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Colorado Man Charged with Killing Wife After Taking Marijuana-Laced Candy; Mother Shot by Husband While on the Phone with 911; Cannabis Smoking Reporter Who Walked Off the Job
Aired December 22, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST (voice-over): Tonight, pot, weed, cannabis. People are quitting jobs over it, moving across the country to get it, and
being arrested for giving it to their sick children. Marijuana for the hour. Let us get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Good evening. My co-host, Samantha Schacher, of course with me and we are devoting the hour to stories about pot. First up, a mother of
three shot in the head allegedly by her husband while she was on the phone with 911.
He allegedly was hallucinating after having eaten marijuana-laced candy. This, of course, took place in Colorado where the use of recreation
marijuana is legal. Have a look.
FEMALE 911 OPERATOR: Report of a domestic violence in progress.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Kristine Kirk initially called 911 to report that her husband was hallucinating.
FEMALE 911 OPERATOR: Reporting party versus her husband has been smoking marijuana.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Richard Kirk ate edible marijuana and was hallucinating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Talking about the end of the world and saying he wanted her to shoot him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: It took police 13 minutes to get here. And, by the time they did, they were too late.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But while Kristine was still on the phone with 911, she said her husband had grabbed the gun. She started to screen
and the gunshot was heard. But Kristine`s voice was never heard again.
POLICE: Need an ambulance code central. Party down. We are going to need homicide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: According to sources, one of the couple`s three children witnessed all of it.
PINSKY: All right Sam, you have an update on the child that witnessed all this.
SAMANTHA SCHACHER, HLN CO-HOST: So sad, Dr. Drew. So, right after he killed his wife, he walked into his 7-year-old son`s bedroom, asked his son
to kill him so that mom and dad could be together with God.
PINSKY: Oh, boy.
SCHACHER: My goodness!
PINSKY: And, he is OK, that kid, do we know? Or is he --
SCHACHER: I hope he is talking to somebody. I mean how OK can you be? He witnessed everything.
PINSKY: You have got a great point there. And, in fact, my panel had a ton to say about this. So, have a look.
PINSKY: Here is what the wife told the 911 operator about this man is behavior. He was hallucinating, scaring the kids, reasonably so, talking
about the end of the world, and telling her to shoot him.
PINSKY: Leeann, your reaction?
LEEANN TWEEDEN, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it is so tragic, Dr. Drew. I mean, being a new mom, myself, I cannot imagine having a child, one of
them seeing -- witnessing their father killed their mother.
But what I want to know is, in the tape you just played, it said he was smoking medical marijuana. What I want to know is, I do not spoke pot.
So, I do not know. Do they lace pot with a PCP or something that could make him hallucinate like that?
PINSKY: No. No, no, no. No. Vanessa, you are saying -- what do yous say, Vanessa?
VANESSA BARNETT, HIPHOLLYWOOD.COM: I would say, absolutely, I have seen it time and time again --
PINSKY: No. No. Hang on a second.
BARNETT: -- where they lace joints with things you cannot even imagine.
PINSKY: Yes. You can roll it in PCP and they are called it sherms. There is wet cigarette. There are all kinds of ways for people adding stuff.
Cocoa puffs, they add cocaine to it.
PINSKY: But I heard he was eating cannabis.
SAM SCHACHER: He was.
BARNETT: Exactly. But, you can mix things in when you are eating it as well.
BARNETT: You never knew.
BARNETT: That is the risk you take when you are a drug user. You do not know what the effects are going to be. Unfortunately, this is the worst-
case scenario; but that is what happens when you take drugs. You do not know the reaction your body is going to have.
PINSKY: That is right. The edible cannabis is very hard to control the amount you get.
PINSKY: With smoked, you get very rapid effects.
TWEEDEN: Yes, but does pot ever do that, no matter how much you eat?
PINSKY: The answer is, I am going to bring an expert here in a second, Leeann, but the answer is yes. People do not realize, a high, high dose of
cannabis is hallucinatory. And, in some people, it can actually precipitate psychosis. Now, it is rare but it happens. Like any
substance, as Vanessa was saying, there can be untoward effects.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Even though everyone assumes marijuana is harmless. It is not. It is a drug. It alters your perceptions and your
PINSKY: Ever eat a pot brownie?
SCHACHER: Oh, wow, way to put me on the spot there, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Just thought I would ask.
SCHACHER: But, listen -- yes, I have. I have had -- I think you touched on something earlier on about you do not know the quantity. And, I was
given a chocolate bar.
PINSKY: Because it is slow to come on.
PINSKY: And, you can take a lot of it very easily.
SCHACHER: Dr. Drew, I was supposed to take a little piece --
SCHACHER: -- but it was so damn good I ended up nearly eating the entire bar and it takes so -- it takes a while until it finally hits you.
SCHACHER: And when it did, it was the worst. I hated it. I only did it once. I will never do it again. And, I was paranoid. I did not
hallucinate. I was not violent. But I was so paranoid and I was comatose on the couch. Do not recommend it. Do not.
PINSKY: So, Loni, only once, but you maybe have a defense case here after the show. Set you up, because California, it is not legal, unfortunately.
But, here we go.
I want to bring in on the phone, Kevin Sabet. He is former senior drug policy adviser for the Obama administration. He is author of "Reefer
Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Cannabis, About Marijuana."
Kevin, one of the myths, I wonder, I forget your specific myths. But, I bet one of them is that it cannot cause psychiatric symptoms.
KEVIN SABET, FMR. SENIOR DRUG POLICY ADVISOR, OBAMA ADMINISTRATION (via telephone): That is right and thanks for having me on. I mean the issue
is, there is actually 450,000 emergency room admissions every year, hospitalizations due to marijuana.
SABET: And, the reason people do not realize that and that is so surprising is because people do not get that today`s marijuana is totally
not your Woodstock weed. OK? It is five to 20 times stronger. Now with waxes, you can get 90 percent THC, and it is our huge problem sending
people to the E.R.
We are actually going it release report on Friday with Patrick Kennedy. He is going to brief administration officials talking about just what the huge
increase in pediatric exposure to marijuana ever since legalization in Colorado, troubling.
PINSKY: And, so, again, just to restate this. It is unusual, but certainly not unheard of for cannabis, particularly --
SABET: Of course. Everyone who tries it every day, it is not going to -- you know?
SABET: The chances are not, you know, the majority that this is going to happen.
SABET: But the issue is, it is possible and people do not realize that. They think this is just your harmless buzz you get from your, you know,
college roommate. It is not. It is genetically modified. I mean talk about a GMO product.
SABET: I mean, you know, high THC. And, it is in all kinds of candies and cookies. So, there is no way a 5-year-old can tell a difference between a
pot cookie let alone a 50-year- old.
SCHACHER: Right. Yes. Kevin --
SABET: So, there are a lot of issues with legalization people do not think for --
SCHACHER: Hey, Kevin, I have a question for you. Is an edible worse than just smoking a joint?
PINSKY: You know what? Kevin, let me answer that. It is only worse in a sense that you cannot really control the dosing and it takes a long time to
come on --
SCHACHER: And it takes longer.
SABET: That is right.
PINSKY: And, once it comes on, it stays on a lot longer.
PINSKY: Now, the man in question`s wife told the 911 operator that he may have taken pain pills for his back, but the toxicology showed only a small
amount of THC. No other drugs and no alcohol.
So, next up, was the "Blood Moon," in quotes, responsible for the husband`s behavior? And, later, the reporter who quit her job on T.V. live over pot.
She is here with us. There she is and we will be back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEMALE 911 OPERATOR: Reporting party versus her husband who has been smoking marijuana. Advised they do keep a handgun in the house, but it is
not in anybody is possession.
The wife on an open line saying that a male had a gun. All we have is the screaming in the background.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE: Need the ambulance code central. Party down. We are going to need homicide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam. We are talking about marijuana for the hour. A Colorado man is charged with killing his wife after taking marijuana-laced
candy. And, Sam, you have got some new information.
SCHACHER: That is right. Just a few hours after he was arrested, he asked the officers to call his wife, who he had just killed, and his three sons,
quote "That the Blood Moon was causing his mood swings."
PINSKY: Oh, that --
SCHACHER: And, that he is blaming it on the Blood Moon.
PINSKY: That is the Blood Moon thing.
PINSKY: Weird. It is just - Listen, he was so psychotic, he did not know what happened. I mean that is how out of his head he was.
SCHACHER: But was that just from pot or was he suffering from some sort of mental illness?
PINSKY: If you are, you know, pressing my face to the mirror, I would have to say that there got to be a couple things going on here. Though as Sabet
told us, Cannabis has such high potency has been documented to do stuff like this.
PINSKY: So, very strange. All right, let us hear what the behavior bureau had to say about this guy. Take a look.
PINSKY: This guy must have had major mental illness also and the cannabis probably precipitated that like a manic episode or some kind of psychotic
JUDY HO, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: That is right, Dr. Drew. I mean, yes, technically cannabis can be a hallucinogen, but that does not usually
happen. So, when it does happen --
HO: -- it is usually because the person has an underlying mental illness and having that marijuana in the system triggered an episode, triggered a
psychosis, triggered a hallucination.
PINSKY: And we do not know some -- there is a tweet next to your head there. If you guys put it back up again, maybe full screen. It says, "I
have a friend who has triggered schizophrenia." It has been reported it triggers schizophrenia.
What we do not know is, does it trigger it in somebody who is predisposed? Or can it trigger de novo, that is kind of interesting spelling of
schizophrenia there. And, that is what we are talking about here. And, I am not saying this was schizophrenic this guy had, but it was a psychotic
PINSKY: Jennifer, do you agree with this?
JENNIFER KEITT, RADIO HOST: Well, I do agree it is a psychotic episode. Absolutely. But, I think, speaking to a bigger issue to me, coping
mechanisms. This happened at 9:30 at night. So, you are talking about a suburban family. They come home. Is marijuana the way that you unwind?
That is what I am really kind of concerned about --
PINSKY: I do not. Sam does, but I do not.
SCHACHER: Excuse me.
KEITT: So, it is not a snapping episode. I mean, you do not come home and start smoking a joint. I mean, that is not the way to cope. And so, I
really -- my heart bleeds for this family. But, it speaks to the bigger issue of how do we deal with everyday stress with our life stressors and
what is going on in our lives?
PINSKY: But I want to be clear here. We have used alcohol in similar manners throughout the history of this country.
KEITT: Absolutely, we do.
PINSKY: And I -- we can point a finger at that, or cigarettes, the same thing as well.
PINSKY: Kirsten, what do you say?
KIRSTEN HAGLUND, FORMER MISS AMERICA: Well, you know, I think marijuana, what we are fighting, and people in the behavioral treatment world for a
long time have said, if you legalize marijuana, you know, it is a drug. You know, contrary to popular opinion, it can be at high doses very
addictive and it can be very dangerous.
You know, we have been nervous about this for a long time. But the thing is, is that we have to fight the perception especially among youth in this
country that marijuana is harmless, that it is cool to get stoned with your friends and it is not really a big deal. You know, as we see, this is
going to be an issue. We have to be very careful of these things.
People do not know how much marijuana they are getting, and whether or not this person, you know, this man had a mental illness before, this is the
danger of what can happen, especially when there is a gun in the home and children present that you have to be aware that this is going to happen and
we need to raise our focus and bring more attention to it.
PINSKY: All right. Let me have a shot here on the camera, guys -- yes. Listen, I do not like the idea of there being good drugs and bad drugs.
For sure, what Kirsten is, absolutely, true, that young people using substances, I do not care what the substance is, it is not a good thing.
It is going to be a problem.
PINSKY: And, the fact some are legal and some are illegal, does not matter. These things have effect, whether it is pills or whether it is
alcohol, whether it is pot, it will have an effect on the developing brain. We have got to get real about that.
PINSKY: Next, we have got an exclusive with the cannabis smoking reporter who walked off the job after a few expletives on live T.V. And, later, a
mom who gives her ill child cannabis to make him better. It is working and she gets arrested. We are back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLO GREENE, POT ADVOCATE: Now, everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of
my energy towards fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job -- well, not
that I have a choice, but, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) it, I quit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE KTVA MAIN ANCHOR: All right, we apologize for that. We will be -- we will be right back. Me -- pardon for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was former KTVA reporter and marijuana activist, Charlo Green. She quit her job right there just like that on live T.V. in order
to focus full time on legalizing recreational marijuana in Alaska. But, we want more, we want to hear more about what this girl was thinking and what
the details that brought on her episode on the show. So, have a look at this.
PINSKY: So can you tell me what happened right after you quit? What was the reaction, say, in your community and your coworkers?
CHARLO GREENE, POT ADVOCATE: Well, my workers, we work with a skeleton staff on the weekends, so there really was not too much reaction, except
one of thehigher-ups, Trent, he came out there yelling, "Oh, my gosh! You just broke the law, what did you do?
And, then he escorted me out of the building. So, that is as far as that went. But as far as the community, which is what all of this is really
about, how they reacted is just overwhelming. If you would have seen what happened yesterday at a public hearing held by Lieutenant Governor
Mead Treadwell, Alaskans were out in droves. They were finally angry.
They were finally speaking out and fighting, fighting for what is right. So, whether or not you like the package that the message was sent in, as
long as you received the message, which is that it is time for marijuana reform here in Alaska and across the nation, and then beyond
that, it is what it is. People are hearing me.
PINSKY: And so, was this sort of a calculated moment for you, or was it something where you just had a moment where you just had to do it? Or, you
know, was it something calculated to have the kind of impact it eventually did?
GREENE: It was calculated. Start to finish. Except for the F-bomb. That was -- that was --
PINSKY: And, any of the panelists have any questions for Charlo?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I have a question.
GREENE: I mean --
EIGLARSH: First of all, were you high when you did it? That is my first question. And second of all, did you think that it really drew attention
to the issue, the important issue of legalizing marijuana more than more than the fact that some beautiful woman said the F-word on live television.
PINSKY: And, let me follow along, tell us what the actual situation is in Alaska as well? They have medical marijuana such as it is, I believe, and
you want it completely legalized.
GREENE: Well, it is not that we have medical marijuana. Alaskans voted to legalize medical marijuana back in 1998. Sixteen years later, we still do
not have a single dispensary for these patients to get their medicine.
That is because the state, they have been sitting on their butts this entire time. It is almost like a cache-22. Like they said, hey, while the
people wanted medical marijuana. The people knew this was right, the people knew this could help, they decided to do this, but, F it.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Yes, but Charlo, this is --
MCENANY: Yes, Charlo, legalization of marijuana should not be left to the popular vote. This is in fact a health issue that should be left to the
FDA. I have a Drug Enforcement Agency right here, 63-page report on the terrible effects of marijuana, one of which is when you start in your
adolescence and continue forward using marijuana, you lose the equivalence of eight IQ points.
This is not to be left to the popular vote. It is a bad thing that should be decided by the FDA and the federal government. So, there is your answer
for why nothing has been do so far?
PINSKY: Charlo, what do you say to that?
GREENE: I would say, how about we ask the good doctor whether or not he believes in medical marijuana?
PINSKY: I think it is ridiculous that physicians cannot use anything that they feel they need to use for their patients. And, I am very disturbed by
the idea of good drugs and bad drugs. I am very disturbed by that. The idea that nicotine is a good drug and something else is a bad drug.
PINSKY: There is no good drugs and bad drugs. They are is just chemicals that humans relate to. Look at OxyContin. If you are a heroin addict,
that is a terrible drug. If you have pancreatic cancer, it is wonderful. The same thing is true with alcohol. You love great wine. It could be an
OK drug. But if you are an alcoholic, it is disastrous.
PINSKY: So, our thinking about drugs is very moralistic and very bizarre, I have got to say. Who -- was that Kayleigh want to say something?
GREENE: But you consider -- I am sorry, Dr. Drew --
MCENANY: Yes. But, Dr. Drew --
GREENE: You know, Kayleigh, I am talking. Do you consider marijuana as harmful as everything that you just mentioned, alcohol or opiates, anything
PINSKY: I think they are each -- it depends who -- it depends. I mean, I think, you know, OxyContin is devastating for some people, but for some, it
is extremely important.
PINSKY: What is that?
EIGLARSH: But to your point, I do not think that you can plausibly analogize marijuana to serious pain medication, first of all. Second of
GREENE: I was talking to Dr. Drew --
PINSKY: But, Mark, you are saying then that alcohol is a good drug? Alcohol is a good drug or nicotine is a good drug --
EIGLARSH: No. No, no , no.
PINSKY: And, OxyContin you are saying is a bad drug. That does not make sense to me?
EIGLARSH: The fact that alcohol -- the fact that -- no, no good, bad, right, or wrong. I do not think that alcohol should be legal and marijuana
should not. That is ridiculous.
MCENANY: No. There is differences, Mark. There is a big difference
SCHACHER: Can I get in here?
PINSKY: Who is talking? Wait.
SCHACHER: Can I get in here?
PINSKY: All I hear is buzzing voices.
SCHACHER: I have not gotten in here.
PINSKY: Sam then Kayleigh.
SCHACHER: OK. I just want to respond to Kayleigh. I do understand that people are concerned that teens and young children, that legalizing
marijuana, it will make it more available to them. I get that, with their developing brains. They should not be on any sort of substance.
Well, news flash, pot is everywhere! I would much rather have the states regulate it than these kids get it off the street. When I was in junior
high in high school, you could get it at the snap of your fingers.
I would rather see the states benefit from the taxes. And, I am sick and tired of the decriminalization, Dr. Drew, where these parents are going
into jail for nonviolent crimes. That is destroying families.
PINSKY: Yes. It is complicated, Sam. But, you know, in Colorado, where they are testing this out and I am interested to see how this plays out
for them. They are seeing a bump-up with teens.
SCHACHER: OK. Fair enough.
PINSKY: What is interesting -- What is interesting, they are seeing a bump-up -- they are seeing a decrease in the perception of harm, and
that is generally been nationwide. And, yet there is generally a decrease in pot use in teenagers in the country. So, we are doing something right.
And, you are right. We have to watch our kids. Kayleigh?
MCENANY: Dr. Drew, I completely disagree; because, look, alcohol and marijuana are entirely different substances. Alcohol, the intoxication
goes away the next day, whereas marijuana, the residual effects linger anywhere from days to weeks, impairing test scores, impairing cognitive
ability. It is a very different substance.
SCHACHER: Alcohol is horrible!
MCENANY: Emergency room visit for illicit drugs -- 40 percent of emergency room visits for illicit drugs are marijuana related. This is not good. It
is not going to add for society. It is a bad thing and it is very different than alcohol.
SCHACHER: Do not make alcohol sound like -- make it sound like the alcohol is better.
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I will tell you this --
SCHACHER: That is not a comparison that you can draw.
EIGLARSH: I have never, never represented someone or prosecuted someone who broke into someone`s home to support their marijuana habit.
EIGLARSH: The fact that -- and again, I say this at my own peril, because I do a lot of business defending people accused of possessing marijuana and
growing it. It is illogical that we spent precious judicial resources and law enforcement resources prosecuting people who possess weed.
PINSKY: Right. It is complex issue and I do not have a horse in the race, myself. I am fascinated by the whole thing. And, I am sympathetic to both
sides, because it is complicated.
PINSKY: I do not have a horse in the race at all, Sam. But, I got to tell you, for people -- Mark was unwilling to compare certain medicines
with pot. These are all different chemicals, each different in how they affect the humans.
PINSKY: To say, you cannot compare that one. No. They are all vastly different from one another. But people want to moralize about all of them.
That is what drives me crazy.
SCHACHER: Right. But, I get where Mark`s -- I get his point in the sense that you hear about all of these deaths that are caused from alcohol.
SCHACHER: You do not hear that so much with marijuana.
PINSKY: No. But, you heard about psychotic episode earlier.
PINSKY: But that is a rare thing.
PINSKY: But, again, these are -- just to try to measure them on some sort of a scale is not good either.
SCHACHER: It does not make it good. I get it.
PINSKY: It is just not good. They are all very, very different.
SCHACHER: Right. And, you know what is fascinating, though, is the fact that she was able to do something out of the norm.
SCHACHER: Like quit on live television.
SCHACHER: Drop the F-bomb and then boom it went viral and then was able to utilize social media, come on your show just from doing something that
surprises people. That is the power of social media today.
PINSKY: Right. It surprises people and then it gets on social media. We would have not heard about it.
PINSKY: Five years ago, even probably.
PINSKY: And, now it is everywhere.
PINSKY: Interesting. All right. More with that pot reporter as we call her a little bit later. And, also later, a family is moving across the
country to get medical marijuana to help their child. Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENE: Advocating for freedom and fairness should be everyone`s duty. I am making it my life work. Just share your own "My marijuana story." Show
them that we smokers are responsible, contributing members to society, changing one heart and mind at a time is the only way to legalize
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENE: And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but (EXPLECITIVE WORD) it. I quit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with Sam. That was Charlo Green, the reporter who dropped the F-bomb while just quitting her job live on television. She then
announced that she is going to go full-time supporting legalization of marijuana up there in Alaska. And, Sam, we got tweets on this one.
SCHACHER: Wow, Dr. Drew, I cannot imagine if you just got up and said F it. Wow! OK. So, yes, we have a lot of tweets. Here is one from Norah
McManus. She writes, "I will bet Charlo Green`s well-planned F bomb was nothing compared to language that anchor was hearing through her ear piece.
You better believe it." Also from HJstrange, "Charlo Greene should be ashamed of her unprofessionalism. I am no reason to act like that."
PINSKY: Yes. That is interesting. It was sort of planned, sort of calculated unprofessionalism.
PINSKY: All right. Well, here is more from my interview with Charlo. My panel took issue as I was just thinking here the way she went about
quitting. Have a look.
PINSKY: Charlo, I have got some interesting sort of questions for you. People think that because I treat addiction, somehow I am the buzz kill
guy, and I am really not. People want to smoke pot, that is on them or drink alcohol, whatever.
If people want to do heroin, that is on them. If they want to stop, though and cannot, that is when I am interested in helping people. And, I have
helped people with all kinds of drugs including pot, to help them stop. But, not very many people get that addicted to pot that they need my help.
Now, my question to you is -- and, Kayleigh brought something interesting up. She goes, "Well, there are all these health issues with pot" in which
I do not disagree with, but she said that FDA or health problems should be left to the government to adjudicate laws. I am not sure that is true.
In the law, something more with the people want to create and should the people have the last say in what kind of laws they live under? Is that
what you are saying?
GREENE: I mean, of course. I think that is what she does not get is it is we the people. We get to decide how we live our lives. Is not that what
makes us Americans? Is not that what makes being an American so rich and golden, is that we the people decide.
Alaskans voted for medical marijuana and they still cannot get it. How is that OK? How is that fair? The majority of Americans support marijuana
reform. The majority of Americans have common sense and know that the laws that are in place are ruing too many lives. And, who are these laws
PINSKY: And, it is weird, Charlo, to me that the people that do not like government, they are sort of a libertarian bet, are the ones who want to
tell you how to have -- what your relationship ought to be with a substance. Now, I think -- I do not know. I am not -- I do not make laws.
I am not a legislator. I will deal with whatever the laws are that people create.
And I think, I think it is very interesting situation with these laws. And, the people -- ultimately, the government -- you know, the people that
are worried about the nanny state like myself should maybe think about how this might be a part of the government, telling people how to live their
lives. And, just think really hard about that. All right, Judy, what do you say on this?
JUDY HO, PH.D., CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I am glad I am not a legislator, too, Dr. Drew. I would not like that job. But, I am
a researcher and a clinician. And, I think one of the things that I think about is when we are trying to advocate for this to happen, to
legalize marijuana, whether for medication or recreational purposes is, are we presenting a balanced view; or are we going to be victims of the
researcher bias, where we are only presenting one side, because what we want to achieve.
HO: And, so, my question to Charlo is this. You know, clearly, there are benefits to utilizing marijuana, especially for medicinal purposes, but
there are also some negative consequences too.
And, there are actually some really well-documented negative consequences, especially in teens and for pregnant mothers. But, you know, even short-
term consequences like reducing critical thinking, even for a few days after use.
PINSKY: Yes. All right. Go ahead, answer that.
HO: Yes. Go ahead, Charlo.
GREENE: I do not know what exactly the question was, but as far as what the teen issue, this law is not going to give it to teens. This law does
not mean that teens are just going to start using it in droves.
PINSKY: Hey, Charlo --
HO: My question, Charlo -- sorry, that was not my question.
PINSKY: Wait. I got something for you. My question is, why are people so hostile and aggressive about the pot thing? Why do people -- why they are
so angry about it? Why not, like, make collaborations and be more -- I do not know --
GREENE: Because the people need to be angry now. This has been 80 years in the making. I can name countless people who have been harmed
by prohibition, by marijuana prohibition today, in 2014, in Alaska, in Texas, in Florida, in New York --
PINSKY: All right. Hold on. I hear you. I want to give my panel a chance here. Erica, go ahead.
ERICA AMERICA, T.V. HOST AND PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yes, Dr. Drew. I want to say, I think it is amazing that you are giving Charlo, you know, an
opportunity, a platform to say what it is she really wanted to say. Because, you know, I am big into pop culture and the blogging role that is
This was the biggest story this week. It was everywhere. But, unfortunately, it was clipped down to the little bit that just said, "F"
it. I quit." A lot of people did not even know what it was about, regarding the marijuana thing.
So, I think a lot of people connected to it because there is that vicarious part of it, that everyone wants to kind of quit their job and let
themselves go and really just tell it like it is. So, I do not know if her issue is getting applause, but at the same time, we would not be talking
about it unless she did it that way. So, I think --
PINSKY: Yes. I mean, here we are.
AMERICA: Yes. We are talking about it. You are giving her the chance to discuss it.
PINSKY: Yes. And, Charlo -- thank you, Erica. Charlo, one thing to take back with you, if you would -- from this conversation from me, if
you would. I hate the fact that medical marijuana often translates to a terrible practice -- a terrible quality of the practice of medicine.
Physicians should be able to prescribe whatever they need to do to help their patients.
PINSKY: But they need to practice good medicine, not political medicine. So, one thing I would ask you guys -- but I think you are trying to get
recreational pot legalized. But if you get medical marijuana, please make sure they practice good medicine with it, OK?
GREENE: I promise.
PINSKY: Next, one mother is arrested for helping her brain injured child with medical marijuana. And, later, another mother is taking plastic
action to access cannabis for her son, moving to her family across the country. Back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREY BROWN, TEENAGER SUFFERING FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: It just hurts in my brain, just everywhere. I cannot really explain the pain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: That pain came in headaches, muscle spasms and seizures. It got so bad Tray could not go to school, and started to
punch and cut himself. Nothing that came from Minnesota doctors seemed to work. The Browns brought cannabis oil back home.
TREY BROWN: I felt better. The pain went away.
ANGELA BROWN, TREY`S MOTHER: A week later that my mom called and said the cops are here looking for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Investigators seized the oil and charged Angela Brown with child endangerment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: The fact that this woman is being persecuted because she is taking care of her baby, and that you all who are there in Minnesota
who are not saying, let us meet with the family, and you are thinking about taking her to jail because she is protecting her kid, that is not America!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: I agree with Whoopi. Back with Sam. A mother willing to risk jail to get medical marijuana, helpful medical marijuana for her son. I
spoke to her about it. Take a look.
PINSKY: The law enforcement has taken the cannabis oil away, my understanding is. How is Trey doing without it?
ANGELA BROWN, MOM CHARGED FOR GIVING CANNIBIS OIL TO HER ILL SON: He is not doing well.
ANGELA BROWN: He is not.
PINSKY: All right. And -- I only want to know, I am just getting so angry about this. I am so sorry. I am sorry that people will not put the
patient first. I do not understand. I do not understand that. It just makes me crawl out of my skin.
Was it -- is there a physician advising you? In other words, the only thing that bothers me about what you did is that you are sort of playing
doctor. Is there somebody serving that role for you?
ANGELA BROWN: I had suggestions from a couple of doctors that we try it. So no, I did not just go into a back alley and buy marijuana.
ANGELA BROWN: And researched it by the bed. I had the suggestion from a doctor. But because the two states where my son doctors -- it was
illegal at the time, so, no, of course not, they cannot just write a prescription and say, you know --
PINSKY: And to get things -- to make this crazier, it is going to be legal in 2015 in your state, right?
ANGELA BROWN: Yes.
PINSKY: So you are going to -- and now magically it is a bad drug, and soon it is going to be a good drug. Our thinking on this is so weird
SCHACHER: It is.
PINSKY: And it makes people suffer. Oh, we could -- but I am sure they offer you good drugs like opiate pain medication, right?
ANGELA BROWN: But the problem was, is that the medications he was on, caused him harm. And, that is what led us to the desperation of seeking
out medicinal cannabis.
PINSKY: Why should that be a desperation? That should not be a desperate move. That should be an -- move, it is like we are going to find a
treatment that works for him. It is an option. Did you contemplate any of the other anti-seizure congener with cannabis?
ANGELA BROWN: Trey has been on many, many --
PINSKY: No, no, of cannabis. But listen, Angela, there are anti-seizure components of cannabis. Did you go after any of those, like try to get
any of the research protocols that are under way, anything like that?
ANGELA BROWN: We live in the states where it is not legal, so it is really hard to just -- and we have limited funds, so it was not like I could just
go to Oregon and get him into a study or spend weeks and weeks in Colorado trying to figure things out. We had to do the research that we could at
home, and then we literally just fell into these amazingly kind, loving people in Colorado that helped us out.
ANGELA BROWN: And helped us along the way.
PINSKY: Sam, what is the reaction like on social media? On Facebook page?
SCHACHER: It is varied, Dr. Drew. So, I have from Antonio, "If I did that I would be charged, no excuse to break the law." From Angelica, "He needed
a medical marijuana card from the doctor, so the law is the law. Next time she should be smarter about what she is doing."
PINSKY: So, they are sort of negative.
SCHACHER: It switches. From Debbie, "If it is against the law, duh." From Daniel, "This is ridiculous. Moms are being treated like criminals
for trying to make their children pain free."
Nurse Amy, "Hell, no, she should not -- she tried traditional medications, they did not work. As hismother, she took it to the next level to get some
relief for her child. I do the same in a heartbeat."
And finally from Erin, "Another stupid charge against the mother who obviously cares for her son, risking jail to help him. She should be
commended in court, not charged." I agree.
PINSKY: Evy, do you get what I am concerned about? That there is this weird moralizing about treatment of medical illness. Why do we have to
have a moralistic attitude about this? It is bizarre.
EVY POUMPOURAS, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It is because the situation here, she broke the law. And, even though it is going to be legal in the future,
that is what ex- post factor is. If the law -- whatever the law is at that time. So, she intentionally made a decision to break the law and that is
the way they are looking at it.
And they are probably maybe trying to set an example with her so that other people do not do the same thing, because you have Colorado and
these bordering states where there is a lot of discontent amongst the people that cross the border, they go get drugs, they come back.
So then it comes to the fact, it is like so how many times are you going to excuse this, so to speak? But, I do think that if they want to charge her,
fine. But putting her in jail, having her serve a sentence just for trying to do the right thing, that is where it starts to get ugly.
That is where you have to kind of on a moral level say, "You know what? At what point, fine, you want to punish her to a point, fine. But then you
have to stop and think of it from a rational perspective, a moral perspective. She was trying to do the right thing for her son".
PINSKY: Judy. Of course she was.
HO: And, if she gets sentenced and put in jail, then you are taking her away from a son --
HO: That obviously needs her and is sick right now.
SCHACHER: A caregiver.
HO: So, that is terrible.
PINSKY: It is just -- It makes me sick. Angela, listen, I hope people are supporting you appropriately and I hope things turn out well. Are
you optimistic about this?
ANGELA BROWN: I am. I just feel that, you know, the negative people out there have never been in my shoes. They never had to hold their child
down while he was trying to kill himself. So, until you are in that place, you cannot say anything.
PINSKY: We have gotten crazy on this topic, officially.
SCHACHER: Yes. Absolutely. It is heart wrenching. And, we have a lot of action on twitter, too, Dr. Drew. I want to read three tweets. The first
one comes from Joan Block. She says, "Wasting tax dollars, leave this mother alone."
The next one comes in from, donotbescaredhomey. That is awesome. I love your Twitter handle. He writes or she, "I think she has a solid reason and
it was recommended by an ER doctor."
SCHACHER: And, from Lisa Peyton, "I would break the law too if I had an ill child who needed my help." Oh, gosh. Of course.
PINSKY: And it worked. It worked for them.
PINSKY: She had access.
PINSKY: All right. Next up, would you also -- there isanother family in trouble. Would you move your family across the country to get marijuana if
it worked for your child? And, a reminder, you can find us any time on Instagram @drdrewhln. We will be right back after this.
PINSKY: I am back with Sam. We got another mom taking extreme measures to treat her child with medical marijuana. She said she has been forced to
move across the country to Colorado, so she can continue treating her son is epilepsy successfully with cannabis. I spoke to her after discussing
the issue with the behavior bureau. Have a look.
SCHACHER: Yes, OK, so she lives in New Jersey and she gets the cannabis legally through the state is compassionate Youth law. Her 15-year old
son suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, suffers from severe seizures; but when he turns 18, Dr. Drew, according to these documents, he may no
longer qualify to get cannabis under the law.
So -- and also take note, because of New Jersey`s laws on edibles, the mom cannot get the exact form of cannabis that her son needs, so she is left to
mixing it and left to her own devices. And, she also does not want to wait for New Jersey laws to catch up to the needs of her son, so she is moving
to Colorado where she can get more ongoing safe and legal forms of cannabis.
PINSKY: So, Kayleigh, why cannot the state leave physicians alone and the patients to take care of patients and to do what their patients need tomake
them better? What cannot they do that? And, are you -- you are a conservative.
MCENANY: Look, I have --
PINSKY: You are from conservative position, the law -- the government is crawling into that relationship every which way, why cannot they just
leave us alone?
MCENANY: Look, I have a lot of sympathy for this mom. I want her to help her son in whatever way she can. However, let us keep in mind the American
Academy of Pediatrics is against medical use of marijuana in children.
Doctor Sharyn Levy, a Harvard professor, has pointed out -- and a doctor has pointed out that we know the short-term anecdotal effects of marijuana,
it is very helpful. We do not know the long term effects. This has not gone through controlled FDA type testing. All we know is that it is
essentially, a neurotoxic on a child is brain. There is no evidence as to the long term effects, that is the problem, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: That is a problem, we need to study it. We need to be free to study it. In the meantime, physicians --
MCENANY: A hundred percent.
PINSKY: And, physicians who are desperate to help their patients may need to, on a compassionate basis, take risk on their behalf. Loni?
LONI COOMBS, ATTORNEY: Yes. I agree. And, I think that, that is what doctors are supposed to do. That is what their patients want from them.
You know, we talked about this the other day. Sometimes it takes civil disobedience -
PINSKY: Oh, Loni!
COOMBS: -- to get the law changed .
PINSKY: Sam, Loni was breaking the law. This attorney is advocating civil disobedience, everybody.
COOMBS: Well -- but, Dr. Drew, that is how the law typically changes when people step up and say --
PINSKY: When the laws are wrong and they are wrong here! That is the problem. Laws are supposed to be right. Vanessa.
BARNETT: I mean right now she is like the Rosa Parks of pot.
BARNETT: She is trying to make changes happen and she has to move from where she is, pick up, she does not have a job. She barely has a place to
PINSKY: She is a nurse, too.
BARNETT: But, she is trying to do the best she can for her child, and it should not be this difficult.
MCENANY: All of these great effects that we are extolling now are short- term effects. We do not know the long-term effects.
PINSKY: We do not. That is right.
MCENANY: That is why we have the FDA. I pose a question to the panel, is it good to vote on medicine at the state level? A state ballot
initiative should not determine what medicines are legal.
We would not do that for any other type of medicine, but for pot, we will make this special exception and allow the popular vote to determine what
the FDA should be determining. That is a problem.
PINSKY: I have Jennie Stormes on the phone. Mom and registered nurse. So, tell us how your story is playing out now, what the plan is, how people
are receiving you, and how is your son doing, more importantly?
JENNIE STORMES, MOTHER: He is actually doing great now that he has both the medical advice from the doctors in Colorado, and also he is going to
have access to the medicine he needs without worry of running out like we were in New Jersey. The dispensaries were running out of the strains,
the different medicine --
PINSKY: The CDD. Yes. Jenny let me say that Kayleigh McEnany raised an interesting, important point that this has not been FDA studied yet, there
is a lot more to be learned about long-term effects. Do you worry about that on your son?
STORMES: Actually, I was more worried at 4 months old, when they put him on Phenobarbital, which is a narcotic, which is not recommended for
anyone under the age of 12.
My son was put on that at a very young age including at a year and a half, then the Diazopine. And since starting cannabis, he has been weaned from
the heavy narcotics, which are actually more dangerous than cannabis itself and less addictive than cannabis, itself.
PINSKY: You certainly have no argument for me; however, Kayleigh, maybe you want to make your point again, that there could be neurotoxic effects
on teen brains, Kayleigh, on teen brains and he is now becoming an adult, so it may not be as clear cut.
MCENANY: Sure. And, you know, Ms. Stormes, my heart goes out to you and your son. I want nothing more than to see him functioning and healthy.
But the long-term effects, they are troubling. We do not know what they are. It is this vast unknown.
And, I think that we can all here agree that the FDA should be doing trials. They should be looking into this. If this can help your son, I
want to help your son with this. But it is troubling to not know what is going to happen in 10, 20, 30 years because of this -- of this drug.
PINSKY: Let me ask you, are you finding doctors, Jennie, that can really - - - or experts that can really help you?
STORMES: Actually, I can. And, to answer the question about the long-term effects, my son is not supposed to live another five years. So, do I
give him the best next five years I can give him in fear that in 10 years it might do damage, when the FDA approved drugs that he is already been
given had done that damage along with the repeated seizures.
PINSKY: Slow clap, Jennie. I mean I do not understand how our laws can prevent that. I just do not understand it.
PINSKY: That was a great story and a great example of how silly our laws why. But quote of the night, Sam, Rosa Parks of pot.
PINSKY: Rosa Parks of pot.
SCHACHER: Vanessa, exactly right.
PINSKY: All right. You can DVR us now and watch us anytime. Thank you all for watching. Have a good night.