“Right now it’s listed as one of the most dangerous substances in America.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. In 2009–around the time when Obama asked him to become Surgeoun General–Gupta infamously defamed cannabis, writing “Why I Would Vote No On Pot.
Well, four years later, after a year of meticulous study on marijuana, Gupta has changed his tune on weed, even apologizing for his past folly:
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.
While Gupta does not say anything completely novel in his explanatory piece for CNN, his voice and position carry significant weight, so much that this could be a game-changing moment for legalization. These words by Gupta echo the most obvious sentiment marijuana patients and activists consistently dwell on:
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.
Gupta hope these facts combined with his weighty “will help set the record straight” and alter the course of history. While we’re well on our way to legalization and reform, when a powerful piece like this comes from a voice as strong as Gupta’s, it can only accelerate the end of prohibition.
Here’s a preview of Gupta discussing the issue on Piers Morgan last evening: