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May 6th, 2009
04:20 PM ET

Governor asks: What if pot's legal and taxed?

Kevin Yamamura
The Sacramento Bee

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As California struggles to find cash, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday it's time to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use.

The Republican governor did not support legalization – and the federal government still bans marijuana use – but advocates hailed the fact that Schwarzenegger endorsed studying a once-taboo political subject.

"Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"

Read more...


Filed under: Raw Politics
May 6th, 2009
04:14 PM ET

The chilling effect

Editor’s Note: You can read more Jami Floyd blogs on
In Session.”

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Jami Floyd
AC360° Contributor
In Session Anchor

I like Condoleezza Rice. I met her at the Glamour Awards dinner last fall where she was honored for her work in Africa. It was the Tuesday after the presidential election and she spoke honestly, before a distinctly liberal audience, about what it meant for her, as a child of segregation, to see a black man in the Oval Office. She was graceful, eloquent and yes, even beautiful.

But here’s what she had to say last week, back at her old stomping ground — and mine — Stanford University: “Anything that was legal and was going to make this country safer the President wanted to do. Nothing that was illegal, and nothing that was going to make this country less safe. And I’ll tell you something – unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11th, you can not possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans.”

With all do respect to the former Secretary of State, she is just wrong on this. No one, not even the President, in a time of war, is above the law. But, while I disagree with Secretary Rice, there is something I find even more troubling in this latest dust up over her remarks: The fact that we were privy to them at all.

The video of her comments hit YouTube, after an informal meeting with students at Roble Hall, a dormitory on campus. When a young man engaged Professor Rice on the issues of torture and presidential powers, she listened respectfully and took up the debate. This is, after all, what teachers and students have done going all the way back to Plato and Socrates.

But now, every conversation a scholar has with students can show up on the internet. What would Socrates have to say about that? I think he’d say that this kind of ambush-video blogging can only hinder the healthy exchange of ideas on campus. And he’d be right.

What will happen to open and honest debate? How will students, like the confident young man who challenged a former Secretary of State, hone their arguments, or perhaps even rethink them?

Simply put, they won’t. The debate won’t happen. The dialogue will stop.

The chilling effect has begun. And we are all the worse for it.


Filed under: In Session • Jami Floyd
May 6th, 2009
03:18 PM ET

Peace One Day launches in the USA

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Jeremy Gilley
Founder of Peace One Day

Ten years ago I had the idea to create an annual day of global ceasefire and nonviolence. I'm a filmmaker, so I decided to document my journey – traveling the world and carrying my film camera with me. In 2001, after trips to countless countries, and hours upon hours of meetings, the United Nations took serious action. Every member state of the UN adopted September 21st as an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. The UN resolution asks citizens of our global community — governments, organizations, and individuals like you and me — to mark September 21st, Peace Day, each year.

Peace One Day (POD), the organization that I started 10 years ago, is doing lots of things to help people mark Peace Day in any way they can — through education, music, film, sports, the web, and more. Why? Well, if we can unite the world on September 21st, then maybe in the future things will change. Communication and cooperation between countries and cultures is the key to humanity's survival. Marking Peace Day and taking it seriously is the first step.

I’ve been working around the world to spread the word about Peace Day and now I’m bringing that message with me to the United States. Part of POD’s mission entails using education to empower young people to take action toward a more peaceful world, and to understand that they can make difference. That’s why we created an educational curriculum that will eventually be brought to schools across the globe. We started by distributing the educational materials – to be used along with my documentary The Day After Peace – to every school in the UK. Now, we’re bringing those materials to the US.

FULL POST

May 6th, 2009
02:57 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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When asked about the possibility of legalizing and taxing marijuana as a means to solve the state's budgetary problems, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it's time to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. He stopped short of endorsing legalization, but said he wants to see debate.

We'll be exploring this issue tonight with experts on both sides of the debate. What are your questions? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question to 94553, and you might hear it on air!

The message MUST start with the letters AC, and then a space, then your name and question. If you do not include AC first with a space, we will not receive your text.


Filed under: T1 • Text 360
May 6th, 2009
01:55 PM ET

Iran is "deadly serious" about nukes

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Charley Keyes
CNN Washington Senior Producer

The man who spear-headed financial investigations of Iran is warning that the theocracy is “deadly serious” about gaining nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“I am not an expert on proliferation but we have consulted a lot of people who are and it comes out loud and clear - it is late in this game and we don't have a lot of time to stop Iran from developing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons," New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.

Morgenthau helped uncover a multi-billion-dollar scam that Iran used to move money through U.S. financial institutions to help buy materials for its nuclear and missile programs. In January a large British bank agreed to pay $350-million in fines after it was accused of helping Iran hide the transactions.

The investigation provided what Morgenthau called “Iran’s shopping list” for weapons of mass destruction. “The Iranians are deadly serious about proceeding with this program and, number two, that it is later than a lot of people think. And frankly some of the people we have consulted are shocked by the sophistication of the equipment they are buying. So we don't have a lot of time to waste.”

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Iran
May 6th, 2009
01:48 PM ET

Video: Cops accused of highway robbery

Program Note: Tune in tonight for an update on Gary Tuchman's piece on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports on drivers who say they have pulled over and robbed by cops.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment • Gary Tuchman
May 6th, 2009
01:25 PM ET

Clinton at AFPAK talks: Large and in charge

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Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

If anyone needed a better visual that the State Department is back under Hillary Clinton, today's AFPAK meetings provided one. In the State Department's ornate Ben Franklin diplomatic reception room, Clinton presided over the opening session of the two-days of talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. Flanked by the two leaders, Clinton spoke at length to the foreign, defense, intel and agriculture ministers from both countries and a team of heavyweights from the Obama administration, including US envoy Richard Holbrooke, CENTCOM Chief General Petraeus, CIA Director Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak.

The diverse group, Clinton said, reflects the fact that "promoting peace must be an all-government effort." But it was clearly Clinton who was running the show, on her own turf. The Secretary of State, who came respectably close to being president herself, addressed the leaders with authority about the Obama administration's strategy for stabilizing both countries.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Elise Labott • Global 360° • Pakistan
May 6th, 2009
01:10 PM ET

My evening with an icon

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

As far back as I can remember, I have watched David Letterman on late-night TV. I was a high school freshman when I first started watching him regularly, much to the dismay of my parents given the late hour of the show. During college, it was during his show that you would find the students gathered in the lounge waiting for the “stupid human trick” or his signature Top 10 list. I always felt he was at his best when the topic material was slightly more serious, and there was somehow comfort in watching this funny man offering a little comfort. I was always amazed at how effortlessly he navigated an interview, even the difficult ones with Cher many years ago and more recently with Joaquin Phoenix. In New York City, I always enjoyed walking by the Ed Sullivan theater, wondering what it was like inside.

Well, last night I got a chance to get a real insider’s look. Letterman invited me to be on his show, and I took him up on it. Suffice it say that I never dreamed I would be sitting on that stage with this icon, and there was no question I was nervous. It started with a pre-interview call with one of David’s producers, Matt Roberts. He was terrific and he had clearly done all of his homework. He recited facts about my career I had forgotten, and talked me through the whole structure of the show. Letterman primarily wanted to talk about swine flu, but warning: The conversation could really go anywhere. “Have a conversation with David, and don’t worry about the audience,” was Matt’s final piece of advice.

Keep Reading...

May 6th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

Beam me up, Scotty (but be gentle, I just had my nose done)

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Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

So apparently there’s a Star Trek movie opening this weekend. I know this not because I’m a fan of the franchise, but because Lou Dobbs keeps giving me the Vulcan salute.

Now, I’ll level with you, I’ve never actually seen an entire episode of Star Trek. Not the original. Not Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not even Star Trek Saves Christmas.

All I know is what I've pieced together by flipping through the channels in between Ron Popeil infomercials. From what I've gathered, the whole thing was based around a group of guys – Captain Kirk, Scotty, and Spock – who met at Gamblers Anonymous and later moved into a spaceship/meth lab.

Now, just because I’ve never seen an episode or any of the movies doesn’t mean that I have anything against Star Trek. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, quality television begins and ends with two words: William Shatner. Hell, I named my guinea pig T.J. Hooker. Sure, he died of malnutrition but that’s beside the point. I’ve just always had a tough time wrapping my mind around science fiction characters. Which explains my aversion to the cast of MTV's The Hills.

FULL POST

May 6th, 2009
12:08 PM ET

Man up and be a real dad

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Roland S. Martin
CNN Contributor

"I'll kill all y'all."

Imagine looking at the man whose DNA you carry standing in your home, telling you those chilling words, as he wields a shotgun.

The frightening image is a scary thought. But according to former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, it was an actual scene, one that begins his book, "Straw: Finding My Way."

I vividly remember the towering home runs hit by the former star, who played for four big league teams, including the New York Mets and Yankees - and of course, the many times he was in the news for failing drug tests, beating wives, getting cancer twice, going to prison. He was a man fighting enormous demons.

Yet as I read the book, there is one consistent theme that runs throughout and that sheds a spotlight on a figure that continues to plague neighborhoods all across the country: the missing-in-action father.

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