Crossfire Transcripts: Pot Legalization in Nevada 

Crossfire Transcripts: Pot Legalization in Nevada 
Posted by CN Staff on August 08, 2002 at 21:38:04 PT
Crossfire - August 8, 2002
BEGALA: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live from the George Washington University in beautiful downtown Washington, D.C.This November, Nevada voters will decide whether to legalize possession of up to three ounces of marijuana.It has to pass twice, both this year and in 2004 before it could ever become law.
Now a new poll shows the state is evenly split, 48 percent in favor, 48 opposed, 4 percent undecided. Believe it or not, even Nevada's largest police organization has come out in favor of legalizing pot. What's going on here? Two guests join us from Las Vegas to debate it. Bill Rogers is spokesman for Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement. And Todd Raybuck, a narcotics detective with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Gentlemen, thank you very much.(APPLAUSE)NOVAK: Mr. Rogers, I would like to quote for you somebody -- I'm not a big hard-line anti-drug person -- I'd like to quote for you Keith Stroup who is with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NORML. They've been trying to decriminalize marijuana since I was a little boy.And Keith Stroup says this, quote: "It is highly unlikely the federal government would allow a state to create a legal market for the sale of drugs, in which the state licenses the sale or sets up stores to sell it," end quote.Are you just making money for yourself, but the feds ain't going to allow it, are they?BILLY ROGERS, NEVADANS FOR RESPONSIBLE LAW ENFORCEMENT: Well, Keith Stroup should have talked to the drug czar, because when the drug czar was out there two weeks ago, he said that the federal government would not crack down on Nevadans if this initiative passes in November.I mean, the federal government is not going to come in here and arrest people for small amounts of marijuana. That's simply not going to happen.And when the drug czar came to town, perhaps Keith Stroup didn't read that.NOVAK: Well, I don't know -- which drug czar are you talking about?ROGERS: I'm talking about John Walters.NOVAK: John Walters is really against this. He thinks it's a disgrace. ROGERS: He is against it, but when asked if the federal government was going to arrest people for small amounts of marijuana if this initiative passed, he said the federal government would not do that, and that it was ultimately up to the state of Nevada to decide on this.BEGALA: Well, Detective Raybuck, I have to say I do not support -- I don't live in Nevada, it's not my business, but I don't support legalizing pot. But I'm surprised that your fellow officers do. How do you explain that? It is just that's a small amount of pot that's at stake here?TODD RAYBUCK, NARCOTICS DETECTIVE, LAS VEGAS POLICE: OK, first of all, we have to clarify what's going on with what Mr. Rogers is stating. In fact, John Walters did say the federal government would not prosecute for small mounts of marijuana, but they did not say they would not come in and enforce laws against sales of it through convenience stores.As far as small amounts, I brought with me three ounces of marijuana to show the American public exactly what three ounces is. Because it's a lot more than the small amount that Mr. Rogers is purporting.Additionally, it's enough to roll not 100, 200 but more than 250 marijuana cigarettes. And Mr. Rogers is proposing that every Nevadan over the age of 21 years of age can carry this in their pockets on the street of Nevada. And that's absurd.Now, in response to your question about the police union supporting this, I need to clarify that this panel that you're referring to, is just a panel of nine members that speak for thousands of police officers. What the spoke about was their opinions and their opinions only.No police officer was polled in reference to this. And I'm a member indirectly of that organization that you're speaking of. And I can tell you that while their opinion, the nine people that you're speaking about, say that they back this measure, that thousands of officers that they're speaking about, do not.NOVAK: Mr. Rogers, do you have any response to that?ROGERS: Well, first of all, the law enforcement community is divided. There are people in law enforcement community who support this. There are people who oppose this issue. But that's dramatic in itself.I mean, one month ago most people thought that the law enforcement community would be lined up solidly against this initiative.The fact that law officers are supporting this initiative is a victory for us. I mean most law...RAYBUCK: Mr. Rogers, you're confusing the statements here. You're saying that law enforcement officers are supporting you. Nine people said that they agreed with you, not the thousands that you're impress upon the nation that is behind this.ROGERS: Most law enforcement officers will tell you that they spend too much time arresting people for small amounts of marijuana...RAYBUCK: OK...ROGERS: ... and that that time could be better used to go after violent criminals like murders, like murders and rapists. RAYBUCK: Mr. Rogers, let's clear something up first. First of all, you have been purporting yourself across the country as being Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement. You're not even a Nevadan. And I'm insulted that you're speaking for me on behalf of the nation.Second of all, what you're saying is you don't realize and what the American people don't realize is that one ounce of marijuana in the state of Nevada was decriminalized from a felony to a misdemeanor and that we currently only issue citations. And that's the practice of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to just issue citations.ROGERS: Well...RAYBUCK: So this smoke and mirrors act that you're trying to put in there is...ROGERS: Well, first of all, last year more than 5,000 Nevadans were arrested for small amounts of marijuana.RAYBUCK: OK, but Mr. Rogers...NOVAK: Let him respond.ROGERS: That took police officers off the street for 15,000 hours in this state. That is a lot of time that law enforcement could have been spending going after murders, rapists and other violent criminals.RAYBUCK: OK, Mr. Rogers, what you're sign first of all, is misconceiving because you're just stating that so many thousand, 5,000 police or persons were arrested for arrests for marijuana. You don't know if those are multiple charges. You don't know if those people had other more severe charges. You don't know any of that.ROGERS: I know that more than 90 percent of those were for possession, and what police officers tell me is when they arrest somebody for marijuana, that in nine cases out of 10, they're not even prosecuted.I mean, we're wasting law enforcement time rounding up...BEGALA: Let me...ROGERS: Yes.BEGALA: ... let me actually ask Detective Raybuck to hold up those two bags full of pot. I mean, that's an enormous amount. Actually, put it right under your chin so that it can be on the camera.NOVAK: Put it under your chin so they can see it. That's it.BEGALA: That's an enormous bag. That's...(LAUGHTER) BEGALA: ... you know, that's not just some recreational use there.ROGERS: Well first of all, that's the standard in most of the states that allow medical marijuana. Most states that allow medical marijuana...RAYBUCK: OK, you're confusing the issue. I'm not talking about medical marijuana...ROGERS: I'm not confusing the issue. I'm talking about an adequate supply that is generally considered a 30 to 60 day supply...BEGALA: Adequate supply for a Grateful Dead concert. You can get the whole Memorial Stadium stoned on that.NOVAK: Let me ask you, let me ask you, Detective Raybuck, something. You know, you live in a state where you have a legalized prostitution. You have legalized gambling all over the state. A lot of people think that Las Vegas should be renamed Sodom and Gomorrah, something like that.I mean, doesn't it seem odd that you're cracking down on marijuana -- I'm against marijuana legalization, but isn't it kind of odd that in Nevada you draw the line there when you say anything else goes?RAYBUCK: You know what, you're right. We do have legalized prostitution in some areas, not in Las Vegas, but in some areas of the state. And we do have legalized gambling. But what this issue is is this is about our children in Nevada. And so I am standing out against with brothers in law enforcement, my sheriff, Jerry Keller, my under sheriff, Dick Wingett (ph). We do not support this issue because this is a bad move for the future of Nevada and the young people in Nevada. ROGERS: Well, first of all, this strictly prohibits minors from using marijuana...RAYBUCK: OK...ROGERS: Anyone who sells marijuana will go to -- marijuana to a child will go to prison. Anyone who sells marijuana without a license from the state will go to prison. And you know that.RAYBUCK: OK Mr. Rogers, but you say anybody who sells it without a license. First of all, let's address that issue. Who's going to issue those licenses, and who is going to do the backgrounds? Police officers...ROGERS: They're...RAYBUCK: You're merely just redirecting law enforcement. Now let's go, if it does in fact get legalized, what police officers, for example -- we have alcohol crackdowns every year in the state. Why...BEGALA: OK, Bill Rogers gets the last word...NOVAK: Mr. Rogers. The last word.ROGERS: Sure. Well, ultimately this initiative protects responsible people and punishes those people who are irresponsible. That's why we're even in the polls right now. And that's why we're going to win in November.NOVAK: All right, we'll have to thank you. Thank you very much Billy Rogers, thank you very much Detective Todd Raybuck. We appreciate it very much gentlemen.(APPLAUSE)Snipped: Complete Transcripts: CNN (US Web) Show: CrossfireShow Date: August 8, 2002Copyright: 2002 Cable News Network, Inc. Website: Contact: cnn.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:NRLE Policy Project Union Leader Rebukes Support of Marijuana Ballot Issue: Police Back Legalization Support Pot Initiative
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Comment #9 posted by Industrial Strength on August 09, 2002 at 12:44:59 PT
Here the "standard" is three per gram. That's more than enough to get one person stoned, but it's not exactly schwag on this side of the border. Begala is an idiot. Novak thinks the putting-high-in-front-of-something pun is gold. He's thick headed as well.
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Comment #8 posted by karkulus on August 09, 2002 at 12:24:11 PT
over- rolled joints
 Did you see the bag of joints the teen age narc was holding? It looked like they were rolled from 2 ez widers stuck together could tell by the ends there was a lot of extra paper involved ..Mr.Rodgers should have crammed 3 oz's into a few film cans to show up narc-boy!
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Comment #7 posted by Zero_G on August 09, 2002 at 08:36:04 PT
equivilent rant
What a load of B.S.I'll give you an equivilent - the world spends enough money on weapons in two weeks to feed the its whole population for a year.The U.S. alone outspends all of its potential rivals, put together and then some.Let's hold up some of that illth*, right there under our chins, where the camera can see it and talk about too much...*Such an accumulation of wealth is of course counteracted by war:"In war, the army is not merely a pure consumer but a negative producer: that is to say, it produces illth , to use Ruskin's excellent phrase, instead of wealth - misery, mutilation, physical destruction, terror, starvation and death characterize the process of war and form a principal part of the product."
(Mumford, 1933, p.93)from:
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Comment #6 posted by 2Spooky on August 09, 2002 at 08:14:44 PT
The three ounces of pot equate to 3 packs of cigs right? Arent they 20 smokes to the ounce pack? People I know who smoke consume about 2 packs a day.Even at 250 joints (the usual absurd eggageration by the cops), that is still only about a carton.Maybe our side needs to be ready with these comparisons in rebuttal to this bullcrap grandstanding.And the joints I rolled with white ZigZags come out to be 1/2-3/4 gram, so that is 56 doobs per oz tops =b
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Comment #5 posted by VitaminT on August 09, 2002 at 07:58:52 PT
Chris Begala . . . .
does a good Chris Kattan impression.what a weasel, oh sorry weasels are vertabrates.what a Clinton-Liberal-jellyfish.My apologies to the many fine jellyfish, I may have offended.
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Comment #4 posted by TroutMask on August 09, 2002 at 06:55:15 PT
Back in the day
Back in the 70's when (where i lived) an ounce of what today would be considered schwag sold for $30, one would buy an ounce and roll around 50 joints from it (after de-seeding and de-stemming), perhaps selling each doobie for $1. Sometimes you would smoke one of these yourself or pass a couple/few around a circle. So my experience was that the $1 doobie contained about 1/2 gram in the 70's, at least in my neck of the world. I can't imagine trying to smoke a gram doobie of today's sticky stinky dank alone.-TM
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Comment #3 posted by Dark Star on August 09, 2002 at 04:46:20 PT
An Educated Opinion?
"three ounces is --- it's enough to roll not 100, 200 but more than 250 marijuana cigarettes."Dark Star has not rolled one in many years, but a respectable joint should contain 1 gram or more of material. Thus, 3 oz. should equal 84 joints at most. "Adequate supply for a Grateful Dead concert"Maybe a concert they gave in somebody's living room. At the ones I attended, it would have been enough for only one row!
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on August 09, 2002 at 03:15:03 PT
Just wait until you read the transcript from The Abrams Report when FoM puts it up. The BS coming from some Nevada DA and Barry McCaffrey is unbelievable. They were using lies and double-talk to prove their points.They can't understand that we don't want kids to smoke pot. That's why it'll be illegal to sell it to kids, like alcohol, but their double-talk about alcohol not being legal for a 12-year-old as a reasoning for cannabis to be outlawed for those over 21 just never makes sense. Abrams tried to get that across to McCaffrey, but watch for his "methamphetamines vs. beer" comment in the middle of his rantings about cannabis. He's CRAZY!
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Comment #1 posted by Robbie on August 09, 2002 at 02:36:12 PT
Where was the dissent? Where was the person on the other side asking questions? Both Novakula and Be-a-geek-a, are against legalization. Who had the opposing view?
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