In recent years, several prominent doctors have come out in vocal support of medical marijuana. Their minds were changed by the scientific evidence and contact with those who were helped by the drug.
Although marijuana is still only legal in a few states, you can now visit a medical marijuana store in Portland, and in recent years, several prominent medical professionals who previously spoke out against the use of the drug reversed their position. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser and Dr. Mehmet Oz all have said they were mistaken in the past and that they now support medical marijuana.
In 2013, Gupta repudiated a 2009 article he wrote for “Time” magazine as well as other public statements he had made when he reported that he had not thoroughly examined the science, including the work being done by small laboratories outside of the United States. He also said that he had been misled by the drug’s Schedule 1 classification. Besser’s mind was changed in 2014 after he went to Colorado to report on the drug’s legalization there. In 2014, Oz also stated that he no longer opposed the use of medical marijuana and believed it to be beneficial.
All three celebrity doctors have reinforced their positions several times on their own shows, on others’ shows and in their writing online. Having such prominent advocates is particularly important as understanding and acceptance of medical marijuana continues to grow throughout the country.
In many cases, it is exposure to individuals who have been genuinely helped by medical marijuana that changes minds and makes people realize how safe and effective the drug can be. For example, Gupta cited the case of a child whose hundreds of seizures per week were reduced to only a few each month due to medical marijuana. Cases such as these personalize the issue and make people realize that legalizing medical marijuana is the compassionate and medically sound choice.
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