The Culture High (2014) Movie Script

Columbia police!
Search warrant!
Columbia police!
Search warrant!
Kick it open!
Get to the door! Go, go, go!
Get to the door!
Police Department!
Don't move!
Police Department!
Don't move!
Police Department!
Don't move!
O.S. Bang.
Police Department!
Don't move!
Move past us! Move past!
Come on, guys, you're fine.
You're fine.
Don't move!
Do you understand?
Put your hands behind
your back! Do it now!
Behind your back!
Just shoot me!
Did you shoot my dog?
Did you shoot
my fucking dog?
Oh my God!
What the fuck did you
do that for?
If you cannot afford
to hire a lawyer,
one will be appointed
to represent you and answer
any questions you wish.
You can decide at anytime
to exercise these rights,
not to answer any questions
or make any statements.
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
We'll take that as a yes.

We can't live in a society
which is both free
and drug-free. You
can't have 'em both.
The whole process of moving
from one state of mind
being persuaded to another by
seeing the truth
is one of actually
feeling an identification
that resonates and has
a feeling of wholeness
and coherence to it. It
makes chaos orderly.
It's the mindset
that got us here
and the journey
that we've taken.
Fifty years of criminalization.
It came out of the whole idea
that we don't have to care
for each other anymore.
It's every man for himself.
We weren't always like that!
The question is, can we go back
to caring about each other?
What are the nuances that
define a culture?
Is it the way we
police ourselves?
The way we take care
of our sick?
How we govern?
The way we share
77 years ago, marijuana became
prohibited in the United States.
By 1961, its criminalization
reached global status.
Today, we find the topic
of marijuana's legality
penetrating all forms of media
and every level of politics.
It is now the polarizing topic
in an endless display
of public debates.
The goal? To answer the
question that refuses to die:
Should marijuana be legalized?
But, ever so slowly, a second
question is starting to appear
a question that seeks an
answer to whether marijuana
prohibition itself has
gained characteristics
that reveal a greater truth
about ourselves
and the way our
society operates.
Is this a bad idea? Is this a
downward spiral of our culture?
A new study reveals
that smoking marijuana
could increase your risk
for testicular cancer.
So the research doesn't
bother you
that smoking pot can
cause man boobs?
Pot just makes you dumb.
What's to keep somebody from
gettin' all potted-up on weed
and then gittin' behind
the wheel?
"Marijuana leads to breast
development in males,".
Like all of these myths,
front page story!
Those things have been coming
along one, after another.
I should be impotent when I
smoke marijuana. Well I'm not!
The thought process behind
demonizing something like
marijuana is completely
out of ignorance.
Where's the bodies?
Where's the numbers?
Is there one?
Because I have heard from
experts whose judgment
I respect that they don't
know of any.
The only way marijuana
can kill you is if you
take 25lbs of it and you throw
it out of a CIA drug plane
and it hits you in
the fuckin' head.
That's how you die
from marijuana.
There's that famous 911 call
where those cops stole
pot from some kids,
and then turned it into
pot brownies,
and then ate the brownies
and freaked the fuck out and
called the cops on themselves.
It's beautiful 'cause they
thought they were dying,
time is going by really slow,
they're fine.
But everyone can agree anti-
marijuana ads in this country
have gotten fuckin'
Like a girl will be melted on
the couch with no bones
and she's like, 'I smoked pot
and now I don't have bones.'
I associated a lot of these
people that were smokin' pot
with poorly motivated
people who were failures.
I had a prejudiced
perception of what marijuana
actually did to a human being.
Among the perceived
harms of marijuana,
two seem to arise on a daily
basis more than any others.
Two seem to be the
main reasons given
for why marijuana must be kept
from the public. The first:
There's the famous 'just one
spliff and you will go mental.'
The more you mess
with cannabis,
the more it can mess
with your mind.
My first seven years as a
researcher were devoted
to schizophrenia. I can tell
you, that is ridiculous.
We looked at the
evidence-I think
we must have gone through
about 2,000 papers
and it doesn't cause
Maybe there are some
individuals with schizophrenia
in which the illness is brought
on perhaps a little earlier
because they smoked cannabis.
There often is what's called
a precipitating event.
A precipitating event is
something like an important
loss of a person,
a severe car accident...
It certainly can be exacerbated
by a number of drugs.
A bad alcohol trip can serve
as a precipitating event, too.
The fact is schizophrenia
has a prevalence
of about 1%...
the world around.
Cannabis use... let's start with
the 60s, its gone up like that.
So! You've introduced
this new thing:
If it's schizophrenogenic
we should see a significant
uptick in schizophrenia.
We should see more people
with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia has stayed
just like that.
In all of the epidemiologic
studies that I'm aware of,
there is no uptick.
So if marijuana causes
schizophrenia it was introduced
now we should have
more schizophrenia.
We don't see that.
We would certainly see
some little rise in that
given the numbers of people
who use this.
You really do need to strip
this back and address this
from a neutral platform
to understand that
anything to do with mental
health is such a tenuous issue
built upon different
contributing factors
and by applying it all
to cannabis
you are possibly
doing more harm
because you are negating
all these other factors
that certainly
play a part.
For a lot of people, the impact
of life itself is overwhelming
so they'll seek out
something to distract them
whether it's drinkin'
cough syrup or takin' naps
or jerking off or gambling.
There's a lot of
things that people do
to distract them from
the angst of being alive.
It might not be for you, it
might make you paranoid;
You might have smoked
some bad weed once
and thought you were
having a heart attack.
Cannabis is not
for everybody.
Nobody should be
forced to use it.
There's a lot of reasons why
marijuana might not be for you.
But you shouldn't tell me
that it's not right for me.
The most frequently-cited
perceived harm
associated with marijuana
today is addiction.
I mean, you do know
it's addictive
highly addictive-right?
Because I believe
it's addictive
and it leads to more
serious drugs...
But in order to understand
addiction in relation to marijuana
one must first have an
understanding of the psychology
behind addiction in
the first place.
It's interesting to see, or to
ask, 'Who becomes addicted?'
People can have sex without
being addicted to it,
they can go shopping,
but some people
become severely addicted to
all these pursuits.
Is a pack of cards
addictive? Well, no.
Or yes. Depending on
the individual.
So, it's the same process no
matter what the addiction is.
The only difference is
really is that
the substance addict is
getting the dopamine from
an outside substance,
where the behaviour addict
is having it triggered from
the particular behaviour.
If I speak to a group of 100
people or 1000 people and I ask
how many of you have addiction
issues to any substance?
A number of people put
their hands up, and I say.
'What did it do for you?
Not 'what was bad about it'
we already know that, but
what did it do for you?
What was positive in your
experience with it?
Well, 'it gave me a sense of
peace; It gave me pain relief.
It made me feel
more connected...
it made me more confident.
I could speak now and
interact with people.
In other words, the addict
is just after wanting to be
a normal human being and the
real question is,
what keeps them from having
those qualities in their lives
and what happened to them?
And so the addiction should
be seen, not as the problem
although it is a problem,
but it's not the problem.
It's the addict's attempt
to solve the problem
in the first place.
The Adverse Childhood
Experiences studies
done in California...
looked at conditions such as
physical, sexual,
emotional abuse in the
child's life
the loss of a parent to
death or a rancorous divorce
or a parent being jailed or a
mental illness in the parent
or an addiction of the parent,
or violence in the family
and for each of these adverse
childhood experiences,
the risk of addiction goes
up exponentially.
By the time a male child had 6
of these adverse experiences
his risk of having become
a substance-dependent
injection-using addict
is 4600% greater
than that of a male child
with no such experiences.
Why is that?
Its because that trauma shapes
their brain in such ways
as to make the
addictive substances
more appealing to
the individual.
That trauma also gives that
person the pain
that they will try to then
escape from or soothe
through the addictive
It's the social and
emotional environment
that shapes the actual
biology of the brain
so if you want to understand
someone's addiction,
you have to look at what's
created pain in their lives.
The person who
occasionally has a beer,
smokes marijuana,
but generally has no
negative consequences;
It does not impair
their health,
it does not endanger
their lives,
it does not impair their
personal relationships-
you can't call those
people addicts,
and you can't call
those behaviors addictive.
So we have to make a
real distinction between
the use of substances and
the addiction to substances.
Which then leads us to the
"War on Drugs:"
basically the War on Drugs is
being waged against people
that were abused and
traumatized as children
and have mental
health problems.
There's enough punishment
in there-
in the negative consequences
of the addiction
that we don't have to add
punishment on to that.
The number of deaths
around the world
from cigarette consumption
is five-and-a-half million
according to latest estimates.
Annually, cigarettes kill as
many people as were killed
in the Germans' anti-Jewish
genocidal campaign.
So we have a holocaust
annually, owing to cigarettes.
If you smoke more than
two packs a day,
the risk for developing
lung cancer was twenty-fold.
That's 2000%.
Based on the largest
case-controlled study ever done,
there was no evidence that
marijuana increased
the risk of lung cancer.
You've gotta have some
consistency: There's a million
different drugs that are
sanctioned by the society
that don't have that
happy ending-
- that you take too much
and you're fucked.
I've got a friend whose
auntie had to go to rehab for
buying two boxes of Krispy
Kremes every day
and eating them in the
woods so nobody found her.
Based on that anecdote, let's
make Krispy Kremes illegal.
I will fight any man, by the
way who suggests that.
It's just like eating a
pound of salt and dying.
Yeah, ya didn't use salt right
dude. You fucked up with salt.
If you just threw some salt
on popcorn
it's actually quite yummy, but
what'd you do, you stupid fuck?
You ate a pound of salt
and you died.
Doesn't mean we should
outlaw salt.
Our society doesn't object to
people jumping out of airplanes
at fifteen thousand feet
with parachutes.
Occasionally those
parachutes break; People die.
Our society doesn't object
to people climbing mountains.
Occasionally people fall
off mountains and do harm
to themselves, but it's not
illegal to climb a mountain.
If I had to compare
marijuana to alcohol
from the medical point of
view, if I asked the question,
'which of these has more
potentially debilitating
and harmful life threatening,
health-eroding effects?'
There's no comparison,
there's no contest;
Alcohol wins, hands down.
The tune of 50000 plus per year
die from alcohol poisoning.
They literally drink themselves
Do we have a war on alcohol
and tobacco when alcohol
is the drug that's involved
with more murders
than any other drug on
planet earth?
How do we view the
effect of beer?
Holy shit!
We are so dependent on it.
If you have a social gathering
and there isn't booze there,
people lose their minds!
Let's go to
the pub
when we talk about
Let's go to the pub.
I'm happy let's go to the pub!
My dog died let's go to the pub.
It's wines-day Wednesday.
Best day of the week!
Great job getting us drunk!
We could all use a stiff drink.
Fantastic! Margarita day.
If you're not gonna drink it,
pass it around.
How are you spending
New Year's Eve?
I'm gonna get real drunk!
Many years ago, we
did a poll in parliament
and we asked them,
'is alcohol a drug?'
And the majority of politicians
said alcohol was not a drug.
And they say well, it's not a
drug because it's not illegal.
And that gets to this
peculiar, dangerous concept
that once something's illegal,
it must be dangerous,
and when something's not
illegal, it must be safe.
So it's interesting if we look
at the whole issue
of illegal drugs in our
society you'll find that
when the word 'drug' is used to
refer to those substances,
another word is almost always
attached to it
and that is, 'abuse.'
"Drug abuse."
What happens is that all illicit
drugs get lumped together.
Caffeine is a drug,
alcohol is a drug.
Tylenol is a drug,
Sudafed is a drug.
Viagra is a drug. People,
when they think of drugs,
...they think only of
illicit drugs.
Theres a mass of disinformation
and that misinformation
and disinformation confuses
the shit out of people
when they're trying to form
their version of
what's good and what's bad
in the world.
If it's absurd to throw someone
in prison for drinking coffee
or for drinking wine, then
it's equally absurd and wrong
to throw someone in prison for
smoking cannabis.
Nobody has ever overdosed on
cannabis. D'you know that?
So what? They can't perform
daily functions;
They're going to be
on my tax bill!
The idea that one is OK and one
isn't just seemed to require
something resembling
evidence before
you could make that
statement definitively.
One of the things I think is
important about marijuana use
or alcohol use or anything is
that you're responsible with it
and you could be
irresponsible with anything
and you should weigh the risks
and the rewards.
There's no moral middle ground.
Indifference is not an option.
We want you to help us create
an outspoken intolerance
for drug use.
Is the rationale of protecting
people from themselves valid?
The only people who are
responsible for protecting us
from ourselves
are ourselves.
If our society denies us the
opportunity to make mistakes,
it's denying us a very
fundamental human right
because mistakes are part of the
teaching process in this life.
Tell another grown human
being ah, ah, ah! Nope!
Nope! Nope! Not allowed that.
A grown man! No, not you!
But I'm a grown up; I'm
an evolved human being.
No! Just .Put. That. Down!
If there's real harm in a
drug and your real objective
is to persuade people that
they shouldn't harm themselves
in that way, you don't need
laws that send them to prison-
What you need is good infor-
mation that they'll believe.
Just disseminate that infor-
mation and free independent
sovereign adults will make
their own choices about
either to
continue with that drug
or not to continue with it,
but they have the facts.
If a professional like you
cannot answer clearly
that meth is more dangerous
than marijuana-
which every kid on the street
knows, which every parent knows
if you can't answer that,
maybe that's why we're failing
to educate people
about the dangers
I don't want kids
smoking marijuana.
I agree with the chairman
but if the Deputy Director
of the Office of Drug Policy
can't answer that question,
how do you expect
high school kids to take
you seriously?
I empathize with parents of
teenaged kids; They can get lost.
A kid sitting in school
stoned-you can't accept
accept a position that says,
'oh, that's fine, no problem.'
Yeah, that's a problem,
but the question is
whether it's a criminal
problem. The question is
whether it's a 'growing up'
kind of a problem.
I want reasons more than
'you need to be afraid of
some cop catching you, and locking
you up forever in a prison'
to talk to my children about
how they relate
to various temptations
in life.
This country is held up as a
model around the world
of dealing with cigarette
we brought it down.
Why? By
educating people.
It doesn't make sense to
punish people
if what you're mainly worried
about is their welfare.
Name something that gets
passed around.
A joint!
A joint?
Its the only thing
that came to mind...
The moral question of drug
use, you can set aside,
because the drug use and
the drug abuse is here.
We have a real fundamental
enjoyment of
changing the way that this
thing operates and,
for as long as that is true,
you have demand.
You don't have to be
a capitalist,
you don't have to
to be economist,
but we all know:
Where there is demand,
there is supply.
A plant that's very easy to
grow suddenly becomes
something that's worth
thousands and thousands
and thousands of dollars a pound
because you're compensating
the producers
and the transporters for
the risk of going to jail
or being arrested or being
shot or other things
that happen to people
involved in criminal activity.
And with that profit
comes opportunity
sometimes to the most
unlikely of people.
I went to Oxford to
study nuclear physics
and some post-graduate history
and philosophy of science,
but forsook the halls of academia
to become a dope smuggler.
Quite early on, I
started smuggling cannabis
from Europe to America. In those
days, in the very early 70's-
there'd be a markup
of about 300%.
British bands were beginning
to get very popular
and they were visiting the
States with an awful lot
of equipment, so we used to
hide hashish in various speakers
and amplifiers et cetera.
Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake &
Palmer, Eric Clapton, Genesis.
The bands didn't know;
It was just an arrangement
I made with the road managers.
Organizations I was involved
with; The Mafia, the Yakuza
the I.R.A. and a few
cowboys from the C.I.A.,
- but it wasn't under C.I.A.
- just a few cowboys
who were doing things behind
the rest of the C.I.A's back.
Consignments I did into
JFK in New York
the deal was structured
in such a way that one
couldn't cheat them
even if one was daft enough
to try.
The average load
would be about a ton.
I had a huge number of aliases
during my smuggling career;
At least 43 aliases, but it
was so much easier in those days
to get a false passport.
I remember, on one
occasion, applying
to the driving license
center for a license
in the name of Elvis Presley
of whom I'm a big fan
and they actually issued it
because computers
didn't scream in the 50's!
Oh, Elvis Presley? Fine!
The biggest shipment ever
that I did was 30 tons.
The DEA say it was 50 tons, but
I know it was only 30 tons!
The British had more or less
no you can't catch him.
The Spanish had given up,
no, you can't catch him...
Americans said, oh, we'll catch
him - and they were right!
It was a combined effort of
14 different countries'
law enforcement spearheaded
by the DEA actually.
Cannabis was the only
drug I smuggled.
I think largely because I
wasn't really tempted
to do anything else; The demand
for cannabis wasn't met.
If cannabis had been
legal, I would have
carried on being an
academic of some sort.
I do miss smuggling; You
could never get that thrill
that I had from crossing borders
from writing! You can't...
I suppose if I thought I could
get away with it,
I'd crank it up today and
go back to doing it!
I mean I loved it.
It's interesting when you
look at the amount of money
that these drugs
are generating.
Where does that money go?
And who's handling it?
With the vast amounts
of money to be made,
the potential for
a dark side
of the underground market
begins to grow.
With enough time and
enough money,
it can rise to
inconceivable levels,
and often, right under
our nose.
What the drug war has
done to Mexico is horrific.
The death toll alone in the
Mexican drug war
under the Calderon
It's more than the number of
Americans that were lost in Vietnam.
Now we're up to 70,000
dead. Seventy thousand!
The bloodshed follows a
mass killing
in the Mexican border city of
Nuevo Laredo last week
where nine bodies were left
for the public to see
and fourteen other bodies
were found mutilated.
And this is happening
on our Southern border
and yet very little
attention is paid to it.
It is the United States that
sends the guns
across the borders
to Mexico
it is the United States that,
then in return for the guns
imports the drugs.
A lot of people think that those
seventy thousand dead
are all gangsters shootin' it
out with each other.
Not true. They're police
officers, they're children
they're families, they're
mothers and fathers.
You're raising your
kids with an education
and your kids go off to a
nightclub some night
and they never come home.
Because kids have been kidnapped
at random and mutilated.
Beyond the horrific death
toll, and the
horrific acts of violence,
and decapitations
and bodies hanging from bridges,
the drug war has really
led to a deterioration in the
infrastructures of society
which means that virtually
every municipal police force
in much of Mexico is corrupted
by one cartel or another.
What does that mean?
That means
if you're a lower-middle
class Mexican and
your house gets broken into,
who do you call?
You have nobody to go to, and
if you do call the police,
they're just as likely
to tell the cartel
hey this person's ratting on
you as they are to help you
and take a report, and
bring somebody to jail.
So, if you murder somebody in
Mexico, you have less than
a 5% chance of ever spending
a day in jail for that
and that is almost
entirely a product of
what the drug war has done
to law enforcement,
the judiciary and the
corrections systems in Mexico.
The last thing a Mexican drug-
trafficking cartel would want
would be for drugs to be
legalized in the United States
because that would take away
their primary source of income.
How do you kill a cartel
and a street gang
organization in drugs?
You take their source of
nutrition away.
Their source of nutrition is -
money; Drug money.
You dry 'em up.
The idea that you're gonna
somehow or another be able to
be able to make marijuana
illegal and it's not going to
have some of impact
on organized crime
is so fuckin' dumb
it's childish!
This prohibition allows
them to flourish
I mean it did
with alcohol.
When prohibition was going on
and the mafia and Al Capone
and all them motherfuckers
was in control,
they ran that shit!
The American people soon
came to understand
that prohibition of
alcohol brought greater harm
than the abuse of alcohol.
Declaring prohibition on the
marijuana laws
makes everything
more dangerous
370 billion dollars a year go
into the underworld's pockets
and bad people with that kind of
money can do horrendous things...
If marijuana prohibition
isn't achieving
the goals we think it should,
what has caused it to be
pursued the way it has?
What are the elements that
keep it propped up...
and where did it
all start?
While most fingers might
point to the year 1937
when marijuana was first outlawed
by a tax stamp required for hemp,
let's fast-forward 34 years
to 1971.
That was the year the
public first heard this:
Ladies and gentlemen, I would
like to summarize for you
the meeting that I have just
had with bipartisan leaders.
America's public enemy number
one, in the United States,
is drug abuse.
Attorney General Kliendienst
for Nixon was quoted thereafter
and he was sorrowful that he
had been involved in this.
He said that
they knew-
in the Nixon administration-
that drug treatment works
and incarceration does not,
but the enormous political
benefit by declaring
a war on drugs, that
can't really fight back.
He said they chose
the incarceration route
for political reasons and then
were absolutely overwhelmed at
positive political benefits
they received for doing that.
There's actual
documentation that shows
the United States government
under Nixon was actively writing
to universities and saying 'pull
your information of cannabis,
hemp and marijuana out
of your libraries.'
purge it.
So it took them from 1972,
'71... '72, to the late 1970's
to create this myth that
marijuana would
lead to using harder
Once that myth was established
then the numbers exploded
and you could go to Congress
and get money.
I am glad that, in this
administration we have increased
the amount of money for
handling the problem
of dangerous drugs
It will be 600 million dollars
this year.
This is one area where we
cannot have budget cuts
because we must wage what I
have called total war
against public enemy number
one in the United States:
The problem of
dangerous drugs.
Most law enforcement agencies,
before the 1970s,
had very small narcotic
units because
narcotics wasn't seen as
a big problem.
By the end of the decade, the
narcotic units had exploded;
Federal money came in...
and then...
Ronald Reagan came.
Tonight I can report to you
that we've made much progress.
37 federal agencies
are working together
in a vigorous national effort
and, by next year,
our spending for drug law
enforcement will have
more than tripled from
it's 1981 levels.
Whenever we hear the word
'war' on anything,
I think it should alert
our antenna
that a mind-management game
is going on.
What is meant by the war on drugs?
That's a very good question.
How can you have a war on
a noun? It's a bit like...
again, the war on terror:
It's a war on a concept.
We humans are very
motivated by war.
We are extremely motivated by
a metaphor of violent
It goes all the way back to
the very first foremothers of
3.85 billion years ago.
Bacteria are incredibly
social - they live in armies-
they live in armies of seven
trillion and they are
constantly communicating
with each other,
they are constantly
exchanging data;
It's a little information
processing network,
but what happens...
when two, three, four
or seven colonies
of bacteria discover all the
same food source?
They make "war."
What motivates ants? They go
about doing their daily business
all of the time, but when an
alarm pheromone hits
that indicates there's been an
invasion from outside the colony
Everybody drops what
they're doing;
Everybody rushes to the site of
the breach where the odor
is coming from.
I mean, we humans, we're the
children of bacteria;
We humans, we're the
cousins of ants:
Just tell us there's an
outsider at the gates!
You use the metaphor of war
for just about anything
and it gets us roused,
but especially use it about
our group versus
another group,
our subculture versus
another subculture,
and you can really
get us going.
It's clear in
neurolinguistic programming.
Because if you associate
war, you associate it
with a nation having to pull
together to fight a baddy out there.
Now, some folks'll tell you
that I'm dealing in poison,
but hey, do I look like
the kinda guy
that would do that do a
kid like you? Yes!
It's a rhetorical frame in
which the sacrifice of
individual "liberty"
seems... necessary.
This is what's needed
to win the war.
Last year alone, over 10,000
drug criminals were convicted
and nearly 250 million dollars
of their assets were seized
by the DEA-The Drug
Enforcement Administration.
These are a measure of
our commitment
and emerging signs that
we can defeat this enemy.
The astounding thing about
the War on Drugs, is
how long it's gone on and how
little progress has been made.
When I was working for MI-5,
I had my first, sort of...
inkling that all
was not good
because I was working on the
Irish terrorist logistics desk
which is the movement
of people and weapons
into and out of the UK-and,
of course, doing that,
I had to work very closely with
customs, which is there
to try and stop the drugs
coming into the UK.
They just, knew it was like looking
for the needle in a haystack
just to try and stop these
drugs flooding into the UK.
I had record-breaking arrests,
record-breaking interdiction
of supply, but it didn't
make one iota of difference.
You don't see us knocking off
the big guys
so often that, you know,
there's scarcity of drugs.
When was the last time
you couldn't
cop marijuana in this country?
I mean,
there's no marijuana out there!
Oh my God, what am
I gonna do?
I don't think you could go
into any high school in
the country, I don't think you
could go into any small town
in this country, I don't think
you could go into any prison
in this country and
not find marijuana
if you were looking for it.
So the argument that
marijuana prohibition has had
any impact on the availability
on the drug, I think,
really doesn't hold water.
What we see are a regular
meal of arrests
and how many bales of
this or kilos of that.
The show-and-tell is the
glamorous side of it
all of this pot
found inside one semi-truck.
20000 lbs. Worth.
Border patrol calling it
the biggest bust in
our state's history.
You wheel out your 60, 70, 80
kilos of marijuana,
your two assault rifles.
The thing of it is,
if you took the average
from the average arrest...
you'd have some little kid-
I mean he might
be 15, 17, 18, 20 years old-
and you would
proudly display...
a small bag of marijuana
on your table
and say, we got him!
We got him.
Came from Ontario, Oregon into
Idaho with some mushrooms
and some weed, and I got
caught with an exhaust so
he pulled me over, he put
his head in the window
and said he smelled it, so I just
handed it to him just to get
it over with.
It's such a joke to say
that they're going after
hardcore criminals.
About one-and-a-half million
arrests on drug-related offenses
in the year 2011-about
50% were for marijuana use.
It's practically legal!
I get that all the time...
especially here
in California
and what I say to
those people is,
'it's absolutely NO practically legal.'
It's very, very
federally illegal.
It's just an ongoing story
that at this point really
it seems little more than the
premise for television shows.
Dangerous, deadly, illegal.
Tonight, the county's
top cop says
much of this stuff was being
made in the back of that plaza.
They got away with it
for a little bit,
but at the end of the day,
they're not going to get
away with it for very long.
There's another aspect
to this game:
That is the economic
side of it.
There's a deal between the
feds and the state
and that's asset seizures.
They call it an "equitable
sharing program" where
they encourage local law
enforcement to seize items
that maybe involved in
criminal activity.
They do an 80/20 split.
Without even getting a
conviction and then they
keep the bulk of the money
or the assets seized.
Maybe ya just wanna
see the kind of stuff
the government seizes
from criminals.
Right now you can actually
check out a number of
forfeited vehicles going
up for auction tomorrow
at the Apple Towing
in Guadalupe.
These are awesome cars! This
one caught my eye of course
first it's a 1968
Chevy Camaro...
I'll lock him up.
I'll seize his car.
I'll hit a house,
I'll seize bank accounts,
I'll seize land -
all because I'm producing
for the state.
There's an incentive for
the state to say, 'do it, '
but the law is such that the
onus to get back your property
is on you! Not on the
police department;
You have to fight to
get back something
through the court system-
that they took away
that they had no right
taking in the first place.
Between 1989 and 2010, an
estimated 12.6 billion dollars
was seized by U.S. attorneys
in asset forfeiture cases.
The growth rate of
seizures during that time
was nearly a 20% increase
every single year.
In the country where I grew up-
America-where, you know
everybody is so proud
of having guns
and proud of their freedom.
'No, I'm not afraid!'
Really? Go plant some
cannabis in your front yard
and tell me how fast it
takes for the man to come
and take everything you own!
Every year the DEA tells you
how many seizures they've made
That we have failed again.
What's your budget?
Well, currently... um.
Uh, two million...
Two million?
Two-I'm sorry-
two billion dollars...
You can look into any
federal agency you want to...
literally in their budget
you will see
the extra tens of millions
of dollars are earmarked
expressly to fight
"the war on drugs."
When you get to the
top of both towers,
the interests are
the same.
The major drug dealer wants
to continue selling drugs...
law enforcement wants to
continue trying to prosecute
people who are using the drugs
and there's a harmony there.
If you've ever seen the film
of the head of the DEA-
Lionhart I believe is her
name-when they asked her
is marijuana worse than
heroin? And she sat there
and stuttered around; She
wouldn't answer the question.
Uh, is crack worse for a
person than marijuana?
I believe all illegal drugs
are bad.
Is methamphetamine worse
for somebody's health
than marijuana?
I don't think
any illegal drug...
Is heroin worse for someone's
health than marijuana?
I mean, either yes, no, or
I don't know!
I mean, if you don't know,
you can look this up;
You should know this as
the chief administrator
for the Drug
Enforcement Agency
I'm asking you a very
straightforward question.
She couldn't answer
the question because
she's a dyed-in-the-wool
prohibitionist and her industry
her life, is dependent upon us
continuing to put 43 million
people in jail.
About 85% of everybody
in our country that
uses any form of illicit
substance whatsoever
uses only marijuana and
so if you were to remove
those people from the
criminal justice system
the sheer number of everyone
else in the country
using every other illegal drug
combined would not justify
this colossal bureaucracy we
have to fight the war on drugs.
It would fall apart. If you
lose marijuana prohibition,
you lose drug prohibition
and the government knows it;
They don't want
to give that up
because of the sheer
money involved,
Going down the path to
legalization in this country
is reckless and irresponsible.
It scares us;
The treatment people
are afraid,
the education people are afraid. Law
enforcement is, is, is worried...
what is gonna happen?
People say, 'well, the vice
cops who work on
on marijuana prohibition would
be out of work,
the people who work
for the DEA,
some of them would
be out of jobs, '
the White House drug czar
office and so on and so forth.
I mean, that's just the most
lunatic defense of prohibition.
By that logic, we should
prohibit everything!
Because then we'd
need to cops to enforce
food prohibition and
housing prohibition
and medicine prohibition.
Beginning in the 1980s, the
police departments became
a number-driven group.
One arrest is one arrest so
if I spend a year and a half
taking down a violent drug
organization that's
killed maybe 15-20 people and
I lock up six guys.
I get six ones. If I went
out on the corner tomorrow,
I can get fifteen "ones"
and they all count the same.
There's no weighing for
like, 'this is the murderer:
We give him fifteen points.
This guy's the marijuana guy:
We give him .2 points.'
No, no,
it's all the same.
One thing about a cannabis
arrest is it's easy,
it's not dangerous, and it turns
into a solved crime very quickly
with very little
The whole thing is numbers because
numbers generate revenue.
That revenue keeps
Congress giving you money.
That money, then, you can turn
around part of it
and keep pressure on Congress.
You don't come with those
numbers-they retaliate
by giving you bad
That's basically what
they did to me.
We have
almost a five billion
dollar budget a year so we
run it like a business and
it's fair to ask the employees
here to do their fair share.
It's not easy to get
a trafficker.
It's not like walking up
to the corner
or shaking the lockers
of a high school.
You reach a point, especially as
an executive or a supervisor
where you are now part of
administering the policies
and you start to ask the
hard questions.
Is it really worth a
police officer's time
to bust somebody for a
marijuana cigarette,
take them off the street, put
them in jail, book the evidence
write the report and
then be able to go back
out on the street and attend
to public safety after
you've been gone for 3 hours
for one marijuana arrest?
I used to go to meetings of
chief police officers in the UK
after the formal conference
was over
around the bar and around
the dinner table,
they were all agreeing
that there was
no point in keeping
cannabis illegal
and yet what they said when
the cameras were rolling,
when the microphones were
in front of them,
was completely different.
In the 15 years I've
been in policy,
I'm a little disillusioned by
how much we were
able to achieve and very
disillusioned on
the ability of leaders to
still pretend we are achieving.
You know we need
police forces.
If I was in charge of society,
of course
I'd have a police force, but
I'd make sure there were
sensible laws for them
to enforce.
And there are plenty of
police who feel like that too.
There's immense pressure on the
inside of these sort of
professions to toe the line
and just keep quiet.
The culture will eat you up
if in fact
you come out while
you're a police leader.
If they were to come out
and say that they
were in favor of taxation,
regulation of marijuana
they wouldn't get their
promotions, they wouldn't
be able to move through the
ranks; they'll be labeled
and I've seen that
take place.
There's alot of work being done
on what creates respect
for laws;
To what extent do people feel
that laws are legitimate.
If they feel that laws are
legitimate, they're likely
to comply with them
without needing
to be coerced into them
and punished.
And the research is suggesting
that people want fairness.
In a sense, what creates
respect for law is justice.
Seeing it done. That
elicits great respect
when you actually see it
being done.
There's another kind of
respect though, which is
respect for the stick-it's
like the force of authority.
Pretty much, marijuana
works with the stick.
One of the consequences
of the War on Drugs is
people have stopped
looking at the police
as their protectors and more
see them, right,
as their potential
The police department
basically becomes
the 'other' to the community,
and once you have
that breakdown,
then information stops flowing.
So you don't learn about crimes
and then the only
crime you really become
interested in is the one
ou can solve which is
locking people up
on the corner
for using drugs.
And, you know, a great
metric of that
is murder clearance rates.
So, a murder is cleared when
an arrest is made and
somebody goes to jail
and in 1965, we were clearing-
police were clearing-
about 90% of the murders that
were committed in this country.
That means, for 90% of
the murders in this country
there was an arrest and a charge
and today that's under 65%.
That's after all the tremendous
technological advances
you know, DNA
evidence all sorts of
forensics and, you know,
expanding police budgets
and that sort of thing. I
think if we were to look
at one cause for that drop
in murder clearance rates
it's the breakdown in
the relationship between
society at large
and the police
and, you know, that by
extension, is a consequence
almost entirely of
the war on drugs.
By having to uphold these
outdated and failed policies,
it ruins our reputation
and it damages
the community relations
between the police
and the policed, as well.
Whole generations have
grown up
distrusting their local police
rather than seeing them
as a potential
protective layer of society.
When you do this, you
change the whole nature
of the game, and
from 1980 on
the police become more and
more militarized.
The initiation of the drug war
was the initiation of
a general loosening of const-
raint on search and seizure.
It became just part
of police practice
to be breaking down the door.
We see it now
as a staple of Cops;
that's now our reality.
That wasn't the reality
before... the drug war.
Columbia police!
Search warrant!
Columbia police!
Search warrant!
Columbia police!
Search warrant!
Search warrant!
Search warrant!
Don't move! Don't move!
Don't move!
Search warrant!
Search warrant!
Don't move!
Search warrant!
Don't move!
That's on him.
Yeah. The money
and the dope.
Now you see police and most
often they look like soldiers:
They're dressed in black,
they have jackboots
high-caliber arms and they
don't walk the street
and get to know the
community, right?
They drive around
in cruisers
that look they belong
on the battle field
that's the
difference between
the Greenville police
department's new.
SWAT truck compared
to the old one.
The truck has a lot of
bells and whistles:
From the simple storage
to the gunports on the
side. They're actually proud
to say they did not use
any taxpayer money.
We paid for it with
seized funds
it came out of money we had
seized from drug dealers...
That's where respect is lost.
The officers on the street
have lost it; the institution
itself has lost it.
You're not being seen
as anything but the other-
people warring on us.
The war on drugs has
had a puzzling effect
on how society seeks
to police itself.
With hundreds of thousands of
marijuana arrests annually,
you start gathering a large
group of prisoners, where
do you put them all?
Well, private prison is
as scary as all shit
and they're scary as hell
for a very simple reason:
They make it highly profitable
to incarcerate people.
We've lost track of how
ridiculous some of the
things we do are.
So we're gonna give people
a profit motive
in putting more people
in jail?
Gee, I wonder what's
gonna happen...
Corrections Corporation
of America is
the Hilton of the private
prison industry:
A multi-billion dollar
business that's getting
rich off punishment.
The more people locked up
behind bars
and the longer they stay there
the more money CCA makes.
Last year the company
a reported 1.7 billion
When you have a privatized
prison, there's a contract
between the state
and the prison
that the state has to
maintain a certain
occupancy rate
in the prison.
Meaning that the
state guarantees
that the prison will stay
anywhere from 80 to 100% full.
Crime could go down,
it doesn't matter.
The taxpayers are still on
the hook and the government
is still on the hook
for filling up your prisons.
Well, where do you get
these numbers from?
The easiest way to make sure
that the quotas are full
in these private prisons is to
get the low hanging fruit
which is just the drug user
as a criminal
rather than someone who might
need a bit of medical help.
And that means that every
fourth person in the world
in jail
is a citizen of the
"land of the free."
You just become a commodity,
rather than a human being,
churned through the system
to make money
for these big corporations.
If we go on down this path,
we'll see more
and more laws being invented
and created to justify the
imprisonment of more and
more people. Public money
will ironically be
plunged into
pursuading us that that
is right.
Each state is constantly
arguing about the fact
that they don't have
enough money for
for their public education,
but then
at the same time,
they'll take
state funds-or in a lot
of cases, federal money-
and put it into the
prison system.
This is Carl Holton school
and it's been closed
for some time now and
in it's place will rise
a hospital prison
with over 1700 beds.
California, since 1980,
we've built 23 prisons,
we've hired 14,000 prison guards
and we've fired 5000 teachers.
West Virginia is strapped
for money, but we're
building another prison here.
Got to!
A lot of people getting
arrested here.
Most states are just like
mine of California:
The largest, strongest
political lobby group
in our state is - the
prison guards' union.
You have unions that are
lobbying to make sure that
certain drugs stay illegal
regardless of
of how safe they are, to make
sure that prisons
are filled because prisons
extract money from the system.
It's insanity!
It's not rational or
logical; It's... financial.
Money is the backdrop to
everything. You can't
even run from it; I try to
see other things or
put other perspectives on it,
but it always boils down
to money.
We've even seen, in places
like Pennsylvania, where
judges have gone and faced
high federal sentences for
actually streamlining
into these private
A former juvenile court judge
in Pennsylvania could face
more than 10 years in prison
after being convicted
in a kids for cash scheme.
Prosecutors say he used
children as pawns-locking
them up unjustly
in a plot to get rich.
Remember my son?
An all-star wrestler!
He's gone, he shot himself
in the heart!
You scumbag, you ruined
my fucking life!
And what could be more
harmful to one's self than
being sent to prison?
No effect of the drug
can be possibly as harmful
as doing jail time
for consuming it.
And they end up with a
criminal record.
What does that do to them?
They could lose their job;
In some parts of the world,
they will lose their housing.
They will lose the
right to education.
This is a fucking kid who
just got arrested recently
for having marijuana on
him. They put him in jail
and he had an extreme
food allergy. He asked them
if there was any milk in
any of their products,
they wouldn't answer him, they
gave him food, he ate it and
he fucking died in jail.
How... criminal is that?
What they've made illegal
isn't the problem, alright?
The problem is the
policy itself.
This business about drug
offenses; I mean it's time
we stopped locking up people
for possession of marijuana.
It selects people that it puts
in jail, so we see
widely disparate penalties
among socioeconomic groups
among racial groups.
White people and black people
in this country do drugs
at the same rate so they
should be arrested
at the same rate, but the
reality is, of course
that's not remotely true.
Across the nation,
blacks are arrested at four
times the rate of whites.
Now, in some places
like Minneapolis,
Washington, D.C., Iowa,
it's eight times the rate.
So, why in the world would
you be arresting
black Americans at eight
times the rate-or even
nation-wide at four
times rate-of whites?
They're using it at the same
rate! You have no excuse!
If you are a young black
man walking around the
streets of London today,
you are nine times more
likely to be stopped
and searched on
suspicion of carrying drugs.
I have risen through classes,
so I know
you know what I mean-
the difference.
Growin' up in Pittsburgh,
just being on the streets,
if I got caught with some weed,
they're gonna look at me
me as I'm selling some
weed or I'm trying to get
some weed to one of their kids
I look like a threat
but when I started rapping and
started associating myself
with other people, started
getting money:
They'll be like, 'oh he's not
dangerous, he can smoke.'
The War on Drugs is one of
those issues that highlights
very clearly that there is one
law for the rich and powerful
and one law for
the rest of us.
HSBC is a giant bank that
actually laundered money
for the Mexican drug cartels.
Billions of dollars!
Nobody went to jail.
Naturally, if there is a
big bank that is
laundering money for drug
cartels, they should face
a federal prosecution and
criminal charges but that's
not what happened. They got a
fine of 1.9 billion dollars!
Well, what's a fine to
HSBC? It's pocket change;
It's one of the costs of
doing business.
And nobody goes to jail
and a mother of four
is arrested for $30 worth
of pot and
she's put in jail for
ten years.
The people at HSCBC are
in the elite, the woman with
the $30 worth of pot is not.
Every animal that's ever had a
hierarchical social structure
going all the way back to
lizards, lobsters
and puppy dogs-has built that
structure on prohibition
and there's always been a
chicken at the
bottom the pecking order
and the one on the bottom
of the pecking order ends up
in a miserable
god awful, picked-on,
pecked-on state and that
isn't mankind's
social invention
that is mother nature's social
invention. Does that mean
mean it's good? Hell no. And
it's our job to reverse it,
natural or not.
Empathy is all it really
takes to open up the avenues
of outrage and realize how
appalling this is.
Let's remember something
boys and girls:
Jails are there for people who
hit us over the head
when we're walking down
the street,
jails are there for people
who break into our
homes and loot the place.
Jails are there for people
who do genuine harm.
So I have no right
to put them in jail
for having a different lifestyle
than mine. In fact,
if I were to do that, it
would be criminal.
And yet, the war
on marijuana continues on.
Only now with new
medical discoveries.
You might ask yourself, 'What
possible health benefits
could an illegal plant have?'
The answer is starting to
become more clear.
It begins with something
that each and every
something called
the endocannabinoid system.
We think of marijuana as
this violent, unnatural
intrusion on human biology.
It's not.
We are built with all kinds
of receptors for cannabis.
Cannabis mimics endogenous
chemicals that we already
produce in the body called
That's why we have
receptors that
pretty well fit
Cannabinoids are these
twenty-carbon molecules
that we produce,
the plant produces
there's over a hundred of them
in the plant
and these two systems work
together to regulate cell,
cluster cell, and
intracellular functions.
All the cannabinoids do is
help cells function.
They don't care what the
cell does
they don't care if its
contracting, secreting thyroid
synthesizing this, remodeling
bone, doesn't matter.
Just, they're doing something
and they do it
a little more effectively.
Western medicine has never
seen a substance like this.
We like single drug/ single
function, and you come along
with a molecule that may
have an interface
inside of every cell
and help it function
more effectively and, really,
it's a hard one to imagine.
I can't find any real
legitimate doctor that thinks
smoking marijuana is good for
anybody. Sure it may
relieve pain temporarily,
but a fifth of Jack Daniels
might do the same thing,
and nobody's calling
that medicine right?
People who say there is
no established medical
use of marijuana simply don't
know what they're talkin' about.
It's so versatile.
It seems every day when I
open up the news, there's
another report on cannabinoids
having some type of
medical utility.
Control of muscle spasticity,
multiple sclerosis,
Glaucoma, colitis.
Nausea, pain.
Migraine headaches.
There are hundreds of
reasons that
people find marijuana
That's why I look so good
after 41 years in the game.
It is the most non-toxic medicine
I have ever encountered.
Once it's free of the
prohibition tariff,
it's gonna be much less
expensive than the
pharmaceutical products
which it will replace.
Think of a strain as a little
chemistry lab
an organic chemistry lab
because what's happening is
mother nature is creating
her own cannabinoid profile.
For instance you could smoke
a variety or use a variety
that would help you with your
headache or I could
use a variety that might
help me with my back pain.
If an AIDS patient comes in
and they're having problems
eating, or they can't
sleep-okay, you can't eat,
you can't sleep, you know
for sure the indica is
gonna put you down, it's
gonna relax you 100%,
it's gonna give you appetite
and you don't wanna
give him a sativa; Because
you give him a sativa,
he's gonna be up thinking
all night.
So it's about genes;
It is about
this kind of character of
plant can do this,
and this kind of plant
can do that.
It's very important to
keep these gene marks-
these original
ones-it could be
the medicine that we need.
What is a land race? A land
race is basically a
species of marijuana that's
indigenous to an area
and has been growing there for
hundreds of years
in a certain area.
Cannabis is from all over
the world, so we have
Afghan varieties,
Indian varieties.
In Colombia you have the
famous Santa Marta Punta Roja
in Central Africa, you'll have
the Malawi Gold.
When I started this whole
new series on strain hunting
it was to show the world
how much
people depend on marijuana
around the world.
We estimate that probably
around two to three
hundred million people's
families are
depending on this crop.
It's still a drug in most
countries so
the police takes it,
or it's expensive, so
robbers will steal it and
these are areas where the.
UN or other big international
never will come.
In these very remote areas
there are a lot of
very nice land races and we
would like to preserve
these land races for the
future so we try to
obtain them and find them
and bring them back.
We have new varieties that
we can play with to see
if they will have any
benefit for the future-
medicinal or recreational.
It's like getting a new
athlete on your team that
you can cross-breed and
create a new variety
of marijuana.
In recent years, understanding
of medical marijuana's
diversity has become
universally widespread news.
With a greater knowledge
of strains has come new
new discoveries. These
discoveries are leading us to
medical benefits we never
could have imagined.
Jayden is seven years old
Jayden was born
perfectly healthy.
At four months old, Jayden
had his first seizure.
It was just a downhill road
from there
for the next few years.
He was having 500 twitching,
myoclonic seizures a day;
He'd have grand mals for an
hour, hour and a half.
I remember he was crying
from 1 o'clock at night
till 9 in the morning-
screaming and crying in pain.
He was seeing things, he
was hallucinating
from the medications.
At four and a half, Jayden
was taking 22 pills a day
he was at 25,000 pills he
had taken by the time
he was 5 years old.
Jayden had tried twelve
different medications,
we had 40 ambulance bills,
we were fighting with
the insurance company all
the time. We lost our house,
we lost our cars, we lost
our business
we lost our family.
I went to UCSF, I said,
'look, I don't think Jayden's
gonna make it another
week. What do you suggest?'
They're all, 'I don't know, I
mean, I would try anything.'
I go, 'what do you think
about medical marijuana?'
They're all, 'well, like we
said, we think we're in a
life and death situation-
you should try anything.'
So I said alright, I went
and picked up something.
I saw in a dispensary, and
came home, I gave it to Jayden-
after four and a half
years of having myoclonic
seizures, and
twitching and head drops
and seizing-the first day
I gave it to him was-
thank God one million times-
was the first day he's
ever went seizure free in
his life.
day, third day, fourth day,
the seizures were down
dramatically; I could see his
eyes lighting up.
It was summertime-
it was June 1st the first
day I gave it to him 2011.
He started swimming;
Jayden's never been able
to swim before-the sudden
temperature change of water
would give him a seizure
I put him in the front yard
and my neighbor's like,
oh my gosh, we've never seen
him in the front yard.'
They were so excited they
were cheering him on...
I started weaning him off
the medications after
one month I was on the CBD.
Every time I took him off,
he'd suffer for two weeks
he'd become more
human. Then take off
another pill, suffer for
two weeks, boom:
Become more human.
Jayden started chewing.
Jayden was only eating
Gerber food...
always till he was five years
old. He started chewing.
With taking 25,000 pills, it
really wears on your body
and brain, so it was kinda
recovering more from the
medication than from
the epilepsy.
And we decided to wean
off the hardest one:
He was having tremors,
nightmares, brain zaps;
I've contacted 30 different
benzo withdrawal clinics,
they go, 'how old
is the person
that you want to bring
into our clinic?'
I tell them, 'seven
years old' and they scream
at the top of their lungs -
every single one vividly
say the same exact thing:
'You have a seven
year old on benzos?
'Cause we have people here
that are football players,
we have people here that are
big, tough guys
that are dying,
literally dying,
from benzos and you have a
seven year old on it?
I said, 'seven year old?
I go,
'my son's been addicted to it
since he was 16 months old.'
So now we have to figure
out a way to wean him off
by ourselves because the
benzo detox clinics are not
are not willing to take in
a seven year old.
Since we've been using the
CBD's, he's been doing amazing.
It has under 1% THC,
so it doesn't give you
that euphoria.
It's abstracted,
it's organic, we know the
dosage in milligrams.
We're on the forefront
of something huge:
It's either you're gonna give
up, and just and let your son,
your child, be a vegetable
and die or you're gonna
sit there and fight.
I still haven't met Jayden yet.
I know Jayden and 22 pills,
but I'm down to Jayden and
two pills-that's who
I know right now.
I don't know Jayden but
on medication.
Christmas before Jayden
was born-that was my
that Jayden
was gonna be born.
My ex-wife had given me
a box and I opened it
and I remember...
this is a
hard one...
I remember opening
the box and seeing
a pregnancy test saying
positive with two baby shoes
and having so much expectation,
you know?
Having so much expectation
that you're gonna have a son.
As a parent, you're expecting
your child to play football,
you're expecting your
child to talk you know?
I mean, right now, my
number one goal
right now is to have my
son say I love you.
I mean people take that
for granted.
People take that for granted
that their kids can talk
and say I love you. That's all
I want to hear my son say,
but I mean if I can hear
him say that,
I'll be more than happy. He
said it one time on CNN:
I la loo. He was
really close!
I gotta hear it.
If he says that,
I've already conquered
the world.
Seeing your child suffer:
There's nothing worse
than that;
There's no torture
worse than that.
Especially every day.
Now is not the time to send
a message to our young
people that marijuana
is medicine. It is not.
It is a dangerous,
illegal drug.
Is it legitimate for any
human on the face of
planet earth to deny another
human the thing that
will remove him from
that infinite torture chamber?
No. It is
not acceptable.
It is utterly and
completely im-moral.
I'm not allowed to do this
because someone says I can't.
And that person
never met me,
they're never likely
to meet me...
they're never likely to
meet someone with MS,
Parkinson's, cancer-and yet
they can have total rule
over that entity's life.
This is pretty much
the only time
that I'm gonna be lost
for words. I just -
the justifications still not
been explained to me.
Should marijuana be
legalized for medical use?
Aren't there issues of
significance that you'd like
to talk about? The economy,
the economy, the economy,
the growth of jobs, the need
to put people back to work
the challenges of Iran?
We've got enormous issues
that we face. But you wanna talk.
Go aheadyou wanna
talk about.
Medical marijuana
I think marijuana should not
be legal in this country
I believe it's a gateway drug...
Marijuana is still a
schedule I drug meaning
legally that it has no medical
usefulness whatsoever
and benzodiazepines like Valium
and Xanax and Klonopin
are are actually schedule IV
drugs even though they put
put significantly more
people in the emergency room
every year and cause
even more deaths
than many Schedule I drugs.
Many attempts have been made
to move cannabis
out of of Schedule I
and ...they always fail.
How can the United States
government claim that there's
no medical usefulness to
cannabis while then patenting
the medical usefulness
of cannabis?
It was a shocking idea that
the federal government-
the Department of Health
and Human Services
had a patent on cannabinoids
as antioxidants and
neuroprotectants, heart
disease and diabetes,
Alzheimer's and Huntington's,
and includes cataracts and.
Down's syndrome as well as
neoplasia. It really speaks
to the depth of the problem
in terms of who's making
these decisions and
who are they benefitting?
We need to get to the truth
which is that
prescription drugs kill
vast numbers of people.
Prescription drugs have a
higher rate of overdose
than even things we think of
as being horrific like
methamphetamine, heroin...
The number of people who
are killed by heroin and
cocaine is tiny, tiny, just
miniscule, microscopic
by comparison with the number
of people who are killed
every year by prescription
drugs. Let's look at the facts;
Let's not listen
to the bullshit anymore.
Suspected drug overdoses
are rising at an alarming
rate in Haywood County.
And it's not illegal drugs
officials are worried about
but prescription drugs.
It's being described as an
epidemic. Authorities say
too many young people are
dying accidental deaths.
The fifth or sixth top selling
drugs in North America
are antipsychotics which
we're giving out like candy
now to people,
including children.
At Vancouver's Children's
Hospital they've had to
establish a special clinic
just to deal with the
effects of antipsychotics
in kids.
I recently lost my father
two years ago and we were
really close and so it was
like having the rug pulled
out from underneath me and I
started to see a therapist
and a psychiatrist because I
was experiencing these
panic attacks and at least
fifteen medications
I was written, you know,
within two minutes of meeting,
one of the psychiatrists
she called me bipolar II and
wrote a diagnosis of it
without even knowing me,
you know?
What I really needed was
a fuckin' hug.
In 2010, doctors prescribed
enough painkillers to give
45 milligram Percocets
and 245-milligram Vicodins
to every person
in the United States.
It's a huge industry creating
pills for us to take.
Most of the time, they're
not really anything that's
curing you, they're just
suppressing whatever your
ailment is and in some
cases making it worse.
In depressed patients,
worsening of depression
including risk of suicide
may occur.
Sometimes fatal events
including infections
tuberculosis, lymphoma,
other cancers.
Blisters, peeling rashes,
hives or mouth sores.
Nervous system and
blood disorders
and allergic reactions
have occurred.
The makers of OxyContin
have marketed it as a
non- or less-addictive
opiate, knowing already
that this wasn't true. They
simply suppressed that research.
Hundreds of overdose deaths.
They plea-bargained and
they agreed to pay fines.
Well, they could pay that
out of their left hip
pocket. Nobody went to jail,
nobody suffered any
criminal consequences.
If you read the small print,
you'll find that there's
side-effects to certain drugs
but you've got to really
get your microscope out.
I see this all the time with
friends-even with peers-
where they carry a diagnosis
and they can't pronounce it.
They don't know what the
disease they have is called.
They take drugs and they don't
know what the medication is
or what it could potentially
do to their body.
All kinda pills and
medicine and bullshit that
they can't pronounce;
Makin' money off your ass.
Fuckin' you up with more
medicine than you need.
There's people strung out
on those pills, man.
Chief medical examiner Glenn
Wagner says he's noticed
a big rise in the quantity
of different drugs
people are taking.
This shopping bag represents
one individual and the
number of drugs that that
person had onboard.
There are 19 separate lines
on this one and it
goes for several pages.
People don't look at them
as drugs anymore when
they're legal-when they're
over the counter. They just
look at it as somethin' you
can buy from the store and
put in your body, but
it's still a drug.
Unintentional deaths from
one dies
- one American dies.
- Every 19 minutes.
Nothing comparable in
marijuana. Is that correct?
Well, when you've got a
drug that costs a billion
dollars to bring to market,
your investment is so
huge that you have to do
everything in your power
to make sure that drug
succeeds and sometimes the
things that you do
are troubling.
There are some pharmaceutical
products today that are
in short demand because the
profit margin isn't big enough.
Just how tough is it to
find the flu shot, Jocelyn?
Sonia, Darren, you'll have to
make a couple of calls,
and those that do have it
only have a limited supply.
I mean, this happens every year
when there's a bad flu
and there's shortages of
vaccines, right, because
there's not really a big profit
motive tied to flu vaccines
it's a single dose and you
move on. Unlike something
like Viagra or especially
things like cholesterol
medication, heart medication.
Maintenance medications
that people who are ill
have to stay on
in order to live normal lives.
If you don't need that
medication, you don't need them
they take a dent in the
pockets, you know what I mean;
Those are very deep pockets and
they don't want 'em dented.
So every night on TV you see
a weird-ass drug commercial
tryin' to get you hooked
on some legal shit
and they just keep naming
symptoms till they get one that
you've fucking got! Got
athlete's foot? Are ya hot?
Are ya cold? Whatcha got?
You want this pill
huh, motherfucker? Ya got
to take this pill!
Prescription drugs being
advertised and marketed
on television is certainly
something that's happened
in my lifetime
as a physician.
They're saying things like
'ask your doctor if
this drug is right for you.'
Ask your doctor if Humira
can work for you...
Ask your doctor if Lunesta
is right for you.
Ask your doctor about
Do you get a weird pain in
your bowel? Well then you
need to go to a doctor and
you need to tell him that
this is the drug you need.
So hurry up! There's your
check, there's my prescription,
it's a transaction.
I'm not a drug addict! How
dare you? I'm a patient.
In every other industrialized
Western country, you don't
see ads for drugs. You go
to your doctor, you tell
your doctor what you're
dealing with, they're well-
informed about the drugs that
are on the market and they
make a recommendation for you.
I remember these commercials
and they looked so happy
and I remember thinking, oh
my God, there's a pill that
you can take to make
yourself happy?
Like how fucking awesome
would that be?
If you got somebody makin'
a commercial sayin',
oh, do you have these
do you have these problems?
You're gonna relate to it
like, oh yeah, that is me!
Maybe I do need that.
It's really frustrating to me
that as a society we
don't know better at this point.
They're telling you
that you can take this
medicine, but risk literally
killing yourself to do it!
For me, it reinforces our
cultural belief that if you
go to a doctor, if you
don't get a prescription,
you haven't really had
a valid encounter.
One study by a British
medical journal found that
for every dollar that
pharmaceutical companies spent
on R and D -research
& development-they spend
19 dollars on promotion and
marketing of their drugs.
If I go to my doctor and I say,
'I saw this ad for this drug;
I really would like
to try it, ' and he
says, 'yeah, let's give it
a shot, ' is he my doctor,
or is he my drug dealer?
They form groups like.
Partnership for a
Drug Free America
where they get their
fucking money
from prescription drugs!
I wish you didn't
smoke weed.
You're not the same when you
smoke, and I miss my friend.
Prescription drugs making
commercials against weed
is like hookers making
commercials against
strippers, I mean that's...
(it would of been better if
I didn't stumble through
(the word commercial),
but that's what it is!
Guess what. All of the big
drug companies have used
corruption in North America
for at least 50 years.
If you were a doctor, they
will come to you and say,
I will pay you to participate
in a conference
on the phone-it will only take
a half an hour of your time.
Well, guess what the
conference is. It is a drug
company salesman selling
you on the latest drug
to influence you to prescribe
that drug the next time
a patient comes into your
office. How are you gonna feel?
You feel gratitude
and your gratitude
influences your decisions.
Nothing should influence
your decision but what is
best for a patient.
There are pros to having a
capitalist endeavor.
There may be drugs on
the market that never would
have been available because
that profit motive wasn't
pushing these pharmaceutical
companies to try
and develop those new drugs.
The problem is that it's
it's not really a free
there's, like, a small
percentage of pharmaceutical
companies that are really
propped up by our Congress
people because they have
huge lobbies supporting them.
I recently received a
notification of the top 100
pharmaceutical drugs and
how much they made a year
and you see exactly what all
the frenzy is about.
In 2012, the top-11
global drug companies
made nearly 85 billion dollars
in net profits.
Just an ungodly amount of
money for medicines that
many of which my patients
have been able to stop with
something that can grow
in their backyard.
Now, look, I was in bed
for fifteen years with an
extremely serious illness.
I believe in the importance
of the major drug companies.
Does that mean I believe
in their right to push
research that they've paid for
into peer-reviewed journals
and to prevent research
that tends to indicate that
their drugs don't work?
There's a case to be made for
these pharmaceuticals
there's the appropriate use
of all kinds of medications
including antidepressants,
including antipsychotics,
but it's hard to make a
rational case for the use
to the extent that they're
employed in today's society.
So, once more, we're faced
with the arbitrariness of
what we consider to be
acceptable and what is
This seems
to be information
that society could benefit from.
But how has this vital
knowledge managed
to fly under radars for so long?
Why are these issues
not making their way
to the forefront of concern
in our news?
So a lot of people make the
mistake of thinking that
the news stations are gonna
cover things in the order
of importance, but in reality
they cover them
in the order of ratings.
So if Justin Bieber
is gonna give you the
best ratings,
they're gonna go first.
Congressman, let me interrupt
you just for a moment.
We've got some breaking
news out of Miami-stand by
if you will. Right now, in
Miami, Justin Bieber has
has been arrested on a
number of charges.
You gotta sell whatever it is
that wants to advertise
on your show and if your
show is getting shitty ratings,
they're gonna replace you
with a chick with big tits.
Hey, starting the news
off tonight:
A motherfucker killed
three people. We got my guy.
Hal Fishman standing outside
right now. Hal, what's going on?
'Yeah, the nigga
shot three people'
and blah, blah, blah.
That's more attractive!
Yeah, I don't watch the news;
The news is fuckin' depressing.
They pick the worst shit
to follow
for a long-ass amount of time.
You think they give a
fuck if Barack Obama was
born in Kenya? They do
if it's a good story.
Because it means that two
million people are gonna
tune in instead
of 600,000.
Then you get people
coming out saying,
'well, what about
nuclear bombs?
That's a good point! We'll
be back after this.'
They're gonna be able to sell
advertisement for X-amount
of money instead of W.
That kinda shit happens
everyday all day
it's just a matter of which
one do they want to put
the most attention on?
There's skydiving cats!
I believe I can fly..
In all that froth, I think
serious debate around
key policy issues
often gets lost.
That's the problem with
current affairs!
You forget about what's
important and you allow the
agenda to be decided by
superficial information.
Everybody cares about
the advertisers.
They care a
tremendous amount.
If you're gonna do a story
that affects the advertisers,
you will get a call from
management. Now, it doesn't
mean you can't do the story
although there is heavy
pressure to shift
priorities within the story.
It's fucking ridiculous!
Puttin' makeup on
and pretending they're not
reading off a script that's
corporate approved. They
have a very specific set of
parameters that they're
supposed to fall into.
It's OK, you can admit it if
you've bought an item or
two or ten for yourself.
It's OK, you can admit it if
you've bought an item or
two or maybe...
ten for yourself...
It's OK, you can admit it if
you've bought an item or
two or ten for yourself.
Originally, when TV first
started, news was seen as
something that was a
public service so that you
informed the American
people. The deal was:
You give us news and we give
you the public airwaves
and then at some point along
the lines, the TV stations
forgot that they weren't
supposed to make money off
the news and then a second
thing kicked in that's
realized whenever they did
investigative reporting,
they would uncover something
that the government was
doing wrong and it'd be
a giant hassle.
You're supposed to question
authority as a journalist.
That's the whole point
of the media.
If you don't question
authority, then what the hell
is the point? CNN just got
rid of its investigative team.
When I was at MSNBC, I
looked for an investigative
reporter to do some of
the stories that I wanted
to cover and they said,
'there isn't one in the
building.' So I got this
amazing speech from the
head of the network who
said, 'look, outsiders are
they wear
leather jackets and
they ride motorcycles, ' he said,
'but, we're insiders here
at NBC; We're part of the
establishment and you have to
act like it.' He was
telling me that he had just
gone to Washington and they
were not happy with my tone.
Do you think all these
corporations and rich folks
are spending money on politics
because it's not good
for business? No! Obviously
they think it's a great
investment for them.
I was challenging the
Republicans and the Democrats
too much.
How about if we didn't go
into that dumbass war in
Iraq and waste a trillion
dollars when we found
zero weapons of mass
destruction. You flushed
that down the toilet!
We're talking social
security not your politics!
And now you're talking about
robbing people's social security!
That is
Not your contempt for
America, we're talking about
social security.
Stick to the topic!
Contempt for America? You
lost 4400 American lives
in Iraq! You have
contempt for America!
I remember taking
several guests to task
saying all of our politicians
are systematically corrupt.
They get legalized
bribes which we
call donations. We've forgot-
tten that they're in essence
just bribes. Who's gonna
give you money for nothing?
No one right? They're gonna
give you money so that
you do them a favor. Every
time I would point that out
there'd again be a call
from management like,
'hey, we're not saying you can't
do that. On the other hand
if you'd like to keep
the six o'clock slot...'
But in that one meeting
that I had
with the head of of the network,
it was no longer implicit.
It was explicit and he said,
'this is the reality
and you either get back in line
or we go in a
different direction.'
If anything, I went
harder after the establishment
after that.
They sucked
so much money out of the
system that we had one of
the largest economic crashes
of all time and they're
not even done yet!
And then, a couple months
later, they called me in
and they're like, 'apparently
you didn't get it!'
So, you were at six o'clock;
We're moving you
from six o'clock to the
We're gonna pay you
a ton of money
so hush up' and
I said thanks but no thanks.
I didn't take the weekend
job and I went back to
do the Young Turks online.
We have three branches of
and those three branches are
supposed to be part
of the checks and balances
that make the government work.
The media and journalists are a
huge part of that. I mean,
you think Americans are
complacent now?
They'll be even more complacent
if they're not given
the information they need
to be politically active.
Drama works on television.
Now, in the world of
politics, the soap opera is.
Democrats versus Republicans.
It's not who's right
in terms of the policies or
ideology. What is easy is:
He said this, she said
that; Isn't that amazing?
Look at the Democrats and
Republicans, they're always
fighting... oh no, look at this:
the Republicans are
fighting amongst themselves.
Catfights sell.
Which is why you have the
red team and the blue team,
you know, all over the world
it's red team-blue team.
And they have these rigid
ideologies that are
associated with these teams
and they just run with it.
Find a place where you are
surrounded by like-minded
people and the best way
to find those people is you
should probably look at the
maps on how counties voted.
We think it's a bunch of
ideas about how the world
works and how we can make it
better. Sorry, that's not
really what it is. Ideas are
a badge of identity
they're a badge of identity
for a subculture.
It's my group versus your
group and I will make damn
sure that my representative
represents my badge of
identity, my group's supposed
ideas, the ones that
represent my group's uniform
not your group's uniform.
And there's a lot of seemingly
intelligent people
that have ridiculous ideas
that are cleverly worded
in a nice flowing
and confident way
that makes you think that what
they're saying makes sense.
A lot of work gets done on
tobacco whereas drugs
are pretty much specifically
just to get high.
It's not, I'm enjoying-
But a lot of people drink
to get high...
Yeah, but that's more of
a subsidiary point.
People are not openly
discussing anything,
they're just defending points
of view and in defending
points of view,
they're defending their egos.
Which means they're expressing
the ideas that they think
others want to hear. Which
means they're not thinking!
So, you can present the facts
to people, but the facts
won't penetrate because
it's not about facts,
it's about opinions they have
to hold onto
in order to feel okay
about themselves.
Potheads that I knew at
that time, when I see 'em:
'Hey man, hey bro, hey what's
that? What's going on?'
Every one of 'em are brain
dead! It's fact.
Everyone that I know in my
long history of life,
everyone that was a pot smoker,
their brains are defuncitated!
Fox News, as we've known
for a long time,
does Republican propaganda.
Unfortunately, MSNBC
has now come to largely do
Democratic propaganda.
CNN does propaganda for both;
They say, 'the Republicans said
this and the
Democrats said that.
Now, what's the truth?
Who cares?
My job is just to tell you
what the latest catfight is.
It creates this partisan
division in the country
where people feel like, 'I
have to root for my team
regardless of
what they do.'
It's sometimes hard
to see contradictions
that find their way into
politics. Inconsistencies
with politicians tend
to get lost
in a mass amount of information
that now finds
its way to our attention.
In some cases, these
contradictions sit right
in front of our face.
When you look at the Obama
website where they were
looking for information-what
is important to you,
what do want to see us do?
I have to say that there
was one question that was
voted on that ranked fairly
high and that was
whether legalizing
marijuana would improve the
economy and job creation
and, uh, I don't
know what this says about
the online audience.
And he goes, 'ha ha, I don't
know what that says about
this group.' What it says
about this group is:
They like pot! Why don't you
explain to me what's
wrong with the idea that
people want you to make it
so that someone doesn't get
locked in a fucking cage
for a forbidden plant?
Yeah, I did it, I got away
with it, too bad you're not.
So move on to the next
question. Look at how
many of us they're
locking up.
There's nothing funny about it.
Now, think about how mental
the last three
presidents, at least,
confirmed that they in fact
did smoke marijuana. So,
shouldn't they be in jail?
I mean they've admitted it,
Obama apparently
rather enjoyed it.
It makes him the him the hip
President! 'I'm the cool.
President, I'm the
happeningest President
I say weed, I say blow, it's
all a big deal ha ha ha!'
Huge laugh from the college
students and if he had
done time in prison,
time in federal prison,
time for his weed
and a little blow,
he would not be President of
the United States of America.
This is his quote from
'I'm not going to be
using Justice department
resources to try to
circumvent state laws on
this issue.'
Well, bullshit, that's
exactly what he's been doing.
He has launched the most
vicious attack on medical
marijuana patients
and dispensaries
that pales Bush by comparison.
He's raided me. The DEA
has been in this house.
One of the reasons we are
making these announcements
today is to try to put to
rest the notion that large
marijuana businesses can
shelter themselves under
state law and
operate without
fear of federal
In a report issued in June 2013
it was found that the DEA
had performed 270
medical marijuana raids
under Barack Obama in the first
four and a half years
of his presidency. This was
more than all 12 years combined
before he took office.
The Obama administration
outspent the Bush administration
by 100 million dollars in
about half the time.
People get freaked out
when you say that.
'But Obama is hope and
change! He's a Democrat;
He's a good guy! You can't
say that about Obama!
He had a choice...
he coulda done as his
campaign promised and said,
hey, you know what? We're
not gonna do the dispensary
raids anymore. If you have
made medicinal marijuana
in your legal state, we're
gonna respect that.'
That's what he said
during the campaign.
But when he goes to act,
what did he do?
He put the most right-winger
that they had in the DEA,
who was left over from the
Bush years, as the head
of the DEA. Now, why would
you do that? You could have
picked anybody but you
picked the biggest
right-winger in the
Why? And this is
what people can't
he's a politician just like
the rest of them so he thinks,
'if I can curry a little
bit of favor by putting this
right-winger in, well,
I will seem so moderate
and that will increase
my chances of winning in
2012 by maybe half a percent.
President George W. Bush,
who pretty much has
acknowledged while he
was young and irresponsible
and a playboy, he
used cocaine
and then when he was
governor of Texas
signed legislation
mandating anyone
that uses cocaine
must go to jail
a minimum of 180 days.
That's beyond hypocrisy.
When asked about drugs,
he said, 'I don't want to
answer the marijuana
question. You know why?
I don't want young kids
doing what I did.'
Likewise, I mean when you
look at interviews
that have been done with
Bill Clinton
after he left office,
he openly admitted
that he thinks that marijuana
should be decriminalized
and it's like, oh, well
if only you were in a position
to do something about that!
I wouldn't pretend that I
know what pulls a President's
strings, but I do know
there's a stark contrast
between the way every
President behaves before
they get into office and then
once they get into office.
The general public should
hold politicians accountable
for saying one thing
when they're not in power
and doing another when
they come into power.
There's a sort of rhetorical
trick they quite often use
to say, 'oh, this is something
I did in the past,
it's something I regret, I
wouldn't advise anyone else
to do it.' So, they somehow
distance themselves from
their own person.
And the public puts up with
that hypocrisy
they get it when you point
it out to them, but I don't
know why they put up with it.
So it may be that President
X or President Y has
smoked cannabis at some
point in their lives or used
other illegal drugs, but when
they get to the top
they are going to oppress
others for using illegal drugs.
That's an idea that never
would have crossed the mind
of any of our founding fathers.
If anyone had stood up
at a constitutional convention
and said
hey! Let's ban alcohol, '
that idea wouldn't have
gotten very far and it
wouldn't have gotten very far
not because they were a
bunch of drunks, but because
the idea that the federal
government had that degree
of power over sovereign
individuals was anathema to
what they were trying to create
in forming a new country.
That's why it's essential
to make decisions in public
wherever possible, based on
the actual evidence that
there is for something.
How else are you going make
policy? Are you going to
base it on some sort of faith?
Or a wish that something
will happen just because you
want it to? What are you
going to do? Stand and sort
of scream on the spot
until you get your way
like a small child?
And that's effectively what
some of our politicians
seem to be doing.
For six months, I worked
as a policy advisor at the
highest levels of the British
civil service,
working to advise
the most senior people
on the issues of drugs and crime
and the aim of that
was to get an academic in there
to help give them some evidence
that they could base their
policies on, but I found
that that was actually quite
a difficult job to do.
Those civil servants told
me that they had learnt
that it was not helpful to
use evidence which
challenges the dominant way
of thinking that's already
structuring most policies.
It's much easier to
take evidence that supports
what you're already doing
and use that to justify
the continuation
of your existing policy.
One of the leading figures
in research in Drugs and Policy
is Professor
David Nutt.
He was the government
advisor for the ACMD.
The ACMD is the Advisory
Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
We had created a 16-point
scale of harms and then we
took twenty drugs and we
ranked all those drugs on
these sixteen different harms,
and then when we
put all that together into
this computer program called
multi-criteria decision
analysis, we discovered that
the most harmful drug
overall was alcohol.
It showed that the drug laws,
which ignore the most harmful
drug, were
actually based on a wrong
understanding of harms.
Politicians wanted to get
some kind of political
advantage by being hard
on cannabis and our study
said, 'well hang on, cannabis
is much, much less harmful
than alcohol.'
I thought I was going to
be encouraged
to tell the scientific truth
and then suddenly one
I got a phone call
saying effectively,
'you've gotta resign'
and I said, 'why?'
And he said, 'because you're
giving mixed messages;
We've gotta have
cannabis is bad,
alcohol is good. When we
say we want you to resign
it means you're sacked'
and so I was sacked.
Professor's Nutt's dismissal
came after he dared to suggest
drugs like cannabis and
ecstasy are less harmful
than alcohol and tobacco.
It was a very interesting
experience because, here,
you've spend ten years
of your life doing what you
know is right and what you
know-if that was accepted
by government, by policy-
makers-would be better for
society and then for simple
political reasons,
you get humiliated
After an angry exchange on
Sky News yesterday,
Alan Johnson reiterated his
argument in a letter to.
The Guardian today:
'Professor Nutt was
not sacked for his views,
which I respect but disagree
with. He was asked to go
because he cannot be both
a government adviser
and campaigner against
government policy.
But it kind of backfired on the
government because his sacking
attracted an enormous amount
of media attention.
Suddenly the debate wasn't
just about whether this
expert committee had got
it right about drugs,
it was a whole debate
about the role of science
in policy-making.
This brings us to an
interesting question:
If evidence doesn't play the
role we think it does
in policy-making,
then what does?
Turns out there's this thing
called lobbying.
And just what is lobbying?
Lobbying is supposed to be
simply getting access
to the politicians and
making your case.
So, the American people
can lobby
just as much as a
special interest could.
It's supposed to work
like that, and the politician
then ponders it
and says, 'oh, well,
you've both made an
interesting case,
but I'm going to go with this
side or that side.'
Now, that's not what
it is at all,
okay? The reality of
what it has become is:
Two sides come in with two
checks-whoever has the
larger check wins. That's
lobbying in a nutshell.
So, if it's defense contractors,
or private prisons,
or whoever it might be that's
giving money for that issue
they're gonna win!
They're not gonna win some
of the time; They're gonna
win all of the time.
I think Bill Hicks said
it best. Bill Hicks said,
'this is my impression of
American politics.'
He goes-it's a guy holding two
puppets-and people go,
'well the puppet on the
right is more to my liking,
well I feel like the puppet
on the left suits my beliefs
like, hey, wait a minute:
It's one guy and he's
holding both puppets!
Once corporations were
allowed to spend money in
politics, they
owned politics.
Corporations are people, my
friend. We could raise taxes
of course they are-
everything corporations earn
ultimately goes to people.
Where do you think it goes?
You give me money, I do
you favors-everybody got
used to it. Now the media
doesn't even blink;
They think, 'well if you're good
at raising money, that
must mean you're a good
politician.' Now, what does
that have to do with serving
the people? Do you know
that, 95% of the time, the
person with more money wins
the congressional election
at the national stage?
It doesn't matter if you're
liberal or conservative,
the main thing that matters
is do you have more money?
So, for the 2012 elections,
they spent six billion dollars
on all the national elections.
They spent a billion
for the Obama campaign,
a billion for
the Romney campaign
and four billion for all the
senate and
congressional elections.
It's large donors and
they're not spending six billion
dollars for their health.
They're spending
the six billion dollars to
get back 12 billion
or 60 billion
I got a campaign. I need
money. Who's got money?
That woman with four kids
selling $31 worth of marijuana,
she's got no money,
but that banker,
that Wall Street guy,
that corporation guy-
hey, I think they have a few
bucks to spread around.
It actually becomes an
undercurrent to every single
legislative action that we
see. Everybody's concerned
about re-election; Everybody's
concerned about how to
sell themselves, not to
their constituents,
but to the lobbying and
to the interest groups.
It fucks up the framework
and the groundwork for the
world that we operate in.
So where does this leave
society when those who are
elected to represent the
public no longer have the
motivation to do so? How
can balance be re-achieved?
What else can alter
the framework
of the world around us?
If you think in terms of our
communication environment,
the advent of the 'net
represented a tremendous
inflection point.
Before that, the
sources of information
that we had were
pretty much
institutionally structured.
That very strong filter is
breaking down and that's
giving people around the
world the chance
to think for themselves
I have a real bug about
nobody respects books
anymore; Books going out
the window and everyone's
reading on these bloody
screens. It's just so easy to
Google stuff. Everyone's
just like, 'oh, let's check.
Google' no! It's a real,
like, big bug there for me;
It really annoys me.
Where do you get most of
your news from today?
I think, the internet
Suddenly, it's a different
world. The folk that control
big media now no longer
control the whole of
that media environment.
We're not reliant, say,
in England,
on the Daily Telegraphs and the
fear that politicians have
over two or three publications.
Blogs have become the media;
there really is a public debate.
This is like the public forum
of Athens or Rome.
It's the freedom to do what
you want. Can't nobody
tell you what you can and
can't do on the internet.
You can do what the hell you
wanna do when you wanna do it.
You may connect with
somebody in another country
who may have some information
that'd really enlighten the world.
Because we don't know it all
in America: We only know
half the story. I was, you
know, close-minded
I was just thinking about
California and the
lifestyle I grew up in.
In Alice in Wonderland, it
said something like this:
'How do I know what I think until
I hear what I have to say?'
On the internet you can
actually express yourself
out loud; You can add
a new dimension to thinking
and for the first time,
if you have an opinion,
you can go out there and
express it, and if you have
the ability to promote it,
you can get attention for it.
Post it
and before you know it,
a million people could be
following you, talkin'
with you, respectin' your
views. Or they could be
talkin' bad about your views.
All of a sudden, issues
that would not have
been discussed before
are being discussed.
There's these little
communities based on ideas
and thoughts that are building
and those ideas turn into
other ideas and other
programming and it's weird if
you were to look at it on a
chart or on a graph.
In terms of the War on Drugs, the
internet has been phenomenal.
There was a great thirst
for the truth
and so anytime that truth
leaked out on the internet
people would just jump on it.
'Oh, marijuana has
medicinal benefits?
Oh, wow, Richard
Nixon already had the report
that said marijuana
wasn't bad for you?'
They jump on it and
they think, 'thank God
there's now something that
let's me access the truth!
I was online in '94. That's
when I first got online,
but it didn't really do
anything it was sorta like
puttin' around and no
one knew what was going on.
You've got mail!
Everyone I know is on it!
Instant messages!
There's no better way
to keep in touch.
You've got mail. Now with
56k, connections are faster
than ever!
It's fast!
If you have a phone line,
you can go online.
What will they think
of next?
And the mail was all
bullshit, and then slowly
but but surely it became this
interacting monster
that it is today.
Anything that you need to
know about marijuana,
you can just go on
there and look.
You can have your mind
changed instantly.
In the old days, when
there was twenty hippies
sitting around trying to
legalize marijuana with
with their little flyers,
there was no way to
fact check any of it. It
sounded like a crazy hippie.
Wait, you're telling me
marijuana is safe and it
helps you with headaches
and anxiety and all these
important medical things
that we're taking all these
pills for? Yeah right,
old hippie.
But nowadays, these
hippies are online
and they have proof
and facts and for once
we're like, 'wow,
that's not a crazy hippie,
that's a
smart hippie.'
You know, I can pick this
phone up, and within 10 seconds,
I can Google any complex
question that would've
required a serious
education to answer before.
It's become so commonplace,
that we don't realize
how fucking completely insane
it is! It's a culture-
changing reality shift.
People like me, who had to
read about things
in an encyclopedia, and actually
go to a library, and take
out books on things.
I'm a fuckin' dinosaur.
The young kids that are comin'
up today-from the jump,
have had the internet;
They don't know
what the world is like
without the internet.
The internet is beginning to
shake things up in politics
but the old momentum is
clinging stubbornly,
irritatingly and
With the recent NSA leak,
I think that you see
a very specific example of
politicians trying to destroy
freedom of expression
and freedom of speech.
Collecting data on people
and spying on people is a
form of intimidation. If you
know that the government
is watching what you're
doing, and you know that the
government is monitoring what
you are saying and
what you're advocating for,
you are less likely to be
politically active. You are more
likely to be intimidated
by power. They're using
that as a way
to tell us to
shut the fuck up.
The West fought for 500 years
to acquire these basic rights
and just to hand them away
thoughtlessly means
that we have to fight again
for hundreds of years
just to get them back. It's
very hard to acquire basic
human rights; It's very easy
to give them up.
The establishment is scared
to death of the internet
because that's the one
thing they can't control.
So they've figured out a way to
control our politicians
through donations, they've
figured out how to control
TV through the advertising,
but the internet is the wild,
wild West and they can't
grab it. No matter how
much they try to plug all the
holes in, the truth seems
to get out one way or another
anyway. It's basically
the whole world sharing with
one another and the one thing
that we're sharing, that's
really doing them damage,
is the truth.
The trend, if you pay
attention to it, clearly is
the dissolving of boundaries
between people and ideas
and information and it's all
going to come to a head.
The first cracks in the
monolith of prohibition
have already happened. Suddenly
you have Washington
and Colorado actually
succeeding in passing
these legalization and
regulation ballots
and becoming the first
anywhere in the world to do so.
What's happening in the
United States is that the
entire underpinnings of the
War on Drugs are being
pulled away by the population
of the United States itself.
Washington state and
Colorado that make it
legal-legal, they're like,
'look, man, it's
fuckin' legal here. Period.
It's not "medically legal"
it's legal'
and the DEA is like,
'woah, you better not!'
Like, whaddya mean,
we'd better not?
Come on, what is our
fucking voting system for
if a piece of legislation that
the people want gets up
there and you're still going
out of your way
not to recognize it?
How could you ask people
to believe in the process
if you won't respect the vote?
You can't ask people to vote-
they won't want to.
That's all that's gonna have
to happen to tear it all apart:
Is more states just
saying, 'you know what?
We're gonna legalize.'
They become a force that can
stand up to the status quo.
It's then you start to take
what is yours
instead of waiting for the
and the government to give you
what they think you deserve.
One by one, individual states
are defying the federal
government and responding
to the wishes of their
their own immediate population
and changing the state law.
Once we see that gaining
pace in the United States,
it's gonna gain pace in the
whole of the rest of the world
as well.
The International Narcotics
Control Board has made it clear
that Washington and
Colorado are in breach
of the UN drug conventions,
they're effectively breaking
international law and that the
U.S. is, by dint of what's
happening in Washington and
Colorado, also in breach
of the UN conventions.
Given that the UN drug treaties
were very much driven
by the U.S. in the
first instance,
it does put them in this
rather odd situation where
something that they drove
the formation of, they are
now being disciplined and
condemned for violating.
Because how can they impose
these appallingly damaging
laws and conventions across
the other countries of
the planet when they're legal-
izing in their own backyard?
I think it makes it very
difficult for the United States
to try to hold other
countries in line.
They are experimenting
with a completely new approach
and that is for the
state to be selling marijuana
in marijuana shops
throughout Uruguay.
All across Europe, in Australia,
and in fact, all over the world,
the whole
house of cards
is already coming
crumbling down.
I mean even by the time you
put this documentary on air,
I'm sure that there are going
to be more states
that have voted with their
feet and changed
the legal status of cannabis.
Big step today for those
hoping to legalize
recreational marijuana
in Alaska.
The campaign to regulate
marijuana turned in
more than 45000 signatures
to the lieutenant governor.
I mean it's impossible to keep
up right now when it
comes to research,
political development.
Constant stream of books
and documentaries, podcasts
and blog posts. The
information's just overwhelming.
They just can't stop
releasing shit.
Just like you can't stop making
documentaries about it,
just like I can't stop
talking about it on stage
or on a podcast.
In ten years
from now,
you're gonna look
at this film and be like,
'that's ridiculous. Remember
when they had to make films
about legalizing marijuana?'
And it's one of the reasons
why the age of information
that we exist in today is
so fuckin' important.
It's so important because
it's never been in the
hands of the people before
and this is what happened:
In the hands of the people
you've seen more progress
in ten years than we have
in two fuckin' hundred
years before.
Because it's swarming,
all the greedy pigs
are trying to hold on to it,
but it's like standing
in the middle of the river and
trying to catch all the salmon
with your hands. You're not
going to.
The world is already moving;
We're already on it like
we want it. They doing it in
Seattle, Washington.
Recreational. You know I'm
on my way out there
as soon as I get off this TV
screen. Recreational work.
Establishment figures, they're
beginning to get the message;
They're realizing that it isn't
in their interests
any longer to
demonize cannabis.
It does not make sense, from a
prioritization point of view,
for us to focus on
recreational drug users
in a state that has already said
that under state law,
'that's legal.'
When you see a broad social
change taking place
in society and you realize
that you are behind the curve
then, you pretty
soon get it
that you have to catch
up with the curve.
It seems like they are falling
under the weight of all this.
They just go where
the wind blows
in order to stay alive.
I don't think it matters
why people jump ship
as long as they do
jump ship.
In 2009, you wrote a Time
Magazine article entitled.
Why I Would Vote No on Pot.
You've changed your mind.
I have and as part of my
thinking recently,
I've apologized for some of
the earlier reporting
because I think we've been
terribly and systematically
misled in this country
for some time
and I did part of
that misleading.
There's a shift taking place
in our culture.
The issue is once again on
the table. Will the forces
backing marijuana deregulation
overplay their hand
in some way that allows the
forces of incarceration
to get a jump on them?
The war on marijuana is a
symptom of something that
is fundamentally wrong in
this country. We have to
break out of the fog because
the media won't do anything
no President is gonna come
in and change things.
It comes from the bottom up
not from the top down.
So, you can have minor
little victories,
but that's tinkering. 50 years
of documentation says
it's not working and
what do we do tomorrow?
The same damn thing.
The truth is not repeating
what everybody around you
automatically says. It is
not repeating what everybody
is gonna pat you on the head
for saying.
It is looking for the
that people will not pat
you on the head for saying
because those are
the things that people
really need to know, and
once you are damn convinced
of something of that sort,
then it's your obligation
to go out on a limb for it.
That's truth.
We have to figure out,
A, that we are temporary
and we are the people that
have to pass down this
fucking incredibly fucked
up mess to our children
and unless we operate this world
with the idea of sustainability
for the culture, sustainability
for the community,
for humanity in general,
you're gonna have
resentment at every turn.
You have people profiting and
people failing
and people being victimized,
but the reason why
we are so complex
is also the reason that
I think that we have hope.
Eight years
and 2 films later,
we once again arrive left with
more questions than answers.
Where do we go
from here?
How do we move forward without
taking two steps back?
And, again, sits that ever-
lingering question
that we just can't
seem to shake:
Will marijuana ever
fully be legalized?
Um, probably yes...
Oh yes, oh yes. I've no
doubt about it.
Marijuana prohibition is a
zombie; It is a walking corpse.
It could be decades, but
historically, it's a blip.
I think marijuana will be
fully legalized and taxed
in my lifetime. Whether we'll
ever get Singapore doing it,
we'll see.
Globally? I can see Iran
doing it, can't you?
Instead of goin' one city,
one state at a time.
Make that shit legal
and pop the top
and let's go!
I think it's just around
the corner, but you know,
I've always thought that!
I've been wrong up to now,
so I'm probably wrong now!
I don't know.
I doubt it seriously. I believe
that the forces controlling
the way things work in the
United States will give us
lots of process before we ever
get to total legalization.
I can die with the
satisfaction of knowing
it's inevitable now.
They're never gonna get the
cat back in that bag again.
He's out... and what we see
now is this culture
struggling to make an
accommodation for this
new kid on the block.
There'll come a point when
this will probably end
but if it's not today, then
somebody will be locked up
today, somebody's life
will be ruined today
and that somebody is
probably hundreds of people.
To begin to demonstrate an
understanding of humanity
is so counter to our
way of thinking-
it's throw away the key,
let's lock 'em up.
And you believe it, up until
your son or your daughter
or your friends or yourself gets
caught up in the same nightmare
and then you're going 'oh
my God, now I understand, '
But do you?