Sanjay Gupta MD, however well intentioned, has muddied the marijuana debate by his lack of a scientifically based editorial statement about the content presented. My position in the marijuana debate is that it’s dangers must be balanced with any attempt to expand it’s use in “medical conditions”. Anyone who would deny treatment to the child portrayed,Charlotte, by a qualified physician in a research setting would be a Luddite, indeed. Sanjay’s report has the effect of reporting anecdotal medicine as scientific research in spite of mild references to the fact that “the research is not yet conclusive” (quotes added). Such is the power of television. To confuse matters even more, Dr. Nora Volkow, an outstanding, highly respected leader in the field of substance abuse research is portrayed unjustly. She could have helped Sanjay get back on track, if he so desired. His recent conversion to accepting the potential benefits of medical marijuana has not done the subject justice.
Another confusing aspect of the presentation is lost in the description of marijuana being placed as a “Schedule 1” controlled substance along with other drugs of abuse. If anything, this made allowance for researchers to utilize it legally in legitimate medical research. Its placement in that schedule is neither new nor bad.
The one valuable message I saw in the show was the presentation of the well established danger of the use of any intoxicant on the young formative brain. Is it any wonder that a large percentage of the vocal support for indiscriminate marijuana use is comprised of young people?
Critical thinking was absent from CNN and Sanjay Gupta’s “Weed”.