Dr. Sanjay Gupta Retracts Previous Marijuana Diss

    August 13, 2013
    Courtney Wills
    Comments are off for this post.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent, neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, had previously been one of medical marijuana’s most staunch critics. Dr. Gupta now says that he often discredited medicinal uses for the drug because he had seen more evidence of negative outcomes of patients using it than he saw positive ones.

Now, Dr. Gupta is retracting those previous statements, saying, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”

Well played, Dr. Gupta. One of the first thoughts that come to mind (at least for us cynics) is that Dr. Gupta has merely political reasons for now changing his stance in support of medical marijuana; however, delving deeper into his research leaves one thinking that he just may have changed his opinion because he is a good, true physician – listening to patients and actually hearing what they are saying.

Dr. Gupta (by his own admission) had previously based all of his thoughts on the subject on large-scale American research. He cited these findings as “unimpressive,” in the way of support for medicinal marijuana. However, after doing studies on research in other countries, as well as some smaller American clinics, he did a complete 180 on the subject. While shooting a CNN documentary, “Weed,” on medical marijuana, he was able to talk to physicians, as well as patients, who had seen no relief from ailments until they prescribed (or began) a medical marijuana regimen.

Dr. Gupta first began to change his mind after meeting with the family of a little girl whose severe epilepsy has all but vanished from the use of medical marijuana. Charlotte Figi, at age 3, began having such debilitating seizures that she sometimes experienced more than 300 in a single month. By the time her desperate family began her on a medical marijuana regimen, she was on seven different medications to prevent the epileptic seizures that were still plaguing her. After trading her various medications for marijuana, Charlotte’s seizures decreased to less than three a month.

Obviously, that is some serious evidence.

Charlotte’s case is only one out of many that Dr. Gupta saw first hand while doing research, visiting patients and clinics from all over.

He also says now that he was almost entirely basing his decision and opinion on the fact that marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 substance here in the U.S., which means it is categorized as being one of the most dangerous and often-abused drugs around. Dr. Gupta now believes that this an old-fashioned and outdated notion, and that the substance is neither dangerous or overly abused.

A poll done by the Pew Research Center in March 2013 had some astounding findings to report: 52% of Americans now say that they believe marijuana should be legalized. What’s more, 72% would agree that the enforcement of laws prohibiting marijuana use do more harm than good, “costing more than they are worth.” And lastly, maybe the most surprising, is that nearly 3 out of 4 Americans (yes, as in, 75%!) would agree that marijuana have real, justifiable reasons for being used (medicinally.)

I’m not sure about any of you, but I was astounded at these figures and thoroughly impressed with Dr. Gupta by the end of my research, for his thorough and discerning inquiry into the subject, as well as his public retraction of his previous opinion.


For all of the suffering patients out there, I truly hope that Dr. Gupta’s knowledgeable voice will garner a new look and perspective on the subject by our government officials and lawmakers. Perhaps medicinal marijuana being legalized in all states would be a medical miracle; anyone can agree that there is more suffering in America (possibly the greatest nation in the world) than there needs to be, especially if we already have one antidote that could relieve many.

  • camilla nigro

    pot should be legal for political medical and legal reasons…we spend so much money in maintain people in jail, over crimes linked to pot that v no reason to exist..it penalizes minorities and women majorly…marijuana s not that dangerous in terms of ‘clinical” and cognitive reactions…drinx and pills r way more dangerous on the liver and the brain….I am a medical professional and I believe into experience different things in order to b able to understand their pro/versus effects..pot is ok..it s natural and it sure has relaxing like effects , better than alprazolam could have on an serious anxiety patient. I believe into legalization and I believe that pills should b prescribed in lower doses, if not banned.. People are scared of pot as much as same sex marriages..it is an other political battle and I thank you as a clinician to support it.
    thank you again.
    a collegue

  • Albert Johnson

    I am a 57 year old gentleman who was unfortunate enough to break both hips, at different times. Diagnosed and treated for colon cancer. The treatment of which included radiation and chemo. I didn’t loose my hair, but the chemo made me very ill and nauseas which required additional drugs and their side affects. The radiation gave me third degree burns right in tionable area. After going through this I then had to have a 12 hour surgery, and because of the location of the cancer the surgery also included a colostomy bag. I didn’t know pain and suffering until going through this.

    Because of these illnesses I was forced to retire three years ago. I was also left with severe chronic pain and anxiety, which requires additional drugs. Did I mention side effects.

    Out of desperation and the fear of losing my job no a factor I decided, legal or not in Texas, I would give marijuana a try. Before preceding let me say I was one of the idiots against legalization of marijuana. I am now a true believer, as the marijuana allows me to significantly reduce the need for all the other drugs as well as no longer require some of the drugs altogether. My quality of life was significant; in fact I went from wishing for death to an almost normal life again.

    I say almost because of the problems associated with marijuana being illegal. I am always scared to death of being arrested, I never know what I am purchasing, which means I never know if what I purchase will work or not which is expensive and very frustrating. In closing Texas please let’s put an end to this farce and allow those who can benefit from medical marijuana do so. Please let’s stop making people suffer needlessly.

  • http://lenrichmondfilms.com Len Richmond films



    FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST “I recommend an excellent documentary film, ‘WHAT IF CANNABIS CURED CANCER,” by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years about the cancer-protective effects of novel compounds in marijuana. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment.”- ANDREW WEIL, M.D.

    Using original and archival footage,”WHAT IF CANNABIS CURED CANCER” presents highly convincing evidence that this forbidden herb has healing properties beyond any other plant on the planet.

    Film Website: http://lenrichmondfilms.com/

    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/What-if-Cannabis-Cured-Cancer-Official-Site/125858817470315

    On Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/What-If-Cannabis-Cured-Cancer/dp/B003SSBSQQ