CNN's chief medical expert Sanjay Gupta announced Wednesday night that he has reversed his blanket opposition to marijuana use.
Speaking to Piers Morgan, Gupta, who has a documentary on weed airing on Sunday, said he had previously helped to "mislead" the American public about the effects of the drug.
"I have apologized for some of the earlier reporting because I think, you know, we've been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time," he said. "And I did part of that misleading."
He also wrote an op-ed called "Why I Changed My Mind On Weed." In it, he said that, while he had formerly derided medical marijuana supporters, he had done research that had shown him how beneficial it could be:
I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."
They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.
Gupta's dramatic intervention could prove influential in the ongoing debate about American drug policy; he is considered a prominent enough voice on medical issues that President Obama wanted to name him Surgeon General during his first term. (Gupta declined.)