ABC Responds to CNNs 'Weed 2'

ABC Responds to CNNs 'Weed 2'

The American Botanical Council offers an in-depth review of CNN's most recent medical cannabis special.

The second documentary devoted to medical cannabis from CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, wasn’t perfect, but represents a significant change in America’s view of the herb, according to a review of the show by the American Botanical Council’s Ash Lindstrom. Lindstrom’s response was published in this month's HerbalGram.

CNN broadcast “Weed,” Gupta’s first cannabis documentary on the topic, last August. That show focused on the neurosurgeon’s change from an opponent to an advocate of medical cannabis. It was “considered a potentially influential accomplishment even as it met with some criticism from experts in the field of medicinal cannabis research,” writes Lindstrom.

“Weed 2: Cannabis Madness,” the second installment broadcast last month, filled in some gaps left by the first show while neglecting to address other critical information, the show is “reflective of the substantial shift in the majority of Americans' views regarding the legal status of cannabis,” writes Lindstrom.

The show used the story of story of two-year-old girl with a rare form of epilepsy (check out the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s recent report on cannabis and epilepsy), and how medical cannabis helped her, as a framework to talk about issues surrounding the herb, including medical marijuana refugees, schedule I classification, regulation and research.

“It is very difficult to approach the subject of cannabis, especially its medicinal usage, in just one hour,” Ethan Russo, MD, president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and a senior medical advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, told ABC. “It is a very complex subject in every respect, and requires consideration of botany, agriculture, biochemistry, genetics, politics and law, among others. Certainly, this effort complements the first program, but even taken ensemble, it would be a mistake to declare it definitive.”

Stay tuned for "Weed 3."

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