Confirmed: Marijuana Legalization To Be Discussed Today On ABC News

NORML has been invited to appear this afternoon (Monday, May 17) to participate in a debate, ‘Should Marijuana Be Legalized?’, on the digital channel ABC News Now, which is also broadcast online.

[Editor’s note: Archived video of the debate is now available free online here.]

The discussion will air live from 12:30PM-1PM (eastern) with portions possibly re-broadcast tonight on ABC’s Nightline.

Check local cable programming re ABC’s digital channels or go online here.

149 thoughts

  1. Yes, I watched B. Darling shouting over Mr. Allen the entire time. B. Darling could’nt come up with anything intelligent to say and was upset because Mr. Allen, on the other hand, was sounding intelligent and this angered B. Darling, you can clearly see his fustration, that is why he would’nt let Mr. Allen talk. His comment that he threw in about ” do you do meth and cocaine” really justifies and completes the total picture of his ignorance. I am proud of you Mr. Allen, you made us who stand behind you proud! Thank you for not stooping to his level of ignorance. I will pray for B. Darling, he needs it!

  2. I’ve spoken with ABC News producers in NYC and DC, they indicate that an ‘edited’ version will likely appear at ABC News Now’s homepage tomorrow afternoon.

    NORML will re-post the uninterrupted, 30 minute ‘mini’ debate between the Heritage Foundation’s Brian Darling (who uses tobacco and alcohol products…but, still, oddly favors cannabis prohibition) and me as soon as ABC gives us the applicable link.

    What ABC News (and the general public) should have witnessed was Mr. Darling and I mixing it up at the front door of ABC’s TV studios in Washington, DC!

    Now that would have made for interesting and compelling viewing!


  3. All these guys have to know its not bad for you at this point. They must be making money off of its illegality, it has to be the only reason.

  4. 18-good point, safer than aspirin.

    28- Right on, no sourced facts for his arguments.

    One obvious thing I would point out for those arguing against prohibition is that there is a large number of people who would use it if it was legal, they don’t because it is illegal, naturally use will increase because of the people who choose not to consume/use it because it’s illegal that otherwise would if it was legal.

    Next time anyone brings up heroin, like someone else mentioned above, just bring them back by saying “the debate is about marijuana, not heroin which we don’t support”, which you did!

    I was also glad when you made the point regarding the gw theory, with a statistic of just how little the hard drug population is in comparison to the cannabis consuming population.

  5. I could not see the broadcast in my area,, and it sounds like plenty of others missed it too.
    Hopfully debates like this will move closer to prime time in the near future. (Heard it was good thoe)
    Keep Up The Good Work ! & Thanks for what you do !

  6. Off-subject:

    My parents, who happen to be hardcore Republican Christian-conservatives, have recently had a conversation with me and to my surprise, they are against the war on drugs. They feel as though marijuana should be treated no differently than alcohol, yet they understand that alcohol is far more harmful. This coming from my parents who once hated marijuana because of what they grew up being told by our lying government. There was a time when my parents would have laughed in my face if I’d told them that marijuana was OK to use by responsible people.

    Times sure are changing!

    They’ve seen through me that marijuana is far from harmful, but in fact the safer alternative. They’ve seen me graduate from college with honors, while advocating for marijuana policy reform. They’ve seen me mature, buy a house, get married and be successful in my own way, even while I continued to use marijuana daily.

    Thanks mom and dad for your constant love and confidence in me. Most of all, thank you for treating me like the adult that I am.

    I only wish everyone could be as lucky as I’ve been.

  7. how many stupid tv debates do we need before it just happens talk is cheap bite me abc stop using the weed argument to draw people to your shitty shows!! you can’t get high enough for any of the crap they portend as entertainment on that station to make anything even watchable!! they can’t even put it on the network station…gutless..

  8. I can’t wait to see this video, I am literally on the edge of my seat to watch NORML enlighten the nation with the truth of marijuana and it’s wide variety of benefits.

    Legalize and Save the economy.

  9. I just watched this and I am seriously disgusting at how much of a hypocrite that guy is.

    “Alcohol and tobacco are safe (even though it kills hundreds of thousands of people a year), but let’s keep one of the safest substances illegal because… just because”.

    That sums up the entire 25 minute video. Oh, and the fact that I want to decimate that idiot.

  10. We should email or call ABC and demand an unedited version on thier site as well because supposedl its the press’ job to report the truth to the people.

  11. I support the legalization of marijuana. I don’t think it will happen anytime soon though. There are too many ignorant people out there who believe what they’ve been told by big business and politicians. They will fight you to the end of time as they use their tobacco and alcohol and think that that’s ok as it’s legal.
    The outcome in California isn’t going to be to our likings as Government will cheat, as they have in the past, when it comes to voter polls. Our Government doesn’t work for us as intended when this Country was founded. When the majority wants something and our Representatives vote against it, that is clear.
    In the real world where I live. If you don’t do the job your paid to do, your FIRED. It’s that simple. Any chump can sit in office, they should learn they are a dime a dozen. Too bad we can’t fire the Government.


  13. I agree — not much of a debate. Allen — you did great! But it’s hard to have a “debate” when the other side knows absolutely NOTHING about what they’re talking about.

  14. This debate was excellent. Mr. St. Pierre intellectually outclassed Mr. Darling on a scale unimaginable. I hope this showed America the hypocrisy of the current drug policy.

  15. What good is this article on ABC News-discussion if you HAVE to have “cable” or other “pay-tv” provider to
    view it?!?
    (internet-access is expensive enough…)

    And there’s no indication that it’s being rebroadcast on Nightline, EITHER!!!

  16. When Mr Darling asked Allen if the police were kicking in anyone’s door for smoking weed, Allen missed an opportunity to bring up the SWAT raid in Columbia, Missouri.

  17. I loved how, right after you stated where your stats came from, Brian said “Well I don’t know where you’re getting your information from…”

    I think you need to bring big card board signs to the debate with all your stats on them. Let’s take it back to high school: Poster board presentations with lots of pictures and quotes.

    Honestly though, you practically have to physically site your sources otherwise they’ll keep on with the “well I don’t know where you’re getting that from…”

    Well done, though. Who else can we put up against St. Pierre? Obama? Let’s do it.

  18. Mr. St. Pierre did just fine in that debate. Unfortunately it’s tough to respond and rebut so much mis-information. Everything that came out of Brian Darling’s mouth was a mis-characterization of facts(when he actually stated something that wasn’t false.) I almost wish it had been a 1 minute apiece kind of debate, there was probably 5 minutes of nothing even being said cause there were too many voices going at once.

    Mr St. Pierre, next time establish some rules for the debate, and make sure you follow them to a “T”. I understand your frustration and anger, but don’t let that appear in the form of constantly trying to interrupt the opponent mid-sentence. The more intelligently Brian’s positions were articulated, the easier it would be for you to refute them and make him look like the hypocritical ignoramous that he is. I just worry that a lot got lost in the “shuffle.”

  19. Remember people, we have the TRUTH on our side. If both sides in the debate voiced their opinions equally, we would win EVERY TIME. That’s why the percentage of Americans in favor of the legalization of marijuana is rising, not falling!

  20. @ #59 Chris,

    I missed your post.

    Thanks for posting Twittercast links!!!

    Brian is no “Darling”, and is such a “tool”, as well.
    (Kept interrupting Alan with stale, “feckless”,
    inaccurate drug-war tripe).

    Despite Brian’s incessant verbiage,
    you still TROUNCED “not a darling’s“)


    Watch the video right here (in four parts)

  21. That alcohol tobacco guy is just like “because its illegal” and St. Pierre is just spouting the facts we all already know….
    Waste of time if you ask me.

  22. Thank you to the person who linked it in the comments.. I laughed all the way through when brian was talking. Brian is the biggest hypocrite I have ever listened to. There was some really great info by allen that will shed some light on people watching it that are questioning legalization. Legalize 2010!!!!

  23. REGISTER TO VOTE. Only vote for like minded States rights types and we will change it from the states on up if the Feds will not comply with the will of “We the People” I still am debating in my own mind whether President Obama knew what he was doing when he laughed at the first “re-legalization question”. Did he mean to open up Pandora’s box so we would change this for him?

  24. The state of Mississippi is trying to lock me up for firing up my choice of smoke. I’m with anyone in the process of making Marijuana LEGAL. State of Mississippi needs to make changes to make all of it FOLKS enjoy their lives instead of working to death. I feel that its only because they can’t establish money. When they come up with a plan to share the economy. SMOKE !!!

  25. Hooray for rationality!

    If you didn’t know what alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis were prior to watching this you would overwhelmingly support legalization of marijuana.

    Social stigma and ignorance are the enemy.
    Spread the good word.

  26. Allen did a great job controlling himself and making his point. A few times I wanted to reach through my laptop and strangle Brian. However I realize his ignorance, biased, and one dimensional thinking, what a shame. My suggestion is lets have a nationally multichannel broadcast of this debate, and a segment showing the actual statistics of big pharma drugs vs cannabis. Let broadcast the truth and squash the lies once and for all. Yes George Washington and Jefferson and many, many others smoked it and used it for paper,clothing, rope, and we could use it on a industrial level for 1000’s of things including making cheaper fuel from the seed oil. Lets take back our God given right to be happy and healthy and use the wonderful herb/plant/medicine that God gave us.


  27. Wow, you rocked it, Allen!! You spoke strongly, were very thorough and very easy to understand. Makes me proud. Thank you for your continued work!

  28. Dear America,

    Would you like to know what would help us to get out of debt? Marijuana. Its a simple process really. Ya see, you have this seed, and you put it in the ground. And then you wait for it to grow. And you pick the buds off, and you sell it to people. Instant cash. And its all natural. I mean, what better way to make money then that? Especially with a clean conscience. You didn’t concoct this in your basement with some rat poison and tar. You grew this yourself. Its not going to kill anyone. And its not going to rot our teeth out and make us crack whores. Its just going to make us laugh a little more and calm us the fuck down.

    Wanna know something else? Those people you have locked up for “possession”, “drug pushers” and whatever other name you want to stick on them. Yeah, well they are wasting the tax payers money. Not to mention, you’re wasting their LIFE and your time because of a plant. A lot of those people are hard working citizens that wanted to make some extra cash on the side. What harm is that? They might have enough cash to go to the store and spend money on things that a family needs. And then the store of their choice gets BUSINESS. Thats called making the economy go round.

    As for its other uses besides money. Health. Smoking Marijuana is one of the best ways to relive stress. And help with pain. AND its a whole lot healthier than taking a couple shots or drinking a whole fifth after work. You cant get addicted to it. Unlike other drugs. Not to even mention the EVERYDAY caffeine.

    How about you think about it, America. If you want, we can smoke a bowl and talk more in-depth? 🙂

    Sincerly, Hillary W.

  29. wow that other guy was fucking dumb. Norml thank you so much for representing Americans like me. legalization Will make it harder for kids to do it, i loved this debate made the other side look like complete fools. weed Will be legal in America and California is sure to see a “Weed Rush” i for one will be one of those to move to show my support and push my own business venture… the Green Chef…we the people need to fight for our freedoms as they take more away everyday this is my pursuit of happiness and they are fucking with me, im tired of giving money to thugs and to think Im supporting wars on my border here in texas makes me completely sick i want weed from a safe steady source and i want to know that the product im getting is guaranteed to work as it should and is not “crappy” im tired of dealing with lowlife drug dealers who lie and false advertise there product.

  30. Ok, so I just had the chance to watch this. I commented above with my letter there, but now I want to comment on the actual video.

    WTF?! Brian. Tobacco and alcohol have more negative side effects than Marijuana. I understand your argument about America having access to too many drugs, and why should we make another drug legal?

    I think that Marijuana should have been legal before anything else. Then probably the use of tobacco and then alcohol. Marijuana is the least negative. Why would that be the last thing to become legal?

    Look at the side effects of Meth, Cocaine, Heroine, etc. You rapidly lose weight. Become highly, sometimes violently addicted. Rotten teeth. Other physical changes, that can never be repaired. The list goes on.

    You know what happens if you smoke Marijuana? Hungry. Happy. Sleepy. Red eyes and dry mouth as a physical result. If you abuse this substance to all extremes, then you might have some motor skill problems and cognitive issues. Or in other words “slow” But if you want to roll a joint or smoke a bowl occasionally, you will have little to no real side effects. And you CAN NOT become addicted.

    Your body becomes use to things that you do everyday. How you eat, sleep, work. What you put into your body, Marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, etc. It is going to adjust to what you do.
    The outcome has side effects. Alcohol damages your liver, heart, brain, disease. Tobacco damages your lungs, causes cancer. And Marijuana causes you to be hungry, happy and sleepy.

    Sorry I would much rather stick with pot, than a cancer stick, or have to get my stomach pumped because I drank too much.

  31. Very entertaining debate, compared to many other televised debates regarding cannabis over the years. Allen St. Pierre was excellent, and has earned a place in my little book of personal heroes up there with Radical Russ, Ron Paul, Chief Greenbud, Carl Sagan etc. Brian got completely blown away in the debate, even without the help of almost every single twitter message showing favor for legalization which appeared on screen throughout the interview. Also, I definitely got the impression that the lady who was conducting the interview, as any logical person would, with Mr. Pierre.

    Bravo Allen!!! You did NORML proud! 😀 ===~

  32. oops! lol In that last bit I forgot to put in the word “sided” with Mr. Pierre… LOL Must be that “short term memory loss”.. haha, since my post is awaiting moderation, could you by chance edit my previous post for me, and then delete this one? LOL


  33. I was actually a bit surprised when I saw this. I support all the arguments St. Pierre made, however He usually carries more reserve on the talk shows. I can emphasize with the frustration at the complete disregard for rational, scientific discussion.

    Frankly, it boiled pretty close to a shouting match far too often. I think the arguments themselves are close to impossible to argue against logically, however the actual discussion got in the way of the arguments rather than supporting them.

    That being said, I do still think St. Pierre won the debate by a length and that the core arguments did come across. It’s hard to believe but it seems to actually finally be happening.

  34. There will come a time, when our leaders will confess to us that they are not in control, and that Marihuana Prohibition is outside their power. Because they don’t want us to know anything. The internet is their main downfall. Now, that would explain all of those dead presidents.

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