Sanjay Gupta – I was wrong about pot

English: An ounce of Green Crack bought from a...
English: An ounce of Green Crack bought from a dispensary in California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Worth noting that the guy was almost Surgeon General of the U.S. He’s changed his mind on marijuana. He says he overestimated the harm and looks forward to more research on medical marijuana.


I didn’t read many conclusions in his piece, but I agree with the questions he’s asking.


As far as medical research goes, he didn’t address one issue that I think is very important–the delivery method. Smoking weed bought at a dispensary does not resemble medicine in the least. It seems a very important step is to come up with a good delivery system that delivers a reliable and known dose.



3 thoughts on “Sanjay Gupta – I was wrong about pot

  1. So, a couple comments:

    1) I agree that if we are talking about legitimate medical use of marijuana, for which I agree that such applications are documented, the current “card” and dispensary system is a joke.

    2) I agree with Dr. Gupta that the FDA and DEA did not apply science when categorizing marihuana as Schedule I, no documented medical benefit. That was something else, politics perhaps.

    3) back to point 1 above – the dispensary and card system are some halfway point between accepting legitimate medical use and a free for all for folks, particularly “kids” to get high. I suppose as far as harm goes, sure I see no more harm in the 18+ crowd smoking pot than drinking, but then lets not call it medical marijuana. Lets call it getting high with impunity.

    It is early and I hope I’m making sense. I’m not a Prohibitionist of any sort and I know that most people who experiment don’t become addicts. However I know that addiction is a function of heredity, exposure and time.

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful comments! I get the sense we’re on the same page on a lot of this. Here are my thoughts.

      First, there is no such things as a problem-free drug policy. So, coming up with the right policy means choosing which problems we’re least willing to live with and which ones we’re most willing to tolerate. These problems would include everything from restrictions on liberties, to mass commercialization and corporatization of the drug market, to mass incarceration, to addiction and use by children. Then, we build policies around these decisions/values.

      The other thought I have is that there is a vast distance between legalization and the drug war policies of the last couple of decades. It took decades of adding new policies for it to get as bad as it got. We could peel back many of these policies without legalizing. If I was given a magic wand, I might decriminalize possession of quantities consistent with personal use but keep sales and large quantities illegal while also getting rid of mandatory minimums (make greater use of fines and probation) and making drugs like marijuana a low priority for law enforcement. Possession of a relatively small number of plants would also be legal.

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