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tv   CNN Saturday Morning  CNN  October 9, 2010 8:00am-9:30am EDT

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so what does this mean for you? if you want to lose weight, make sure you're getting enough sleep. it can be one of the first important steps in your weight loss goals. if you missed any part of today's show, check out my podcast. also set your dvr 7:30 a.m. eastern. this is the place for all the answers to your medical questions. thanks for watching. i'm dr. sanjay gupta. more news on cnn starts right now. hello, good morning to you all. i'm t.j. holmes. we're going to start with this news that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in chile. rescue workers are just about 7 feet or less away from getting to the trapped miners. miners who have been trapped since august the 5th. a couple of months now. some 2,300 feet below the surface. they have been down there all this time. we were told that possibly it was going to be until december
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when they got them out. but, we've gotten better news here in the past several weeks, even that the drill has been drilling this hole is going to pull these men out. now, we're told is only a matter of feet away. now, what is going to happen now? you've got 33 men down there. there are still, even though they're very close to getting to where these men are, that doesn't mean the men are coming out immediately. very important to note that fact. they're still going to be until tuesday at the earliest before they possibly bring the first man up. but it could be another week or ten days past that because they're trying to make sure, even though, yes, this is a big deal and a milestone that they're going to be able to breakthrough finally to where these miners are. still, this is a very dangerous procedure. they have to put these men in a capsule one-by-one and bring them up some 2,300 feet. that is just an historic feet they have not attempted before. this is my live picture now. this is what's called camp hope. right outside of where all this
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work is being done. you have family members, well wishers, journalists have been collecting here for the past several months. they call it camp hope now. we're told by our reporter that, in fact, the anticipation, the excitement has been building. because even though they know, the rescue -- they're not going to see a man come out of this hole today. but still, it's a milestone, a breakthrough that they drilled this hole deep enough and get to where these men are. this hole is about 21 inches across. this tunnel essentially that they had been drilling for some time, we're told they're going to breakthrough. this is essentially imminent at this point. a milestone, good news that these people have been waiting for. now the condition of these miners, 33 of these guys have been down there. again, can you imagine being 1/2 mile underground for the past two months? and to give you an idea of that, that's about two empire state buildings. we see this guy celebrating with the arms up in the air. we can only imagine what that means.
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we'll wait for the official word. but we're seeing this live on the air just like you're seeing it right now. you see a bit of celebration going on. the construction workers, the rescuers at this for months trying to get these men out. we were told they were just feet away. we got that word minutes ago. but looks like possibly just judging by the reaction there they have something to celebrate. they're possibly celebrating a milestone in this rescue effort, which means they have drilled a 21-inch across hole, the hole, the tunnel that is going to be wide enough to bring these men up. we see this live picture now. we were told it's imminent, just minutes away. you're seeing on the right side of the screen there how this process works. they've had to drill this hole. they had three different drills going, essentially. plan a, plan b, and plan c. plan b was working first. you see an idea of how men were trapped in this particular shaft. and they've been essentially just hanging tight in that area for the past several months. they've gotten food, even
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cigarettes, medical supplies, everything they've needed. they've been able to be in touch with their family members via video hook-up that was set up for them, as well. so they thought they had the men stable. health wise, they were also looking after their mental capacity, trying to keep the men up, you know, keeping them mentally sharp, as well. because can you imagine being that far down for two months at a time? they were told possibly weren't going to come out until december, but they were able to expedite this process a little better. it went ahead of schedule. so it looks now -- is this another live picture? this is another live picture. you see scramble, activity going on. family members have been holding vigil here for the past several months. and you see all this activity. this is called camp hope. the whole nation of chile has been supporting these men and families for all this time. you see these flags? it has been a national story that everyone thought might end up in a national tragedy, but it has shown in some ways to be a
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triumph for the people of chile who have all surrounded this family, who have all come together around these men, as well. the other live picture we saw a moment ago, we saw workers celebrating. now, i'm looking at several live pictures here, as well. there's movement activity you can only imagine. we haven't gotten the official word. we do have several of our reporters and crews, they're live at camp hope. but we haven't gotten the official word, but we can only make the -- the best educated guess we can by seeing the construction workers who are standing there throwing their arms in the air in celebration and it appears that maybe what was imminent has taken place and what it is that this drill has finally made it through to the shaft to where these men are. the shaft has reached the men, the the tunnel is dug that will be able to bring these men up. we're also getting help in the coverage of this story from our sister network cnn international. i want to dip over to them for just a second.
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>> what they'll do next probably today is -- as early as today possibly tomorrow is put a camera down that hole and really take a long, hard look at the hole they just drilled. they know the top 100 meters need to be reenforced. the rock there is too jagged, too unstable. it could hang up that rescue capsule and be dangerous. how much more do they need to put into this heavy steal el reenforcement. this rescue operation is entering the most dangerous phase and officials have always said here, john, if they don't get every miner out safe and uninjured, it will not be a success. so today, obviously, you can see the initial celebrations breaking out, but some serious work up ahead of these miners. and the ordeal is not over yet, but soon. >> patrick, you've been there for so long, can you explain the relief that these people are feeling right now? they've broken through. they're not even actually getting to the point where
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they're getting these miners out. this is obviously a significant moment for the families and the relatives and the friends who have been waiting on the surface. >> reporter: it's easy to say that this one is one of the happiest days of the lives of all the family members of the 33 trapped miners. they have been waiting. they have been told initially that they didn't know the technology existed. that it could be months, it might not be until christmas until the breakthrough. but that breakthrough has taken place, taken place much earlier than they thought. and there were so many setbacks. now we're hearing the louder sirens from inside the mine go off. some of those heavier sirens. it certainly appears, john, what we thought was going to happen any moment and told us about a half an hour ago that it would take place in about half an hour or so, certainly seems what we were told would happen has happened. but getting back to your point, john.
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what family members here feel -- it's been such a roller coaster ride. they've had days of incredible progress, and days where drills break. things that were supposed to be sure fixes have been broken. it's been such an up and down experience, but people have never lost hope. some people sleeping on the ground here night after night, putting up with incredible discomfort to be as close to their family members as possible. and very soon, they'll be with them, be able to hug them and hold them. what an incredible moment for these people and for us to be near and be able to cover. >> stay with us, patrick. because for our viewers in the united states joining us now, we'd like to recap exactly what is happening at camp hope in chile. we have just had word, we have heard the sirens that there's been a breakthrough in the rescue tunnel which is being dug to reach those 33 miners who are trapped 600 meters below the ground. this is 66 days since their mine collapsed above them. they've been prepped under there for more than two months.
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three plans, three rescue efforts have been going in tandem. plan b, tom, dick, and harry from the great escape, but plan b is the one which has broken through and there are scenes of joy and excitement and jubilation as that siren sent off a national outpouring of joy as they breakthrough and have finally reached the 33 miners who are trapped below. we are speaking with our patrick oppmann who has been here through the start of the ordeal and he's describing the outpouring of joy for those people who have been waiting patiently with a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty aboveground for 66 days now. patrick, you were saying to us earlier, though, that this is now a breakthrough, but the most dangerous part of this rescue is yet to come. >> reporter: it's really a transition. these men have spent the last two months really where they've
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been. and they've been helping out with the rescue athe tempt. they've been very -- there hasn't been any change in the status ever since they were found 17 days after the mine collapse. and now we were entering to a very different phase. now this completed rescue hole, a rescue capsule has to be sent down -- >> again, we've been listening in to cnn international and a couple of our reporters there. i can continue to share these pictures with you. you heard a little bit about the excitement that's taking place there now. but this is still a long road ahead for these miners and still a lot of danger. you see their pictures kind of scrolling through we have on the bottom right of your screen. but the live pictures are of the activity that's taking place right now in chile. to catch our viewers up on what's happening. and we're waiting to get our karl penhaul on the line. he's there at camp hope, as well. you see people sharing hugs even. you see all this in the pictures
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and activity, yes. this is a big deal that they were finally able to make this breakthrough. the breakthrough being that they were able to finally get this tunnel down to the men. they've been able to breakthrough. so the tunnel that's going to put the capsule into that the men are going to get into and bring up to the surface, the tunnel has been dug, they broke through to where the men are. that is a big deal. as you continue to see a live picture of the hugs and activity. but i need to remind you, as well, this is still a very dangerous situation. and we're treading on some territory that we haven't ever had to deal with before. because a lot can still go wrong. even after this hole has been dug, they're going to send down a medical person. they're also going to send down a rescuer to check out the men and then they'll start bringing them up one-by-one. when they put them in the capsule, they'll have a phone with them. they can call if there's some kind of problem. but they need to make sure this
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2,300-foot tunnel essentially they've dug is secure. they need to make sure there's not fear of another type of collapse. they need to make sure that there's not rocks or dirt or anything else falling on to it that could leave the person they're trying to leave them trapped in that capsule. so there's so many other things that can still go wrong. this is still a very dangerous procedure that has to take place. so they are, yes, this is a time to celebrate the breakthrough. but still, a lot of these folks know right now this is not over just yet. we have our karl penhaul, as i said in chile at camp hope. karl, i know you're on the line with me here now. first of all, we can get into the details of what's going to be coming later with this rescue. but if you can, if you can, when we check in with penhaul in a second. we had him on the line, we'll get him back, as well. but i do have paul -- who do i have on the line? vick. forgive me, vick, who is on the
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line with us who is a mining professor at queens university in ontario. we appreciate you jumping on the line with us. we have him live with us. i appreciate you. but we're going to continue to watch these live pictures. i'm going to talk to you about what this process has meant quite frankly. is this going to kind of set the standard, if you will, or help us rewrite some of the books when it comes to rescuing people when it comes to a lot of these mine accidents we see happen around the world? >> well, it was a very happy day. we're all looking at this intently. as you said, it's not -- we're not out of the woods yet. this is a seismically active area. a lot can go wrong. the particular rescue that you see is pretty unique. we rarely have to drill this depth. and frankly, the fact that there are 33 miners that survive the original rock failure and the technology that's gone into
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getting them out is quite unique. so we're all looking at it. and it certainly is going to be helpful in terms of any similar situations around the world. >> sir, how dangerous of a process is it, as well? and i'll tell our viewers this, that they are going to have to have the miners participate in the rescue in that they're sending down explosives. they still have to trigger a particular type of explosive down there that's going to help open up the hole a little bit. how tricky of a procedure? to all of us lay people who are not used to this process, used to mining. these guys are trained and using explosives. that sounds like a pretty dangerous and pretty testy procedure. >> no, for the miners are quite experienced and certainly they'll be able to widen out the area where the -- where the shaft enters into the mine workings.
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they have to create proper entry points so that they're able to do the extrication efficiently. they'll blast out and scale down all of the loose rock around that drill hole opening, and then they'll shore it up and start the operation and probably get one an hour up that escape shaft. >> all right. well, vic, standby with me, we're talking to vic, a mining expert coming to us from queens university, ontario. we also have our karl penhaul on the line with me now. karl, we have been talking about the the procedure and the process and how they're going to get these guys out and how delicate it is. what i'd like you to do for me now is set the scene at camp hope.
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you got me karl penhaul on the line. can you hear me all right? this is t.j. back in atlanta? >> reporter: t.j., i can hear you fine. what we've got here at camp hope is that we can hear the bells ringing, the blast of car horns was ringing out a few moments ago. and a siren from the drill site was also blaring out. but just seconds before even that started, the family members got word that breakthrough had occurred. that a 624-meter -- about 2,000-foot rescue shaft had been completed down to the tunnel where the miners are. and what this means is that the final countdown has begun. the final countdown to the day, to the minute the miners will be hoisted back to the surface, t.j. >> karl. tell us, there, as well. we continue to look at these live pictures. i know this is a momentous
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occasion to breakthrough and it's a milestone, as well. but do they have -- are they also keeping in mind and have a bit of a reality check that it's a dangerous process and still going to be several days before they even attempt to bring up the first miner? >> reporter: it could still be dangerous process, it certainly is not an immediate process to bring them back to the surface. but what this really shows to the families and also, and i guess, in a sense to the whole country of chile that the engineers that have been working so hard for the last 65 days know what they're doing, they have confidence they can bring these miners home safely but yes, of course, it's not an immediate process because what they're going to have to do now over the next 24 hours is put a camera down that rescue shaft and check its integrity, check how solid it is. to see maybe they're going to need to put steel casing down the whole length of the rescue shaft. and that is a process that could take several days and could mean that bringing the miners back to the surface takes as much as ten
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days. there is another alternative. if that rescue shaft is solid down most of its length, they will simply put steel tubing on the first 100 meters. that's a process that could be completed within ten hours. and then -- and then after that, the process of putting the rescue capsule the so-called phoenix capsule down into the earth and hoisting the miners up one by one will begin sooner rather than later. and what these government ministers are here saying is that process of bringing the miners back to the surface could begin as early as tuesday, t.j. and certainly now with the bells here and the car horns ringing here at camp hope, what the families know from this is that the final countdown has begun. the final countdown seeing their loved ones once again. >> karl penhaul on the scene. karl, thank you so much. we're going to keep karl close by and also vic, the mining professor of queens university in ontario standing by with us,
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as well as we have just a scene. they have been able to break the rescuers through to where those miners are and where they have been trapped since august 5th. they have been able to brek through, but still, more work needs to be done. camp hope has been set up there since this mining disaster took place. families, friends, journalists gathered there. but we just saw a celebration break out when word moved around that in fact, yes, they had broken through to where the miners are. more details of this coming up as 20 past the hour here on this cnn saturday morning. ♪
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have been able to reach the miners who have been trapped since august 5th. and that mine collapsed in chile. 33 men, all alive, doing fairly well. they've been able to get supplies down to them, medical supplies, food, everything they've needed and keep them comfortable, if you will, for the past several months. now they've broken through and will be able to start bringing those men up. even though they have broken through to the area where the miners are, which is 2,300 feet below the surface. even though they've been able to breakthrough still does not mean they're going to immediately start pulling up men. this is a picture here of the scene at camp hope, which is just outside of where all the work has been going on to bring these men up. again, 2,300 feet down, that's about two empire state buildings. so they are way down below the surface. and they're going to have to come up through a channel, a tunnel, i believe this is the picture we saw earlier. oh, we just lost that, but we saw the construction workers start celebrating, hands up in the air, waving the arms.
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clearly they'd gotten to a point where they'd broken through. this is cause for celebration, yes. it's a momentous occasion, yes, in this whole rescue. but there is still some very delicate and dangerous work to be done. the mining professor at queens university is with me this morning. just how dangerous of a process are we talking about now, professor, to try to bring a man up at a time in a tiny capsule in a tiny tunnel some 2,300 feet up? >> well, essentially this is -- this is an area that's still seismically active. and so basically, you can have rock failure and vibration and you can -- you can imagine that it is -- it is still quite -- quite serious in terms of something happening while the rescues is ongoing.
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the rescue shaft essentially is likely to be lined all the way through to the bottom. but that will take time. and the more time that goes by, the likelihood of something else going wrong can be there. so basically they're going to try to work as quickly as possible to line that rescue shaft and then start -- start moving the people up. the two people that are going down the two mine rescue workers that are going down, one will be assessing the medical condition of the miners and they'll decide who should go up first and second and et cetera. the other mine rescue person will manage the strapping the miners into the capsule. they'll be strapped in so that even if they faint or something
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happens that they won't drop. you can imagine that escape capsule is only 21 1/2 inches in diameter. so it's -- they'll be crunched in with their shoulders in and they'll be taken to the surface. the actual ride up is not -- not that long, 15 to 20 minutes, but the preparation of strapping the miners in and then having them go up that rescue shaft -- they estimate about an hour per miner. and then, of course, the last two will be the two rescue workers. >> vic, how do you get one prepared for that ride? how do you get them prepared mentally to be in that enclosed space like that by yourself going up? that's a little freaky. >> well -- probably for most of your viewers that would be freaky. but if you're in the mining
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industry and if you're working underground, it isn't klost claustrophob claustrophobic. basically it's a natural -- it's not a problem. they're probably very anxious to get out. so they'll definitely be -- they'll be ready and they'll be getting into that capsule and taking that ride up to freedom very joyfully. for people that work in the mining industry, you can't be claustrophobic and work in the underground conditions. so that won't be a problem for those workers. but as i said, the ground can shift, there can be other things happening so that still that anxiety that especially the miners, the 30 and 31st, 32nd, and the last one, they'll probably be very nervous making sure their turn will come, as well. so it -- until all of them are out, we still have to -- we
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still have to be thinking and praying for them and making sure that all goes well. >> all right, vic, thank you. i want to dip over now. i told you the press conference to our viewers. the press conference is going on. we do have english translation. i want to listen in for a second. >> it's very curious that we are having 33 days of drilling for the rescue. it's very nice figure. >> i don't know if you want to say something. what was your feeling at this moment? >> what was it like? >> unbelievable. there's no words to explain. it's a pleasure to be here. i will never do anything this important. i haven't done anything this important. it's phenomenal. that's all you can say. >> okay.
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we will see you later. bye-bye. >> jeff -- >> oh, all right. not english translation, actual english they started speaking there at the press conference. copiapo in chile. you hear the applause there in the back, as well. but this is work they've been doing for several months. let me listen to this. oh, little chant breaking out like we're at a pep rally before a game, almost. but this is a big deal for these folks. they know how much this has been for -- they know how much has been going on. the work they have been putting in trying to get these men out for the past several months. and they have finally made a breakthrough. that breakthrough is they have drilled the tunnel down 2,300 feet, and they have broken through to the shaft where these men have been holed up for the
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past several months waiting to be rescued. this means the next phase of the rescue can start. that is getting a capsule down to those men who can actually get in that capsule and finally start being rescued. our patrick oppmann is there on the scene at camp hope. we can speak about the details later about the process. but if you can, we've been seeing the pictures, but set the stage and the scene you've been seeing there for the past 30 minutes. >> reporter: hi, good morning. as you can hear, just very loud here right now with all of the ringing and bells behind us. people are incredibly excited. as you can imagine, they've been waiting now for two months for this to happen. two months for this to happen and just an explosion, we've seen people running up this hill, waving flags, incredibly excited. and a true outpouring of joy
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here. they didn't always know if the relatives were going to get out. and frankly, there's still a lot coming up for these men to go through, but today easily the biggest breakthrough we've seen as a plan "b" drill drilled down. as you said over 2,200 feet down to these trapped men. 33 men, 32 chileans, one bolivian. and for these men, it's been an incredible ordeal. they've stayed together, stuck together. the families have done the same thing. the families have come together. a lot of these people did not know each other before this ordeal. but they supported each other, backed each other, and done it in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. they've lived at the mine set, sleeping on the ground for days at a time this. is validation of that effort, of the faith that rescue workers would get their loved ones aboveground. and as you can imagine, pure, pure joy here. be we also have to keep in mind
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in the days ahead rescuers are going to make very difficult decisions. will they be able to put a rescue capsule down without further encasing the drill shaft, the hole that's been drilled today? how much casing will need to be put down? how long will that delay it? once they put that rescue capsule down, how difficult will it be to hoist these men up one at a time? we're going to have a chilean mine rescue expert along with a paramedic from chile's special forces from the naval special forces go down, begin this rescue operation, and then start sending these men up one at a time. but even that process will probably take several days. so nothing has come easy here. still some very difficult hurdles to jump ahead of us here. but they've done it, they've drilled through, broken through, no more drilling will need to take place here after many, many weeks of drilling, many contentious difficult weeks. they've pulled off something
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that frankly no one has ever done before. and they're going to rescue these men after a record number of days trapped underground. >> we will continue to keep an eye on what's happening there. but the milestone moment has taken place, but that will still be several days before we do see any of those miners come back up. we're going to be checking in, i believe, with our sanjay gupta who is standing by to talk about the -- what kind of shape these men might be in. and still what the challenges might be for them when they finally do get out of there. but 33 minutes past the hour, a milestone, breakthrough has taken place, those miners trapped in chile have finally broken through to where the men are trapped. the shaft, the tunnel has been dug that's going to take them out of there and take them home.
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36 minutes past the hour, cnn, saturday morning. you are seeing still the live pictures of camp hope right in the area, right outside the area where the work has been going on for months to try to rescue 33 miners in chile who have been there since august the 5th after the mine they were working in collapsed trapping them. we thought it could be until december, christmas time before they got out. but they were able to speed up the process, the rescue process and just minutes ago, they were able to breakthrough with the drill that they were drilling this tunnel, this shaft that's going to be able to bring these men up one-by-one.
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but still, going to be days before they actually bring up the first man. still some work needs to be done. they want to make sure they dot all the is, cross all the ts and make sure there are no further complications, which there could be. a dangerous process that needs to take place to get all of those men, 33 men up and out of there. our sanjay gupta's on the line with me. because another part of this story is the condition of these men. i was watching this live with our viewers, this live picture, and we saw this break out, saw men start jumping up. grown men, construction workers started celebrating there. and i hear you there, as well, probably watching this picture. but this was something to see here. this was the moment. they didn't have to tell us what happened, we knew what happened when we saw these construction workers start celebrating around the area where the hole was being dug. but sanjay, to you here. >> a great moment, yeah. >> a great moment. but what kind of condition are these guys in down there?
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they tried their best to keep them in pretty good shape. what kind of shape physically are they in? >> it's one of these things where you can say they're literally writing the book on this sort of thing. and why that's important is because so much of what's happening now and what will happen over the next couple of days is unprecedented stuff. so i think you can have a lot of guesses as to exactly what the condition of these miners are going to be, but my sense is from hearing from a lot of the people who are planning this that they're taking a chance. and that's part of the reason it's going to be a couple of days, at least, before they start to bring miners up. with what are some of the conditions? you think about the obvious things first. with regard to the oxygen, for example, that was down there. they were pumping in, for example, 22% oxygen, not 100% oxygen because the air that we're breathing in right now, t.j., is about 22% oxygen. they're trying to approximate conditions these miners are going to get when they're on the ground, when they come back up
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out of the shaft. they look at obviously the food, the water supply, they tried to make sure all those things were available in a way that would allow them to be more easily rescued. and again, approximate what they were going to see when they get back on the ground, something that wouldn't shock their bodies. could they have skin infections for being in that sort of humid condition for some time? that may sound like a minor issue, but it could be major depending on how severe those skin infections are. and then, you know, things like exposure to sunlight, obviously. that's something that just -- the effect on the eyes, but also the amount of vitamin d production in their bodies. how brittle their bones might be as a result of not having had that vitamin d. again, these are all things that maybe people wouldn't think of intuitively but become important in situations like this. >> that is a live picture. you see those chilean flags. this is at camp hope. people celebrating the news that
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they had broken through where these 33 miners are. you have been talking about and rightly so all of the physical conditions and ailments these men might have. but their minds, as well. how do they keep their minds strong down there? and what do we know from past cases? not just mining cases, but other disasters and people being trapped before. how long can people stay underground like this or trapped like this before they start to go a little, you know, just a little batty? >> that's right. well, you know, it varies on a lot of different things. certainly being by yourself versus being in a group of people. having some sort of contact with the outside world, as you know, t.j., can make a huge difference. a lot of the data on this kind of thing comes from data on deep sea diving. people who are under the water for a long time for like construction of bridges, for example. you know, they look at these issues as models from other situations. but it's going to be tough to say. i think that there are some
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misconceptions, for example, that there'll be this idea that these miners are going to want to connect with the other miners a lot after they've been rescued. not necessarily. they may want to simply just get away from this whole situation altogether and immerse themselves in something that has nothing to do with either the miners or the mining for a period of time. this idea that you suppress the psychological trauma that they've clearly been through. you know, the number of days they've been underground in the dark. that sort of puts you in survival mode so to speak. you're just worried about ourviving every single day. the basic stuff that i need to live from one day to the next? and that's going to be something they have to deal with in terms of being able to shift out of pure survival mode. but just the euphoria that you get from the fresh air, the sunlight, the light blowing, the fresh air blowing on your face. all of that, i think, is going to give an immediate sense of euphoria to these miners. but again, you know, a lot of
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this is just -- this is an unprecedented thing, t.j., as well. >> could there possibly be, sanjay, be issues readjusting with family, relationships, down the road? >> i think there's no question. and what -- what a lot of people talk about in situations like this is that you have sort of a lot of -- you see the enthusiasm on tv. a lot of people gathering around, a lot of support. obviously the media coverage. after the miners are rescued, that sort of support, a lot of that tends -- will go away over time. not right away, but over days and weeks. and that can be a real let down for the miners, as well. they -- there's been this anticipation, this enthusiasm after a period of time, you know, attention will start to shift elsewhere. it's just the natural history of things, and that can be extremely difficult for miners in terms of their own personal relationships and the way they conduct their lives. >> all right. sanjay, we appreciate you hopping on the line with us this
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morning. our dr. sanjay gupta giving us us an idea of what these men have as challenges coming out. >> thank you. we are not going to go too far away from this story. but again, we have gotten what we thought we were going to get today. but still, we got several more days of rescue to be done. but the breakthrough took place just about 40 so minutes ago when finally the rescuers were able to drill down through to where the men have been trapped since august 5th, some 2,300 feet below the surface. they were able to breakthrough with the drill. so now the tunnel has been dug, the tunnel that will bring these men up one-by-one. that process, that part of the rescue won't start until at least tuesday where it could be seven to ten days after that before they start bringing up the first man. but certainly a milestone, a breakthrough today, and this mining disaster in chile. we will continue to monitor that story for you. but we are going to get back to politics and other news of the day after we take a quick break
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well, 45 past the hour. always getting updated numbers, polls during the election season. well, the latest are in. and let's see which way folks are leaning out there. you voters, this is what you say. our new cnn research poll of likely voters choice, 52% say their choice is republican. 45% say their choice is democrat. deputy political director paul steinhauser joins us from pennsylvania. what are we supposed to make of these numbers? >> reporter: hey, t.j., so you've got a seven-point advantage right now. the numbers you gave for the republicans in what we call the generic vow. would you vote for the generic democrat or republican? that's seven-point advantage for the republicans, down slightly from nine points about two weeks ago. let's break those numbers down a little bit and talk first of all about independent voters.
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they are so crucial. a two to one advantage for the republicans, t.j., and that is a problem for democrats. independent voters went for democrats in 2006 and 2008, looks like they're going for republicans this year. check this out, as well. you can see according to these numbers, republican voters are 20 points more enthusiastic to go out and actual vote on election day. t.j.? >> all right, well, i guess when you get a chance, ask that guy back there mowing the yard if he's going to vote republican or democrat, as well. another question for you about the president. how is he playing into the election one way or another? is he helping? is he hurting some of his fellow democrats? >> oh, yeah, he is such a crucial factor in this election. republicans are trying to make this election a referendum about barack obama and what he's done in the white house. and they're trying to basically tie barack obama, the president to democrats running for reelection. check out these numbers from our same poll and we asked, who do
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you think is a better president? who's done a better job in the white house? right now looks like americans are divided. 47% saying barack obama, 45% saying george w. bush. but look at a year ago on the right-hand side of the screen. a lot more people a year ago thought barack obama was a much better president. >> why are you in pennsylvania? >> yeah, good question. why am i here with the cnn election express right behind me? tomorrow, you've got the president coming to pennsylvania to try to rally democrats. also this state is a good representation of what's going on here. here's a state, t.j., where the republicans may win back the governor's office. they may win back the senate seat up for grabs this year. and they could take about four or five house seats. if the republicans win back control of congress, one of the places they'll have to do it and may do it is right here, t.j. >> paul, we appreciate you as always, buddy. and to our viewers, you always know where to go to get the latest political news. [ advisor 1 ] what do you see yourself doing one week,
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i guess we're on, aren't we? >> yeah. >> the light on the camera tells us we're broadcasting. >> we were discussing, folks, where we wanted to start with weather. where do you want to start with weather? >> well, i think really the big bulls eye in terms of rough weather around the nation would have to be the pacific northwest. seattle, portland, rough surf along the coast and possibly up to a foot of rain over the next several days. now through monday. but we'll hop on over and show you what we got. here's a look at the u.s. on the eastern sea board. things are relatively quiet, but out west, things get interesting. take a look up towards seattle
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and parts of portland, oregon, this area is going to be the spot where we're seeing showers and wind gusts. we've had a couple areas of low pressure that are going to be developing out into the gulf of alaska, swooping down. and as these come onshore, it's going to generate a lot of rainfall. that pacific moisture goes up into the cascades. as it gets into higher elevation, you have what's referred to as lift. the rain could pile up for a lot of people. making trips today, maybe going to portland, washington, for the oregon/washington state game. something else we're going to be seeing today, thankfully a little bit of good news when it comes to the tropics. hurricane otto, still a rather strong category one hurricane with winds at 75 miles per hour. when you get to 74, that's when it's classified as a hurricane.
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that's the situation with the storm. expected to maintain that strength. but as with get into early sunday and then into monday, it should slowly begin to weaken. it will be moving into an area of cooler water and as it does so, it's going to lose part of the primary power source. and that could really cause it to die out. thankfully, not expected to have any contact with land. so very quickly as we wrap things up, your fall foliage. trees are looking great in parts of the central rockies, northern rockies, aspen trees will look phenomenal. the great lakes is great. and for the central and northern appalachians and back into the catskills, it will be phenomenal. get the cameras ready, get out there and have a great day. we'll have more on what you can expect the warm temperatures in the southeast. some places getting close to 90 degrees, t.j., today in the southeast. back to you. >> but we're 80 something, right, today? >> 85. >> nice day. >> reynolds, appreciate you, buddy. quick break on this cnn saturday morning. g decadent with something grilled.
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again, if you haven't been watching, we are keeping an eye on what's happening in chile. they finally broke through to where the miners are. been trapped since august the 5th. talking about some of the challenges these men have. sir, just to wrap it up here, you tell me what is the biggest threat now to this rescue operation? >> well, the biggest threat is,
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of course, rock movement. it's a seismically active area. and as more time goes by, the likelihood that the ground will shift again. but i think the biggest part of this story is how resilient those 33 miners are and the type of leadership they had to be able to be so disciplined in a time of great stress is an amazing -- is an amazing thing. i mean, i think the rescue also will go very well because they have that discipline and that leadership down there. i think all of them will get up at least by next week and will have a good news story here. >> last thing, sir. guys like yourself taking notes during this whole rescue operation. >> oh -- absolutely. this is going to be a case study i'm going to be using in my occupational health and safety mining practice course starting in january. >> oh, sir, again, we can't thank you enough for the time and expertise you've been able
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to lend to this. thank you very much. enjoy the rest of your day. >> thanks. just a reminder of what we saw a short time ago. they have broken through and drilled that hole, this tunnel that's going to be the one to bring out those miners. so a milestone in the whole rescue operation. we'll continue to keep a close eye on it. still going to be some time tuesday at the earliest when they finally start bringing those miners out who have been trapped since august the 5th. well, back in 1996, california was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. 13 states and a district of columbia followed suit. now california has a chance to set precedent once again. when voters decide on legalizing marijuana for recreational use. will other states follow suit? once again, top of the hour here now. hello to you all once again. i'm t.j. holmes. this time every saturday we spend 9:00 a.m. eastern on one hot topic that affects us all.
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today the debate over proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in california again for recreational use. but could also set the stage for legalization all over this country. medicinal marijuana is legal. recreational use is not. now, also, there are several states who have what's called decriminalized marijuana. now, that -- we need to explain a little bit. just because something has been decriminalized does not mean it's legal. so what these states have done -- let me explain this. what this means when you decriminalize in those particular states you're only fined if you get caught rather than face jail time and a mark on your criminal record. that's decriminalize. it's kind of like getting a speeding ticket, running a stop sign, getting a ticket for that. now, it's important to note that even if california votes to legalize marion for recreational use, it would still violate federal law to use it in this country. but still, for all purposes, the
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federal government not going to prosecute a minor offender. so for all practical reasons, this would mean that the legal use of marijuana for recreational use, it would be legal in california. now, voters will have a chance to change the laws on marion in several states next month, not just california. let's let cnn's joe johns get us caught up. >> reporter: not one, in the two, not three, but four states have initiatives on the ballot this fall that would change their marijuana laws in big ways. and one of those initiatives, the one in california proposition 19 it's called would pretty much legalize retail sales of the drug for recreational use. that's right, if the voters go for it, what once was called the gateway drug, the so-called evil weed that led to cocaine, heroin, ruined lives and sent thousands upon thousands to jail could suddenly after all these years become okay to do for fun in california. the three other states with
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pending legislation, oregon, south dakota, and arizona are looking to either legalize marijuana for medical purposes or to modify the medical marijuana laws they already have in place. it turns out coast-to-coast, 14 states and the district of columbia already allow medical use, which is something a former national anti-drug czar sees as a problem. to him, this stuff is like booze, and if legalized, it'll have the same negative effect on society. >> an intoxicant does make people feel euphoric. in fact, it's part of the pathway to addiction. that doesn't mean there's medical jack daniels or medical meth or medical crack or heroin. this is -- this is a sham. >> okay. so how did we get here anyway? especially considering all the reminders we've had about the evils of marijuana. the old black and white movie reefer madness warning the public about it. >> just say no. >> reporter: or former first lady nancy reagan's famous "just say no to drugs" campaign in the
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1980s. attitudes have changed about marijuana especially since medical marijuana, though controversial, has become a legal realty. >> it does give an aura of usefulness which previously in every official presentation was always very negative. >> use of the drug has kpantly skyrocketed recently. but the one thing that has changed is the economy. money-hungry states are looking for new sources of revenue. and already wondering whether pot is the next cash crop. >> governments certainly are -- if they become promotors of legalized marijuana, if legislators -- it's clearly for in most cases will be for revenue reasons. >> some predict legalization in california could cause chaos starting in the courts, such as state law if passed would clash with federal law, launching a big battle that could end up in
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the support. but at least for now, it's all just a pipe dream, with a lot of speculation, though the world of drug enforcement could look a lot different when the smoke clears on election day. joe johns, cnn, washington. >> and we did reach out to the california governor arnold schwarzenegger for comment. his representatives, though, told us he wouldn't comment on things that were on the ballot. but it was a couple of weeks ago he did write this in the "los angeles times" editorial. any judge or attorney will tell you that proposition 19 is flawed. it's a flawed initiative that would bring about a host of legal nightmares and risk the public safety. it would also make california a laughing stock. well, coming up, two people who are not laughing in this argument over legalizing marijuana out in california. the two leading -- the leading spoke people for and against prop 19 will join me right here live. it's four minutes past the hour. stay with us.
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seven minutes past the hour now. the debates going on right now in california over prop 19 about legalizing marijuana for recreational use. we've got leadi ining spokes pe right now for both issues. i want to bring in roger salazar and on the other side, dale sky jones. joining me both this morning. thank you guys, both, for being here. ms. jones, let me start with you. is the argument for legalizing marijuana for recreational use. is it primarily for you an economic argument? >> well, frankly current policy has failed across the board. and we have an opportunity to have safer communities. if we simply choose to control tax and regulate cannabis for adult use. this will also allow us to
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finally regulate medical effectively, which we have not yet been able to do here in california. as far as the interpretation as to whether or not store front sales are legal. this will also help protect mecal patients that are still, in fact, going to jail. and it's about jobs. >> well, you said it makes the community safer. how does it do so in your estimation? >> cannabis is currently more accessible to our children than alcohol, than any other drug on the street. and we've put full control in the hands of our criminals. we need to take it out of the criminals, take away their profit margins, which are estimated at over 60% due to illegal marijuana sales. we need to put it in the hands of our cities and counties and even our state legislature to regulate control and tax. make sure that we're not selling it to children under 21. also we're banning smoking in front of kids and smoking in public. >> are we shifting that profit margin you speak of -- we're shifting it from the criminals
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like you say -- are we shifting it then to other folks who the legal -- people who have a license to sell it and also to the government. and i guess what keeps a kid who is 17 or 18, i know it's supposed to be 21 when you can smoke, but getting a 21-year-old or adult to buy it for you illegally. that sounds like easy access for a kid, as well. >> well, frankly it's easier now. what you're suggesting is similar to alcohol. where, you know, frankly you have to go in and convince an adult as you said. but right now you just walk around to the back of that seven-eleven or convenience store and you'll find four people willing to sell it to you, not i.d. you and then turn around and offer you more drugs. much of this gateway theory that has been completely debunked by the institute of medicine and the american medical association, the gateway theory is that theory of politics, not science. the real gateway is that these dealers are offering our kids more drugs when they're behind
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that convenience store. >> well, roger, let me bring you in here. it sounds like, hey, what's wrong with that? sounds like you would put drug dealers out of business. >> well, look, the concern we have is all of the things that dale just talked about. you know, controlling taxing and regulating marijuana. those things, you know, unfortunately this initiative doesn't do those things. leaves it up to a patch work of different jurisdictions and districts to come up with their own systems to how they're going to deal with these things. a couple of weeks ago there was an analysis done of how much could be generated from proposition 19 and they say they can't figure it out because there isn't a statewide system. unlike alcohol, you know, this would be different than alcohol because you wouldn't have a statewide regulatory body controlling the entire system. and, in fact, it'll make it a lot easier for folks to get access to it. if this drug is -- one of the things that the rand study showed us was that the only thing that is certain about proposition 19 is that drug use
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is going to go up. if you make it legal and more accessible to people, you know, all be guaranteeing that youth drug use is going to go up and that's not something that anybody wants. >> roger, i want to ask. you laid out arguments for how are we going to get this together -- get a system in place, a regulatory system in place. and your concerns there. are you concerned that what we've been told our whole lives, don't smoke weed, it's now going to be okay. california is telling everybody it's okay and it's legal to smoke weed. do you have a problem with that? >> yeah, there is a strong -- very strong concern about that. again, the analysis, they said that usage would, you know, would double, go back to 1970s levels. that's something that's let's not kid ourselves, that's something that the proponents of proposition 19 want. these are folks with big marijuana operations here in california. you know, the person who pushed this initiative, ms. jones' employer put $1.5 million of his own money to try to push for
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this thing because he's going to generate tremendous profits from this thing. they want use to go up, they want usage -- they believe that this is a benign drug. they think that you should be able to use it just like caffeine and coffee, you know, smoke a little to take the edge off. they're not interested in the traffic safety concerns that we have, the public safety concerns that we have, or the revenue concerns that we have. >> well, ms. jones -- >> this thing won't be able to generate the revenue. >> i have to let you respond. he did make a direct accusation that your employer and others on your side have a financial stake in this. >> indeed, it's unfortunate that we continue on with the disingenuous remarks, not only about my employer who does not have any personal stake. in fact, it's really up to the cities and counties to opt into regulation of medical or adult or, in fact, finally the hemp market, which is a non-psycho active version that will finally offer, food, fiber, and clothing.
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it's unfortunate that we turn to personal slander. the truth of the matter is, at the end of the day, we are following the same path as what we followed to dismantle alcohol prohibition, which was county by county opt in. and we have that same opportunity. cities and counties operate on a patch work throughout this country. in fact, california -- >> there's a difference there. >> -- works with concealed weapons permits in the same way. so the scare tactics on county by county don't concern me because the locals know what's most important to their community. we're looking at over 300 million in savings from law enforcement alone. and we're estimating 1.4 billion in taxes. and mr. salazar will say that's not to do with our initiative. however, it's already on the table. an assembly man in california -- >> that's a separate bill. >> go ahead and respond there, mr. salazar. i know there are concerns there. we have this bill, if it's passed, if prop 19 is passed, you still leave it up to the legislature to figure out how to work this stuff out.
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>> again, you know, the states, sorry, the counties and the cities would have to opt in as she mentioned. they'd have to figure out whether or not they'd want to regulate. the things that will be legal. regardless of where you live. you'll still be able to use marijuana. you'll still be able to possess it. you'd still be able to transport it, grow it. and you still -- and do all of those things without paying taxes on them. and again, without having to have some sort of control over those things and then the cities can come in and regulate those things. again, it's a backwards approach and i don't think it's one california -- >> ms. jones, i want to ask you this as simple as possible here. what are we saying to our kids? in this country if we have been telling them -- i mean since i was a kid, since all of us were kids to stay away from drugs. we've been told that marijuana
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is a drug. and now we're going to say to them it's legal and it's okay to smoke marijuana. what are we sending as a message to young folks? >> well, we're actually finally being honest with our young folks and getting our integrity back by explaining the true dangers of cannabis and to also the fact that you need to wait until you're 21 just like other regulated items. >> do you see them as dangerous, ms. jones? >> indeed. >> yes, there are. >> the dangers, frankly, in cannabis is safer than alcohol. i want to make sure we understand that cannabis cannot kill you. so giving adults a safer choice. it's important to control it away from children. by voting yes on prop 19, the voters of california to have an opportunity to strike a larger blow at the criminal cartels than any law enforcement effort ever could. and it's carefully crafted. so i suggest that people read it to see how it interacts with other laws, protects -- >> i would --
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>> -- make sure cops have the right. >> go ahead and wrap it up, mr. salazar. >> i would say the one thing that ms. jones and i agree with is that people should read this initiative. and i think once they look at it they'll see one of the things that this initiative does is puts into place special protections, basically a civil right for marijuana users that prevent employers, especially those who are involved in transportation issues from drug testing employees, before they get behind the wheels of vehicles and before they, you know, they come on to the job. it's one of the reasons that the chamber of commerce and the school administrators, cops, and sheriffs, you know, all around the state are opposed to it. >> guys, i'll -- i should have booked you guys for the half hour. there's so much more i want to ask you guys. thank you, both. ms. jones, mr. salazar. you know what? i actually might do that, guys. i hope you wouldn't be opposed to it. there's so much, including about driving, people have concerns about that, about being -- driving under the influence of marijuana. that was a big issue, as well, i wanted to get into. thank you so much and we will be
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in touch. thanks so much this morning. >> no problem. >> thank you, have a great morning. again, we're talking about the idea, as well of a possible major cash crop some are saying. well, it's going to be taking a look now at the potential economic impact when we come back. 17 minutes past the hour.
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well, after more than three months of debates, accusations, and arguments, california finally has a budget.
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the california governor arnold schwarzenegger signed an $87.5 billion budget late last night for states like california with crippling deficits, some say selling marijuana legally could be an economic quick fix. let's take a look at the economic impact of this potential industry. we're joined by jeff wilcox, the director of agrimed, a non-profit company that grows medical marijuana in oakland, california. he also commissioned a study to show how much revenue and jobs a single cannabis operation can generate. jeff, thank you for being here. prop 19, good idea in your opinion? >> i think so, yes. >> now, as your -- >> if you look at our -- >> uh-huh, go ahead. >> if you look at how cannabis is managed in our society, i think we can do a much better job. >> a much better job. sounds like yours is primarily an economic argument, fair to say? >> when i looked around the city of oakland and what the current economy was doing, the unemployment, the lost houses, i approached the community leaders
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and the leaders at city hall with an idea. if cannabis wasn't going to be eradicated from our society through the war on drugs, could with tax and regulate it and provide a new tax revenue for the city? >> what were you able to find? let's say prop 19 goes through and you're able to expand a medical marijuana facility or growing operation into one for legal recreational use. how massive of an operation and how much money could be generated for a city or for the state? >> it was amazing what the economic report showed. i have a property that's approximately seven acres. when we looked at that property, we would produce approximately 316 jobs, union jobs. the average job -- average pay across the board is 83,000 per individual. the special tax that this would provide to the city of oakland would be in excess of $5 million a year. so when you look at the city
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licensing for facilities like mine, you're looking at over 1,200 jobs and $20 million of tax incentive for the city. not to mention another economic benefit of a resource to provide revenue for the city of oakland for after school programs and child care activities. >> now, what is the danger as you see it in expanding the use, the legal use of marijuana for legal purposes? do you see some down sides? and like i say, a lot of people might be looking at california. the governor there even said it would make us a laughing stock. >> exactly. and that's the downside. it's this old idea that eradication is the only way that this is going to work. i think the downside is the public perception that we've bought into this mismanagement as the approach. if you're going to have a war on drugs, eradicate it, get it over, and let's move on. wars can't carry on 100 years. i think i'm a pragmatist, i think we should manage this
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better. as a patriot, i think there's a better way for our society. >> and you absolutely think, mr. wilcox, just to wrap it up. you think it would expand, i guess, the potential users out there? people out there, plenty of this country smoking marijuana, get their hands on it even though it's illegal for recreational use. if it becomes legal, how much is it going to expand, possibly, the number of people who want the stuff? >> i don't think it will expand. because if you want it now, you can get it. you've always been able to do that in our society. the only question now, are you going to buy it through criminals or a licensed regul e regulated facility. >> jeff wilcox, potentially a drug dealer out there, a legal drug dealer after the election day. mr. wilcox, we do appreciate you being here. fascinating story, fascinating debate. we appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you. all right. got a little test for our viewers, as well. giving you pop quizzes this morning. got a marijuana pop quiz for you. what year did the very firgs
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first commission recommend decriminalizing marijuana in the u.s.? back in 1961, was it 1972, or was it 1996? when was it? the answer after the break. hi, may i help you? yes, we're looking to save on car insurance, even if that means we have to shop all day, right, honey? yep, all day. good thing you're starting here. we compare your progressive direct rate to other top companies', so you can save money! look! we saved a lot! and quick, too. and no more holding her purse!
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personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. all right. before the commercial break, we asked you what year the very first commission recommended decriminalizing marijuana in the u.s. 1961, was it '72, was it '96. it was actually b. 1972. raymond schaefer recommended to nixon that it be decriminalize. and oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of less than one ounce. still a lot more to come on it as we get ready for the


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