June 19th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Following the Pot Trail

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/19/iran.election.us/art.khamanei.speech.afp.gi.jpg caption="Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks to a crown in Tehran during Friday prayers."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a ‘definitive victory’ in last Friday’s election, and denies vote-rigging. He spoke to thousands of Iranians at a prayer session early this morning.

He praised President Ahmadinejad as a ‘hard working’ leader and blamed western governments and media for undermining the election process. The drama continues in this country! We’ll bring you the latest.

President Obama has a busy day: this morning he addresses the largest Hispanic faith-based Evangelical network in the US. In the afternoon, he blocks time to discuss the importance of being a good dad as a national priority (maybe it’s also a hint to Sasha and Malia to get him a good father’s day present on Sunday).

In the evening, he gets out his funny hat when he addresses the Radio TV Correspondent Dinner. Presidents normally use the latter forum to crack jokes with the media. We’ll show you these clips tonight, we always like a good laugh.

More pot for you! As narcotics enforcement tightens up on both sides of the border, Mexican cartels are stepping up efforts to push more pot into the US and expand marijuana farms already on our turf. Up north, Asian gangs are doing the same with Canadian marijuana. Tom Foreman traces the path pot takes from grower to user!

Chicago has been gripped in gun violence- police have recorded up to 700 shootings so far in the first 5 months of 2009. Sanjay Gupta takes you inside a Chicago hospital Emergency Room, which treats the victims of the shootings. You'll learn a lot from this action-packed report.

Wow that’s a handful, how are we going to squeeze it in a 60 minute show? And that doesn't even include more clips from Anderson's interview with Angelina Jolie pegged to World Refugee Day tomorrow. See you tonight! TGIF.

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Kenn

    Round and round in circles we go. Big business continues to manipulate us (the people) through fear and misinformation, lies and propoganda. They own Coop and CNN just like they own O'Reilly and FIX News. They buy advertising and we the people do not. Nothing new being reported here, just the same old same old. Been listening to it for the past 40 years and still have little hope for the future of balanced and fair reporting from any media source.

    Fortunately, I know the truth about Cannabis and don't have to rely on Anderson Cooper and CNN for the facts. Been smoking it nearly every day for over forty years and will continue regardless of what my government or "society" has to say about it. I also lead a very productive life. More so than the drunks I see "legally" stumbling out of the bar across the street every night on their way home to abuse their family once again. Of course, Budweiser is big business and that makes it socially acceptable. Smoking my "bud" is only a harmless back-yard activity, but misinformation and fear campaigns created by the petro-chemical, alcohol and tobacco industries , and "pushed" on the public by CNN and it's co-horts keep it illegal. It all makes sense, just not GOOD sense.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  2. Ryan

    So much for unbiased. Way to keep the status quo with the marijuana report. It's unfortunate that organizations such as CNN have long since quit the journalism business and instead have tried to become our nannies.

    June 21, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  3. Wayne Stroup

    Legalizing pot would fix the money problems in the US and stop the cartel from making money off illegal pot.

    June 21, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  4. bonnieangel

    Families suffer because of ludicrous laws about a plant. Children have absent parents because they are arrested for possession of a plant. Our police are distracted from true crime because of chasing users of a plant. Murderer and rapists are set free early because prisons are clogged with people who smoke a plant. Legalization could save our economy and it is the right thing to do. Cannabis was placed on this planet for a reason. Legalize now.

    June 20, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  5. noshame

    well i grow it in a pot 😉

    June 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  6. zorkan

    pot is a plant that grows on the ground if God didnt want it it wouldnt be around

    June 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  7. Patricia Hinchliff

    why have you not put these comments on your program ?
    I have not heard even one
    afraid of the drug company backlash,?
    They may not give you millions for the endless product placements on your show

    June 20, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  8. Chuck Brown

    $$$$$$ is the root of all of this.Unless the Gov makes some kind of $$ on this issue,it will never be resolved.I am dissappointed that CNN went from 2 great shows-monday and tuesday to more BS the following days,Even Dr.Gupta fell inches short of promotion.Its so very sad that our politions cannot listen to the will of the people.It has been a fiasco since the 60's and has gotten more assinine as time goes by.Its so silly its making me angry.So I guess I'll continue to have to take my scripted legal heroin(Oxycontin) and suffer the rest of my life.Its a sad time to be an American,in chronic pain with no hope.It is no wonder some folks end up doing stupid things.We have all lost hope that our country will listen to us and do the right thing.Its been so long since they have done the right thing,we wouldn't know how to act if they did..Come on Mr President,as Bill Maher said"Get of the TV and get something done".We all love you and are behind you however it is time to act...

    June 20, 2009 at 2:04 am |
  9. Dan

    “ … we shouldn’t allow rappers to glorify the wonders of living high.”

    – Drew Griffin CNN/AC360 “Legalize Pot? Why not legalize being a loser?”

    censor: verb – to take things thought to be objectionable

    – Webster’s Dictionary

    Think whatever you like about the topic, but a supposed journalist advocating censorship, in any form, is reprehensible

    At best your coverage of was sensationalistic fluff. At worst it was ...well.... pick your favorite expletive.

    June 20, 2009 at 1:37 am |
  10. Benjamin

    George Washington grew marijuana

    June 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  11. randy

    why dont you do a show on the poppy plants that grow wild all over the usa i hear dont they make pain killers with them i hear that the uk has a contract with the us goverment to grow tons of it i think pot would be better then heorin .

    June 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  12. darrell

    yes i agreed that legalization and the decriminalizing of cannabis is your right of use and taxed could help this country in this hard times.please look at this Mr. president Barack Obama thank you all.I VOTE FOR YOU FOR A CHANCE

    June 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  13. willie

    wow i think they need more prisons and more cops hey why dont they just start a war right here in the usa on its on people wait i think they did .

    June 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  14. Jeremy

    Ron Paul took a strong stand in support of the Constitution and State Sovereignty – by stating that laws and regulations of Marijuana should be on a state level.

    “If California wants to legalize it, let ‘em legalize it,” Paul told host Richard Greene on Air America’s “Hollywood CLOUT!” program.

    He said that he believes that the U.S. Constitution gives the fifty states the right to legalize hemp production or marijuana. He said the issue was a matter of personal liberty but added that drug users should not be entitled to government-funded treatment if they abuse legalized drugs.

    “If drugs are legal and people misuse them, then they do it at their own risk,” he said.

    Bottom line, said Paul: “I do trust individuals to make their own decisions.”

    June 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  15. Jeremy

    Regardless marijuana will still be around thousands
    of years after us and will continue to be a problem as alcohol was in
    prohibition till it is legalized and taxed like alcohol and tobacco is today.

    June 19, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  16. Jeremy

    "The present law on cannabis produces more harm than it prevents.
    It is very expensive of the time and resources of the criminal justice
    system and especially of the police. It inevitably bears more heavily
    on young people in the streets of inner cities, who are also more likely
    to be from minority ethnic communities, and as such is inimical to
    police-community relations."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  17. Jeremy

    Australian researchers found that regions giving on-the-spot fines to marijuana
    users rather than harsher criminal penalties did not cause marijuana use to increase.

    June 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  18. Jeremy

    The authors of a 1998 World Health Organization report comparing
    marijuana, alcohol, nicotine and opiates quote the Institute of Medicine's
    1982 report stating that there is no evidence that smoking marijuana
    "exerts a permanently deleterious effect on the normal cardiovascular

    June 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  19. Jeremy

    The World Health Organization released a study in March 1998 that states:
    "there are good reasons for saying that [the risks from cannabis] would
    be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol
    and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol
    or smoke tobacco."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  20. Jeremy

    The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded,
    "A careful search of the literature and testimony of the nation's health
    officials has not revealed a single human fatality in the United States
    proven to have resulted solely from ingestion of marihuana. Experiments
    with the drug in monkeys demonstrated that the dose required for
    overdose death was enormous and for all practical purposes
    unachievable by humans smoking marihuana. This is in marked
    contrast to other substances in common use, most notably alcohol and
    barbiturate sleeping pills."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  21. Jeremy

    The DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded:
    "In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we
    commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result
    in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat
    enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one
    of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
    measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  22. Jeremy

    "When compared to alcohol, cannabis is detected far less often in
    accident-involved drivers."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  23. Jeremy

    "Most 12th graders felt that they would be little affected personally by the
    legalization of either the sale or the use of marijuana. Three fifths (60%)
    of the respondents said that they would not use the drug even if it were
    legal to buy and use, and another 17% indicated they would use it about
    as often as they do now or less often. Only 6.1% said they would use it
    more often than they do at present while another 8.9% thought they
    would try it. (Eight percent said they did not know how their behavior
    would be affected if marijuana were legalized.) Still, this amounts to
    15% who state that their use would increase if marijuana were legalized."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  24. Jeremy

    "Current marijuana use had a negative effect on global IQ score
    only in subjects who smoked 5 or more joints per week. A negative
    effect was not observed among subjects who had previously been
    heavy users but were no longer using the substance. We conclude
    that marijuana does not have a long-term negative impact on global

    June 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  25. Jeremy

    The Christchurch Press reported on March 22, 2005, that
    "The lead researcher in the Christchurch study, Professor David
    Fergusson, said the role of cannabis in psychosis was not sufficient
    on its own to guide legislation. 'The result suggests heavy use can
    result in adverse side-effects,' he said. 'That can occur with
    ( heavy use of ) any substance. It can occur even with milk."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  26. Jeremy

    "A review of the literature suggests that the majority of cannabis users,
    who use the drug occasionally rather than on a daily basis, will not suffer
    any lasting physical or mental harm."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  27. Jeremy

    "Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug. Laboratory animals
    (rats, mice, dogs, monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1,000 mg/kg
    (milligrams per kilogram). This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person
    swallowing 70 grams of the drug - about 5,000 times more than is
    required to produce a high. Despite the widespread illicit use of cannabis
    there are very few if any instances of people dying from an overdose."

    June 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  28. Jeremy

    Although people may think that the Drug War targets drug smugglers
    and 'King Pins,' in 2007, 47.4 percent of the 1,841,182 total arrests for
    drug abuse violations were for marijuana - a total of 872,720. Of those,
    775,137 people were arrested for marijuana possession alone.
    By contrast in 2000 a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for
    marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone.

    June 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  29. wayne

    its time to step it up its a grow for all see who comes out smelling like dank weed we can show you reefer madness mex pot 3% thc junk.
    usa homegrow 26% thc we got the goods and the money.
    haze craze and trainwreck coming to a house near you............

    June 19, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  30. Stiv

    Non-biased report on marijuana? Maybe one of these days!

    What ever happened to reporters with a backbone?

    June 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  31. Kevin

    I’ve been fairly disappointed with this whole series on pot. Like many others have already said in this blog, CNN is just covering the same old stories that have been done in the past (pot dispensaries in California, people growing pot in their houses and in the woods). CNN should approach lawmakers and law enforcement officials, confront them with the facts, and make them defend their position against the millions of pot smokers in this country, my guess is they won’t be able to.

    June 19, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  32. Eugenia - San Francisco, Ca

    80 degrees latitude – 10 degrees longitude

    June 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  33. Canuck

    paulievision brings up a very good point, why did't we hear from places like portugal (decrimanalized all drugs) result – lower usage rates, lower overall crime rates, the netherlands (leagal sort of) result total usage 50% less than north america, youth usage 13yrs to 18yrs 50% less. it would seem the report was more reefer madness just diguised as journalisim.

    June 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  34. Bud

    You can follow my pot trail. Seeds in dirt, sprouted in (small) grow room, HID, HPS, 3.4 months later, trail from my grow room to the curing room, curing room to the air tight jars, etc. It never leaves my house so where's the trail? There are thousands of "trails" just like mine. Most all of us don't sell what we grow.

    I'm a medical cannabis patient. Why not have a show that goes into detail about something dangerous or scary instead of trying to perpetuate the prohibition of cannabis? I saw no "debate", it was one sided as usual. OOPS! I guess you have many big pharma sponsors. Ha! Money talks...

    And what the hell was that about losers? Isn't Ted Turner a pot head?

    June 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  35. Jim

    The continued criminalization of cannabis has led to the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965, empowered and enriched criminal entrepreneurs, and alienated millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens while creating widespread disrespect for the rule of law among minorities and young people.

    Paul Armentano

    June 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  36. Jim

    Where is the regular guy that has kids and a wife and a job and pays taxes and just smokes some weed and mows the lawn...

    Wishinig he was not at odds with the law.

    Where's that guy in the debate?

    June 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  37. J.

    Ok.... It looks like the majority of Americans want "POT LEGAL". I thought that the USA was a "free" country? Whats the problem Obama??
    BTW I love your blog!

    June 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  38. Shayne

    So yesterday I recieved a txt message saying how if I call a certain number and press # that if 1 million people voted yes to legalize marijuana then that would prove that Americans really want this to happen and put a bill in front of President Obama with the proposal to legalize marijuana. I was wondering if there was any truth or validity to this?


    June 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  39. J.

    Ok.... It looks like the majority of Americans want "POT LEGAL". I thought that the USA was a "free" country? Whats the problem Obama??

    June 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  40. Benjamin

    Lets face the facts, the reason marijuana is illegal is due to the tobacco, textile, paper, alcohol, and pharmaceutical drug lobbyists that are all lobbying against it because they will have to compete with the legal marijuana market and loose sales. There are so many more ways to use this plant than to just smoke it, I am shocked that CNN did not mention any of its other uses. It can be used to make rope, cloth, paper, seed oil, and many different types of building materials. The reason it was made illegal in the first place was due to lobbyists, false propaganda, and racist profiling because African Americans and Hispanics were using it. The legalization of pot would take the market and profit out of the hands of criminals and the drug cartel. The criminal drug dealers and drug cartel would like to see it stay illegal because they make billions of dollars on its illegal sale each year.

    June 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  41. Matt Linden california

    fair and ballanced CNN?
    Even when your own writers break cnns comment policy (You may not post any unlawful, threatening, DEFAMATORY, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and

    remain respectful of other authors and commenters.

    You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others.)

    Is it not defamatory to call all marijuana users LOSERS?
    CNN isnt very fair and ballanced

    legilize & fire drew.

    June 19, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  42. Matt

    the thing is, legalization will happen at some point. i'm only 23, so it will happen in my lifetime. the question is what president will step up and sign that bill? i know there will always be those people who believe such propaganda from films such as "refer madness" from back in the early 20th centruy. as a user for about 8 years now, i have never left a baby in the tub with the water running, (probly because i dont have kids) i have never wanted/tried to kill myself or anyone else, i've never tried to set my car on fire, or any of the destructive things they show in the anti-weed promos today. as usual, americans panic very easily at certain things, and this has been such a touchy subject for so long, i dont understand why people try and stop the sale of marijuana. selling it in stores would reduce buyers exposure to other drugs. i was exposed to different drugs over the years, but never really got into anything other than pot. marijuana is a gateway drug because of the dealers. remove the need for a dealer, and you remove the drugs in that gateway.

    June 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  43. JIM

    Same old song and dance! I hadent even ever heard of anderson cooper before this story. I thought this report was going to be different but i was wrong.

    I hate to sound like a broken record but come on. There is only one reason why those pepole grow in the forrest in califorina.

    June 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  44. UGH!

    ...And another thing,

    When you have about 500 comments on your website regarding the Marijuana issue, and there is about a 20:1 or greater ratio of comments being in SUPPORT of legalization, and you tailor your coverage to the 1 in 20, well, that doesn't strike me as a very intelligent move. This is not a conspiracy by NORML or MPP to get people to flood your website with comments. No, these comments are from your core audience and viewership.

    Do you REALLY want to listen to us? You seem to since you are shoving Twitter down our throats in every segment, so when we speak, WHY DON'T YOU LISTEN?

    June 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  45. Susan, Calif

    Well written, Kevin C. I am 63 years old and as I grew up I was afraid to try MJ because I believed I would be shooting heroin by the following week. My spouse, on the other hand, was also a child of the 60's and 70's and tried every drug known to man. He stopped using anything except MJ after a brief time and went on to be a VERY successful businessman as well as a wonderful human being. He has never become addicted and it in no way interferes with his life, except for it being illegal.

    As I reached my late 50's and started having all the aches and pains that go along with aging, I broke down and tried MJ. What a miracle! I only take a couple of puffs in the evening before bed and the relief is instant and I can fall asleep and stay asleep. I still work full time, am active in my community, vote, pay taxes, have no debt....can't begin to tell you what a complete turn around I've had in my attitude since I finally learned what MJ really can do FOR someone, and what it does NOT do to someone.

    And yes, there will always be people who abuse MJ, just as they abuse alcohol, food, legal drugs, etc. There is no way that this should be illegal!

    June 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  46. Andy

    1. I'm disappointed about how the "weeklong investigation" into the pros and cons of legalization of cannabis has been reduced to squeezing a 5 minute pre-recorded segment inbetween other stories. If you're going to advertise the debate, don't bait and switch us!

    2. Both the National Park segment and the "homegrowing" one presented neither side. I'm pro-legalization, but I certainly don't want anyone, citizens or otherwise, growing it (or anything else) in our national parks. And homegrowers are everywhere...but how is that relevant?

    3. Like others above me, I'm pretty disappointed in this whole series. Massachusetts has bills before our House and Senate to legalize small amounts for personal consumption, and my man Barney Franks has carried this message to the federal level. Yet where was the coverage of this? Where's the coverage of Canadian policy, or that of the Netherlands? Truth be told, when our nation's policies are compared to Canada's, it makes THEM look like the "land of the free". Sad, but true.

    June 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  47. Tony

    How many overdose deaths has there been from drugs the FDA has approved,,to many to count but not even one overdose death from cannnabis!!

    That alone point should make it legal!!

    June 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  48. keith (canada)

    Mr. Cooper I am very disappointed with your week long coverage of cannabis and it's prohibition. Why were you so afraid to have a proper discussion of the science of cannabis with those researchers who have studied it for years and you had no intelligent discussion on the politics of prohibition. There was not one mention of The Netherlands were adults have the right to purchase cannabis legally and why is it that Holland has the lowest adult and teen use of cannabis in the christian world. Legal means less usage. Is CNN controlled by the sicko's who push the "drugs you chug " to children all day long on tv. or by big Pharma who kill thousands every year. Anyone who wants information or an intelligent discussion go to cannabisculture.com

    June 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  49. Travis

    Way to look at it Kevin C. This is all B.S and all our elders over the age of 55 have been brain washed to believe that M.J. is evil. When we should have seen the truth since its conception and see that MONEY is the true evil in this world. If it were not for MONEY or INCOME, all our lives would not be in threat and our young women would not be targeted for prostitution. What would the world be like if you didn't have to have MONEY to survive?

    June 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  50. Kevin C.

    This is what's wrong with this country right here. If our government thinks something is not beneficial to our citizens, we as the citizen do not get to decide. New Zogby polls released this year show that 52% of ALL Americans believe the sentence, "Marijuana should be legalized and regulated like tobacco or alcohol." Wait, let me get this straight, 52%? That's right, 52%. If it was anything else in the world, gay rights, health care reform, abortion, etc...Every future president to run would base his entire campaign on that single issue alone.
    Since the government doesn't want us to use this benign substance, even though we the people think it is our right,(But lets not forget that tobacco and alcohol are ok!) they start leaning on the media. Then the media...ahem, Fox news, Cnn, seems to throw out the hundreds if not thousands of reports and studys showing the benefical uses of cannabis. Instead they find the bad storys. The scary stories. Stories like the one Drew's pushing. Where's the studys on these cigarettes that I've been addicted to since 14, or the alcohol thats killed my friends? If you want to demonize something, demonize this crap your FDA approves just to pull a year later because it's killed ten thousand people. You say cannabis has no medicinal value, yet you market a pill that's 100% THC?? I know I'm just ranting, and I'm no professional writer, but this is the way I look at it. If cannabis had never been found up to this point, and we sent scientist into the rainforest to find benefical plants. They stumble across cannabis for the first time. It would be hailed as a medical miracle!!

    June 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
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