John Stossel Debates Drug Laws with Sean Hannity

If you haven't seen John Stossel's awesome drug war episode yet, here's Part 1, in which Stossel takes on Sean Hannity:


My favorite part is when Hannity says, "It’s a 100 percent certainty. Crack addicts will kill to get more crack." That's weird, because I see crack users asking for money on the streets of D.C. all the time, and they've never even attempted to kill me. Am I doing something wrong?
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Hannity Doesn’t Go There

When Hannity tells John Stossel he didn’t know Dutch kids use less pot that American kids, that’s a colossal information gap.  Bits of information like the Dutch statistics are absolutely critical to the drug war debate.  And yet they seem to have escaped Hannity.

For Sean Hannity, and I think for everyone else, the source of the information really matters.  Hannity appears relaxed and non-contentious with Stossel.   They are both members of the same Fox tribe, and they appear to get along.  Most importantly, they can exchange trusted information.

Stossel has succeeded in conveying one of the most corrosive facts of the drug war to Sean Hannity and to his millions of viewers who would never have otherwise gone near drug law reform arguments.  That success is a good thing.

The end of the drug war just moved another inch closer.

Giordano

Poor Scott;

I guess you're just not worth killing!

But seriously, "Smoke crack, you're out of your mind"? "Inject heroin, you're out of your mind"? Oh, but if I drink a beer, I'm good? Hannity's an idiot. Or maybe he's just an arrogant, self-righteous hypocrite and a pathological liar. The problem is that the American sheople believe this crap, because the one overwhelming truth about illegal drugs is that they're just not that popular.

I've lived with alcoholics and I've lived with heroin junkies. Give me a junkie any day.

They will kill...

Oh come on! Why does Stoessel concede this ridiculous point and the one where Hannity says they "out of their minds"? Pretty bad. A terrible performance. And this should be very easy to debunk. Hannity actually 'cleaned his clock' - so far as I'm concerned. We don't need another "cannabis only" spokesman, if you please; we've got more than enough of them already!

Noch einen Stoss

I've waited to hear something good out of Stossel just because, well, his name's so similar to that of the good Peter Sto(")ssl, husband of Leos(^) Jana(')c(^)ek's girl friend Kamila Sto(")sslova(').

Always weigh the attitude toward cannabis on the part of Hannity and ilk from the perspective that right wing talk radio promotes the "drug" viewpoint of the $igarette companies (though Hannity, Savage, Medved and some others don't actually smoke them), to which "Conservativism" means protecting bizness as usual (6,000,000 poor puffsuckers dying a year from chronic pack-a-day hot burning overdose in the name of "Profit").

No Experience Necessary!

Hannity actually stated he could have a couple of drinks and be OK, but 'drugs' instantly put one out of their mind? I smoke daily so I don't get stoned. Doses throughout the day help me immensely to be productive. I take my prescriptions for the same reason. All of my prescriptions say:
"May impair ability to use machines. Use care until familiar with effects."
MADD doesn't agree with Hannity's "drink or two" theory. Yet, he asserts his practical experience that is contrary to the "experts." The FDA agrees that my amphetamines, opiates, and antidepressants are quite manageable. With the prescriptions I am taking, Hannity can argue that I have not driven a car in the past 7-8 years without being "stoned," whereas he has never driven drunk despite the wine at dinner. It is very convenient for people who have no experience with something to know more than those with decades of daily experience.
STOP with the 'one hit wonder' stories. There are a much higher per-capita percentage of people admitting they were instantly addicted to Chocolate than Meth. Every time I tried Meth, I got bored and tired. ADHD! Yes, I am hyperactive and stimulants that keep you up for days put me to sleep. I now have proven that react to a very strong drug in a way that is counterintuitive. It must have been politicians that finally realized that the medication works, and only then did doctors decide to use it.
The reason for the Cannabis push is that the substance is distinctive in it's propensity for natural occurrence, detection, and prosecution. Despite the fact that the only way Cannabis can kill someone is to fill-up a truckload of Marijuana and run you over with it repeatedly, it has been proported as an immenent danger for generations. This is exactly the same way we learned for a fact that virgin sacrifices brought rain. You can test positive for cannabis indefinitely after use depending on your body fat. There is no legal derivative that a doctor can prescribe without fear of losing their license (Marinol is tightly controlled despite its schedule. None of my prescriptions are for their originally developed use, yet Marinol is for nausea only if you don't want to have all of your prescriptions from the last 10 years reviewed). I failed a 'drug test' for cannabis. The 'irrelevant' fact is that I also tested positive for amphetamines and opiates. Since my prescriptions covered the later two, they were deemed necessary. In all reality, I could have been actively on Meth and Heroin, but weed from 2 months prior was criminal.
That was the catalyst to my doctor and me working out a therapeutic approach to Cannabis. I had used it for over a decade as "self-medication" (oddly despairing despite acknowledging 'medication') before I needed to go to him (and I readily assert that Cannabis is not a cure-all). With a combined 5,000 years of documented history, 15 years of individual research, and a quantifiable measure, our approach would satisfy any scientist. The problem is, we don't deal with scientists. Somehow science is always trumped by religion and politics. Of science, religion, and politics; which one has actually progressed our species (there really is only one correct answer). Religious and political laws change constantly; however, "Every body will persist in its state of rest or of uniform motion (constant velocity) in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it. (period...no discussion)" Science has the only 'laws' that can't change, yet politics and religion are somehow more noble because of their "faith." The "Global Warming" scare still persists despite, first, backtracking to the non-committal 'Climate Change' and finally beyond the irrefutable proof that the supporting data was falsified. 'Global Warming' was the most effective marketing campaign since "Say No to Drugs," and when the Church freely tortured or killed all those that didn't subscribe and contribute to their campaign. The most effective marketing has always been when you are fully supported by a government to jail and/or kill anyone who disagrees. The later two survive to this day because people truly believe it because independent thought is more taboo than 'drugs.'

(oh yeah...Since right and wrong can only be defined by legislative and executive branches of government agreeing at the right time; my state is waiting for our Governor to quit before my medicine is legal. Therefore; in this comment, "doctor" legally references only a HYPOTHETICAL, independent, Board Certified, regularly published, highly decorated, and sought after "doctor.")

Also notice that

no drug warrior ever, ever, addresses the question of the government's right to control what we do to our own bodies.

not where I come from

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.CanadaI was an active heroin addict for 35 years and was a trafficker whenever I was on the street.They have an area here that is known as Canada's poorest postal code and Mr Stossel should take a walk down Hastings from Main street to around the 300 block west.There are more shopping carts than cars and the streets are an open air market every night after the bottle depot closes.These are mostly addicts of all kinds.In my day it was heroin and barbituates but today there has grown a market that is more like the old hippie days on the cities 4th avenue,now a yuppie enclave with as many sro's as the DTES but they cost more.There is violence but it is mostly alcohol inspired as the area is shared by the cities alcoholics.In all the time I've spent down there I have seen one violent incident in the past two years,not counting the times I watch the police jump and choke a suspected trafficker.If they find any drugs they might seize it or they may give it back and tell the person to leave and not come back that night.Policy now has it that seized drugs will just have to either be paid for or replaced,either way it's better to move the person along and give the drugs back.A seizure would lead to hours of paper work and many court appearances.The only bodies,Mr Hannity are from lifestyle(starvation or freezing to death,or burning up trying to stay warm)or possibly an OD because the drug war makes quality control impossible.We have a safe injection site but the federal government is trying once again to close it down because Mr.Harper would rather see OD's than have a safe place for addicts to inject in a clean environment with a medical person on hand.What we need is a heroin maintenance program.What people like Mr Hannity don't understand is that there have always and will always be 1% of the population that will use drugs.I have no idea what % of the economy is being spent chasing and harassing this 1%,who will use no matter what you do to them.This is why in Europe,where they think things out before acting,there are several countries with heroin maintenance programs and none with legal hemp.The Netherlands has a policy much like that in Vancouver.My fear is that with Mr Harper and his born again ideological zealots in charge,we may wind up going back 40 years to where we were when I first started using drugs.Then all the shopping carts can be returned to the shops and all the people can get on the revolving door that Mr Harper wants to put them on.Current estimates are that the cost to the Canadian public of the laws in front of the house right now will double the cost to the taxpayer to 10 billion a year.The drug war is and always will be the most costly way of not dealing with a problem in any kind of effective way.It is always the conservative governments that want to use prison to try to fix the drug problem.It hasn't worked in 100 years and has gotten steadily worse since the declaration of the war on drugs.It's people like Mr Hannity,who admit their ignorance when asked a straight question with facts and figures in front of them,yet will stand up and declare that an end to the drug war would be the end of society.Drug laws were never passed for reasons that had anything to do with the drugs themselves but were enacted for racist reasons and have been enforced with a racial bias from the beginning.Time to bring an end to the last remnant of Victorian racial bias.Time to let us put into our bodies what we will,as long as we hurt no one else in the process.

People like Hannity and do

People like Hannity and do not speak for all of us on the "Religious Right". I am a born again Christian and fully support complete legalization of all plants, cooked or raw. In my opinion, God made these things, and Christians should be well able to use self control in regard to the quantity of these things they allow into their own lives. I don't believe the government has any responsibility whatsoever to provide "health care" for any health outcomes due to my own choices, and that includes not just plants (which we have been trained us to call cigarettes and drugs), but also from alcohol use, as well as from overuse of food (obesity), but that is another subject.

Christianity, in a very large degree, has turned into a form of psychology, where people think that they "just can't help it" and that if they spend their time getting drunk, the only solution is to completely stay away from it. A lot of this type of thinking is fueled by the Alcoholics Anonymous (and Drug Addict Anonymous) opinions that a person is an "addict" for their entire life, and that if they ever have another drink, or drug, they will never be able to control themselves with the substance. Following this school of thought, perhaps it is time to make all food illegal since so many Christians are not using self discipline with food are and are pigging out all the time, and if they ever have another bite of food, they just won't be able to control themselves.

Most Christian groups have substituted wine with grape juice and forbid wine altogether. It is obvious that these people have not actually studied the Bible themselves, or they would be aware that the first documented miracle Jesus performed was changing 180 gallons of water into wine for a party. The Bible does say, in several places, that the life of a drunk is not a good life, but everyone knows that some alcohol here and there does not make a person a drunk.

There is a big difference between having some wine with food and being rolling on the floor drunk to the point where a person can't remember their name. In the same way there is a big difference between smoking marijuana regularly and smoking so much at one time that a person has no motivation to get off the couch. There is a big difference between smoking crystal on weekends and losing one's job because they decide to smoke it every minute of every day.

In my opinion, we need to completely get rid of this "there's nothing you can do to control yourself" mentality and instead teach people that life is much better when moderation is applied to all things, and start helping people to learn the life skills to implement more moderation in their own lives.

I completely agree that people who have no personal experience with "plants" labeled as "drugs" are the biggest problem. They are claiming to be experts about things they have no actual experience or knowledge about. Where are all these "addicts" who are going around "killing" for drugs? I haven't ever met any, even after being close to the "drug culture" for decades. And their idea of an "addict" is very similar to my idea of "moderation" in many cases. I have known many very successful business people who have incorporated "plants" labeled as "drugs" into their lives every day, and even several times per day. These successful people just have these plants as a part of their life, not their entire life.

The idea Hannity is putting forth, that the only thing people become is a nonproductive waste of a person (if they allow these plants into their life) is completely wrong, which Hannity would know if he actually had any personal experience himself. After all, we all heard how he "no big deals" his experience with drinking, and he would be saying the same thing about these plants, too, if he had any personal knowledge to draw from. The probleIms he is describing with people's behavior seem to stem more from the fear of being harassed by the government, than from the actual plants themselves.

It's time for conservatives, including the Religious Right, to stop promoting the wasting of our tax dollars to take away our freedoms. I believe that, if statics were run on the subject, it would be found that far more lives and families have been ruined or suffered severe negative consequences as a result of the "war on drugs" policy of locking people up, than have ever been suffered as a result of the actual "plants" labeled as "drugs" themselves. Why did anyone ever think it was a good idea to take productive members of society and turn them from tax payers into burdens the tax payers pay to house and feed? The idea of making these things a "lesser" crime is not much of an improvement; the person still ends up with a negative on their personal record which could affect their ability to make money (pay taxes) in the future.

Stossel & Drugs

Well, John Stossel could have done better at several places on this program, but still, he's right on! What offends me most is that I am paying the salary of complete idiots like that Chabot character. Who in the world listens to people like that?

BTW, I'm an ex-cop, and I agree that a very high percentage of working cops believe the Drug War is completely foolish.

I was also the step-father of a brilliant and very athletic son, who also happened to be a cocaine/heroin addict. Even with his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering (at the top of his graduate class, I might add), he was unable to get a job in his professional field--or for that matter even rent decent housing--because of his drug-crime-related felony record. He chose to end his life at age 35. Mr. Chabot claims to be protecting our children, but he killed one of mine, and nearly killed a second one, rescued from a hobo camp under a bridge in extremely poor health. In other words, Chabot would rather have our children be felons than users of drugs that they don't favor. I consider Chabot and his ilk to be liars and murderers, and I live for the day when they will answer for their crimes against humanity before Nuremberg-style tribunals.

Although I now live in Mexico (no, I'm not afraid), I have repeatedly offered to debate these hypocrites, at my expense, in ANY public forum. But no, these bureaucratic cowards do not have the courage to debate an actual victim of their insane policies in public. In fact, they don't even have the courage to answer me privately!

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