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January 3rd, 2014
09:08 PM ET

Race & the drug war

Tonight on Crossfire, Van Jones asks former Rep. Patrick Kennedy about the impact the drug war has had on the African-American community.

Do you agree with Van? Or were you siding with Rep. Kennedy?

Filed under: Allen St. Pierre • Debates • Marijuana • Newt Gingrich • Patrick Kennedy • Race • Van Jones
soundoff (38 Responses)

    Democrats are nothing more than the New Black Panther party.

    January 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  2. william

    If a disproportionate number of white folks were arrested for armed robbery, would you use this an an excuse to legalize it? N., so just stop with the racial angle. I suspect that more blacks get busted because the neighborhoods they are living in are policed more heavily due to other problems… games, other crimes being committed, etc., so they are busted more than whites in their safer, less crime-prone areas. But whatever, just legalize the stuff already, and help everybody, white, whoever.

    January 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  3. william

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the racial angle for decriminalization is dragging the bottom of the barrel for reasons to legalize pot. Do it because it's the right thing to do for a non-addictive, largely harmless, mild drug, which never should have been criminalized in the first place. It should be considered unconstitutional, in the "land of the free" to allow the government control over something like marijuana, which is really none of their GDS business, however much they might bloviate to the contrary.

    January 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  4. jean Ann Gray

    F'Patrick Kennedy re: pot. Legalize pot.

    January 7, 2014 at 2:44 am | Reply
  5. Truth Today

    It is not the drug that hurts but the racist people who arrest Blacks at a higher rate than Whites for the same drug.

    January 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  6. Matt

    But there's no such thing of "marijuana", that's apart of the racist smear campaign. It's Cannabis, and it has plenty of health and industrial benefits. Hemp seeds are good for your diet.

    January 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  7. ParticleMan

    10,000 year old friend of humanity! Its time to set it free.

    January 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  8. Luke

    I feel so enlightened after watching that 90 second "debate"!

    January 6, 2014 at 2:45 am | Reply
  9. odalice feliz


    January 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  10. James

    Legalize it, regulate it and tax it. MJ laws were passed by legislative fiat in an atmosphere of racist hysteria. There was never any justification for it. There have been decades of research (after the fact) to prove it is "bad" and those efforts have fallen flat across the board. There will be problems and they will have to be addressed. The "solution " was far worse than the problem as with all drug laws. After decades of destroying the lives and families of millions of people and spending billions of tax dollars enforcing ill-concieved stupid laws, it is well past time to stop.

    January 5, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  11. Med MJ Miracle

    I am disabled and had been bed ridden for years with mid-diagnosis. treatments that made illnesses worse and a final diagnosis of debilitated. On May 8, at my ropes end, I inquired with my rheumatologist and psychiatrist (both of whom would not prescribe due to Federal mandate, but supported "trying to see if it helps anything." ON May 8, 2013 I smoke Med MJ, within on week I walked to the hallway, within 2 weeks in Physical Therapy and dressing myself. I am now functioning as well as possible, driving, power walking, gaining stamina, appetite and strength every day. The Med MJ has worked a miracle in my life.

    January 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  12. Hank

    I think the whole dang plant, male and female, should be enjoyed, grown, and utilized for American consumption. Both at the smoking level and at the hemp harvesting level. Heck, I think the government should advocate the use of diesel engines and then invest the same 535 million they invested in Solyndra into the hemp growth and bio disel conversion cause. I think every state should have a hemp conversion facility and consumer diesel purchase should be done locally in the state's where it was grown. I say we grow hemp for America and that diesel engine cars and trucks rule the roads. Forget electric cars, they don't have the oomf that is needed in rural areas. Let's grow hemp and make our own dang American made diesel! And then sick back and smoke a bowl and thank God that we live in America

    January 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  13. Abia Inyang

    We all know pot is a drug,but not met for everyone.they people that are met for smoke and still behav themselves as normal and claim,it even make one to think straight while the people that weed are not met for goes about misbehaving.but for real weed was met for real NIGGAS

    January 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  14. Jason Gascoigne

    I'm glad to see the issue being talked about seriously, but I was disappointed that the beneficial uses of the plant weren't brought into the debate. Or the fact that many of the the most highly regarded artists and musicians have created masterpieces when they were high. I know a lot of people who would strongly agree that it can be a healthy stimulant for the imagination.

    January 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  15. Larry Wallace

    YES! The gov needs the money & we need the legal therapeutic!

    January 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  16. dug

    Patrick Kennedy's alcohol and Rx drug addiction has rendered him unable to form a coherent sentence. And to Eric, I think you might be in need of some of the schizophrenic medication you peddle.

    January 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  17. Bob

    Yes! It definitely should be legalized by the U.S. government.

    January 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  18. archangelsk

    Eric Chiong, have you been getting getting high yourself? In the course of this thread you have made a number of asinine and completely false claims. At best, you're being academically dishonest, at worst, you're an enabler of a massive fraud being perpetrated against humanity regarding the status of this plant. You and others like you have the blood of everyone who has perished in this now 80 year war on drugs.

    January 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  19. John Pelton

    Why does van Jones have to inject race into every discussion he's part of? If I tune in to see a debate regarding the legalization of marijuana, then that's what I want to see. I didn't tune in to see yet another rehash of an old topic about race relations. I'm not discriminatory – I just don't have any interest in that topic and feel that the guy is hijacking the show to promote his own interests and agenda rather than just staying on topic.

    January 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  20. Rick Rosio

    Patrick Kennedy is a cannabis prohibitionist profiteer and continues to promote an adgenda that views cannabis use as both a sin and a vice.
    By allow people to be responsible adults in their cannabis use, by being good neighbors in our gardening and by removing the criminal aspect of cannabis use we remove the stigma that has been the result of 80 years of cannabis propaganda and simply rely on sound science that is not corrupted by NIDA rules, then we can allow the healers and the scientisits and the patients and citizens to move forward . This is a pilot program being developed for Washington State and then for national deployment... Patrick Kennedy is simply unqualified to have a national voice in this debate as his prohibitionist positions are no longer accepted by our modern society...

    January 4, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
  21. jajajajaja

    where do i find the full debate video?

    January 4, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
  22. Stefcat

    Hmph.I've smoked and ingested cannabis for 44 years now.It has helped me with the pain of various afflictions and has been a god send to me.I've had a great career in the aerospace industry for the past 30+ years,raised a family and been round the world.Weed has never been a negative issue for me.My doctor agrees and would prescribe but the corporation he works for won't let him.Sad.

    January 4, 2014 at 2:46 am | Reply
  23. Chris

    Okay so what is all this talk about marijuana causing people to go crazy. Correlation vs causation people. Show me the data and I'll stop smoking now.

    January 4, 2014 at 2:29 am | Reply
  24. Eric Chiong

    I used to work for Jansen, the maker of medication for Schizophrenic patients due to the use of Marijuana. Jansen a division of Johnson & Johnson is very wealthy and little over a hundred years old. I hope they don't get too greedy and create a larger market (more patients). Nice building next to the Federal Building in Westwood California. This was my office while I worked for Jansen, maker of medication for Schizophrenic patients due to the use of Marijuana and other haluecenic substances. I am not accusing Jansen or any other companies that develops medication for marijuana users.

    January 3, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Daniel

      Yes. However, the government should allow citizens to grow one or two plants in each home. Those who decide to grow in their homes will need to register for a Marijuana class and become certified. These classes will teach the person how to properly grow their plants, and the state will make money off these classes. Once registered, the person will register their plant(s) and pay yearly taxes for the plant, similar to property taxes on a home. Every few years, the person will need to become recertified. This will solve the issue of "what will stop those from illegally growing plants in their home to avoid the high costs at recreational shops."

      January 4, 2014 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • Eric Chiong

        Who finances the state and federal disability when junkies/drunkards decides to file a claim because they can't work anymore due to substance abuse? Taxpayers? Naive and stupid answers. Who is going to house the homeless population due to substance abuse? Salvation Army? Risperdal and Abilify are just 2 examples of real medicines that treats "Medicinal Marijuana" and the medicinal technology is advancing like the aviation industry. Whoever told you that Marijuana is a medicine must be your enemy. The term drunkards have been around for thousands of years, in the Christian Bible. That includes real Angels.

        January 4, 2014 at 2:03 am |
    • John Adrian

      Marijuana is an anti depressant and is much safer than pharmaceutical alternatives... I would like to see your proof that those patients didn't already have schizophrenia before they started smoking pot. The more likely alternative is that they had Schizophrenia and started smoking pot to cope with it. Most people that smoke pot are using it to relieve something, stress, schizophrenia, adhd, add, ocd, depression, anxiety, pain.... the list goes on... really, the only over the counter drug should be marijuana, as it is the only drug you can't overdose on....

      January 4, 2014 at 1:11 am | Reply
      • Stephen Daniel

        If cannabis caused schizophrenia there would be a epidemic nationwide with all of the people using cannabis. The fact is schizophrenia is not rising and has not risen. It has stayed the same for the last 7 decades. The same goes for any mental illness. Misinformed people think people who use cannabis are going to go crazy because that is the systematic misleading propaganda campaign are tax dollars have been paying for the last 7 decades. According to some science a small percent of the population that will already become schizophrenic will actually became schizophrenia while using cannabis. They will also become schizophrenic while doing other things that normal people do.

        January 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
  25. shampoovta

    Rep. Patrick Kennedy: TALKING LOUD MAKES STUFF I SAY TRUE!!!

    January 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  26. Eric Chiong

    Crap! I am looking at this all wrong. There's gonna be a huge need (not want) of Psychiatric hospitals filled with the "mentally ill" due to the use of Marijuana. The pushers, doctors and pharmaceutical industries (provides meds for the usage of marijuana) are going to bank off this one. The majority of users become "guinea pigs" for the pharmaceutical industries. I got into the wrong business. Yup, its legal and recreational to become "Mentally Ill" in America today. LOL!

    January 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • Casey K

      You're an asinine retard who's spreading lies and propaganda. Get your 1930s prohibition/reefer madness logic the fuck outta here.

      January 4, 2014 at 12:38 am | Reply
      • Eric Chiong

        True. Marijuana, Alcohol and Peyote has been around for thousands of years. Technology advances in the medical field like aviation mostly has been around for about 100 years. Deception language such as "Medicinal Marijuana" is pretty much crap and belongs to the gypsies, junkies and drunkards (Biblical Terms). Today, people have longer lifespan due to education and real medicines (not fake like medicinal marijuana or alcohol). Why don't you take a survey of homeless people and the reasons why they got there. They got there because most of them were junkies and drunkards. The few that got away are of course on the otherside of the spectrum, the producers of drugs and alcohol. Like Alcohol, Marijuana is a Billion dollar industry. So we need a Billion dollar industry to provide real medicines to people (Pharmaceutical Industry). Most of the people that gets caught in the crossfire between the 2 industries are usually neurotic/schizophrenic or homeless victims of deception. Drunkards have been around for thousands of years, and so are Angels.

        January 4, 2014 at 1:45 am |
    • Stephen Daniel

      If what you say is true, then it would have already happened because medical cannabis has been wide spread for decades. You are posting dumb comments. Do some research please! California has had medical cannabis since 1996. Anyone with a legitimate medical complaint can get it. Also, the black market has been thriving for recreational use across the nation. Eric Chiong please show me all the bodies that are supposedly piling up. Statistics proves you wrong once again!

      January 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  27. Eric Chiong

    Drugs and alcohol doesn't discriminate (between rich, middle, poor, orphan, family, black, white, yellow, brown, etc. people). like humans do. Drugs and alcohol nails everyone on this planet and anywhere else.

    January 3, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  28. Smitty

    Think about this, with the NSA having access to everything. Why do they still allow drugs to flow into the lower income inner city people???? Part of the big plan ??? Im sure Obamma doesn't know about this either !!!

    January 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • mike

      gets in there like it does trailer parks and anywhere else people are looking to escape pain or want to recreate with it stupid ,the question is why does the law no pursue whites despite the modus operands of use or distributions or ease of arrest for blacks vs. whites to which I think its political whites control the culture the systems and it aint gon happen

      January 3, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Reply
      • Smitty

        A little touchy aren't we ??? Dude the reason they let it flow is to keep Obamma followers like you stupid. So keep doing what your doing and enjoy your free Obammy phone !!!! Love how you all name call when someone tries to raise a point, sorry it was a little over your head. !!!

        January 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • Smitty

        Forgot 1 item, nice one blame it on whitey !!!!!!!

        January 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm |

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