A desire for policy change has always been implicit in that support. But in an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post on Friday, CNN’s chief medical correspondent called for full-scale federal legalization of medical marijuana in no uncertain terms.
“In terms of making this legal for medicinal purposes — yes, and there are both very pragmatic reasons and more subjective reasons for that,” Gupta said.
He added that federal legalization of medical cannabis should happen if for no other reason than to address the “ridiculousness of the refugee situation” in Colorado.
“This refugee situation that is developing, I thought it would be a bit apocryphal, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being led down some false path — but I met with these families and it is real,” Gupta said of the hundreds of families who have uprooted themselves and moved to Colorado to take advantage of the state’s permissive medical marijuana laws. The patients who move to Colorado feel compelled to stay because using their medicine across state lines could land them in prison.
“Are you really going to arrest a person for taking their medicine back to their state?” Gupta said. “This is not the society that I think most people would think we are and yet it’s absolutely happening. It’s heartbreaking.”