Melissa Harris-Perry | December 08, 2012
>>> you know how going into this thing i thought that by day 30, i would be so sick of pot and being high and just be dying to be done with it or at least take a break for a little while, you know. but, i'm sitting here, it's 4:20, and i'm about to light joint number two.
>> that was comedian doug benson , the subject offer the 2007 film "super high me." doug, who was already a pot smoker, gets clean by going off marijuana for 30 days and fires up all day, every day from morning until night for a full month. instead of feeling sick and tired, he is raring to go for more. it is good comedy. i have to tell you, the film made me feel like it was a bit of a cautionary tale. i also felt like he was not the most motivated guy in the world. i am sort of a nerd on this. i'm not actually a user myself, never have been. it feels like the consequence rs so enormous.
>> you are talking to somebody, that i don't even drink alcohol or do any type of drugs. i'm sort of a square on these things too. we talked before about the politics. i said, you know, law enforcement is a big thing. it is another class of people. it goes back to this empirical evidence . i think, why it is important to have maybe a pilot program to actually gather the information we need to make a case one way or the other. the whole issue, i saw this in one of my best friends who was definitely a pothead. the more they smoked, the less motivated they were. a person who had everything going for them. in the long-run, ended up just hanging out at home smoking pot , smoking pot , all day long, all the time. couldn't get enough of it. they went on and on for years. they are now dead. that's just one little case. so you can't say but there is a whole group of people that say, look, this is an addiction. it leads to harder things. i don't know if that's true or not. again, getting the sort of evidence that we need to say one way or the other, it is not going to lead. maybe that person, is there particular personality would have done that anyway in some sense. i don't know.
>> that's the moral panic that underlies that 41% that's sort of unwilling to talk about the economic benefits, the incarceration issues, right?
>> i think that anything can be abused. if we take our obscene drug war budgets, cut them by 90% and spend the rest on true education and treatment-based models, the people prone to addictions, for whatever it is, our real epidemic is prescription pill abuse, if we can really target these educational and treatment angles, then we are going to have less examples of what the congresswoman is talking about. also, for those who are not themselves feeling connected or interested in the debate, two examples of why i still think it is important for all of americans to support ending the drug war . one is from a public safety standpoint, a public health standpoint. as a father, in my border region , again, of new mexico, the number one thing that will increase public safety is stopping the border violence. the second thing is, it is not as talked about as the social, medicinal size, north dakota can't wait to get planting hemp again.
>> you can make all sorts of stuff out of it.
>> biofuel. my shirt today is a hemp shirt. bio feel is a potential to really reduce, significantly reduce america's dependence on foreign petroleum for hemp as a pie owe fuel.
>> they are talking about heroin in addition to two other kinds of drugs. use went down. ron paul , of all people, made an interesting point that one of the presidential debates, it is not the law that's preventing you from doing this. we need a law to tell us whatnot to do. if you go he to college, you are going to be exposed to pot without a cop in the room. it is going to happen. you might inhale. you didn't. other people did. it's just going to happen. that's not the thing that's stopping you from doing that. removing that law is not going to, i dent think, cause a flood of people to come in. if they do, it is a drug that is incredibly less dangerous than a drug including alcohol .
>> there is a former prohibition on alcohol , it occurs from 18-21 when you are old enough to serve your country or vote but you are not allowed to drink. we know that that is also when, in those years, we are likely to see the most abuse, when young people are kind of underground with it. we have that example right here.
>> i think this comparison to alcohol is probably the best place to come to in this whole discussion of illegal drugs in this country. alcohol is, by every standard, far who are destructive to personal health, public health and public safety , than any of the drugs, even the most severe drugs on the schedule of illegal drugs . it has a track record that dwarfs the track record of heroin, meth amphedamine, marijuana, eths. we already had prohibition. we realized it was a total disaster like we have now put ourselves in again. back then, we scrambled for a new system. we regulate alcohol , tax it and regulate it. what that means is that children cannot consume it. it is illegal to sell it to a child. a grown-up can use it responsibly. if you go out and you hurt somebody, you kill somebody with your car, if it turns out you were drinking, that's going to be an aggravating prosecutorial factor. why is it that we take less dangerous drugs in this country like down to marijuana and treat them more severely than the incredible horror of alcohol is astonishing to me. let's unify, a tax and regulate standard and a serious educate and treatment country so we can rival a country like portugal when we should be leading the world, not following.
>> i am going to let you lead this conversation on that. that's critical and crucial. thanks all the guys for coming. nobody even brought me a brownie. the congresswoman is going to come back for more.
>>> after the break, let's talk about sex. tony-award winner joins me at the table. pot