Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “I Am Doubling Down On Medical Marijuana”

by on March 14, 2014 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Health

sanjayguptaweedCannabis prohibition is a “Draconian system where politics override science”

By Paul Armentano / NORML

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is “doubling down” in his advocacy for patients to have legal access to cannabis as a therapeutic agent.

In a commentary featured on the CNN website today, Gupta writes: “I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana. I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”

Last August, Gupta authored a commentary apologizing for his past opposition to medical cannabis, stating, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States (in regards to cannabis), and I apologize for my own role in that.”

In today’s editorial, Gupta acknowledges, “Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, defined as (one of) the most dangerous drugs with no currently accepted medical use. Neither of those statements has ever been factual.”

He criticizes President Obama for acknowledging that cannabis poses less harm than alcohol while failing “to remove marijuana from the list of the most tightly controlled substances in the country.” Dr. Gupta also questions how the US government can possess a patent on the therapeutic application of cannabinoids yet still deny that the compounds possess medical utility.

Ultimately, cannabis prohibition is a “Draconian system where politics override science,” Gupta concludes.

Gupta’s forthcoming documentary on the plant, entitled “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports,” was shown on Tuesday, March 11.

Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and the co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink (Chelsea Green, 2009).

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar John Filthy March 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Welcome to the land of reason Sanjay. Even Conservative Stephen Harper has had to give in and start a federal production system in Canada. There are almost more medical marijuana states than non medical now. The federal government has been pumping billions into the fight to keep these lies alive. Especially in San Diego with the funding of groups like the San Diego Prevention Coalition and shills like Scott Chipman. Bonnie Dumanis will have to stop watching CNN now. If Dr Gupta was in San Diego she would probably try and launch a case against him.

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avatar Madeleine Garcelon March 15, 2014 at 1:19 am

I am a 64 (almost 65), year old woman. The first time I ever smoked Marijuana I was 13. I’ve had several surgeries Including a discectomy and a partial mlamenectomy(spelling)?. Any way I also was treated for hepatitis C with horrible side effects. I decided to dedicate one year on the rebatron therapy. Four pills in the am. & four in the pm. and a shot three times a week. Fortunately the viral load is undetectable now. I would lay on the couch for days, no energy, depressed, didn’t want to see anyone, and flu like symptoms the days I took the shot. So I smoked a little cannibus, all of a sudden I’d want to take a shower, go some place

see my family and wasn’t depressed. If that’s not a case for medical marijuana, I don’t know what is. It’s the only thing that kept me on the rebatron therapy for that whole fifty-two weeks, one whole year, that most likely wouldn’t of worked had I not dedicated that much time. I now have my medical card. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I only smoke cannibus occasionally. I applaud your fair and honest reporting on this very controversial subject. My husband did two tours in Vietnam, and was shot 5times in the stomach with an AK-47 on his 2ok0th birthday. He became a diabetic, eventually his kidneys failed, was on dialysis for 2 1/2 years, and then got a transplant June 11th 2005. He has severe PTSD and all the pills do NOT help. Cannibus does. He can smile then, it’s a complete turn around….I could tell you so many situations that are similar, but that would take to much space and time. Again…I applaud your honest research and reporting! Thank-you

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avatar John Filthy March 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Stories like Madeline’s and her husband’s are all too common. It’s a shame more people don’t get to learn about the benefits of medical cannabis until it’s a last resort.

If America was truly ‘the land of the free’ everyone who needed this medicine would have it, and have it cheap. Instead we have moral midgets like DA Bonnie Dumanis waste our taxpayer dollars on prosecutions even while her anti-marijuana crusade is collapsing all around her and the other liars.

Having worked for two years running a support group for medical cannabis users I have seen many lives changed. It is not just good for PTSD it is the most effective medicine. Cannabis slows emotional reactions and gives patients more time to process trauma. It works for military veterans, victims of assault, and survivors of abuse.

It is also the most effective medicine known for glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. It is more effective as a pain killer than opiates like Oxycontin in many cases. In the support group I worked with the biggest group of people using medical cannabis were people with severe pain, usually from traffic accidents, that had become addicted to oxy and desperately wanted off them. This type of addiction never happens with cannabis.

Another symptom that cannabis relieves is rage. For aged patients who are caretaking for a partner with Alzheimer’s or dementia it can be a life saver. As a medical cannabis provider I’ve had the opportunity to donate medicine to someone in this exact situation. This was a woman who had never smoked in her life and refused to start. We prepared a cannabis tincture for her to take orally instead.

Cannabis works orally but it takes about ten times the amount to have the same therapeutic effect. It is much more economical and easier to titrate your dose by smoking. The effects are immediate and you body can feel when the dose is sufficient.

Bonnie Dumanis and her ilk have criminalized compassion not marijuana and the nation is finally waking up.

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