Dr. Sanjay Gupta Publicly Apologizes For Stance On Marijuana

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins a growing list of prominent people in society, science and law enforcement realizing or owning up to the many benefits of marijuana. In 2009, when jockeying for position as America’s next Surgeon General, the CNN chief medical correspondent came out strongly and forcefully against any kind of decriminalization, including medicinal marijuana. Gupta then gave some very non-scientific reasoning behind his stance. Amongst other things, he cited the time of his birth (between Woodstock and iPods or something) as a rock solid reason of his views in a featured Time Magazine piece back in 2009.

Today, Gupta is recanting his words. In his written apology on CNN.com, Gupta explains:

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.

Instead, I lumped them with the high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high. 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 explain that the prohibition against marijuana is no accident, calling it a systematic campaign that he himself was an unfortunate part of.

You can see Sanjay further explain his new found reasoned position here:

Gupta joins a growing list of prominent people in society, science and law enforcement realizing the ridiculousness of our policies over the past 70 years regarding hemp and cannabis. As 40 percent of our states have opened up medicinal marijuana to be available, several have decriminalized and 2 so far have outright legalized marijuana, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that our policies need to be rethought. It is in our interest, and simply “irresponsible,” according to Gupta, not to do so.