In advance of his special, Weed, which airs Sunday on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells Piers Morgan that he tried marijuana "a while ago" and "didn't particularly care for it."
The interview begins with Morgan stating: "I've made my stunning confession. I tried a bit of cannabis when I was younger. Have you tried it?"
Gupta: "I have tried it. It was a while ago. I didn't particularly care for it, actually. It made me kind of anxious. It wasn't a very pleasant feeling, I think. I've talked to a lot of people who had similar sort of experiences. But from a medicinal standpoint... right now it's in the category of the most dangerous substance in America…"
Morgan: "Which is ridiculous!"
Gupta: "The addiction is possibly real, about 9%. Put it in context: Cocaine is 20%. That's actually considered less dangerous than marijuana. Alcohol has a higher rate of addiction. Smoking - 30%! That leads to far more deaths than marijuana."
In a column posted at cnn.com, "Why I Changed My Mind About Weed," Gupts writes: "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. Instead, I lumped them with the high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high. I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency (sic) listed marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof... 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."
Gupta previously wrote a column for time.com in 2007 titled, "Why I Voted No on Pot."
Weed: Sanjay Gupta Reports aired on Aug. 11 on CNN.