93% say Dr. Gupta is right about marijuana. How about you?

sanjaygupta_weedDr. Sanjay Gupta made major news when he came out with his “Weed” documentary and publicly took a stance, openly refuting what he and many others before him have said about marijuana. He acknowledged that he too had been fooled, that he too had believed the lies, and the endless barrage of marijuana propaganda. It could be we all have at some point.

Surprise! It looks like a whole lot of people agree with Dr. Gupta. US News and World Report is conducting a survey, attached at the end of “Is Sanjay Gupta Right About Medical Marijuana?” And so far, people are responding with an overwhelming “Yes.” They have no doubt Dr. Gupta is right. The numbers tend to fluctuate since the survey is ongoing, but as of this writing, 93.28% say yes, Dr. Gupta was right; 6.72% say he was wrong. The other thing that probably should be mentioned is that US News and World Report is a conservative leaning publication, as is the article.

None of this is to direct blame at anyone for believing the lies. For many years we have all been inundated with deliberate marijuana propaganda and misinformation. It is however time to correct the lies, to dig a little deeper for the truth; and way past time to start making right on some of the damages that those lies have done.

Dr. Gupta admitted that it took a while for him to comprehend that there was more going on with the weed issue than he realized. He knew that he was going to have to dig a whole lot deeper to get to the truth. When he got to that point, and that realization, his confession was very public. He wanted the world to know and understand the wrong that continues to this day.

I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. I didn’t look far enough. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.

Instead, I lumped them with the high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high. 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. (Gupta, 2013)

Although I have been in favor of ending the War on Drugs for a long time, it wasn’t until recently that I really started to grasp the level of what marijuana prohibition had done to the people in this country. That was when I really started to grasp marijuana prohibition as a much bigger medical and health care issue, not just a stoner issue.

Despite the propaganda, prohibitions, and DEA rampages, even at the Federal level, there is no agreement that the prohibition of medical marijuana is in the best interest of the citizens of this country. According to former US Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders MD:

The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by illnesses like multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS—or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day. (ProCon.org)

From where it started to where we are today, there has been a whole lot of misinformation deliberately spun to keep us in a certain mindset regarding marijuana and the War on Drugs. At this point, I question the whole thing.

Dr. Gupta definitely got some attention when he set out to start correcting some of these misspeaks, to call the lies out for what they are. He got a whole lot of people talking, and thinking, and that was exactly what he intended to do.

For those who have already been working toward change, it was some level of vindication. A louder, more authoritative voice to affirm, yes, these “stoner weed-head hippies” are right. They have been right all along.

Nevertheless, it is not a victory until the war is over. It was never just about the stoners — not really. The wrongs done by marijuana prohibition go a whole lot deeper and have affected a whole lot more people than we are perhaps ready to acknowledge. Sometimes truth really is a bitter pill.

What do you think? Did you see Dr. Gupta’s “Weed” documentary?  If so, what do you think about his apology? Will it make a difference?

Regina Garson

Raised in the hill country of central Alabama, Regina Garson has degrees in Behavioral Science, Communications, and English. A long time writer, editor and activist, her career has involved both the social and the hard sciences. She has devoted her efforts to a number of causes including the War on Drugs, equality issues: race/diversity/women, labor and workplace issues, NASA, STEM education, and space development. She is founder and publisher of MagicStream.org, which is among the earliest self-help and wellness sites on the Internet. She also publishes a blog, where you can read more of her writing: Regina Garson's Blog. Follow her on Twitter @ReginaGarson, like her on Facebook, and read more of her articles in the archives.


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