So, let’s shift gears here a little bit, it’s still political. I’ve noticed that you support the
legalization of marijuana, and I wanted to talk to you about this last time, but we got
sidetracked by a whole bunch of other stuff, so I want to get it in today. Why is this
still such a–
This is really important to me because my father and my grandfather both died of cancer. Both had to go through both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which is
just horrific. And I saw first-hand what the opioids they were being given by doctors
were doing to them. Their quality of life for their closing years was non-existent. One
of my cousins recommended trying marijuana on a medicinal basis. So, I obtained
some, yes, illegally at the time, but it seemed to help dramatically my father and my
grandfather in terms of their appetite and easing their pain and so on. And I became a
believer when I was in high school, when I was in college, I was not a pot smoker. I
wasn’t interested, I was interested in beer, if I did anything, and I’m not a habitual user
today. But, I do think it had serious medicinal value, I think that has been proven. The
Israeli government uses it now officially, formally, for PTSD for their soldiers. We
have, in this country, have kind of a Catch-22. They say it can’t be legalized because
we don’t have enough research and we don’t have enough research because it’s not
legal. Which seems to me, kind of convoluted. I agree with the president; let the states
decide. This is a decision the states should make. 29 states have decided to legalize
some form of medicinal marijuana, nine states have gone all the way and just flatly
legalized it for any purpose. I think the states should decide. One of the reasons I think
Jeff Sessions should be fired is because he’s countermanding what the president told us
in the last election on this issue. Donald Trump was very forthright that he would
support the states’ decisions. Now you have Sessions out there trying to countermand
that, repealing the so-called Cole Memo put forward the Obama administration in
which the federal government stood down on the questions of possession and
distribution in those states where the states had decided to legalize. This is one of the
few things that Obama did that I agreed with.
My question is why are we still having this argument. I don’t understand, I mean is it
all because of health care and their money going–
I think it’s because of big pharma and the fact that if you sell aspirin, for example, this
is a danger to you, if you sell opioids, where you’re really making big money, it’s really
a danger to you financially. So big pharma is fighting this, also the industrial prison
complex, the prison-for-profit business, which is very, very lucrative, is fighting this.
But the war on drugs has been an ignominious failure. We spend a fortune to
incarcerate people for non-violent crimes, we destroy lives and families for non-violent
crimes, but drug use, drug trafficking, illegal drug use isn’t going down, it’s going up.
That’s how you know that it has been a failure. And there’s no question that it falls
disproportionately on people of color. A study last week in New York City showed that
86 percent of marijuana possession charges, arrests, are on people of color, on African Americans and Hispanics. That’s racism by any measure and it needs to stop.
Yeah, that’s straight up ridiculous. 86 percent, good grief. That’s not fair under any
measure, no matter what it is, especially when it comes to crimes.
That’s why I continue to speak out on this, it’s why I’m working with John Morgan, the prominent Florida trial attorney and Judge Andrew Napolitano and Bill Maher of HBO and Congressman Matt Gates and others. I’ve founded the US Cannabis Coalition, you can find it at USCannabisCoalition.com. We’re working to hold the president to his
pledge to support state legalized medicinal marijuana.
I’m glad it’s a state issue, because I could see this becoming a nasty, nasty debate if it
was a federal issue.
Well the truth is, because the Congress has, at least the House, has passed the
Rohrabacher Amendment, which prevents the Justice Department from using federal
funds to prosecute state-legalized marijuana, there’s evidence that there is a procannabis
majority in Congress. It’s close in the Senate, and it’s overwhelming in the
House. It’s a coalition of liberal Democrats and liberty-minded Republicans who would
legalize. So, in a weird way, Jeff Sessions’ machinations could end up leading to the
wholesale legalization of marijuana, the exact opposite of what he is trying to achieve.