” irresponsibly portrays the drug as a silver bullet for a range of conditions.
SAM stands not with cable news conjecture, but rather with the American Medical Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, and other major medical groups in supporting research — not reckless marijuana programs like ones in Colorado or California, states that CNN featured. In Colorado, for example, “medical” marijuana is marketed and dispensed like alcohol, not medicine — with no dosage, no proper medical oversight, etc.
SAM wants the best medicine for persons with PTSD, epilepsy, cancer, or any other disease. Unfortunately, CNN is highlighting a few stories to portray marijuana as a miracle drug, when in reality it is a drug that can result serious, long-term consequences, like schizophrenia.