Weed Wars TV Series Sparks Interest in Patient Rights and Medical-Social Justice Issues – Final Episode Airs Tonight on Discovery Channel

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — “Weed Wars” has brought the working world of medical marijuana into America’s living rooms, allowing viewers to witness how the issues they hear about in news sound bites present themselves in real life and affect real people. Tonight’s final episode of the four-part mini-series about Harborside Health Center, the nation’s premier holistic health center and medical marijuana dispensary, will air on Discovery Channel tonight at 10 pm in most areas.

The finale centers on “Deep Green,” an event that unites Earth Day, which inspires awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment every April 22, with 4/20, the April 20 counterculture holiday historically focused on cannabis consumption, to produce a day that inspires awareness and appreciation of ecological and holistic human health.

Deep Green was created by Harborside director Steve DeAngelo and Earthdance / Green Institute founder Michael Gosney. Deep Green is another of DeAngelo’s efforts to enlighten the world about the benefits of marijuana. The event reflects the philosophy behind Harborside, the gold standard for medical marijuana dispensaries. Beyond establishing standards and following regulations, the model dispensary operates as a service-oriented holistic health center that also provides natural medications that work, according to DeAngelo.

In addition to Deep Green, tonight’s episode will show the Oakland cannabis club serving a senior patient, Larry, his first dose of cannabis. Larry comes to California from out of state to learn if cannabis can relieve his debilitating pain. His journey turns into a quest for more than the answer to his physical pain.

Patients like Larry are the inspiration for the “medical-social justice movement” that Harborside and others across the country have helped create in order to address the issue of escalating healthcare costs (both physical and financial) in an aging population. The movement is an ongoing conversation as people come to grips with their health care choices, and the population grows older and has more limited options.

The “Weed Wars” series has sparked great interest and debate. As the feds have moved to crack down on the businesses that enable patients to get their medication safely and in a professional manner, Harborside is working hard to change negative public perceptions about the medical marijuana industry.

Harborside is optimistic that “Weed Wars” is increasing appreciation of health benefits of marijuana as a safe alternative to highly addictive and increasingly fatal opiates like Oxycodone. The show allows the general public to see cannabis as a wellness drug that enhances the lives of patients as a component of holistic medicine and health.

Public concern for the patients on the show, especially for a small child, has been tremendous. In Episode 2, a young father whose son, Jayden, has been diagnosed with Dravet’s Syndrome—a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy that begins in infancy—found through expert recommendations and research that medicinal cannabis can be an effective treatment for controlling the dangerous seizures caused by the debilitating disorder.

Jayden’s father reports that since his son took that first dosage of cannabis-based medication in front of the camera earlier this year, Jayden is having 70% fewer seizures, the duration has decreased in length from what was hours to only 2-15 minutes, and he has even gone five consecutive days without a seizure.

He is listening and following directions better than before starting cannabis therapy. He no longer deals with severe side effects, which included disturbing visual hallucinations, chronic constipation, sleep deprivation, and intense periods of pain lasting 10-12 hours, during which he would cry.

Jayden is much happier, according to his dad. He could only last in the swimming pool for a handful of minutes in the past, but now he now plays for hours and the amount of time he can last in a bounce house has increased from 2-5 minutes to an hour.

Episode 3 also touched America’s heart as a conservative paraplegic muscular dystrophy patient of faith who never imagined she would use an illegal drug like cannabis came to Harborside to receive cannabis as an alternative medication to alleviate the unbearable pain that her prescription drugs were not able to reduce to a reasonable level.

Discovery has tentatively planned the following broadcasts and reruns of Weed Wars. Check local listings for local broadcast dates and times.

Thursday, December 22, 2011 9 am     Rebroadcast of Episodes 1-3 10 pm New Episode 4

Friday, December 23, 2011 12 am Repeats os Episodes 1-4

Saturday, December 31, 2011 (New Year’s Eve Day) 11 am Episodes 1-3 2 pm Episodes 1-4 (Weed Wars Marathon lasts from 2 pm until midnight)

Discovery Channel’s “Weed Wars” focuses on Oakland’s Harborside Health Center—which set the gold standard for medicinal cannabis dispensaries in the nation—and the leadership behind Harborside: activist, founder and Executive Director Steve DeAngelo. DeAngelo’s lifelong mission has been to bring the truth about the cannabis plant to the American public.

The show follows the DeAngelo family and Harborside’s staff as they fearlessly wrestle with the complex issues they face every day. The series accurately captures the real-life drama and high stakes of the California-voter-approved business as federal agencies make increasingly harsher threats and IRS audits attempt to shut down the Oakland holistic healing center.

In addition to focusing on Steve DeAngelo, his family and the staff, “Weed Wars” follows the journey of the plant itself from seed germination to harvesting. Audiences will meet the growers and “patient farmers” whose job it is to provide the “medicine” that will be eventually purchased and used by thousands of clients, many of whom feel their lives have been forever changed by the plant.

About Harborside Health Center: Founded by national cannabis leader Steve DeAngelo in 2005, Harborside Health Center is the not-for-profit model medical cannabis dispensary in the country. The Oakland medical cannabis collective offers its 94,000 registered patients free holistic health services, lab-tested medicine and education.

“Out of the shadows and in to the light” epitomizes DeAngelo’s mission to enlighten the public on the many medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the plant. DeAngelo is recognized as a national leader and strategist of the cannabis reform movement. He speaks and writes widely on the subject. Harborside and DeAngelo are featured on “Weed Wars,” now airing on The Discovery Channel.

For more information about Harborside Health Center, call (510) 533-0146 or visit harborsidehealthcenter.com.

For more information about “Weed Wars” or the information in this release, contact Gaynell Rogers at (415) 298-1114 or Linda Stokely at (707) 981-4407.


Gaynell Rogers
Harborside Health Center

Linda Stokley
Harborside Health Center