But there is also a clutch of extraordinary individuals who, when confronted with real evidence about the cannabis plant’s therapeutic potential, have done a 180-degree turn, transforming themselves from herb hater to cannabis campaigner.
1. The Doctor
Dr Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, is perhaps the most high-profile cannabis critic to come out in favour of the plant.
After years opposing cannabis legalization, he made a startling apology in an article titled “Why I changed my mind about weed” where he admits that we “have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”
So what had happened in the meantime?
Well, Dr. Gupta had embarked on a now infamous documentary called Weed in which he met the likes of Charlotte Figi, the little girl with the rare epileptic condition Dravet Syndrome who suffered up to 300 seizures a day. After taking a high strength CBD oil, Charlotte’s seizures reduced to almost zero, calling into question Dr. Gupta’s previously held belief that cannabis had no therapeutic use.
Now Dr. Gupta is perhaps one of the most well-known cannabis advocates in the medical profession, and there is even a strain of marijuana named in his honour.
2. The DEA Spokesperson
Belita Nelson, DEA spokesperson from 1994-2008, is now a medical cannabis advocate focusing on the treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players.
She describes how right from the start she knew that the DEA position was a lie.
“Marijuana is safe, we know it is safe. It’s our cash cow and we will never give up,” she claims she was told on entering the agency by education coordinator Paul…