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Dr. Sanjay Gupta says we have been misled on marijuana

by Greg Bernhardt
Tags: gupta, marijuana, misled, sanjay
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Greg Bernhardt
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Aug8-13, 09:14 AM
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Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not.
I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/he...ind-marijuana/

I know he's promoting his new show, but I doubt he'd risk his reputation on something like this if he didn't know what he was talking about.
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Monique
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Aug8-13, 10:52 AM
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Little surprise, if only more money would go into research to establish the chemical components responsible for the medicinal properties. Clearly one plant is not the other, there are many different strains with different properties.
Evo
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Aug8-13, 02:05 PM
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The latest study I read. Perhaps he forgot to read the latest, largest and longest study.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS

Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife

Abstract

Recent reports show that fewer adolescents believe that regular cannabis use is harmful to health. Concomitantly, adolescents are initiating cannabis use at younger ages, and more adolescents are using cannabis on a daily basis. The purpose of the present study was to test the association between persistent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline and determine whether decline is concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Participants were members of the Dunedin Study, a prospective study of a birth cohort of 1,037 individuals followed from birth (1972/1973) to age 38 y. Cannabis use was ascertained in interviews at ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y. Neuropsychological testing was conducted at age 13 y, before initiation of cannabis use, and again at age 38 y, after a pattern of persistent cannabis use had developed. Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...20109.abstract

D H
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Aug8-13, 02:48 PM
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta says we have been misled on marijuana

Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The latest study I read. Perhaps he forgot to read the latest, largest and longest study.
He's read the studies. He used to be strongly on the other side of the fence. He has since switched, and I join him. Marijuana needs to be legalized. And not just for medical usage, but for all usage.

I don't use it, and I hope my children don't use it. We would be better off as a society if it didn't exist. That's just wishful thinking, though. It does exist. Criminalizing it has not worked. We should have learned our lesson from the failed experiment in making alcohol an illegal drug. That experiment didn't work, just as our war on drugs is not working. Our war on drugs has succeeded in one regard only: It has made the US into a gulag. While we have only 5% of the world's population, we have 25% of the world's prisoners. The harm done by the drug to a small fraction of its users pales in comparison to the harm done to society as a whole by making marijuana a class I narcotic.

With regard to the study you mentioned, Gupta has looked at it, along with 20,000 other studies. Almost all (94%) of the studies on marijuana in the US that are allowed to go forward are designed to find harm. It's a drug. Of course they'll find harm of some sort. There is also a harm in keeping it illegal. These competing harms need to be weighed against one another.
Greg Bernhardt
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Aug8-13, 02:52 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The latest study I read. Perhaps he forgot to read the latest, largest and longest study.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS



http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...20109.abstract
It doesn't sound like he's saying it's completely safe. He's arguing against its harsh label of being a schedule 1 substance.
Evo
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Aug8-13, 03:39 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
It doesn't sound like he's saying it's completely safe. He's arguing against its harsh label of being a schedule 1 substance.
I agree it should be legalized and age restrictions placed on it, of course that might just make it even easier for more underaged kids to get their hands on it.

Sorry, DH, I didn't realize he had read about the irreversible neurological damage and psychosis caused by teenage smoking. I was surprised that it was buried so far down in the article and just a small blurb with no link to the studies. I think those studies are extremely important. I don't know if that is the reporter's fault or Gupta's. IMO, that should have been at the top with links.

Quote Quote by DH
There is also a harm in keeping it illegal. These competing harms need to be weighed against one another.
Please post the sources for this. Are you talking about the illegal aspect? Isn't it a misdemeanor for small personal amounts?

Marijuana for medical purposes is available in a number of states already.
Pythagorean
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Aug8-13, 03:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The latest study I read. Perhaps he forgot to read the latest, largest and longest study.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS



http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...20109.abstract
This study pertains to abuse by adolescents with developing brains; it's not particularly relevant in the bigger picture.
Monique
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Aug8-13, 03:47 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
The latest study I read. Perhaps he forgot to read the latest, largest and longest study.
Just to state the obvious: alcohol (also) causes irreversible neurological damage, especially for developing brains (fetal–adolescent). I'd like to see a study that shows the impact of alcohol vs marijuana use.
phinds
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Aug8-13, 03:49 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
This study pertains to abuse by adolescents with developing brains; it's not particularly relevant in the bigger picture.
Uh ... how are adolescents not part of the bigger picture?
Ryan_m_b
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Aug8-13, 03:50 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
I agree it should be legalized and age restrictions placed on it, of course that might just make it even easier for more underaged kids to get their hands on it.
Not sure what it's like in the states but in the UK weed is very, very easy to get hold of regardless of age, I remember kids easily selling it at school. I'm all for legalisation as part of a more sensible drugs policy with the biggest advantages I can see being raising money through taxes and fostering a more intelligent attitude to recreational drugs in general by allowing politicians to have proper discussions beyond polarised view points.
Borg
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Aug8-13, 03:57 PM
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I agree with lowering the classification of it but, I don't think that making it 100% legal is a good thing. Speaking from experience, it's definitely not good for the IQ. Still, I think that the existing federal laws and penalties are too severe.

Like many people, I've been watching the events of the last few years and it appears that the federal government has adopted a don't ask, don't tell attitude about state decisions to allow medical marijuana and/or decriminalize it. I haven't heard of any instances where the feds are attempting to procecute anyone in those states and I hope that it stays that way. I know that this will eventually lead to most or all of the states eventually having legal pot. But, perhaps gradually phasing it in will ease the potential euphoria that could otherwise occur - I would hate to see the whole country have a giant smoke party like some of the news stories that I saw after Colorado and Washington legalized it.
Pythagorean
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Aug8-13, 03:58 PM
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Quote Quote by phinds View Post
Uh ... how are adolescents not part of the bigger picture?
"adolescents [are] not part of the bigger picture" is not what I said, but if you're missing the irrelevance of a nitpicking a single article vs. 2000 articles:

-marijuana is a schedule 1 narcotic - consider alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, are all non-medicinal drugs available over the counter.

-marijuana has medicianl benefits (which is the significant portion of the Dr.'s point) again, we have lots of medicines that you shouldn't just give to children that are not schedule 1 (especially amphetamines and opiates).

So this really has no bearing on the obscene legal classificaiton of the drug in the context of already available drugs that are much more harmful.
Pythagorean
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Aug8-13, 04:02 PM
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What's particularly disturbing was Michele Leonhart's avoidant response when directly confronted about the legal status of marijuana:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1615270.html
Evo
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Aug8-13, 04:18 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
-marijuana has medicianl benefits (which is the significant portion of the Dr.'s point)
But these "medicinal benefits" have current legally available alternatives. Medical marijuana for sleep, nausea, minor pain, loss of appetite, and muscle tension aren't life threatening. Yes, I'm glad about the little girl with the seizures. Hopefully there will be studies on what, specifically, helps so that children are not at risk of neurological damage (if possible).

http://health.howstuffworks.com/well...l-cannabis.htm

I don't feel like searching, but the majority of people that get prescriptions for cannabis don't use it medically. As the guy that owns one of the largest medical marijuana chains in CA said, in truth, he just smokes it to get stoned. So until I decide to find the articles on it, I'll say IMO.

This is why I am ok with putting it in the same class with alcohol.
Greg Bernhardt
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Aug8-13, 04:18 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
But these "medicinal benefits" have current legally available alternatives. Medical marijuana for sleep, nausea, minor pain, loss of appetite, and muscle tension aren't life threatening.
Why buy it when you can grow it?
Evo
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Aug8-13, 04:35 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
Why buy it when you can grow it?
Pythagorean
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Aug8-13, 04:48 PM
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No, that
"medicinal benefits" have current legally available alternatives.
I think that's only true of the fraudulent medical conditions people use to get a recreational pass. (I.e. the "5 most common")
Evo
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Aug8-13, 06:49 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
No, that

I think that's only true of the fraudulent medical conditions people use to get a recreational pass. (I.e. the "5 most common")
Ah, I'd agree. In the documentary I saw, they were getting prescriptions for treatment of "allergies" and other nonsense and they were all laughing about it. It's this sort of thing that makes my blood boil. It's this sort of thing that hinders serious studies of potential medicinal uses. People see the fraud and vote down legalization for legitimate uses.


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