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Dr. Sanjay Gupta, one of the most visible and popular medical doctors in the United States, a popular face on television, has just announced that up to now he’s been wrong about marijuana. He’s discovered that marijuana isn’t the terrible destructive drug he had previously said it was. And now he has a CNN special, called “Weed,”to explain why he’s changed his mind.
Back in 2009 Dr. Gupta wrote in Time magazine about the perils of marijuana. Back then he opposed prescribing marijuana even for severe medical problems where it would have provided relief. Because back then he was being misled. But it turns out that Dr. Gupta recently did some research on the subject. Better late than never.
Well, he didn’t actually do the research, but he read a lot of articles and medical papers about it by others who did the research, and it turns out he had been misled. He doesn’t say so, but we think maybe he also researched the election returns and discovered that public opinion and laws about usage of marijuana have begun to change and some states have already legalized the weed.
Writing on CNN.com on August 8, 2013, he said, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that. “
That’s a very interesting sentence. When Dr. Gupta says “we” he seems to be including himself among the people who have been mislead, but in the second half of the sentence he apologizes “for my own role in that.” For his own role in what? His role in being misled? Being misled doesn’t require an apology unless, of course, you were willfully blind to all the easily available articles giving an alternative view of marijuana. Maybe he’s apologizing for his role in misleading us. Because he did mislead.
We can’t judge Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s smarts as a doctor, but we do know he’s a media savvy TV personality. We find it hard to believe that this highly educated doctor, who is himself part of our popular culture, didn’t know the other side of the marijuana story. In his article on CNN.com he says, “I hope this article and upcoming documentary will help set the record straight.” We hope so, too.