Best News Series on Medical Marijuana
Regular viewers of CNN will know Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the news network’s chief medical correspondent. He is also a practicing neurosurgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and a contributor to various CBS news programs and print publications. He was even offered the job of Surgeon General in the Obama Administration, which he declined.
He apologized in 2013 for his previous opposition to medical marijuana when he launched what has become a three part series on the state of medical marijuana, both in the US, and around the world. He said on air, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that”. As a brain surgeon, he has intimate knowledge of the effects that marijuana can have, and this is frankly the best three hours of television reporting that I have yet found on medical applications of cannabis. You can find them here:
Each special runs for about 43 minutes because the original commercials have been deleted . They offer brief overview of the history of marijuana in the US, follow patients through the process of using medical marijuana, and tell some compelling stories about how medicinal cannabis is changing the lives of people from five to ninety years old. There are extended interviews with respected doctors, researchers, and government officials.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to watch it all, and are focused on senior issues, the most relevant segment is in the first special from 2013. Fast forward to 36:20 minutes in, and watch the segment about what Israel has been doing to treat its citizens. Their nation began studying medical marijuana in the 1960’s, and have a huge head-start on the rest of the world when it comes to research. In fact, they were the first to identify the essential medicinal compounds in marijuana. There’s a concise article here about Israel’s leadership role if you are interested in learning more about it:
Israel is using medical marijuana to treat patients in nursing homes to reduce tremors and pain, aid sleep, and reduce depression. Their largest hospital also dispenses marijuana inside the hospital to patients going through chemotherapy, and are actively studying the possibility that it can prevent cancer from recurring. It is certainly worth the time to watch if you are considering whether or not medical cannabis can improve your quality of life.
I read and research a lot about medical marijuana. Too often, supporters ignore the potential downfalls, and opponents ignore the potential benefits. This is perhaps the best TV reporting because it comes from a brain doctor, who was trained to be a skeptic, but came around to the potential of cannabis to change lives for the better.