Aug 092013
 August 9, 2013

dr sanjay gupta marijuana cnnI remember my dismay and disappointment when I read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Time Magazine piece, “Why I Would Vote No on Pot”, in 2009.  I was disappointed because Dr. Gupta seemed like a rational fellow that should understand that cannabis prohibition has caused much more harm than cannabis itself.  It seemed to me that anyone highly educated who examined the multitude of scientific evidence available should be able to see that cannabis prohibition is a massive failure.  Of course, an irrational fervor or financial stake can override rationality, but that didn’t seem like the case either way with the doctor.  I was dismayed because Dr. Gupta demonstrated a major mainstream voice in our political and scientific discourse, and if we didn’t have Dr. Gupta, we likely weren’t ready to pass cannabis legalization measure in this country.

Proposition 19, the effort to end cannabis prohibition in California, did indeed lose (narrowly) at the ballot box in 2010 and history has shown that our country was just a couple of years away from passing cannabis legalization measures in any state.  Apparently, Dr. Gupta needed a few years to evolve on the issue as well.  The good doctor now recognizes his error, and showing great grace and humility, has offered a public apology for endorsing prohibition and now publicly voices his support for cannabis legalization.  He has published a piece for CNN.com and will be airing a documentary special, “WEED”, this Sunday evening, August 11th on the news network.

From CNN:

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 of Charlotte 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.

Dr. Gupta has certainly done his due diligence researching the available scientific literature regarding cannabis and he understands the roadblocks and obstacles placed in front of any research conducted in the United States.  He has evaluated the reasons marijuana was determined to be a Schedule I substance federally in the first place, the research conducted in the U.S., research conducted across the world and the plight of individual patients.  Now, the accomplished neurosurgeon has come to the conclusion that I suspect every rational person, without a personal bias, will come to after reviewing the facts and evidence-cannabis should be legalized.

Instead of implementing a common sense policy to regulate cannabis like alcohol and tobacco, our government has instead waged a war on consumers and providers, utilizing armed SWAT units and locking nonviolent citizens in cages while seizing their personal property.  The cannabis community didn’t choose to wage any war, a war is being waged upon us.  While violence is used against us, we fight back nonviolently spreading our message of peace through political efforts, scientific evidence and influencing cultural norms.  Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s support for cannabis legalization helps us on all fronts.  I will be tuning in on Sunday and will have more to report after viewing it and I encourage everyone to spread the word to families and friends, even opponents of cannabis legalization and those on the fence.  Person to person, city to city, state to state, country to country-until we are all free.  Upward and onward, my friends.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation

About Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.
  • Choom Gang

    The propaganda media has lost few battles over the years. The cannabis battle has been more like a war. Last years battle in Colorado and Washington was the propaganda media’s waterloo. So, the march to defeat is inevitable. With Dr. Gupta changing sides, another one bites the dust, with a movie and an apology. Welcome to the correct side Doc, and I will watch your show.

  • Canabud Medical Marijuana

    How can anyone deny the medical properties of medicinal marijuana when a case such as Charlotte Figi proves exactly that? 300 seizures a week while ON the medical communities “medication” yet a little MMJ reduced it from 1200 a month to 3-4?

    All these “doctors” and supposed intelligent people spend their lives working on medicine to help these issues but produce products that cause more harm then good, when a simple plant has done FAR more for 1000s of people across the country.

    Glad to see Gupta on the side of good, looking forward to the show this Sunday.
    *~~http://www.canabud.ca~~*

  • jontomas

    PASS THE SAN-JAY!

  • moldy

    Fuck you Howy, a Rehab whore he is… a sketchy one at that.

    • jontomas

      I think time will show that’s what he was, but now things are different. This is a major signal the mainstream media has finally been turned around. This new stand is big blow to marijuana prohibition. That bogus prohibition is the only thing that supports marijuana “rehab.”

  • QuaxMercy

    People are sayin’ – this is a win for MMJ, recreational use, legalization – & that’s true & so long overdue – but it’s also a win for science education. The good Dr. is modeling for the masses how an educated mind goes about evaluating the range of available research, the historical record, his own personal experience – and after a more complete survey, makes an adjustment, based on newly weighted information. Thank you, Dr.
    It takes an educated man to re-evaluate & change his mind

  • Acebass1

    To the dismay of the fools at “SAM” who can’t believe he didn’t fall for their lies.

  • Ricky Ableidinger

    I live in Nor4thwestern Missouri and when I read that this program was going to Air on Sunday August 11 on CNN I tried to set this on my DVR…I could NOT find this Program…Im disappointed that the program called WEED by Dr Gupta did not air in my part of the world…..So many people that suffer from Medical conditions that might benefit from some level of Cannabis Treatment are not being given the information about Medication that mi9ght offer them Relife….In my experience most of the people in this part of the Midwest are not Educated on the matter 0f Medical Cannabis. I am one of the suffering citizens of this part of the country and feel like our leaders that have been elected to care for the public have ignored the current studys and all the up to date Data….I my self have sent e-mails to all of the representatives in my district, and all of them sent a reply saying that Cannabis has no medical value and that in this state they will not do anything to change any laws concerning Cannabis…..SO SAD