tv Charlie Rose PBS August 1, 2014 12:00am-1:01am EDT
rz welcome to the program. we begin this evening with david ignatius of the "washington post" and the story of the cia director's apology to u.s. senators. >> the core issue here that the cia inspector general was lacking-- looking at was how cea employees learned that senate committee staffers who since 2009 have been preparing a report on cia interrogation practices learned of the fact that senate staffers had a document which has come to be known as the panetta review document when cia officials didn't believe that it formally had been provided to the senate investigators as part of a huge dump of more than a million documents that was given to the investigators. when the cia made the request about where the document had come from, that the senate investigators were inquiring about, a real
standoff between committee chairman diane feinstein and cia director john brennan began. >> we continue this evening with mark lyall grant, the united kingdom's ambassador to the united nations. >> it's clear that the intense negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes may be coming to fruition. and we do hope that there will be agreement by both sides, both by hamas and by israel do the over 72 humanitarian hour pause. but the trick is to use that humanitarian pause if it sticks which previous pauses have not done, to try and sustain a more sustainable cease-fire. by sustainable i mean we have to address some of the underlying causes. this is the third time there has been conflict between israel and gaza in the last six years. it will happen again if we just go back to the status quo. and so what we're trying to do is develop a little bit of space to relieve the humanitarian suffering, which is terrible, but use
that space then to develop a more sustainable cease-fire rz an conclude with andrew rosenthal editor of the editorial page of the "new york times". >> we don't believe smoking pies is a right or drinking alcohol is a right or having cigarette is a right. something has to happen at the federal level. then we had this discussion about should it be decriminalization but nobody could figure out what that really meant so we decided the cleanest and simplest thing is to say repeal the federal law rz right. >> and that's it. rz david ignatius, ambassador mark lyall grant and andrew rosenthal when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the following:. >> there's a saying around here, you stand >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make
excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg. a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> an internal cia investigation has concluded that the agency acted improperly in accessing senate computers. this week cia director john brennan apologized for the breech to leaders of the senate intelligence
committee. the admission follows a long pub-- public feud between the cia and senate, diane feinstein accused the cia in march of tampering with the committee's work. many within the committee believe an apology from mr. brennan was not enough. the senator who serves on the committee says he is concerned about mr. brennan's inability to find any flaws in the agency he leads. joining me now from washington david ignatius of the "washington post". he knows the cia as well as anyone. let me begin with this, david. just explain what they did and what the investigation concluded about the cia and why was it so important that john brennan had to go apologize to these senators. >> the core issue here that the cia inspector general was looking at was how cia employees learned that senate committee staffers who since 2009 have been preparing a report on cia interrogation practices learned of the fact that the senate staffers had a
document which is come to be known as the panetta review document when cia officials didn't believe that it formerly had been provided to the senate investigators as part of a huge dump of more than a million documents that was given to the investigators. when the cia made the request about where the document had come from, that the senate investigators were inquiring about, a real standoff between the committee chairman diane feinstein and cia director john brennan began, it lead to quite bitter exchanges between the two of them. the cia acting general counsel il-- counsel made a referral for what was alleged to be possible criminal activity by the senate staffers in obtaining this document, that's really what the inspector general today was describing as the improper actions. >> will it likely lead to
brennan's resignation? >> the initial response from the white house today from press secretary john earnest was to defend brennan, to say that this had not damaged him. i think we'll have to see how this plays out. in particular, we'll have to see what senator feinstein the leader of the senate committee chooses to do, how far she takes this, how angry she is. part of why this got so hot was that feinstein an brennan clashed personally. and brennan made a public speech, a rare public criticism of the head of his senate oversight committee in which he questioned feinstein's decision to go forward. in effect, made accusations against her staff. that made this all the more personal and bitter. >> but in the end it's really about this report that might-- that's coming forward, so-called panetta report. there's a lot of pushback from the cia about disclosing this. fake us behind the scenes
and explain to us exactly what might come out of this and who said what when. >> the report which is said to total 6,000 pages, a massive study of cia rendition and detention and interrogation, actions during the decade after-- after 2-- september 11th -- 001 but really in the initial years, that report has been waiting declassification. the core issue, charlie, is whether the-- beyond the ethical and moral outrage that i think everybody views interrogation policy as having been, whether there was any utility in the information that was gained through these horrific practices, the senate report goes through 20 specific examples of information that was cleaned from the interrogations. and says in each case, in each of these 20 cases the
information could have been obtained from some other means. in other words, this horrible use of torture was unnecessary for intelligence purposes. the minority report, and i think the cia rejoinder as well will say in the end you have to be agnostic about that, that the way in which the majority report is written is ki of 20/20 hindsight. that you can't know how you would have gotten information in realtime and so we'll try to leave this question at least in intelligence, historical terms unanswered where nator feinstein has a decisive, emphatic answer that not only was this immoral, it was useless. >> this mostly came during the bush administration, i assume, bush 43. it was entirely during the bush administration. the issues that president obama, should be noted, one
of the first things he did when he took office as president 2009 was to formally end the policy of cia interrogation, the use of harsh interrogation methods that already had been banned, but the obama administration shifted to an entirely different approach to interrogation really focusing on the fbi. so in a sense, these issues were dealt with more than five years ago in terms of policy. senator feinstein felt that an honest history, a real accounting was essential to make sure that the u.s. government never again did anything like what was done in the years after 9/11. >> will leaders in high places among our friends and our enemies around the world be surprised by anything in this report? are-- including people like you who write novels about spies an about the cia be surprised by what is in here? >> obviously i haven't read the report. but i've talked to people
who have read every one of those successive pages. and they say that there's some details that were surface. as much as we know about the horrors of these interrogations, these water boarding and other techniques, as much has come out, this will still be disturbing to people. and it will put particular pressure on the country's that hosted so the called black sites, where this interrogation was done. and with respect -- >> will it be released to the public or is it simply for internal archival purposes? >> portions will be released to the public. and just how much is one of the decisions that the white house is still trying to resolve. a declassified version, i was told, could be available for release back to the senate which then has to decide what to do with it. as soon as a week from now. the senate has been trying to decide whether to release it during august or whether
to wait until september when senators are back, and can speak publicly to the issues. again, whether-- how many of those 6,000 pages, how much of the specific detail will be released, we don't know. >> back to the cia and the senate computers. i mean is an argument that the cia will try to make that look, it's not what it sounds like? >> the argument that the cia will make that brennan has already made is that in providing senate investigators access at a secret cia facility in northern virginia to these million plus documents, the cia was trying to be as open as it could. the issue that troubled cia officials was that by their account, when a senate investigator saw this document, came across this document known as the panetta review document, even though it wasn't a formal review by director panetta, they became
concerned that it might be taken back so they made a copy of it. which under the rules of their inquirery they weren't supposed to do. and took that copy with them out of the facility in northern virginia. and that's what lead the cia general counsel il to make a criminal referral to the justice department accusing the senate staffers of having done something terribly wrong. now today the inspector general says the improper actions were by the cia staffers in looking into the senate investigators' computeheer-- computers and finding out they had this document. >> this is either an incredible story or i'm incredibly naive or both. >> what senator feinstein would say if she was on your show tonight is i feel that it's essential for our country's future to tell this story in every gruesome detail so that we don't ever repeat it. but it is-- it is, given all of the things happening in
the world, that this is such a focus for our intelligence director, john brennan and his colleagues is pretty amazing. >> david, thank you. david ignatius from washington. back in a moment, stay with us. sir mark lyall grant is here, the united kingdom's 578 was door to the united nations. he served in that role since 2009. the u.k. takes on the rotating presidency of the security council for the month of august. the conflict in gaza remains front and center, also of deep concern, continued violence in eastern ukraine and the threat posed by the islamic state in iraq and syria. i'm very pleased to have sir mark lyall grant back at this table. welcome. >> thank you very much, indeed. >> what can you tell me about what might be going on in terms of negotiations with respect to gaza as we tape this at 3:00, at 2:00s on thursday? >> it's a fast moving situation. but it's clear that the intense negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes may be coming to fruition.
and we do hope that there will be agreement by both sides, both by hamas and by israel, to the over 72 hour humanitarian pause. but the trick is to use that humanitarian pause, if it happens, and if it sticks which previous pauses have not done, to try and develop a more sustainable cease-fire. and by sustainable, i mean we have to address some of the underlying causes. this is the third time there's been conflict between israel and gaza in the last six years it will happen again if we just go back to the status quote. so what we're trying to do is develop a little bit of space to relieve the humanitarian suffering which is terrible. but use that space then to develop a more sustainable cease-fire, which in turn could then lead to a bridge for some status negotiations. that's the game. >> is there any discussion about whether the israelis can continue to close the tunnels during the humanitarian cease-fire? >> i think the israelis leer
want to and need to close the tunnels. they believe that they've done 60 to 70% of that work already and that it might be possible to complete that work very quickly. that does give the opportunity then for a humanitarian pause. alternatively, you could have the humanitarian pause but allow israel to still work on the tunnels. but not to continue the shelling that's been going on over the last 24 days. so there is a number of combinations. i don't know exactly how it will turn out because those discussions are still happening in the region. >> driven by whom? >> egypt is front and center in this. they are the ones that have the ability to national with hamas but at the same time with israel am but there are many others involved. qatar is very close to hamas. the americans obviously are closely involved as well. but so are turkey and saudi arabia. there are a number of players that are involved in these negotiations. >> and will these negotiations lead to serious
conversations about things hamas talks about, the siege, the border, being able to open the borders, being able to use the ports, all the things that is on their list of complaints? >> that's what we want to do. we want to have a sustainable cease-fire. and to us that means you have to tackle some of the underlying concerns. both on the israel identify and on hamas's side. because israelis have a right to not have rockets raining down on half of their country, threatening their children and threatening their schools, hospitals, et cetera. but at the same time the ode gazan people have a right to live in peace in their own state. so trying to mesh those underlying concerns together will not be easy. but it will need to involve things like monitoring and verification. it will need to involve opening up the blockade of gaza, allowing more economic activity, bringing the palestinian authority back into gaza. so there is a number of elements that will be in the mix when we try to move from what will be a short term
humanitarian pause we hope over the next few days wz all of the items that might play a role in terms of creating a sustainable relationship. what about the palestinian authority? are they involved? >> yes, the palestinian authority are involved. because now that hamas and fatah the sort of plo part of the palestinian authority have joined together in a joint government. in theory, at least, the palestinian authority are the overarching authority in gaza n practice that haents been the case. it's been hamas who have been controlling gaza for several years now. so that's why i say that part of that discussion will be how to bring the palestinian authority back into gaza and to have some control over what happens in gaza. even hamas do not appear to have complete control over some of the more radical islamic groups that are firing rockets. you but equally the palestinian authority need to be able to control hamas. >> what's interesting too is whether there is, because
it's so visible in terms of the pictures that are coming out of gaza and hospitals and children and civilians, is that having an impact in terms of what you sense worldwide of saying please, do something about this? >> yes, there's no doubt that attitudes in europe, in my country, in the united kingdom are being affected by the seens that we're seeing. i mean too many civilians are being killed. we're talking now nearly 1500 people killed on the palestinian side. 80% of those we were told in the security council today by the u.n. authorities, that 80% of those are civilian. in a more than 300 children have been killed. there was a terrible attack just a couple of days ago on a school administered by the united nations. now you cannot sustain that sort of conflict without it affecting public opinion. and so -- >> is it against israel. >> we as friends of israel are saying to the israelis,
look, this conflict must come to an end. you must bring this conflict to an end. because support is draining very fast. >> and what do the israelis say when that point is made? thns. >> they understand that. but they have very legitimate concerns which we understand. which is that how can we stop until we are confident that there will be no more rocket attacks. >> do they have a time line for that? >> they don't give a specific timetable but we certainly have the impression that they are making good progress, particularly against the tunnel. actually the rockets have been a problem for many years but the tunnels is a new problem. and i don't think the israelis were aware of the extent of these tunnels. >> they have acknowledged that. >> they have acknowledged that, exactly. and that is a big issue for them. the fact that these tunnels starting if gaza going underneath the border into israel clearly designed to commit terrorist offenses in israel. so they have to make sure that that will not be resumed if they stop the fighting. >> let me turn to ukraine.
define the about and the level of aggressiveness by russia in yearn ukraine. >> we are deeply concerned about russia's behavior in two respects. firstly they illegally annexed crimea and we muss not forget that. at the beginning of the year the russian forces deliberately went in, took over crimea and said crimea is now going to be part of the russian federation. >> and then they had a referendum. can that be undone. >> certainly it can be undone. we have not recognized it. no one in the united nations has recognized it, no serious countries have recognized it. we had a resolution in the general assembly which is all 193 members of the u.n. and there were 100 votes that said this was completely illegal and unacceptable there were only 11 votes in favor of russia. and the others abstained. so there is air very clear overwhelming majority of people that will not accept it.
russia says it's a fact of life, a fait accompli, you cannot do anything about it but we will not recognize crimea as part of russia at all. then we have the problem of eastern ukraine because what has happened in eastern ukraine is russia has supported these pro russian separatists who would like to have their own referendum, would also like to attach themselves to the russian federation like crimea did. and russia is arming them. they are financially supporting them. they are now even supporting them militarily by shelling across the border. and that is totally unacceptable in the 21st century. >> and what can we do? >> we of course have used all the tools we have multilaterally here if he united nations but russia has a veto and they have vetoed efforts to condemn wh russia has been doing. but equally, what we are trying to do is have a arrangement whereby there can be a national dialogue starting between the key eve authorities, the legitimate-- kiev authority,
the legitimate government in ukraine and-- we shouldn't underestimate the fact that they do feel a little bit alienated. >> and they speak russian. >> they want to be able to speak russian. they want their children to be able to go to school and speak russia in school et cetera. and all that, the new president, the president in kiev said he's willing to do. but there needs to be a dialogue. what he cannot accept and we cannot accept is that they pursue those demands by military means. >> and so what will sanctions accomplish in your judgement, because the president announced this week europe and the united states from racheting up sanctions. >> what sanctions are designed to achieve and i hope they will achieve is a change of policy on the part of president putin and the russian government. there is no desire to sort of punish russia, as it were. what we're trying to do is bring about a change of policy. what we're saying to the russians is that if you continue to support these
armed separatists in the east of ukraine, if you continue to flout its international world order in this way, then we will increase the pressure on you and your cronies and on your economy until you recognize that there needs a change of behavior. now if russia decides that it will stop supporting the armed separatists, in they say to the armed separatists lay down your weapons and we will help you pursue your legitimate political concerns in kiev diplomatically and politically, then of course we would not pursue sanctions. >> so russia, in fact, has it in its hands to be able to stop the separatists in eastern ukraine from doing the things that they are doing, that causes all the conflict in the beginning. >> there is no question of that. if russia was not supporting the separatists, they would not be able to sustain this campaign. >> so why do you think vladimir putin does this? >> well, because i think he takes a very-- view of the
world particurly in his own backyard. it was president putin after all who said that the greatest tragedy of the 20th century was the break utt of the soviet union. and i think he feels a little discomforted by war and a little discomforted by events that would happen in what he consider the new abroad, the ex-soviet space. and he feels he ought to be able to dictate who is in power, whether it's in minsk or in kiev, in these ex-soviet states. now we cannot accept that. ukraine is an independent country. they have a new government. they clearly want to realign themselves more closely to the west. they should be allowed to do so. the people of ukraine should be able to choose for themselves. >> do we have belief that sanctions will work? >> they have worked in the past in various cases. >> in russia. >> not, i didn't think we've gone down this road. >> perhaps in iran. >> in various places, iran, in south africa you can argue it has worked. in the balkans you can argue it worked. so i mean there are some
areas where it has worked in the past but equally there are many cases where it hasn't worked. >> and putin may be a different kind of character. >> exactly, he may be more difficult to change his mind. but i think-- he does not want bad relations with the europe means in particular. >> because -- >> they need him economically. russia as much more dependent on europe than europe is dependent on russia. but we have to make clear that it cannot be business as usual if russia is behaving in this way in the 21st century. >> has this conflict in eastern ukraine impacted cooperation with russia, on trying to negotiate a deal about syria? >> well, there was wide differences of view between russia in the west on syria in the first place. >> but then you got the chemical deal done. >> we did get the chemical-- but that was a very specific issue on the syrian crisis on which there was an identity of interest or very close corelation of
interest between russia and the west. because russia did not trust president assad to use his chemical weapons wisely. and clearly when he did attack his own people, the russians recognized that the best thing was to take those chemical weapons away. >> did that item begin-- idea bgin with them or did it begin with the west, to make a deal in which the united states would not strike if russia and the united states could make a deal with assad about eliminating all the chemical weapons from within syria? >> well, it was originally i nasc-- initiated by russia because they saw it as a way of preventedding some military strike against damascus. they came out with if, the americans responded. everyone else supported it. so it was a specific congruence of interests. but on syria more generally we have seen in the u.n. security council russia and china have vetoed four resolutions on syria. so they have protected syria
from its own people, it's protected syria from international isolation, from sanctions and from greater pressure which we believe could have changed assad's mind. so there is a case where we have not been able to impose sanctions because of russia. an therefore we have not used all the tools we could have done to bring about the end of the suffering. which let's not forget, i mean 170, 80,000 people killed it in syria now. >> the question also becomes, it seems to me, that is there any effort ongoing effort to bring together the parties that try to create support for the nonjihadist in syria? is there movement on that effort to bring saudi arabia and turkey and qatar and britain and france and the united states all to support rebels who are not jihaddists? >> yes, there is quite a lot of discussion going on. that's our hope. and we're willing to work with anyone.
we're willing to work with the saudis, qataries, iranians. we're prepared to work with anyone who is prepared to help bring about a peaceful political transition. >> is the qol a political transition -- >> at the moment assad is not showing any interest of any transition. he's just been reelected for 7 years. >> and he thinks he's winning. >> he thinks he's winning on the ground. and russia is again supporting him with weapons, with finance. and so unless his allies say to him or his own people say to him look, the game is up. you need to move on now. there needs to be some transition, i think this conflict could go on for some time now. >> for a number of years. >> i think so, unfortunately. >> will history say that there was a moment early on in which if the west including the united states had agreed to do more, they had assad on the run and probably could have stopped it some two, three years ago? >> i'm not sure. i think history will relate that had we been able to use all the tools in our toolbox which included sanctions, had russia not prevented that, then i think we could
have stopped this bloodshed when there was probably less than 10,000 people killed, not 180,000 that there are now. whether-- given russian support for assad it would have been possible for us perhaps through military means or some other means, it would be probably would have had to be military means, to change that dynamic, i think it's very difficult to say that. >> an iran an hezbollah has made a big dichbs. >> iran and hezbollah have supported him, absolutely. >> with men, with boots on the ground. >> with boots on the ground at certain times, yeah. >> hezbollah certainly. >> hezbollah certainly and there are still several thousand hezbollah fighters. iran have had some fighters there but not clear on whether they do now. >> where are we with iran with the extension of negotiations, where are we? what is the point that needs to be overcome? is it simply the number of centrifuges they will be allowed to keep operational and what they can produce with those centrifuges? >> yes, it's basically the key point is can iran give us an assurance that they
will not use their legitimate right to have some form of nuclear energy for the purposes of creating weapons of mass destruction. that is the key point. and all that comes down to enrichment. you know, what sort of enrichment do they need. now they are claiming -- >> which is what you do with the centrifuges. >> exactly. that for peaceful purposes they need a huge number of centrifuges. we say that is absolutely ridiculous. the only purpose you would need this number of centrifuges for, this amount of enrichment activity is to create nuclear weapons. and that is unacceptable. so it's really, that is the heart of the problem. now within that, this huge number of technical details about light water reactors, hard water reactors and how many sent ri fujes are required, et cetera and what happens with-- that is the heart. i think there is a
reasonable chance that by the extended deadline by the end of november that some form of agreement can be reached. it's not going to be easy and i wouldn't put a sort of percentage on if but i think there is a reasonable chance. negotiations have gone quite well. there are clearly divisions within the iranian system and that is a complicating factor. but the good news is that on the western side, not western side but the international community side that all five permanent members plus german-- germany are united on this issuement and this is an issue in which we where our interests are pretty similar. >> you say the dinces of opinion with iran is it between the president and supreme leader or mo sophisticated than that. >> iran is an interesting country because it has several different political polls. -- poles it is i won't without sayemocratic exactly but it's not a monolithic political structure so, dow have
different views between the clergy, between the supreme leader, between the president, between the republican guard, the economic interests. and they're not-- and you have raf san janney and the parliament, they all have slightly different interests. and it's fascinating watching that because it's clear they have a different view of not only where iran should go but also on this nuclear program. >> it's great to you have here, thank you so much. thank you. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> "the new york times" editorial board has called for an end to the federal ban on marijuana. it comes in 37 states and the district of columbia have liberallized their marijuana laws, there has been a profound cultural shift on the issue over the last decade. the majority of americans now support legallization. editorial board wrote quote it has been more than 40 years since congress passed the current ban on marijuana inflicting great harm on
society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol. joining me now is andrew rosenthal, the editor of the editorial page of the "new york times". i'm pleased to have him here, welcome. >> thank you very much, good to be here. >> fell me how the board decided to do this. what was the process. >> i've been thinking about this for a long time. i have had this view since i was 17, you you know, seriously. and there is a couple of members of our staff, particularly a young woman who is my blog editor who has been pushing this for about a year. because she found our position to be sort of illogical. because we can-- what happened was all of these states were doing this, charlie. you had state after state after state that was legalizing it for medicinal purposes, either very broadly or very narrowly. some states just allow one pill, right. and then colorado comes along. and washington. and we suddenly found ourselves increasingly this year writing in a positive way about all these developments in the state its. a long time ago we had said
medicinal is fine, the federal government should leave it alone. and then colorado comes along and we said the federal government should let them experiment, right. and then we're thinking well, what's our position. right. and you should take a position. our whole thing is about taking a position. 8it. and there was zero dissent on the board. i will tell you what there was some discussion about, nobody said it should-- that be it should be illegal forever and it destroys young minds and turns you into a saxophone player or whatever it is we're supposed to be afraid of. we had a conversation and we had three possibilities, just lay it on the table. one was let's go ahead. the federal government just lets it happen and see what happensment but we dismissed that relatively quickly because you run into the problem there that what if the federal government decides not to let it happen. we had a documentary about i guess about a year or so ago on ny times.com. and this was about a guy who
was growing medicinal marijuana in montana. completely legal. and the dea decided to raid him. on the day they raided him he had rifles in his pickup truck because he was going hunting with his kids, four counts of firearms violationsment major counts of marijuana growing and trafficking. he got a sen techbs 80 years which was later reduced to like eight. they burned down his business with blowtorches and sent him to prison. for following the laws of his state. it's insane. >> that is insane. >> and you know, and holder had said we're going to let this happen under these condition. where do those conditions come from. >> the reality is that exists today. >> that is what the situation is today. >> that's the reality of today that could happen, you could be in adhering state law and violating federal law. >> they are violating federal law. every person smoking a joint in colorado right now is doing so in violation of federal law. the governor of colorado is licensing the production of marijuana in violation of federal law. it's ridiculous situation. >> is anything happening in
congress? >> you know, there is a bill that is relatively serious that would remove a requirement, it's a very strange thing. there's a requirement that every time there is a call for legallization of any controlled substance drug, under that law, that the federal government has to denounce it. which is why the white house issued a statement saying we were wrong about our editorial. it was a very tepid statement i have to say. >> they said you were wrong because -- >> a lot of silly reasons, you know. they said, you know -- >> is that pollics or is that -- >> they're required to by law. >> they have to say that, yeah. >> so there is a bill that would remove that requirement. and there have been other bills that would say, okay, don't enforce the law and stuff like that. but right now there's nothing serious to remove it. what has to happen is that the federal law has to be changed. >> that's why i said is there any action in congress. >> not really, no, no. now the fact is that -- >> is if a winning vote with the public. >> 52% of the people say-- so i think it is. i think it would be a
winning vote for the public for the federal government to say we're getting out of the business of regulating marijuana an we're leaving it up to the states. >> didn't people like bill buckley come out with the legallization of marwan years and years ago. >> they absolutely did. partly on the states rights, libertarian, communities should decide kind of thing. and the model, people reject the alcohol model and it's dichb but the philosophy behind the repeal of prohibition was let the states decide, let the communities decide. and if a town -- >> which what some people libeeve about same-sex marriage. >> that kind of where we are, right. so but then the argument then becomes we believe "new york times" editorial board and our libial bastion that getting married to the person you want to marry is an actual right. we do not believe that smoking pot-- we don't believe smoking pot is a right any more than drinking alcohol say right or having a cigarette is a right. so but so something has to happen at the federal level. so then we had this discussion about should it be decriminalization. but nobody could figure out
what that really meant. so we decided no, the cleanest and simplest thing is to say repeal the federal law. and that's it. because 37 -- >> take that law off the books. >> not the law, i'm sorry, but the classification of marijuana under that law, just delete it. and there are some other ancillary things that have to happen. there is a treaty that is going to be a problem. >> okay, so everybody you said was unanimously in favor of this. there were no dissent. >> no. >> but did you have to in your discussions get past any kind of hurdles, for example. >> yes. >> for a long time people that i know and respect have argued that no matter what you think, marijuana leads you to addiction to other much more serious drugs. >> yes, the very first thing we did, well the first thing i did was make sure my boss was okay with it it because i work for him. and unlike-- arthurs salzberger and unlike the executive editor who is my friend and colleague and doesn't have to care what the publisher thinks, but i do. >> up to a point lets you put it in. >> but the publisher-- i
mean in terms of what stories he wants to cover. i do. because i represent him. >> right. >> what the publisher thinks supposedly. >> supposedly. and generally he does. we generally agree on the big things and sometimes little things we argue about. but the big things we agree on. >> so an argument, does he ever say okay, i really disagree with you but go ahead. >> yes. >> he does do that. >> yeah. you have to be prepared as a publisher, if you want to have an independent editorial editor to, when the editorial page editor says i'm going to do it anyway, and you say okay. or you say good-bye. >> really, that's what it is, you have to have confidence in that person. but it's never anything huge. >> but is the publisher involved in these conversations or is he presented what the editorial board has decided it wants to say. >> it depends on the conversation, carlie. the ones like this, i talked to him, a lot about big issues. i mean we meet, i see him all the time. and we talk about issues. an something like this, i said you know, i think i'm
going to go there, what do you think. and he said fine. >> is that how you handled this, i think i'm going to go there. >> specifically about this, yeah. because it wasn't like we never talked about it before, right. i kind of know where he is politically, you know. and something like the presidential endorsement, i didn't hold a vote on the editorial board and then go to the publisher. i talk to him first because i like to know where he is. and i haven't had a situation on one of those where he disagreed. >> but if you know where he is you might go to your board and say look, this is where the publisher is, how do we make a reasonable argument to change his mind or -- >> i don't do that. i don't tell them what he thinks. >> ah, i see. >> not in circumstances like that. when we are doing an endorsement, this off the point but when we are doing an endorsement, it is the only thing i take a vote on. i go around the table and say raise your hand for this person, raise your hand for that person. otherwise we have a conversation about issues. we don't vote. and i don't vote. because i figure some day i'm going to meet somebody who wants to suck up to me, i haven't met that person
yet, but i'm afraid it will and i don't want it to happen at work. >> let's go back to marijuana. >> back to marijuana. >> was there an issue about this notion that it leads you to other drugs, that it gets you on an addiction path. >> the first thing we had to do, because i actually talked to people, i actually talked to arthur in the process. was we had to satisfy ourselves on the science and the medicine. and so we spent a fair amount of time lead by our science and medicine guy, a guy who has been doing this for a very long time. looking at that issue. and what we satz for identification ourselves an i think we're right, is that the available data and it's squirrelly data is that marijuana is extremely low on at diction charts. we actually reason a chart today. if you look at it, marijuana is at the same level of anti-anxiety medication roughly on addiction. and also you have to remember that the definition of addiction for marijuana is different than it is for say heroin or god forbid. >> where did this idea develop.
>> nicotine. nicotine is right at the top. >> as an addictive drug. >> it's the most. the two gateway drugs in our society are nicotine and alcohol. >> gateway to what. >> to other kinds of addictions. >> oh really. >> yes. and we also found that you know according to the best medical device we could get, for an otherwise healthy adult, smoking moderate amounts of marijuana and you can define that different ways, you know, poses no significant health risk at all. it doesn't lead to cancer. there is a claim that it causes schizophrenia. >> that is the medical -- >> well, because that's based on doing studies and exnumber of schizophrenics smoked marijuana, okay, great. we don't even know what causes schizophrenia in people who never smoke marijuana. we don't know what skits frienda is, about. >> i have done two brain series so we have looked into that. >> yeah. it's a tough. >> they're making some
serious progress. >> they are. and as soon as they figure out what calls it then they can figure out if marijuana contributes to it. but does alcohol does cigarettes, i don't know. we just felt like as i think the way we put it, there are reasonable concerns, there are reasonable arguments. we don't think young children should smoke pot. we don't think adolescents, middle schoolkids should smoke pot. but that's up to their parents. >> go you did -- did you go around the table and say how many of you smoke pot. >> i did not. that felt a little intrusive. i bet, i know these people really enough and i can probably tell you, i can probably tell you. >> raise your hand -- >> yeah, my answer to that question. >> i was on the cbs show one morning, have you ever -- >> i was asked it the other day on abc sunday and i said i went to college in colorado in the 1970s. you figure it out. (laughter) >> especially colorado. >> which is a line from my son i told him he could ask
me. he said you went to college in the 1970s in colorado what is the question. >> we know where are you and your youth habits. >> my life was not a failure so far. >> nor are you addicted to heroin. >> i'm not a schizophrenic as far as i know and i don't have lung cancer. although i smoked cigaretteses for a very long time and that was extremely stupid thing to do. >> was it hard to get over it. >> yes. >> then there is the esteemed and august mr. david brooks. >> a harx. >> who writes a column for your newspaper. quote laws profoundly mold culture. so what sort of community do we want our laws to nurture. what sort of individuals and behaviors do our government want to encourage. i would say that in healthy societies government wants to subtley tip the scales to favoremper at, prudent self-governing citizenship, in those societies government suddenly encourages the high's pleasures like enjoying the arts and being in nature and
discourages lesser pleasures like being stoned. that from david brooks. >> well, david brooks is one of the country's leading liberals, clearly, from that statement. >> no, he's not. and he would be insulted that you would say that. >> if david was here and i know what the answer is because he was on tv and he acted like he said, i don't know what they are smoking up there. and i wrote him a note and i said excuse me, but a, you do. and b, you actually think that federal laws should exist. and he said no. >> he doesn't. >> no. >> okay so he's with the editorial. >> he's with us on that issue. the question. >> the federal government should not ban marijuana. >> marijuana should be removed from the federal law. but yes, yes, that's what he said. now there are subsidiary questions here which are do you believe that recognize riggsal use should be legalized. do you believe it should be available to 18 years olds. if you asked david he would say i don't think any state should legalize recreational use that is a perfectly okay
position tlarx is completely consistent with what he said. because he's talking about government encouraging or discouraging the lower pleasures. >> see that's-- you know what i want to know from my friend david brooks what is your example of a lesser pleasure other than being stoned. >> i wonder. i wonder. maybe star wars. i don't know. >> i don't know. >> i don't know what it is. >> so what has been the response. >> the response has been quite astonishing really. on our web site, i'm supposed to repeat the name of it but si did it once already. >> the pr people said every time you get a chance repeat the name of the web site. >> i did that with chris haste and he said i'll google it, okay. so yeah, they did. >> the response has been. >> we have had about 13,000 people who have commented, total on all the articles that we've run. and out of those, maybe 900 are against legallization, maybe 900 out of 13,000. and there are a bunch of people who say they are unsure. most of the unsure people actually have our position
which is the federal government shouldn't be but i'm worried about blah, blah, blah, blah. and even some of the don't legalize it people, because we're not saying legalizing it the sense that every state in the country has to allow recreational use, right. we're saying don't keep it as a criminal offense. interestingly, the letters to the editor which we still get and publish every day are more tilted on the no side then, in other words, -- >> its people who take the time to write a letter. >> yes. >> these are not e-mails they are letter. >> they come by e-mail but they are signed. >> it's not doingie breath 48. it's some real person, right. and. >> you hear from doggie breath 48. >> occasionally. sometimes he actually shows up in the lobby which make things very confusing. but no, there are people and they tend to be people in more official positions like the head of phoenix house or somebody who was-- we have a
letter tomorrow from the guy who ran the dea in the 1970s. >> what de say. >> he thinks marijuana is a terrible thing. now but look at what his world is, right, a different world. he was -- >> why does he think it's a terrible thing. >> because he was arresting pot smokers in 1975. so you know that's the world, you think about what it was like. >> some reference factor in his own. >> he's a law enforcement official. a lot of law enforcement officials to you don't oppose it. so it's, i would say the majority of the people that write letters to the editor are against what we're calling for. >> is this -- >> slight majority. >> is this going to open the door to anything. in other words, now that we do this and now that marijuana is okay, are we going to see other kinds of things that have been verboden changed. >> you mean the war on drugs? >> yeah. >> i hope not. i mean i don't -- >> it is this sort of slippery slope. is there a slippery slope to something you might not like? >> it's a concern. i won't say that there isn't. there are people who believe that we should have
legalized all narcotics, and maybe have prescriptions or something. but because they think the war on drugs is too expensive which it is, and it's a failure which it is. >> what we haven't talked about here is the fact that so many people who had done no criminal act in their life. >> yes. >> have been sent to prison. >> yes. >> which is a major decision. >> that's-- that is a sentencing thing and a criminal thing. >> yes. >> but it is hypocrisy of drug laws in terms of politicians want to be tough, and people are going to prison because they did one thing in their life for 50 years. >> that's right. and that's probably the biggest reason that we decided both to do this, to do it now, and to make a big deal out of it. because to us it is a social justice issue, a civil rights issue. the prosecution of marijuana in this country is heavily weighted toward black people. just-- an of can american is four times as likely just on average, in some states it's a lot more, to be arrested for possession and ten times
as likely to go to prison for possession. we are putting in prison tens of thousands, right now someone is getting arrested for pot possession somewhere in new york city. you know it's happening right. and that kid's life is going to be ruined. even if they get the ticket, the ticket is there, they get a second ticket, now in trouble for something else, a third offense and you go away for life. >> and once are you in prison all kinds of things. >> once you are in prison. >> its influences you fall under there and being able to come out of that. >> not to mention the violence that you suffer in prison and the risk of getting aids, there are so many things. and that's going to be a tricky thing, colorado is already starting to grapple about it, what do dow about those people, do you let them out? >> also the marijuana edibles. >> right, big problem. >> maureen dowd, you know, works for few. >> yes. >> maureen is a very good friend. >> she wrote about her experience with pot cookies. >> yes candy bar. >> okay. she took more bites than she was supposed to. >> evidently. >> and had an experience
that she wrote about. quote what could go wrong with a bite or two. everything it turned out. i felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. i barely made it from the desk to the bed where i lay curled up in a hall use that tore state for the next eight hours. i was thursdayy but couldn't move to get water or even turn off the lights. i was panting and paranoid. sure that when the room service waiter knocked and i didn't answer he called the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy. i started-- i strained to remember where i was or even what i was wearing. touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed brick wall as my paranoia deepened, i became convinced that i had died and no one was telling me. it took all night before it began to wear off. distressingly slowly. >> i love maureen. i do. she's a wonderful -- >> is that what marijuana does to you. >> not to me f i ever had it
which of course i didn't inhale. let's talk about edibles. >> let's talk about maureen. >> okay. well, what was the impact of that column. >> it was great it was huge. and she was, she wrote two columns. and she was writing about edibles. it shall they were very serious, really about policy. her experience aside which apparently was very negative, because if maureen can't remember what she is wearing, you know maureen, right. so it's a big deal. so edibles are a problem. multiple ways. one is because the marijuana is refined down to its strongest and most potent substance before-- it's not like when some of us were in college and we just put the leaves in the brownies, right this is oil this is refined it thc, heavy duty thc. you don't know what you are getting. they have to be very careful about distribution within a product. they have to be very careful about dosage. colorado is learning about these issues.
and it's a big deal. and there's going to have to be an acceptance on the part of the ganjapreneurs they are going have to accept labeling otherwise they will get in trouble and it's not in their interest. >> some kind of regulatory. >> some kind of understanding of what an actual dose is for an actual human beingment and you have to give credit to governor hickenlooper of colorado who opposed this but has been trying his best to make this work. and they have worked on this and they're still working on the regulatory question. they're doing a very good job. and they're now trying to refine what their sense of what a dose is. and how they make sure that when you eat a quarter of a candy bar and what is a quarter of a candy bar, you know, so maybe those edables should only come in one dose sizes, for example. it is a big issue. and it cannot be minimized because it takes long tore take effect. and the affect can be more intense. >> perhaps this will start a serious dialogue about all of this. >> that is what our hope is. and that is why we are devoting so much time and space to it, six articles
that is huge. >> something the country should talk about. >> we should be talking about. and we should be talking about it in the context of what the real issues are. and not because the government is required by law to denounce everybody that calls for legallization which is our current position. and if you look back at the lives:-- lies told by marijuana when those laws were passed, it's just shocking. it's unbelievable. the hearings that they held, you know, when nixon wanted this put on the schedule. they had people come in and say that it turns you into a sexually violent saxophone player or whatever, it was ridiculous. >> this is when elvis was-- with the war on drugs while he was eating pills at an unbelievable rate. my father whom you knew very well was a huge opponent of legallization of drugs. and i kind of understood where he was coming from but i didn't agree with him. we used to argue about this, a lot. >> thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me this is really fun.
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