Target: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN
Goal: Thank him for revising his stance on medical marijuana
In a recent column, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta apologized for inaccurate views he held on medical marijuana, or cannabis. Along with showing courage in admitting his views on the drug’s health benefits were in error, he may have helped move the national conversation in the process.
In a piece entitled “Why I changed my mind on weed,” Dr. Gupta stated that when doing research for a documentary on marijuana he came to the conclusion that his prior views were inaccurate. After talking with what he stated was a worldwide group including researchers and patients, he wrote “I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough…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.”
Medical cannabis is considered a powerful reliever of chronic pain but is controversial in the United States. Since 1970, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency has classified it a “schedule 1 substance” considered to be without medical use and highly addictive. However, newer research on marijuana openly challenges the basis for this status. Currently, 20 states have cannabis legalized for medical use, but a federal-level ban still exists.
Dr. Gupta’s reversal of his prior status comes at a time when a majority of the public is favor of legalization. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll revealed that 60 percent favored allowing doctors to prescribe the drug for medical use. The United States needs a new policy based on current research and not inaccurate assumptions from over forty years ago, and Dr. Gupta’s statement can only move the debate forward. By signing this petition, you will thank Dr. Gupta for revising his earlier stance on medical marijuana.
Dear Dr. Gupta,
I am writing to thank you for your recent apology about medical marijuana, and reversal of your prior stance. As you know, marijuana, or cannabis, is currently classified by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency as a “schedule 1 substance” considered to be without medical use and highly addictive. This current status goes against research noting that not only does cannabis have a low addiction rate, but has significant medical use as a chronic pain reliever.
You correctly noted in your recent column “Why I changed my mind on weed” that a very low percentage of U.S.-based studies explore medical applications, and that federal bans create significant hurdles to performing research in this area. The current situation in this country is confused at best, with 20 states allowing medical use but no legalization on the federal level.
As of this year, polls have found a majority of the American public supports legalization of marijuana including for medical use. The United States needs a new policy based on current research and the not inaccurate assumptions of over forty years ago. Thank you for your courage in apologizing for your prior views on medical marijuana, and for helping to move the national conversation forward.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dnd523 via Wikimedia Commons