By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
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," at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11.