June 16th, 2009
10:44 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Is there pot in your park?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/16/art.pot.marijuana.garden.crew.credit.jpg caption="Randi Kaye, producer Susan Chun and our crew traveled with police officials as they discovered and destroyed a marijuana garden in California."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Our series titled, “America’s High: The Case For and Against Pot” continues. Dan Simon talks to a doctor who prescribes marijuana to patients for medicinal purposes. He explains which of his patients are candidates and the process for obtaining this type of treatment. All it takes is a doctor’s letter and a driver’s license!

Approximately 80% of all marijuana grown in CA comes from National Forests or National Parks. Randi Kaye rides with police officials to hunt down these “marijuana gardens” and discovers 7000 marijuana plants with a street value of $3.5 million! She had quite an interesting experience on this shoot, and you may have seen pictures of her on our blog w/the plants. Reporters find themselves in interesting locations sometimes, lol.

We learned something about the Anderson fans yesterday…you all love talking about pot! We hope you appreciate these reports tonight.

Of course, the above will be presented in and around the pressing headlines of the day: In Iran, 7 people have died in election protests in the aftermath of voting a few days ago. Iran’s election authority has agreed to recount some votes in this disputed presidential election, but opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi rejects this idea and wants fresh elections.

Washington is urging Tehran to return to high level talks regarding nuclear ambitions. And speaking of nukes, President Obama meets with South Korean President lee Myung-Bak at the WH today- the 2 have plenty to talk about on the heels of North Korea’s major saber rattling as of late. You know NK leader Kim Jong Il’s ears will be ringing. We'll be tackling these stories tonight.

In the bizarre story of the day: what is up with the 18 yr old held on 19 counts of animal cruelty linked to a month-long killing spree of pet cats in Florida? Ever heard of a cat serial killer? Weird and scary. See you at 10pet!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Missy

    I have been a pot smoker for a lot of years. I worked 6 days a week, pay my bills, pay my taxes, and mind my own business. I don't steal, I don't lie, I treat people like I want them to treat me. I have never had a ticket, nor an accident. I have never been in jail. I worked for BIG BROTHER for along time. While doing my job I broke my back. I now have a metal rod. For years I had to quit smoking pot because if you are prescribed certain pain medications then you must undergo a drug test when ordered by the doctor. I tried all their combinations of all their different medications. I gained weight, I developed high blood pressure, I started having heart and kidney problems. I could not eat or sleep. My personality changed. I changed. Last July I quit taking all their medicines and started smoking pot again. I have not felt this good in years. All those other problems disappeared. No more high blood, no more heart or kidney problems, and as my husband now tells people-"I have my wife back", I have my personality back. I'm in less pain than at any other time since my surgery. I would gladly pay taxes on pot instead of my tax money going to pay our so called law enforcement, who hunts the pot, takes your money and your freedom if you are caught and then turns around and sells the pot themselves.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  2. Andrew

    Pot in my national forests and parks? The stuff is a weed, I pity all the other plants deprived of water and nutrients. Actually... this does make me want to take a trip to the nearest state park, perhaps I'll save a ton of cash, but if it were legalized wouldn't producers have to grow on a farm rather than ruin our forest and parkland?

    Now don't get me wrong, the idea of being able to collect wild pot from a park like a blueberry does fill my inner pothead with a bit of a giggle, but I'd rather the growers could grow on a proper farm rather than spreading a weed over a park.

    So, as a loyal AC360 viewer who "loves to talk about pot", legalize it already. That is all.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  3. James

    In 1937 marijuana was banned by the federal government? 10 patients across the U.S. recieve marijuana from the federal government to help with medical preoblems. The initial ban was ludicrous considering that it was hemp that the competing timber companies wanted gone. Hemp can benefit our depleting resources. If the government can't learn from history, than it should learn from its mistakes. Legalize dont criticize.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  4. cedar

    "they destroyed a marijuana garden, with police", What type of people are these with the media?

    Against the legalization of marijuana! The media tricks the public with street slang and breaks into medical marijuana dispensaries.

    June 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  5. tree

    Please stop calling the cannabis medicine "POT" Anderson cooper, that name comes from street slang and it is inappropriate.
    Its called marijuana, cannabis and it requires a doctors recommendation to encounter such medical medication.
    Anderson cooper was caught Monday by the public, breaking federal law process during his first encounter with a video camera in a marijuana dispensary. Anderson cooper did not follow the procedures of signing up to join a cannabis cooperative and did not show the public any recommendation.
    Beware of Anderson cooper, the war on drugs is being played by the media.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Jim

    With the story of Corrupt cops in Texas I wouldn't be suprised if the DEA was not confinscating the pot & turning around & selling it themselves.
    Our California State Legislature has got to be smoking some of it with some of the dumb things they propose. How about investigating that CNN & keep them Honest.

    June 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  7. Monique

    June 16th, 2009 11:23 am ET

    I think the awnser is simple. Let us vote on it

    I have been saying that for years! But I bet we would never get the truth. Since I do not smoke those nasty ciggs, nor am I regular drinker, I guess I will cont. to happily hand my money over to the Mexican Cartels for my weed. I would be more than happy to hand it over to this country's benefit but since our country is run by idiots, only the Cartels will benefit from it. I am a college grad. now disabled, that worked for many years. And I also vote, not that is helps much.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  8. Opal Zeledon

    In a recent article in the Economist Magazine entitled "A Pot of Gold", a case was made for ending our counterproductive "War on Drugs". In a manner that is intuitively understandable, the article lays out the many benefits that would accrue, from saving the $40 billion we spend every year trying to eliminate the supply of drugs, to eliminating the arrest of over 1.5 million citizens each year and the incarceration of over one half million of them. Treating the cultivation of marijuana the same as we do that of our wine industry would reduce by 70% the flow of money to the Mexican cartels and save over 6,000 lives being lost each year to drug violence. In addition, the benefits to local economies and the tax revenues gained there from would be huge.
    Why then, don't we turn our crisis in Mexico into an opportunity to change a failed policy?

    June 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Sober in California says legalize

    Once it’s legal, not much will change.

    The same people who smoke, will smoke the same amount. The people who don’t smoke, simple won’t smoke.

    It will be exciting for the first 6 months, then it will be basically the same.

    So just legalize it and tax it. And don’t let have kids have it… just like alcohol. Duh!?! Educate instead of scaring people.

    June 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  10. BettyAnn,Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Penny!
    You are right. AC fans like talking about pot. It seems to be a huge issue these days and personally, I will just be glad when it is legal and we don't need to debate it.
    The marujuana plant is indeed a gift for us to use. Nature is miraculous!
    Thank you all for this report!

    June 16, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  11. Tony

    With ALL drugs there is a big difference between drug use and drug abuse!! Not all users need help and surely dont need to go to jail,but when the abuser realizes there is a problem he needs to feel that there is help not just the cops wanting to lock them up!

    June 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  12. Mike

    I struggle with the concept that today in a free country we arrest honest, law abiding, tax paying citizens for possession of marijuana . I own a business that I started 5 years ago, we have had great success. I employ 11 people. I am a recreational smoker, I was a smoker when I started my company. I have more than 19 friends who smoke and run successful companies. The American people need to stand up and be heard. Make it clear to the old politicians that you will vote them out if they agree with prohibition.

    Anyone who endorses prohibition is racist to the core. Look back through history and find the real reason marijuana was outlawed. If we were truly politically correct, we would drop our racist ways and end prohibition.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  13. jacob g

    You can overdose and die from alcohol, but not from pot. Alcohol is directly linked to 12,000 traffic deaths/yr in USA and 10's of thousands of rapes and other violent assaults/yr in USA. The only way the gov't made the deadly drug, alcohol, more deadly was to criminalize it. 1in4 deaths in the workplace is due to alcohol, yet for the 1000's of wokplaces the drug test to see if you smoked pot in the last month, none have a breathalyzer to see if you imbibed before entering the workplace. In the 5000 years of recorded use of pot the worse that can be said of it is: it makes people not give 100%.

    June 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Yep!

    To Mike the attorney–my apologies for the gross generalization. I know that there are many within the legal and law enforcement communities working tirelessly to, at the bare minimum, reduce penalties for simple Cannabis possession. But you must admit that you are greatly outnumbered by those 'on the take'. The tide is turning, and a national dialogue is starting to take shape, but the flow of money will make this a difficult fight.

    Keep up the good work, and my thanks to you and all other activists standing up and saying 'ENOUGH!'

    Support you local farmer!

    June 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  15. Carla

    I believe pot smoking in college is rampant. Don't fool yourself, mom or dad. It is. Whether it's good or bad, as a parent we all should be having open discussions about it with our kids. Cooper's segment is a wonderful opportunity for great conversations with our kids. Thank you.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  16. Kyle

    I've noticed how CNN and other television news outlets discuss marijuana legalization through only two points of view– those who smoke it and are for legalization and those who don't and are against legalization. I don't smoke and I'm not saying I support legalization, but I've always been curious of the middle ground when it comes to this issue and other ones. Maybe if more non-smokers joined the fight in legalization, they would get more accomplished on their part. As of now, though, the government and apparently TV news corporations only see two points of view.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:59 am |
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