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Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s About-Face Sparks Calls for Federal Marijuana Reforms
CNN's trailblazing medical correspondent has now added his voice to the chorus calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's marijuana laws.
By: Mithout Gomez
Dr. Gupta – CNN’s trailblazing medical correspondent – had long adopted the establishment’
But in an Op-Ed article days before the airing of his captivating documentary, “Weed,” and in subsequent interviews with CNN’s Pierce Morgan, Dr. Gupta has made an about-face, not only apologizing for his role in misleading the public, but also directing his strongest barb at the federal government, most specifically the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“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,” Gupta wrote, adding, “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’"
Dr. Gupta’s new position – coupled with massive scientific research studies questioning the prohibitionists’
“Pretty much everyone knows it, especially those of us who dedicated our lives to enforcing it."
Some of the laws were implemented without solid research studies that are available today and were based mostly on fear generated by a robust, well-financed propaganda campaign, proponents of legalization have argued. “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,” noted Gupta, also a neurosurgeon and an assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine. “Most frightening to me is that someone dies in the United States every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose, mostly accidental. Every 19 minutes. It is a horrifying statistic. As much as I searched, I could not find a documented case of death from marijuana overdose.