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CNN’s Sixth WEED Documentary Features the Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Autism

CNN had announced that its sixth installment of the series would be aired on November 22, 2012. WEED 6: Cannabis & AutismIts premiere this weekend was “The Benefits of Medical Cannabis” and it explores symptoms in patients with Autism. 

This segment features CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. It follows the tradition of the previous. WEEDThis series will allow viewers to experience firsthand the benefits of medical cannabis. “Autism, ASD for Autism Spectrum Disorder, is by definition a wide array of behaviors. Whether mild or severe, two core symptoms are social communication challenges and restrictive or repetitive behaviors,” CNN states in a press release. “In WEED 6: Cannabis & Autism, viewers will meet researchers, doctors, and families, some of whom are coming out publicly for the first time, and will see in real-time how life-changing the plant can be for them.”

First WEED2013 documentary that opened up a new debate on marijuana’s stigma. The honest headline of Gupta’s 2013 CNN article “Why I changed my mind on weed” directly opposed his 2009 TIME article “Why I would vote No on Pot.” 

his 2013 article, Gupta apologizes for letting the cannabis stigma prevent him from seeing the plant’s true potential. “Well, I am here to apologize,” he wrote. “I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.”

In WEEDIn his turn, he spotlighted Charlotte Figi (a Colorado teenager with Dravet Syndrome) who discovered relief using medical cannabis. Although her passing was sad, many others have followed her lead and sought medical cannabis to help their children.

It’s been eight years since that original documentary released, and Gupta has produced a total of six documentaries with a unique perspective on cannabis. The In WEED 2: Cannabis Madness(2014), he dived into the political complexities surrounding medical cannabis. WEED 3: Marijuana Revolution(2015) extended our review of the medical benefits associated with medical cannabis. WEED 4: Pot or Pills? Pills(2018) examined the tragic effects of the opioid epidemic and the potential benefits that medical cannabis could provide. Finally WEED 5: CBD Craze2019: The boom in CBD and dangers of unregulated markets.

Since 2013, Gupta has been a strong proponent of medical cannabis, but his involvement isn’t limited to the WEED series. He was most recently seen on The Joe Rogan Experience, October 13th 2021. There he talked about his recent change in stance on cannabis and the way he came out publicly stating that medical marijuana is wrong.

Gupta shared insight on the problems with cannabis medical research. “If you’re just looking at papers—well, this one potential long harm, this one possible addiction, this one gateway—you know, you’re seeing all those individual studies, but at a broader level, one step upstream, you realize that most of the studies that are getting funded are designed to look for harm,” Gupta told Rogan. “When I saw that, that was the first time I thought, ‘well, why are the studies that are getting out there, why are they all designed to look for harm?” he said. “Then I started looking at other countries, and some really good research out of places like Israel in particular.”

WEED 6: Cannabis and AutismIt will premiere on November 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on CNN live, and can also be watched on the channel’s live streaming service, CNNgo.