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SMERCONISH

Report: Moore Denies Corfman's Sexual Assault Claims; Texas Church Shooting: Should The Video Be Released Or Not; NFL Players Brain Damage; Medical Marijuana Solution To Opioid Crisis. Aired 9- 10a ET

Aired November 11, 2017 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:00:03] MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

Presidents Trump and Putin together again. And Trump again saying he believes Putin's claim that Russia didn't meddle in the election. Really?

And in Alabama, he says the encounter never happened. She offers a significant amount of detail. Senatorial candidate Roy Moore denies making sexual overtures to a 14-year-old back when he was 32. I'll ask Mark Geragos, how to parse the conflicting narratives.

Video cameras recorded the shooting that killed 26 members of a Texas church. But should the video ever be released?

Plus, this week, we did get to see the damage to the brain of NFL player Aaron Hernandez who committed suicide while serving a murder sentence. Bob Costas made headlines around the country for what he said about the future of football. And he is here.

But first, President Trump is again declaring that he believes Vladimir Putin's insistence that the Russians did not meddle in the U.S election. Here is what he told reporters on Air Force One today, quote, he said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times, every time he sees me he says, I didn't do that. And I believe, I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.

Well, if in fact the president is accepting Putin's word, here is who he is not believing, he's not believing his own Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman who said, there's no question Russia meddled. He's not believing his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson who says, the Russian election meddling created serious miss trust. He's not believing former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper who said, there has never been a case of election interference more aggressive. He's not believing former CIA Director, Michael Hayden who says, Russia's meddling was the most successful covert operation in history. Nor is he believing former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell who called, the Russian meddle to help Trump the political equivalent of 9/11. Not to mention everyone from former President Obama to the U.S. Senate which voted 98 to 2 to impose sanctions, a punishment, I should mention that the president himself signed but has yet to implement.

And now, the latest evidence of our partisan divide, the reaction to allegations about Roy Moore, the current Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Alabama.

On Thursday, "The Washington Post" published this story in which Moore is accused of sexual abuse of a then 14-year-old in 1979, Leigh Corfman, alleges that Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant D.A. touched her through her bra and underwear and guided her hand to his underwear.

If true, this would constitute sexual assault. Alabama's legal age of consent then and now is 16. Three other women interviewed by "The Washington Post", who at the time range in age from 16 to 18 say that Moore pursued them and asked them out on dates. None say that Moore forced them into any relationship or sexual contact.

Moore vehemently denies the allegations. On the left, Moore is already being convicted of hypocrisy and much worse. On the right, he's being defended. And in some media quarters the story is largely being ignored.

Here's what I find missing, an evidentiary analysis of what's being reported. Given the passage of time, there will be no criminal or civil legal determination. But, still, allow me a few observations. First, the source, "The Washington Post", Steve Bannon tried to dismiss the story by reminding that it was "The Post" that first broke the "Access Hollywood" tape. We'll that's true. But it overlooks that "The Post" got that story right.

I also note that the story carried a three-person by line representing a commitment of resources and investigation. And "The Washington Post" reports that none of the four women reached out to the reporters. To the contrary, a "Post" reporter heard that Moore had sought relationships with teenage girls and contacted the women who were reluctant to speak. Only after multiple conversations were they convinced otherwise.

"The Washington Post" says that Corfman the then 14-year-old was consistent in six different interviews. Today, she's 53. She says that she's voted Republican in the last three presidential elections including for President Donald Trump.

Details of Corfman's initial encounter with Moore seem corroborated by records of her mother's court appearance the day that she says she met Moore. And her mother recalls Moore meeting her daughter on that day.

[09:05:07] Also, that Moore's office was then just down the hall, that's not disputed. And other details lend credibility to her story. Like that Corfman remembers being driven a half hour to Moore's home which had an -- a driveway. Moore has written about then living in a rural home 25 miles west of where they met. Additionally, two friends of Corfman corroborated that she told them at the time she was seeing an older man. And one of them said she identified Moore by name. That friend also recalls being told the detail of Moore's tight white underwear.

Yesterday, in an interview with Sean Hannity, Moore said the claims are completely false and misleading. He said he does not know Corfman. He questioned why she waited 40 years and until an election was four weeks away before coming forward. He said he never knew, never met Corfman, it never happened. That's what he said.

No jury will ever hear these claims. So, how is the public to decide what happened?

Famed Criminals Defense Attorney Mark Geragos is here to offer his legal expertise and his street smarts. Mark, how are we to make sense of this? He's offered a blanket denial. She seems to have a sufficient level of detail to bring credibility to her claim.

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: She does the -- but to counteract that from his standpoint, the idea that he's been such a polarizing and kind of a lightning rod figure in Alabama politics. I mean, remember, this is somebody who was the chief justice. And then he was basically defrocked as the chief justice.

He's been through several campaigns. He's been somebody whose been known to the public. And his point in his interview is, look, why are they waiting until four weeks out of the election after 40 years to bring these kinds of complaints. The counterbalance to that, obviously, is that "The Washington Post" reporters were out there and this is probably front and center, one of the biggest elections around in the next -- clearly within the next four weeks, and clearly towards the end of the year.

The idea that somehow the defense is, is that it's "The Washington Post" or Amazon Bezos' "Washington Post," I think that that is probably something that people who are inclined to believe him will like because it gives a bias, if you will. That would never come in a courtroom. In evidentiary wise, that would not come in. What would come in is what you just detailed.

The idea that her story was consistent, that yes, she have the opportunity to meet him, yes she was there that day, yes, her mother remembers it. His house being 25 minutes away, being unpaved. That she said it took half hour to get there. All of those things are consistent with the story.

But frankly, if this were -- if it were a prosecutor looking at this case, the prosecutor would -- and you didn't have any statute of limitations issues, this would be what would be called a prosecutorial reject. They would not file this case.

SMERCONISH: What aspect of her story, as represented in "The Washington Post," jumped off the page, if any, to Mark Geragos?

GERAGOS: The facts that I thought were probably most telling, and most supportive of her story is the reporting that was done, and if it's true, that she was there that day, she was in the courthouse that day that he would have been -- his office would have been close by. The fact that she then was able to describe in detail some place that she went and the time limit roughly that it took to get there. Those are the kinds of things that make me say this kind of hangs true.

I will say one other fact, and I don't mean this to be facetious, he does look like the kind of guy who would wear tighty-whities. And so that to me, if I'm defending him, I'm going to ask him that question and ask him if in fact he was somebody who back then, was wearing tight white underwear because believe it or not, those are the kind of things that a prosecutor would say are an aha moment.

SMERCONISH: I want to play two cuts from the interview with Sean Hannity. The first of them is one, Mark, where he offers pretty much a blanket denial. I don't know her from anybody (ph), roll the tape.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ROY MOORE, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE: I don't know Miss Corfman from anybody. I've never talked to her. I never had any contact with her. Alligations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they're politically motivated. I believe they're brought only to stop a very successful campaign. And that's what they're doing. I've never known this woman or anything.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: Never talked to her. I don't know her from anybody. If anyone can put the two of them together it will prove that part of his statement to be false. A little risky from a defense perspective, is it not?

[09:10:06] GERAGOS: Yes. It is. You don't want to stake out that ground. You don't know what else they could show. And I don't know that I would have said it. But remember he obviously is -- as a lawyer, the former chief justice of Supreme Court. He understands that there's nothing that they -- there's no harm, so to speak. This is a nice situation where, you know, he's within the statute of limitations and he has to worry about those things.

So at the end of the day for him, it's a political calculation, it's not a legal calculation. And trust me, if he said he knew her, if he conceded any kind of a relationship with her whatsoever, that in this present milieu, he'd be toast. He understands that look, the 17 or the 18-year-old, that's OK. There's no problem. That isn't anything untoward. If there was kissing that's certainly is, you know, something in that day and age was not going to be anything that was going to be a real problem.

But he understands, I mean there is the calculus on his part. Look, politically, the last thing I can say is I knew her but I didn't fondle her or anything like that. He doesn't even want to go there. He's savvy enough to understand. He has the only thing he's got to say is, they're lying and I'm denying. SMERCONISH: Here's the second cut I want you to hear because critics of Judge Moore say, ah, this is at odds with that blanket denial. Let's see what Mark Geragos goes things up at running.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW HOST: And you can say unequivocally you never dated anybody that was in their late teens when you were 32?

MOORE: It would have been, out of my customary behavior, that's right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: Out of my customary behavior, how problematic if at all is that for Judge Moore?

GERAGOS: Well, ether that would be what you would call impeachment. It wouldn't be because the way that Sean framed the question was anybody in the late teens. He can always -- his default would be when asked to explain it is going to be late teens. You're asking me about 17 or 18. That's late teens, 19 years, late teens. So, that's not going to carry the day.

At the end of the day, only at the fringes are people going to say, or is he going to be able or anybody going to be able to change their mind, when it comes to his base court of support, none of these things, as long as he keeps denying it, are ever going to present any kind of a problem for him.

SMERCONISH: Here's what I'm taking away from my conversation with Mark Geragos, people will continue to read into these murky facts whatever they want to. In my view, the next 72 hours are going to be critical because whether others now come forward might be the determination of his career. Your final thought?

GERAGOS: Yes. I was just going to say, the -- what happens in these cases and where the danger lies is if there is somebody else who comes forward. That's when you get some kind of momentum. If there's somebody else who comes forward and I'm not talking about another 17 or 18-year-old who went on a date with him and they made out in the back seat of a car. If somebody else comes forward and says, yes, I was 13 or 14 and he was wearing tighty-whities and we were, he was guiding my hands here and there and everywhere, then he's toast. Then he's got a real problem.

But as long as he can say, I don't know her, that -- it never happened and by the way, let me pivot to the 17 or 18-year-old, he's going to be just fine with the group that is going to support him in the first place.

SMERCONISH: Thank you, Mark Geragos. I really appreciate it.

GERAGOS: Thank you. SMERCONISH: What are your thoughts? Tweet me at Smerconish or visit my Facebook page. I'll read some during the course of the program. Gail (ph) says, I think it is a she said, he said, and it isn't going anywhere.

Gail, politically speaking, I think you're probably right unless there are further developments as I just pointed out with Mark.

One more if we've got time for it. I think that if grabbing by the P didn't matter than neither will this, they don't care as long as they beat the Dem. Sam (ph), what's so frustrating to me and what I tried to say in my opening monologue is how people don't want to engage in critical thinking. They don't want to parse the report and listen to what he said. It's just that they suit up in their partisan armor depend upon who the players are without regard for the facts and that's a shame.

Up ahead, the shooting of 26 churchgoers on Texas captured on video. But should that video ever see the light of day?

[09:14:31] And now that we all have seen pictures of the extensive brain damage to the late player Aaron Hernandez, what's the future of the NFL? Veteran sportscaster, Bob Costas, here to discuss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMERCONISH: Gripping video of news events burns them into our national consciousness. Think of the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination that we covered here recently. But there are some tragedies many of us hope to never see on film, even if exists like the terror attack. And has the issue with the recent shooting in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas in which 26 died including young children and a pregnant mother.

Many family members and locals understandably want the video locked up forever or even destroyed. Law enforcement has its own concerns about the release impeding investigations and the ability to get a fair trial. Others like filmmaker Michael Moore argue that keeping such videos under wraps allows politicians and the public to avoid confronting the horror of mass shootings. Is there an answer?

Joining me is Tony Leal, a former chief of the Texas Rangers, the unit leading the investigation into the Sutherland Springs attack. Chief, in this case, this guy took himself out at the in the end, thank goodness, there will be no trial. So why not release the video?

TONY LEAL, FMR. CHIEF OF THE TEXAS RANGERS: You know, the duty of these rangers and police officers, detective, FBI that are conducting this investigation is to answer all the questions and to be able to tell the story in a way when they're through. If someone asks a question that they can answer it.

[09:20:07] When you release video before that investigation is completed, then you can no longer hold the integrity of what people are telling you, what they may have seen in the video, what they really know. You know, these things turn out, we're already seeing this in the Las Vegas investigation. There was a lot of live video there, a lot of people with their phones there. There was a lot of people posting video. And we're already having conspiracy theories or asking why details change from one day to another.

You can't investigate the scene. You can't do it all at one time. So, you have to go through the evidence, tie it with the video, tie it with the ballistics, with the witness testimony, and what you see there, smell there, hear there. And put the case together so that those questions can be answered, and conspiracy theories don't start and they are able to answer reasonable questions that are presented to them.

SMERCONISH: OK, that makes sense. But how about when the investigation is over?

LEAL: Well, know when the investigation is over is not a police matter. When the investigation is over, whether that video is released is a social matter. And it is up to -- not for the police to make that decision. And I don't even think it should be for the government to make that decision. I think that that is the type of decision we need to make as a society.

I can tell you that I have seen these tapes, not these particular tapes, but tapes of individuals in the last minutes of their life. I have seen that occur in real life. And no one that doesn't need to see that will be better off after seeing it. Their lives will not be better. It is a gruesome thing and, you know, death is a very personal thing.

So, I think what people should ask themselves, I'm not for not releasing the tape after the investigation is complete, or for releasing the tape after the investigation is complete. I think what people need to ask themselves is if this was me, if this was my baby, if this was my father, my mother, my sister, my brother, my wife, my husband, would I want strangers to see that intimate moment when something like that happens to everybody. You know, it's one thing we all have in common. We will all die. And do we want that broadcast?

SMERCONISH: Yes. I worry as well about giving the next assassin some motivation because now he knows that even though he may check out, the video will live on in infamy. And so, I think you're right. Thank you, chief. I appreciate very much your being here.

LEAL: Yes, sir, thank you.

SMERCONISH: Let's see what you're all saying on my Smerconish Twitter and Facebook feeds. By the way, we're got twice as many characters on Twitter right now. My producer T.C., who's the first line of defense on Twitter is being overworked today. Julia (ph), this is from Facebook, in my opinion show the video to lawmakers but keep it -- Wow. This is interesting Julia (ph), but keep it safe from public eyes, could influence copycats or could induce and trigger trauma.

You know, I like your compromise, that maybe in a closed session of Congress, that video is available for whoever wants to see it but never publicly disseminated. And if we could keep it under such wraps you may have the answer there. Katherine, are we doing another one or no time for it?

No time. All right. More later though, more later.

[09:23:57] Up ahead, newly released pictures of Aaron Hernandez's brain injuries reinforce the fact that the NFL's concussion crisis could permanently cripple the entire sport. I will talk to sports casting legend Bob Costas next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMERCONISH: More off-field bad news for the NFL this week. The public got to see pictures of the visible damage to the brain of former player Aaron Hernandez who killed himself while serving life in prison for murder.

Hernandez suffered the most severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy ever discovered in a person his age according to researchers at Boston University. The disease analyzed in the 27- year-old's brain is quote, one of the most significant contributions to our work, unquote said, Ann McKee the head of B.U.'s CTE Center.

Meanwhile, my next guest made headlines when he was quoted on the future of football. Broadcast legend Bob Costas who hosted "Football Night in America" on NBC for more than a decade was part of a symposium of sports journalists at the University of Maryland when he was asked about the biggest stories in sports right now. His answer was reported as this, quote, the issue that is most substantially, the existential issue itself is the nature of football itself, the reality is that this game destroys people's brains.

The story is proliferated, but context matters. And this week he was honored by the Concussion Legacy Foundation at its annual gala for his quote, leadership keeping the concussion and CTE conversation in the national spotlight. He's been warning about this issue since at least 2007 as this montage which was shown at the gala evidences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More urgent football issue, concussions.

[09:30:04] BOB COSTAS, FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA HOST: It's the hundreds if not thousands of subconcussive hits. Those are the ones that actually cumulatively take a greater toll than concussions.

It may become the roman, you know, circus where --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

COSTAS: -- people watch it, but they don't let their kids play it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: Bob, the point about the montage is you've been speaking about this issue for a long, long time. You had a viral moment this week. Provide the context. BOB COSTAS, FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA HOST: Well, it was a symposium at the University of Maryland involving other sports journalists, Christine Brennan, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. And it involved a wide array of subject including the state of the sports media.

Tom Schad of "USA Today" and I had no idea he was there. I thought and we all thought we were just primarily speaking to some 400 journalism students and faculty members but Tom Schad of the "USA Today" did an excellent job of providing context. And not only that, they provided a link to the entire thing, the entire two-hour thing.

So all you need to do was click on it and you could see all of the surrounding material. You could see the nuance that was part of the conversation, not just me but the other three commentators. What would happens inevitably now is, no matter how credible the initial sources it gets picked up. And with each iteration, the ninth, the 10th, the 11th, the headline becomes more inflammatory, the context is lost.

And it sounds like some sort of broad side was launched against the NLF. Whereas, in fact, all I was doing was acknowledging that the NFL has a problem. That problem is obvious. The question was what's the biggest issue in sports and some of the panelists pointed to things that were going on at present and they certainly were important issues.

But my answer was that the most enduring problem is the one that affects the most populous sport in America which is the NFL. And it's not going to go away in one year, six months or whatever because it's about the very nature of the game. And that is, that no matter how exciting the game is. And I've said this with you before. I grew up a football fan.

No matter how exciting it is. No matter how dramatic it is. No matter how much we value the generational connections. No matter how interesting it may be. The nature of the sport is that not all, or not most, but a substantial, an alarming number of those who participate, especially if they participate from youth football on are going to suffer significant brain damage along the way.

And the more the research comes out, the worse that looks for the NFL. In context, that's what I said.

SMERCONISH: It doesn't sound like you were misquoted.

COSTAS: No.

SMERCONISH: But, rather, people didn't appreciate the totality of the remark. And you remind me, I spoke several times this weekend in one particular gathering, a number of people pulled out their phones and started to record what I was saying. And my point to Bob Costas is, there's no such thing as an intimate setting anymore, right?

COSTAS: Yes. You know, it used to be, and this is not a matter of being more or less candid. I stand by anything I say publicly. But it used to be understood. You didn't have to explain this. That you have a conversation among a half dozen people at dinner, even if the content is the same, you might express yourself differently. You might express yourself differently in front of 18 people in a class as opposed to 400 people at a symposium or as opposed to speaking to you now or as opposed to speaking at half time of an NFL game.

It isn't that I would say anything different, but depending upon how much time you have, you might craft it differently. You might choose different words. So I stand by what I said. But what I said in totality because I wasn't directing it to your audience or to the "Sunday Night Football" audience, I was directing it to 400 young journalists at the University of Maryland. What I said in totality is something different than what some people took from little fragments of it.

But again, I give Tom Schad and "USA Today" full credit because what they wrote provided context and better yet they provided the link to the whole thing. So if someone was actually interested enough to really know what was said, all they've got to do is click on and spend a couple hours watching it. And they may have something better to do than that. But go ahead.

SMERCONISH: To someone who would say Bob Costas, you're only finding your voice on this now, the tape. And I only showed a snippet of it for time purposes. I think it was four, five minutes long. But the tape says otherwise, for quite some time, you've been willing to speak out on this issue.

COSTAS: You know what happens, and it's not unique to me or to you. It happens all the time now. Rather than deal with the merits of the argument, the easiest thing to do is to try to discredit the person who said something you don't want to hear. And try and ascribe to them some sort of unworthy motivation.

[09:35:11] And so, I did hear, oh, now that Costas is no longer hosting "Sunday Night Football," now he says these things. Well, that's 180 degrees from the truth. I've been saying these things for the better part of a decade. And often on NBC, in front of the biggest audience, not just in all of sports, but in all of television, "Sunday Night Football." And I think NBC Sports deserves credit for this because very often network television as opposed to print journalism, network television because they're in partnerships with the leagues can be a little skittish about addressing some of these issues.

But NBC, over time, has allowed me to address significant issues, whether at the Olympics or whether with football. Or even this year, I was no longer on the program. But when the issue came up about players kneeling during the national anthem, I talked with Dan Patrick and Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy that NBC Sports did a very solid journalistic job of covering that story.

Now, sports on T.V. is not "meet the press," it's not "night line." But you do have to acknowledge the elephants in the room. And you do have to acknowledge that there are some significant issues that are more important than who Seahawks are going to draft in the fourth round. And it's just the responsible thing to do to address those issues. And generally speaking, NBC at least occasionally has provided me an opportunity to do that. And I've never been shy about doing it even when I was hosting NFL football.

SMERCONISH: Right. Which is why the Concussion Legacy Foundation honored you this week. One final question, then I hope you'll stick around for a tweet or two. So NBC was accommodating to Bob Costas. That's good to hear. How about the NFL? Did you ever get any blow back for your outspokenness on this issue from the league?

COSTAS: No. I never have. I like Roger Goodell personally. Obviously, he's on the receiving end of some criticism these days. It comes with the territory. I'm hopeful that this year, NBC has the Super Bowl. As it turns out I'm hosting the Super Bowl this year because Mike Tirico who has succeed me in that role who has succeed me and I'm sure we'll do a very good job as the host of the Olympics he's got to be in Korea because the games starts only four days after the Super Bowl so we can't do both.

I'm hoping that in front of an audience that large that Roger Goodell will sit for an extended interview which will not be a softball interview but it will be fair, it will be pointed but fair and comprehensive. And I would like to be able to do that rather than express my own opinion. I'd rather put the questions that the public is interested to -- interested in to Commissioner Goodell. I hope that happens.

SMERCONISH: Me, too. I want to watch it. And I want you back here talking about it. Hey, Bob, they expanded Twitter to 280 characters of course Facebook is unlimited.

COSTAS: Oh, wow. That should give us plenty of context.

SMERCONISH: Let's see what's come in. Put it up there quickly for Mr. Costas. If this brain damage is proven to come from NFL football, could NFL be held liable for these players' crimes or suicides? I don't know if Mr. Costas wants a piece of that. But I welcome you to it if you do.

COSTAS: I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on T.V., but my thought is unlikely. It's obvious that the NFL has now acknowledged finally that there is a danger of brain damage of CTE, connected with the game. And I wouldn't at all be surprised. I haven't seen the fine print that exists now. But I wouldn't be at all surprised that if in future agreements with the players association there isn't a specific stipulation of willing assumption of risk.

SMERCONISH: Bob Costas, always a privilege. Thank you so much for being here.

COSTAS: All right. Michael, thank you.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, doctors say, yes, to medicinal marijuana for pain. Chris Christie and the White House Commission say, no, and that it shouldn't be used to combat the opioid epidemic. Was that the right call? [09:39:05] Plus, more of your tweets and Facebook comments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SMERCONISH: Trying to fix the opioid crisis, Chris Christie's White House Commission on combating drug addiction has called for wide ranging changes to drug policies. But the commission specifically declined to endorse the use of marijuana for pain despite some studies suggesting that access could decrease opioid death.

Christie said there was a lack of, quote, sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency and abuse potential for marijuana. But the nation's only academic resource for marijuana research, education and practice disagreed saying that patients who were treated with cannabis are more likely to experience a significant reduction in pain symptoms. So, who's right?

Joining me now, Dr. Yasmin Hurd, the director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai Behavioral Health System and a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, she wrote this recent article in "Fortune" under the headline, There's a Better Way to Fight the Opioid Crisis. Why Aren't We Focusing On It?

Dr. Hurd, can pot be a solution to our opioid epidemic?

YASMIN HURD, DIRECTOR OF THE ADDICTION INSTITUTE, MOUNT SINAI BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM: Yes and no. It's not pot that's the solution it's medical cannabinoids. So I think that unfortunately, the lines have become blurred in wanting to have recreational use of marijuana that people have, you know, legalized medical marijuana.

And when we say medical marijuana, a lot of people including perhaps Governor Christie and presence (ph) thinks that it's the marijuana on the streets. It's not. These are cannabinoids that are being tested for -- in research and clinical studies that have, for example, no intoxicating effects. But cannabinoid, the marijuana plant has over 100 cannabinoids. And it's not THC which is the cannabinoid that produces the high, the reward. It's other cannabinoids that are being studied in regard to potential and beneficial effects for pain, for even treating the opioid addiction itself and other symptoms.

[09:45:24] SMERCONISH: He says we lack sufficient outcome data. Is he right in that regard?

HURD: Absolutely. I completely agree. And that's the whole issue. For an epidemic, we need more information. We need everybody at the table. We need much more dedication and resources to coming up with alternative strategies. And for that, you need data.

There's currently not enough data. But there are some anecdotal evidence out there. And it's -- anecdotal is not proof. And so, we need causal studies to be done. And so, yes, there's not enough information to completely give 100 percent, you know, results to say this is exactly what the specific cannabinoid can treat the specific pain or this specific symptom. But that's exactly why we need much more research and the support by the president and the governor to conduct those kinds of studies.

SMERCONISH: Dr. Hurd, Governor Christie said something else about cannabis users on television. I want you to watch it and then react. Play the tape.

HURD: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The National Institute of Health, no partisan organization, just came out with a report that said you're 2.5 times more likely to be an opioid addict if you smoke marijuana.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: Is he blurring the line between recreational and medicinal use?

HURD: Again, yes, absolutely. So, I mean, even our studies, you know, if you even take animals and give them THC, they show greater sensitivity to opioids in terms of their reward sensitivity. But if you give them cannabidiol CBD, the cannabinoid that is used for treating kids with epilepsy, for example, they show a reduction in their opioid intake. And that's the cannabinoid CBD that we're brought to clinical trial and shown that indeed even in human heroin abusers cannabidiol does seem to increase heroin craving, the anxiety associated with addiction.

So it is a blurring of the line. We should stop perhaps talking about marijuana and say medical cannabinoids so that we are clear that this is not the marijuana on the streets. The marijuana on the street has today a concentration even 20 percent. And, you know, the people are making cannabinoid formulations for recreational use that even go up to 80 percent THC. That is not the cannabinoids what are being used for in the clinic. That's the thing that I think that both the person on the street needs to know and the government needs to know.

We are talking about developing specific cannabinoids as pharmaceutical interventions. It's no different from any other medicines that are being developed. You have to know the dosing. You have to know the formations that may be best for treating that particular symptom. And without the research we will not move further. And there are a lot of regulations that unfortunately prevent research from being done.

SMERCONISH: Dr. Yasmin Hurd, we really appreciate your expertise on an important subject. Thank you.

HURD: Thank you.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments like this one, marijuana being illegal in the land of the free is/would be like wine being illegal in the land of the free, so many proven benefits. National media, the times are changing. I mean, what do we up to, 29 states plus D.C., I think?

[09:49:05] Give it a bit more time. I'm back in a moment.

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SMERCONISH: Hey, remember, you get to participate in this program by sounding off the Facebook and Twitter and react in realtime without seeing the min advance, what do we have, Katherine?

Of course, Russia tried to influence the election, just as we tried to influence politics in other countries all over the globe.

Chip, I talked about this. I had a guest here within the last six minutes, went through those incidents able to be documented where we had meddled in other outcomes. But it wasn't in democratically elected nations. You know, it was trying to influence leadership change in nations that were being ruled by dictators. But your point is well taken. What's next?

We're in real trouble when a U.S. president believes Russian president over his own U.S. intelligence. George, you know what I was thinking, the senate voted 98 to 2 to impose sanctions on the Russians because of the meddling and who signed it? President Trump. Hasn't been implemented yet, but he signed it. So, you know, was he telling us what he thought then or is he telling us what he thinks now?

Next.

Smerconish, the Moore story was well sourced and the details are all we need, shame on any adult Republican or otherwise to dismiss this as false and misleading.

Susan Berger. Hello. I would say this, shame on anybody who doesn't take the time to at least read "The Washington Post's" story and lend some critical thinking to it, but instead weighs in and says, well, it comes from "The Washington Post," it can't be true. Really? Why? Well, because they're the ones who brought us the "Access Hollywood" tape. Yes. But that was a true story, like there's no logic or critical thinking in any of this. It's like noise and 20-second sound bites.

[09:55:18] One more if I have time.

Football will be done within 25 years or less. Mothers won't let their children play anymore and the love for the game will be over. I have long said, I mean for a long time, Bob Costas, has been sounding the alarm on head injuries. I in my own world have been saying suburban moms in the end will determine the fate of football.

See you next week.

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