Sanjay Gupta Discusses Possibilities, Challenges of Medical Marijuana – Harvard Crimson

Dr. Sanjay Gupta at IOP

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN, spoke about the potential of medical marijuana during an Institute of Politics forum event on Wednesday evening. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Staci Gruber, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta discussed the possibilities and challenges in expanding medical marijuana at the Institute of Politics on Wednesday.

The John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum event, moderated by Harvard Medical School associate professor Staci A. Gruber, comes just two days after the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital announced a “landmark new program” examining medical marijuana. The program will “explore the potential impact of medical marijuana on cognition, brain structure and function,” according to the announcement, and was funded by a $500,000 gift from best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell.

Gupta started off the conversation by discussing his “about-face,” referring to the well-known 2013 CNN column in which he apologized for misrepresenting marijuana to the American public.

“I realized that I had in my own way probably dismissed many patients as malingers who were just trying to get stoned,” Gupta said. “And there are a lot of those people. But there are also a lot of very, very legitimate patients as well for whom not only I realized that medical marijuana was working for them, it was working for them when nothing else had.”

He discussed how he afterwards looked at the evidence and found a “very distorted picture” of marijuana in the medical world, with a disproportionate number of studies “designed to find harm.” Gupta highlighted the stigma around supporting medical marijuana as a major challenge limiting scientific research on the topic.

Gruber then shared a clip from Gupta’s documentary “Weed,” highlighting the story of Charlotte Figi, a five-year-old suffering from severe epilepsy. Charlotte and her family had tried several …read more