ATLANTA–News network CNN on Sunday will premiere the newest episode in its ground-breaking series “Weed,” hosted by Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Prior to the debut, Gupta has penned an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, stating that medical cannabis has benefits for a wide spectrum of health conditions, but also has significant potential as an alternative treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction.
But is the AG listening? We may find out: Sessions is scheduled to speak on the drug crisis on Friday, April 27, during an address at nonprofit addiction treatment center Rimrock Foundation, in Billings, Montana. The meeting is not open to the public; Sessions will speak to members of law enforcement and media, according to media reports.
In “Weed 4: Weed vs. Opioids,” Gupta will look at the potential for medical cannabis to be used in treatment for those suffering from the national opioid crisis.
Far from the outdated stereotype of being a “gateway” drug, Gupta has said in the letter that cannabis may, in fact, offer victims of opioid abuse hope for recovery from a hard-to-treat addiction that often results in tragedy.
The letter points out that 115 people die daily from opioids; the rate of overdose deaths is on such a scale currently, numbers have actually lowered average U.S. life expectancy for the first time in decades.
Gupta’s op-ed and reporting comes amidst increasing calls from cannabis advocates, veterans, athletes, patients, healthcare providers, rehabilitation advocates, and the public for the federal government to address the opioid crisis, as well as policy reform on medical marijuana.
In 2013, Gupta’s op-ed, titled, “Why I Changed my Mind on Weed,” and first episode of the “Weed” series brought national recognition to cannabinoids, CBD, and the story of epilepsy patient Charlotte Figi, who was treated for severe seizures with CBD oil and eventually had Charlotte’s Web, a high-CBD strain, named for her. Since then, states’ legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis has expanded rapidly, and awareness of cannabis medicines have become mainstream.
To read Dr Gupta’s full letter to Sessions, click here.