Tonight: CNN Looks At Marijuana Legalization

CNN host Don Lemon examined the growing call in America to legalize cannabis tonight, prompted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s suggestion this week that the state debate legalizing cannabis and convene a blue-ribbon commission to examine the prospects of such.
I was opposed by prohibitionist Kevin Sabet in a very brief cable news exchange. If supporters of cannabis law reformers want to continue to raise the public discussion level on legalizing cannabis, contact CNN and request that they provide even greater coverage of cannabis-related matters, debates and online surveys; along with MSNBC, CNBC, Fox and C-Span.

0 thoughts

  1. Good job Mr. St. Pierre. I wish they would have gave you more time to speak, you looked like you wanted to get more out there. But the way you handled yourself, presented the argument and listened was an awesome representation of NORML and cannabis supporters at large. I’m looking forward to see you with more air time, and a real chance to debate.

  2. It is good that it is hitting the public airwaves more. Sabet seemed reasonable. Walters was always an arrogant ass. He knew that we knew that he was lying, but he simply didn’t care. Arrogance of power. Their time is slipping away on this topic and they are grasping.

  3. I think legalizing Marijuana is something to think and research about before making the final decision. Let just hope that the decision will not affect humans life but save humans life.

  4. Any idiot with an elementary education in debate allows lies to just hang in the air with out refuting them immediately. Allen needs to grow a pair of balls and get in the game or step aside and let someone who can vigorously dissect the other sides ridiculous bullshit and do it quickly. Put them on the defensive for once please. Their are few opportunities allowed on air to debate and there is only a FEW SECONDS to give your point and Allen just sits on his ass and smiles. you need argue successfully like glenn greenwald does. he attacks their bullshit lies immediately without letting their lies just hang in the air. calif defacto legalization my ass. what??. people lives arfe being destroyed every day. technically arrested my ass. quit allowing their side to control everything. Why wont anyone ask the other side just once if they drink any alcohol at any time and if so do they do it responsibly when they have the nerve to even bring up alcohol? If normal can do no better than this then i will give my support to someone else or any one else, I am so mad right now my head is about to explode. It even makes me question the sincerity in normals actual attempt to successfully debate the point of true legalization. seriously.

  5. I wasn’t too happy with this segment; hope the next one is better. I’m also tired of people comparing marijuana to alcohol and tobacco. They need to get their facts straight.
    Legalize – enough is enough.

  6. #71 champagne2878 Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 11:30 pm
    Anyone know if there is anybody working on a marijuana breathalyzer.
    If someone could come up with one real quick
    then we couldget alot further given the fact that
    everyone wants to argue about people driving under the influence.
    RE:
    champagne2878,
    – The two most immediate means of assessing
    THC-levels in drivers are saliva-tests and blood-tests,
    (as contrasted with urine-tests, sweat-patches and hair-tests,
    which only measure lingering NON-psychoactive metabolates),
    though THC-levels alone in cannabis-only drivers are inconclusive
    regarding actual impairment.
    – (Cannabis-influenced drivers tend to be more cautious and aware,
    whereas alcohol-influenced ones tend to be less cautious and less aware
    of their impairment).
    MORE INFO:
    CANNABIS AND DRIVING

    Cruising on Cannabis
    :
    Putting the Breaks on Doped Driving Misconceptions
    Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use

  7. #71 champagne2878 Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 11:30 pm
    Anyone know if there is anybody working on a marijuana breathalyzer.
    If someone could come up with one real quick
    then we couldget alot further given the fact that
    everyone wants to argue about people driving under the influence.
    RE:
    champagne2878,
    – The two most immediate means of assessing
    THC-levels in drivers are saliva-tests and blood-tests,
    (as contrasted with urine-tests, sweat-patches and hair-tests,
    which only measure lingering NON-psychoactive metabolates),
    though THC-levels alone in cannabis-only drivers are inconclusive
    regarding actual impairment.
    – (Cannabis-influenced drivers tend to be more cautious and aware,
    whereas alcohol-influenced ones tend to be less cautious and less aware
    of their impairment).
    MORE INFO:
    CANNABIS AND DRIVING

    Cruising on Cannabis

    Putting the Breaks on Doped Driving Misconceptions
    Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use

  8. again with the lies. why can’t the government hire a someone with a background in science to debate a topic about science. these politicians don’t care about us, they only care about their contributors. maybe if we all pooled our money we too could buy a couple congressmen to help us. good luck in the future norml, hope they give you more time to debunk the lies next time

  9. Kevins a dumbshit. hes saying the same lies and bullshit that people always say about it

  10. #37 Chris J. Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 6:57 pm
    Truth WIll Prevail!
    RE:
    Chris J.
    WHEN!?!
    😈
    #62 Phil E. Drifter Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 9:50 pm
    it’s in the ‘drug czar’s job description that he is
    legally allowed to knowingly lie to the public…
    RE:
    Phil E. Drifter,
    It’s worse than “allowed” to lie…
    More like “REQUIRED to LIE!”

  11. just wrote cnn.com, swiped a line from one of ya 😉
    CNN Allen St. Pierre vs. Kevin Sabet with Don Lemon
    my comment is positive because i am impressed that you guys are making a concerted effort to try and bring this debate about ending the cannabis prohibition to the eyes of humanity.
    but please have more in depth segments and actually let the NORML & MPP Guys speak! Ron Paul too!!
    be honest, you guys are having a hard time finding legitimate arguers on the sided of maintaining the prohibition. Sabet hogged this interview with lies and poor argument..in particular the opposition said 450,000 people die a year from tobacco and alcohol, what does that have to do with marijuana? ZERO DEATHS from the flowers of this plant. And when you’ve had Stepen Baldwin on about this topic his performance has been laughable.
    please also do not forget this would also legalize HEMP. look into all the benefits of this cousin plant. the two together legalized would be so much better then the wasted resources trying to exterminate them from our ground and our culture.
    Thanks so much for your time!!

  12. yeah Lemon needs to get it straight.. we will not settle for decriminalization…end the prohibition, legalize, tax if you must be WE ARE GONNA GROW IN OUR BACK YARDS AND BASEMENTS for the rest of humanity.

  13. Kevin Sabet is a liar about, “all you get is a parking ticket” get the hell out of with that, when I was pulled over, someone in the backseat of my car I picked up got done smoking weed before he got into my car. The cops pulled me over (registration was a day past due on my plate) smelled weed, searched my car, found a marjiana seed in the seat of my car and threated to take me to jail, over a damn seed.

  14. they need to put Allen and Kevin Sabet on that show on ESPN Around The Horn, where they give points for correct answers about sports and mute someone when they won’t shut the hell up. Allen would get points like crazy for telling truths about marijuana while Kevin would get negative points for telling lies. They would also mute Kevin because he won’t shut the hell up and speaks out of turn.

  15. The guy on the bottom right looks stoned… his eyes are half shut while hes debating… and hes trying going against it? Messed Up. Its gonna be legalized soon! Keep up the support!

  16. If Kevin Sabet is the best they can do, then the prohibitionists are clearly desperate. This guy is such a moron. Nothing he says is even a legitimate reason to keep marijuana illegal.

  17. An important question is whether we continue a system in which all of the money flows to criminal drug cartels, or do we legalize and tax marijuana so the money can flow to the public treasury and the rebuilding of America?
    The gang violence and destruction of public lands caused by criminals operating outside of the prohibition laws would end if individuals could legally grow a few plants of their own at home.
    One approach: support a personal use and cultivation permit, for example $100 for twelve plants, with the revenue split between the Federal and State governments.
    Let’s let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own backyards and put the criminal cartels out of business.

  18. An important question is whether we continue a system in which all of the money flows to criminal drug cartels, or do we legalize and tax marijuana so the money can flow to the public treasury and the rebuilding of America?
    The gang violence and destruction of public lands caused by criminals operating outside of the prohibition laws would end if individuals could legally grow a few plants of their own at home.
    One approach: support a personal use and cultivation permit, for example $100 for twelve plants, with the revenue split between the Federal and State governments.
    Let’s let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own backyards and put the criminal cartels out of business.

  19. If the USA legalizes and taxes all sales of medical marijuana and non-medical use.
    Why should marijuana be legal?
    * People have a basic right to make choices for themselves as long as their actions do not
    harm others.
    Responsible individuals in a free society should be allowed to choose whether or not they
    use marijuana. Individual liberty is a fundamental value.
    * The government is wasting our time and money by prohibiting marijuana.
    Taxpayers are forced to pay billions of dollars to persecute, prosecute, and incarcerate
    people for having marijuana. If marijuana were legal and regulated (like alcohol and tobacco)
    this money, plus tax revenues from marijuana sales, could be used for other purposes such as
    education and health care.
    * Prohibition is not an effective solution to the problems associated with marijuana use.
    Marijuana, like tobacco and alcohol, can be abused. But prohibition is expensive and
    ineffective; education and regulation are better solutions.
    Regulating sales of marijuana and teaching people the truth about its health effects will allow us
    to minimize the harms and costs to society.
    * We have learned a lesson from history.
    Alcohol prohibition did not work, and there is no logical reason to believe that marijuana
    prohibition is a better idea.
    What is most likely due to happen is:
    1. The USA can help get through the recession faster .
    It could raise over $1.2 billion a year in new tax revenues, assuming a $50-an-ounce tax,
    according to one analysis.
    2. Can use the tax from such a bill to legalize marijuana to better enforce
    the more deadlier drugs on the street which are far more fatle than marijuana.
    3. The tax on marijuana not only can be used to help get the more dangerous
    drugs off the streets but also will help to strengthen the USA’s finantial problem while
    opening the doors to a business designed to the helping of Medical patiance
    who need the medication.
    4. If the USA legalizes marijuana and taxes it while having a law stating that the
    user must be atleast 21 to buy , posess , and/or own marijuana .
    Reason for this is simple and will lessen crime in which a vast % of jails/prisons are holding people for simple
    posession while others face more due to culturevation and distriutation of marijuana.
    FACT: Annual American marijuana smokers who have died are 0 which is normal while
    their are more deaths due to DUI’s and perscription medications such as Vicodin , Morphine ,
    and Lithium to name a few.
    Can a person ever die due to smoking marijuana ?
    ANNUAL AMERICAN DEATHS CAUSED BY DRUGS
    TOBACCO …………………… 400,000
    ALCOHOL …………………… 100,000
    ALL LEGAL DRUGS ………….20,000
    ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS ……….15,000
    CAFFEINE …………………….2,000
    ASPIRIN ………………………500
    MARIJUANA …………………. 0
    —————————————-
    Source: United States government…
    National Institute on Drug Abuse,
    Bureau of Mortality Statistics
    The answer is simply “extreamly unlikely” 0 people have died due to over dose and / or
    use of marijuana .
    Help to support us by simply spreading the word and by answering the simple question:
    Should the USA legalize marijuana but treat it as we treat alcohol?

  20. I am currently in a diversion program (IPSA) and have to take classes. In this class, one of the case workers told us that from her experience as a caseworker, marijuana is not a gateway drug. Most people that were in the program only smoke pot and nothing else. I can support this claim since most people that I know that smoke, only smoke pot. Furthermore, many have white collar jobs and are productive members of society.

  21. it appears to me that our government just does’nt have the stones to reasonably debate this issue because… they know we are right and that they are in this way over their heads now. kinda like cutting off their own nose to spite their own faces. they were afraid of allen….

  22. Any publicity is good publicity, I guess. Anyways, that interview was weird, and awkward. Allen barely got a word out. I think the polls are starting to reflect America’s real attitude toward legalization. It’s just a matter of time before politicians start seeing legalization as a way to boost their approval ratings and bids for re-election. Then we’ll have ’em by the balls.

  23. Hey Allen, the entire point of being in a debate is DEBATING. Try to actually talk next time, huh?

  24. It’s too bad Allen didn’t get to say much, and it’s too bad the interviewer didn’t have an idea what he was talking about half the time. I find it interesting that the White House adviser claimed to be in favor of research and debate, seemingly at odds with the administrations he worked under.

  25. Allen, you will get another chance. You were the civil one, the other dude said just what we all knew that he was going to say. You know that you cant really say much with only maybe 4 min. to DEBATE with. I like the fact that you didnt talk over the guy cause people cant understand what is being said. Job well done. I will send norml the money now to help further our cause. Thank You for speaking out for me and te rest of the people

  26. Allen you are the man! Staying cool and collected and speaking when it was your time to, unlike Kevin who was anxious and agitated and spoke out of turn. I like how you represent rational thought on the subject, so continue to do an excellent job, were rooting for you!

  27. I felt like you missed an opportunity to make two important points about the bill for cannabis legalization in California:
    1. Cannabis sale would be restricted like Alcohol – only adults over the age of 21 could buy it. Anyone under 21 caught with it would not only face a stiff fine but also would be sent to mandatory drug treatment and have their parents notified.
    2. Studies show that teenagers have easier access to cannabis than to alcohol – an indication that prohibition has actually made cannabis more accessible to youth rather than less accessible.
    Both of these are important points to make to convince older, more socially conservative Americans.

  28. There is censorship when telling the truth- There is no censorship when spreading lies and propaganda.

  29. Pretty bad debate. Didnt like how most of Sabet’s lies went unanswered. “Holland heroin use has tripled” ? Since when ? 1970 ? America and Europe’s use did also ! Holland has half the cannabis use across the board and a third the cocaine use( U.N. Drug Survey). The Califorina Schwarzenegger debate’s have to be top notch performance. Everything ya got. The pro-legalize debate team has to really know his facts and not let any lie go unanswered !

  30. NORML should get that picture of the hemp leaf that says food, housing, fuel, inspiration and put it on white t-shirts and charge 10 bucks. wham, u have potheads who will spread the truth and u dont have to have ween ur way into the “taboo” topic. I would buy 5 for my friends

  31. CNN spent over 5 minutes on the President and Vice President ordering a hamburger last week yet when they actually have something interesting to talk about they cut it short everytime. CNN needs to actually set aside some real time to the issue. If CNN thinks it is so interesting the Arnold said we should have a debate on legalizing marijuana maybe instead of talking about a debate they should actually just have one!

  32. “Here in KY, they sure dont hand you a ticket! Last month, 18 year old, tail light out, has a roach found in search, roach is two weeks old. Judge gives, DUI, 6months no driving, 100hrs service, 2 years probation and $500 fine+ court! So they can blow that “just get a ticket” crap out their ass!”
    Same here, Nebraska btw. pulled over for speeding though. We really do need to put the pressure on cnn and ALL media. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of having to “random” drug test EVERY WEEK. 45-1 hr. drive to go pee in a cup. YOUR TAX DOLLARS HARD AT WORK (plus my own out-of pocket expense).
    here’s the cnn feedback link again:
    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form4.html?94

  33. they must not be allowed to lie, we must not allow them tp get away with the lies.

  34. Prohibitionists are not interested in the truth, only their truth. People presumptuous and self-absorbed enough to believe they know how to best run other peoples’ lives, are not interested in the facts. They live in fear of the fact they can’t even competently run their own lives.

  35. If pot were legal almost everyone would look at a police man in a different way. They wouldnt have to worry about driving down the road with a small amount on them.

  36. The only reason I can see Kevin Sabet defying logic for is so he can stay in a job even though legalization would create millions of jobs for millions of other law-abiding Americans. However, I don’t see why he doesn’t realize that in the event of legalization he can be the first in line for a job checking tax stamps in stores.

  37. Not a bad dry run. CNN has been better than most networks on this issue for at least the last 15 years.
    Don Lemon does seem sympathetic to MJ reform and did go out of his way to make the control room replay Gov. Schwarzenegger comments to call Mr Sabet on one of his falsehoods.
    That said, and no disrespect to Mr St.Pierre, you did fine on this soft news short, When (if) the big debate comes we need a REAL lawyer to represent us. Someone trained to present an airtight case and trained to shoot down the other side’s arguments.
    In court you want a lawyer not a doctor.
    In surgery you want a doctor not a soldier.
    For a bodyguard you want a soldier not a celebrity.
    On TV you want a Celebrity not an Executive Director.
    Again I think Mr. St.Pierre did fine, but this is our best shot at reform in 30 years.
    The first thing we need to do is organize as a coherent VOTING BLOC.
    The second thing we need to do is learn the tactics that the NRA and AARP use to great effect.
    [AStP: Having been interviewed over 10,000 in the media since 1991, I think non-lawyers can represent cannabis consumers just as well, if not better than so-called ‘real lawyers’. While you may want a ‘celebrity’ debating for your freedom on CNN, I personally prefer to have genuine experts and stakeholders negatively affected by prohibition laws represent cannabis consumers, and this is also who CNN wanted…not Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson or Bill Maher.
    If you want ‘stoner celebs’ like these to appear on CNN to represent you, then I suggest spending more time at CNN’s ‘feedback’ section advocating for ‘celeb stoners’ to appear on the air rather than making multiple posts daily on NORML’s blog…to the same post…over and over again.]

  38. If any law enforcement officer on this show claims the police are not neglecting other crimes to go after marijuana, then bring up the fact that many police departments these days are either failing to process the rape kits they’ve already collected or trying to charge the rape victims for the investigations.
    The law enforcement spokespeople need to be called out on national TV because this is an outrage that should not be tolerated in a modern civilized nation that purports to protect the victims of violent crime.
    A rape kit protects the current victim, the future victims, and anyone who might be falsely accused. The only person who wouldn’t want a rape kit processed would be a guilty rapist.

  39. It’s obvious. They think that if they give a little TV time to the topic of decriminalizing/legalizing herb that it might just get people to stop talking about it. Think about it. Most times I hear 30 minutes on a topic and it’s on every channel, but when it comes to this topic it’s only given 8 minutes? Which are taken up by someone who doesn’t debate but talks over everyone cause they know exactly how long the interview lasts and if they can just push it aside for one more day and keep selling their lies then they have some how served this country, which is the people! Until I can hear a logical, insightful, meaningful, unbiased, TRUTHFUL debate on this topic my thoughts will still reside with the many who have to listen to the propaganda that is never ending with the prohibitionists. If we, the people, can’t be given a straight answer as to the significance and TRUTH about MJ then how do we ever expect to get straight answers about anything else that is deemed to be more serious in nature? You call me an extremist? Why? Because I disagree with your line of reasoning? Fines are as much as a parking ticket? Try again. Fines In/Out $250. Court costs $150. Legal fees and filing $50. Diversion program, that is if your state allows it $100. Then you have “treatment” for something that does not call for it $1000. This is just for first time offenses. The sting of never being able to get a job, back in school or the respect of others….PRICELESS! If you thought about trying to get financial aid you better think again. Your better off trying for a grant and that’s never a given with all the people who apply.They set you up to fail if you don’t abide by their thought process and that is not how life should be. I don’t tell anyone how to live their life. You know why? Cause it’s not mine to control. I agree that the way to go is to inform with sound science. Other than that the high powered lobbyists’ money is what’s doing the pushing and theirs always someone who will shovel their BS to the public. It costs a lot of $ to keep the American citizen from pointing out the fallacies of big businesses who could not compete with an herb that is proven time and time again that it would change everything that is done by businesses who are afraid of the value which it holds. They try to instill fear in us but they are the ones who are afraid. Afraid that all the lies they’ve been spewing the last 70 years could come back and bite them in the butt. Don’t give up on this. Show your support. For those who don’t think that if it doesn’t affect me or my immediate family or friends then I need not worry about this. You are the most important. It is you who needs to find the truth and back it. That is, unless you like being lied to about something that supposedly is so small we can’t even talk about it openly and TRUTHFULLY! I haven’t even begun to list all the stats that associate MJ as something that can be done responsibly or doesn’t relate in terms of addiction or fatalities but that is for another time. Good day to you all and keep up the fight.

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