After decades of denial, the U.S. government admitted earlier this month that medical marijuana was found to kill certain cancer cells in conjunction with radiation in animal studies.
A 2014 study in the UK found that cannabis could shrink an aggressive type of brain cancer, noted one of the medical researchers in an op-ed for The Conversation.
Now, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is calling for the legalization of medical marijuana in the U.S.
Gupta has hosted two CNN documentaries about about medical marijuana, and his third, "Weed 3: The Marijuana Revolution," is airing on Sunday (video below).
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AlterNet.org notes that Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Democrat Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and President Obama all voice their support for medical marijuana in "Weed 3."
Today on CNN.com, Gupta wrote an op-ed in which he states:
There is now promising research into the use of marijuana that could impact tens of thousands of children and adults, including treatment for cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's, to name a few. With regard to pain alone, marijuana could greatly reduce the demand for narcotics and simultaneously decrease the number of accidental painkiller overdoses, which are the greatest cause of preventable death in this country.
Gupta concludes, "We should legalize medical marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now."
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However, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey recently told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt that he would "crack down" on states that have legalized marijuana if he were elected president.
Christie also stated:
Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have an enormous addiction problem in this country. And we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down through the federal law enforcement. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law. And the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it.