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Dr. Sanjay Gupta: I Misled On Medical Marijuana

Submitted by on August 9, 2013 – 8:24 amNo Comment

In an appearance on Piers Morgan Live, CNN’s chief medical correspondent (and one-time potential Surgeon General) Dr. Sanjay Gupta revealed that he has made a complete reversal on the issue of medical marijuana. Not only did the acclaimed neurosurgeon say he now sees great benefits in certain uses of cannabis, but he apologized for his role in spreading misinformation about the issue, saying, “We’ve been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time… and I did part of that misleading.”

In an op-ed available online, Gupta echoed much of the reasoning he explained on the broadcast:

I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse.”

They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.

Gupta goes on to point out that marijuana was declared a highly restricted schedule 1 substance due to a supposed “void of knowledge.” But by making the substance so difficult to get, the classification made further US studies extremely difficult, locking the issue in a kind of catch-22. Gupta also notes that studies tend to focus on cannabis’ potential harm, and not its benefits.

Gupta has researched and produced a new documentary called Weed, in which he investigates the drug’s effects. In a clip played on PML, Gupta interviews a man suffering from a painful muscular disorder, who experiences relief just moments after inhaling cannabis. The special is set to air on CNN on Sunday night.

As recently as 2009, Gupta wrote an op-ed for Time magazine opposing the legalization of medical marijuana. And even in his recent writing, he expresses some concerns about marijuana usage, especially for teenagers whose brains are still developing.

What do you think about Dr. Gupta’s reversal?

[via Huffington Post]

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