NORML’s Chris Goldstein debates medical marijuana on CBS

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As a longtime media observer, I’m beginning to see a shift in the way mainstream media are covering the medical marijuana issue. Back in the day, these sort of talking-head segments used to feature the host in-studio with the official-looking spokesperson for prohibition getting the opening and closing questions and being allowed by the host to dominate the discussion. The guest representing the reform position is then brought in for conflict and balance, but usually in a remote shot. The sober and serious prohib would be given open-ended questions and allowed to speak at length to make the point. The marginalized reformer would be given leading questions on some inane fallacy about “legalization” and then be forced to defend themselves against the implied frivolity of their position.

In this interview, the roles are reversed. Chris Goldstein comes off as the sober and serious one in-studio, with the host hanging on his every word and eager to give him opportunity to advance the agenda. The fellow from Heritage Foundation comes off as the fringe defender of an unwelcome position, with the host’s leading questions that could almost be completed with “tell us why you believe that nonsense?”

It’s getting to the point where mainstream media organizations are having difficulty booking guests to take an anti-medical marijuana position. Even those they find can only bring themselves to criticize the smoking of cannabis and even they are being rebutted by interviewers who are increasingly aware of vaporization, tinctures, and edibles.

This is how NORML is working to end adult marijuana prohibition – by winning the hearts and minds of the American people through honest education about cannabis and through responsible intelligent spokespeople appearing in local and national news media. Chris Goldstein is but one of the hundreds of activists in our nationwide chapter network who are making a difference by stepping up to be the face and voice of the responsible adult cannabis consumer… won’t you join us?

72 thoughts

  1. the illusion of debate on the toob is an awesome attn getter for our increasingly active team.

    let’s not kid ourselves, within their framing of the gaming stacked against, not enough time and the thugs always do okay by sowing the seeds of doubt in jello brain confusion.

    an open ended hook that i’ve been using lately is: tell that to the cannabinoid receptors in your brain.

    cannabis is a blessed and righteous herb, Jah mon.

  2. See, I have no problem with the NORML editors putting down Ron Paul for a 2012 election bid, because to some extent I agree with them. A) He IS too old. B) He will accomplish little, especially MJ reform, without support in the Congress.

    What pushes my buttons is that the NORML editors also get very upset when I mention the Liberty Movement which is a collective of Ron Paul-minded people who are young and fresh. But according to NORML, they are also not viable, and NORML editors make antagonizing comments such as “what movement?” Well again, Liberty Candidates (not GOP, not teaparty which is GOP, LIBERTY candidates) are polling extremely well for Congressional races right now! The Ron Paul vs. Obama poll results I posted further prove that it IS a viable movement THAT SUPPORTS NOT ONLY MARIJUANA REFORM, BUT FULL ON LEGALIZATION!!

    So go ahead and decide for everyone that a Ron Paul presidential bid is not viable… but don’t tell me that like minded fresh politicians also are not viable.

    Since other people commenting have been either supporting what I say, or having a civil and understandable debate with me, I will continue to post my thoughts and get railed rudely by the NORML editors.

    [Editor’s note: Like-minded fresh candidates? Where? How many so-called ‘Liberty Movement’ candidates are members of Congress? None. What is the percentage rate of incumbents winning their seats back? Over 97%. Under 2% of Congressional and state elected offices are held by third parties. Online polling today, does not equate to so-called Liberty candidates winning in primaries and hardly at all in general elections.]

  3. Gary Johnson would be an excellent candidate for 2012!!! In fact, my local NORML chapter (UNH) recently invited him to speak here in NH in connection with our local Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter. He is a great friend of Ron Paul and a proud member of the liberty movement.

  4. I think he pulled that last part out his ass. Maybe we should debate just Marijuana, Cigarettes, and Alcohol and see which is safer…..Douche.

    Smoking anything isn’t good for you but smoking marijuana alone gives you a lower risk of lung cancer???? And some kids star smoking cigarettes and alcohol way early in life and we tell them not to smoke marijuana. This nation is slowly but already alot, turned completely backwards.

    Legalize and progress. Lets stop spending $20,000 on each prisoner just to keep them in there. Especially if were arresting a shitload of people for marijuana possession. Get what Im sayin here?!?!?! And on top of that shit we’re craking out billions for this so called war on drugss, and we, the connoisseurs are fuckin’ winnin!!!!!!!

    What the hells wrong with this fuckin rock with live on. Legalize this god plant.

  5. Comment 1 by the lier:

    Has very bad effects on some individuals.
    Causes dependency.
    Leads to mental deficiencies/illnesses.

    Marijuana has varying effects, some individuals will feel more strengthened effects than others, more receptive to cannabinoids.

    Anything can cause dependency if you let it, have some self-control.

    The only disease I can think of is paranoia, which is onset from the reality that consumers have to hide and cower to engage in a harmless activity. The pressure is higher for some more than others, and particularly thoughtful and introverted individuals can see a raise in paranoia because of legal repercussions, all because it is illegal. Nothing else.

    Comment 2 by the idiot:

    Not a healthy drug to take.
    Gateway drug to coke, heroin, etc.
    Not good for society as a whole or for individuals.
    Has some very bad side effects.
    Paying for people who become drug dependent.
    No upside.

    Well, there are alternatives to smoking it and soring up your throat. It’s our choice. It’s your choice if you want to wear sunscreen when you go outside or not.

    Gateway drug.. Yeah ok bud. If we were to figuratively be able to purchase cannabis from a legal source, we wouldn’t come into contact with individuals who sell other drugs. People DON’T want other drugs. Let me remind us all and the deceptive anti-cannabis legions, that an individual is fully accountable for what they put in their body. Putting Bleach* in your body should be a crime by the DEA’s drug classification standards. Individuals who want hard drugs will get them if they really want them, and will leave the harmless cannabis consumers out of the picture. That is a whole ‘nother issue.

    The legalization of cannabis is good for society on SOOO MANY levels. Let’s not try and bullshit here. The amount of innocent incarcerations, wasted tax-dollars in enforcement of bad policy, civilian harassment, trickery of chemical drugs for easy remedies by cannabis [especially pain – I’m talking to your Tylenol & Aspirin], lying to the public and causing more xenophobia to fulfill agendas etc. etc.

    Bad side effects….repeated bs talking point. Don’t take it if it doesn’t work for you. But it is NOT harmful.

    Paying for people who become drug dependent.. What the hell is that ? The association of the stereotypical needle-addict with a pot smoker ? C’mon, you can do better – surely. I can personally quit for months and feel free of any withdrawal symptoms. Do I consider it ? Yeah, puts fun back into life. I choose an alternative recreational input substance to enhance the enjoyment of my limited time on this planet (it’s not flat by the way =]).

    No upside to legalization? Oh boy…
    a) No more arresting harmless tokers – I don’t even feel I need to pull up the large figure of money that would be saved….HEY! Enforcement can actually spend resources going after CRIMINALS! It’s much easier to harass harmless civilians than to actually do your job and serve the community by making it safer with less harmful individuals, but that would require effort and be endangering !
    b) Taking the criminal aspect out of the whole equation essentially creates another highly in-demand product (similar to alcohol). Room for profit. Legal market with age requirement allows adults to purchase it in a store as opposed to meeting up with sketchy Joe at 1am for his dime-bag. IT WOULD BECOME CHEAPER! Any adult with a brain would preferrably purchase it from a reputable source with quality control in a legal environment.
    c) C is for etcetera, etcetera. Our positive repeated talking points to come from legalization….

    Comment 3 by the traitor against humanity:

    Steroid abuse, pain killer statistics.
    Amount of pain killer prescription abuse has gone up.
    Number of hospitalizations from prescription abuse has gone up.
    US too dependent on drugs, and too many drugs (incl. pharm)

    I can do all 4 of those in 1 comment.. What the fuck do Tylenol, steroids and pain-killer deaths and use have to do with a substance completely different in its own category that has never caused ONE DEATH in it’s singularity. YOU CAN’T EVEN O.D FOR FUCK’s SAKE. If people had the option of using cannabis for pain relievement we wouldn’t have these damn statistics you so conveniently paraded into the discussion.

    Comment 4 by the lier:
    More kids will “do it”.

    Age restrictions. We have fines for selling other recreational substances to !? Because it’s legal for a certain group of people who are allowed to make responsible choices by themselves. You can’t weed out (har har) the dishonest portion of the popularity that sells various things to minors, but you can curb the dilemma by taking the illegal market out of it and restricting sale to individuals over the age requirement.

    This comment is dedicated to Jack Herrer. Thank You J.H.

    Again, 4/20 will personally be commemorated to you Jack. Long life you, the rest of the cannabis crusaders alive or deceased and the movement for personal liberty.

  6. GATEWAY???????? How is an objest a gateway??????? The blackmarket dealers are the gateway!!!! STUPID

  7. I’ think it’s 14yr that the brain is pretty much developed but there is more minor development till around 18yr , isn’t there research being done on younger people to see if Cannabis can be substituted for Ritalin ? great Documentary (The War On Kids).
    As far as the cbs thing goes, yet another anti Cannabis person that spews nothing but LIES, not one thing he said was true and I commend the Chris Goldstein for being so mellow about it.

  8. “The blackmarket dealers are the gateway!!!! STUPID” ????

    Are you sure it isn’t maybe Tobacco or Alcohol or cough syrup or Aspirin or …… TV or.

  9. How is the debate not over? The Marijuana guy stated facts and research studies, the anti Marijuana guy just spoke Bush Talk and tried to scare us into not smoking with no facts.

    WTF Yall

  10. This guy should do his research or maybe work at a highschool!.. I do. and there is a big Marijuana problem with the students especially the freshman… I wonder whats going on in the middle-schools.. LEGALIZE! oh and if its such a big worry… have students have mandatory drug tests.. First of all there should BE NO STUDENTS under the influence of Marijuana..point…. alchohol is regulated so why have I NEVER seen a student come in drunk. thanks for your time

  11. 45 Maui420L

    Republican/Democrat/right wing/left wing/prohib period, if they don’t declare their stand on medical cannabis prior to the election, they very simply won’t get my vote. If they think that the “Healthcare Bill” raised some furor, let them vote against medical cannabis and see what happens. 81% nationwide is a huge number to go against.

  12. 45 Maui420L

    Republican/Democrat/right wing/left wing/prohib period, if they don’t declare their stand on medical cannabis prior to the election, they very simply won’t get my vote. If they think that the “Healthcare Bill” raised some furor, let them vote against medical cannabis and see what happens. 81% nationwide is a huge number to go against.

  13. The Heritage Foundation was started by Joseph Coors,racist,homophobic, poison drug dealer.

    And Paul,you say you are non-partisan but trash the only candidate in the last election who stated the reasons to end prohibition more clearly than even NORML could.
    I agree that Gary Johnson is a great candidate but in the latest straw poll he got about 1% of the vote,are you going to say he is a less viable candidate than Ron Paul?

    Jethro,you are batshit crazy…and BTW-Tashkin just reversed his opposition to legalization and now supports it.

  14. “Is this heritage guy a hard core democrat or what? Wants to make all these rules just to protect you. Trying to tell me he knows better about my health/life than I do???
    We *have* to protect everybody against everything because they can’t handle it themselves. If you let them control this part of your life, how much longer do you think it will be before they want control over more?”

    Yes that’s right, its the democrats who are standing in the way of legalizing marijuana… Retard

  15. Is NORML winning any support by its Editors slamming Ron Paul?

    [Editor’s note: As NORML is a longtime political supporter and donor to Ron Paul the organization has not ‘slammed’ Rep. Paul. Not once. NORML’s editors only point out the delusions of commentators who believe that Paul is a viable national political candidate–when he clearly is not–and to stop wasting time, energy and money on obsessing over the unelectable as president.

    Even Ron Paul KNOWS he can’t get elected president as a Republican (he can’t win the party nomination as Republicans are NOT libertarians per se) and he can’t win as a third party candidate on, for example, the Libertarian Party (LP candidates for president rarely break more than 5% support).

    For all and intent purposes Ron Paul is a political gadfly who reminds all listening audiences–of any size, large and small–of the virtues of the free market, liberty, personal autonomy, shrinking the size and scope of government, etc…ALL excellent points to believe in and promote. Paul hanging around the edges of the political mainstream is very helpful in educating audiences and media, as well as holding his fellow elected policy makers to task, notably his Republican colleagues, for talking libertarian while at the same time largely contradicting themselves in the actions they take.

    These are not ‘slams’ against Paul as much as they are requests to some Paul-obsessed activists to stop wasting precious time and building false expectations for a genuinely libertarian candidate running to be president of a yet-to-be-if-ever-libertarian country.]

  16. I’d like to know how many stocks in the alcohol and pharmaceutical companies this Brian Darling owns. His comments on how it leads to addiction are almost humorous. The number of people addicted to pharmaceutical drugs is sky high. I prefer not to take pharmaceutical drugs and yet I am getting them in my water and my food. He even says that the majority of cases in hospitals are do to pharmaceutical drugs.

  17. the presidency is a figurehead position. wear your suit well.

    the real power resides in the shadows.

  18. There you go again Paul.
    Maybe you are not slamming Ron Paul (but it seems like you are)…but you are definitely slamming and insulting Ron Paul supporters.
    During the election campaign I paid close attention to what Ron Paul was saying,I never contributed to him,volunteered for him or anything other than listen to him and agree with some things and disagree with others.On the other hand I also listened to the democrats.Hillary Clinton might as well be Nancy Reagan,Joe Biden is an awful drug warrior coward and the only ones who made any sense on drug policy were Kucinich and Dodd.
    So…because I listened to Ron Paul and saw that on marijuana law reform he is light years ahead of any other candidate,it seems you are labeling me and others as some kind of teabagger nutcases.
    I’m disappointed to see that you ,like some other reformers are so pompous and conceited.Another example similar to you was Bruce Mirkin of MPP.At the very beginning of the campaign I wrote him and praised his work and told him that Ron Paul was making alot of sense when it came to the drug war.I also suggested that if Obama won,the first step we should take should be to call for a special commission to study the results of the drug war so far and make recommendations for change.
    Just like you are doing here,he told me I was a nutcase Ron Paul supporter and that I was an idiot for suggesting a special commission.Can you say Jim Webb?
    You guys better start giving your supporters more respect and start listening to our ideas and stop thinking you know everything and we know nothing.I started helping NORML decades before you came along and I talk to Kevin Zeese often on FB,he knows what respect is and he knows that us supporters are not idiots.I talked to him right after you censored my comment on here because I objected to Keith Stroup suggesting the govt charge $600 per ounce for legal marijuana and he agreed with my opinion.
    I appreciate your good work but have a little more respect for differing opinions.You have suggested Gary Johnson as a good candidate,and I agree,but he has even less of a chance in hell of getting half as far as Ron Paul did,and you know it.

    [Paul Armentano responds: Just to be clear, I sign my all of my replies on this blog with “Paul Armentano responds,” so while you are directing your message to me personally, you are actually responding to opinions I didn’t write. BTW, there is a popular youtube video of Ron Paul and my father from the 1980s discussing economics, so I’m very, very familiar with Ron Paul and his long history in politics.]

  19. Marijuana is a non-issue. The Feds are turning a blind eye to the 50 states right now because they have a financial catastrophe on their hands. Ask yourself, why are we the only country out of 196 not to have nationalized health and retirement services? The answer is simple: Americans are stupid. Sure, marijuana is fun, but aren’t there more important issues like your health and future? Therefore, the marijuana issue is a huge distraction from the major issue. Why are Americans taxed like Europeans but receive no social services? The answer is simple: we are being robbed! Anyone who thinks that the marijuana issue is valid is chasing a carrot. America has so many problems, and drug use is one of them. This, however, is a result of high taxes and poor social services from our government.

  20. It’s amazing all the lies and propaganda being spun here by the right.
    Americans are nowhere near taxed like the EU. We’d have a civil war if it was… and all that BS about wanting to protect the kids is total hog wash… if they cared about the kids then Alcohol would be illegal as it kills more than all the illegal drugs combined, and that goes for cigarettes and prescription drugs… where’s your outrage there?
    And the best one…what kind of example will it set… like when mommy and daddy go out and drive home drunk…
    Oh and GE pays “0” in taxes… 15 billion in profit but no tax… how nice…
    where dem jobs boss….

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