It is nice to see medical/scientific professionals acting as the leaders of scientific investigation, even if there seems to be a decided economic payoff for his doing so. Yes, it is fantastic that Dr. Sanjay Gupta has decided to look at the marijuana- medicinal value or not conversation from a more enlightened stance.
He rightly points to the absurdity that marijuana is classified as a schedule I drug indicating that it has a high potential for abuse/addiction and also has zero redeeming quality as a medicine. Through his research, what he released to this point, it is interesting to note that when it was made schedule I there was a cavaet involving studying it further.
The way it was studied has much to do with the stigma. Dr. Gupta points out rightly that 94 percent of studies are looking into the harmful effects and only about 6 percent are looking into the beneficial treatments that may come out of marijuana as medicine.
I had done a paper for an English course stating a case for medical marijuana. There was a case of an Army wife with Multiple Sclerosis who simply could not stand or walk. Her suffering was that dramatic. She spoke of how smoking half a joint allowed her not only to stand, but to wash dishes and help around the house. I was sold at that point. Unfortunately they were harassed, expelled from the base, placing a hardship on the family. It was 1997 or 1998.
The list of applications is further than I had known. It appears effective with certain types of nerve pain, impingement and injury/surgery related. There has been no direct link to helping with diabetic nerve pain, though who knows, perhaps more studies will come to bear now that a mainstream respected physician is on board.
My favorite part of his whole article was his apology. Did someone just apologize in the 21st Century? Not just apologize, but to do so with more than just the terse words, Dr. Gupta has my support.
“Well, I am here to apologize.
I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough, until now. 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.”
For that Army wife and everyone who comes after her who will benefit from an open, scientific approach to research I thank you Dr. Gupta. If the research shows limited usefulness, then apply guidelines appropriately, but it appears honest science may not be dead.
P.S. Yes, you did sell a viewing of your Doc when it becomes available.