Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dr. Sanjay Gupta Discovers Widely Available Research

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, has finally seen the light on medical marijuana.  In an article published today on, the good doctor goes all mea culpa and renounces his former anti-pot position, while also managing to make himself look like a complete schlemiel. 

To wit, the excuse Dr. Gupta gives for his former prohibitionist stance is that he took the government's word for it when they said pot was evil.  Seriously.  I'm not making that up.  Here is the good doctor, in his own words:
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."
Did this guy just fall off the turnip truck or what?

Back in 2009, with medical marijuana initiatives gaining ground in many states, Gupta wrote an article in TIME magazine titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot."  How did this renowned neurosurgeon and journalist come to the determination that pot has no medicinal use and shouldn't be legalized, even a little bit?  He just assumed that the DEA had some quality know...somewhere.

Meanwhile, NORML's (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) website has, for quite some time, had an entire page dedicated to actual scientific research into the medicinal benefits of marijuana (as well as the risks).  But the chief medical correspondent for one of our major news outlets couldn't be bothered to investigate the claims of MM proponents.  No, that's something an actual journalist would do. 

Now, Dr. Gupta has decided to actually research the issue, rather than just taking the DEA's word for it and he's found (surprise, surprise) that the DEA is full of shit.  While it is commendable that Dr. Gupta has admitted his mistake in this instance, one has to wonder how many other of the doctor's opinions are based on his "surely, they must have quality reasoning" line of thought.  At least CNN can rest assured that Gupta isn't running up his expense account doing a bunch of needless fact-checking.

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