It takes a mature person to admit one’s errors.
And he did it very publicly. (In case you don’t know, Sanjay Gupta M.D. is a neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent.) In the article at the CNN website (linked-to above and quoted-from below) you will find many links to other articles, including the one where he held his former stance.
Some people say Dr. Gupta had it easy, and it was not really a big deal for him to change his mind, after all, he’s a scientist and must stick to facts, that his career is not built on maintaining and pushing a grossly-oversimplified us vs. them — good guys vs. bad guys — world view. While I think that is one way to frame it, as a goad perhaps, to use around fence-sitters, I’ll try to focus on the main story: the MD who did his homework, humbled himself publicly, and seems aimed in the direction of helping to educate people, expose the myths of Prohibitionists, and look to promoting helpful research.
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.
Well, I am here to apologize.
I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough.
[In 1944, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia commissioned research to be performed by the New York Academy of Science. Among their conclusions: they found marijuana did not lead to significant addiction in the medical sense of the word. They also did not find any evidence marijuana led to morphine, heroin or cocaine addiction.]
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.
Looking forward, I am especially intrigued by studies like those in Spain and Israel looking at the anti-cancer effects of marijuana and its components. I’m intrigued by the neuro-protective study by Lev Meschoulam in Israel, and research in Israel and the United States on whether the drug might help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. I promise to do my part to help, genuinely and honestly, fill the remaining void in our knowledge.
So what’s up with this “Angels Sing” stuff? Read about Joy in Heaven.