Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Transcript: Jesse Ventura's America
Posted by CN Staff on December 16, 2003 at 08:24:27 PT
Jesse Ventura - Should Marijuana Be Legalized? 
Source: MSNBC 

cannabisnews.com JESSE VENTURA, HOST: Imagine an alien suddenly dropped into the 21st century America. He goes to a Monday night football game and witnesses thousands of people guzzling a liquid refreshment as fast as vendors can supply it. Observing the spectacle of the game itself, the alien is constantly distracted by fans whose behavior seems to become more and more bizarre. He watches as fights break out between half-naked fans with painted bodies.

By the end of the contest, on the playing field, he notes that most of the people around him seem to have lost their ability to walk and for some reason, their speech has changed. Words are less audible. They seem to be talking in slow motion. Once the game is over, he watches the fans stumbling toward their cars, cursing and threatening other fans.

Clearly, the alien observes, something has caused these fans to have a mind-altering experience. But whatever is going on, it seems to be acceptable behavior for this society, because all the while, many police officers observe the behavior, but remain at a distance and don't interfere.

The next day, the alien attends a lecture on a college campus. After the lecture, he's invited by some students to a party. At the party, students are sitting around drawing smoke from a bottle-like structure with water in it. The smoke is inhaled into their bodies, the conversation is friendly, calm and respectful, and music is playing in the background. But all of a sudden, many police officers arrive with guns, grab the water-filled bottle, put handcuffs on everyone in the room, and take them off to jail. The alien is totally confused.

Welcome to the United States of America, the land of hypocrisy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VENTURA: It's time to do it.

How simple can it get?

I'm sure I'll get plenty of heat over that, but so what?

You may not always want to hear it, but you will get honesty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VENTURA: Welcome to JESSE VENTURA'S AMERICA, the show that isn't afraid to tackle tough issues and take, maybe, sometimes unpopular stands.

As you can see, free Tommy. I'll get to that later. First I want to welcome our audience. Our audience is made up from people from all walks of life. They're not pundits. They're real people. They are not politicians, they're common ordinary citizens. Audience, get ready, because we're going to talk about a very emotional issue.

Drugs have been a serious problem for many individuals and for our country as a whole. But are we making any headway? We'll talk with critics of the war on drugs and we'll talk with the representative of the federal Office of Drug Control Policy. And be assured, we'll be asking a few tough questions.

Our first guest is Robert Kampia, probably the most ardent spokesperson for ending the war on marijuana users in America. Rob is executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington, D.C. Rob, give us a little background. What is the Marijuana Project, Rob?

ROB KAMPIA, MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: We're a national organization. We have dues-paying membership across the country, a staff of 21 people in D.C. who are working to end the federal government's war on marijuana users. And we do that primarily through lobbying state legislatures, running ballot initiatives and lobbying Congress directly.

VENTURA: Rob, do you think there's any chance in hell that they're going to relax their laws on marijuana and make it legal? Do you believe that?

KAMPIA: Absolutely. You know ...

VENTURA: What indications are you being given ...

KAMPIA: We have ...

VENTURA: ... that they are going in that direction?

KAMPIA: Well, on the medical marijuana front, which we, you know, keep separate from the full issue of regulating marijuana, like alcohol, medical marijuana, we win every battle. There's been seven ballot initiatives, all seven have passed. Medical marijuana is now legal in eight states.

VENTURA: But -- can I interject? You're saying you're winning but the feds come in and overrule the states.

KAMPIA: No.

VENTURA: And they tell -- they tell the states, no, you can't do this. We're going to imprison doctors. That's not happening?

KAMPIA: No, the feds go in and they shut down wide-scale large medical marijuana distributors. And those are not really legal under state law any way. But they're not touching the core of these laws, which is that it allows patients to grow their own and to use medical marijuana in the privacy of their home. Those laws are standing and they are working well.

VENTURA: You know, Rob, you hear this talk all the time that well, we don't dare legalize marijuana because it is the gateway drug. Everyone starts with marijuana, and then will progress to cocaine and eventually, get on heroin and what we would call the hardcore drugs. Do you find that as factual or fraudulent?

KAMPIA: It's fraudulent. You know, the Institute of Medicine issued a study four years ago, which was actually commissioned by the White House drug czar's office. And they said that there is no gateway from marijuana to the hard drugs. I mean, look at it logically. Most people who use marijuana do not use cocaine. It's not a gateway. To the extent that you want to argue it is a gateway, there is some people who when they go and they buy marijuana from a drug dealer, that drug dealer is also, you know, has LSD, cocaine, heroin, what have you.

VENTURA: Sure.

KAMPIA: And so, if you want to talk about a gateway, you could say that the drug dealers are the gateway. And if you regulated marijuana and brought it in off the streets, an adult who wanted to go and purchase marijuana would not see cocaine or heroin or what have you. That's the way to eliminate it.

VENTURA: I would come back and say the gateway drug is tobacco. And I say that only from my own personal experience. When we were little kids, the first thing you always did, you found the kid that could write the best. And that kid would write, please give my son so and so two packs of Marlboro and sign it. And you'd walk into the local little grocery store in those days. We all had the little mom and pop groceries on almost every corner anyway, and, you know, the guy in there, if you had a note, OK. You're buying them for your parents. And I'd be out back in the alley passing out the cigarettes and everybody, I don't know, seventh, eighth grade, whatever we were, smoking cigarettes.

So to me, if they want to talk gateway drug, the gateway drug in America is tobacco. That's the first -- And let me say, when you're under what? 18, that's illegal. Excuse me. How many years did it -- did it take for us to admit that children smoking was illegal? I remember it was laughed off for most part at all. Well, he's just smoking. Who cares? Anyway, Rob, what about, you hear about cancer and you hear about the toxic of smoking. Doesn't -- isn't marijuana the same? You're ingesting smoke into your body? Isn't it going to give you cancer the same way tobacco will?

KAMPIA: No.

VENTURA: No?

KAMPIA: There's no scientific evidence that shows that smoking marijuana causes cancer.

VENTURA: But they tell -- they tell you there's more carcinogens in it than there is in tobacco. Are they being untruthful to us?

KAMPIA: It's fair to say that there is more tars and -- and other nasty chemicals in marijuana than there is in any one hit that you would take off of a tobacco cigarette. But I wouldn't use the word carcinogens. Let's -- let's be honest here. There's something like 90 million Americans have used marijuana. If marijuana really led to cancer, where are the bodies?

VENTURA: OK, stay with us. We'll take a break, we'll be right back, and we'll take a look at some of the most outrageous criminal activity in the country. You won't want to miss it. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VENTURA: Welcome back to JESSE VENTURA'S AMERICA. We're talking about the war on drugs, and our next guest is Stan Levenson. Stan is an attorney from Pittsburgh who defended the infamous Tommy Chong when Mr. Chong was charged with selling water pipes as drug paraphernalia. Tommy Chong was arrested this year when the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and Attorney General Ashcroft's office and many local law enforcement agencies got together for Operation "Pipe Dream." Stan, what do you think about all this? I mean you -- you represented Tommy. Give us a background. What happened here? Why is Tommy Chong serving nine months in prison for selling a pipe over the Internet?

STAN LEVENSON, TOMMY CHONG DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I wish I had the answer to that. Unfortunately, Tommy will be probably the only one of the 55 defendants charged with no prior criminal convictions who will see the inside of the jail cell. Everybody else thus far who has no prior criminal convictions has gotten house arrest and work releases, which is what we were asking for for Tommy and thought it would be the appropriate sentence.

VENTURA: Why -- why didn't Tommy get that if he's never been convicted of anything before and this is his first offense, why wouldn't he get what the other defendants got?

LEVENSON: I don't know for sure. But he is certainly the poster boy for marijuana.

VENTURA: Sure.

LEVENSON: And I think that putting him in jail lent credibility, such as it is, to this -- to this whole silly endeavor.

VENTURA: Now, isn't it true that Tommy plea bargained and accepted a jail term, as I heard, correct me if I am wrong, to save his wife and his child?

LEVENSON: You're partially right.

VENTURA: OK.

LEVENSON: Tommy determined from the outset that he was not going to contest the charges. If we could arrange a deal that would assure that neither his son nor his wife were charged.

VENTURA: OK.

LEVENSON: We were able to arrange that deal after several months of negotiating with the U.S. Attorney's office. So instead of charging Tommy's wife or son, the corporation was the second defendant. So it was Tommy and the corporation. Tommy did not expect, nor did we, that he was going to get a jail sentence out of this. We were fully expecting that he would get house arrest and the work release.

VENTURA: First of all, counselor, let me ask this. How can this be against the law? You're selling a pipe. He wasn't selling the actual marijuana. I mean, that pipe, yeah, we all know what they're used for, water pipes. We know what they're used for. But there -- you still could be putting (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in it.

LEVENSON: They -- unfortunately, that's an argument that's not accepted by the courts. However ...

VENTURA: Why?

LEVENSON: Because our lawmakers have determined that they need to protect us from this evil by having a statute on the books that makes it unlawful to sell this kind of equipment that can be used for smoking marijuana. It is a ridiculous law. It has seen little law enforcement until this operation in Pittsburgh earlier this year. As a criminal defense lawyer for 37 years, I can tell you, this is the first federal case I've ever had and I do a lot of drug work, where this was a charge. I was quite surprised even to see this on the books.

VENTURA: Do you think we're going in a direction today of these laws getting even worse, counselor? Or are we going in a direction to where they're starting to back off now? Tommy Chong out of the mix.

LEVENSON: No, we're going in serious reverse. We've been thrown back about 70 or 80 years by recent enforcement policies and ...

VENTURA: Why -- why do you think that's happening?

LEVENSON: I can't answer that question. I'm sure that Attorney General Ashcroft has a reason for it. It bewilders me what that reason could be. With everything else that's going on in this world, I don't understand why this particular emphasis, especially since the war on drugs has been an unmitigated failure. We keep incarcerating more and more people for longer and longer amounts of time. And all we're doing is building more jails. We're certainly not reducing the use of drugs in this country.

VENTURA: Counselor, we're out of time. We want to thank you very much for your time and please, give Tommy my best, tell him we're all wishing him well and we're behind him on this show 100 percent. Thank you, counselor.

LEVENSON: I will tell him.

VENTURA: Thank you. Stay with us. Because when we come back, a representative of the drug czar's office will join us in our discussion, and I can tell our audience is just itching to weigh in on this one. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VENTURA: Welcome back to JESSE VENTURA'S AMERICA. Joining me now is Tom Riley. Mr. Riley is the director of public affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

TOM RILEY, OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY: Hey, Governor Ventura.

VENTURA: Hi, Tom, how are you?

RILEY: Thanks for having me on the show.

VENTURA: Well, it's my pleasure but you may not say that when you're done.

RILEY: I was -- You've already got me. You're a common sense guy, and you are falling for all that baloney that was spilled out by the first two guests.

VENTURA: Well, first of all, being a common sense guy is exactly what I'm talking about, Tom. My -- let me ask you this.

RILEY: Sure.

VENTURA: Would you -- would you have supported the prohibition of alcohol 75 years ago?

RILEY: I'm glad you brought up the alcohol example. I mean, as a governor, you must have known firsthand the cost of alcohol. I hear this argument a lot of times, like alcohol ...

VENTURA: That isn't what I asked you, Tom. I asked you a specific question. Don't give me a spin. I said ...

RILEY: I would not have ...

VENTURA: I said, would you have supported the prohibition of alcohol 75 years ago?

RILEY: I don't think I would have.

VENTURA: Why?

RILEY: Because alcohol for better or worse, and a lot of times for worse, it's a close call, is long entrenched and ingrained part of our culture and our society. I mean you go back thousands of years. The first writing is about alcohol, the Bible, everything else. It is really hard to reach in ...

VENTURA: Really? Well, Tom, wait a minute.

RILEY: ... and pull this out of the society.

VENTURA: Let me object something down here.

RILEY: OK.

VENTURA: If you believe that god -- god also made the marijuana plant.

RILEY: I'm talking about society. I'm talking about -- about our culture and our society.

VENTURA: Wait, you just said the Bible.

RILEY: It's hard to pull it out of our society.

VENTURA: All right.

RILEY: It is hard-wired.

VENTURA: Tom, my point is this: my mother lived through prohibition of alcohol. She passed away a couple years ago. She was a very bright woman. A nurse, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), World War II vet in Africa. She looked at me in her latter years and said, you know, this war on drugs is identical to the prohibition of alcohol.

RILEY: All right.

VENTURA: Now, here is a woman that lived and saw both. And she said, all they're doing is creating criminals' wealth, because criminals like Al Capone got wealthy during the prohibition of alcohol and criminals like Pablo Escobar are getting wealthy today because of the prohibition of drugs. How do you answer that?

RILEY: Prohibition is a hard policy. It's a tough policy. But the problem with drugs in this country isn't about one policy or another. It is about drug use. It is about drug addiction. There are seven million Americans right now with a clinically diagnosable addiction to drugs. The costs that has to society are staggering. Health care costs, education costs, violent crime. All these things.

VENTURA: And imagine how staggering it is, Tom, to have to pay the prices for these illegal drugs. You don't see people out holding people up to get their next drink. You don't see people out sticking up the 7-eleven store to buy a pack of smokes. But when they're addicted to these other substances, the price goes through the roof because they're illegal and therefore, they have to commit other crimes to support their addictions.

RILEY: Most of the violence that's associated with drugs is people who are on drugs, not drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a crime. That's what prohibition is about. But the thing that drives it is that most of the violent crime that's committed, or most of the crime, period, that's committed are having to do with drugs. It's people who are on drugs committing violent crimes. If you make it legal, if you make it cheaper, you make it more available, you are going to have more violence, more addiction, more crime.

VENTURA: Tom, that is not true. Stop lying to us.

RILEY: Oh, now, come on.

VENTURA: Stop lying to us. That is not true. You know -- don't tell me that. I've smoked pot, Tom. I've admitted it. I've done it. I've done all of the big three. I've done tobacco, I've done alcohol, and I've done marijuana, Tom. Guess what? Marijuana is the least of the three, pal.

RILEY: What about ... I mean -- you did ...

VENTURA: Wake up to that. How many people smoke pot and go home and beat their wives up? How many people drink and go home and beat their wives up? Let's talk common sense here, Tom.

RILEY: OK, OK, OK. But you said you'd answer me one tough question.

VENTURA: Go ahead.

RILEY: Which is what do you think about drugs like methamphetamine or crack, cocaine? Should they be illegal or should they be widely available?

VENTURA: No. I don't believe any of them should be widely available. But I think they should be available at hospitals without people being forced to face prosecution ...

RILEY: Wait a minute.

VENTURA: ... to support their habit.

RILEY: What about (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

VENTURA: Nobody is talking about putting them in the 7-eleven. And you, guys, use that crap all the time. There ain't -- nobody talking about that. What we're talking about is making it available to people. Making it so the addict can come forward and say I'm an addict.

RILEY: How do they get addicted? They were -- they born addicted to cocaine or crack?

VENTURA: No, they weren't. But how do you ...

RILEY: ... fight it.

VENTURA: Well, how do you get addicted to cigarettes?

RILEY: By trying it. By having it marketed to you. By having it widely available like cigarettes are.

VENTURA: Well, let me ask you this, Tom. In our Constitution, it says the right to the pursuit of happiness, doesn't it? It doesn't say anything in there that your pursuit of happiness might be that you want to be stupid.

RILEY: And ...

VENTURA: There is nothing in our country that says you can't be stupid. And yet you, people, want to throw people in jail for being stupid.

RILEY: Well, no, that's not true. That's not true.

VENTURA: That's totally true.

RILEY: Who is in jail for drugs? I ask you that.

VENTURA: Tommy Chong.

RILEY: Tommy Chong? You know, OK, you want to talk about? Even marijuana, which is the most controversial, the average amounts that someone is in jail for marijuana possession for it is over 100 pounds. They're drug traffickers. It's not college kids.

VENTURA: And you're not being truthful with me. We will be back right after this. He has given us federal spin, baby.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VENTURA: Welcome back to JESSE VENTURA'S AMERICA where we're talking about the war, but not the war that most people are talking about today. We're talking about the war on drugs. You think that the war in Iraq is a tough one. Well, stick with us. Because we're going to talk more and more about how much it costs the taxpayers billions more than Iraq and it's had far more casualties and hundreds of thousands of more prisoners than Iraq. And again, I'm not talking about World War II or Vietnam. I'm talking about the war on drugs. With us is Tom Riley, the director of public affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. First of all, Tom, I want to say thank you. You got guts. You got courage because you came on here. No, and I say that in all seriousness. I really appreciate it. You've allowed me to hammer you a little bit today. But then again, that's kind of your job, isn't it?

RILEY: Oh, it is. But I think that this is one of those ones, I think drug legalization is one of those ideas that, you know, it sounds like an easy answer to a complicated problem. You were talking earlier about, you know, the drug war, the drug effort being something that's gone on for a long time and costs a lot of money. It does. It is really hard. But the thing we're trying to do is to reduce drug use. Because it is the consequences of drug use that are the hard part. Can I ask you one more thing?

VENTURA: That if you really want to get drug use, then you should be leading for the prohibition of tobacco and alcohol. You know ...

RILEY: Alcohol and tobacco do terrible damage to our society. Health costs. You said before, people getting drunk and committing crimes and violence to the family. That's -- that's huge. It's a huge problem. And anybody who says it isn't is lying to you.

VENTURA: OK.

RILEY: But on the other hand, why would we want to make that bigger? Why would we want to make that -- take that already giant problem and make it worse by having more drugs.

VENTURA: Because -- because you're not going to make it bigger, Tom, and I'll tell you why. I've been over to the Netherlands. I've been over to Holland. And they have -- they have a holiday there called Queen's Day, which is the biggest holiday in town where all the merchants come from out of town. It's a big party. I talked to a couple cabbies there, and if you really want to know about somewhere, talk to a cab driver, because they're down on the street level. They're not sitting up in offices wearing suits and ties and all that. You know what they told me in Holland, Tom, where drugs are pretty well legal?

RILEY: Marijuana.

VENTURA: No. They said they're going to -- they said they're going to thinking of banning alcohol on Queen's Day because of all the problems it causes. Now, you laugh over that. The point of the matter is this. I said to him, why do you need to ban alcohol? He said because there is fights, there is disruptive behavior; there is everything that goes along with it. I said what about the cannabis smokers? He said they're not a problem. There hasn't even been talk of that.

RILEY: Well, let me respond to you there with two parts. One is that, you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the Netherlands, just paradise, one, the biggest movement there is to move away from cannabis cafes. About half of them have been shut down in the last few years and they just barely staved off a government measure to cut them -- to shut them down this year. You can take other countries in Europe like Sweden, which have tougher anti-marijuana laws than we do. And they have much lower drug use than us or than Netherlands. So you can pick and choose. That's fair. But you know what -- you said something earlier that.

VENTURA: Go ahead.

RILEY: I'm a good Republican. I'm skeptical of the federal government, too. You said ...

VENTURA: Oh, no, no, no.

RILEY: ... that federal spin ...

VENTURA: Wait a minute, Tom. Don't fire that at me. I just found out you Republicans have increased spending 26 percent.

RILEY: Wait ...

VENTURA: Don't tell me you're a good Republican ...

RILEY: You told audience ...

VENTURA: ... or you are anti-government, because you, Republicans, want as much to control government as anybody.

RILEY: Yeah, but you told the audience to not believe the federal spin. OK, don't. I mean you know what are you saying? And you say, don't believe me about marijuana being harmful, about marijuana being addictive, about people being in trouble, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a dangerous drug. Don't believe me.

VENTURA: I do.

RILEY: Don't believe the lobbyists from the ...

VENTURA: I don't ...

RILEY: ... don't believe the activists either.

VENTURA: Tom, I know.

RILEY: Do you know what you can do?

VENTURA: You know why I don't believe you? Because I'm 52 years old and I've tried it.

RILEY: Well, then...

(CROSSTALK)

VENTURA: And so you can't tell me ...

RILEY: Well ...

VENTURA: You can't -- you can't excuse the pun, blow smoke in my eyes on that one.

RILEY: Well ...

VENTURA: Because I've done it. Number one, it is not addictive. It is not addictive.

RILEY: You know what? You don't -- I said, you don't have to believe me, but there's some people that you should believe. Don't even believe the government if you don't want to. Minnesota is a great state for a treatment. They have some of the best treatment centers in the country. Call them. Anybody watching this, open up your yellow pages right now. Pick a treatment center random, drug treatment, people work in drug treatment are the people who pick up the mess on the drug problem.

VENTURA: And they also ...

RILEY: God bless them.

VENTURA: And Tom, they get paid for it, don't they? So they want their job.

RILEY: So the good people who are working in drug treatment ...

VENTURA: Follow the money, Tom! Tom, follow the money. Let's go to the audience.

RILEY: If marijuana is harmful or addictive, ask them. And you know what? I'm confident that no matter who you pick, if they're medically reputable, they are going to say the same thing, they are going to say wow, it is a much bigger problem than most people realize.

VENTURA: Sure, it is. But they name as biggest alcohol and tobacco, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

RILEY: That doesn't mean -- that doesn't mean we add to our problem. We should try to reduce our problems.

VENTURA: Come on. It's called freedom, Tom. Freedom. Freedom.

RILEY: Freedom ...

VENTURA: Freedom to be stupid if I want to.

RILEY: Freedom to destroy our (UNINTELLIGIBLE) community?

VENTURA: Yes.

RILEY: No, I don't think that's ...

VENTURA: Audience, go ahead, fire away at Tom.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm wondering what he thinks about those with debilitating medical conditions who choose to use marijuana as a medicine? Do you think that they should be arrested and thrown into prison?

RILEY: I think that the medical marijuana issue has been very cagily used by people like your first guest as a wedge issue to try to get this in. Now, you know what? You said earlier about blowing smoke. That's -- that's definitely an issue that's got some complication to it. Is -- are there elements of the cannabis plant that might have medical uses? I don't know. Let's let scientists decide that and let them make -- turn it into medicines.

VENTURA: Well ...

RILEY: But I do know ...

VENTURA: Tom, scientists are -- scientists ...

RILEY: ... there's no smoked weeds that are a medicine.

VENTURA: Wait, Tom. Science has already proven it.

RILEY: How is that?

VENTURA: How is that? Well, first of all, they know for a fact that it helps chemotherapy patients to eat. Now, if you can't put proper nutrition in your body, how are you supposed to battle and use those drugs to fight cancer? And Tom, let me ask you this. If I've got cancer, you can go straight to hell if you think I'm not going to try marijuana to help myself. What other, if I've got cancer, what do I care what the government says to me?

RILEY: Well, I hope you care what your doctor says to you, because he probably prescribes something for you, which is far more efficacious, far more proven and far more controlled. There's plenty of other medicines for those thing. And again, look at the people who are advocating for this. Is it the American Medical Association? Is it the Chemotherapy Association? Is it the American Cancer Institute? No. It is the marijuana legalizers. And you're a skeptical guy. I mean, why aren't medical professions and the patients organizations pushing for this?

VENTURA: Because they wouldn't dare to go against you, guys, Tom, the government. That's why. You're not fooling me on that one. I've been around too long. Tom, thank you very much. You have great courage. I appreciate it. And we 'll bring you back again if you dare.

RILEY: I'll be here.

VENTURA: All right, here we go. He'll be here. We have to take a break, move on to another subject. But thank you to Tom, Rob and Stan, for a very interesting discussion. But if you think the war on drugs gets to me -- stay tuned for our next segment when we'll be talking out pork -- and we're not talking about little piggies. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Source: MSNBC (US Web)
Show: Jesse Ventura's America
Host: Jesse Ventura
Program Date: December 13, 2003
Copyright: 2003 MSNBC
Contact: ventura@msnbc.com
Website: http://msnbc.com/news/

Related Articles & Web Site:

Marijuana Policy Project
http://www.mpp.org/

Chong Family Values
http://.cannabisnews.com/news/thread17916.shtml

Transcripts: Online News Hour with Jim Lehrer
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17576.shtml

He's Taking One Big Hit
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17522.shtml


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Comment #32 posted by jose melendez on December 31, 2003 at 08:04:26 PT
see also:
http://www.overgrow.com/edge/showthread/t-383394.html

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #31 posted by jose melendez on December 31, 2003 at 08:00:48 PT
words spread
http://www.quake3world.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/076429.html

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #30 posted by afterburner on December 18, 2003 at 16:07:50 PT:

Merry Christmas Tommy
Tommy Chong: The Forced Into Prison Christmas Blues! Miscellaneous with Pot-TV Running Time: 4 min Date Entered: 18 Dec 2003 http://www.pot-tv.net/ram/pottvshowse2369.ram

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #29 posted by FoM on December 17, 2003 at 13:11:22 PT
westnyc
I'm glad it helped! I just love Jesse! He's my kind of guy and politician. That sounds odd for me to have guy and politician in the same sentence! LOL!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #28 posted by westnyc on December 17, 2003 at 13:05:58 PT
Thanks FOM - I did it!
I went to the provided link (somehow I missed it), and sent a letter telling them to progress the show. You can also sign-up to receive a newsletter relating to Jesse Ventura's America via the MSNBC website.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #27 posted by FoM on December 17, 2003 at 11:21:47 PT
westnyc
You can send a letter to Jesse by using this e-mail!

Contact: ventura@msnbc.com

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #26 posted by westnyc on December 17, 2003 at 11:19:59 PT
Anyone know?
I have gone to the MSNBC website; I want to send an email telling the network that I like and I appreciate Jesse's show. Does anyone have any information? The more letters they receive - the more likely they will promote the show; hoping to improve ratings.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #25 posted by JSM on December 17, 2003 at 05:13:14 PT
More on Jesse
One of the most impressive elements of this show was, like Walters when he was challenged on CSPAN, Riley's reaction. He stumbled around trying to find a response and was totally amazed that his BS was exposed for just that.

These guys are lying cowards and when that is exposed in an open forum they fold every time. If we like what Jesse did, then we need to watch his show regularly as it is important that his voice is heard and he has to have positive ratings to remain.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #24 posted by BGreen on December 17, 2003 at 04:02:23 PT
This Was GREAT!
Jesse said all of the things I'm always yelling at my TV when those lying bastards like riley, walters, et al. are jerking around 99.99% of the so-called "journalists" out there.

Most of the media lap dogs swallow it up like cheap beer. Not Jesse. I'm still grinning after watching the video.

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #23 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 22:57:51 PT
Max Flowers
I know why I think they are friends now. I just remembered. Jesse was one of the actors in the movie Predator.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #22 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 22:43:09 PT
Max Flowers
I Think Governor Ventura and Governor Schwarzenegger are friends. I can't imagine that they aren't. I believe Governor Schwarzenegger is going to taste the wrath of the Feds in a few days and it will be interesting to see if he stands for medical marijuana or changes his mind. We will be watching closely.

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Comment #21 posted by Max Flowers on December 16, 2003 at 22:24:58 PT
Arnold could be influenced
I just had a nice thought for we Californians, which is that Governor Schwarzenegger may be inspired and maybe even a bit emboldened by Ventura's handling of the cannabis issue. They have a lot in common, what with the governor thing, the macho body thing, etc. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Schwarzenegger already admires Ventura. Now he's seen Jesse stand up like a real man to one of these wormy federal starched-shirt mouthpieces (I hope he's seen it anyway) and it could be a big boost for him. I can dream anyway... but hopefully, with Raich vs Ashcroft, no confrontation will be necessary.

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Comment #20 posted by Virgil on December 16, 2003 at 14:45:54 PT
It is a significant show & transcript is of merit
This is on the front page of pot-tv but it will not always be there- http://www.pot-tv.net/archive/shows/pottvshowse-2365.html

This show might not be as significant as the John Stossel show that is still number one on the list of most popular shows that came out last year. ABC's A War on Drugs, A War on Ourselve with John Stossel is the title. I thought the transcripts were the most significant posting at CannabisNews last year.

This show probably is no significant because the snowball is now moving down the mountain, but it is still a big deal. If Jesse would have come out and actually said "I call bullshit" it would be even more significant. He all but said it and that is what makes it so important. He told the parrot from officialdom to stop the spin, so he is almost there. Someone needs to tell him to say, "I call bullshit."

He wrote a book called "Do I Stand Alone" where he advocated the Logical Conclusion. Jesse does not stand alone, but he now stands in front. The ultimate guest for the American leader of the people for a Free World of Cannabis would be Dr. Russo.

I put the link to the transcripts of this thread up at DU- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=118&topic_id=29456

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Comment #19 posted by The GCW on December 16, 2003 at 14:24:01 PT
Makes You wonder what Arnold will say,,,
When it comes His turn... and it will come.

Arnold knows also that cannabis will not roast Your turkey. Cannabis does not create the need to kill its users.

Cannabis prohibition is getting to be bluntly handed back to the prohibitionists and told: NO THANK YOU!

420

And in case You haven't heard:

Democratic Presidential nominee, Dennis Kucinich, put in writing that as PRESIDENT He WILL: "DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA" -"in favor of a drug policy that sets reasonable boundaries for marijuana use by establishing guidelines similar to those already in place for alcohol."

(POSTED ON His website!)

http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread17917.shtml

http://www.kucinich.us/issues/marijuana_decrim.php



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Comment #18 posted by Trekkie on December 16, 2003 at 13:55:47 PT
Riley
I just read the transcript again, and I'd have to agree with you kaptinemo. Riley bold-faced lied and steered his responses from directly answering the questions. He DOES know the truth, and will do anything to obstruct it. I have a hard time with people like that - how can they face themselves, how can they sleep at night? I guess growing up on Star Trek and being an avid comic book fan has "warped my sensibilities." Maybe Riley had similar influences, but identified with the villians in these tales...

One thing about the transcript (and the video on pot-tv.com), I wish Jesse had some research in front of him when he was shredding this dweeb - it would have made his aguements much more powerful with documentation to back him up (much of which he could have obtained right here, or links from CNews).

And, as for Walters CHOOSING whom to debate? That right there is the strongest indication that he has already lost. That's like the Rangers telling the Avalanche that they won't play because Roy is in the net. Walters knows that his arguements are weak and full of holes, so he will not face his strongest opponent. Let's keep it up, boys and girls - the obfuscators are on the ropes!!

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Comment #17 posted by kaptinemo on December 16, 2003 at 12:39:15 PT:

Trekkie, to answer your question
No, he really doesn't believe it. Bloody few of them actually do.

Remember, these are not the 'Jurassic Narcs' of bygone times; these are guys who went to the same kind of colleges that many tokers did. They know the truth. They know they are engaged in purveying a lie. But their paychecks are tied in with how *effectively* they can lie..TO THE GENERALLY IGNORANT PUBLIC.

That's why that wonk never answered the audience member's question, and tried to dodge it, instead trying to squirm it around to (for him) safer ground. And failed miserably. he was trying to get back to safer ground where the lies have been more ingrained in the older viewers. *That's* who he was trying to address.

Mr. Ventura made it quite plain from the outset that this was NOT going to be another rubber-chicken, Rotary Club, fool-the-demiconscious-and-ignorant shadow play but a knock-down, drag-out fight. The wonk tried to squirm his way out, dissembling like mad and trying to change the focus, and and Ventura caught him at it and did the (for ONDCP types)taboo-breaking act of calling him dishonest for it. And the wonk left the scene less sure of himself, I'd wager.

I doubt we will see *any* ONDCP types making any more public appearences this year in venues where they will be forced to 'stand and deliver' in the face of criticism; they, like the old Sov commissars, like their audiences compliant and sheep-like, nodding their heads while chewing their cuds.

Live wires like Mr. Ventura or Montel Williams that stand up and nail their feet to the floor are the bane of their existence. Mr. Ventura has, like a pissed-off bull, gored the ONDCP in a place they can't afford to take any damage; the arena of public opinion. Their mouthpiece this round has been found to be 'wanting'.

After this, expect an even longer period before the ONDCP gets it's 'courage' up again. They'll continue to do what Johnny Pee has done since he decided to see what his toes tasted like when he off-handedly offered to debate MMJ.

As soon as a credible threat - namely, Rob Kampia - took him up on his gracious offer, he's been engaged un undignified backpedalling. At first, he sent out "Dr." ("What Hippocratic Oath?") Andrea Barthwell to 'debate' Mr. Kampia on PBS. Talk about hiding behind a woman's skirts!

Now he's saying he'd only debate Mr. Soros - as if Mr. Soros gave a damn about daily operation of the MPP. It's becoming increasingly quite plain he has no intention of debating...and it's become equally plain as a result that he never did.

Yepper, Johnny Pee has a quite a yellow streak down his back, and it's getting harder to hide. That he'd send this wonk to get his head handed to him, instead of standing up and defending his OWN convictions, is just more proof.



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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 11:58:14 PT
druid
I remembering reading that Montel's new book coming out in January has a chapter on Medical Marijuana. I am not absolutely sure this is correct but I think it is.

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Comment #15 posted by yippierevolutionary on December 16, 2003 at 11:57:46 PT
Key Word in that sentence: Control
RILEY: Well, I hope you care what your doctor says to you, because he probably prescribes something for you, which is far more efficacious, far more proven and far more controlled.

Control is exactly what they fear losing. A lot of people say why don't we regulate and tax cannabis imagine all the revenue from that!! But they are wrong because if Cannabis is legal, there would not be a large market for it. It would grow freely and widely. Cannabis would be free for the most part, part of the gift economy since it is so easy to grow. Thats the exact reason it is illegal it is the only way to regulate it.

Its just like the RIAA lawsuits its not revenue they fear losing (revenue from CD sales are up in europe) as much as control and their business model. The record companies and their media whores parrot the line that any downloaded music is lost revenue, they never consider its possible that people are listening to MORE music than before? downloading music they never would have paid for?

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Comment #14 posted by druid on December 16, 2003 at 11:56:17 PT
speaking of celebs
Montel on his show yesterday broached the drug war for a bit. I didn't see it and my wife saw only part of it but basically he said the drug war is a failure and something else needs to be done.

I think Montel is just getting started and hopefully we will see more of it from him.



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Comment #13 posted by Trekkie on December 16, 2003 at 11:48:59 PT
"The truth is out there..."
RILEY: Well, I hope you care what your doctor says to you, because he probably prescribes something for you, which is far more efficacious, far more proven and far more controlled. There's plenty of other medicines for those thing. And again, look at the people who are advocating for this. Is it the American Medical Association? Is it the Chemotherapy Association? Is it the American Cancer Institute? No. It is the marijuana legalizers. And you're a skeptical guy. I mean, why aren't medical professions and the patients organizations pushing for this?

Actually, yes, there are medical associations that ARE endorsing the use of medical MJ - the Nurses Association for one.

Additionally, didn't they just try to stop doctors from reccomending medical MJ - with the threat of loosing their liscence?

Does this guy seriously believe all the BS that he flings in our faces?

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Comment #12 posted by konagold on December 16, 2003 at 11:48:17 PT:

the goose and the gold
Aloha

in the last analysis the war on pot is the tale of the golden goose and where the gold goes

prohibition benifits only two classes: the employees of the legal profession on one hand and criminals on the other, the cops and the robbers.

in any war there is always a body count: 1.3 million arrest a year for all drug crimes; .7 million of those are for pot.

on the legal profession side the total drug war cost to society is in the neighborhood of 100 Billion tax dollars.

if the cost is preportioned to the above body count, then pot, to lawyers, judges, procecutors, law enforcement, prision guards, and bullys with badges like Mr. Riley is worth 50 billion tax payer dollars. [it would behove us to point out their vested interest which then leads to these lies which protect this golden goose]

thats one million, 50 thousand dollar a year jobs, and at least a couple of million votes.

we have won the hearts and minds of the people with regard to the medicinal value of Cannabis, but we wont win freedom until we pull the curtain from the fake wizards and present this as a flagrant pork barrel taxpayer issue.

Aloha

Rev. Dennis [what would John the Baptist do??] Shields

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Comment #11 posted by kaptinemo on December 16, 2003 at 11:45:01 PT:

Remember "Give 'em Hell, Harry (Truman)!"?
Truman's reply is doubly appropriate here:

"I won't give 'em Hell; I'll just tell the truth and it will feel like Hell!"

In fine populist tradition, Mr. Ventura hasn't given the ONDCP the Hell it's long deserved; he's only told the truth. But I'll bet Johnny Pee is beyond steamed that one of his mouthpieces got ripped to shreds on TV by a popular celebrity and politician who challenged the lies.

The ONDCP wonk didn't get a smidgen of the scorching he deserved as a government-paid dissimulator.

Even more importantly, a precedent has been set. The taboo has been broken. The liars have been called out, publicly. The challenge has been effectively made. The gauntlet thrown. All that's necessary now is to have another talk show host pick up where Mr. Ventura left off.

Jesse Ventura may be no little kid, but he's pointed out the Emperor is INDEED buck naked. And disgustingly diseased as well.

Let's see the BushCo machine try to crush Mr. Ventura; I've known a few Navy SEAL's in my own bad old days, and they are nobody to mess with. Anything the Feds try now will backfire enormously, and both Mr. Ventura and they know it.

Oo-rah, Jesse!

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Comment #10 posted by yippierevolutionary on December 16, 2003 at 11:43:17 PT
Jesse Ventura is the only Real Journalist on TV
Jesse did not let the government lie, so the government had no argument.

Americans will not buy a war on some drugs unless they are lied to, just like Americans won't buy imperialist wars unless they are lied to. If the media did not allow the government to lie CP would end and so would American Imperialism.

Our fight is against the media. Alex Giordano at www.bigleftoutside.com understands that the media is the enemy in the drug war, the iraq war and the 2004 election. We have to fight the media

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 11:34:58 PT
SystemGoneDown
He never answered the question. He couldn't. He didn't have an answer.

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Comment #8 posted by SystemGoneDown on December 16, 2003 at 11:23:06 PT:

Federal Gov........the art of Spin
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm wondering what he thinks about those with debilitating medical conditions who choose to use marijuana as a medicine? Do you think that they should be arrested and thrown into prison?

RILEY: I think that the medical marijuana issue has been very cagily used by people like your first guest as a wedge issue to try to get this in. Now, you know what? You said earlier about blowing smoke. That's -- that's definitely an issue that's got some complication to it. Is -- are there elements of the cannabis plant that might have medical uses? I don't know. Let's let scientists decide that and let them make -- turn it into medicines......

(Did he even answer the question?)

VENTURA: There is nothing in our country that says you can't be stupid. And yet you, people, want to throw people in jail for being stupid.

RILEY: Well, no, that's not true. That's not true.

VENTURA: That's totally true.

RILEY: Who is in jail for drugs? I ask you that.

VENTURA: Tommy Chong.

RILEY: TOMMY CHONG? YOU KNOW, OK, YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT? EVEN MARIJUANA, WHICH IS THE MOST CONTREVERSIAL, THE AVERAGE AMOUNTS THAT SOMEONE IS IN JAIL FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION FOR IT IS OVER 100 POUNDS. THERE DRUG TRAFFICKERS IT'S NOT COLLEGE KIDS.

(as if we are too stupid to notice...avoided the issue about Tommy Chong and spun to something different to avoid the argument at hand.)

Am I the only one that got the vibe like his Riley guy is hiding something. He seems reluctant to go full blown into the debate, like he's not sure about his side. Oh well, 600,000 people will go to jail per year still.....doesn't matter, the feds don't have to go all out in an argument because at the end of the day, they got power.



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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 10:50:32 PT
Flatbush
They were criminals in my mind because they killed people. When I think of those two that's what I think.

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Comment #6 posted by Flatbush on December 16, 2003 at 10:40:08 PT
Something About History, I Don't Understand
Jesse Ventura said, his mother said, "all they're doing is creating criminals' wealth, because criminals like Al Capone got wealthy during the prohibition of alcohol and criminals like Pablo Escobar are getting wealthy today because of the prohibition of drugs". How do you answer that?

Its only criminal when its illegal. When its legal, it is no longer criminal. So why would Jesse's mother refer to Al Capone as a criminal?

Looking back on History of Al Capone. He was an exceptional Businessman and an American Patriot. Mr. Capone certainly believed in the Constitutional right to the pursuit of Happiness. If Mr. Capone was selling alcohol today it would be legal, so long as he payed taxes.

If drugs were legalized (again) there would no criminal wealth. All accumulated wealth would be legally acquired wealth.

Pablo Escobar would have been wealthy with or without legalization. One can only imagine how much wealth will be created when the prohibition of drugs is finally over.

Would Jesse "The Body" Ventura resort to violence?

"If I've got cancer, you(Tom Riley, the director of public affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy) can go straight to Hell if you think I'm not going to try marijuana to help myself" said Jesse Ventura.



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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on December 16, 2003 at 09:52:09 PT
easy to debunk
RILEY: If marijuana is harmful or addictive, ask them. And you know what? I'm confident that no matter who you pick, if they're medically reputable, they are going to say the same thing, they are going to say wow, it is a much bigger problem than most people realize.

VENTURA: Sure, it is. But they name as biggest alcohol and tobacco, (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

RILEY: That doesn't mean -- that doesn't mean we add to our problem. We should try to reduce our problems.

Answer: No one ever needed to be arrested to reduce cigarette smoking rates.

ALSO, taxing cigarettes to the point where they become practically illegal verifiably funds terror:

http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=4927

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/13123.htm

"Any time you make a popular product illegal - or, in this case, prohibitively expensive - you create a black market."

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Comment #4 posted by jose melendez on December 16, 2003 at 09:46:23 PT
argument exposed
RILEY: But on the other hand, why would we want to make that bigger? Why would we want to make that -- take that already giant problem and make it worse by having more drugs.

Answer: Restrictions in supply increase demand. Drug war aimed at pot (based on the lie that heroin, crack and meth are next) has been associated with the largest increases in youth marijuana use in history.

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Comment #3 posted by jose melendez on December 16, 2003 at 09:43:37 PT
spoof
RILEY: OK, OK, OK. But you said you'd answer me one tough question.

VENTURA: Go ahead.

RILEY: Which is what do you think about this red herring? And I have a straw man to sell you . . .

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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on December 16, 2003 at 09:40:27 PT
jesse calls bluff, we confirm that ONDCP is LYING
" the average amounts that someone is in jail for marijuana possession for it is over 100 pounds."

- Tom Riley, ONDCP spokesman

from: http://www.mpp.org/MD/news_5095.htm

In 2001, 17,676 people in Maryland were charged with possessing marijuana, according to FBI statistics.

from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/marijuana/statistics.html

The number of people arrested for marijuana-related crimes in 2001 (possession and other charges), according to Statistics Canada, is 49,639. In the U.S. in 2000, that number was 734,498.

see also: http://frankdiscussion.netfirms.com/info_statistics.html

and, from: http://www.nrle.org/news/lvcl081502.html

The numbers are striking. Herzik said that in 1999 (the latest statistics available when the report was done), Nevada police made 5,406 arrests for marijuana possession. That's more than the number of arrests for the possession of all other drugs combined (3,550).

also, from: http://www.nrle.org/news/hc092302.html

Though numbers are subject to debate, Stroup claims that up to $10 billion annually is spent in the U.S. to enforce marijuana laws, and that last year 734,000 pot arrests were made each year - 88 percent for simple possession.

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 16, 2003 at 09:38:59 PT
Just a Comment
I hope he does another show about this topic soon! It was great!

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