The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Teaching Evolution; Supreme Court Considers Medical Marijuana

Aired November 29, 2004 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening and welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight. We hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. Welcome back to PAULA ZAHN NOW.
Today, it was back to school and, in a growing number of school districts, back to a new version of an old controversy, teaching evolution. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court, demonstrations pro and con, as the justices consider the issue of medical marijuana, for seriously ill patients.

And mix prime-time entertainment and politics, what do you get? Well, in Israel, it's reality TV like you have never seen before.

But we start tonight with the reality in Washington, the stalemate over reforming America's intelligence system. It has been four months since the 9/11 Commission issued its report and its recommendations. And this week, President Bush faces more pressure to do something about the two Republican congressmen who are still blocking the intelligence bill.

Well, today, the president's spokesman said senior White House staffers would push the issue at a Republican congressional retreat tomorrow and again on Wednesday. He said the president will send a letter to Congress this week to make his views clear.


ZAHN (voice-over): More than a week after its intelligence reform plan unexpectedly stalled in Congress, the Bush administration appears no closer to getting it passed. The legislation, based on recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, was to be the first major reform package after the president's reelection.

But it is failing because of resistance from within the president's own party. And the two key congressmen who oppose its have not changed their minds. House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter worries that the bill gives key military intelligence capabilities to a new civilian national intelligence czar.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R), CALIFORNIA: What the Senate sent over was this plan that would cut that lifeline between our satellites that are giving intelligence all the time to our troops, telling them where the bad guys are, what the targeting should be, what's happening, when you need to move. That would be cut or severed.

ZAHN: House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner wants the legislation to stop illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses in the U.S.

REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: Reorganizing the intelligence bureaucracy will not be helpful unless we improve our homeland security. And the 9/11 Commission staff recognized that the driver's license problem was at the key of allowing terrorists to travel.

ZAHN: Congress was supposed to adjourn last week. But Speaker Dennis Hastert decided to continue the session in hopes that a compromise could be reached. If the bill fails because of Republican opposition, it could signal the president might have trouble controlling his own party.

The president says he will continue to move the issue forward. But so far, none of the pressure that's said to be coming from the White House has made any difference. Intelligence reform is still stalled.


ZAHN: And joining me now, former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean, who was chairman of the 9/11 Commission. He joins us from Madison, New Jersey. And from Washington, former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, who was vice chair of the commission.

Good to see both of you. Welcome.



ZAHN: Commissioner Kean, if this bill doesn't pass, does it make Americans more vulnerable to attack?

KEAN: There's no question about it, because we have so much in this bill that will protect Americans. It helps with border security. It gives more aid to local people who are responding to emergencies.

There's 10 or 11 different areas that this bill will make American people safer. So if it doesn't pass, yes, American people are going to be less safe.

ZAHN: So, Commissioner Kean, why can't the president get all of his Republican colleagues on board?

KEAN: Well, we hope he will. I know he's working on it. I know they're working on it in Washington. The majority of the Congress is for it. As you know, we have the support of the majority and the minority leader in both houses. We have the support of the speaker and the president of the Senate.

And with that kind of support, and the president of the United States, it's hard to imagine that this bill will get won't get through, particularly the fact that, in addition to that, 80 percent of the American people want it passed. ZAHN: Commissioner Hamilton, there's a lot of talk out there that what you're getting from the White House is the good cop/bad cop routine and that the president isn't willing to use any political currency to get this bill passed. What do you think?

HAMILTON: I think Tom and I have both been impressed by the efforts the White House has made, including the president. I'm aware, of course, of the reports that you cite. But we take very much the president at his word. He said he supports this bill. The vice president supports it. The secretary of defense supports the president. And so we think the administration is solidly on board in support of this bill.

ZAHN: So, Commissioner Hamilton, what do you think the president has to do to mollify his critics from within his own party who are adamantly opposed to some provisions of this bill?

HAMILTON: Well, this is a test of the president's leadership. Does he want the bill? Yes, we think he does. What does he have to do? Well, there are all kinds of things he can do. But basically it is contacting the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate, and perhaps the members that have some questions about the bill, making it very clear that this is a high priority for him in his administration, as he begins his second term, and making the case that Tom Kean just made a moment ago, that this bill is a monumental piece of legislation that will sharply improve the counterterrorism policy of the United States.

If the president makes that case forcefully and strongly, I think he'll prevail, because he's got solid support throughout the Congress and with the American people.

ZAHN: Commissioner Kean, do you think it's a bit of a cop-out when people say, go ahead, push this imperfect bill through, fix it later?

KEAN: No bill is absolutely perfect.

But this bill contains most of the recommendations that we worked on for a year and a half. And we think it's pretty darn good. You know, there's no other bill out there that's going to provide 1,000 new border patrol people. There's no bill out there that's going to improve airline safety the same way, or provide cargo inspections, or all the various things. Even nuclear proliferation, we have got stuff in there for that.

And there isn't an alternative. It's either this bill or no bill. And if this bill doesn't pass, it will take at least six months to get any other bill up before the new Congress. And I don't think the terrorists are going to wait. And I suspect we can't wait either.

ZAHN: So, Congressman Hamilton, what do you say to critics of this bill who want a stronger crackdown on driver's license fraud?

HAMILTON: Well, we believe in the commission that you should set national standards for identification documents, like the driver's license or the passport.

On the specific question that has caused some of the members of Congress some problems, whether or not you prohibit, by federal law, states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens, that's a difficult question. We on the commission did not take a position on it. And we think that that very narrow provision, and it's a very, very small part of this bill, should not hang up the entire piece of legislation.

And like any major piece of legislation that goes through the Congress, you will refine on it and build on it and improve on it with amendments in the years ahead. And that will have to be done.

ZAHN: So, Governor Kean, are you comfortable with the fact that illegal immigrants are allowed to have driver's licenses?

KEAN: We didn't address that as a commission. And I'm reluctant to give a personal opinion on it.

And you get into what rights states have, what the national policy should be in this area. We're willing to address it, but we're not in existence as a commission anymore. So I think we've been trying to stick to what's in our report and what's in the bill, and not new proposals that are being made.

ZAHN: One of the more controversial elements of this bill, of course, is a provision creating a national intelligence czar, Commissioner Hamilton. And we spoke with a 9/11 widow who said quite poignantly that all this is going to do is create an even bigger bureaucracy. Is that fear founded?

HAMILTON: I don't think so.

It is true that we create a director of national intelligence. It's true that we create national counterterrorism centers. That's not going to expand the bureaucracy. We think they can be moved from present intelligence agencies. What is important, however, is that the 9/11 tragedy came about because the intelligence community, in all of its many variations, did not share information.

They always protected the need to know. They did not follow the corresponding principle of need to share. And because of that, the right information did not get to the right people at the right time. We believe that these institutional changes that we have recommended are absolutely crucial in order to get the best possible intelligence from all the sources of intelligence that we have in this country. And, if we don't do it, you could easily have the risk to the American people rise.

ZAHN: Thomas Kean, Lee Hamilton, thank you for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

HAMILTON: Thank you.

ZAHN: And there's much more ahead tonight, including a test of American policy and a COUNTDOWN to democracy in Iraq. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): As an election deadline closes in, Iraq is caught in a cycle of violence, American troops fighting insurgents who want to derail action at the polls. Tonight, bombs, bullets, and ballots in Iraq.

Then, in 11 states, this is just what the doctor ordered. But as patients get permission to puff, Uncle Sam says enough. Medicinal marijuana, who has the power to prescribe?

And today's voting booth question: Should marijuana use be allowed for medical treatment? Vote at The results and much more as PAULA ZAHN NOW continues.



ZAHN: Iraq's elections are 61 days away, and after decades of Saddam Hussein's brutal rule, it will be an historic day, if it happens.

Coalition and Iraqi forces still need to make the country safe enough to let people get to the polls on January 30. And, today, unfortunately, was a pretty typical day. A car bomb killed at least six people outside a police station. Two American soldiers were killed by a homemade bomb. And the insurgents appear determined to continue their campaign of intimidation.

Here's senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): With U.S., Iraqi and British troops hunting down insurgents in operations like this one along the Euphrates River, the United States insists Iraqi elections will be held January 30 as scheduled.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: There's no reason they shouldn't. We're working hard on it. The U.N. has increased its presence. There are thousands of Iraqis who are working on registration and getting ready for the elections.

MCINTYRE: But in parts of Sunni-dominated Iraq, including an area dubbed the Triangle of Death, no one has yet been registered, two months before the elections.

(on camera): Meanwhile, the insurgents continue to wage a campaign of organized crime-style intimidation, with tactics that one journalist called more like "The Sopranos" than "Black Hawk Down." It's a description Pentagon officials do not dispute.

(voice-over): In Ramadi, a suicide bomber plowed into a crowd of police waiting outside the police station to be paid, killing a dozen people and wounding at least ten others. In Mosul, 40 dead bodies have been found in the past week. Most had been bound and shot execution style. And there are even sporadic attacks in Falluja, three weeks after an offensive that routed insurgents. Large stockpiles of weapons are still turning up.

Pentagon officials say across Iraq, attacks in recent days have dropped, from more than 100 a day to an average of to only 50 or 60. But while violence may be down, the fear is up.

JOHN HENDREN, "L.A. TIMES": In Ramadi, where I just was, I was told by military commanders there that the national guard is basically ineffective, because they're under so much threat to their families, in a very tightly-knit tribal area. So they're going to have to import National Guard troops -- Iraqi National Guard troops from elsewhere.

MCINTYRE: With two months to go, the Pentagon lists 114,000 Iraqi security forces that, on paper, are trained and on hand. At least 10,000 shy of what police will be necessary to provide security for the elections.

For now, the Pentagon has decided to extend the stay of some 6,500 U.S. soldiers to beef up troop strength in January. But no decision has yet been made to send any fresh troops in early.


ZAHN: And that was Jamie McIntyre reporting for us tonight.

Joining me now from Washington, General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander and former Democratic presidential candidate.

Good to see you, sir. Welcome back.


ZAHN: Thank you.

So, do you think these elections are going to happen on time?

CLARK: I hope they will. I think it's very important for the credibility of the United States and the process we have in place to try to make these elections happen on time.

ZAHN: But, if you continue to have these pockets of violence and pockets of the country that don't have the ability to vote, will these really be legitimate elections?

CLARK: Well, that's the dilemma.

And nobody knows exactly how to proceed and solve that dilemma. It looks to me like what's got to be done is, you've got to figure out exactly what has to be done to register the Sunni voters. And then the Sunnis who've requested the delay have got to be encouraged to get out and prove it, that they're really interested by registering voters. And then, as the election date approaches, then some decisions will have to be made. But it's far too early to make that decision right now, I believe.

ZAHN: So are you optimistic or pessimistic about some of those things you just laid out? I know you say it's too early to tell. You've got to have a feeling way or the other here.

CLARK: Yes. I've been -- I'm concerned. I think we're going to have an election. I think it's going to be a contested outcome, because it's going to be challenged by not having enough Sunni participation to be legitimate. And so it's really a matter of John Negroponte and the administration's political leadership on the ground in Iraq taking the right measures to build legitimacy for this process. That's what has to be done.

ZAHN: If you end up having a contested election, what does that mean about the duration of stay of U.S. troops in Iraq?

CLARK: Well, every challenge to the legitimacy of the political order will be buttressed by resistance. So that means that U.S. troops are going to stay longer.

So we want a good election. We want a good election outcome. We want it as soon as possible because that paves the way for more support for the Iraqi National Guard and the Iraqi police. And that, in turn, lets us bring our troop strength down over there.

ZAHN: How many years, General, do you think we're talking about here, that U.S. troops will have to remain in Iraq to stabilize the country?

CLARK: Everybody says several. I wouldn't want to put a number on it. I think it really -- we're going to get a much better grip as we go through the next 60 days up to this election. If the election comes off, if it's reasonably representative in most of the Sunni areas, except maybe a couple of areas like Fallujah and Ramadi, then we may be able to look at two, three, four years of effort over there. If it doesn't come off, then, you know, we have to recalibrate six months later.

ZAHN: On to another issue that is deeply concerning a lot of us. That's the issue of Iran.

You now have General John Abizaid basically warning Iran not to take advantage of the fact that America's fighting this war on terror on two fronts, in Afghanistan and Iraq. But you're reading even more into that statement. How would you interpret what he had to say?

CLARK: Well, I'm seeing it as a very unusual and well publicized warning from the theater military commander.

And I'm asking to myself, what's the intelligence that required a warning like this? I think most of us who've looked at it from the outside have seen for several years that since Iran was named as a member of the axis of evil, since Iraq was invaded because it didn't have nuclear weapons, that it's logical to think that Iran is moving as rapidly as it can to get nuclear weapons and that, in the meantime, it wants to do everything it can to forestall a U.S. victory in Iraq.

So, presumably, General Abizaid's getting some of the same information. He's worried. He's hearing the rumblings in Washington about people talking about maybe we should be prepared to take military action against Iran. Iran is hearing the same thing. They're organizing forces to deter that.

ZAHN: Sure.

CLARK: So it's increasing tension in the region and that's what his warning reflects.

ZAHN: Another horrifying story is the story also showing that a group in Iran is actively trying to solicit volunteers to become suicide bombers to kill American troops in Iraq. How worried are you about that report?

CLARK: Well, I'm very concerned about that, because we know it's not just in Iran, but it's probably elsewhere throughout the Middle East.

The mission in Iraq has provided a great opportunity for terrorists to come in and attack our troops. And it's a cause. And it lets them -- the publicity associated with our activities in Iraq enables the terrorists to recruit and then send some of those recruits in to attack us. No doubt it's happening in Iran.

ZAHN: General Clark, thank you for covering so much territory for us this evening. Always good to see you.

CLARK: Thank you, Paula. Good to be with you.

ZAHN: Take care. Thank you.

And from politics and policy to the grim reality on the ground.


CAPT. RUSSELL BACON, U.S. ARMY: You know what's happening around you. You know somebody's trying to kill you, but you're still reacting and functioning, and almost like it's not real, you know, almost like, OK, this is just a normal day at the office.


ZAHN: Soldiers facing the fire, winning the battle, and losing friends -- that story next.


ZAHN: For U.S. soldiers who waged the ferocious two-week battle against insurgents in Fallujah, their victory is tempered by their loss. Friends were killed by enemy fire. And now that the offensive is over, it's time to reflect on that horrific experience.

Jane Arraf spoke with some of the soldiers who were on the front lines in that deadly battle.


JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Death in combat is regular, but never routine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't get to choose how you're going to die or when. You only get to decide how you're going to live.

ARRAF: This small task force, just 500 men, lost four of its officers and soldiers in the battle for Fallujah and a fifth close to its base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are five leaders, two sergeants, a 1st lieutenant, a company commander, and a command sergeant major.

ARRAF: The battle was the most intense urban fight since Vietnam. Some of those left will be coming to grips with it for the rest of their lives.

(on camera): When you're in the thick of battle, these soldiers say, you only have time to react and not to think. But now that they're back at their home base, where they don't have to worry about being killed or killing people all the time, that's when the loss sinks in.

ARRAF: First Sergeant Peter Smith kept the mission going when his company commander and executive officer were killed. That part was automatic. But now he's come back to the base where Captain Sims lived next door, where he talked about the 10-month-old son whom he'd seen for only 30 days.

1ST SGT. PETER SMITH, U.S. ARMY: It's probably harder now than it was a couple of days ago. So -- and, yes, I pretend they're just not -- they're somewhere else, just not here right now. That's the way I, you know, deal with it.

ARRAF: After eight months here, these basement rooms in a makeshift Army base are home. No matter how many war movies the younger soldiers have seen, though, they found, in Fallujah, it was nothing like real life.

SPEC. WILL MOCK, U.S. ARMY: Your heart's racing so fast, you're not exactly sure what happened, until you sit down later and think about it, figure everything out, moments like that, the artillery whistling overhead, like somebody's whistling Dixie. And then it explodes.

ARRAF: Specialist Martin Szewcyk was with the sergeant major when he was killed.

SPEC. MARTIN SZEWCYK, U.S. ARMY: It's the disbelief and then shock and at the same time you're thinking, wow, we're in the 21st century, and medicine is so far ahead, that there's no way, that nothing can happen to him and it is not true. And you don't want it to be true. And then you just start -- just everything clicks and you start functioning as a soldier.

ARRAF: The only Iraqis these soldiers saw in Fallujah were gunmen. In the insurgent strongholds the task force rolled through in the east of the city, the civilians had fled long ago.

BACON: You know what's happening around you. You know somebody's trying to kill you, but you're still reacting and functioning, and almost like it's not real, you know, almost like, OK, this is just a normal day at the office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Darrin J. Bohn, I do hereby confirm this appointment to command sergeant major in the United States Army.

ARRAF: A couple of days after returning, Sergeant Major Darrin Bohn is promoted to take his dead friend's place as command sergeant major, a poignant experience.

SGT. MAJOR DARRIN BOHN, U.S. ARMY: I will do everything in my power to be as good as him or better.

ARRAF: Being in combat breeds the most intense camaraderie and isolation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't explain anything to anybody back there. The only people you have anything in common with are the guys that you fought with.

ARRAF: These soldiers talk endlessly about what they're going to do when they get back to the world, their real lives at home. But whether they want it or not, this reality, so difficult to explain, will remain with them.


ZAHN: A painful reminder of the constant reality over there for U.S. fighters. That was Jane Arraf reporting for us tonight.

Coming up next, we're going to change our focus quite dramatically, a very different kind of battle inside and outside the U.S. Supreme Court.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marijuana is rejected as a medicine by all of the major medical associations.

ANGEL RAICH, MEDICINAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE: If it wasn't for cannabis, I really wouldn't be here today talking to you and fighting for my rights.


ZAHN: So who should decide whether marijuana can be used as medicine? That debate when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: We are now up to some eleven states that actually allow the use of marijuana to treat people who are seriously ill. But the Bush administration says those states are violating federal law, that pot is an illegal narcotic. Well the pros and cons of medical marijuana were argued today before the U.S. Supreme Court. And what is at stake in this case is not only the question of medical treatment, but the issue of state's rights.


ANGEL RAICH, MEDICAL MARIJUANA USER: I have an inoperable brain tumor.

ZAHN (voice-over): For Angel Raich, every day is a battle against relentless pain, spasms and seizures caused by a brain tumor, scoliosis, and a joint disease.

RAICH: Nausea, severe chronic pain. I really am, unfortunately, riddled with illness.

ZAHN: After trying dozens of medications to ease her pain, this California mother of two teenagers turned to marijuana. Angel's doctor prescribed lighting up every two hours. She smokes about three ounces a week from plants grown specifically for her treatment. No money changes hands. She says the drug is helping her win her personal war against pain. Even today, on the steps of the Supreme Court.

RAICH: I need to use cannabis every two hours. If I don't medicate every two hours, I become debilitated. In fact just standing here now, my body is actually trying to go into spasm, and you can actually see my physical body already changing.

ZAHN: Raich's home state of California, along with ten other states, allow people to use marijuana if their doctors recommend it. On the other side of the case, federal health officials say there are no proven benefits for marijuana use. And it may even contribute to cancer.

CALVINA FAY, DRUG-FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION: None of this is being driven by doctors. It's not -- it's been rejected. Marijuana is rejected as a medicine by all of the major medical associations. It's a handful of people who want to see not just marijuana, but all drugs legalized.

ZAHN: A federal appeals court has ruled that states are free to adopt medical marijuana laws, so long as the drug is not sold or transported across state lines. It said federal laws that criminalize marijuana don't apply to patients whose doctors have recommended it. After hearing the arguments, the Supreme Court will consider whether the federal law that bans marijuana possession can be enforced in those states allowing its medical use. Raich says no matter what the Supreme Court decides, she won't stop using marijuana.

RAICH: If it wasn't for cannabis I really would not be here today talking to you and fighting for my rights. And I feel very strongly that the justices should really think very hardly about the fact, and the facts that are before them, because today, if they decide that I have the right to live, then I will be able to spend the rest of my life with my family. On the other hand, if they decide against me, it means that they would be giving me a death sentence.


ZAHN: Joining me now from Boston, Randy Barnett, who argued the case on behalf of Angel Raich and another plaintiff before the high court today. He's a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. And from Tampa, Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug-Free America Foundation. Glad to have both of you with us tonight.

Calvina, I want to start with you. You say this is not about doctors helping patients. That this movement is a result of people motivated to try to get narcotics legalized in this country. Are you telling me when you listen to Angel Raich's story, that's what you think her fight is about?

FAY: I can tell you that the people that have financed the initiatives that were put on the ballots where people voted to legalize marijuana were not doctors, they were not major medical groups in this country. They were businessmen who have admitted publicly that they would like to see not just marijuana, but all drugs legalized...

ZAHN: All right. But I asked you about Angel's story specifically. Do you not appreciate what she's going through and the fact that she believes this marijuana is greatly easing her pain? It's giving her almost a reason to live?

FAY: I certainly feel for anyone who's in pain. I don't question that at all. But I believe that people who are sick, who are in pain, should be getting good medicine. It is a fact that when people use drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, they do feel good. That's why people use drugs. That does not mean that that's medicine. And it does not mean that it's making them better.

ZAHN: So Randy, what about that fear? That if you allow this to happen in every state in America, what you're doing is encouraging recreational users to become addicted to these kinds of drugs.

RANDY BARNETT, ATTORNEY FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA USERS: Recreational use is still illegal under California law. California has made record drug busts for marijuana since the medical cannabis initiative has been enacted. So that's really a false issue here. What your viewers should be paying attention to is the constitutional issues in this case. And one of the things that they should be careful to know is that nothing the Supreme Court decides in this case will invalidate those state laws. Those state laws will remain in effect and they will give some protection to these patients in the ten states -- in the 11 states that have those laws. What this case is about is the limits of federal power to interfere with the operation of those laws by arresting people that California says may do what Angel and my other client Diane Monson (ph) are doing, protecting themselves and avoiding pain and suffering. ZAHN: Calvina, do you think there's no such thing as compassionate use of marijuana? That's what the doctors call it when they don't believe that any other treatment will provide pain relief for their patients.

FAY: I don't think it's compassionate to mislead people to use a drug that's been shown to be addictive, harmful, has no medicinal value to it as far as scientific evidence shows, to mislead them and make them think that it's making them better. Like I said when you take a drug you do feel better. That's why people take drugs. But it does not mean that it's treating the condition. And it's allowing that person to go untreated with legitimate medicine that could possibly help them.

ZAHN: Randy, do you think these patients are being misled by false hope?

BARNETT: Absolutely not. And nobody's claiming that medical cannabis treats the underlying conditions. What medical cannabis largely does is allow patients to survive traditional chemotherapy. For example by allowing them to overcome the nausea that's associated with chemotherapy. It allows them to survive AIDS treatment by allowing them to overcome wasting syndrome. Nobody claims that cannabis itself is a cure. Cannabis makes possible other medications to work. And it also alleviates pain and suffering. I suggest that you take a look at the Institute for Medicines report on the usefulness of medical cannabis. The recommendation was that medical cannabis be available until safer mechanisms for delivering the chemicals that are in marijuana are developed by medical pharmaceutical companies.

ZAHN: So do you poke holes in that report, Calvina? You don't subscribe to any of it?

FAY: Absolutely, the report clearly says that there is absolutely no future in smoking marijuana as medicine. It does talk about the fact that THC, one of the ingredients in marijuana has medicinal value. And THC is already available in prescription form, FDA approved, marketed under the name of Marinol. That's not something we object to. So the THC is available already. It's FDA approved and prescribed. That's very different than taking a crude weed such as marijuana and smoking it and taking into your lungs, and the respiratory system hundreds of different compounds, many of which have been proven to be cancer-causing.

ZAHN: Randy, I see you shaking your head no. What part of that do you disagree with?

BARNETT: There are other cannabinoids in smoke marijuana that the Institute for Medicine found to be promising and useful therapeutically. There's no question, it's not just THC. Some people can't take THC. The other thing people don't tell you is that Marinol which has this THC is also intoxicating and that's one of the effects that people don't like when they use Marinol. So what the Institute for Medicine said was we really do need more effective delivery mechanisms. That's why they said there's no future for smoke marijuana. But in the meantime while the government obstructs research into these areas by denying for example sources of medical cannabis for testing purposes, all that patients have left is smoke marijuana and the Institute for Medicines recommends that they be available.

ZAHN: Well, you've both given us a lot to think about here this evening. Calvina Fay, Randy Barnett, thank you for both of your perspectives.

And whether marijuana should be allowed for medical treatment is tonight's voting booth question. Just click on to, give us your opinion. And you can find more on the Supreme Court case and past medical marijuana cases, analysis, and in-depth coverage of the issue at

When we come back, a brand-new twist in a long-running dispute over evolution and creation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a good possibility that both science and the faith can coexist, and in fact they're both right.


ZAHN: The move to put religion in the science lab when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a good possibility that both science and the faith can coexist, and in fact they're both right.


ZAHN: The move to put religion in the science lab when we come back.


ZAHN: When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution, he wrote, "I see no good reason why the views given in this volume should shock the religious feelings of anyone." Well guess again.

Religious leaders attacked his theory then, and 145 years later it faces new attacks in public schools across the United States.

Here's our Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than half of Americans questioned in a recent CBS News/"New York Times" poll said human beings were created by God, created just as they are today. So those Americans think biblical creation should be taught right alongside evolution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a good possibility that both science and -- and the faith can coexist and in fact they're both right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think that it's -- I think everything should be taught about both. But, being the age I am, I still lean toward creation more.

FOREMAN: Within the past year, 24 states have gone through public debate about teaching evolution. In Georgia, some textbooks now carry stickers saying evolution is just a theory. In Pennsylvania, some teachers are teaching an alternative to evolution.

WALT BROWN, FORMER EVOLUTIONIST: I am saying it is a terribly flawed theory.

FOREMAN: And Walt Brown, who was once an evolutionist himself, is pleased. For years, he and others have argued that fossil records, the Earth's geology, even astrological events, simply provide too much evidence that something else is at work.

BROWN: Creationists wanted to see all the scientific evidence taught at the appropriate grade levels. There's a ton of evidence that opposes evolution and supports creation. And it's just being censored.

FOREMAN: Two words have come up a lot these days, are "intelligent design." Supporters of this idea do not talk about God, or the Bible, but instead, say some things are so complex, nature alone cannot explain them.

(on camera) The scientific community often dismisses such attacks on evolution as the result of runaway ignorance or religious zeal masquerading as scientific skepticism. Evolution, they say, is a theory but a very sound one.

(voice-over) Still, some who study religion, evolution and science, suggest the fundamental problem is that faith can never prove the existence of God, and science can never prove God's absence.

JIM MILLER, ASSOCIATION FOR ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE: Creation is a term that's appropriate community of use is the religious community. It's a term that refers to convictions that are held within the religious community that may or may not have any bearing on science.

FOREMAN: But increasingly, it seems, creation is a term that may have a bearing on how science is taught.


ZAHN: Joining me now to debate this Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education. She joins us from San Francisco tonight. And from Cincinnati, Jason Lisle. He has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and works with a pro-creationism group called Answers in Genesis.

Welcome, both of you.

Jason, let's start with you tonight. If you were to teach creationism in a classroom, what would you teach?

JASON LISLE, ANSWERS IN GENESIS: Well, I would show that the scientific evidence, when you understand it, is consistent with what the Bible has to say about creation.

If I had the -- if I had the legal right to talk about the Bible, I would use that. If I didn't, I would at least show that the evidence is consistent with there being a creator with design.

For example, we see created kinds -- we see different kinds of organisms in the world and we see them reproducing after their kinds. We don't see one kind of organism turning into other kind of organism. That's not something that we actually observe in nature. And that's something that evolution -- evolutionists say is required.

ZAHN: So Eugenie, how would you explain that?

EUGENIE SCOTT, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION: Well, hearing a creationist define evolution is a little bit like having Madeline Murray O'Hare define Christianity. You're not really going to get the -- the straight story there.

The way evolution is taught at the university level is the way it should be taught at the high school level. And that's really what we're talking about here. It's not between evolution and science.

ZAHN: What do you mean by that?

SCOTT: At the university level, which is where I used to teach, we teach evolution, biological evolution, as the inference that living things had common ancestors. And we teach it neutrally. We don't teach it that God did it or God had nothing to do with it. We just present the science.

And that's what should be done at the high school level.

ZAHN: Jason, I want to share with you a result from the latest CBS/"New York Times" poll, which show that 65 percent of those people polled were in favor of teaching both creation and evolution in public school classrooms. Do you appreciate these numbers?

LISLE: I do. I think that a lot of people realize that it would be very smart to teach both creation and evolution if that were possible. Because...

ZAHN: So you don't have a problem with both being taught side by side?

LISLE: Not at all. In fact I encourage people to actually teach evolution. But teach it warts and all. Show the problems with it, as well, and then show what the creationist interpretation of the evidence is. Because we feel that the creationist interpretation of the evidence makes a lot more sense when you understand it. ZAHN: What about the argument Eugenie made that you can teach it in a more neutral way, and I'll let you expand on that in a moment, Eugenie?

SCOTT: Thank you.

LISLE: Well, there's no neutral ground, is there? I mean, you're ultimately either for what God has said as word or against it. And that's what the real issue is here.

ZAHN: Eugenie?

SCOTT: No, we're treating this as if there are two alternatives, evolution, and the institute, or the answers in Genesis' version of creation.

But you know, his version of creation, which is everything was created all at one time in six days, 10,000 years ago, is not what Catholics believe. It's not what Episcopalians believe, and it's certainly not what Hopi believe or what Navajo believes. So you can't say teach both, because there's more than two alternatives.

Now my view, the view that the National Center for Science Education takes, is that we should know more about a lot of creationisms, plural. But it has no place in science class. I think comparative religion is a wonderful study, and we should be more theologically literate than we are. But keep it out of science class, because it is not scientifically demonstrable.

ZAHN: So Jason, would you support the idea of moving that into a religion class?

LISLE: I have no problem with creation, evolution being taught in a religion class, as well. But it would be nice if the scientific aspects of the creation models, just the idea that there is an intelligent creator, would be brought up in a science classroom.

There's scientific evidence supporting that position. I mean, is the evolution model so weak that its adherents feel the need to suppress any alternatives?

SCOTT: I don't think it's a matter of...

ZAHN: Eugenie, there's a lot of, you know, strong words that are used when it comes to this debate that creationism is actually being censored out of the curriculum.

SCOTT: Of course. It's being censored out of the science curriculum, because, contrary to the claims that have just been made, there are no scientific data supporting it.

Look, the fact of the matter is that science is not a fair process. I mean, it's not a democratic system. The creationists have the same right that I have to make their position to the scientific community and convince them that there is evidence supporting the idea that everything was created all at one time. The problem is, there are no data. They haven't made the case. But what they want to do is make an end-run around the scientific community and go directly to the school district, as opposed to the normal process of having these ideas filter down from the scientific community.

You know, the thing is, scientists and teachers aren't trying to get creationism into this -- into the curriculum. It's the politicians. And what this has done is politicize science education in a very negative fashion.

ZAHN: Well, Jason's a scientist. He's trying to get it into the curriculum.

LISLE: Yes, and you know, real science, real science thrives on competing models.

SCOTT: That's right.

LISLE: A real scientist...

SCOTT: Make your argument to the scientific community.

LISLE: A real scientist would not squelch the evidence.

SCOTT: Don't make it to a -- don't make it to a high school teacher.

LISLE: But see, I find it interesting that evolutionists would try to use political pressure to suppress certain ideas. For example Russ Humphries, he's a Ph.D. nuclear physicist, and he has a model of how magnetic fields work. It's based on their being created 6,000 years ago. And he's able to actually predict the magnetic fields of the planets Uranus and Neptune based on creation.

And yet, most students will never hear about that, because we're not allowed.

SCOTT: And there's -- and there's a very good reason for that.

ZAHN: All right, Eugenie, you get the last word tonight in the debate. The very good reason for that is what, Eugenie?

SCOTT: The very good reason for that is that he has to fool around with some constants that completely violate the laws of physics, which is why these arguments are not made in the scientific literature. They're made -- they're made politically at the local school board. And that's not the place for them.

ZAHN: Eugenie Scott, Jason Lisle, thank you for educating us tonight. Appreciate it.

LISLE: Thank you.

SCOTT: Thank you for asking us. ZAHN: My pleasure. Part of the television evolution has been the rise of a series called reality TV. But you've never seen it quite like this. "The Apprentice" with politics, but without the Donald, when we come back.


ZAHN: Six and a half million people live in the state of Israel. Three quarters of them are Jews, and most will acknowledge they have few welcoming neighbors in the Middle East and not enough friends around the world.

Well, now comes an idea to improve Israel's image, and it's right out of Donald Trump's playbook.

John Vause reports from Jerusalem.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take 14 ambitious young people, put them on TV, fighting it out for a New York job. Sound familiar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, guys. My name's Aton Schwartz (ph). I'm 30 years old. I'm from Israel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Vernon El-Alem (ph).

VAUSE: But this is reality TV, Israeli style. Called "The Ambassador," the winner will work for a year for Joey Low, a Jewish- American businessman who runs an Israeli advocacy group.

JOEY LOW, FOUNDER, ISRAEL AT HEART: You'll be faced with many challenges but have a chance to make a real difference. That's up to you.

VAUSE (on camera): Do you think Israel has an image problem?


VAUSE: Nachman Shai, a former Israeli army spokesman, is one of three judges. Each week, they'll decide who stays and who's fired.

SHAI: Here we deal with a very small country that cannot exist without world public support. As seriously as that.

VAUSE: On the first episode, they addressed a group of students at Britain's Cambridge University, making the case for Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority declined to every opportunity that the Israel has offered them.

VAUSE: And there were some tough questions, as well. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people find this sickening when we talk about generous offers. It's like me busting into your home, taking control, killing a few of your family members and telling you that you can now live in the closet and saying that's a generous offer.

BIN NUN: And we make it very clear...

VAUSE: And the reply, less than diplomatic.

BIN NUN: Israel has not taken anything from anyone. If you go back...

VAUSE: Which may explain why she was the first to be fired.

(on camera) And when the first show went to air, more than a million viewers tuned in, the highest rating debut for an Israeli reality program ever and perhaps a sign of things to come. Reality TV, where the entire country has a real stake in the outcome.


ZAHN: What a concept. Reality TV where you actually have to think. That was John Vause reporting for us tonight.

We're going to have the results of our "Voting Booth" question right after this.


ZAHN: And now tonight's "Voting Booth" results. We asked you, "Should marijuana be allowed for medical treatment?" Ninety-three percent of you said yes. Seven percent said no.

Not a scientific survey. Just a sampling of -- from our web site and those of you who logged on with your opinion. Always appreciate your participating.

And that wraps it up for PAULA ZAHN NOW for this Monday night. Tomorrow, it's the newest thing on cable TV, a network aimed at America's Muslims. Who's behind it? What's it like? Tomorrow.

Thanks for joining us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.