“CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta made headlines in 2013 for coming out in favor of medical cannabis, apologizing for aping the views of drug warriors. In 2014, following more in-depth research, Gupta announced he was “doubling down” on his pro-marijuana views. This Sunday, Gupta will be quadrupling down, with the fourth part of his special report.
The popular TV doctor will examine marijuana’s potential as both an alternative to opioids in treating pain and in ending opioid addiction. The report, called “Weed 4: Pot vs. Pills,” will air on CNN. Check your local listings.
Gupta has an interesting relationship with marijuana. In 2009, he authored a column for Time magazine headlined “Why I would Vote No on Pot,” in which he cast doubt about the efficacy of medicinal cannabis. Today, he may be one of the most well-known advocates of marijuana. In his 2013 telecast, Gupta admitted that we “have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”
In Sunday’s fourth installment, Gupta meets pioneers in the field of pain management as well as addiction research who believe that marijuana is the next best hope for treating both. He also speaks with those who have struggled with addiction including an interview with NFL running back Mike James.
In 2013, James suffered a devastating leg injury. He was given opioids after surgery to treat his pain, and months later he found himself addicted. Scared and worried, his wife suggested he try marijuana, a drug that is banned by the NFL and could cost any player their careers. Today, James is making history as the first player to file for a therapeutic use exemption for cannabis with the NFL.
The show will also examine why politicians promise to lead the country out of the worst drug crisis in its history but do very little to help. Opioid abuse continues to kill Americans in record numbers Over 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses, more than those killed in car accidents, from breast cancer or even guns. Nearly 2.5 million Americans struggle with opioid addiction.
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Gupta visits Maine where he speaks with a woman who is opening a rehab center where she will use cannabis to wean patients off of opioids. He also talks with several state legislators who are working to change the laws allow access to medical marijuana to those who are addicted to opiates.
Gupta also delves into how marijuana became a Schedule I drug, considered equal to heroin, LSD and ecstasy, while cocaine, methamphetamines, and many opioids including OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dilaudid and Vicodin are Schedule II drugs.