It’s the Sanjay Gupta show!

For those of you who have been asleep the past couple of days, one of the big pieces of news is that television doctor Sanjay Gupta has publicly apologized for his previous position on marijuana (video below) and now has come out with a strong statement that we have been misled and marijuana is, in fact, a legitimate medicine.

Some of you may say “Why should we care?” After all, we already know this stuff and we don’t need Sanjay’s validation. Sure, it’s nice that he actually dug into it and learned some more and was willing to have his preconceptions challenged, but how does that change anything really?

The answer is that there are millions of people in this country who never do their own research on drug policy, and whose entire perception of the world is from television “news.” When their television doctor tells them that he was wrong and he’s now discovered the facts – that marijuana is a good thing – well, that’s going to stick with them.

It’s another element in the tipping point.

Sanjay Gupta has put together a documentary on the subject called “Weed,” which airs Sunday at 8 pm Eastern, 7 pm Central on CNN. In this article, he talks about the documentary and his conversion. It sounds pretty interesting – hope it gets a lot of viewers.

Here’s the video of him apologizing on TV.

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21 Responses to It’s the Sanjay Gupta show!

  1. darkcycle says:

    Sorry to just bolt straight off topic, but Senator Leahy has blocked the Merida money:

    • claygooding says:

      Leahy is one of the prohibition stalwarts in congress,,if he is blocking funding to Mexico something is going to happen.

  2. claygooding says:

    Pete,,NBC had a “medical marijuana” news story yesterday following Guptka’s interview with Piers Morgan. Now I am scanning the news networks too see if FOX and others jump on board with news stories about obvious health issues treated by cannabis.

    I saw Raldey Balco on Morning Joe discussing his book “Rise of the Warrior Cop” early this AM while I was rolling breakfast.

  3. Krymsun says:

    Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical expert (who was named Forbes #8 Most Influential Celebrity in 2011), wrote an op-ed called “Why I Changed My Mind On Weed” in which he states, “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. I think, you know, we’ve been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time.. ”

    Gupta’s dramatic intervention could prove influential in the ongoing debate about American drug policy; he is considered a prominent enough voice on medical issues that President Obama wanted to name him Surgeon General during his first term. (Gupta declined.)

    Prohibitionists may still hope legalization has a snowball’s chance in hell.. but while bad, America isn’t hell, and legal cannabis’ resurgence is snowballing. Would you rather get behind and push for it, or be in the way of the eventual avalanche?

  4. Servetus says:

    Krysten Guinn has a piece at Alternet:

    “In Switzerland, Marijuana Use Helps Keep Prisons Calm and Safe: The Swiss prison guards agree that marijuana use among inmates is a good thing ”

    A recent study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy estimates that 50 to 80 percent of inmates in Swiss prisons use marijuana. Prison staff told researchers they found marijuana to be a relatively safe drug and that cracking down on consumption would have more negative effects than positive ones.

    The same attitude toward cannabis in prisons is also found in Spain.

    • Viggo Piggsko Flatmark says:

      They had the same experience in a Danish prison, read that the guards looked the other way when it came to hash/cannabis. (can’t find the link to the story)

  5. Pingback: Conspiracy News! | It’s the Sanjay Gupta show! – Drug WarRant

  6. John says:

    I can’t wait ’till Dr. Sanjay comes to the realization that there are many other compounds in Schedule One that the DEA has been lying to him about too!

  7. claygooding says:

    Action ALERT!!!!

    Tell your congressman to watch Weed show Sunday night.

    Ahead of a widely publicized CNN documentary on medical marijuana this Sunday at 8pm ET, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has spoken out on the news magazine circuit to humbly apologize for misleading the American public on the issue. Calling the federal government’s policy on medical marijuana “hypocritical,” Dr. Gupta interviews physicians and medical marijuana patients, and even travels to Israel in order to let the public know about this important therapy.

  8. DdC says:

    I started a thread on Gupta.
    Sanjay Gupta

  9. Howard says:

    “Sure, it’s nice that he actually dug into it and learned some more and was willing to have his preconceptions challenged, but how does that change anything really?”

    This is what I’ve been wondering the last couple of days. Will the views of a celebrity doctor really change things? Or will government prohibitionists, fortified behind their formidable garrison, just shrug this off as another minor offensive? Of particular note is that Dr. Gupta is specifically calling out the DEA for terribly and systematically misleading in this country for some time. That is a very serious (and accurate) charge. Will DEA Chief Administrator Michele Leonhart feel compelled — or be forced — to respond? In the past she has had a habit of blithely deflecting responsibility by stating, “We [the DEA] enforce the laws, congress writes them.” And the onus is not just on the DEA. By extension, other government agencies that should also be called out for willfully misleading the public regarding cannabis include the ONDCP and the NIDA among others. Going further, the tentacles should continue to spread to any and all congressmen and woman who are particular champions of these institutions. After all, those people have been complicit in willfully misleading the public for decades as well.

    I guess we’ll find out more once Dr. Gupta’s documentary airs on Sunday. But whatever that show reveals, “willfully misleading the public for decades” should be one giant stink bomb that doesn’t dissipate any time soon.

  10. DdC says:

    Just another brick in the wall. Someone slipped him a mickey because we all know only Ganja tokers advocate the health benefits of Ganja. That is a better indicator than piss tasting. Barthwell and Bayer have it covered and Budgeizer and Hiram Walker Boosh for recreational purposes. Everybody knows the only reason people smoke pot is to legalize Hemp and remove conservatives from their jobs in the fossil fool industry, big dope and big ag. Plus them liberals and their media hate cops. Even the drug worriers like Sabotage must be smoking it to say users shouldn’t go to prison but legalizing is too far? Who do they get their money from. certainly not the Koch’s with an attitude like that. Must have mixed some into his GOP oatmeal, the only logical conclusion.

  11. strayan says:

    Well we got exactly the arguement we have come to expect from the prohibitionist i.e. ‘we can’t legalise a third drug!!!’

    What confused minds they have. Even the host could see that.

    • allan says:

      yeah, that’s an interesting disconnect. Alcohol, a drug with effects problematic in family and community severe enough to once be banned in the US, now has a monopoly. WTF?

      The point Dr G makes about being lied to by the DEA needs to be spread like… pot seeds! We shall indeed reap that which we sow.

      Dissent is beautiful when blooming.

      Ban Prohibition Now

  12. Dante says:

    Well, I hate it. It shows a lack of respect.

    I hate that the message is ignored until one of the establishment finally parrots our talking points.

    Like that FedEx commercial where two guys say the same thing, but everybody listened to the guy in the suit who waves his hands in a cool way.

    No respect.

  13. Marc says:

    So is he even in favor of full legalization, or just medical? If it’s just medical, does that mean that we are going to hear another apology in 4 years?

    • B. Snow says:

      I don’t think he’s specifically said that yet, but the actual documentary hasn’t aired yet – that will be tomorrow evening – so far we have a few 3-5 min blurbs from various TV appearances promoting the upcoming Documentary… which He started doing back in June.

      But, he seems to be okay with it for adults (he kinda goes with this notion that people’s brains aren’t fully developed until they’re 25 or so. He has mentioned he would suggest his kids wait until then before trying it – but I doubt he’d argue with a 21 age limit.

      He specifically addresses the B.S. lie of classifying it as a Schedule I controlled substance. And when asked he’s pointed out that it’s less harmful than both alcohol, tobacco, and of course heroin, etc.

      He notes that the chance of “addiction” or “dependence” is about 9% – In some appearances/columns he’s made a distinct difference between the two = pointing out that whatever you call it – the “withdrawal” from cannabis is fairly mild & nothing remotely life-threatening. Unlike withdrawal from say, alcohol – which for many alcoholics is both severe and quite possibly lethal.

      I’d say we’ll know more by tomorrow, but as a Doctor – I doubt he’s going to do a full 180′ AND support full legalization – at least not as a proponent of legalization. But, he does mention he couldn’t find a single documented case of an overdose from cannabis.

      As a neurosurgeon, If it were up to him he’d probably suggest people not drink or do anything that effects the brain until their mid-twenties (I’m pretty sure he already has) but that’s not exactly at issue here.

      Age 21 is legal adulthood. So regardless of his previous/separate studies/findings/opinions about peoples’ brains not being fully developed until later than previously thought, I suspect he’d actually go for the not so new idea of using cannabis as a ‘reverse-gateway drug’ & I suspect he’d say we shouldn’t be locking people up for using it…

      So, I’m guessing and would bet on a non-committal *yes* for legalization from him – toward the end of the full documentary – and he would certainly want to see Non-NIDA=Negative-only research done on cannabis before he goes on the record for full legalization.

      Actually as a doctor (and a brain surgeon at that), he’s probably not going suggest ANY use of recreational drugs/substances…. But if people are going to use *something* I suspect he’d (generally) suggest this is the least harmful choice of the substances available.

      • Windy says:

        Hubby and I were 27 and 28 when we first started using cannabis, we would probably have started earlier had we been exposed to it earlier.

  14. Duncan20903 says:


    IMO this is the most stunning defection in the history of cannabis law reform. The only comparable event in my memory was the day in 2006 when Dr. Donald Tashkin got moved to the ONDCP shit list. Yes, I do think that Dr. Tashkin’s defection was much more substantial but that the substance is only known to the informed. Dr. Gupta is much more well known by the casual observer. It’s nothing to argue about though, we’ve got both of them now.

    Any chance Dr. Drewski might join the party? Right now he colors himself confused. I’ve heard him say a lot of bullshit, but never would I have described his position as anything but sure of himself regardless of how wrong he is.

  15. primus says:

    Perhaps after the show airs tomorrow night, the public response develops and once he notes the way the winds are blowing, he will also have a maturation in his thinking. In the meantime, he is non-committal. Makes sense from a personal point of view. He doesn’t have the benefit of Gupta’s research and hasn’t yet seen the show, so he is taking the safe position.

  16. Viral/thud/on/location says:

    After his article appeared Thursday, Gupta said he received calls and e-mails from people from all walks of life who were grateful he started the conversation.
    Doctors, judges, politicians and clergy got in touch to thank him for speaking up. And of course, he’s had to put up with a lot of pot jokes. But he called it an important message more people need to hear.
    “I guess I’ve tapped into something that hit at the right time,” Gupta said. “That, or it was a really slow news day.”

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