Dr. Sanjay Gupta has added his voice to the ever-growing call for marijuana as medicine. CNN’s Emmy award-winning chief medical correspondent, who was considered for the post of Surgeon General by President Obama, wrote an article titled “Why I Would Vote No on Pot” for Time in 2009. He now says that he has reversed his position on medical pot, and endorses its use in an essay and an upcoming documentary.

Under the headline “Why I Changed My Mind on Weed,” Gupta writes for CNN.com: “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that ... I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough ... I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis.”

His opinion was formed after speaking to “medical leaders, experts, growers and patients” around the world. Gupta now believes medical marijuana does not have a high potential for abuse, and that there are very legitimate medical applications; in fact, he says, “Sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.” He believes, however, that young people should not use medical pot, stating, “Developing brains are likely more susceptible to harm from marijuana than adult brains.”

Gupta’s cautious but resounding endorsement of medical marijuana to treat cancer, neuropathic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder is a welcome addition to the ever-increasing number of experts who support the movement. He writes, “It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana.” How very true.

Gupta’s documentary Weed airs at 8 p.m., August 11th on CNN.

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