One of Americas “Celebrity Doctor Advisers, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent. He recently said he changed his opinion about the use of marijuana. He was originally against its use quoting large studies of the negative effects. He then spent a year researching the drug for a special documentary he produced appropriately titled “WEED.” His personal study and the amazing effect the use of marijuana had on the people he interviewed (especially young epileptic children) changed his mind.
“WEED”, isn’t an all pro view of the use of marijuana, this 40+ minute documentary balances the good and bad effects with interviews from both sides of the fence. Personally I have always been opposed to the use of the drug. Living In Hawaii, it was easily obtained during my kids intermediate, junior high, and high school days. I have seen first hand some of the bad effects marijuana has on youth. Dr. Gupta’s study indicates smoking marijuana as a youth, even up to 22 years old when the brain is fully grown, can have lasting bad effects. Problems like IQ loss (up to 8-10 points for 4+ days a week users), and perhaps permanent memory loss. But after seeing the positive side of the use of medical marijuana, and the thousands of people that all say it has helped with their pain, with their nerves, with their digestion and a deluge of other maladies, I now believe there are positive uses for marijuana.
I heard George Norri on Coast to Coast radio last night announce the latest nationwide survey shows for the first time more people for legalization of marijuana than against. 58% of the survey was for legalizing the use of medical marijuana. Perhaps “WEED” has helped that along with strong evidence shown with a 3 year old who had 300 epileptic seizures a week, brought down to one a week with the use of a very low THC strand of marijuana. This came as a last resort after the parents and the supplier decided to prescribe the drug in a final attempt to give her a normal life. Another positive example was of a teenager who couldn’t speak correctly due to seizures in his stomach, with one puff he was temporary cured.
Dr. Gupta lays it on the line with “WEED”, he admits it is addictive, but he says much lower than cocaine, and tobacco, with 8-9% addiction rate, while cocaine is almost double, and Tobacco more than triple the addiction rate. If you are a marijuana aficionado or supporter, Dr. Gupta’s “WEED” documentary may not give you a much new information you don’t already know, but even so, this well written interesting media piece is worth a look! For the uneducated or non-believer (like myself), it will teach you a thing or two, and may give you cautionary advice if you have young children, or it may be the eye opening start for your view of the new era of legalized Marijuana. The federal government has indicated they are backing off prosecuting in California, and Washington where the recreational use of Marijuana is legal so what’s next? This documentary is worth a view for an inside look at this new legal industry (at least in some places, with probably more to come), and it gives you a view into what may come next all across the country. .
You can view WEED online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3IMfIQ_K6U
or read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s article on www.CNN.com
• Dan Capener