VENTURA’S CANNABIS CRUSADE

Former wrestler-turned-Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura makes the case for marijuana legalization.

Aired on December 14, 2018 & January 1, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HOT TOPIC BUT FOR THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IT'S A MAELSTROM THAT MAY WELL END WITH A SHOWDOWN AS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THREATENS TO STEP UP ENFORCEMENT AGAINST ANY STATE VOTING TO LEGALIZE POT FOR RECREATIONAL USE.

IN SPITE OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S COMPARING POT TO THE OPIOID CRISIS, MORE AND MORE STATES ARE LEGALIZING IT.

ONE ACTIVIST AT THE FORE FRONT OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION IS JESSE VENTURA.

I RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA TO TALK ABOUT HIS BOOK 'JESSE VENTURA'S MARIJUANA MANIFESTO.'

I BEGAN BY ASKING HIM WHY WITH SO MANY CRITICAL ISSUES FACING THE COUNTRY HE CONSIDERS POT LEGALIZATION SUCH AN IMPORTANT CAUSE.

SOMEONE VERY CLOSE TO DEVELOPED AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE DISORDER LATE IN LIFE.

I WOULD NOT HAVE MY QUALITY OF LIFE TODAY IF IT WASN'T FOR MARIJUANA.

THIS PERSON WAS SEIZING THREE TO FOUR TIMES A WEEK AND I HAD TO DEAL WITH THESE SEIZURES.

THE PERSON WAS PUT ON FOUR DIFFERENT PHARMACEUTICAL MEASURES ONE AFTER THE OTHER.

ALL OF THEM DIDN'T WORK.

ALL HAD HORRIBLE SIDE EFFECTS.

WE TOOK THE PERSON TO COLORADO BECAUSE AT THE TIME MINNESOTA DIDN'T ALLOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

THE PERSON WENT TO COLORADO, GOT DROPS UNDER THE TONGUE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND HAS BEEN SEIZURE-FREE NOW FOR OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS AND IS WEANED OFF ALL PHARMACEUTICAL PILLS.

MARIJUANA CURED THESE SEIZURES.

THAT'S WHY I BECAME SO PASSIONATE BECAUSE THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE OUT THERE SUFFER MANAGER MEDICAL DISORDERS THAT ONLY MARIJUANA SEEMS TO HELP.

STEVE CUBBY, THE GUY THAT WROTE THE FORWARD OF MY BOOK, HE WAS DYING FROM INOPERABLE CANCER AND HE WAS GIVEN FIVE YEARS TO LIVE.

HE'S BEEN LIVING 35 YEARS NOW BECAUSE OF MARIJUANA KEEPING HIM ALIVE.

WHEN YOU READ HIS FORWARD, YOU WILL BE SO ANGRY WITH OUR GOVERNMENT YOU WON'T EVEN BE ABLE TO TALK.

HE LOST A LOT FIGHTING THE GOVERNMENT BUT YOU CALLED THE ACTIONS OF OUR GOVERNMENT A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

IT IS.

ELABORATE.

MARIJUANA WAS THE ECONOMIC DRIVEN FOUNDATION OF OUR COUNTRY FOR 160 YEARS.

DO YOU REALIZE TODAY THAT GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THOMAS JEFFERSON WOULD HAVE HAD THE DEA BREAKING IN THEIR HOMES ARRESTING THEM AND JEFFERSON AND WASHINGTON WOULD BE CHARGED AS DRUG DEALERS TODAY AND BE PUT IN PRISON.

SO FOR 160 YEARS.

THEN ALONG CAME THE 30s AND WILLIAM RANDOLPH HURST, THE GUY WITH THE NEWSPAPERS.

HE OWNED THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF TIMBERLAND.

BUT RATHER THAN COMPETE IN CAPITALISM, HE USED HIS POWER IN WASHINGTON, LIKE TODAY, TO BUY OFF THE POLITICIANS.

THEY DECLARED MARIJUANA AND HEMP ILLEGAL.

SO WE WERE FORCED TO BUY TIMBER FROM HIM TO MAKE PAPER.

THINK OF THIS.

THE CONSTITUTION, THE BILL OF RIGHTS AND BETSY ROSS' FLAG ARE ALL MADE OUT OF MARIJUANA.

WELL, IF YOU COULD SUMMARIZE HOW WE GET FROM THAT TO THIS WAR ON MARIJUANA.

WELL, BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT MONEY AND IT'S ABOUT CORPORATE BUYOUT.

PHARMACEUTICALS DON'T WANT MARIJUANA LEGAL BECAUSE YOU CAN USE IT RATHER THAN TAKE THEIR PILLS.

ALCOHOL DOESN'T WANT MARIJUANA LEGAL BECAUSE YOU MIGHT DECIDE TO SMOKE POT INSTEAD OF DRINK.

YOU'VE GOT ALL OF THESE PEOPLE THAT CLAIM TO BE CAPITALISTS, WHICH IS ABOUT COMPETITION, WHO ARE USING THE LAW TO LIMIT THE COMPETITION SO THAT THEY CAN MONOPOLIZE A CERTAIN ELEMENT OF OUR ECONOMY.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

WHEN YOU WATCH THE FILM 'ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.'

REMEMBER THAT FILM?

YEAH, YEAH, 'FOLLOW THE MONEY.'

WHEN DEEP THROAT SAYS 'FOLLOW THE MONEY.'

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW PRO FOUND IS WITH GOVERNMENT.

FOLLOW THE MONEY.

LAST YEAR, NO BANNED THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA.

IT LIMITS THE AFFECTS OF MARIJUANA AFTER 4,500 CASES OF EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS BECAUSE OF THE USE OF THE DRUG.

IT WAS SYNTHETIC.

IF THEY HAD THE REAL STUFF THEY WOULDN'T GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

BUT IN COLORADO ITSELF SINCE IT WAS LEGALIZE THERE HAD'S BEEN AN INCREASE 306% VISITS TO EMERGENCY ROOMS AS A RESULT OF THAT AND THE GOVERNOR HIMSELF --

DO YOU WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER LITTLE THING?

HEROIN USE HAS DROPPED IN EVERY STATE THAT LEGALIZED POT.

WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE PEOPLE SMOKING POT OR DOING HEROIN.

I'LL TAKE POT.

THEY TELL YOU MARIJUANA IS A GATEWAY DRUG.

NOT TRUE.

OUR VETERANS -- WE STUDIED IT.

THERE'S A UNIVERSITY WE FINANCE IN ISRAEL, THEY SAID IT COULD HELP FOOTBALL PLAYERS WITH THE HEAD INJURY.

IT HELPS POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, IT HELPS GLAUCOMA.

THE LIST IS ON AND ON AND ON.

AND TELL ME ONE PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG THAT DOESN'T HAVE A BAD FLIP SIDE TO IT?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MARIJUANA AND THE LEGALIZATION OF IT FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

I'M HOPING IN MY LIFETIME I SEE IT FULLY LEGALIZED ACROSS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AS IT WAS, AS I SAID, IN THE DAYS OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THOMAS JEFFERSON.

YOU COULD TRADE WITH ENGLAND, THEY PREFERRED MARIJUANA OVER MONEY BACK THEN.

HOW DO WE GET THERE?

THE STATES ARE MOVING.

THE STATES HAVE TO DO IT.

THE OTHER UNIQUE THING, MARIJUANA THE THE ONLY THING THAT ALLOWS -- THE DEA DECIDES ON MARIJUANA, THAT'S LAW ENFORCEMENT, WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO MAKE THE DECISION?

THEY PROFIT FROM IT AND WE GIVE YOU EXAMPLES IN THE BOOK WHERE THE DEA BUSTED DOWN DOORS MULTIPLE TIMES, KILLED PEOPLE AND FOUND OUT IT WAS THE WRONG HOUSE AND NO ONE IS PROSECUTED.

I ZBEZ IT'S COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN THE WAR ON DRUGS.

WELL, GOVERNOR, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT THIS MATTER.

IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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