Sanjay Gupta has been CNN's go-to "health guy" for years, but people tend to not treat him like a doctor who makes his bones on TV. He actually knows his shit. He was offered the United States surgeon general job in 2009. He's still a chief of neurosurgery at Atlanta's largest hospital. And he generally doesn't endorse pseudoscience crap like other TV guys who are trying to pull in ratings.
So when Gupta announces he's made a complete 180 on medical marijuana legalization, it's a pretty stunning development. Gupta made that call last night on Piers Morgan, adding, “I think we have been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time, and I did part of that misleading." He explained that he's spent the last year working on a documentary, called Weed, which exposed him to how pot has helped in medical cases in ways prescription pills can't.
The tides are changing. Our president—despite his FDA crackdowns—was a pothead in high school. 52% of all adults now favor legalization, up 10% from just three years ago. Nearly half of all adults claim to have tried it. And lobbying groups expect, in 2016, five more states to join Colorado and Washington in passing measures that regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Gupta, possibly the nation's most respected doctor, is part of this wave. It's all kind of crazy to see that it's happening so quickly.