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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 8, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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good evening everyone, tonight, breaking news in the scandal involving america's busiest bridge. the gop's brightest presidential hope right now, chris christie, and evidence that his administration played the kind of bare knuckle partisan politics that he criticizes in others. we're keeping them honest tonight. also ahead in the program, her brain-dead body is being kept alive against her wishes, against her family's wishes because she's pregnant. we'll look at another very hard case at the intersection of life and death and the law. and later, medical marijuana. we know it helps some people tolerate cancer treatment. the question is, can it also be a cancer treatment by itself? in tonight's installment of our
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week-long series, "gone to pot," the parents who want to take their child off chemo because they believe marijuana is curing their child's cancer. we'll look at the medical evidence. we begin tonight keeping them honest with breaking news. what started as a local traffic story became a state-wide scandal and now has gone national. at center of it all, the world's busiest bridge and the man seen by many as the republican party's leading hope to win the white house in 2016. the bridge in question is the george washington. the man is chris christie, the governor of new jersey. the scandal involves lane closings from the city of fort lee, new jersey, onto the bridge that tied up traffic so badly ambulance crews were complaining about being able to respond to emergencies and school buses were delayed for hours. the allegation is that christie's office and potentially the governor himself ordered those lane closings to snarl traffic as political payback because fort lee's mayor, a democrat, refused to join other state-wide democrats who were endorsing the governor. the implication that governor christie is not the bipartisan
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uniter that his big re-election victory suggested, and that he himself claimed to be. >> as your governor, it's never mattered to me where someone was from, whether they voted for me or not, what the color of their skin was or their political party. for me being governor has always been about getting the job done first. >> that was governor christie on election night promising to be governor of all the state of new jersey, everyone, whether they voted for him or not. and here he is slamming washington for not being more like himself. >> we watch a congress at war with itself because they're unwilling to leave campaign-style politics at the capital's door. >> now all along, though, critics have accused the governor of preaching tolerance but practicing bare knuckle politics behind doors. e-mail messages obtained by cnn implicate some of his top staffers and appointees on those grounds. about a month before the lane closings that locked down parts of new jersey, the manhattan
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bridge, ann kelly one of three deputies on christie's senior staff, writes the following e-mail to christie appointee david wildstein at the port authority that runs the bridge. "time for traffic problems in fort lee" she writes. the reply from will wildstein "got it". we don't know who texted this to wildstein. is it wrong that i'm smiling? no, the person responds. i feel badly about the unknown kids talking about the kids going to school stuck on school buses. i guess comes the reply from >> i actually was the guy working the cones out there. you really are not serious with that question. >> this evening, though, he issued a statement blaming others. it reads quote i am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was i misled by a member of my staff but this
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completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge." the statement goes on, this behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions." now, he does not in that statement include himself, even though the people now implicated are some of his top staffers and appointees. keeping them honest, when it comes to accountability the governor has high standards for others. >> when you make a mistake, you should own up to it and apologize for it. >> that's a governor chiding president obama for what he saw as an incomplete apology for his broken health care promise. fort lee's mayor for one isn't satisfied. he spoke with wolf blitzer earlier this evening. >> wouldn't you expect him to start making some phone calls to at least apologize, even if he had nothing to do with it but his senior aides did? >> wolf, don't call me. do me a favor, don't call me but call the families who were waiting three, four times longer for emergency service agencies, when their loved ones were having heart palpitations or when their loved ones had
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extreme chest pains, were waiting for ambulance to arrive. apologize to thousands of families whose kids were late for the first day of school and the three or four days that ensued thereafter. call our police department and call our administrators in the school system that had to deal with this. call the folks that had to deal with traffic armageddon here that week. don't call me. you don't have to call me. i give you a pass. don't call me. but call those families, call those kids and call everybody else. because fort lee didn't deserve it. >> lots to talk about tonight with senior political analyst david gergen, chief international correspondent john king and cnn legal analyst gloria borger. david, do you believe first of all that christie did not know about this? >> i think it's possible. but my experience going all the way back to the nixon days, i hesitate to make that comparison to his, that sometimes the boss does not order something but people who -- i don't know whether nixon ordered watergate but i can guarantee you that people who carried out watergate thought that's what he would have wanted.
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there's an environment in which you find yourself sometimes when you're on staff when things don't have to be said. you sort of know. >> even though he didn't know about it, the fact that everyone around him thought this is the kind of thing he would want says something about him about his leadership. >> i sure think it bears reporting on that very subject. because there's something about this that's so petty. and so vindictive. and it feeds into this narrative that has been building up sort of sub rosa that he's a bully. and i think he's now -- he's on the defensive. he's going to have to find some way to diffuse this to prove he doesn't run a shop like that. i hope for his sake his candidacy does not rise or fall on this issue. rather see it on more substantive issues. >> john, it's one thing to be seen as a bully for things that are right, a bully trying to do things right for new jersey, as people would have traditionally seen him.
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but to be so vindictive on something so petty, in an election he was going to win anyway. that is a whole other matter. >> now you have the suggestion that perhaps first responders were delayed. perhaps they were late getting an ambulance to a 91-year-old woman having a heart attack. so you have petty, you have vindictive, you have harsh, you have mean. these are the words being thrown around, anderson, not just by democrats but republicans who don't like or don't trust chris christie. so he is at a defining moment. how he handles this in the next 24 to 48 hours in terms of firing those responsible because he said he would and then as the investigation unfolds he'd better be i'll use the word damn sure that there's nothing that ties him to this. if he handles it decisively and sits down and calmly answers questions and doesn't berate the reporters who ask them he has a chance to be a leader who dealt with a crisis and moves on. but if that perception starts to stick in that's not a presidential temperament and that's bad for him nationally in his perspective and as he starts his new term in new jersey and bad for him with the audience he
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needs to care about most politically long term at the moment that's the republican base that he wants them to make him their nominee. >> gloria, you're looking to those ems allegations. what are you hearing? >> four ema responses were delayed considerably as a result of all of this traffic. and as john just mentioned, there was a death of a 91-year-old woman who had a heart attack. now, we do not know whether the delays really contributed to that outcome or not. but this is a very direct letter from the head of ems saying essentially, what is going on here? our paramedics can't get to the people that they need to help. >> and david, to echo john's point, how he handles this the next 24, 48 hours will be critical. i mean, who's going to be fired, who's going to be held responsible. >> his problem is proving the negative. that i didn't know anything, i didn't do anything. to some considerable extent this is going to depend on the people who were in his office who did apparently order this.
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having some kind of interviews that will have lie detectors involved and other things. if a woman died, if a woman died here, he's in deep deep trouble. >> right. >> i don't care what it was the buck stops at his desk. he knows that. he's a big boy. to have something like this happen, if a woman dies he's in deep trouble. >> anderson, there's an investigation now by the legislature which started all of this. i called up the former republican governor of the state of new jersey, tom cane today. i asked him, so what should they do. he said, look. there are partisan democrats who are out to get chris christie. but this story makes absolutely no sense. he said that chris christie i'm quoting the former republican governor here said he's not accepting responsibility. he didn't answer the questions. what he suggested, in order to get it all out there, is to have a bipartisan investigation in the state legislature in new jersey, let christie go and answer questions, let his staff go and answer questions. because don't forget, as the mayor of fort lee told wolf blitzer earlier today, there
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could be criminal issues here. >> and john, if there are investigations and looking into corruption or whatever it is, in terms of presidential chances, it certainly takes kind of the shine off of chris christie for many. >> again, every governor who runs for national office has to deal with something. and how he deals with it is critical. if there's any connection to him or any gray in the idea of did he know about it then he's in trouble. but consider, there's a policy which is this investigation. why did they do this? who did it? who was responsible? how does the governor respond and how does he hold them accountable? what did the investigators find? then there's politics. he is starting his second term. he's going to go to some 30 states this year raising money and helping republican candidates for governor. at every one of those stops the local press is going to want to talk to him. he's going to be trying to raising money. the democrats are trying to make
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him a lightning rod now and make him baggage to hurt his political viability not only in 2014 helping candidates but in the long term of 2016. so he needs to find a way to end this chapter. and that depends on him and how he handles it. >> david gergen, thanks very much. gloria borger, john king as well. thanks. let me know what you think about the story. do you believe the governor didn't know about what his staff was up to? follow me on twitter @andersoncooper, using hash tag "ac360". up next a very tough story no matter how you look at it. the question, does the state have the right to keep a brain-dead woman, this woman, alive against her wishes, against her family's wishes as well, if that woman is pregnant? she was pregnant. the hospital refuses to take her off life support as her family wishes, as her family says she would have wanted because she's pregnant. later, the video itself is troubling enough. a cursing toddler with grownups egging him on. get this, though. it was posted by local police organization. they say to educate the public. the question is, who's looking out for the child? details coming up. chris christie.
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we've been following the troubling story of jahi, a brain-dead teenager. she remains on life support because that is what her parents want. a brain-dead texas woman is being kept alive this time in spite of what she or her husband ever wanted. ed lavendara has the story. >> reporter: she was a 33-year-old mother of a young baby boy, a paramedic married to another paramedic. the couple expecting their second child when it happened. marlise munoz collapsed in her home of an apparent blood clot in her lung. the family got the news shortly
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after. they say doctors told them she was brain-dead and would never recover. her body is now connected to a ventilator inside this ft. worth, texas hospital despite her family's wishes. >> we've reached the point where you wish that your wife's body would stop. >> reporter: the hospital refuses to unplug the ventilators because munoz is pregnant. and texas is one of about 30 states that restrict a woman's ability to be disconnected from life support if they are pregnant regardless of the patient or the family's directive. eric munoz and his wife are paramedics and end of life issues is something they talked about often. >> we've seen things out in the field. and we both knew that we didn't want to be on life support. >> reporter: officials at john peter smith hospital here in ft. worth will not say if marlise munoz is brain-dead. but they say the hospital will follow the law as it applies to health care in the state of texas, and that every day we have patients and families who must make difficult decisions. our position remains the same. we will follow the law. >> i think they got it wrong. >> reporter: tom mayo was one of
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the advisers who helped write this law 15 years ago and which was signed by then texas governor george w. bush. the southern methodist university law professor says if munoz is indeed brain-dead like her family says, then the hospital has the law all wrong. >> if she's brain-dead she's already dead. so letting her die isn't really the concept. but can he say take her off the ventilator? i believe he can. surrogate decisionmakers make those kinds of decisions with their doctors every day. >> reporter: marlise munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she collapsed. the fetus is now almost 20 weeks. the family says the fetus still has a heartbeat but it's not clear if it can even survive. in the meantime, eric munoz has to stand by and watch his wife trapped in a position he says she never wanted to be in. >> i can't say enough about her. everything i do will always be short of what she was. i can't do her justice. she's a great woman.
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>> all right. ed lavendara joins us live in ft. worth. what's next for the family? where do they go from here? >> reporter: we've learned today that eric munoz now has two lawyers that he's working with in this case. i had a chance to speak with those attorneys this afternoon. they say they're researching the law and that they're trying to figure out the legal strategy that they want to take to have eric's wishes complied with here. but that they're still researching that and they're not exactly sure what path they will take legally. but i think one thing is clear. this will end up in the courts, anderson. >> it looks like it. thanks. let's dig deeper with art kaplan a legal medical ethicist. and mark geragos, a criminal defense attorney. and my panel. >> you think the hospital is making the mistake and the law is wrong? >> i think the law is completely
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wrong, anderson. it's basically saying an individual who has clear-cut values and choices, a paramedic, made it obvious she didn't want to be on life support. her husband agrees with this. the fact that her family backs them up. the state of texas is basically saying, we're going to treat her as an incubator. if she was awake, she certainly wouldn't have this happening to her. if she was awake she could actually go out and have an abortion at the age of this fetus. asleep she's being ignored. it's unethical. the law also says anybody who's pregnant from one day pregnant all the way out to where she was when she had the incident at 14 weeks, today we're at 20, that law is just too broad. it's out of control. >> has your opinion changed now that the fetus is at 20 weeks and will be even older when the decision is made? >> 20 weeks isn't viable yet. this is going to have to go on to probably something like 26 weeks to get viability. even then the child would be very premature. and remember, this woman went without oxygen for a long time, resulting in her death. the fetus was probably harmed then, too. i'm sure the husband is thinking that's part of the reason we don't want to proceed here. we could have a very damaged fetus.
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>> sonny, you actually think the hospital has made the right decision. >> yeah, i do. and i think we're all working on the wrong premise here. i'd like to note that all men are sitting here discussing this. and in the piece, all men sitting and discussing this. since i'm the only one with a uterus on this panel, i think i've got it right. bottom line is, i am certain, anderson, that this woman may have had these discussions about not wanting to be on life support. but i am also certain that the discussion was never had that if she were carrying a baby should she be placed on life support. and as a mother of two, as a woman, i am certain that this is something that this woman would likely have wanted. you're not reading from the ethical standpoint but projecting into what you believe she would want -- >> that's about a woman's right to self-determine. it's about a woman's right to self-determine, mark. >> let me just say something here. i do not have a uterus. >> that's right. >> i'll say that at the outset. >> that's right.
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>> however, as the professor's just said, ethically this law makes no sense. i'm going to go a step further. anybody who reads this law, and if they get this into a courtroom they're going to be -- the hospital is going to lose. she is dead. clearly under the law, under any state in the united states, she is dead. they cannot torture this law into saying that you're going to keep her alive because you can't bring her back to life. so this is going to end up in a -- my guess will be a federal courtroom. there's going to be a federal judge who's going to say, are you guys smoking something. unplug it. it's a done deal. >> sonny, brain-dead is dead. you can't be brought back from brain-dead. >> anderson, where you have a situation where you are unclear about a woman's choices -- >> the family is not unclear. >> i think we are unclear as to her choices. because again, while the discussion may have been had about life support, i'm certain that this particular scenario
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wasn't discussed. >> i wouldn't be so certain about that. >> i think it wasn't discussed. >> she's a paramedic. >> if there's this murky area then the law should i think step in and let's -- as a medical ethicist i think you can agree, right that, most times families want to keep the child. >> sometimes. >> and that is why the law is the way it is written. >> sometimes. but they don't want it if the fetus is damaged. she went without oxygen for a long time. >> that's a real problem. >> and they don't necessarily want it if the fetus is going to be born premature. do you think texas would ever pass a law that said, a man has a living will. and if his wife is pregnant we're going to void it because he has to be a dad? i think there's sexism here. and i think it's basically going to women and saying we're taking your rights away. >> that is absolutely false. >> the whole problem here is that you have confused, and i think a lot of people have confused a vegetative state, a coma, from what we have here which is death. >> the real issue is the woman's right to self-determine. >> she's dead.
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this is not an invasion of the body snatchers. >> this is about her right to self-determine. >> she did have a self-determination. she said don't do this. >> that's where we disagree. and that is where we disagree. >> this is really about your ability to determine for her. >> and that is where we disagree. bottom line is this is a murky issue. and most women, i think, want to keep their babies. most women want to make sure that their babies are protected. we know that this is a woman that had a 2-year-old son that, she loved very dearly. i can't imagine that she would want her baby to be killed. [ overlapping speakers ] >> this what is drives me crazy about sonny. she is dead. she was somebody who was a paramedic. she dealt with end of life issues on a daily basis. >> the husband is a paramedic, too. >> so she would want her baby to die? >> under these circumstances, there are a lot of people who
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might step forward and say, a damaged fetus -- premature. i don't think i want to take that chance. further the husband may be thinking, i'm a single dad. i have another child. they do. they have a 1-year-old. i'm not sure my wife would want to have a child under these conditions. >> and the conditions are that the baby may not be perfect. the baby may not be perfect. >> it's not a baby, it's a fetus. that's not viable. >> texas is saying, you take your chances. we know better than you do how to interpret these risks. >> i don't buy that. >> mark, do you make any distinction between the age of the fetus? >> absolutely. you're at a point right now it's not viable. it's tissue. it's a fetus. >> that's ridiculous! >> it's not viable. >> you have an opportunity to have a 20-week-old fetus in your ut uterus, then you speak to me.
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>> that isn't a logical argument. >> yes, it is. >> all that is is an attack that men can't argue this. that has absolutely no logical basis. the fact is here that she is dead. >> if it was a 26-week-old or 27-week-old. >> you have different issues. if it's viable you have different issues. >> it would change the ethical equation if you had a viable fetus. but again we're back to that situation, i want to stress this. think about the husband. does he want to be a single dad? does he think his wife would brought a child in this way? and are we in a situation where the risk of a harm damaged fetus is so great, i think it's very great, that he says in my view she wouldn't want that. i wouldn't want that. >> this is no longer a woman's right to choose. it's the state's right to choose. >> texas is now choosing. >> let's follow it on twitter. we have to take a break here @andersoncooper. #ac360. up next a disturbing video all over the internet, involving a toddler and obscene language, and what these adults are telling the toddler to say.
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a lot of you saw the video last night are asking where is child protective services in all this? should they step in? can they step in? we'll have the latest on that. the weirdness of the dennis rodman show in north korea. he now leads a stadium full of people in a happy birthday serenade to that country's dictator. that's not all he did. we'll explain.
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disturbing video has gone viral on the internet. it shows a toddler, a little boy wearing only a diaper, trading obscene words, insults and
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profanity with at least two adults who encourage him. him. the video is not easy to watch. here's part of casey wian's report. >> you're a bitch, [ mute ]. you throwing a fit right now, little [ mute ]? [ mute ] you. [ mute ] you. >> the child then flips his middle finger at the camera. >> [ mute ] you, too. >> the toddler who's face was shown in the original video but cnn has obscured exchanges at least 35 swear words with the adults in the one-minute, 23-second video. >> say bitch? say [ mute ] my [ mute ]. >> that's why you can't fight. you're a bitch. >> they discuss sexual matters, even apparent gang affiliations. >> so what hood you from, blood? >> [ mute ]. >> what hood you from? >> say [ mute ] my name three times [ mute ]. >> [ mute ] you.
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>> you a ho [ mute ]. >> you a ho, [ mute ]. >> it's posted on the web site of the omaha, nebraska police station saying they got a tip it was uploaded to a public facebook page a person that posted a local thug. it posted the video because it wants to educate the public about what it calls the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery. one african american leader accuses the union of crossing the line and using racially charged language. however, the police department confirmed to cnn that it has contacted child protective services to investigate the video, and that its own child victims unit is looking into it, as well. we want to talk about this with reba martin, an attorney and children's advocate. great to have you on the program again. obviously what the adults are
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doing in this video is appalling. no one should ever talk like that to a child, get a child to say those things. what do you think? can child protective services actually intervene based on one video? >> absolutely, anderson. we know that child protective services get involved in cases a lot of different ways. there are some individuals who are mandatory reporters such as teachers and police officers. and doctors. but also anyone. a neighbor can make a report to child protective services, and they can do an investigation. they can talk to the parents, they can talk to the adults in this video, the school if this child attends school, his medical providers. anyone that's involved in this child's life can be a part of this investigation for them to determine, is this child being abused or is there a possibility of being abused? and abuse is widely defined. it can be physical and verbal, as well. >> absolutely. they can order the parents to go to parenting classes. they can order that the child not be in the presence or not be cared for by this particular uncle if they believe the uncle
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is not providing a safe environment for the child or is subjecting this child to harm. child protective services has a great deal of latitude, anderson, in keeping children safe. that's its mandate. in this case, it is clear that the adults need help. looks like a family in crisis. it looks like someone needs to step in to make sure this child is safe. >> so how would that work? cps would visit the child's home, then launch an investigation? >> visit the home, visit the home, talk to all the adults that are in this child's life and try to find out what's behind this video. is this an aberration? is this a one-time situation or is this the environment that this child is in on a regular and daily basis? clearly not healthy, not developmentally appropriate for this child to be using this kind of language to be around adults using this kind of language. they can step in and mandate that this child be cared for in a completely different manner and that this child be kept safe. >> for the people from the police union who actually posted this video, do you think -- i
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mean, they should have posted the video? they should have actually just called the police? do you think it was inappropriate for them to label this thuggery? >> this video and the posting of this video, anderson, is just reprehensible. i can't see any value in the police union in posting it. absolutely if they saw it, call child protective services. if your real goal was to help this child, then do something that's going to directly impact the child. it looks like this was a vindictive act on the part of this police union, maybe done to divide this community. we know that there has been issues with african-americans in this community, lawsuits that have been filed. so i can't help but think that there's something else involved in the posting of this. clearly it's not going to help the child or the parents. >> we'll see what happens on the case. reba martin, appreciate you being on as always. there is a lot more happening tonight. susan hendricks has a 360 bulletin. anderson, it was three years ago today that former congresswoman gabrielle giffords was seriously wounded in a mass shooting that killed six others.
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giffords reports that she has regained movement in her right arm and vows to continue fighting for stricter gun control laws. former nba star dennis rodman publicly sang happy birthday to north korean leader kim jong-un at a basketball arena today. in pyongyang. then it appears he bows to kim. it appears he does this despite his reputation. a man rodman calls a friend and a good guy despite his brutal reputation. setting aside vatican protocol yet again, pope francis gave a ride today in the pope mobile to a priest he knows from back home at buenos aires. the priest got a front row view of the crowd gathered in st. peter's square. a mom who says marijuana put her young son's cancer into remission is now fighting to stop the chemotherapy that his doctors say he needs. dr. sanjay gupta has their story and looks at the medical facts. plus the government is cracking down on weight loss products. says these products lure customers with ridiculously misleading claims.
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up to $423. call... today. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? >> in a week-long series "gone to pot" we're looking at colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. retail pot shops are new. medical marijuana has been legal in colorado for more than a decade. pot for medical purposes has wide support. in a new cnn poll we commissioned 88% said it should be legal, medical marijuana. 88% today support the use of medical marijuana compared with 80% back in 2002. some families desperate to get access to medical marijuana actually moved to colorado from other states. the riddle family is just one example.
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they say that medical marijuana saved their little boy's life. and now they're fighting to actually stop the chemotherapy that they say nearly killed their child. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has their story. >> go, landon. go landon! >> reporter: back in september of 2012, 3-year-old landon riddle developed a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes one night. it was likely just a virus, his doctors thought. but the reality ended up being much worse. acute lymphocytic leukemia, all, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. one of the most common cancers in children. it's also one of the most treatable. but the therapy was going to be tough. they started him on chemo but told us that he probably wasn't going to make it, that he only had like an 8% chance to live to 48 hours. >> the chemo made the little boy very sick, nauseated, vomiting, barely able to walk or talk. >> good job. >> reporter: his mother sierra wanted to try anything to help.
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and eventually found medical marijuana. now again, landon is just three years old. they'd come from utah where medical marijuana was not legal, to colorado where it was. and for landon, it seemed to work. he rebounded, able to eat, sleep, just be a kid. but sierra told us something else, something surprising. she believed that the marijuana was healing him. not just from the ravages of chemo but from his cancer as well. >> i think that chemo in combination with cannibis did put him into remission. now cannibis will keep him there. >> to be clear, all is one of the most curable cancers. more than 95% of children go into remission with existing therapies. but still, sierra was so sure of marijuana's healing properties that six months after her son started the treatments, she decided to stop his chemotherapy all together.
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her argument, the chemo was too toxic and the cannibis was not. she said the doctors were stunned at her decision. >> the options were to either voluntarily agree to the chemo and steroid plan for the next three years or to refuse it in which they would take us to court and have it court ordered anyways. and the possibility of them removing landon from my care would come into play at that point. >> how's it going, landon? >> reporter: so riddle found a lawyer willing to take on the case. attorney warren ed sohn. >> it didn't appear she was doing anything wrong other than just being a mom and trying to do what's in the best interests of her kid. >> reporter: in an effort to avoid a court battle, riddle, her mother wendy, and edson met with landon's doctors and child protective services. >> they said they were willing to alter the chemo plan. they're not. they did not do that at all. >> reporter: that's not surprising. while many mainstream doctors do support the use of cannibis to
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offset the side effects of chemotherapy, as things stand now, no doctor would recommend cannibis instead of chemo. myself included. but there is a growing body of promising research. dr. julie holland is the editor of "the pot book." >> it turns out it actually fights the cancer itself. >> you're a doc. you've studied this, talked to the researchers. you're saying marijuana can kill cancer cells. >> i'm saying that and there are many other researchers who are saying that, too. >> we've got lung samples from our treated mice. >> reporter: like san francisco researchers, pierre despre and shawn mcallister. who say they've seen first hand what the cannibis compound or cbd can do. in their lab, they use cbd to kill mice and human cancer cells. we asked the american cancer society what they thought about all of this. and in a statement to cnn, they said "there is no available scientific evidence from controlled studies in humans
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that cannabinoids can cure or treat cancer." even landon's doctor who prescribed his marijuana and is a firm believer in medical cannibis is cautious about this. >> sierra has decided to stop the chemotherapy for landon. and as a doctor who has seen his progress, is that something you would be on board with, that you recommend? >> as a physician again, i'm not sure that i could recommend that to a parent, to say -- i can't say to them, i know that the cbd is a treatment that can work and you don't need the chemotherapy. >> for the time being, sierra riddle is afraid of losing her son, so she is allowing chemotherapy once a month. she's still also trying to find an oncologist willing to take landon off the chemo. so far she's had no luck. >> faster. >> faster? >> reporter: but sierra and her mother aren't giving up. >> i want landon to know that we did everything in our power to be compassionate in his care and to protect him.
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i want him to know that we were willing to go to bat. he's a 3-year-old child. >> reporter: we did reach out to children's hospital a number of times. so far they've declined to discuss landon's care. and meanwhile, riddle says she and his doctors are still at odds over his treatment, but they point out it's been nine months since he's had significant chemotherapy treatments and he remains cancer free. anderson? >> i've heard a lot of people treating chemo-induced nausea with marijuana. that's not what we're talking about, right? these people are saying the pot actually cured cancer. >> reporter: in this little boy's case that is how it started, that the medical marijuana could be used to help alleviate some of the ravages of the chemotherapy. then that's where sierra, his mother, and the lawyer took it a
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step further saying they believe it can actually treat the cancer itself, and they should forego chemo for this cannibis. nobody agrees with them. i think most doctors, myself included, don't think that's the right idea because there is good treatments that exist. but you're right. that is where a lot of this research is headed. could cannibis actually treat the cancer. >> the american cancer society though says there's no evidence for this at all. yeah. they want the evidence. they want the actual clinical trials where you look at patients who have cannibis treatments and those who don't and compare them. those types of trials don't exist. again with all, this particular type of cancer, the treatments, anderson, 95% of the kids go into remission. so you wouldn't probably treat something against a gold standard therapy like what already exists. >> in your documentary "weed" cannibis was used to treat epilepsy. is there more of a scientific consensus around that? >> reporter: around the world in many countries, there's a pretty good consensus. studies that have looked at this and using cannibis to treat epilepsy, that idea has been around for a long time. i will share with you in the united states now within the next few weeks a clinical trial is going to start in this country using essentially a
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marijuana plant extract to treat the type of epilepsy like you saw in our documentary. so that's going to be a first in this country. and remember, part of the difficulty is that we still think of cannibis, marijuana in this country, as a schedule one substance, meaning it's highly addictive and has no medicinal applications. so to test something medicinally is an important step here. >> all right, we'll watch. sanjay gupta, thank you. >> thank you. up next, the fda cracks down on some popular diet company it says are making promises they simply can't keep. we'll tell you which diets do not deliver. also the cold weather trick that blew my mind apparently inspired copy cats including one that landed us on the ridiculist tonight. [ male announcer ] this is the story
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red if you're one of the millions of people who's resolved to lose weight this year you should know about this. the federal trade commission has charged four companies with deceptive advertising related to their weight loss products. just how bold are some of the claims? one commercial for a product called sensa tells viewers to quote, simply sprinkle sensa on, eat all the foods you love and watch the pounds come off. a lot of people apparently followed this plan. documents show sensa raked in $364 million in profits between 2008 and 2012. senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joins me tonight. >> so elizabeth, what exactly were these products claiming to do? >> these products in many ways, anderson, were claiming to do magic. for example, one of them, sensa, was saying that if you sprinkle this product on your food that you would feel fuller faster and therefore would lose weight. another product said if you just rubbed this lotion, this cream on your body you would lose inches.
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so the ftc says there's no science behind any of this. >> how is it that these products were on the market for years before the ftc finally caught up with them. i feel like i go in some of those vitamin and nutrition stores and see all these supplements. is anybody really regulating this stuff? >> the ftc does regulate. but just as you said they are everywhere. so the ftc really can't keep up with every single product that's making a crazy weight loss claim. that's one reason. the other reason is that let's say they do pick a product they are going to go after like they did today. it takes years of legal back and forth before they can find them. while they're doing this legal back and forth with the company they can still make these claims on their products. >> it's crazy to me like how many supplements are out there making all these claims. why can't the ftc hire more people? what happens to them now? >> what happens to them now is that they've been fined. these fines are huge. millions and millions of dollars. and what's interesting is they can still sell the products, they just now can't make the
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claims that they will give you this incredible weight loss. >> elizabeth, thanks very much. >> thanks. >> huge profits, though, they've already made no matter what the fine is. all right get -- let's get caught up on some other stories. a judge wide licon democrated for sentencing a former high school teacher to a month behind bars for raping a 14-year-old girl says he will retire at the end of this year. g. todd baugh says he is not leaving the bench because of that controversy. utah refuses to recognize same-sex marriage. the supreme court blocked that ruling on monday to allow the state to appeal. officials say more than 1,000 marriage licenses were issued before the injunction. as many as 22 deaths in five states are blamed on that storm that turned most of the country into frigid misery. today millions of americans woke up to slightly warmer weather by saturday across the country most highs will be at or above average temperatures.
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and winter storms in europe are giving the surfers a gift. check it out. off the coast of ireland, spain, france, also portugal. world-class athletes are flocking to the hot spots to chase the so-called black surf. >> susan, thanks. "the ridiculist" is next.
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tonight i want to draw your attention to some of the neat stuff that can happen when it gets super cold. for instance the things stephanie elam showed us earlier this week. >> i saw this last night for the first time. blew my mind. we've got some hot water for you. let's see if it works right now, anderson, live tv, here we go. >> that's crazy. >> reporter: it has to be really hot. it has to be really really hot. if you do that then you get the mist. unbelievable little science project. >> that is crazy. we had her repeat it about 20 times. i was obsessed with it. if there's one thing i've learned for every cool little science project there's always some guy who thinks what would happen if i took a whiz right now. the following gentleman took that idea and went full stream ahead. >> peeing in minnesota when it's freezing cold out. negative like 17. okay [ laughter ] >> oh, my gosh. ah! >> dude, it's turning into fog. this is pee snow.
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>> oh, my gosh! that is so weird. >> what the [ mute ]. >> do you see it like fogging? >> i don't believe that's real. i just frankly do not believe that's real. i think he had a hidden water bottle, some yellow colored water. i'm no expert on how urine behaves in extreme cold. in the video there, there was some snowy fog. but a lot of liquids seemed to hit the ground. so we turned to who else a particle physics professor at columbia university. professor ryan cole explains that when hot water is thrown, the fog results from water that has evaporated freezing the air. not all of the water evaporates. much of it reaches the ground because the larger drops take much long for freeze. he could conclude that the same thing could happen with the gentleman doing that. some water vapor that has evaporated from the stream which is at body temperature and therefore quite high will freeze producing the fog while the remainder of the stream will hit the snow.
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this was after professor cole politely noted this is a bit outside his area of expertise as a physicist. we looked at his web site which states that one of the goals at his research is manifestation of the phase from ordinary matter to a matter in which quarks and gluons become defined. we would like to sincerely thank him for taking a break from that to answer our question about when we go weewee into the cold. i think we all learned something tonight on the ridiculist. what, i'm not exactly sure. i hope you enjoyed the program. we'll see you again one hour from now, 10:00 p.m. eastern. thanks for watching.
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and andrew sullivan, founder of the dish. and mikayla angela davis, jeff a toobin and davis gergen. and i want to start out with chris christie, the republican favorite for president, according to the earliest polling. e-mail and text messages linking his top aides to what is a bizarre case of political