Dr. Sanjay Gupta Comes Out in Support of Medical Marijuana

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 07:41 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, acknowledged on Thursday that he has changed his mind about medical marijuana and apologized for not looking "hard enough" at the facts 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," penned Gupta on CNN.com.

Gupta will host a documentary titled "WEED" at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, for which he traveled around the world to interview medical experts, marijuana growers, and patients.

"I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning," he said, noting that he had even authored an anti-medical-marijuana article for Time back in 2009 that was titled, "Why I would Vote No on Pot."

Gupta said he "mistakenly believed" the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency acted on the basis of "sound scientific proof" in listing marijuana as a schedule 1 substance and that he was misled by "high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high."

He said that marijuana doesn’t have a high potential for abuse but does have "very legitimate" applications in medicine.

"In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works," Gupta observed.

He calculated that only about 6 percent of current U.S. marijuana studies investigate the benefits of medical marijuana.

"The rest are designed to investigate harm," he explained. "That imbalance paints a highly distorted picture."


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