5 quotes from Dr. Sanjay Gupta's open letter to Jeff Sessions on curbing the opioid epidemic with medical marijuana

Written by Megan Wood | April 27, 2018 | Print  |

Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, MD, wrote an open letter regarding medical marijuana to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CNN reports.

Dr. Gupta is an assistant neurosurgery professor at Emory University and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, both located in Atlanta. He is also chief medical correspondent at CNN.

He opens his letter acknowledging his initial doubt about the medical benefits of cannabis, but after five years of investigation, his views have changed.

Here are five quotes from his letter.

1. "Not only can cannabis work for a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and pain, sometimes, it is the only thing that works. I changed my mind, and I am certain you can, as well. It is time for safe and regulated medical marijuana to be made available nationally."

2. "[T]here is an added urgency, as we are in the middle of a deadly opioid epidemic that has been described as the worst self-inflicted epidemic in the history of our country."

3. "If we had to start from scratch and design a medicine to help lead us out of the opioid epidemic, it would likely look very much like cannabis."

4. "[W]ith cannabis, there is virtually no risk of overdose or sudden death. Even more remarkable, cannabis treats pain in a way opioids cannot. Though both drugs target receptors that interfere with pain signals to the brain, cannabis does something more: It targets another receptor that decreases inflammation — and does it fast."

5. "Making medicinal marijuana available should come with certain obligations and mandates, just as with any other medicine. It should be regulated to ensure its safety, free of contamination and consistent in dosing."

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