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June 26th, 2013
02:24 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": Legalizing marijuana and the Supreme Court's ruling on Voting Rights Act

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • Neill Franklin pushes to legalize marijuana: "It's time for a change"

As "Piers Morgan Live" continued its discussion on medicinal marijuana, and the possibility of seeing cannabis legalized, on Tuesday evening Neill Franklin joined the program, offering his vast degree of insight and perspective. The executive director of the LEAP Institute, Franklin spent 34 years battling narcotics, witnessing devastation firsthand. Now he admits that his efforts in ending the long battle were futile, believing that he and other law enforcement officials caused more harm than good:

“We’ve spent our careers on the front lines with the war on drugs,” Franklin explained. "We have decimated communities, mainly poor communities and black communities, you know, and it’s time for a change.”

Noting that one in nine black children, as compared to one in 57 white children, have parents in prison, in part, he said, due to failing law enforcement strategies concerning marijuana. He believes legalization could help narrow this gap:

“It’s more effective to educate and to treat in reducing drug use,” argued Franklin. “Look what we’ve done with tobacco over the past couple of decades ... we’ve reduced it by 40 - consumption by about 40 percent. We’re not sending anyone to prison, we’re not shooting each other in the streets.”

Watch the clip for more of Morgan’s interview with Franklin, and also for Patrick Kennedy, a recovering addict speaking out against legalizing pot.

  • Kevin Sabet: Treatment and prevention are the keys to the marijuana debate

Kevin Sabet, Director of the Drug Policy Institute at University of Florida, joined Piers Morgan Tuesday evening offering his response to the notion that America has "Gone to Pot."

According to the guest, the debate over legalization of cannabis is often interpreted in black and white, offering only the choice between two evils: legalize it, or lock people up. Sabet maintains there are other ways of thinking:

“The good news ... is those aren’t our two only options. Because those are both harmful,” he told Morgan. “We need to invest much more in treatment ... right now doctors, physicians are not trained in addiction. And less than a third of our medical schools get two weeks of training on addiction, yet we're saying we want to call this a health issue. Let's actually call it a health issue and try these interventions first before we potentially go to something that's irreversible and that will have damage.”

The current problem, as Sabet understands, is the incarceration rate for cannabis users. The solution, he said, is “treatment and prevention.”

  • Higginbotham on SCOTUS' Voting Rights Act ruling: "Sad and tragic"

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to effectively strike down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, on Tuesday Piers Morgan invited Professor F. Michael Higginbotham to examine what this decision means for America, and in particular in terms of race.

Calling it “a sad and tragic” decision, Higginbotham explained the impact of such a ruling:

“To strike down the Voting Rights Act, which is the most democratizing piece of legislation we've ever passed in this country where 800,000 new voters were registered within two years after its passage in 1965 is really sad," he said. "For the majority to basically say that while racism continues and they recognize that, that it's up to Congress to prove it today, I think is really sad.”

“Progress doesn’t mean post-racial,” he continued. "Progress doesn’t mean that race is no longer significant in this society in terms of hardships and opportunities that individuals endure.”

Looking at the Supreme Court majority decisions, Higginbotham noted one positive:

"The only thing I think they did right is to say that history - history matters and clearly, history matters and changes have occurred.”

However, he noted, this is only the first step, with the next being to remember “that racism matters, and that while history is changing, racism continues to exist in our - in our society today.”

For the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. rsteeb

    Yes, let's call it a health issue. I like that. When I have a health issue, after my 45 years of daily cannabis enjoyment, I shall let you know. Until that time, stay out of my face, Sabet, et al.

    June 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • gravalakota

      I've got about 1/2 your time under my belt and I agree completely. It's is easy to debunk these arguments too with real facts:

      June 27, 2013 at 12:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Ive been enjoying cannabis for 17yrs and was wondering when am i supposed to move on to heroine?

      June 29, 2013 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mike Parent

    Neill is a Career Police Officer who dealt with the drug issue, first hand, for over 3 decades and Sabet is a career prohibitionist (Prohibitionist Parasite) who dedicated his career to keeping this failed prohibition in, so he could keep his "Career". These Prohibitionists shouldn't be handled with kid's gloves, they're tthe problem, not the solution and should be taken to task for their continued assault on the American public. They're the ones giving the de facto monopoly of the the Drug trade to criminals! Ask, how well has their approach worked? An 800% increase in prison population and zero decrease in addiction or supply of hard drugs. Yet they eschew the successful Portuguese model because it would cut off their stream of "customers" into their prisons and rehabs.

    June 27, 2013 at 6:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Don M

    The entire drug war is a farce. It exists because of ignorance, greed, and racism. Isn't that, by itself, enough to end it?

    Kevin Sabet joined with Patrick Kennedy at the hip to try to force people, whether they need or not, into their rehabilitation clinics. That approach didn't work for gays and it won't work with marijuana users. You two losers should stay out of people's live because we don't need or want you forcing your idiotic ideas on us.

    Millions of people use marijuana with zero problems outside of the problems the predjudiced prohibitionists force on them. Leave us the hell alone – particularly here in America; once known as the Land of the Free.

    June 27, 2013 at 9:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. drew

    what about the people who dont want treatment and arent addicted but just want to be left alone to go home and light up a joint? I've been smoking for 30 years and the only negative effects i've ever had to deal with because of it is having to deal with law enforcement. im going to be smoking another 30 years if i live that long. to me its part of a healthy lifestyle. why would i want to give that up? its like asking someone to give up brushing their teeth. sure they could do it but whats the point?

    June 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lestrado Lewis

    Legalising marijuana is just another side show for big shots to get richer while the majority die in poverty as usual. Its all about GREED & POWER. I'm not refuting the medical attributes of the plant or whatever. But the world is in crisis! And it is gonna take more than underwear and soap made from a plant to redeem us from this crisis we are in! Oh yes! I almost forgot! Smoking it is just gonna make Babylon have another party over your early death. (early death there means you will be a walking dead. They put it in the movies, but this is not a movie, this is happening for real.) To the elites, one more parasite just died without knowing who he or she was. One less person to bother us. The grave yard just got richer.

    June 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • malcolmkyle

      During alcohol prohibition (1919-1933), all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. While battling over turf, young men died on inner-city streets. Corruption in Law Enforcement and the Judiciary went clean off the scale. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have been far more wisely allocated. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, in 1929, the economy collapsed. Does that sound familiar?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. malcolmkyle

    Patrick Kennedy appears to have a history of 'always doing the wrong thing', so his present status as a parasitic, and morally bankrupt, prohibitionist comes as no surprise.

    * Patrick has acknowledged being treated for cocaine use during his teenage years, and admitted that he abused drugs and alcohol while he was a student at Providence College.

    * Patrick assaulting a security guard at an airport checkpoint in 2000. He paid an undisclosed civil settlement to the alleged victim almost two years later. 

    * Also in 2000, Atlantic Navigation Company of Mystic, Connecticut, claimed that a boat they rented to Patrick Kennedy was found abandoned off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, with US$28,000 worth of damage.

    * In 2003, Kennedy was criticized for saying "I have never worked a [insert expletive here] day in my life"

    * On May 4, 2006, Patrick crashed his automobile into a barricade on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. A Capitol Police official said the congressman had appeared intoxicated, but Kennedy claimed that he was merely disoriented from prescription medications Ambien and Phenergan. Anonymous sources are alleged to have seen Kennedy drinking at the nearby Hawk & Dove bar prior to the accident.

    * On May 5, 2006, Kennedy admitted that he had an addiction to prescription medication and announced he would be re-admitting himself to a drug-rehabilitation facility at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where he has sought treatment for prior addictions. He has stated that he has no recollection of the car crash.

    * On Friday, June 12, 2009, Kennedy again announced that he "has checked into a medical facility for treatment".  

    June 28, 2013 at 3:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Kevin Hunt

    Drug warriors have advocated trampling the Bill of Rights to the point where the government has declared it illegal to criticize their drug money-laundering corporate masters. It’s quite obvious that this phony ‘war’ is NOT about stopping people from using drugs.
    Jeff Olson, a man who is being prosecuted for writing anti-bank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year, is facing a 13-year jail sentence.
    Olson could also be fined up to $13,000 because of the anti-bank slogans that were drawn on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego branches of Bank of America.
    He is on trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

    According to the San Diego Reader, Judge Howard Shore ruled that Olson's attorney Tom Tosdal is banned from "mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct or political speech during the trial.”
    FBI: Drug Cartels Use Bank of America to Launder Money

    June 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hypocrisy

    "The solution, he said, is “treatment and prevention."

    How exactly does that pertain to cannabis, when it isn't possible to become physically addicted to it?

    July 1, 2013 at 6:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
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