tv Issues in Legalized Marijuana CSPAN November 7, 2016 10:46am-12:19pm EST
asking, do you know who the shooter is? no. we don't know. we have not verified who the shooter is. that's after the first press conference. the hardest part of anything i did that whole time after the first or end of the first press conference, one of the reporters asked the chief in q&a, we understand there are 20 dead, is that right? the chief either said yes there are 20 dead or at least 20 dead. i'm not sure. we already knew there were a lot more than that just from the observations of the police officers that had been inside. we turned to walk away and i said, gee, we've got to get an accurate count next time we come out here. we have to be able to tell them exactly what has happened. heather was talking towards us with this, i don't know how to describe the expression to let us know there were 50 people deceased, not 20. so the second press conference i had to come back out and that
was the very first thing. to your other point, one of our congressman i come walking out and he's got the mike giving a lot of disinformation and heated political rhetoric, and remove him from there. >> i would point out voters removed him recently. i'm not saying there is causality there, but how he chose to talk about the attack didn't help him in his re-election bid. >> it wasn't helpful to us or anybody else. >> so i had to come out and tell everybody it wasn't 20, it was 50. at that point i knew that i had to keep my calm and keep my cool because if i broke down that, was not going to be good for anybody. that was one of those really deep breathing exercises where you take a really deep breath then say everything you have to
say before you take a second breath. i can tell you looking out at say this was the press corps, there were a lot of seasoned people there. there was an audible reaction. >> we heard from a number of reporters there was shock in the room. one thing we heard from everyone we talked to was this feeling of being overwhelmed. overwhelmed by what happened and overwhelmed by the amount of information that was coming in, especially once the rest of the country woke up and woke up to the news and the social media spiral began. that the amount of questions, the amount of speculation, all of it was overwhelming. we heard this from everybody. "orlando sentinel" reporters, everyone we spoke to.
it would be interesting to hear you talk about that. but also we were very impressed with how the police and the city used social media to sort of manage that onsought of influx and how much worse it would have been if it happened in the middle of the day. that feeling of being overwhelmed would have happened immediately. >> no doubt we were able to handle the communication aspect of it. in a more effective manner, let's say. we have three or four hours to get prepared before the onslaught came. we totally activated our emergency operations center. we had our communications people there, social media people there, we had somebody monitoring all social media coming out of any of our different areas, and we had a protocol in terms of press, in
terms of press requests. i have no idea how many of those were actually were, but we had a team that everything filtered through. team that everything filtered through. that was on the city side. even the police side of stuff came through my staff through the communications staff. then i told you we had the protocol in place since it was this type of incident, the outgoing feed would be through the opd twitter feed. everybody else would take from that feed, as well as regional parkers. everybody else orange county or osceola county, everybody was letting opd to disseminate the message and retweeting, reemphasizing that message. >> if reporters called, they he got a message that said go to our twitter and facebook. that's how they got information. >> right. we tried not to have press conferences just to have press conferences. we only had three main press conferences that first day.
the second one was to convey the numbers. but also to start taking care of the victims and the families. so we had established a hotline for anybody that had information about anybody that might be a victim where they could call and set up a website that was going to have names of victims on there. that became a very tough thing to manage as well because we set up a victims' assistance center where families could go to to get information. some people asked mistakes we made. that open mike was one. second was not having a secure location that the press could not get to the family and victims because they were there tracking people from the car to the building and back.
so day two we went over to camping world stadium to park people in a secure place and they could walk in without the press being able to get at them. late in the day, we were able to evacuate the victims from pulse to the medical examiner's office. that's' county position. the guy had been on the job a week at most. he had not even been confirmed by county commission at that point. but we emphasized to him how important his job was because if we went a day or two without identifying who the victims were, we'd have a different narrative going. he identified 48 of the 49 victims overnight. i came back in at 7:00 and that was the next press conference was letting everybody know we had identifications. he was able to identify the last one i think by about noon. that was critically important. he also had the presence of mind to take the killer into a different building and do the examination totally away from
where the victims were. sxwri think juliet to turn to you here now. what you hear is that the mayor focused on victims. he focused on telling his city to show the world that they were, this didn't define them, and specifically they were lgbtq friendly, but also he focused on the imam and the message that this was not the community's fault. it was not the islamic community's fault that this happened. this gunman did not speak for them. now, i think in orlando you saw the city respond to all of this. however, in ft. pierce, there was an arson event at the mosque that the shooter used to worship at. also a mosque in tampa was attacked. so i think this generates a lot of fear in the muslim american
and arab american community in a lot of different communities. i wonder if you could talk a little about that. also, there's been a lot of rhetoric in this campaign that's given people -- that set the stage for this to be an echo chamber. i wonder if you could talk about that. >> i can and i talk about it not just because of my family, but i want to talk about it as a homeland security policy and some of the challenges or how we think about it in terms of homeland security and counterterrorism. we want to thank the mayor. as you're sitting there, i think gosh, i hope you memorialized this because i know it's hard to do. you don't know for generations people will want to hear your story to learn from it. and clean the mistakes. >> i have these little
handwritten notes from each press conference and i kept a journal the first four weeks. >> to peter's point, when he said what makes a resilient society. i teach on resiliency. one attribute is that rigorous lessons learned. i know you will look back and know did you things right and wrong and there are questions about the police waiting and whether that was right or wrong. thinking about the obligation to unfortunately the next mayor. this idea of orlando, i had been in orlando two months before doing a speech to your police department on counterterrorism and how to think about it because they are so serious about it. was the first time i got a flavor for the nondisney orlando. i have three kids. the disney orlando. there's better than the disney orlando if you have three kids. it's an amazing city. if you just go in, fly, go to disney and back, that vibrancy was captured. that's what helped the city in
terms of that sort of sense of we're in this together, we're a all victims, we're all unified in the response. in some ways in this lessons learned, your immediate reaction in terms of who you're reaching out to in the community so they could be not the first spokesperson but the second, third or fourth spokesperson. the challenge for mayors that might not be as sophisticated as you, who are those spokes people. you will find people on the other side. we certainly know that. a lot of times it's not the imam. the muslim community is as diverse as any other. who represents the jewish community? it's not necessarily the rabbi. figuring out who is the leading muslim doctor in the community who can come out, who is the leading big business owner and stuff, having multiple voices that aren't through the religious lane. because in some ways the muslim community is as diverse as christian and jewish
and other communities. i will say, and we were talking about this before the extent to which this islamaphobia is so outside the mainstream of a bipartisan sense of what is homeland security cannot be underestimated or underscored enough. for good or bad, there is an established national homeland security community. it has from the moment george bush went to a mosque a few days after 9/11 to a very rigorous outreach by your former boss and predecessor to my boss, department of homeland security to what mayors have learned, which is community outreach through your diverse community is important. they've actually, mayors have taken on the department because they don't like what we do with immigration. they know outreach and getting communities to come out is the most important thing rather than immigration an enforcement.
it's just a complete outlier. what i like to remind people, it's an outlier not only because we are a diverse nation and we need to be respectful of other religions, it's actually if you ask people in counterterrorism and homeland security what makes america safer -- i never say safe, always say safer because we try to minimize risk. our oceans really help. you cannot drive from dorchester to damascus. what's going on in europe is very different. the other attribute is our capacity as a nation through not perfect, i will admit that, but our capacity to integrate the other. you look at los angeles with the mexican community and you look at my city boston with the irish. they run the city or dearborn with the muslim community.
that capacity to create generations of immigrants that are invested in america's safety and security is really probably our most successful and in some ways accidental homeland security strategy that reduced the risk. if we do things to alienate those communities or radicalize those who are not, or as you were saying, the complicated nature of some of these cases. it looks like a couple of them have behind the isis is some sexual orientation aspects to it, they are questioning their sexual orientation, certainly that's the case in orlando. thinking about our outreach to communities as being an important part of our efforts and the extent to which this bashing of certainty communities or profiling you're hearing from
giuliani who should know better, is really just so outside of a bipartisan acceptance of how we go forward. after a crisis like this. >> katie, do you agree with that? >> i exactly do. i was going to say one of the unique things i have in my role being in congress i do international travel. the embassy can allow me to speak to foreign officials with a partisan voice. the embassies try hard not to. over the course of the last year i go to the middle east probably every month or so, meeting with foreign officials. they want to talk to me most of all about the rise of donald trump and what that means for america and them, the likelihood of his success, what his sort of anti-muslim rhetoric means. i take that opportunity to actually dispel some myths that a majority of america or majority of the republican party believe the extreme views
interpretation of what he is saying to put a nuance on it. some people i know can be very conservative on the immigration front, and therefore, out there aligned with donald trump don't necessarily agree with his rhetoric of anti-muslim rhetoric. i definitely agree it's not helpful from a security standpoint to be so devisive with that world, with the arab world in particular. we thought about that a lot on the hill, at least among the staff that it's made it harder. i would agree the national security, i think, general view of the last year has not been particularly helpful to our safety. >> does it hurt resilience, too, is the question, here at home? >> i study less the community resiliency. i would have to assume so if
your voices are devisive and you're putting neighbor against neighbor, that is not going to be helpful to a community rising up out of potentially bad situations. >> how much do you think -- one thing going back to the nature of the threat, a lot of the recent attacks have been self-radicalizing american citizens. it's not necessarily a foreign threat in that sense. it's a self-radicalizing group of americans. >> absolutely. >> is that what we are going to see in the future? >> hopefully not. hopefully we can solve the problem before it gets to a point where we can't stop the threat out there that is anybody particularly disillusioned or doesn't feel a strong community, you don't have to be an american citizen or not american citizen that you're susceptible to the messages these violent organizations can put out. the difference with the
terrorist organizations right now, they are exceptionally good at it, particularly isil have taken sort of their media campaign to a whole new level. anybody susceptible -- when we are getting briefed and that's one of the benefits we have on the hill is the agencies come and will explain to us what they are seeing, it is self-radicalization. it knows no citizenship. >> juliette, now that you've sort of changed sides here, at least in terms of whether you're a public official or press, how much responsibility should the press have to people like mayor dyer when something happens? is it their job to calm the public? do they have a civic responsibility? do they take it seriously? are there guidelines? >> i can only speak from where i work which had mistakes. certainly people -- they're
election focused and that's cnn. i used to write columns for my local paper, the "boston globe." i'm surprised how they do want to get it right. in other words, that reporters want to get it fast, but also want to get it right. part of the obligation, and i think you heard in the mayor, you need to get -- you can't get your numbers wrong. that's what i see killed -- i was on the government end during the bp oil spill. we got our numbers wrong, how much oil was spilled. we never recovered from that. get your numbers right. take the time to figure out the bad news about 50. i probably see it less. it was the first time i had been down to an event. cnn asked me to go down. you do see the vulture aspects of it. i'm more an analyst. i'm watching tv then going on air, which i think has to be managed by a real -- the thing i saw orlando do which was a helpful lesson learned.
there are so many rumors going round. there was a rumor that the body might have been a second shooter. remember, they couldn't identify the body. that was one rumor. the other one was whether the s.w.a.t. team had taken too long to go in. that started to be a narrative. what you guys did on twitter was important, which is you acknowledged that you understood that there was that rumor mill. so you don't look like you're stupid and didn't know everybody else is talking about this. we are aware there is one more body identified or we are investigating this. in some ways by acknowledging it you protect yourself even though you're not buying into that narrative. i think that's something because public safety tends to be slower than social media, and twitter trends is something public
safety has to get better about, which is you see it coming. you can't act like it's not happening. and so acknowledging it even i think is key. >> were you watching the twitter trends? were you keeping track of what was popping up? >> yeah. he was. she was. >> they would not say on the social media guru of the city of orlando. can i respond to one thing on the press though? >> sure, yes. >> we as the city wanted to get out a lot more information than we ultimately did in the early time frame because the fbi had an active investigation. their thought process was if we're trying to figure out if there are other people that are involved here if they know intimate details of what happened in the club during the night and we can interview them and they have information that has not been yet conveyed to the public, that's part of our case. so the fact that they went in
and we had most of the victims cleared by 2:30 or what was going on in bathrooms and all of that type of stuff we would have loved to have put more of that information out there but our hands were kind of tied by the fbi, and even the explosive device as part of that, they didn't want to us do that and i ended up at a press conference by myself a couple days later and went ahead and told that to get it out there, because without that part of the narrative, if you don't know that we think there's explosives in there, again, you're left to speculate why did you wait so long? >> and in the way things move today that story could be set before you have a chance to set is straight. >> exactly right. >> at this point i'd like to invite the audience to have questions. peter, if you come back up i'll give you my chair and i'll come over to the podium so i can field questions. if you have a question or
comment, please identify yourself, what you do, or who you're with and pose your question. again if you're going on a monologue i may cut you off. lisa simms? >> i'm lisa simms with new america. >> and the coauthor of this report. >> i'll ask a question on behalf of dr. vasquez at ucf actually. he says i wonder to what degree the approach of mayor and his staff in managing information might have been under different challenges for example had a recent terrorist attack in orlando more closely resembled the dynamics of the marathon bombing in boston, attacks and suspects on the run for three or four days before they were cut. it would have made it hard to stress the community was safe and we had this under control in the first press conference. >> we had the same situation the gateway shooting which was a
shooting in an engineering company by a disgruntled former employee came back, killed one person, shot three and then escaped, and we had no idea where he was, that there were lockdowns, i-4 was shut down so there was no way to come out and tell the community they were safe. fortunately we apprehended the guy within probably a couple hours, and were able to come back out and actually the interesting thing about that is i was walking out to do the first press conference and they ran up and said we got the guy and n his apartment. so the first press conference i was able to go out and say that we had the guy versus having to go out and say we think it's one person but we don't know that for sure. but it would have made it much more difficult for sure and i think in your study there's talk about the shootings that occurred over a period of time in this general area.
>> the beltway sniper case was not considered a terrorist attack because there was not a political or ideological motive involved. however, it is instructive as to how something that takes place over a long time with a lot of uncertainties, there's been a lot of studies, social science studies that say it's much more traumatizing for the affected population when you have something that takes place that has so many unknowns where people don't know who the shooter is, why the victims are being chosen. so i think something like 50% of the people in one study were showing signs of ptsd, even if they didn't live in the immediate affected areas so it's a much more difficult challenge i think. juliette did you have something to add? >> no, i think that is absolutely true because i think the fact that they didn't find the brothers for four days added to the stress, but just back to the point that you were going to, i wrote down your great line, "defined by the response" that resiliency and i think that
was true also for boston. i mean the story, we say boston strong, which i really don't like because it makes it think it was a good mood, a strong irish stock that got us through it. really what it was, there were three people that died in the boston marathon. close to 300 people were sent to area hospitals, no one died, so for a city looking at those numbers, that's, i mean in my world those are incredible numbers and you can't say it's good news but when you look at the alternatives, it was incredible news. the response right to the narrative. the rest of it can be stressful but i think the narrative of boston was also written by the response >> i would add one thing on the challenge of those incidents that drag out is you can't do what we talked about earlier which is put out truth to control the narrative. instead, what you have we could
see this moving out of the realm of terrorism, when the malaysian airliner crashed. instead the narrative becomes the hunt for the narrative. it becomes speculation, competing theories, and that's the feeding frenzy, and then in turn, that's what boasts social media, to be blunt, what cable news specializes in, they bring on the different competing narratives and try to have the contention around it and we're going to have to, i think we see from the orlando case, a case study in many ways in best practices on how to respond to a particular event of terrorism. we don't have the best practices i believe in these other kinds. >> that's true. we'll take the next question, please. >> thank you, i'm receijeff ste from "newsweek" magazine.
this has been a fabulous panel. i want to salute the mayor for telling his instructive and poignant story, i found it very moving myself, but i'd like to go back to something peter said earlier in the subject of info wars particularly with russia. i think you said, peter, that the answer is to bury the lie in a sea of truth, did you say that? >> well, actually -- well, yes. that's also a tactic that we may be seeing arguably with some of the massive data dumps, too. >> and yet someone else cited a study or observations that when you're confronting someone in an argument and the more facts you lay out, the more they dig in, and resist, so how can -- can you, peter, or anyone, untangle this sort of contradiction here in terms of dealing with let's say the russian info war?
and it applies to china as well. >> i this i that what we're getting at is not just a sea of truths but a sea of voices, what you were speaking about in the orlando case was there was multiple different channels, i don't mean tv channels but channels of information coming from the government and yet they were fairly consistent in their message i messaging what is both the skill of the russian information warfare campaign targeting elections and it feels new to americans right now but it's a playbook that's been used and ukraine and hungary are arguably targeting brexit is that by the very nature thieves elections there isn't unity. there is sides and so this may be something to hear from the others about. i've been disappointed but in
some ways maybe not surprised by the reaction, which is instead of looking at this operation and the hacks, attack on america as a whole it was quickly moved into a partisan lens, even down to the fact of whether you think the russians did it or not, we are, we've got on one side a political candidate, on the other side we've got basically the entire cyber security community, the fbi, the intelligence community but still it's flown into partisanship. that makes this i think tougher if if you don't have that to be, if you are already divided, it's very hard to be resilient. just goes back to the success of that toolset. >> i'll just add from the perspective this feeds back into something we were talking about earlier in the extent to which something became partisan and something we should push back
again as an american security threat. you sort of lost a lot of the security officials on the republican side i would say from that argument. i know a lot of people that that was sort of the moment when we can't stand for this anymore. i will add to it from my perspective we have a particular problem with the russians they obviously are perfectly willing to deal in falsities and america doesn't want to, that's not how we behave and yet we have multiple problems on the ioc, the russian and the nation state propaganda machines been around for hundreds of years and know what they're doing. americans we find it distasteful to think of american government doing something to counter that and the other side of that is the way isil and other terrorist groups can use propaganda through network and delegate the ability to tweet and send out messages to the field level whereas we still have this
knee-jerk reaction because every tweet, every tactical tweet can be a strategic problem for decision makers in america we have to pull up the counter messaging to the highest levels of governance. you have a white house decision on how to counter the message of an isil tweet. they're always going to be inside of our decision cycle and that is something from the congressional side what do we do to help the executive branch deal with these various information operation problems. >> just not on the substance of the podesta, if you're russia this is the time you manipulate the data because everyone's lulled into these aren't that interesting and they like the gossip, but this is the moment where you might manipulate it. i want to remind people there's a second wave which i find real rigging on the apparatus that do the voting.
i think the storyline is getting lost in the sexiness of the politics. the structural u.s. governance we have about 9,000 electoral systems in america between local, county, state, they're not, you know what your locals, how much money you're investing in your local cio and those apparatuses, and that to me is just this vulnerability that, no reason to believe it's happening now but just that manipulation is happening now but even the sense that we can't control the networks, that we are dependent on for voting, you know, talk about the narrative, that's a bad narrative to be out there. >> is this also as far as how we as a country defend ourselves something of a jurisdictional problem? >> i always say homeland security is not a technological problem it's a governance problem. if you wanted to set up a nation that from the beginning, you
have divided government, you have state, local, you have counties. you have a tenth amendment reserves public safety to the states. you have federal immigration laws. you're not going to solve it. on elections it's true of almost everything in homeland security having bnl on the state side but the governance tends to be the largest challenge, you aloued to it a little bit. you can't tell a senator who is running or a congressman running for senate to get off the stage. it's a hard thing to do. >> it's hard to tell them they can't come in. even after press conferences how people come stand behind you, then it appears they're part of the press conference and they step up to the mike, even if you've walked away, so that's exactly right. >> and i this i that just on the
voting thing, the problem is on the local and state side is, there's really no federal authority over it. we just, we don't have a system like that, so the feds, the dhs can provide best practices, give money to support it but you're not completely dependent on miami-dade county investing in some cyber security effort, which we -- >> in florida we never have a problem with counting our votes, you can be sure of that. >> sorry, i forgot who i was sitting next to. let me choose another example. >> if we have to reconvene in a couple of weeks in light of the election. do we have another comment or a question? >> thank you so much for this panel. it's really very engaging. my question is about counter narratives, which was alluded to i think just now by katie. given that those who carry out these types of attacks appear to be desiring to become heroes of
their own story, how do we help promote counter narratives in which they could become heroes of a better story? >> at least the counter narrative that i've seen talked about don't necessarily have them try to be heroes of a different story but make them not heroes of their own story, so at least when you're looking at sort of the way the counter terrorist groups, you're right, they try to always show themselves as being successful. right now we're, we have operations in mosul, they're spending their time for other attacks in other places to make them the mosul problem seem like less of a big deal to them. the extent to which we can counter that narrative showing their failure, showing they're not ten feet tall that, they have some governing structure but it's not nice to live end them that's mostly what i've seen us trying to do.
the challenge is getting it out i think at the speed and volume that thus far they've been able to and to reach all the voices that you need to be able to reach. >> peter? >> this idea of narrative to use the term hero part of a good narrative there's elements to it and the counter narrative we do lacks that, and so if you're thinking about the successes here, it would be both on the hero side, so the alternative heroes and hitting some of the aims. if the goal is to create uniitiy, keep a certain community from being demonized, this narrative that's out there, why don't muslims, why don't they point out terrorism or
speak out against terrorism and instead it's the counter narrative of bothizing for example heroes in the stories that might be from that community, and so we've seen that for example in the paris attacks, where it was a muslim who hid jews from the attacker in his store to i believe if i'm remembering this correctly one of the s.w.a.t. team members with muslim americans, in turn, the counter narrative against isis is to point out by the way the group killed more muslims than anyone else and that's true, whether it's, if you're looking as a whole, the story, and mosul to the victims of these bombings have consistently included or attacks have included muslim americans so when we tell the stories of victims to make sure what makes this group so an athema they're an attack on civilization itself. it's not just boston strong.
they're going against all of us together so trying to find the key elements of narrative in our pushback as opposed to data dumps, numbers are important, correct facts are important, but also having a narrative that's thought out in your counter is key, too. >> juliette i know you want to say something. mayor you probably weren't thinking in terms of what's my counter narrative but you built one. you focused on the victims and what kind of city you wanted to be and that was the alternate story that you gave. >> and actually in reading your report, your paper, i think we were doing something that was intuitive to us without knowing it was in the confines of the type of response that you suggest we made. >> right, i know you weren't thinking of it in that mechanical terms. you gave a different narrative that was a powerful one. >> in hindsight i would say that as yes but i don't know that i was thinking that exactly at the time. >> juliette? >> i want to add something to
what peter said. you think the best counter narrative is that life as a man life in isis you're going to die essentially or be killed and as a woman it's not roses and there is this, very much promoting women coming, jihadi chic, having women come. one of the more interesting things that's happening is to figure out ways in which we sort of forgive the former jihadist. you're starting to see some courts, as long as the person wasn't successful or killed a bunch of americans get court, gives leeways so you can get the conversations out there both in europe and here in the united states a judge said for lesser time we want to hear your story because that story will be the best narrative, so the sort of lock 'em up attitude may not be the best long-term strategy for counter narrative.
>> i think one of the signature aspects of social media and peter, you mentioned it, is this like hunger for authenticity and also more humor and for making light of things. how many times in a day do you get something on social media that's funny or a joke that also seems to me is as someone who is trying to help build a narrative how do you unlock that collective thirst for authenticity and humor, and sort of skepticism is part of the challenge, too. you can't manipulate it and make it happen but when you show they say they're this but show people that's not what they are, seems a lot of times the collective will takes it from there, sometimes not always in the right direction but there is that. lisa, you had another? >> i actually have another question from the university of central florida audience and this is from a student. mayor dire are you comfortable
with current plans for a scaleability twitter public relations response should the pulse attack occurred in a work day rather than a night? >> it would have been a far different experience and communication challenge, it f it happened during the work day. heather and i were talking about it earlier today that not only would we have had the communication aspect but we'd have had thousands of employees and businesses instead of being in the middle of the night with nobody around except the people that were inside the pulse nightclub and the first responders, so it would have been a totally different reaction and although i don't think at 11:00 at bar would have been open that aspect would have been different, a lot more challenges. our protocol is still right in terms of how we would do that but certainly the other organizations that are gathering information and conveying information, the amount of
social media that would have been out there retweeting or tweeting to begin with would have been far more difficult experience for us. >> is that sort of social media and communications exercise part of national level exercises, juliette, when we practice at a national level for incidents, are they exercising that aspect of it? >> yes, it is but i think look you can't put lipstick on a pig. if your response is not good and you're not going to make it look pretty by a really strong communications, you essentially need both, but it's taking longer than most people like to get the social media viewed as probably, i don't want to say more significant than local news but as significant so that chain is just taking longer, what does it mean to be out there with tweets, who are the people doing
it? do they know how to do it? are you live tweeting? do you know what to do it. that's going to be i don't want to say generational shift but as police chiefs get younger as others, that's going to be, they're going to have grown up with facebook and twitter and feel more comfortable than it being an alien thing. it's still taking too long. >> i just wanted to add on the federal level we have the challenge we recognize with the fbi which is that is not closest to the people. it coudoesn't have the authenticity, at a big state or out of the fbi to talk about an incident or dhs. it's one of the challenges on the national security side we were talking about counter narratives, it's really hard to think about the u.s. government sending out a whole bunch of tweets about how great it is in the west and how awful it is under the caliphate, it doesn't necessarily, it's not the voice that should necessarily be doing so. we're thinking who should be the
step above that should be sending that message, but even that then who is the clearance of the content. it gets complicated very fast and then you get back to the problem of how do you make it as fast to counter the messages that the enemy can put out very fast. >> there are no more questions. okay one more. i'll pull us back to the hero point again. just to say that when we looked at what happened in pulse, remember, we have a shooter who was actively trying to make himself the hero of his own story or what he thought heroic was, and the reason that didn't get out and n real time was because facebook took it down. some of it was probably community rules that were automated and some of it was probably done with a human touch. so i would just point out that the social media companies again do have a responsibility and a role here, and one that's going to be constantly evolving as the threat and the perpetrators change and also as the technology changes.
again, live streaming launched two days before this attack on facebook, so this is not going to be static. it's going to be changing, but they have a role to play in not letting someone who is advocating for this kind of criminal violence make himself the hero. so lisa you had another question from our audience? our remote audience? >> this is from dr. vasquez again it's for peter singer. he says that i've heard presenters talk about the use of cell phone cameras and other devices, complicated u.s. and allied military operations in the field. are you familiar with similar stories that you can share and if this is a problem, is it an issue that the u.s. military is doing a better job at dealing with? >> sure, so it's definitely an issue, and i think it's a great on the idea there's no more secrets or at least the secrets
have a shorter half life. the bin laden raid was supposed to be the most secretive military operation of the last generation. we all know the famous image of the president watching in the situation room live but simultaneous to it you had a pakistani i.t. consultant living in abbottabad live tweeting the operation. if that's happening, this is several years back, we're moving forward, you were mentioning facebook live and we see that. again to go to the election you have this why can't we keep our operations in mosul secret? part of why we can't keep it secret not only there's massive desert in between but also everyone from isis fighters to our allies are tweeting there is a youtube channel to they created a hashtag for the
operation, when i say "they" our allies. we're not in the same world. this presents i wanted to circle back to what you raised, sharon, you said media companies sort of need to regulate this, need to control, but this is a new question for them and what they let out, so there are acts of violence that some we would say should not be up, others we would say are newsworthy, and we can have an argument around that. this game baecame an issue in te police shooting in minnesota that was the images of it were put up online, by one argument violated the terms of service because it was violence, a killing online, other people said no this needs to be shown because it needs to be part of this national debate on police violence and race relations. the challenge is, these companies are the ones being asked to determine this, are
they well equipped to do it, two, do we want them to do it, three, do they want to do it? they didn't set out to regulate this world. they set out to create a cool tech and they feel kind. uncomfortable about it, too. >> one of the officials we spoke to at one of these companies pointed out that you have some very big companies that have capacity and the interest in figuring out that horrible gray area, and what's free in speech and what's dangerous speech and what do you want to allow on your site and what don't you, but he pointed out there are also a lot of social media companies that are a little more than a guy in a garage with a server, and who neither has the capacity nor the interest to regulate what is being posted, and so it's not -- may not even be the case that you can regulate or control, because not everything that's being seen by all of us has someone moderating it that wants to control it.
so that's an element here, too. >> the scenario that the mayor laid out of we had this one case of it being at night, a group that we all clearly disagree with, but you gave another scenario of a killing in daytime, how that might be different including if the video of it gets out, how the reaction, the politics of it might be different. >> well we're just about out of time. katie, juliette, mayor, any last comments for the audience? >> i just want to thank you for allowing me to participate in the forum and for the work that you've done in that regard related to the pulse event. >> thank you all for coming. it was wonderful to get in this conversation with you and let's give our panel a big round of applause. [ applause ] and for those of you who aren't
here in person for our audience who joined us remotely thank you for tuning in and sending us questions. for those of new person, please join us, we have a reception outside. >> after i came one this idea, first of all i did research information because and this is definitely the case with a lot of pieces that will be done for this competition, but mental illness especially. it's a complicated issue. it's not black and white and it's so multifaceted that i had to research to get a base knowledge of what i wanted to talk about in this piece, and obviously there is a lot of -- it's so complicated that i can't talk about it at all in five to seven minutes. >> pharmaceuticals is a broad topic. i thought it would be nice to have a focal point so before i started interviewing my parents, before i got to the internet and before i started shooting i researched the topic
ex-fencively. >> i visited my dad's pharmacy and talked to the pharmacist there, i talked to my mom and her colleagues and co-workers and did a lot of internet research and actually went to the library. >> a lot of internet research to find more like facts and data and statistics about employment of those with developmental disabilities, to see really what was going on. most of the information that i got off of the internet came from government-funded websites, so that's how i knew that most of the information that i was getting was legitimate. >> this year's theme? your message to washington, d.c. tell us, what is the most urgent issue for the new. and congress to address in 2017? our competition is open to all middle school or high school students grades 6 through 12 with $100,000 awarded in cash prizes. students can work alone or in a group of up to three to produce a five to seven-minute documentary on the issue
selected. includes c-span programming and explores opposing opinions. the $100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded and shared between 150 students and 53 teachers and the grand prize $5,000 will go to the student or team with the best overall entry. this year's deadline is january 20th, 2017. so mark your calendars and help us spread the word to student filmmakers. for more information go to our website studentcam.org. last week on "washington journal," we talked about some of the upcoming ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana. >> john hudak is a senior government at the brookings institution and author of the book "marijuana: a short history." mr. hudak, marijuana legalization advocates say this could be a tipping point on election day when marijuana legalization ballot measures are on the ballot in five states.
number one, how likely are they to pass and what could it mean if they are? >> marijuana legalization initiatives are very difficult to pass. even though support for it nationally is around 60% support for medical marijuana is around 80%, when you actually start messaging on this, and you actually have an opposition campaign, it's tough to get the right people and the right numbers out to vote, and so any one of these initiatives can fail for sure, and i think anyone who thinks even california is a sure thing is kidding themselves, but if several of them pass or all of them pass, it will mean a significant increase in the size of the legal market, and real change in public policy for a number of americans. >> in this topic, we talked about it last week a bit with our viewers about the ballot measures. some confusion about legalization versus decriminalization. can you take us through what both mean? >> decriminalization is a step that some cities and even some states have taken around marijuana, and what that means
typically is that, instead of being booked and maybe spending the night in prison for being caught with small amounts of marijuana, a joint or an ounce let's say you're issued the equivalent of a speeding ticket or a parking ticket. you then pay that fine and you don't go through the normal criminal justice processes that you would in states that haven't decriminalized. legalization is different. legalization is where a state begins to regulate the production, processing and sale of marijuana, so that you have no interaction with the justice system whatsoever. >> and legalization as we said on the ballot in five states, want to show our viewers a map from "the boston globe" about where those states are that marijuana is already legal and where those ballot measures are happening. balance lot measures happening, california, nevada, arizona, maine and massachusetts. already legal in colorado, alaska, washington, oregon, and
the district of columbia. for the states where marijuana is already legal can you talk about where the department of justice is and where the state governments are in terms of trying to figure out the regulation process? >> colorado and washington were the if, to legalize in 2012 and oregon, alaska and d.c. followed in 2014. as the first two states legalizeded there was this sort of holding of your breath moment because no one knew how the justice department would react. it's important to remember we have a federal law called the controled substances act. it says marijuana is illegal in all circumstances no questions asked. what the justice department has duct taped a policy fix and sailed as long as a state regulates marijuana, first it has to reform their laws, then regulate the product, and as long as the operators don't
engage in certain bad acts like selling to children or engaging with drug cartels or a number of other things, then the federal government will choose not to enforce the law in those jurisdictions, so it's allowed states to move forward with these policies. >> we allow our viewers to call in, we want to hear from you and hear your questions. john hudak is with the brookings institution author of the book "marijuana a short history." phone numbers 202-748-8001, if you're a republican, 202-748-8000 a democrat. independents 202-748-8002. has taxation caught up with the legal efforts happening in those states? >> theres aknow tax policy at the federal level right now. taxes are in terms what have you're being taxed on for a product at the price point that's done at the state level and those tax revenue dollars
are going to things like school construction and mental health and addiction services, law enforcement programs, and the like. but there is a really interesting tax situation that's going on around this, because marijuana is illegal federally, oddly these operators still have to pay their federal income taxes, but they're not entitled to any of the types of business tax benefits that any other business in the united states is entitled to, so this lack of federal policy and specifically federal tax policy means that marijuana operators owe the federal government piles of tax money every year but they also get none of the benefits that the system usually affords businesses. >> what are some of the benefits say for one of the sellers and growers here in washington, d.c.? >> so washington, d.c., is a unique case because we don't have a regulated market here, because congress blocked the ability of the district to set up a market and to set up a
regulated system although that exists on the medical marijuana side. for instance if a business invests in itself, invests in research and development those are typically tax write dwraufs. that is not allowed for a marijuana business and this creates serious tax burdens for this industry and these companies that the federal government otherwise says is okay to operate. >> again phone numbers republicans 202-748-8001, democrats 202-748-8002, independents 202-748-8000. 25 states already have full medical marijuana programs. one thing you note is that the federal government controls the supply of marijuana for research for those programs. explain why that is. >> under our system we are
creating federal policy around drugs that also tries to comply with our treaty obligations and specifically the main drug treaty is called the single convention. the single convention requires that member nations of which the united states is one strictly controls the supply of marijuana used in research or used for medical purposes. so what the federal government has done has set up a production facility at the university of mississippi that supplies all reservers in the united states with research grade marijuana. they've since relaxed the requirement that there only be one source but until that policy is carried out, the only research grade marijuana you can get is from -- >> funny when i was 15 i thought marijuana should be legalized but now i see its destructive nature, one of the tweets that
came in. paul asks if the states that have legalized marijuana, not just medical but also legalization, what has happened to prison overcrowding in those states? >> the data are early right now on what's happening in the criminal justice system. what we do know is that in colorado and washington, marijuana arrests have plummeted for simple possession, and sale and things like that. arrests still exist of course but the numbers of arrests are dropping. it's important to remember that most basic marijuana arrests in this country do not result in prison time. some do, but most do not, and so the impact on prison population might not be significant, but the impact on the individuals actually being arrested having a criminal record, trying to apply for jobs later, that should certainly have a sigg cant impact. >> i'm going to try to get out of the way. john is up first, colton, calical, line for democrats you're on the line with john hudak. >> caller: i'm a 28-year-old man, and i have multiple
sclerosis, and i have glou coma. those are the only two conditions proven to be helped with the use of marijuana, and if i go to florida, they still won't let me use it, even though it's supposed to be legal for me to go there and it is affecting my health that i can't do this, because for multiple sclerosis the drugs that they give you for the spasms aren't as effective as marijuana, and it's despicable this is affecting my health and that people like hillary clinton want to lock me up for it. >> well, there's a couple of issues to tackle there. the first is one that a lot of patients who use medical marijuana face on a daily basis, and that is not just access to the product that they swear by having therapeutic benefits but their ability to bring that where they go. if you have a prescription
pharmaceutical for anything else, for ms, for glaucoma and you live in california and you want to travel to florida you can bring your prescription with you on a plane n your car or whatever but with medical marijuana because of federal policy you can't. as soon as you leave your state you're breaking federal law and in most cases you're breaking state laws along the way, too. so this interstate access issue is one that the marijuana reform community is very tirelessly arguing needs to be addressed by the congress. the second is on the latter point about the presidential candidates in this race. one of the most fascinating parts about election 2016 has been the change in rhetoric on marijuana. hillary clinton and donald trump have both argued that they support states reforming medical marijuana laws, and i think if you look back even one or two election cycles ago, that's pretty dramatic, compared to what previous presidential candidates have said, and it
suggests that, while you may be in a difficult position now, john, the future may change and may hold with it more reform. >> and it is in bosher city, louisiana, a republican, emmitt, go ahead. >> caller: hello, how are you doing? >> doing well, go ahead. >> caller: yes, sir. what i'd like to make a comment about is the fact that i've had three shoulder surgeries and have chronic pain, and pain medication is really hard to get in louisiana, and what i'd like to know is, if medical marijuana is legalized in louisiana, are there certain laws that are going to govern you know what type of illness or pain that you have, will that determine if you can qualify to get it? >> thanks for your call, emmitt. each state that passes medical marijuana reform has what are called a list of qualifying
conditions. qualifying conditions are the ailments or diseases that you can have that qualify you to access this market, to get this product. as the previous caller, john, had the previous caller, john, had noted having multiple sclerosis and glaucoma, those are qualifying conditions across the state. you're talking about chronic pain. some states have provisions where if you have chronic pain, can you get access to marijuana. other states are hesitant to include that as a qualifying condition for fear it could be abused in the same way opioid prescriptions are abused. district of columbia where chronic pain, chronic ailments give you access. it depends on how louisiana crafts their law and legislation in order to understand whether that would be a qualifying condition there. >> louisiana not a state with
medical marijuana right now. it's not on ballot measure this time around. here's a map from mikenews.com. the red in this map are the states where marijuana is not legal and there's no medical marijuana laws. the yellow where there are medical marijuana laws and green where there's currently. as we say, five states could turn green on election day. massachusetts, maine, nevada, arizona and california. scott is in new york, an independent. go ahead, scott. >> yes, yes. good morning. i've been a caller since the 19988 and i've been an advocate for medical marijuana since then. i'm surprised where we are today. we should be running our vehicles off of marijuana-seed fuel, which hemp seed was the first diesel fuel. these plants could be carrying
on photosynthesis to combat the man made industrial strength out there. we have 50 years of oil left. 50 years left. i'm 53 years old. my lifetime plus we'll no longer have oil for our children. it has more energy than any other plant. we could be double-harvesting down south seeds, we could be running fuel, we could be running marijuana fuel in our diesel motors. >> got your point, scott. want to let john hudak talk about some other uses for the marijuana plant. >> scott brings up a good point. there's a hemp movement in this country that really wants to get back to what are the roots of the united states, which is using hemp for a diverse number of purposes. there's hemp oil, as scott mentioned. it can be used for food, it can be used for linen.
paper, a variety of things. in my new book "marijuana: a short history" i take a look back. in the colony of virginia hemp was required by the british crown and many early american farmers were producing hemp in significant amounts, including george washington and thomas jefferson because it is such a diverse product that has so many uses in society. >> georgia on twitter says legalizing marijuana will not legalize the illegal sale of grass. your thoughts on what legalization will do to illegal sales? sdlo that's one of the key point on issue, one of the key points of debate. that is currently black market marijuana exists everywhere. it's easy to access. and anyone who thinks it's not in your own neighborhood is
really fooling yourself. but when you set up a legal system that people want to access, that people feel comfortable with and that people appreciate the product that they're getting from it, it has to displace part of the black market. legalization will not get rid of legal marijuana entirely but it will certainly make inroads and dents if it's regulated properly, if the state is producing it or manufacturers are producing it to the quality standards of the consumer. and as long as the price point is competitive with the black market. >> orange, virginia, is next. katherine is a democrat. good morning. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> doing well. >> caller: sounds like the previous callers have sort of touched on what i had anyway. i'm wondering about the medical community involvement, whether their hands are tied or if the government, whether it be medical or state, i'm not sure the one picking on this, but i just want to know about where
the medical community stands, what their opinions are and how far they want to take this where they really can't go any further than the research and development allows them. >> the medical community tends to be a more conservative institution and one that for decades has been trained and raised to believe that marijuana is illegal, is harmful, addicting and bad in all cases. that's not true universally in the medical community. it's what's been taught for some time. changing that culture within the medical community will take time and has been a slow process. what you do see is more interest among doctors in reading more research on this. and there is a real worry among doctors, among managed care facilities, among hospitals about what the implications will be if they begin to recommend marijuana for patients.
that has led many to avoid it entirely. it's important to remember, no doctor in the united states can prescribe marijuana because marijuana is a controlled substance that is banned. but they can make a rental that argues their patient may get therapeutic value from it. that may exist because of worries that restrict doctors from behaving in certain ways around this policy and this plant. >> you talk about marijuana being a schedule i substance. what does it take to reschedule something like marijuana? >> rescheduling marijuana happens in one of two ways. either congress passes a law and says it's now under a different schedule, which seems easy but congress passing laws is not an easy process or there's an administrative process that begins at the department of justice. and the department of justice does a review, as does the food and drug administration.
they all make recommendations to the attorney general and the attorney general can decide whether or not to reschedule the drug or to keep the drug where it is. the attorney general opted to keep marijuana as schedule i. >> three agencies it would go through and signed off by the white house as well, i would assume? >> the white house would sign off on something as political as this. in addition to this, even if the attorney general said tomorrow or said on the next petition, yes, we're going to schedule marijuana from i to ii or i to ii, that would begin a standard rule-making regulatory process that often takes time, involves the white house, involves public notice and comment. it's not a quick process even if they want to do it. >> a process we've talked about on the "washington journal" several times.
gene, good morning. >> caller: john, i appreciate your position, but but i can't agree with you speaking from retired law enforcement side. when you have people going into dens that are smoking and they get behind the wheel. right now here in chicago we have three major hispanic gangs fighting for the drug turf. i understand what's going on on the coastal drug addiction right now between our teams, submarines loaded with bails of this stuff, planes dropping it over our country. . whoa have to corral this. you present a good case, john and i appreciate that. for medical use, fine, if that helps someone at home, but you can't just walk out and get on your car and drive on the highway after you've smoked a joint. i've arrested a lot of people. and i've seen people get
addicted. and it's a gateway drug, i'm sorry to say. you've got a tough fight on your hands. i appreciate your position. thank you. >> well, thank you, gene, for your call. first off i don't have a fight on my hands. i'm not an advocate. i do policy research on this. i'll tell you a little about about what the policy research shows us. it shows us first exactly what you're talking about, in places where this drug is illegal, you have people who are committing crimes, who are doing bad things and legalization doesn't cause that. it already exists in chicago, it already exists in the community of people whom you've told us you have arrested. what legalization does is it tries to regulate an illegal market in ways that can try to corral public behavior towards the outcome the public wants. that's the goal of the reform community. whether it works or not, perhaps the jury is still out. some would argue it is not.
but what we do know is absolute prohibition creates things like driving under the influence of marijuana, spurs drug car tells and does a lot of other things that, as you argue, you're worried about. the one thing i do do have to correct you on, this is an important point to correct, is this idea smn a gateway drug. that's been proven as absolutely false. here's how there's a gateway effect with marijuana. it's not something chemical, not biological, it has nothing to do with the plant. it has to do with the black market. when an individual is going to a drug dealer to access marijuana, he's being exposed to harder drugs. drug dealers have a very interesting and useful and hard bargaining way to drive someone away from marijuana, where they get a much lower profit margin towards something much more addictive, much harder and with a much higher profit margin.
that social effect is the gateway effect. it's not the drug itself. if you start selling marijuana off the streets, in controlled dispensarie dispensaries, that should resolve this gateway effect that's a myth that's constantly perpetuated in this country. >> want to play one of the ads running in massachusetts right now
about this marijuana legalization effort. it's question four in massachusetts. this is an ad from one of the groups opposing legalization. >> question four would allow thousands of pot shops and marijuana operators thought massachusetts in neighborhoods like yours. shops that sell pot edibles like candy and high-potency marijuana. in incidents of drunk driving are up. more pot shops that's starbucks and mcdonald's combined. high potency, it's the reason we're urging to vote no on four.
>> john hudak, your read on that ad? >> it's the first time i've seen that ad. it touches on a lot of the issues that opponents of marijuana legalization are concerned about. that is, where are these marijuana dispensaries located, how many of them there are, the types of products that they're producing. what i can tell you in every one of the initialtives currently on the ballot, there are local zoning -- or provisions that allow local zoning to determine often how many shops there are, where they're located, what they're located next to. they try to move them away from schools and churches and parks and playgrounds and things like that. there's another effort within the movement to change the types of edible products that can be sold so they don't have as much appeal to children. this is a real concern.
people don't want marijuana to look like candy or something that's appealing to kids. i think that ad showed an open store front, which in most cases is illegal in states because everything is blocked off and you can't actually see marijuana products through a window. that is an issue. even if you're leaving something out on a table or you have something in your home, that's a real concern that a lot of people have. part of that is consumer education but part
is regulation as well. >> i hoe one of the ads from a different group supporting question four in massachusetts. here it is. >> all my training, indeed my oath s to do everything to cure patient. but our current marijuana laws need changing. right now doctors and patients are afraid to bring up all treatment options for fear of breaking the law. yes on four means we can regulate, tax and legalize marijuana to help people with pain avoid opiates and other true medical needs. the current system isn't
working. that's why doctors and patients agree, it's time to vote yes on four. >> that ad choosing to focus on the medical side but this would be for recreational use in massachusetts as well. >> that's an interesting ad as well. massachusetts already has a medical marijuana program in place and patients who have qualifying conditions and can access it already have that ability. it is true some doctors are concerned about it and some patients will have doctors who will not give that recommendation. there are some patients who have conditions they want to use marijuana for the state says does not qualify. generally question four is about recreational marijuana. it's not about granting access to patients. this doctor feels there's still a medical need for it but most patients -- excuse me, most residents of massachusetts are thinking about this in very different ways. >> euclid, ohio, alan, a
republican. good morning. >> caller: good morning. yes, my opinion is marijuana, the government shouldn't define it. it should be legal. it should be like chocolate chip cookies. they don't have any position on it. me and my wife have smoked it for years and we raised two children's successfully, sent them to catholic schools. one is a policeman. the other policeman who called up. i don't think anyone should smoke or drink anything when they get behind a wheel. when people smoke it marijuana makes them more attentive to the detail of driving. the policeman who called up before is wrong. it depends on the person. a lot of these scare statistics i don't buy. i don't respect or recognize the laws on marijuana. i don't care if they he ever become legal. we just don't care. we're going to do what we want to do. >> alan has a position some americans believe in as well, that is the government has no
business regulating marijuana. it's a plant, as one of the previous callers said that god has given us. god has given us a lot of plants we regulate. that is certainly a perspective that exists. most americans, however, who are comfortable with marijuana legalization or are even willing to give legalization a shot want it heavily regulated. the caller discusses not wanting it regulated in the same way chocolate chip cookies are. they are pretty heavily regulated when you think about the wheat and the dairy that go into making those, the food safety standards that exist in the production of it. it's important to remember most consumer goods in the united states is regulated to some extent. marijuana tends to be a little heavier. >> germantown, maryland. wesley, a democrat. good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead. you're on with john hudak.
>> caller: i have a question for you. i have a son -- i'm a divorced family, between my ex-wife and i, she's married. both her and her husband smoke marijuana regularly. they're big advocates on marijuana. she's a nurse, in fact. i think that's wrong as well. jeopardizing her job. besides that, the most important fact is i have a 12-year-old son with her. we have issues with custody where she's in charge of him now. due to the way the courts view it. we just went through court and they didn't care one bit in the district of columbia about marijuana use or whatever. she states it's for her back. in fact, you know, d.c.'s changed. actually they just use it for recreational use. she claims it's for stress. the bottom line is my son is being heavily affected by it.
i want to know what kind of regulations might come out of this in the future. we're in a position where i found he had a medical marijuana -- i'm sorry, a marijuana spongebob on his playstation four. this is real. this is how it's affecting children. i'm all for letting them have recreational marijuana, but i believe around children it's a whole other ball game. >> got your point. >> so, obviously, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on a specific custody case. there are broader policy implications discussed in the call that states have really thought about. one of them is whether a custody dispute can result in an action that negative affects a medical marijuana user by the fact of them using medical marijuana. a lot of states have passed as
part of their reform, provisions that protect parents who also happen to be medical marijuana users from the state coming in and taking their children. in a state where marijuana is illegal, the state can do that. that protection is not absolute. if a child's welfare is in danger because of the use of medical marijuana in the same way it would be for alcohol or for opioids or any type of medical prescription, the state still has the right to go in and enforce laws that protect a child's welfare. i think the caller's point is one that's obviously emotionally important to him but it's important not to conflict two things. that is simply the use of marijuana for medical value and the endangerment of child welfare. those things can be very
different and very distinct even though there are situations of marijuana being used in a home can create situations dangerous for chirp. it's not true of every medical marijuana user. >> let's go to nick in montros, new york, medical marijuana user. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i guess i have something of a comment, two-tier comment about the issue of marijuana generally. it seems to me that there is two stigmas attached to marijuana, especially medical marijuana. one of them being cultural, the other being economic, culturally speaking, you know, we have alcohol, which is a drug that everybody in this country tends to partake in.
if you want to talk about family issues and, you know, issues related to that, obviously alcohol plays a huge role in that. obviously, it's legal. also very importantly, the issue related to pharmaceutical companies and how -- and maybe your guest may want to touch on this. there's been a lot of studies about opioid abuse as well as the overprescription of opioid for painkillers. it seems very clear this is a profit motive situation where you have a lot of these pharmaceutical companies that would prefer doctors to prescribe these type of drugs. maybe just from personal
experience, when i was younger, i had like many other people, i had my wisdom teeth taken out and what was i prescribed? octixycontin or some kind of derivative of that, heroine synthetic. as what all my other friends got and what does this do? a lot of people start selling it in the schools. that is just what's happening. >> i'll touch on nick's first point in particular will the cultural issues that surround marijuana legalization. i've written in my book tracing this path of cultural indoctrination in this country about what marijuana is. it creates this misinformation about how often marijuana becomes a substance abuse disorder, how often this is viewed as a gateway drug. part of this has to do with the
government's messaging over decades about this drug. the problem for the government is most people who use the drug or experience it in some way don't have experiences that match what the government has been saying and so that creates this odd situation of disinformation for the average voter. it makes people more curious, makes people think about reform in a more serious way. that cultural pressure exists in the public, in the medical community, in law enforcement, in a variety of areas. what's most interesting is the change we've seen in public opinion on this issue over the past 20 years. support for marijuana legalization nationally is at about 60% in the 1980s that was under 20%. while there are those cultural biases that exist against marijuana, there are a large number of people pushing back
against those cultural norms and looking for something different out of the system and from this product. for more visual learners, here is a chart of the pew research polling on support for legalizing marijuana. you can see how that's changed over the years to today. a few comments from twitter as we've been having this conversation. sfr says, is there nothing more important going on in our country than pot talk? more misdirection for the ill-informed masses. penelope says weed isn't a gateway. it's cigarettes and alcohol. drunks break up families. steve says the anti-legalization forces are the same despicable prohibitions who criminalized busy bodies. karen says this election season has been a mind-altering
experience. william is in burnsville, minnesota, a republican. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i believe the marijuana issue is minute compared to the important things we need to decide. the marijuana movement for legalization of this plant is basically out of the liberal reactionary activists genre of people. it's a small group of people, they they basically have no importance at all. medical marijuana, i can see where it maybe has some place in prescription medicine, but recreational marijuana, no, that's ridiculous. i would like to ask this gentleman, have you ever had to show up at work with a coworker has has binged on marijuana all weekend? their clothes stink, their eyes are as yellow as marbles and they absolutely can't function.
you know, cattle and buffalo have grazed on wild marijuana for centuries but they don't have to drive buses. they don't have to drive cars in traffic. you know, they can just kind of chill out. but when you have a bunch of people out there that are doped up on recreational marijuana, it is quite a nuisance. it's a very unnecessary thing. >> sure. william, i have to correct a few things from that call. i agree with you this issue is one minor compared to some of the major issues facing this nation right now. but here's a reality. this is an issue being voted on in nine states this year. this is a policy that for medical marijuana, for instance, about 200 million americans live in states that have medical marijuana programs. this is real public policy. it's something that people do care about, that affects their lives, that people are talking
about. and i think the idea this is the liberal activistic left driving this really emerges from a total misinformation and lack of understand being this movement and who supports it. liberals certainly do. but if you look around, there are liberals, moderates, conservatives, libertarians, some of the most conservative members of congress joined hands with some of the most liberal members of congress to try to push reform. and so while i think the caller has an idea in his mind that every marijuana user is behaving in an inappropriate way and that it emerges entirely from one small segment of the economy, i think if you look out at colorado and washington that have legalized marijuana with support of about 55% of the vote, other states that have legalized with even higher percentages of the vote, it really puts into perspective how diverse the coalition is that
ends up supporting marijuana reform. >> marijuana ballot initiatives in nine states. five states its legalization ballot initiatives. california, prop 64. front page of the "inland valley daily bulletin" talking about prop 64. in maine, question one. massachusetts, question four. we're talking about it for just a couple more minutes. john is in westchester, pennsylvania, an independent. good morning. >> good morning. my comment is relative to most of the drug enforcement officers i've ever heard mentioned talking about drugs say that marijuana is a stepping stone to the hard drugs. and we don't need that. and the ama says the hospital problems