CNBC Documentary Revisits Marijuana Prohibition: ‘Marijuana USA’

With the unmistakable promotional jingle from the 1960s hit TV show ‘Green Acres‘ and on the heels of its most lucrative documentary ‘Marijuana, Inc.’, CNBC revisits the largely untaxed and unregulated multi-billion dollar industry created by the federal government’s failed 74-year-old Cannabis Prohibition on Wednesday, December 8 at 9 PM (eastern/pacific).

In the wake of a Time Magazine cover piece ‘Amerijuana’ two weeks ago, CNBC, the nation’s number one business channel on television, is taking a second bite at Cannabis Prohibition with ‘Marijuana USA’.

As with ‘Marijuana, Inc.’ (which happens to be the most watched CNBC documentary in the channel’s history), NORML’s staff and legal committee has again provided substantial research information to CNBC. NORML’s deputy director Paul Armentano and I were asked to contribute an essay in favor of cannabis legalization in opposition to someone who actually supports Cannabis Prohibition.

CNBC’s ‘Marijuana and Money’ web page is loaded with interesting commentaries and videos (see below).

Watch the premiere on Wednesday, record it on your DVDR, or, like Marijuana Inc., get ready to see the documentary re-broadcast frequently in the next six months as CNBC rings the profit register again covering a failed government policy historically known as: Cannabis Prohibition.

The Cannabis Commentary

The Market

51 thoughts

  1. These days, all you gotta do is make a documentary about cannabis and, if it’s well made, it will be widely watched! The first one was really well done, and I expect that this follow up will be just as successful.

  2. This will be the most watched show on CNBC because so many of us want this law to change. We believe that we should have control over what happens to our bodies and what we decide to put into them. Don’t we have sovereignty over our own bodies? Does the government own us and therefore have the ability to tell us what we can or cannot put into our bodies? I see this as a civil rights issue.

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  5. Already got the vcr set with new tape in,since my cable doesn’t have dvr.
    Even with all the truth coming out on the prohibition,
    15 states with m/m laws,thousands of doctors “recommending” cannabis as a medicine to millions of people our government still holds marijuana locked in at schedule 1.
    I mention this to press the point home of how big and powerful the industries are that still want hemp kept off the open market.

  6. preety crazy how much talk about it. Everyone must realy like it cause its realy popular in the media.

  7. I know I’ll DVR this as well as I did Marijuana Inc.I’m on every thing to do with Cannabis weather the Govt likes it or not, its time i figure this out on my own an not believe their Bullshit.

  8. This is suppose to be Land Of The Free, not Land Of The Flee…………WTF is this country really commin to?

  9. I noticed a very important word is missing from the CNBC “Marijuana and Money” page.


    The American unemployment rate is remaining high while the solution remains illegal. Hemp would create jobs in agriculture, manufacturing of textiles and fabrics, fibers, papers, paints and varnishes, oil, bio mass fuel, building materials, medicine, and hemp seed foods. Aside from farming and manufacturing, hemp would also stimulate job growth and the economy by creating related jobs in logistics, refining of materials, engineering, research and development, and of course advertising.

    Why has this discussion been completely forgotten? Why are all the discussions so incredibly focused on the “drug” aspect of cannabis?

  10. We are a culture unto ourselves, we are a minority. So we, as marijuana smoking diplomats to the majority, must act accordingly. Display more positive traits of our counter society than negative ones, and eventually we will change the public culture towards marijuana. Just like Paul Armentano said at the Norml Conference this year. Public opinion is fickle, it changes with one emotion, what we need is to change the entire culture, erase stigmas and make use of oppurtunities to affect an audience. But that doesnt mean preaching to the choir, or preaching the message to an audience that is indifferent or turned off to your message. Just so you know though, there are others of us out there, acting responsibly and progressively toward this issue. Just keep up the fight.

  11. Yes the truth is in the hemp. Just a push to biomass fuel means millions of jobs. Barrels of blood saved=Priceless. Law abiding government=Freedom.

  12. another sucker documentary to get people to watch their station… nothing changes…washington never changes…increase gambling casinos but you can’t smoke a joint at home because that’s playing with the devil… what a world??

  13. All I want is my United states (Fed govt) to just start telling the truth.

    Schedule one – No medical benifits

    9 other countrys says it does have medical value

    15 states & the district of columbia say it does

    thousands of un-censored medical reports – says it does
    Not to mention the 5000 year history, that says it does have medical value
    Is our federal govt just stupid?

    Have a great day!

  14. Dream Act successfully moves out of the House. Figured I’d post something since no one on the planet is. Before the screen went black, before the votes were all accounted for and moved onto a completely different topic. Dems 216 Reps voting for the bill 8. Reps 197 Dems voting against 38. Then the lights went out with about 24 votes left. 6 votes unused? So 18 left. Why was it that the opposition wasn’t allowed time to amend? Everyone with half a brain should see that this was done because Dems knew this would be the only way they could pass the “Dream” Act before the GOP took over the House this year. Also so it could bolster votes for the Democratic party. Gaming the system once again. Sound familiar? What’s next? On to the Senate where Dems control 58 of the votes while Reps have 42 members. Then to a desk to be signed into law. After that? The control by the FCC(government) of media and internet source. Freedom of Information? That is the info they want you to know. You have access to that. Nice knowing you all. Looks like the term freedom is obsolete and control is in the know. What happens when you grip something to tightly? It bursts. Science doesn’t even matter anymore because experts are shunned when it goes against a governing bodies views. Say farewell to free thinking society and hello to the labotomized sheeple. Good bye America the land of the free and home of the brave. Hello? United Nation of Socialist Corporatocracy the land of the landless and home of the homeless. How confused am I?

  15. In all honesty these documentaries don’t really support the legalization effort. Here’s why..

    First I’ll be honest and I say I have not seen these documentaries yet. So with that said, I’m assuming these documentaries are going to treat cannabis as a “Marijuana Phenomena” and just throw more debate around that will ultimately lead to no where. The conservative population of America are very culturally oriented with their stigmas and such. And with any society that sticks to backward ways, they will usually follow through with their stigma than reason. Cannabis needs to be eased into American culture as an okay thing to do at an okay age. These documentaries will probably treat Cannabis as a circus freak show with the televised variety of opposing and supporting views. Hence people, therefore, would rather stick with the old ways of prohibition than make a drastic change into society.

    I truly believe this is how proposition 19 failed. Even with a 10 percent greater majority, it still failed because the average American who did not use cannabis (but still supported it) wasn’t actually comfortable or convinced enough to go into a ballot box and vote yes.

  16. Trish (damn she’s cute) missed a good opportunity when questioning that lizard Kerlikowski. She failed to mention what happened when alcohol was legalized, that the world didn’t end.

  17. * Paul?

    Why oh Why did she not ask anyone why Marijuana is a sched 1 narcotic and Cocaine is a Sched 2? Does that make any sence at all?

    How does the Fed. reason that Marijuana is a “GATEWAY DRUG” to cocaine when it considers cocaine a lesser narcotic substance?

    Im totally confused……

  18. This documentary was fairly disappointing. It opened with a skin deep overview of Medical MJ in Colorado. Not exactly news. At some point they skimmed over the Schaffer Commission and Nixon in about five seconds, while failing to emphasize the official ruling of the commission, which was NOT to arrest marijuana users.

    The documentary failed to produce the names Harry Anslinger and Randolph Hearst. The documentary also failed to produce the term “tax stamp” and “unconstitutional”.

    Also, I wish Trish Reagan would stop allowing prohibitionists to get away with speaking in false terms and gross generalities. It made me want to vomit when she repeatedly did not ask for clarification when cops said, “marijuana supports the business of other drugs.”

    What EXACTLY does that statement mean Trish? I want to know because it sounds like PROPAGANDA from the mouth of an ignorant cop. If you are going to interview these people, press for real answers!

    One good thing did come from this documentary.
    The specialized team of “pot cops” from Kentucky seemed to be the most mindless vomits on the earth. I’m sure in their own imaginations they are superheroes. Unfortunately, in reality they are obviously a group of completely uneducated hillbillies the government has foolishly given ten Blackhawk helicopters to operate 8 hours a day! It was easy to see how they lack intelligence and abound with ignorance in the way they spoke about the issue of marijuana prohibition. All of them struggled to form a coherent sentence that justified what they do for a living. I pity the innocent citizens who reside in Kentucky, with those clowns flying overhead in Blackhawk helicopters trying to violate the constitutional rights of Americans on the ground below.
    Doesn’t Bourbon, which can cause alcohol poisoning, come from Kentucky?

  19. Overall the documentary was shallow as others have mentioned. The history of medicinal use could have been mentioned as well as the “natural right” to self ownership.

    Those cop guys from Kentucky look like they were sent from central casting, pretty sad.

  20. they can’t arrest us all, but that isn’t their goal. As long as marijuana isn’t our cash crop, it is theirs. They know that it’s harmless, but that makes it much easier to arrest people who are on it.

    If you are low on your arrest quota, just go arrest some pot heads. As long as they don’t try to arrest everyone, they know there will always be pot smokers out there to arrest.

  21. we need a “don’t get caught with pot” campaign to help force law enforcement to depend on a different source of revenue.

  22. I watched this documentary. As I watched it, I realized that I had seen it before. There was brief mention (without actually naming it) about the Shafer Commission, it’s findings, and how Nixon’s War on Drugs began.

    IMHO, it doesn’t go anywhere far enough in exposing the government lies that began with Anslinger and the commercial special interest groups that he represented when the Prohibition of Cannabis began. I would like to see a new cannabis documentary made, based upon Jack Herer’s book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. Then the true nature of the government’s culpability and 70+ years of fraudulent propaganda, and their assault upon the personal freedoms and individual rights of the American people, could be fully exposed …

  23. I watched it, and my friend who is tired of hearing about marijuana watched it. And so did her family. I’d say people are interested.

  24. # 26:

    Unfortunately, MOST of America is just like those cops in KY – dumbass fuckin’ rednecks. The federal government, 100% of them with a college degree, mind you, know that only 29% of Americans have a college degree. Stregnth in numbers? If only 29% of Americans have a college degree and 50% of THOSE graduates are dumbass rednecks who had the money to BUY a degree or getinto college through connections, that leaves us with about 15% of the population with a fucking brain!!!!

    The sad thing is that the government, for all their phoney encouraging the American people to get an education,THEY DONT WANT YOU TO HAVE AN EDUCATION. It’s easier to control dumbass fucking rednecks (sheep) than it is to control an educated population.

    America, the land of the dumbass fucking redneck, yall come back now, here?

  25. Didn’t anyone catch what DEA Walters said in the last few minutes of the video? He called marijuana Toxic. TOXIC! 100 cups of regular coffee will kill you, Alcohol rated Toxicity is 10 and marijuana 10,000. The DEA doesn’t care about facts or science. Pot is toxic and thats it. Weclome to America!

  26. First of its kind in Arizona medical marijuana convention & expo would like to invite physicians, patients, business owners and others interested in medical marijuana issues to attend the Green Relief Medical Marijuana Convention & Expo featuring educational seminars on healthcare and patient guidelines, legal and workplace issues and dispensary set-up and agriculture. The goal of the event is to answer the myriad of questions forming with regard to the Health Department guidelines being put into place. The Green Relief Medical Marijuana Convention & Expo, April 14-16, 2011 Renaissance Hotel, Glendale, Arizona, is being produced by Big Truck Media Group.

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  27. Thanks for the wealth of information given here.
    Cannabis is the best hope.

    I find it more interesting tracking the actions of prohibitionist and their propaganda; hoping that someone that they’re trying to persuade would embarrass the prohibitionist in public by saying yes to legalization.

    Get serious and legalize it!

  28. Couldn’t watch the show. Can’t afford cable. Can’t afford to buy weed anymore either but I can grow all I need in the yard for almost nothing. Did the show mention that–that marijuana could be virtually free if we lived in an actually free country?

  29. Hello anybody ?

    Can someone explain to me why Marijuana is a Sched 1 narcotic but Cocaine (which in my exp is evil in powdered form) a sched 2 ?


  30. As I was watching the steroid case from kentucky, i am thinking all that time and all those resources used…..chasing pot? He says that we do not need another legal intoxicant. Why, because some fucking cop from East Bumbfuck Kentucky says so? What we do need is the freedom to do what we want to our own bodies. Imagine the horror if the fucking booze pushers had to compete with home grown pot.

  31. Holy Smokes. Is Officer Roper of the KY State Police that much of a moron. He has been drinking the Kool-aid for way to long. He even makes the statement that it was easier as a kid to get pot than it was to get cigarettes. No duh! Cigarettes are regulated and sold by adults to adults. Christ sakes, I can even figure that one out. Blessings. Jesus is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas.

    The Rev.sLeezy

  32. I can’t believe Kentucky with EIGHT!!! Black Hawk Helicopters. How much money that must have cost. One in every four children in this country goes hungry and our government spends huge amounts of money on this nonsense MJ war. They say what about the children when talking marijuana legalization. How many kids would all that money they spend on this failed drug war feed? I guess they think its better to let America’s children starve than to let Joe Smo relax after a hard days work in the privacy of his own home with a joint.

  33. As a Kentucky local, I can tell you that we will probably be the last to legalize. Bourbon anyone? You know how much money that brings into the state? There is no way the alcohol pushers are going to allow cannabis to be legal here. Plus the fact that we have military bases like Fort Knox and Fort Campbell… there will be bloodshed before Kentucky legalizes.

    The sad truth.

  34. I live in indiana and I fear my gov. local state federal. I have learned to stay home. I have learned that the police have the right to do what ever they please. I grew up beliving in honor human dignity and our great country. I did for years. I found out from school to work to home we are owned. and I am ashamed of the lies our politions-gov. tell. I am ashamed I cant stand up and say no more I will be free. our contitution has been played with for decades and no one will say it.No one that cant be shut up the puppets of washington beware we are pissed!!!!!!

  35. Man, the DEA agent in this documentary is a fucking idiot. I think Kentucky needs to start administering IQ tests for these people, and if your IQ is below 100, you cannot be in a position of power. He clearly does not understand that legalization would help take drugs out of the hands of drug dealers and put it in the hands of business men, just like what happened with alcohol prohibition. Hell this documentary shows that’s already happening in states where it has been medically legalized.
    I think i will go back to slamming my head against the wall, seems more productive than trying to reason with these morons.

  36. I usually don’t post twice but my sarcasm was lost, so I say it direct: pot will never be legal as there is too much money made keeping it illegal. Our police and politicans are corrupted beyond repair. I totally agree with Alfred J. McCoy’s essay: “End of the American Century by 2025”. “The demise of the United States as the global superpower” by 2025: destroyed by greed.

  37. Thanks @David762! Jack Herer & I co-directed a 30-minute short documentary based on his eponymous best-selling Hemp book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes in the Summer of 2009 just before his tragic heart attack. You can watch it on-demand here:
    or buy it on DVD here:
    The feature length version is coming out in Jack Herer’s memory on 4.20.2011 and you can follow the adventures leading up to the world Premiere at

    Thanks for your support! Long Live Jack Herer & Free Eddy Lepp!

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