READ about Piers Morgan's long career in journalism here.
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.
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, 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.”
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.”