CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta gave the medical marijuana industry another shot in the arm Thursday, saying the United States needs to have a “revolution” concerning the medical use of cannabis “and should do it now.”
Gupta cited anecdotal evidence that says cannabis is beneficial for people suffering from diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy. He also pointed to studies showing that the public’s acceptance of MMJ has jumped in the past few decades.
Two senators with whom he spoke – Kirsten Gillibrand, a democrat from New York, and Cory Booker, a democrat from New Jersey – both said they wanted marijuana to be rescheduled from a Schedule I drug, have it prescribed by Veterans Administration doctors and free up research dollars for studies on the plant.
“They want their fellow lawmakers at the state and national level to acknowledge what most of the world, including the citizens of the United States, have known for a long time: Marijuana is a medicine, that should be studied and treated like any other medicine,” he said. “And they want all of it now.”
In 2013, Gupta apologized for his prior dismissal of medical marijuana, saying it has legitimate uses for people with certain ailments. He said then that his change of heart came after researching CNN’s documentary “Weed.” He’s now promoting “Weed 3,” which will air on the network Sunday.
His comments were a boon to the medical marijuana industry because of the media hype surrounding his remarks, which launched larger conversations about the issue and helped further legitimize MMJ.