CNN’s Sanjay Gupta: ‘I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down’

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, March 7, 2014 17:28 EDT
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Sanjay Gupta on CNN (Screenshot)
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CNN medical contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta reaffirmed his support for medical marijuana in a column published on Thursday, saying he had done more reporting into the benefits of cannabis treatment for patients.

“I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care that often may involve marijuana,” Gupta wrote. “I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”

The column was published in advance of an extended report set to air Tuesday night, in which Gupta said he had spoken not only to patients, but medical professionals and legislators. He said he had shown footage from the report to lawmakers in Georgia, where the state House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing the drug for medical use nearly unanimously on Tuesday.

He also criticized federal officials for refusing to remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs, saying interview requests with the Food and Drug Administration went unanswered.

“Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, defined as ‘the most dangerous’ drugs ‘with no currently accepted medical use,’” Gupta wrote. “Neither of those statements has ever been factual. Even many of the most ardent critics of medical marijuana don’t agree with the Schedule I classification, knowing how it’s impeded the ability to conduct needed research on the plant.”

Gupta publicly reversed his stance on medical marijuana in August 2013, criticizing the government for refusing to explore its benefits for patients while holding a patent for it.

Watch a preview for Gupta’s follow-up report, as posted by CNN on Thursday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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