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MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “I Really Don’t Know How [Prohibitionists] Sleep at Night…Without the Booze.”

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director October 19, 2011

    Rewriting Marijuana LegalizationTuesday night, on his program “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell took an impassioned stance against marijuana prohibition while reporting on the recently released Gallup legalization poll.

    O’Donnell, who formerly served as Staff Director of the Senate Finance Committee, notes the disconnect between the public opinion on this issue and policy coming from elected officials.

    “In a democracy,” he stated, “we should expect such a dramatic shift in public opinion to be reflected in our public officials, but support for marijuana legalization in the United States Senate…has gone from 0% in 1968 to 0% in 2011.”

    O’Donnell then rightfully attacked the Obama Administration’s insistence on keeping marijuana a schedule I substance.

    “Now we know that no one in the Obama Administration is stupid enough to actually think [marijuana is as dangerous as heroin], but we also know politicians have no intention of facing reality anytime soon when it comes to marijuana. Politicians will continue to allow young lives to be ruined for mere possession of marijuana; politicians will continue to allow people to be arrested. [They will] allow people to go to jail, allow people to be arrested, allow people to get criminal records, get kicked out of school, be turned down for jobs just because they’ve used marijuana, something more than one president has done and gotten away with.”

    In the conclusion to his segment, he unabashedly calls out our country’s elected officials for their hypocrisy on the issue, as many of them have no hesitation to indulge in the legal, more dangerous alternative.

    “Senators, members of Congress, presidents, vice presidents, and Supreme Court justices are going to continue to get high, many of them every day and every night. Many of them will do it publicly, and loudly, and legally at restaurants and campaign fundraisers and at state dinners,” O’Donnell said, “They will raise their glasses and get high and they will continue to put people in jail for using a harmless, non-liquid way of getting high like marijuana. Such hypocrisy carries an even stronger stench than the alcohol-drenched breath of those politicians and judges and prosecutors and DEA officials. I really don’t know how they can sleep at night…without the booze.”

    If more mainstream media journalists begin embracing the issue with the same intensity and comprehension as Lawrence O’Donnell displayed on his program last night, the end of the war on cannabis might be closer than we think.

    You can view the segment in its entirety below:

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    102 Responses to “MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “I Really Don’t Know How [Prohibitionists] Sleep at Night…Without the Booze.””

    1. Me says:

      Am I missing something but that statement “has gone from 0% in 1968 to 0% in 2011” doesn’t make any sense and must be a typo.

      It should say: “has gone from 10% in 1968 to 50% in 2011″

      [Paul Armentano responds: The quote is a statement from the host regarding the fact that there remains not a single US Senator who is willing to sponsor or co-sponsor marijuana law reform legislation — despite the change in public opinion.]

    2. Sunshine says:

      Yeah Man, the man is getting over on the NORML people.

    3. Linda says:

      So true and beautifully said. They won’t even respond when emailed or written to regaring their stance on legalizing marijuana or backing off from their attack on CA’s medical marijuana industry. Their lack of commnent or response says volumns, so as a result I won’t vote any incumbant back into office. I’m changing my party too. As far as I’m concerned both democrats and republican’s are completely useless. This country is very sick and marijuana prohibition is symtomatic of that illness.

    4. Jim Livesay says:

      An open letter to my Congressman concerning H.R. 2306.

      Dear Rep. Phil Roe
      Please allow me to explain my stand on Cannibus. I am almost 80 years old, a Veteran of the USAF Security Service (NSA) and retired from NASA and NOAA. I have possessed a Top Secret Clearance for a good portion of my life. However, upon retirement, I took the opportunity to try Marijuana with a friend. I used it daily for about a year and found, contrary to what Merck and Pfizer tell us through the FDA, that the results are just the opposite. It did less harm to my body than a cup of caffine. It relieved the general “aches and pains” of ageing, relieved may pains, depression and anxiety. I stopped using when I moved back to Tennessee with absolutely no withdrawal pains or desires. I can only speak for myself, but, it was completely non-addictive to me.

      The FDA has become a tool for Merck, Pfizer, etal. The FDA agents get compensated millions for their work with them and through the FDA they set the rules and guidelines for Physicians. They, with pressure on the FDA agents, have classified Marijuana as one of the worsst drugs, when, anyone who has tried it knows that is false and is simply a move to keep it banned. Physicians cannot tell me that the best source for Vitamin A is carrots or the best source for Vitamin C is Oranges but, they will write a prescription or direct me to OTC chemicals made by the powerful Manufacturers which are full of “filler material” which probably do far more harm than Marijuana.

      The Manufacturers, Merck, Pfizer, etal., will take great measures to ensure Cannibus remains a Schedule I drug because they stand to lose lots of money for their Stockholders, otherwise. Because, without a doubt, Marijuana would replace many Prescriotion and OTC drugs. But, people like you are telling us it’s ok to take a Marijuana substitute, made by them, rather than use a natural plant that God placed on the Earth. Whose side are you on? Your capacity is not a Physician anymore, NOW, you have power over the FDA and the Manufacturers. Why do you still take orders from them?

      In my estimation, the downward spiral of the Economy began with the dismantling of the Tobacco Compa;nies. The Cannibus market would be a great replacement for Tobacco, being much, much safer and even beneficial. I predict the Economy would be revitalized. This is why I ask you to consider becoming a cosponsor and support H.R. 2306 to end the prohibation and revitalize the Economy.

      Respectfully Yours,
      Jim Livesay, Sneedville, TN

    5. Chrisvv says:

      You can’t get us all, and you cant live forever.

      prohibition dies when the prohibitionists do. Sorry gramps.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      If you’ve ever seen some episodes of ‘Cops’, you may have noticed that whenever someone is belligerently aggressive it’s always alcohol that fuels the violence. I’ve never seen anyone act remotely this way on weed. Indeed, I can’t recall ever hearing anyone even raise their voice.

      What’s really strange is that even though crack users are arrested a lot, they don’t act belligerent despite crack’s infamous reputation.

    7. Jim Livesay says:

      FYI a letter to my Congressman concerning H>R>2306.

      Dr. Roe,
      Please allow me to explain my stand on Cannibus. I am almost 80 years old, a Veteran of the USAF Security Service (NSA) and retired from NASA and NOAA. I have possessed a Top Secret Clearance for a good portion of my life. However, upon retirement, I took the opportunity to try Marijuana with a friend. I used it daily for about a year and found, contrary to what Merck and Pfizer tell us through the FDA, that the results are just the opposite. It did less harm to my body than a cup of caffine. It relieved the general “aches and pains” of ageing, relieved may pains, depression and anxiety. I stopped using when I moved back to Tennessee with absolutely no withdrawal pains or desires. I can only speak for myself, but, it was completely non-addictive to me.

      The FDA has become a tool for Merck, Pfizer, etal. The FDA agents get compensated millions for their work with them and through the FDA they set the rules and guidelines for Physicians. They, with pressure on the FDA agents, have classified Marijuana as one of the worsst drugs, when, anyone who has tried it knows that is false and is simply a move to keep it banned. Physicians cannot tell me that the best source for Vitamine A is carrots or the best source for Vitamine C is Oranges but, they will write a prescription or direct me to OTC chemicals made by the powerful Manufacturers which are full of “filler material” which probably do far more harm than Marijuana.

      The Manufacturers, Merck, Pfizer, etal., will take great measures to ensure Cannibus remains a Schedule I drug because they stand to lose lots of money for their Stockholders, otherwise. Because, without a doubt, Marijuana would replace many Prescriotion and OTC drugs. But, people like you are telling us it’s ok to take a Marijuana substitute, made by them, rather than use a natural plant that God placed on the Earth. Whose side are you on? Your capacity is not a Physician anymore, NOW, you have power over the FDA and the Manufacturers. Why do you still take orders from them?

      In my estimation, the downward spiral of the Economy began with the dismantling of the Tobacco Compa;nies. The Cannibus market would be a great replacement for Tobacco, being much, much safer and even beneficial. I predict the Economy would be revitalized. This is why I ask you to consider becoming a cosponsor and support H.R. 2306 to end the prohibation and revitalize the Economy.

      Repectfully Yours,
      Jim Livesay, Sneedville, TN.

    8. Alfredo Allen says:

      what about the fact that allowing ppl to use marijuana as hemp and as a tool to help the countries debt. there will be less money spent on metal or wood for building expences. hemp plastic is easier to process and faster to use and lighter to use and the strands are 1000x stronger than steel.

    9. somedood says:

      I won’t be forgetting Lawrence O’Donnell anytime soon. Way to stand for what’s right mate.

    10. bob says:

      Keep up this streak of good news. It helps quiet the screaming echoing in the head.

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