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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  January 31, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

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, they have forecast moved down because of the supply and the weather. >> don't forget you can always find out more about our top stories and more at the al jazeera website. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in "the stream." marijuana legalization. many believe it's not a question of if, but when. but taking it off the streets and putting it in the stores, is it really safer and better? my cohost, rajahad ali, is here, and he's bringing all of your social media as always into the program. and raj, one of our guests
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tonight believes that if the current approach to legalizing marijuana doesn't change, we could have a health crisis on our hands. >> and the community is buzzing about tonight's show. i promise no more puns, i had to do that.... >> yeah, it will increase addiction among kids. colorado and washington were the first two states to green light marijuana for recreational use and now kentucky and arizona, a number of others may be following in their path. but is there a right way or a wrong way to go about this? entrepreneurs promise to capitalize on what is a very
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lucrative industry. some say that regulation and oversight are mere after thoughts, leaving a public health crisis as one of the unintended consequences. here with us is is the martha stewart of marijuana. and the author of marijuana legalization, what everyone needs to know. mark has written extensively on this topic, and michael gordon cush tourism, colorado's first marijuana tours. so michelle, you look at the trends and the polls, and it's really true, a lot of people do believe that it's just a when, and not an if. some estimate that the next decade or two, from your perspective, where is this conversation at right now in the u.s.? >> i actually think that it's going to happen much sooner than people realize. i believe that by 2016 we'll see
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a revenue of $32 billion. and they're looking at colorado as the great experiment that they're looking at. and in my opinion, it's quite evident that it's a huge success. the demand was so great that within the first week, the retail outlets were actually sold out. so in my opinion, when you realize there's a tremendous public acceptance and record rates of approval throughout the country, and when you realize that people like me, a corporate woman, who is also a mom with two beautiful daughters, and i used it personally, and it worked for me. this is a rebranding campaign. marijuana got a bad rap, and it's a miraculous plant. and i believe if it was found today in the amazon jungle, it would be labeled the next super food and drug. and we're witnessing the end of cannibus prohibition as we sit here. >> so
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mark, cheryl said colorado, and you about of that the next presidential candidates will have to be grappling publicly with this issue, and you say i'm not against all legalization, just dumb legalization, and what does dumb legalization look like? >> it looks like what we're getting now. high, when the price collapses. very low prices leading to much more heavy use by adults, and much more use by minors. regulations that don't amount to much, aggressive marketing, people trying to make a lot of money selling a lot of weed. the problem with the legal cannibus business is, you can't make money selling cannibus except to people who smoke too much. people who smoke a modern amount aren't good customer, so we'll develop a whole industry to people dependent
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on cannibus like the alcohol industry, so the question is not if, or when, but how. and there are fairly obvious ways to go forward with high taxes and regulation, and a state monopoly and quotas that will help people from having their habits slip out of control. and we can eliminate the cost of prohibition, which is huge, and not run into the increased drug abuse. >> so michael, marco mentions the idea that the people you were going to be selling to are already addicted. you run seattle marijuana tours, and talk about that. are you concerned that you are going to be just perpetuating an addiction that already exists among a significant portion of the population? >> you know, i don't think our tours are involved at all. it's not something that we focus on. what we do, we focus on an opportunity to have an industry behind the scenes, and showing
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that it's a legitimate industry. these are glass blowers, and they have been doing it for 25 years, and they blow pipes, but also independent artwork, and it's important to experience and normalize marijuana in washington. >> jane says: carol, we're going to go to you with this, and should we be concerned that marijuana will emerge, if you will, like big tobacco, and is big weed necessarily a bad thing? >> i think that a lot of what you're describing right now on be social media is quite frankly ignorance and lack of education,
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and that's why we fight so hard to educate people. when you look at the business models in israel where prohibition has been lifted and cannibus is readily available. i don't see any issues with big tobacco right now, but i'm saying a lot of american families that see this is the greatest opportunity to realize the american dream. when you realize that so many americans across our country are losing their homes, losing their jobs, and i see amazing families, amazing corporate people coming into this sector and realizing that this is the green rush, the pot con boom. and i see the opposite, i see the most outstanding entrepreneurs in this country coming out and building businesses, and they're creating the american dream. so i think a lot of this is just educating people about who we are, as not only cannibus consumers, but who we are as business people. and you're going to find a lot of mainstream business people are entering this market. i was a corporate business woman
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for decades and then i got cancer and everything changed for me. i was one of those people who felt as much as prohibitionists that cannibus is bad. and i woke up one day and realized that i had been lied to, and i started using it as a medicine and it saved my life. so i feel like i have a moral obligation to educate the world about miss understands about this plant. and the evidence shows that this is less addictive than alcohol and than formsule and less addictive than tobacco. when you consider that someone exercise every 19 police departments from alcohol tobacco and pharmaceutical issues, and to this date, there have been zero deaths ever attributed to cannibus much. >> i'm sorry, that's not correct. >> i disagree. >> but facts remain facts. there are zero deaths from cute cannibus overdose. that doesn't keep somebody from getting stoned and wrapping his
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car around a tree, or chronically developing lung disease, and it's not true that portugal has legal cannibus sales. they simply stopped arresting users, so it's not the case. >> i'm curious as to what studies you can show that indicate that there have been deaths attributed to marijuana use. >> take a look at the fatal accident reporting system. it's a record of all fatal auto crashes, and a substantial fraction of them, the driver was impaired on can bus. >> i want to get back to this, cheryl was just talking about alcohol and tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, and they capitalized on it because there was a lot of money on it and cannibus is a $32 billion industry right now, and if it
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becomes legal, it's going to increase substantially. >> it will actually decrease quite a lot, because legally it will be a cheap drug. >> michael, are you concerned that big corporations are going to take this out of the hands of the little guy and capitalize on it for strictly commercial purposes? >> one of the things that cheryl brought up when she was talking about the entrepreneurs behind the cannibus industry, a lot of us believe in cannibus as medicine, and that's where recreational marijuana started from. everyone in the industry has been providing it as medicine, and they believe it. companies that want to be the budweiser of cannibus, and behind the scenes, we're seeing people shy away from that. especially in the state of washington, where the state is saying that you can only have x number of producers or processes, and we're trying to keep big business out of it because everyone is so passionate about what they're doing in this industry.
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it's paving the way in the world to normalize cannibus and making sure that we do it in a responsible way. >> we're talking about recreational marijuana versus medicinal marijuana and why should in pharmaceutical, like legalized? >> this is a specific issue with the cannibus plant itself. cannibus has been proven to be helpful in a multitude of illnesses, and then when you speak about it as recreational use, i prefer to think of it as adult use as a safer alternative to alcohol. and as a woman, i prefer it as safer than cannibus, because i don't like the calories associated with it or the hangover the next day. >> i have a condition called acute pulmonary plasmosis, and it's a lung disorder. and what i found instead of
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using ibutyrol, cannibus works as a superior mood stabilizer and as a bronchial expander, so i can breathe much easier than i could with pharmaceuticals for my lung disorder. >> coming up, does marijuana make you a better parent? >> the new al jazeera america primetime. get the real news you've been looking for. >> now everybody in this country can hear them. >> at 7:00, a thorough of the day's events. >> at the end of the day, we're going to give you an intelligent, context driven, take on the day's news. >> then at 8:00, john seigenthaler digs deeper into the stories of the day. >> this is a complicated situation. how significant is it? >> and at 9:00, get a global perspective on the news. >> they're sending their government a message. >> organizing themselves.
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>> people say they're finally fed up. >> weeknights, on al jazeera america primetime.
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>> welcome back, we're talking about what many believe is the ineverybody stability inevitability of recreational use for marijuana. and cheryl shumann, not only do -- you believe that smoking marijuana makes you a better mom. >> quite frankly, it makes me a better human being. when my children were growing up in 1976, the very first time i
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tried cannibus, i was a stressed out single mom, and i had been prescribed anti-anxiety and antidepressants and i was a zombie. i was coaching soccer and i had been very active in my kid's lives to going to where i felt like committing suicide. the quality of my life was so poor, i didn't feel like going on, and it was my crist, md that prescribed marijuana to me, he had his own garden and he said cannibus is a superior mood stabilizer. so i tried it for the first time, and within two puffs, i went to being the best mom. my children will tell that you once i started using cannibus as opposed to pharmaceuticals, they got their mom back. i'm the proud mom, moms for marijuana and we have over
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150,000 women who feel the same. they feel that cannibus makes them a better mom. and it's our duty to educate those people. our business model is a mother-daughter team. and my daughter believes so strongly in this, that we're about to be the first $1 billion company in the sector. >> i want to bring in ben in the sector, you're on the board of directors for the outreach at colorado hospital. are you concerned about increased addition going hand-in-hand with legalization. >> absolutely. it's inevitable. the addiction rates will stay the same. as you start smoking weed, after the frontal lobe develops after 25 years old. your chances are one in 11. and if you start pre-18, your
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chances are one in six, and we're seeing quite a bit more addiction associated with it. >> and when you have 150,000 moms smoking cannibus, it's not just about the message, but the example that it's sending to the that? >> that's the big thing. far be it for me to judge another parent. and i have three kids myself and i know it gets a little wild sometimes, but the reality is that the single biggest contributor to youth use is conception of risk, and as parents, we play very very important roles in how our children perceive the risk around them. so as we, as a society, normalize the substance and make it mainstream, the kids don't think that it's a big deal. you have nowhere kids in the colorado schools smoking weed than cigarettes. and you have the minority of high school juniors in high
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school is a good thing. >> what about the children, the >> as the industry grows, do you think that the industries providing the drug have a responsibility? mario, are we promoting profit over responsibility here? if we normalize and promote and advertise what is still an illegal drug to children, are there going to be negative consequences here? >> i would not draw the distinction between cannibus and alcohol. i don't hear anyone calling for the legalization of alcohol to protect children, and i don't
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think that cannibus is a less dangerous drug than alcohol. the problem is not cannibus. the problem is out of control use. which is a problem for a minority of cannibus users as well as a minority of alcohol users. what we should be doing is getting kids ready to control their own behavior. it's a much harder task than telling them to just say no. so i don't think that it takes us very far, and on the other hand, i think that the open commercial be market at lower prices is going to be massively attractive to kids. and that's why we need to maintain the price and control the market regulation. we can make it illegal for the legal vendors to sell to the kids, and that's all well and good. as we see in the alcohol market, the kids will get it from people old enough to buy it. >> do you want to jump in? >> i completely agree with mark. listener who wrote in and said
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this will be like having fine wine and cigars, it couldn't be farther from that in colorado. and as far as i know, i think i'm the only person on the ground in colorado who can tell you what's happening. it's more like malt licker in the 40-ounce and mad dog 20/20. it's aggressively marked to young people. i have a pouch full of cartoon characters selling marijuana and some with in a few naked women sandwiched between them. that's not sold to the occasional responsible users of the world like cheryl. that's very clear marketing towards young people. and what we have to do is just clampdown on this marketing. it's completely out of control in colorado. 20% off of t-shirts, and mark's point, you can get an ounce of weed in colorado with a red card, a medical marijuana card you can get an ounce for $50
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right now, and that's nuts. >> i would really like to hope that sam will branch out a little bit and join those of us calling for higher alcohol taxes to protect children from alcohol abuse. it's crazy to be against cannibus and not against anything else. >> i would happily call for higher alcohol taxes, higher tobacco tacks, and unfortunately, this conversation has kind of stolen the spotlight from anything else. and i feel like we're spending a lot of time nationally on this. and yeah, there are other very significant issues that we should be looking at. and certainly, we know there's a direct relationship between higher costs and higher taxes, as a way to achieve higher costs. i would love to see all of that stuff taxed all to hell. >> sheryl, when ben was going through the list of, and we saw the cartoon banana, what are the responsibility of people getting
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into this industry, especially people like yourself, having to draw those very clear lines in the sand? >> i'm glad that he brought it up. and on some i agree with him. i have a marketing pr business and in fact, we brand and successfully launched 17 businesses in the cannibus sector, so i agree, when you asked what about the children and marketing to children, i agree on that issue, but i don't agree that the way that these groups are marketing is correct. most of the time, these are smaller operators, which quite frankly are recovering drug dealers and they were deal in marijuana in college, and they are trying to market to the kids because those are their peers. but someone who markets in a professional marketing agency, the only branded one in the marijuana sector, i'm seeing people from the corporate world, we're not half naked chicks in bikinis, saying let's get high.
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we're basically looking at this as a business model, to professional lies it and class up the joint, so to speak, and for us, when i listen to budweiser commercials and this sort of the thing, we're looking at a $40 million hedge fund to expand these fine dining combination soho houses, campus lounges with a five star meal. where you're dealing with the affluent in society. >> how many investors smoke pot? >> i can't talk about that. but i've seen everything from saudi princesses to ceos of companies, who say look, i'm a burner, which means i'm a cannibus consumer, and i live in an illegal state or illegal country, and i'd give anything to consume it in the privacy of my own home or a fine dining facility. and they are coming out of the closet. and there are others saying i
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don't know anything about marijuana or how it looks, but i know there's money to be made here. >> working under the surface that marijuana will be convenient legalized, what needs to be done now? >> on techknow cars... the science behind keeping us safe on the road >> oh... >> oh my god... >> the driving force behind these new innovations >> i did not see that one coming >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my future? >> can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> techknow... where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america
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>> welcome back, we're talking about whether in america's rush to legalize recreational marijuana, important steps are being be skipped in controlling the drug and addiction and the community has a lot to say about it:
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>> dan, what is smart policy from a health perspective right now, moving forward. >> exactly the opposite of what we have done in colorado. we have opened up the retail market and the mass commercialization of the drug with almost no checks and balances and we have regulated almost nothing. you have marijuana that has 20 to 30% thc. and the world has not seen it that strong. 80 to 90%, the same as crack is and what we should have done at the beginning of this thing is really really clamped down on that. if you want to look at interesting policy, and i think telling you what it really is about, take a look at alaska. i absolutely don't think that anyone should ever go to jail,
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and almost nobody is for possessing and smoking small amounts of marijuana. in alaska, you can grow quite a few plants in your own home, and you can consume in your own home and the commercialization of it, if it was just about it getting high, everybody would be fine in alaska. but they want industry and huge commercial industry there. >> mark, speaking of legislation, as this industry grows, it's going to be much more powerful and how do you see the politics of this playing out in the next 10, 20 years. >> the national organization just hired a lobbyist, and again, they're not going to be able to make any money if any policy gets in the way of drug addiction, and so there's going to be as powerful an interest against growing can bus as the alcohol manufacturers are about
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controlling alcohol sensitivably and the tobacco growers are about controlling that. so the first move is to legalize the stores, so you don't have a commercial retail industry lobbying, and to be a supplier to a store to vendor. >> sheryl, wrap it up for us. >> well, i would like to say that women, specifically moms are the secret to legalization and you can find us online with moms for marijuana and i would be happy to answer any questions. and what about the children? we have an obligation ethically and morally to educate our chirp about the fact that cannibus was legal on our shelves until 19347. >> thank you to our guests, and until next time, raj and i will see you online at
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>> hello, and welcome to the news hour. i'm martine dennis a live from our headquarters in doha. coming up in the next 50 minutes. >> sinai is ours, and we'll die for it. >> defiant words from egypt's president as he responds to deadly attacks in the sinai peninsula. and sending in the troops, the african union is taking on the nigerian armed group boko