Sanjay Gupta, MD, neurosurgeon and multi-Emmy Award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, published an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions reflecting his five-year long study into the medical benefits of the cannabis plant.  While research at the national level has been restricted by the federal stance of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug (of no medical benefit, and highly addictive), Gupta conducted his own research with patients and fellow scientists.  In his letter, he advocates for marijuana to be made available nationally for use in medicine.  

Gupta’s primary thrust is for the use of medical marijuana as a replacement for opioids as the nation battles an opioid epidemic which claims up to 45,000 lives annually.  In research conducted by the Rand Corporation, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it was found that in states where marijuana was legalized, there were an average 20% fewer deaths from opioid overdose, suggesting that over 10,000 lives could be saved per year if cannabis were more readily available.

Gupta writes:

“Cannabis and its compounds show potential to save lives in three important ways.

Cannabis can help treat pain, reducing the initial need for opioids. Cannabis is also effective at easing opioid withdrawal symptoms, much like it does for cancer patients, ill from chemotherapy side effects. Finally, and perhaps most important, the compounds found in cannabis can heal the diseased addict’s brain, helping them break the cycle of addiction.”


Of course, Gupta supports the legalization of marijuana with restrictions on safety, contamination and dosing.


You can read the full article here:

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