Known for his CNN’s multiple Emmy Award-winning weekend health program, Sanjay Gupta tweeted on Tuesday a letter addressing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about how he changed his mind about marijuana.
“I feel obligated to share the results of my five-year-long investigation into the medical benefits of the cannabis plant,” Gupta, who serves as associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, wrote.
Gupta continued: “Not only can cannabis work for a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and pain, sometimes, it is the only thing that works.
“I changed my mind, and I am certain you can, as well.”
Sessions began a clampdown on legal marijuana operations in the U.S. in early January soon after California became on Jan. 1 the biggest state to legalize recreational cannabis.
The neurosurgeon urged Sessions that “it is time for safe and regulated medical marijuana to be made available nationally.”
In another tweet, Gupta wrote that “more than 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses,” adding “Could medical marijuana be a solution to this unprecedented epidemic? Weed 4: Pot vs. Pills” premieres Sunday night at 8pET on @CNN.”
Airing an episode on CNN if marijuana could possibly be an alternative to opioid-based pills to mitigate pain is almost unprecedented, and signals cannabis gaining credibility and gradually squashing its stigma in mainstream media.
Latest Prominent Figure to Back Cannabis
Gupta, meanwhile, is the latest U.S. personality to express his change of heart on marijuana. On Thursday, the prominent U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced that he will introduce a bill aimed at removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act altogether.
Schumer, is a Democratic Senate Minority Leader, was an avid marijuana opponent. His announcement is showing another sign that the U.S. political establishment is slowing changing is the stance on cannabis.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. (File image via AP)
Before Schumer, former U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner made headlines when he announced that his “thinking on cannabis has evolved,” and that he will be heading an advisory board of a pot company.
The Republican Boehner, who resigned from Congress in 2015 after serving as Speaker for four years, was a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization. In 2009, Boehner said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, Bloomberg reported.