DR. SANJAY GUPTA
When it comes to cannabis and the medicinal use of it, a lot of people especially doctors either are against using it for their patients care or simply "judge" the plant and it's actual use for medical symptoms.
We'll meet Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is an American neurosurgeon and chief medical correspondent for CNN. Born October 23, 1969 Novi, Michigan, U.S is best known for reports on medical and health topics across the world. In 2009 Dr. Gupta’s evolution on medicinal cannabis has been incredible as he was a top prominent voice for legalization. Since 2013 Dr. Gupta has then publicized his change of understanding on the benefits of cannabis with his first “weed” special on CNN.
Before Dr. Gupta changed his mind about cannabis, he spoke out saying why he had changed his mind and issued an apology for his previous prohibitionist position on CNN.com.
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 who’s 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 for 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 three different medications. Medical marijuana has calmed her brain, limiting her seizures to 2 or 3 per month.
Since Dr. Gupta has dug deeper in the marijuana industry after witnessing how it dramatically changed the life of Charlotte and her family he hasn’t stopped there. He did a special demonstration on what those in the marijuana communities for multiple years have known that cannabis can help patients decrease the number of opioid pain pills that people take. There are recent studies that show states with legal access to cannabis have a much lower rate of opioid uses then prohibition states.
Dr. Gupta’s deep research has led him to write an open letter to attorney general Jeff Sessions
Dear Honorable Jeff Sessions,
I feel obligated to share the results of my five year long investigation into the medical benefits of the cannabis plant. Before I started this worldwide in depth investigation, I was not particularly impressed by the results of medical marijuana research, but a few years later, as I started to dedicate time with patients and scientists in various countries, I came to a different conclusion.
The consensus is clear: Cannabis can effectively treat pain. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine arrived at this conclusion last year after what it described as the “most comprehensive studies of recent research” on the health effects of cannabis.
Recently, your fellow conservative John Boehner changed his mind after being “unalterably opposed” to marijuana in the past. If you do the same, Mr. Attorney General, thousands of lives could be improved and saved. There is no time to lose.
Even though the cannabis community honors Dr. Gupta’s change of conclusion and him using his wide public platform to publicize as much as he can about the important benefits of medical cannabis, it might not be enough to help change the minds of other high rank honorables. With Big Pharma making the decisions to not use this helpful plant to help save lives, it should be up to patients and their doctors to make the best decision. It is now 2018 and we have made huge progress improvements but we really need to make a lot more as people’s lives really depend on it.