tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 2, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
choose which amendments you want to enforce, nor can you choose how you interpret any single amendment based on the underlying politics of a case. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us. all in with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york and happy new year. i'm chris hayes. as a winter storm bears down on much of the country this evening, we begin with some very good news from the coldest place on earth. >> the first of the helicopters to take us home! >> thanks, everyone! >> this incredible rescue today of 52 scientists, journalists, and tourists, all part of a month-long research trip to study changes in antarctica's environment over the last hundred years, including what role global warming has played over that time period. because of a blizzard, their ship had been stuck in what is basically a sea of ice since christmas eve.
now, for anyone with any sense, you think, fantastic. i'm so glad they were rescued. but for the american right wing, you instead thinking it's a great opportunity to point and laugh about the hoax called global warming. because, you know, ice. >> the ship sent to the a antarctic to study climate change that be stranded in the ice for ten days. rescuers finally got through using a whopping helicopter that landed on the surprisingly thin ice. they're all out. so it looks like we're looking at global cooling. >> the prospect of air quote global warming scientist was too rich with mockable goodness for the right's leading intellectual likes. donald trump tweeted, this very expensive global warming bull [ bleep ] has got to stop! our planet is freezing. record low temps. and our global warming scientists are stuck in ice. the right wing had a field day, pointing and laughing at the
global warming believers, who just to be clear, are only a group of scientists risking their lives for no monetary gain and little glory in order to help save the planet. it truly was a new year's gift of faux irony for the denialists. and that it coincides perfectly with their annual tradition of snow-trolling makes it all the better. >> there's snowfall on the ground in all 50 states. it's tough to make an argument when the evidence is all around us with a snowy white wonder in a crystal cathedral. >> you have windchills below zero. you're not going to convince those people they're in the middle of global warming. >> it's the most severe winter storm in years. >> get it? it's cold! where's your al gore now? >> that's why i feel bad for al gore. >> 63% of the country is now covered in snow. and it's breaking al gore's heart! >> i wonder where al gore is this morning? that global warming is really taking the its toll, isn't it? >> reporter: of course, no one ever said that climate change
meant it wouldn't ever be cold. even in the most overdramatic climate change nightmare conceived by liberal hollywood, the end came not from hot, but from cold. a giant snow hurricane, a snurricane. and yet, here we are. this willful stupidity is backed by a lot of money. groups spent $1 billion a year to fight action on climate change. $1 billion to fight a group of people who delight being on the wrong side of history. >> president obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans. and to heal the planet. my promise is to help you and your family. >> reporter: in 2006, 59% of republicans believe that there is solid evidence the earth is warming. less than a decade later, that number has dropped to just 50%.
there is an entire industry that exists to feed its viewers and readers with contempt and ridicule for not only the basic science of climate change, but even for the people who toil in obscurity, risking their lives to avert genuine misery and disaster for millions of people. and that industry controls one of our two parties. >> joining me now is michael mann, professor of meteorology at penn state university. also author of "the hockey stick and the climate wars: dispatches from the front line." and michael, you are someone who was targeted for destruction, because you are a climate scientist, by this industry that includes big-money activists, and also just this bizarre, strange underworld of climate trolls, which are the kind of people when drudge links to an article, fill the article with 5,000 comments about what a hoax it was. what was it like to be in their crosshairs? >> well, you know, it isn't what i signed up for when i decided
to get a degree in applied math and physics and go on to study climate science. i didn't realize that i would be at the center of a widespread attack, an effort to undermine the credibility of not just me, but my scientific colleagues in a cynical effort to discredit concern for climate change. and so, unfortunately, it's part of the job description, if you're a climate scientist today. >> and it wasn't just in your case that they rtried to discredit your research funding. they tried to personally fire you. they tried to end your career. >> that's right. and if they hadn't done all of that, i wouldn't have had a book to write about it, in which i describe these amazing experiences that i've had as a completely, you know, accidental and unintended public figure. i've become a public figure in this larger debate over climate change, because of this iconic graph that my colleagues and i published a decade and a half
ago. and that has put me at the center of the larger debate about climate change, but it's also given me an opportunity, hopefully, to try to inform this increasingly poisonous discourse that we have over this issue. >> speaking of poisonous discourse, i'm going to stump you right here. how can there be snow when there's global warming? >> well, you know, we climate scientists actually have a technical term for this phenomenon. it's called winter. and you know, we're going to continue to have cold days in winter. that's weather. but if you take a step back and you look at the larger picture, which is what climate change is, it's the larger picture, you see that over the last decade, we've had twice as much extreme heat as extreme cold here in the u.s. if you go back a year, we have just set the warmest -- the record for the warmest year ever here in the u.s. a month ago, we set the record for the warmest november the globe has ever seen. and as i speak to you today, and
down under, in australia, they're experiencing a record heat wave. they have just announced that they had the warmest year that they've ever had. so it's that larger context. that's climate change. and that's global warming. >> can you explain to me, finally, what this antarctica expedition was about, and what is going on with the ice in antarctica? i've seen the people that occupy this strange nether region of internet climate or hoax or trolls talk about the fact that there's actually more ice in antarctica. what's going on down there? >> it's another amazing observation. it's cold in antarctica, it's cold down there. and you know, there are some interesting scientific questions about what happens to sea ice in the periphery of antarctica. it's actually a subtle problem. because you can actually build up more sea ice when the oceans warm up, and there's more moisture in the air over the ocean, over the overlying air, you can actually get more ice. and the climate models actually
predict more sea ice over antarctica, was that's a small increase. and you contrast that with, you know, more than a 50% decline in arctic sea ice, which is the real problem, because there's a very large trend that's taking us in a direction where we will see the disappearance of the arctic sea ice environment in a matter of decades, if we continue on this course. >> although on the upside, we'll be able to drill for oil there, so everything's coming out swimmingly. climate scientist michael mann, thank you very much. joining m ining me now, sam ced eric boulder, media matters. i'm fascinated by the phenomenon of the fact that the right has managed to take this big money, this infrastructure of an industry that wants to destroy any attempt to deal with problem and inculcate this world of people who are just, apparently, average joes, who spend their time in the comment section of every article every published.
what is the deal with this subculture on the right of global warming paranoid conspiracy theories. >> it's using the media as a megaphone. rush limbaugh today talking about, you know, how are the packers going to play in wisconsin in january, it's so cold, therefore there's no climate change or global warming. again, as mr. mann just said, we still have winter. it still gets cold in wisconsin. but, yeah, this is part of a larger movement, sort of anti-science. a recent poll came out, fewer and fewer conservatives believe in evolution. these are the people who said the polling from 2012 wasn't going to be accurate, mitt romney was going to win in a landslide. so we're seeing the big money effort, the political effort, and the media effort, rush limbaugh repeating this over and over, no matter how dopey it is. yes, we still have winter >> but it has been successful, sam, in creating this world. drudge has been incredibly powerful, i think, in this. drudge has a thing about climate hoaxism. and he has been leading the
charge. >> part of -- all they have to do, right, is add a question. and that is the strategy, the same strategy the tobacco industry had when it came to the dangers of tobacco. >> and it worked for 30 years. they delayed about -- >> because that's all you really need. is there a question? is this something that is debatable? this plays into a bunch of sort of different conservative, i guess, ideological strains. the idea that if the notion that if each individual functions in their own best interests, society and, tiheoretically, th environment will do better. and of course, climate change debunks that. it also attacks the notion that as a communal effort, we can do something. so there's a lot of sort of strands to this, that the conservative movement does. and ultimately, it is just, again, like a lot of other conservative issues, just sort of rationalizations for corporate interests. >> red state's erick erickson got theological today. the difference between -- this is his actual tweet. the difference between the
people who believe in the second coming of gee u.s. and those who believe in global warming is that jesus will return. >> and to tie it into the politics, the important thing is, there are members of the republican party who aren't laughing about this, they regurgitate it. >> i would say a majority of the republican caucus, i mean, a majority, if you take the house caucus -- and i'm not saying grandstanding for gain. i think privately, actually believe this nonsense. here's congressman john flemming from louisiana. this is his tweet today. "global warmingi insn't so warm these days." i think this is an actual belief of these people. i don't think they're even putting it on for political purposes. >> i think you're right. so it would be kind of funny if fox news did this and limbaugh did this, but it has real-life implications. >> absolutely. >> and darrell issa last month, he wasn't having a hearing on global change, but he was saying someone who didn't like the answer, you need to watch more fox news. that's where you need to get your information. >> part of this project, too, is
there a fundamental desire for conservatism to be anti-science. if you get rid of science, there's a whole cascading impact as to what government can do and based on what. it allows everybody to have their own set of facts here. and i think also, part of it is, if they think it gets liberals goats, on some level. >> that's part of it too. >> part of the strange mural world of climate on the right, i think. in some ways, i think they end up in right-wing outlets, covering the issue more than we do in liberal outlets. it is sexier and more fun to mock and to say, oh, look at this! than to be like, we are so screwed, america! i don't want to start the show that way. >> it's much easier to have a conversation with somebody and say, look out your window, there's no climate change. you need a bigger date to set than a weekend. >> but they are on this beat in a way that -- i would say even the mainstream media isn't, eric. you guys count this up over at
media matters. and i think the numbers bear out the fact that actually, in some ways, the mainstream media has been largely absent from this while the right has devoted themselves to pushing this. >> no, media matters detailed, particularly, "the new york times" has taken a rather dramatic step backwards. and just environmental coverage, and this falls under that. this is one of the red meat beats. when it snows, you make fun of global change. and it gets a response and everyone laughs on fox news. and the beauty is, you know, unlike the election, where everyone knew the next day they were wrong about the polling, this goes on for decades and decades, and they don't have to be held accountable, other than common sense. >> that is exactly the problem. >> yeah, it's a freebie. it's a freebie until it isn't, though. i think one of the things you see is the inversion of this, when summers do hit, right? when you have the wildfires you have in colorado, there are more and more weather events on the warm side that are -- that seem directly related to the fact that the overall climate is warming. and it does, i think, get harder and harder for people to, you
know, not believe they're line. >> i think so, but the argument is one that is rather nuanced. it's statistical. you know, what are the chances that this is going to happen that many more times. you know, it's increased and it increases more and more each year. that's a much harder case to make, to a layperson, then there's snow there. >> sam seder, eric bole hrt, thank you very much. coming up next, what obamacare looks like in living color, ahead. is back. which means it's never been easier to get a new 2014 jetta. it gets an impressive 34 highway mpg and comes with no charge scheduled maintenance. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. sign. then drive. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends
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i spent a lot of time on this show, talking about poverty. about the throngs of folks who are being directly impacted by cuts to the social safety net and a sustained assault by conservatives this our political class. it's important to hear from the americans going through it right now, the ones at the ground level. meet sam vance. sam is a dedicated "all in"
viewer, frequent contributor on twitter. on monday, just two days before the new year, sam received an eviction notice. that eviction notice came right before his electricity was almost shut off. sam is sharing his experience on a site he's called poor blog, documenting my sad, strange, tragic odyssey as a poor person in cincinnati, ohio. check it out at samispoor.blogspot.com. there are literally tens of millions of more stories like his. thanks. stay tuned. [ coughs, sneezes ] [ sniffles ] i have a big meeting when we land, but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope. they don't have a decongestant. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast-acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ inhales deeply ] alka seltzer plus. oh. what a relief it is. [ male announcer ] can't find theraflu, try alka seltzer plus for fast liquid cold and flu relief.
remember this one? i can't remember when i first saw it, actually. it might have been when scott brown was elected to the sfaena right in the middle of the health reform debate. or maybe after the president's first miserable debate performance of 2012 campaign, when suddenly everybody was declaring his hopes for a second term dead. it's hard to say. but president obama in his relatively short career in politics has had his political obituary written time and time again. from the early primary analysis in 2007, when the pundit class saw just no way for him to beat hillary clinton, to the scott brown special election, to the tea party congress in 2010, to that rough spell after the first debate in 2012. but time and time again, when things have looked bleak, he has always pulled off whatever it was nobody thought he'd be able to pull off. today, it's starting to look like obamacare is the ultimate example of that pattern playing out. two months ago, obamacare was a massive, flaming disaster. and not just in that special fox news hysteria way, it was
actually a disaster. a completely broken, smoldering ruin, which you can learn about even on the regular old la lamestream media. >> reporter: in the first months, only 110,000 americans signed up. >> tonight the numbers are finally out, and they confirm the new health insurance program is in big trouble. just 27,000 people have enrolled on the federal website, healthcare.gov. >> the numbers tell a grim story, frighteningly enrollment. barely enough people to fill one football stadium. >> that was the story of obamacare in november. but now, it is working. with enrollment in private plans up from about 100,000 in those first dark days of implementation in october, to more than double that in november, to more than 1.7 million in december. altogether, when you add in folks who are newly eligible for medicaid and the under 26 crowd, now covered on their parent's plans, you get about 9 million plus people who have coverage
today because of obamacare. and as of yesterday, that is a real, tangible thing for all of those 9 million people. after a years-long political fight, after so many near-death experiences, millions of people now have this thing called obamacare. and they're using it, right now. and kathy hornboch of tucson, her insurance of obamacare took effect yesterday and she's already scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist. she said, quote, i've had some heart palpitations and my mom's side has a history of heart problems starting early. so it's mostly just to double czech that everything is okay. this is a very happy day. so here is my read of the white house's reaction right now. i would expect you guys to be doing a victory lap, to be banging the drum about the fact that you came back from what looked like a near-death experience, and yet what i've heard from the white house seems muted. and it makes me wonder what you guys are worried about happening
next. >> i worry just listening to your interesting about the near-disaster. it was sobering just to get a flashback on that. look, we're very happy about the enrollment numbers. they're terrific. and that's a great day for america. these are the kind of numbers that make america a better place. and so the fact that so many people wanted insurance, not because they faced a penalty, because no one did right now, but because they wanted insurance, and more than 2 million people came to the exchange, is terrific. what we're focused on is to make every day as good as yesterday and today have been. there were a lot of apprehension about people having problems at doctor's office, at pharmacies, gaps with insurance companies. we had a very good day yesterday. we had a very good day today. thanks to, basically, every pharmacy in the country, cvs, walgreens, walmart, riteaid, krogers, the small town, independent pharmacist, they're all working to make this
transition as smooth as we can. but, just to finish the thought, when we get to tomorrow, we have no guarantee it will be like today. that's our focus. we want to make this transition go as well as it can for every american. >> i want to clear up, in case folks aren't tracking this particularly, right? the worry is specifically that people show up at a doctor's office or a pharmacy, saying, hey, i got obamacare. i went to healthcare.gov, i signed up and got confirmation, and they are not in the system. and i think that worry is compounded, i would like to hear your thoughts on this, by the fact that the right and republicans and the mainstream media so trumpeted the individual stories of a few canceled plans and created such an absolute storm around that. you're worried that the same thing could be re-run with a few anecdotes of people having problems. >> absolutely, chris. we prepared for yesterday, because as you remember, just a week ago, there were a lot of stories talking about how january 1st could be a disaster.
yesterday wasn't a disaster thanks to the insurance companies, thanks to the pharmacies, thanks to the hospitals, thanks to doctors. today wasn't a disaster. but every year, health plans go through this transition, people switch. and every year, there are problems. so we're working very hard to make sure it's as smooth as possible, that people don't fall through the cracks. if somebody has a problem, they don't think they're insured, they should call their insurer. if that doesn't work, we have an 800-number. we have people standing by, 24 hours a day. it's 1-800-318-2596. >> phil, you worked on this, you were one of the chief architects of the legislative strategy to get this passed. you were working, i imagine, hundred-hour weeks to get this passed. you left the white house, you basically got pulled back in, like some sort of gangster movie. you couldn't get out. you're back in the white house. do you ever wonder, like, i'm going to be 85 years old, defending the freaking affordable care act from the
people who are trying to destroy it? >> that's not what's going to happen, chris. look, you remember, because you follow everything so closely. when civil rights legislation was passed, it was very controversial. and we went through a wrenching period in our history. nobody looks back and says it was the wrong thing to do. that's exactly what's going to happen with the affordable care act. millions of people are now in the program. and what people aren't paying much attention to is that the historic nature of yesterday. yesterday was the first day, going forward, women won't be discriminated against, because they're women when they face premiums. if you're a roofer or a house painter, or anybody has a tough, physical job, you can no longer being discriminated against, just because of your job. if you're a cancer patient, your insurance company can't come to you and say they're not going to cover your cancer treatment. nobody can be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions. and nobody, going forward, can have a lifetime cap on benefits. that is an enormous change in america, and it's a change for
the better. so when i think about being 80 years old and having to defend this, i don't think that's going to happen. because i think, as more and more people sign on, and that's what we're seeing, now that we've reached the point where we have millions of americans in the program, other people understand, this is a good product. it's something they should join in on. >> phil schiliro, i appreciate your time. thanks so much. >> it was a pleasure. thanks so much and happy new year. >> you too. all right. coming up, this is what's going on right now in colorado. >> reporter: the shoppers like this better than the street dealer. at times, it even looked a little like wine tasting. >> that's kind of like a combination of dirty socks and laundry soap. >> reporter: i did say, kind of like wine tasting. >> shopping for marijuana, legally. is this the second repeal of prohibition in america? more on that, ahead.
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we were misled, that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that. and that was ascertained that that was not the fact. and the american people could have known that within days. and they didn't know that. >> with all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead americans. was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some americans? what difference, at this point, does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.
>> that was then secretary of state hillary clinton testifying before the senate foreign relations committee about the september 11th, 2012 attacks on u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya, that killed four americans. that exchange centered on the motivation of the attackers. now, the year 2013 saw multiple congressional hearings on benghazi and an entire cottage industry of conspiracy-laden coverage, mostly, but not exclusively, from fox news. the benghazi scandal industry grew so large and self-perpetuating that unless you devoted yourself full-time to it, you could easily lose track of what the latest iteration of the scandal was. but keep in mind, the beginning of the whole thing went like this. the u.s. mission was attacked. the u.s. government initially said it was essentially a spontaneous protest inspired by an american-made anti-muslim video. that was basically the story u.s. ambassador to the u.n., susan rice, told when she appeared on five sunday news shows. and rice, ultimately had to
withdraw her name as a potential candidate for secretary of state, because she had, according to the right wing, gone out and lied to the american people. never mind that she was reciting talking points that had been created by the cia without her input, as far as we can tell. well, when the right started beating its drum over benghazi and saying is it was a cover-up, the bedrock contention was this. the obama administration claimed the attack was in response to the anti-muslim video, but really, it was an attack by al qaeda. critics said the administration didn't want us to know that america was still under threat from al qaeda terrorists, because the president is soft on terrorism. and nothing would stop critics from saying that the president misled the american people, even this moment. >> you said in the rose garden, the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you're saying reque insaying? >> please proceed, governor.
>> i want to make sure we get that for the record. because it took the president 14 days before the president called the attack in benghazi an act of terrorism. >> he did, in fact, call it an act of terror. >> can you say that again? >> they couldn't take down president obama, but the benghazi grew and sprouted new accusations and theories. >> before benghazi, there were plenty of calls for help that were unheeded by people at the highest levels of the state department. people that report directly to hillary clinton. >> c-110 had the ability to be there, in my opinion, in four to six hours, from their european theater, to react. >> they would have been there before the second attack? >> they would have been there before the second attack. >> doug ross plants that valerie jarrett gave the orders to stand down in benghazi. >> i would like to know, did she pass out and hit her head? was she pushed? how did she hit her head and get
a concussion? >> but i have obtained 12 different versions of those talking points that shows is that they were dramatically edited by the administration. >> he started walking towards me. >> and as he was coming closer -- >> as i got closer, i just hit him with the butt of the rifle in the face. >> and? >> he went down, yeah. >> he dropped? >> yeah, like a stone. >> and each of these, unless you're a full-time expert covering this day in and day out, have to be debunked, which they were, leading to kbaur embarrassing moments for mainstream journalists. but now here comes david kirkpatrick in a stunning, multi-part piece, absolutely taking a sledgehammer to the central cornerstone that the entire benghazi cathedral of scandal is built on. >> months of investigation, you write, by "the new york times" centered on extensive interviews with libyans in benghazi, who had direct knowledge of the attack there, and its context, turned up no evidence that al
qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault. the attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from nato's extensive air power and logistic support during the uprising against colonel gadhafi. and contrary to claims by some members of congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an american-made video, denigrating islam. so the al qaeda connection and the video, two key points. how do you know it wasn't al qaeda? >> well, i don't think i'm out on a limb there. i think, honestly, if you asked anybody in the u.s. intelligence business, they would tell you the same thing. >> do you realize what he just said there? do you realize what he just said? the entire scandal that started, which was about this actually being al qaeda and then being covered up, and the idea that the spontaneous reaction to a video was a ridiculous fib, the president had concocted to cover himself from the fact that he allowed americans to be killed, that both those things were
true. the benghazi scandal industry has ruined people's lives. it has wasted untold government resources and attention. it has led news agencies to chase themselves. it has fed all kinds of ridiculous posturing and hysteria. it has led to confusion about the actual problems and solutions thereto. and now, finally, as we begin the new year of 2014, now, finally, it is time to say good-bye, r.i.p. benghazi scandal. there is nothing left. yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! would you like apple or cherry? cherry. oil...or cream? definitely cream. [ male announcer ] never made with hydrogenated oil. oh, yeah. [ male announcer ] always made with real cream. the sound of reddi wip is the sound of joy.
we're gonna be late. ♪ ♪ ♪ oh are we early? [ male announcer ] commute your way with the bold, all-new nissan rogue. ♪ how colorado's legalization of marijuana will impact that state and the rest of the u.s. ahead. but first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today. we begin in the netherlands where the dutch are making fun of olag. this collage of photos recently published in a dutch newspaper, a 2013 perspective of france's
prime minister, francois hollande, and apparently none of them want anything to do with him. never, ever, ever getting back together, like ever. no love, so sad. but, alas, an investigation by the french version of "the huffington post" reveals there was never any snubbing at all. they report almost all of these images were, indeed, taken a split second before contact, francois hollande grasped the hand held out to him. as you can see here with iranian president rouhani. now with that mystery solved, we eagerly await for the "huffington post" investigation of tom brady getting iced. the second awesomest thing to come to us from you tube, and it's a stark reminder of the real world danger faced by our nation's delivery people. this is a u.p.s. man being faced around a fedex truck by a wild turkey. >> look at that! the turkey's chasing the fedex guy. >> oh, my god!
[ laughing ] >> okay, so laugh it up, people, after a while, they had to feel bad for the guy and had to wonder what kind of people would point and laugh at a person going through such a traumatic experience. we found out at the end of the video. >> oh, there he goes! >> he's got the idea. turn tail on him. >> what'd he do? >> chased him. >> wait, what, a bunch of doctors?! you guys leave a person on the surgery table to go make fun of those guys. thanks, obamacare. if you're not familiar with readit.com, it's the one with 56 billion page views in 2013. why are so many people flocking to readit. because there's gold. case in point. my boss brings her dog to work. recently we've been reenacting scenes to movies. a guy with a little bit of extra time on his hands remaking the greatest romantic moments in cinematic history with his boss' dog. apparently it started with the
"titanic." the real winners were the "mrs. robinson" pose from "the graduate," the birthday cake on the table scene from "16 candles," no one puts beagle in the corner from "dirty dancing," and the kissing from "spider-man." and this tenor moment from brokeback mountain well done. and the notebook, where it starts to get, okay, i think we're done here. you can find all the links for tonight's click three on our website, allinwithchris.com. this is for you.
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love it or hate it, history has been made. the world is watching, and colorado is officially america's cannabis capital. >> it's like 1928 all over again, right? >> reporter: in their eyes, prohibition is over. >> we really truly are making history today. >> all right. as far as we can tell, yesterday marked the first time in the history of the world that people were table to walk into a store and buy marijuana that is 100% legal. okay, well not 100%. technically, marijuana is still rather illegal under federal law. but you would not know it from the scene yesterday in colorado, where people stood in long lines, in the cold, to be among the first to purchase pot for recreational use, that was grown, supplied, and sold all in accordance with state law. the federal government has vowed
not to challenge the law, as long as the state prevents out of state distribution and use by minors, among other factors. it amounts to the most liberal marijuana regime in the world, ever. and here's how it works. state residents can walk into a licensed store and buy up to an ounce, which incidentally, is a lot of marijuana, to anyone over age 21. all they need to do is show an i.d. out-of-state residents can buy up to a quarter ounce, which they must consume in the state, and that actually isn't all that easy. it is illegal to smoke in public and against the rules in many hotels, which has left some tourists to, quote, find a parking lot and roll up the car windows. in general, though, the process of buying pot in colorado isn't all that different than buying wine anywhere else. a lot of different varieties for sale and knowledgeable employees on hand to explain them all. and while there are still a lot of questions to be answered as colorado embarks on one of the most incredible social policy experiments of our lifetime, this may be just the first
domino to fall. it will soon be legal to buy and use marijuana recreationally in washington state. and efforts to legal ize it are underway around the country. it will lead to $67 million colorado will take in tax revenue for marijuana sales just this year. yesterday marked a singular inflection point in the history of the war on drugs and the rise of america as the nation in the world most intent on imprisonening its own citizens. there's everything that happened before legalization and everything that will happen now. it's the second day of an entirely new era. joining me now to talk about is jack finwatch, chief legal counsel to john hickenlooper. and i imagine you are in really uncharted territory here. how have the first two days gone? >> well, chris, the first two days have been really excellent. we've had long lines. we've had regulators out visiting the stores. we've had state and local governments involved.
we've got really responsible business owners, who want to follow the rules. it's been a very responsible first two days. >> so who is selling this marijuana? i'm a little unclear as to who are the folks that have these businesses and how are they regular utilite regulated? >> these are folks who have already had really well-established medical marijuana growth facilities and medical marijuana dispensaries in colorado over the past several years. these are the kind of people that i have gotten to know that will remind you of people you've met when you've visited napa wineries or craft breweries or distilleries. these are young, entrepreneurial type folks who are trying to grow a business and who are trying to follow the rules and know if they follow the rules, they will be protected from federal intervention and hopefully thrive. they are people who are hiring coloradans, giving them jobs, obviously, providing a product that some people in colorado want to purchase. >> as someone overseeing the
implementation of this entirely new regulatory regime, what's the thing you fear most? what keeps you up at night? what don't you want to see on your blackberry at 3:00 in the morning? >> colorado allows both this regulated market, the thing that's been the focus over the past few days, the grow operations that are licensed, the infused product manufacturers, the retail stores. but we also allow home grows. we allow people to grow up to six plants in their home. and six plants produces a lot of marijuana. and that is outside of our regulatory scheme. there's no real regulatory oversight of those plants. so there is a risk, i think, of those plants being the source of black market marijuana, both in-state and out of state. >> yeah, is that -- that leakage issue, this is a tweet from the wyoming highway patrol that caught my eye today, all caps, so you know they're serious. do not bring your colorado-purchased marijuana into wyoming. if you start to get that kind of
leakage, is that the kind of thing that you imagine would begin to trigger federal intervention? >> yeah, absolutely. i would hope that our neighboring states won't focus on the tourist who's got a small amount of paraphernalia. but we will work closely with our neighboring states to make sure that cars and trucks are not packed with colorado-grown marijuana for resale in other parts of the country. >> the restriction of the sellers to this group that have already kind of been regulated and was doing this under the medical marijuana, at a certain point, that's going to be lifted. and you're just going to have a marijuana business in the state of colorado, right? >> you know, it's really going to be hard to enter into the marijuana business. we have significant background check requirements, significant licensing and other fees to get into the business. there's residency requirements. to own a business, you have to be a colorado resident for at least two years. and you've got to be a resident to work in the businesses. >> jack finlaw, chief legal
counsel to colorado's governor, thanks so much for your time. >> thanks, chris. >> more on what this looks like and what means for america, ahead. easier to get a new passat, awarded j.d. power's most appealing midsize car, two years in a row. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends january 2nd. for details, visit vwdealer.com today i takbecause you can't beatrning for my frzero heartburn.n. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years.
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and the mail man picks it up. i don't leave the shop anymore. [ male announcer ] get a 4 week trial plus $100 in extras including postage and a digital scale. go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. all throughout denver, marijuana buyers stood in long lines and happily waited hours for their first chance to legally buy, over a counter, instead of in a back alley. >> and nobody's going to jail. that's the cool part. >> joining me now, va nita gupta, legal director of the american civil liberties, and ethan label, director of the drug policy alliance. ethan, you've been working for this day, toward this day, on this issue for, if i am not mistaken, decades. did you ever think you would see the kind of footage we're seeing coming out of colorado? >> well, of course! it was just a matter of time. the question is, when was it actually going to happen? but seeing what happened in
colorado these last couple of days. what's going to happen in washington and uruguay the next few months, i can't say that it was inevitable, was i think time was on our side and people were eventually going to come to their senses about this. >> you know, there are a bunch of states that are targeted by this campaign by 2017. vermont, alaska, maine, nevada. is this going to be like gambling, where you had first one state and then two states and governors and state legislators start to look around and say, wow, they're raising revenue and they don't have to raise people's taxes. that seems kind of nifty. and before you know it, basically, everyone has casinos. >> chris, i think that's exactly what's going to happen. this year, figure that oregon will go next, maybe alaska. 2016, a whole bunch more states the through the ballot initiative process, and then you'll have the other half of the states that don't allow
voters to change the law through the initiative process, especially in new england. as people look around and see the tax revenue collected, as they see police being able to focus on real crime, you'll see that shift. not just in the u.s., but also outside the u.s. that's going to be replicated in other countries as well. >> so vanita, there are two issues here. there is the push for marijuana legalization, which is perceived quite well in public opinion and politically. there is the fact of our war on drugs and mass incarceration. and there is some overlap. do you see a nexus between those two? >> absolutely. i think what's undercovered by the media, what's happening in colorado and washington are actually racial justice victories as well. over 50% of drug arrests in 2010 were for marijuana-related offenses. a huge terrain in the war on drugs is being fought on our marijuana policy. is it the end-all, be-all, absolute not. i want to show this chart, and it comes from a great aclu
report. the racial disparity in marijuana use, and there is essentially no racial disparity in marijuana use. black and white people use marijuana at around the same rates. this is the racial disparity in marijuana arrests, and all of a sudden you see a massive racial disparity in marijuana arrests. >> that's right. in county to county, there was not a county in the nation where the racial disparities were not large. small county, urban county, rural county. all over the country, marijuana arrests are racially disparate. that is why this is coming in the general climate of a changing attitude around the war on drugs. you had the attorney general talking about the problems in the war on drugs and how we've got too many low-level offenders, with too-long prison sentences for these kind of crimes. we are witnessing a change across the country, around drug policy and marijuana policy specifically, but we have a lot of work to do to truly kind of undo the war on drugs. >> that, i think, is the key point in terms of using this as a wedge to do that. and i wanted to read, for both
of you, this david simon quote. he gave this interview and had this contrarian take on it. david simon, the creator of "the wire," who creates the war on drugs, as i do and you both do. he said, having removed much of the white, middle class interaction with drug enforcement from the equation, those who are chaumping marijuana reform and ignoring the overall disaster of the drug war will be perpetuating the fundamental and continuing injustice. ethan, do you worry about that? do you worry about a relatively powerful constituency being removed from the fight to completely get rid of the war on drugs? >> you know, it's a minor concern, but if you look comparatively around the world or elsewhere where there have been reforms like this, i think the concern is overblowing. i think what we're going to see is more and more focus on trying to address the problems of mass incarceration in america. we can't continue having the highest prison rate in the world. you see democratic governors and republican governors saying, it's time for a change. you saw attorney general holder actually going out in colombia last month and giving a speech to foreign security ministers,
in which he said, we can no longer sustain these u.s. policies. so i think we're seeing change ahead. >> ethan nadelmann and vanita, thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts now. the first month that massachusetts did its own version of obamacare, the first month of health reform at the state level, where people were allowed to sign up on their own in massachusetts, state-wide enrollment for coverage in month number was a grand total of 123 people. not 123,000, just 123 people. by the end of the second month in massachusetts, 2,000 people had signed up for health insurance in that state. by the end of the third month, it was 5,000 people who had signed up for health insurance in massachusetts. so it was a very, very slow start, but then it took off. and the massachusetts plan, which is the model for what we