Dr. Sanjay Gupta Endorses Marijuana Use*

MarijuanaThe TV doctor has very publicly changed his tune on the benefits of weed (the asterisk in the title is of course because he’s only advocating medical use of marijuana, not recreational). From CNN:

Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called “Weed.” The title “Weed” may sound cavalier, but the content is not.

I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning.

Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled “Why I would Vote No on Pot.”

Well, I am here to apologize.

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. Take the case ofCharlotte Figi, who I met in Colorado. She started having seizures soon after birth. By age 3, she was having 300 a week, despite being on seven different medications. Medical marijuana has calmed her brain, limiting her seizures to 2 or 3 per month.

I have seen more patients like Charlotte first hand, spent time with them and come to the realization that it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana.

We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.

I hope this article and upcoming documentary will help set the record straight…


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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20 Comments on "Dr. Sanjay Gupta Endorses Marijuana Use*"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Aug 8, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

    I’m pretty pleased to say
    I have no idea who this dude is
    or why his endorsement is so important
    but it does highlight how ridiculous it is
    to regulate a plant and it’s flower
    while at the same time not regulating GMO plants
    that effect far larger populations & have unknown dangers

    • VaudeVillain | Aug 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm |

      He’s a celebrity doctor and surgeon who, unlike most of that ilk, is actually respected by many in the medical field and has a successful career in mainstream medicine. He also declined an offer to be Obama’s first surgeon general, stating that it was more important to him to be a medical professional interacting directly with patients than a bureaucrat.

      His endorsement is big with people who believe in the axiom that “alternative medicine is, by definition, medicine which is either not proven to work, or proven not to work, being that medicine which is proven to work is just called medicine”. If you’re more of an Ancient Chinese Secret person, then it’s not terribly relevant.

  2. Jin The Ninja | Aug 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

    too f*cking late, big media tool.

    • Rhoid Rager | Aug 9, 2013 at 3:49 am |

      Come on, Jin, don’t be such a high-visibility malingerer.

      • Matt Staggs | Aug 9, 2013 at 9:01 am |

        Is there a particular herbal cure that you might recommend for high-visibility malingering? 😉

    • Matt Staggs | Aug 9, 2013 at 9:00 am |

      I’m with you, Jin. I’m happy to see him step out on the public stage with his hat in his hands, but as one of the biggest professional recipients of big pharma cash, I have consider even this suspect.

      • Biological Android | Aug 9, 2013 at 9:40 am |

        My guess is Big Pharma knows they can not fight it anymore and want to get in on the action.

        • Matt Staggs | Aug 9, 2013 at 11:28 am |

          Bingo, bio.

        • I was kind of wondering how CNN let this through. My other thought was he’s losing relevancy with his crowd. Hey look everyone is endorsing medical marijuana I should jump on the band wagon so I can get my name back out there.

          I did find it interesting that he admits five years ago he was flat out against it for the simple reason that he didn’t actually do any serious research on the subject.

          I’m all for his stance if it’s legit but this just seems too well timed for my taste.

  3. Anarchy Pony | Aug 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm |

    Do you feel the need?! The need for weed!?

  4. emperorreagan | Aug 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

    I’m going to buy a one hitter and name it Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

  5. Don’t know who he is. But since he’s ‘famous’ he must have followers.
    So at least his personal realization will open the eyes of more people who have been asleep for an unacceptably long time.

  6. DeepCough | Aug 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm |

    It may be one less tool out of the shed,
    but it’s still a long road ahead.

  7. Matt Staggs | Aug 9, 2013 at 9:02 am |

    I wonder what it’ll take for Dr. Drew to come clean?

    • It will never happen his life depends on demonizing all drugs and making people feel helpless without his over priced help. Besides, I see him as more of a closet fetish guy. Maybe 8mm style.

      • emperorreagan | Aug 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

        He and Adam Carolla always made a big deal about being able to pick the victims of sex abusers out of their calls on loveline. Could be experience, could just be natural predatory instinct.

    • DeepCough | Aug 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm |

      I like you, Matt, you’re humorous.

  8. doodahman | Aug 9, 2013 at 11:14 am |

    Fuck this shitbag.

  9. smooth_operator | Aug 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

    He’ll change his mind again when he’s threatened.

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