METROFOCUS: APRIL 16, 2019

April 17, 2019 at 5:30 am

Is marijuana more dangerous than previously reported? The author of “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” joins us with a warning. We take a deep dive into the laws that govern cannabis. Can medicinal marijuana save lives? Actress and cannabis advocate Ricki Lake joins the conversation. Marijuana legalization may bring parity for minorities as it relates to the criminal justice system while helping some achieve their “American dream.”

Aired on April 16, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT A SPECIAL EDITION
ABOUT AN ISSUE AFFECTING NEW
YORK AND MANY OTHER STATES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
IN QUESTION, THE LEGALIZATION OF
MARIJUANA.
ITS POTENTIAL ECONOMIC WIND
FALL, ITS IMMEDIATE SIS NATURAL
AND RECREATIONAL BENEFITS AND
ITS EFFECTS ON PUBLIC SAFETY.
ACCORDING TO FEDERAL DATA AND A
REASON GALLUP POLL, AN ESTIMATED
33 MILLION AMERICANS SMOKE POT.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS LEGAL IN 33
STATES AND RECREATIONAL USE IS
LEGAL IN TEN STATES.
ANOTHER 14 STATES INCLUDING NEW
YORK HAVE ALSO DECRIMINALIZED
THE DRUG.
YET THE DEBATE ABOUT
LEGALIZATION CONTINUES.
WE NOW TURN TO SOME OF THE
ISSUES SURROUNDING LEGALIZATION
FROM THE RACIAL DISPARITIES AND
THE PROSECUTION OF MARIJUANA
LAWS TO THE ACTUAL MEDICAL
BENEFITS OF MARIJUANA USE TO THE
DRUG'S POTENTIAL ECONOMIC
BENEFITS.
OUR GUEST IS FORMER "NEW YORK
TIMES" REPORTER AND BEST SELLING
AUTHOR, ALEX, WHO PRESENTS THE
CASE AGAINST LEGALIZATION IN HIS
LATEST BOOK, TELL YOUR CHILDREN
THE TRUTH ABOUT MARIJUANA,
MENTAL ILLNESS.
I GAB BYING AND THE MANY STUDIES
AS WELL AS THE ANECDOTAL
EVIDENCE THAT SUGGESTS THAT
CANNABIS HAS BEEN PROVEN TO HAVE
MEDICINAL BENEFITS.
>> THAT IS THE EASIEST TO KNOCK
DOWN.
SMOKED CANNABIS IS NOT
BENEFICIAL TO NEARLY ANY OF THE
CONDITIONS IT HAS CLAIMED TO
HELP.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE
REVIEWED THE LITERATURE IN DEPTH
AND IN 2017 THEY PUT OUT A
REPORT THAT SAID IT IS GOOD FOR
CANCER OR IRRITABLE BOWEL
SYNDROME, A WHOLE LITANY, THERE
IS NO EVIDENCE IT IS GOOD FOR
ANY OF THOSE THINGS.
IT HELPS TREAT PAIN.
IT IS AN INTOXICANT.
ALCOHOL IS ALWAYS PAINKILLER BUT
IN THE LONG RUN THERE IS A GOOD
STUDY THAT CAME OUT SHOWING BEAM
CHRONIC PAIN AND USED CANNABIS
REPORTED MORE PAIN AFTER A
FERRY-YEAR PERIOD AND WERE MORE
LIKELY TO USE OPIOIDS.
SO LIKE OTHER INTOXICANTS, IT
ISN'T VERY GOOD FOR PAIN IN THE
LONG RUN.
>> HERE'S SOMETHING FROM ONE OF
YOUR CRITICS RESPONDING.
HE WRITES THAT THC HAS BEEN A
TREATMENT FOR NAUSEA AND
VOMITING, ASSOCIATED WITH CANCER
AND CHEMOTHERAPY AND IT HAS BEEN
SHOWN EFFECTIVE IN TREATING
PARKINSON'S, PTSD, DIABETES,
DEPRESSION AND A WIDE RANGING
NUMBER.
>> IT'S TRUE.
THE STUFF THAT GETS YOU HIGH, A
PROVED BY THE FDA TO TREAT THAT
PARTICULAR CONDITION.
NOTHING ELSE.
BUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF HE SAYS
THAT CANNABIS IS GOOD FOR, IT'S
NOT TRUE.
THIS IS WHAT THE ADVOCATES DO.
THEY TAKE VERY SMALL NUMBER OF
BENEFITS THAT THEY'VE BEEN SHOWN
TO BE GOOD FOR AND THEY JUMP TO
A MASSIVE ARRAY OF CONDITIONS
FOR WHICH THERE'S NO EVIDENCE.
IN MOST CASES, NO EVIDENCE.
IN A FEW CASES, ALMOST NO
EVIDENCE.
>> SO WHAT IS THE HARM?
WHAT HARM TO YOUR HEALTH?
>> OKAY.
SO SMOKING IN GENERAL IS NOT
GREAT FOR YOU.
BUT MY FOCUS SPECIFICALLY IS ON
THE PSYCHO ACTIVE PARTS.
THAT CANNABIS IS HARMFUL TO YOUR
MENTAL HEALTH.
THAT SPECIFICALLY LONG USE OF
CANNABIS BY ADOLESCENTS HAS BEEN
SHOWN WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA, THE
MOST DEVASTATING CONDITION, THAT
EVEN TEMPORARY USE CAN CAUSE
PSYCHOSIS IN ADULTS.
WHEN YOU'RE ARGUING ABOUT
WHETHER KIT CAUSE SKITS GREEN
AND CAN CAUSE PERMANENT
PSYCHOSIS, THE FACT THAT IT CAN
CAUSE TEMPORARY PSYCHOSIS IS
PART OF THE ARGUMENT THAT IT CAN
CAUSE SIGH COAST SIS A
GOOD ONE.
>> HEY, THAT PROVES IT.
THE VERY BEST ONE, THE VERY
FIRST REALLY BIG ONE CAME OUT IN
1987, IT COVERED 50,000 SWEDISH
ARMY RECRUITS WHO WERE IN
SWEDEN, RECRUITED INTO THE
MILITARY IN 1969, 1970.
AND THEY WERE FOLLOWED UP TO SEE
WHO DEVELOPED PSYCHOSIS 15 YEARS
LATER OR SO.
AND IF YOU USED CANNABIS MORE
THAN TEN TIMES, EVEN ACCOUNTING
FOR OTHER FAMILIAL RISK FACTORS,
YOU HAD A DOUBLING OF THE RISK.
MORE THAN DOUBLING.
2.3 TIMES THE RISK OF PSYCHOSIS.
AND OTHER STUDIES HAVE SHOWN
THAT RATIO OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
IF YOU USE IN ADOLESCENCE,
YOU'RE TWO TO THREE TIMES TO
DEVELOP SCHIZOPHRENIA.
>> YOU KNOW, IT USUALLY FOCUSED
ON SOMETHING, HERE IN NEW YORK
CITY AT LEAST, THAT THE LAWS,
THE MARIJUANA LAWS,
DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.
PARTICULARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN
COMMUNITIES.
IS NOT THAT SERIOUS CONCERN?
>> THAT'S TRUE.
THERE'S ZERO QUESTION THAT
MARIJUANA ARRESTS TEND TO FOCUS
ON THE BLACK COMMUNITY THE IDEA
THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE TO GO
PRISON FOR CANNABIS POSSESSION
AND USE IS NOT TRUE.
>> BUT AS THE CRITICS HAVE SAID,
THERE ARE OTHER NEGATIVE
EFFECTS.
BAD FOR YOUR JOB.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
I'LL NOT IN FAVOR OF PROHIBITING
MARIJUANA.
DECRIMINALIZATION, INDIVIDUAL
POSSESSION USE IS NOT GOING TO
BE SUB TO ARREST.
YOU WON'T WIND UP IN JAIL.
MAYBE YOU GET A VIOLATION.
THE EQUIPMENT OF LITTERING OR A
TICKET.
WE'RE GOING TO SAY PERSONAL USE
IS EFFECTIVELY NOT SOMETHING
THAT THE POLICE ARE GOING TO
WORRY ABOUT.
BUT WE WON'T ALLOW A LEGALIZED
SYSTEM WHERE THERE ARE COMPANIES
PROMOTING THIS, LOBBYING AGAINST
THE SCIENCE.
>> ONE OF THE ITEMS I FORGOT IS
THAT IT IS FAR FROM BEING A
GATEWAY TO HARDER DRUGS.
IT IS A GATEWAY AWAY.
>> THAT'S A BIZARRE ASSERTION.
THERE'S NOBODY THAT WOULD ASSERT
IT IS A GATEWAY TO HEARD DRUGS.
THE QUESTION WHY?
IT IS A GATEWAY BECAUSE IT IS
ILLEGAL SO YOU HAVE TO GET IT
FROM A DRUG DEALER WHO MIGHT
HAVE HEROIN OR COCAINE.
IN THAT CASE, WE SHOULD LEGALIZE
IT.
WE SHOULD MOVE IT OUT.
THAT'S A LEGITIMATE ARGUMENT FOR
LEGALIZATION.
WELL, IT PRIMS YOUR BRAIN TO
WANT MORE EUPHORIC CHEMICALS AND
IN THE LONG RUN, THAT WOULD
DRIVE YOU TO USE HARDER DRUGS.
I WOULD SAY THAT'S AN OPEN
QUESTION.
BUT THERE'S TONS OF EVIDENCE
THAT SHOWS PEOPLE ON METHADONE,
IF THEY START USING CANNABIS,
THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO USE
AGAIN.
THERE IS VERY GOOD EVIDENCE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WE'LL HAVE TO END IT THERE.
THE BOOK IS TELL YOUR CHILDREN
THE BOOK ABOUT MARIJUANA, MENTAL
ILLNESS AND VIOLENCE.
THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

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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