NEW YORK: Dr. Sanjay Gupta—the “Dr. Phil of actual licensed physicians”—published something of an amazing public-relations coup on CNN.com.
In anticipation of the forthcoming Gupta-spearheaded documentary Weed, the telegenic neurosurgeon wrote an astounding piece praising the benefits of medical marijuana. Contrary to the claims of the Drug Enforcement Administration, pot, classified as a substance with a “high potential for abuse,” instead leads “to dependence in around 9 to 10% of its adult users,” Gupta writes. “By comparison, cocaine, a schedule 2 substance ‘with less abuse potential than schedule [one] drugs [such as marijuana]’ hooks 20% of those who use it.”
Note that drugs such as mushrooms and acid are categorized asno-schedule due to a high incidence of users of wandering around outside and not realizing what time it is.
While observing of groups as divergent as cancer patients, soldiers battling P.T.S.D., those who suffer from chronic pain, and people who have debilitating seizures, Gupta studied the physical and emotional benefits of marijuana. He even apologized in the piece for declining to do his own research on medical marijuana before coming to the conclusion, in 2009, that it should remain illegal:
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. . . We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.
Happily for Gupta, marijuana users are historically a forgiving bunch. No worries, man, it’s all good.