Give Me a Break Transcript - Medical Marijuana

Give Me a Break Transcript - Medical Marijuana
Posted by FoM on June 11, 2000 at 21:13:58 PT
By John Stossel 
Source: ABC News 20/20
Barbara Walters: You may have heard that marijuana can help cancer and AIDS patients feel better. Well, the federal government doesn't accept that, and to that John, you say, give me a break.John Stossel: I do, Barbara, because the federal government's so eager to fight the war on drugs, sometimes it thumbs its nose at the wishes of the people.
John Stossel: Peter McWilliams is an author who has AIDS. We met him three years ago while doing another story. Some drugs he takes to combat the disease make him nauseous, so, like many others in California, McWilliams smoked marijuana to reduce the nausea. He assumed it was legal because of Proposition 215.Prop 215 Ad Spot: Vote YES on 215.John Stossel: Oh, California did legalize medical marijuana after this ad campaign laid out the arguments.Prop 215 Ad Spot: When my husband, JJ, was dying of cancer, I felt helpless, so I broke the law and got him marijuana. It worked. John Stossel: Since California and five other states had legalized medical marijuana, you'd think sick people in those states could legally smoke pot, but it seems that in America today, if the marijuana police want to get you, they will.John Stossel: In California, federal prosecutors went after doctors who prescribed marijuana, then they shut down the buyers club set up to sell marijuana to those who are sick. This left lots of sick people desperate. Contact: Basically they're going to be out on the streets. They're going to be on the turfs trying to buy weed.John Stossel: McWilliams was not popular with authorities because he openly smoked and advocated legalizing the drug. A few years ago federal authorities discovered a friend of his was growing these marijuana plants. They then raided McWilliams' house. Peter McWilliams: I assume that they were looking for [a] drug king pin something or another. Isn't that what the DEA is all about? The major traffickers?John Stossel: Later, federal authorities arrested McWilliams, saying he'd given his friend money to grow marijuana. McWilliams claimed the money was for research for this book.John Stossel: I don't know who's right, but what seems unfair is that in court, McWilliams was not even allowed to tell his side of the story because authorities took him to federal court. This meant McWilliams would not be allowed to mention his medical condition or the fact that California legalized medical marijuana. He couldn't make the most basic arguments in his own defense. Faced with that, he gave up. Peter McWilliams: I was going to be put in jail for ten years, period. I would die in a federal facility in far less than ten years. John Stossel: So he plead guilty to a lesser charge and today awaits sentencing. He's out of prison on the condition he not smoke marijuana, but it was the marijuana that kept him from vomiting up his medication. Peter McWilliams: I spent almost all my time in bed. John Stossel: Only by staying in bed for hours, he says, can he hold off the nausea and hold his medications down. Peter McWilliams: It is exhausting and yet it is keeping me alive. John Stossel: Isn't something off here? A man is not allowed to say the truth at his own trial? I can understand that the federal drug police don't agree with what some states have decided to do about medical marijuana, but does that give them the right to just end-run those laws and lock people up? Give me a break!Barbara Walters: One does wonder about that. What's the point of a state passing laws. But when is Peter McWilliams going to be sentenced? John Stossel: Later this summer. Because of the plea bargain he won't get ten years, but he may get five, which just seems wrong, I--. This war on drugs often does more harm than the drugs themselves. Barbara Walters: So it seems sometimes. We'll be right back. MAP Posted-by: Richard Lake URL: Ty MatthewsPubdate: Fri, 9 Jun 2000Source: ABC News 20/20Contact: John Stossel johnstossel Note: Close Caption data proofread, corrected and formatted by Ty MatthewsCited: McWilliams On 20/20 With John Stossel MapInc. Archives:
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 12, 2000 at 07:25:46 PT
That's all the longer it was unfortunately
Hi fivepounder,The segment with John Stossel is only a few minutes so this is the whole interview unfortunately. The Real Video works now.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #5 posted by fivepounder on June 12, 2000 at 07:09:43 PT
Is this the whole interview?
Is this the whole transcript? I missed it. It seems kinda short.
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Comment #4 posted by Dave in Florida on June 12, 2000 at 06:40:20 PT
Hey kapt
This should work for you. beware you have to have javascript turned on. BTW it was a good clip.. I sent Stossel a note asking him to do a follow up on Renee Boje next week..
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 12, 2000 at 06:38:29 PT
Here is the Real Video Link!
Hi Kaptinemo,When I was posting the transcripts last night the Real Video didn't work so I didn't build it into the article. I just checked and it is working now so here it is!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on June 12, 2000 at 05:18:06 PT:
Is there a RealPlay link?
Believe it or not, I don't spend much time staring at the boob tube, particularly at the 'Evening News', so I missed this particular bit. I'm hoping some enterprising soul has managed to capture it in a .ra format.It is interesting that the news media has *only now* just 'discovered' the criminal actions of the Feds regarding their guerilla warfare tactics to subvert the California electorate's exercise of their rights under the law? Perhaps they should be introduced to a certain Rene Boje, as well? Being forced to be on the run just for being in the same house as (under California law) legal plants the Feds don't like is hardly a crime, yet the Feds are spending what must be close to a *million* or more (and I'm being conservative in my estimate, here) trying to get her extradited. Another example of your tax dollars at work. 
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Comment #1 posted by Dan B on June 11, 2000 at 23:44:24 PT:
Way to go, John and Barbara!
I am glad to see that finally somebody oin the mainstream press has had the guts to break the story of Peter McWilliams. Those of us who have followed the news regarding medical marijuana have known of McWilliams' plight for some time now. I think it is a credit to our cause that Barbara Walters, a major force in the mainstream media, seems to agree with Stossel's point of view. Let's keep those stories coming, John!
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