Sanjay Gupta: ‘I Was Wrong On Pot, Sorry America’ [Video]

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has issued a marijuana mea culpa, changing position on the medical benefits and possible harmful effects of pot.

Gupta announced his new medical marijuana stance in an article and will be premiering a new documentary called “Weed.” Dr. Sanjay admits the title sounds cavalier, but the stakes for medical marijuana are anything but.

Gupta fully admits to being wrong and apologizes for any hand he had in suggesting that marijuana has no medical benefit or a high potential for abuse. Becoming one of the latest vocal members of what NARAL calls the “marijuana majority,” Gupta explains how in a few short years he went from pot skeptic to marijuana advocate.

The TV doc cites the government’s assertion that pot has “no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse,” explaining that he now realizes “[t]hey 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… it doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications.”

As recently as 2009, Gupta penned an anti-marijuana op-ed for TIME, but he prefaces the above remarks by saying:

“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.”

Gupta adds:

“[I’ve] come to the realization that it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana… We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”

You can read Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s full marijuana essay on CNN, and Weed will air August 11 at 8 PM on the network.