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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 6, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

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01/06/14 01/06/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! americans are tired of these failed policies and are ready for new approach, and i think that is why we saw voters in washington and colorado go to end marijuana prohibition and those states. tax it, bring it under the rule of law. world's first state licensed marijuana retail stores opened in colorado, new york governor andrew cuomo prepares
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to announce lanes to allow for limited use of medical marijuana in new york. we will speak with gabriel sayegh of the drug policy alliance and then dr. carl hart on "high price: a neuroscientist's journey of self-discovery that callenges everything you know about drugs and society." >> if people are suffering and we are potential medications that will help relieve their suffering, absolutely, we should go full force with that. seattle orwill go to the city's first socialist city counselor in generations is being sworn in today. because ofrecisely the grassroots efforts through our campaign that fast food workers movement in the seatac an hour hashat $15 become a buzzword. we did it, not the corporate politicians. >> we will speak with the newly
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elected seattle city counselor kshama sawant. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. iraq's prime minister is urging residents of falluja to rise up against al qaeda-linked militants after the government lost control of the city. swaths of falluja are now reportedly in the hands of militants with the islamic state . shifting loyalties among tribal militias fighting alongside the government are complicating the picture. militants are also holding parts of the nearby provincial capital ramadi. it is the first time militants have so overtly claimed key cities since the peak of fighting after the 2003 u.s. invasion. on sunday, secretary of state john kerry ruled out any possibility of sending in u.s. troops. >> we are going to do everything ,hat is possible to help them
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and i will not go into the details except to say that we are in contact with the tribal leaders from the mr province and we know and are showing great courage in standing up against this as they reject terrorist groups from their cities. is a fight that belongs to the iraq use. that is exactly what the president and the world decided some time ago when we left iraq. we're not contemplating returning or contemplating putting boots on the ground. this is their fight. we will help them in their fight. >> a decade ago, falluja was the side of the bloodiest chapter for u.s. troops since the vietnam war. the u.s. pushed to recapture falluja in 2004 involving the extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, leaving a legacy of birth defects that continues today. in neighboring syria, antigovernment rebels are
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battling militants from the same al qaeda-linked group. clashes between the factions erupted across northern syria over the weekend and spread the key eastern city of raqqa earlier today. in afghanistan, violence against women has hit a record high. afghanistan's human rights commission says attacks against women increased in both frequency and brutality in 2013. the head of the commission and a top advocate for women's rights discussed the violence. >> i think the problem is the brutality of the violence against women was really theking to see, including cutting of the nose and lips off women, including mass rape in public space, which is shocking in our culture. [indiscernible]
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>> the report comes as afghanistan is preparing for the departure of foreign aid as well as foreign troops at the end of this year. it's unclear how many u.s. troops and how much u.s. aid will remain in afghanistan amid tensions over a long-term troop deal. the promotion of women's rights was touted as a key pretext for the u.s.-led occupation. but in a further sign, such rights have deteriorated, doctors are reporting a rise in self immolation spy women. according to reuters, the burn unit of one hospital admitted a record number of women who try to set themselves on fire in 2012. the plight of children in afghanistan has also worsened. data shows cases of severe mom the tuition among children has risen by at least 50% over 2012
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levels. a so-called polar vortex is blasting much of the united states with swaths of the country set to record some of their lowest temperatures in decades. wind chills are projected to drop as low as -70 degrees fahrenheit in the midwest. the national weather service called the blast historic and life-threatening, warning the wind chills or cold enough to freeze human flesh within five minutes. below zero temperatures were predicted as far south as alabama, with nearly half the country set to plunge below freezing by wednesday. indianapolis mayor greg ballard warned residents to take precautions. >> this weather, nation that we're seeing right now with all of the snow and the cold is unlike anything we have seen in decades in this area. i can't emphasize that enough. the cold really scares me. temperatures that are particularly deadly or
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certainly life altering temperatures right now. we have to be very, very careful of that. after atld blast comes least 16 people died from a winter storm that brought snow and freezing temperatures to the midwest and northeast. while the united states freezes, australia has been suffering a blazing heat wave that saw temperatures hovering around 50 degrees celsius, or 122 degrees fahrenheit. last year was their hottest year on record. the recently elected prime minister has illuminated australia's climate change commission and how to undo measures to reduce when house gas emissions. in israel, african migrants marched in protest sunday against a new law allows those without valid visas to be detained indefinitely. people have reportedly been arrested since a law passed last month. police said more than 30,000 migrants join the march in tel aviv and the largest action to date. a demonstrator outline their demands. >> these really government we
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are asking three things. asking three things from the israeli government. [indiscernible] a secretaryst came of state john kerry left israel for jordan and in saudi arabia as part of his push for a peace deal between israelis and palestinians. john said saudi king abdullah had voiced enthusiastic support for the peace talks. in egypt, a court has sentenced 12 activist to one you're suspended jail terms, purportedly over an attack on headquarters of the losing presidential candidate in 2012. those sentenced included the theing pair, two figures in toilet uprising that ousted mubarak. >> the verdict was political.
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we were given one you're suspended sentences. there is evidence or witnesses to prove any of these defendants are guilty. >> the sentences are part of an ongoing crackdown that sought three other activists -- saw three other activists sentenced to rims last month. on friday at least 70 people were killed in the deadliest clashes in months between security forces and supporters of ousted president mohamed morsi. 30,000 member union of machinists and washington state has narrowly accepted a new contract from boeing that includes major concessions on pensions, health care benefits and wage growth. the union had rejected the previous offer by 67% in november. on then began soliciting bids from other states those production of its 777x aircraft. the firm also tweak its offer, adding an additional $5,000 bonus. on friday, the unit excepted the new contract with just 51%
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voting in favor. washington state had approved the largest corporate tax break by state to a single corporation and u.s. history to entice boeing. the measure hands going $8.7 billion worth of incentives through 2040 to build its new aircraft in washington. we'll have more on the boat with seattle's new socialist city councilmember kshama sawant later in the broadcast. the national security agency has declined to specify whether or not it is spying on congress. in response to an inquiry by independent senator bernie sanders, the nsa said members of congress have "the same privacy protections as all u.s. persons ." republican senator rand paul has announced he is filing a class- action lawsuit against the nsa over its bulk collection of americans phone records. on friday, seeger for intelligence surveillance court authorize the bulk is spying program for another 90 days. newly published documents show oil on board a train that
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exploded in castleton, north dakota contain high levels of flammable and toxic chemicals not found in other types of oil. toreports the company due receive the cargo had a special permit noting the oil contain high levels of volatile organic compounds. report comes after federal transportation officials issued a warning about the oil, it comes from the bakken shale reserve that stretches under north dakota and montana, saying it may be more flammable than other types of oil. the explosion in north dakota forced the evacuation of a small town. a previous train derailment involving bakken shale oil killed 47 people in québec. the associated press reports a number of u.s. states have confirmed oil and gas chilling is polluting well water. the report examined quadra states that have received hundreds of complaints. in pennsylvania, authorities have confirmed more than 100 cases of drilling contaminating
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private wells since 2005. the state received nearly 400 complaints about contamination last year alone from the down from 500 in 2012. u.s. agricultural regulators have proposed lifting restrictions on genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that are resistant to the weedkiller 2.4-d. made by dowe is chemical and has been linked to a range of health risks including cancer and parkinson's disease. it was one ingredient in the toxic vietnam war herbicide agent orange. the proposal to lift restrictions comes amid pressure from farmers after many weeds grew resistant to monsanto's roundup ready weedkiller. oftens say the herbicide drifts from its application side, posing a risk to health and your right plants. newderal appeals court in orleans is hearing arguments today on texas provisions requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. the requirement forced one third of texas when asked to stop
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performing abortions immediately . a judge had earlier ruled it served no medical purpose. according to the deadlock institute, 70 antiabortion restrictions were enacted by 22 states last year. over the past three years, states have passed over 200 restrictions on abortion, more than in the entire previous decade. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. become the poised to latest data loosen restrictions on marijuana usage. governor andrew cuomo will reportedly announce a plan this week to use his executive power thellow 20 hospitals across state to prescribe marijuana to certain patients. the governor's surprise reversal at medical marijuana is part of a nationwide shift in drug laws. last week there world's first state licensed marijuana retail stores opened in colorado to long lines of customers. the first person to make a purchase was sean azzariti, an iraq war veteran suffering from
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ptsd. he spoke to reporters along with marijuana advocate betty aldworth. >> now i get to use recreational cannabis to help alleviate my ptsd. it is a stepping stone for other states doubt veterans as well. expect almost 400 million dollars in sales next year. across the nation, the marijuana industry will create 2.30 4 billion dollars of economic activity. quick possession and private use of marijuana has been legal in colorado over the past year, but it will now be legally sold as well -- produced and sold as well. for more we're joined by gabriel sayegh, the director of the drug policy alliance. welcome. talk about the significance of the announcement both that andrew cuomo will be making this week, the governor of new york, as well as what has happened in colorado. >> cuomo's announcement is enormous. it has significance on at least
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three levels, the first is here's a governor who has been long opposed to medical marijuana and that opposition has provided cover to the state senate cannot to anything at all. the state senate has said, well, we don't want to has a bill of the governor's not going to sign it so were not on to do anything. the governor's turnaround on this is significant because he is saying, i support this wholeheartedly, i'm behind it. but he went further. he said, i want to get something done in new york. he gave us assurances that his office knows new york needs that the muscle desiccated and well- run medical marijuana system in the nation to my but the senate has refused to act. in the interim time, the governor's doing something no other governor is done, using his executive authority to move a program forward in the meantime until we can you conference of legislation we need. that is significant -- significant here. >> explain how it will work. >> he is strong on a law in 1980 that allows states to run a
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limited program allowing some people to access medical marijuana. the new york program ran for while here and was hospitals that distribute it marijuana to some patients. the program was shut down in the early 1990's. no other state has the program running today. with the governor is going to do is revive the program from 1980. there are limits. the program is likely not going to serve all the patients in new york who need medical marijuana, but the point is the governor does not have to go through the senate in order to start this program running now. what that means for out as is the governor will mean -- move forward with the executive authority he has two begin building a regulatory system in the state of new york. that means we need to get the ball rolling in the legislator to pass the legislation that is needed. >> this is an usual change for governor. explain where he was and where
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he is now. >> he said he was opposed to it and wasn't going to do it. last spring, we begin to see a small shift. he said, i'm not there yet, but i'm looking into this. it is clear they did do the research. deeply. so quite his turnaround is remarkable. to his credit, he's not saying he supports medical marijuana, he is saying he's going to do everything in his authority right now to get the ball rolling. as we all understand, the program he will be able to start through the department of health with his authority without going through the legislature is likely not going to be sufficient for the patients in need across the state. but it will get the ball rolling . a lot of the details remain unanswered. >> talk about colorado. >> the people of colorado voted to end marijuana prohibition. and is historical unprecedented. colorado became the first restriction in the world have a
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modern system where adults can go in and buy marijuana for recreational purposes. what is interesting about colorado and washington is the voters there had an opportunity to go to the polls and voice their opinion and did so and did so overwhelmingly in support of ending prohibition. we don't have that option here in new york. at in the states that do, we are going to see additional voter referendum on the ballot in 2014 and 2016 and going forward where voters will have the opportunity to have their voice heard. for states like new york where we have to move the legislator, we have to start with programs like medical marijuana and decriminalization. we need to make sure patients have access and that we don't allow the struggle or to rage on an impact hundreds of millions. talks explain what colorado can and cannot do. >> if you are an adult 21 and older you can purchase a small quantity. you cannot use it in public.
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it has to be done in the privacy of your own home. that is significant. it will soon be happening in washington. washington will rollout the program this year. at the end of 2014, both washington and colorado will have legal systems as well as uruguay. as a nation, they passed a bill. other nations will undoubtedly follow suit. >> i want to turn to patrick kennedy, the former congress member who cofounded the nonprofit group called marijuana.natives to he said legalizing drugs may further harm minorities. >> i'm concerned about the minority community that is now going to be targeted by these marijuana producers. distributors are in minority neighborhoods by a factor of 10. i can't even begin to tell you
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with the latest numbers are. you know what l.a. is looks like. it isis an an equal -- insidious. >> that is patrick kennedy who suffered from addiction himself. what is insidious is the stations war on drugs and the fact we allow hundreds of thousands of americans, predominantly young men of color, to be roped into the criminal justice system. new york is the marijuana capital of the world. we arrest more people in the state than any other state in the country. therrest more people -- number one arrest in new york is marijuana possession. overwhelmingly, young men of color. if mr. entity was actually concerned about committed these of color in this community -- in this country, he would be talking about mass criminalization and the devastation of the war on drugs. frankly, i find it insidious, to use his term, that they would
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begin to talk about his hypothetical situations impairing marijuana and alcohol when alcohol causes thousands of deaths every year. marijuana has never called one. you'll hear from dr. carl hart later in the show about the science side. that kind of scare tactic is not what we need today. if they really care about communities of color, they should advocate for ending the war on drugs. >> gabriel sayegh, thank you for being with us, director of the drug policy alliance's new york policy office. when we come back, we will be joined by dr. carl hart, a neuroscientist. -- thetitle of his book title of his book, "high price: a neuroscientist's journey of self-discovery that callenges everything you know about drugs and society." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue our conversation on the nationwide ship toward liberalizing drug laws, we're joined by the groundbreaking neuropsych of pharmacologist -- neuropsychopharmacology is dr. carl hart from columbia university where he is an associate professor in the psychology and psychiatry departments. he is also member of the national advisory council on drug abuse and a research scientist in the division of substance abuse at the new york state psychiatric institute. long before he entered the house
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halls of the ivy league, he gained first-hand knowledge about drug usage while growing up in one of miami's toughest neighborhoods. he recently published his memoir called, "high price: a neuroscientist's journey of self-discovery that callenges everything you know about drugs and society." in the book he recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies. dr. carl hart, we welcome you to democracy now! the title of your book almost was the song we're just playing "trouble man"? >> yes, but they thought we should go with something more modern. >> both your research findings will surprise many and also your own path in life. let's start by talking about where you come from. >> i grew up in the foot. when we think about these communities that we care about,
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communities that have been so- called devastated by drugs, i believe that narrative for a long time. i've been studying drugs for about 23 years. for about 20 of those years, i believed drugs were the problems in the community. when i started to look are carefully, looking at the evidence more carefully, it became clear to me that drugs aren't the problem. the problem was poverty, drug policy, lack of jobs, a wide range of things. drugs were just one sort of component that didn't contribute as much as we had said they had. findings ofbout the these studies. you have been publishing in the most elite scientific journals now for many years. >> yes. one of the things that shocked me when i first started understanding what was going on, when i discovered that 80% to 90% of the people who actually used drugs like crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, 80% to 90% of those people were not addicted.
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i thought, wait a second. i thought once you use these drugs, everybody becomes addicted. that was one thing that i found out. another thing i found out is that if you provide alternatives to people -- jobs, other sort of alternatives, they don't overindulge in drugs. i discovered this in the human laboratory as well as the animal laboratory. that crackyou mean is not as addictive as everyone says? >> well -- we have a beautiful example now. the mayor of toronto robert ford. the guy used crack cocaine and he did his job. despite what you think of him and his politics. he came to work every day and did his job. the same is true even of marion barry. he came to work every day, did his job. in fact, he did it so well the people of d.c. voted for him even after he was convicted for using crack.
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that is the majority of crack cocaine users. does like any other drug. most of the people who use these drugs do so without a problem. >> jim carrey to alcohol. -- compare it to alcohol. >> tinted 15% of people use alcohol meet the criteria from collison. crack cocaine, 50% to 20%. same sort of thing only look at the numbers. we have known this in science for at least 60 years. i'm sorry, at least 40 years we have known this sort of thing. >> so someone who has won every night for dinner would not be considered an alcoholic in the same way if you take crack every day? >> exactly. someonewe judge whether is an addict is whether or not they have disruptions in their psychosocial functioning. are they going to work? are they handling their responsibilities? are they overindulging in their
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activity? when we think about alcohol every day, people can drink alcohol every day and still meet their responsibility. the same is true with crack cocaine and with powder cocaine and marijuana. think about it this way. the three most recent presidents all used illicit drugs, and they all have met the responsibilities. they reached the highest levels of power. we would be proud if they were our children. despite the fact they of all used illegal drugs. >> but they are saying they did not use them in a regular kind of way. i mean, who knows? >> when we say a regular kind of way, for example, i use alcohol. i may use it once a month or twice a month, four times a month -- it may vary. but that is regular. i think the public when they think of regular, they think of overindulging. when people overindulge, like
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every day multiple times a day, it is going to disrupt some of your psychosocial functioning. now that is a small number of people. only a few people engage in behavior like that. i assure you that is saying gauge in behavior like that, that is not their only problem. they have multiple other problems. >> why do some people get addicted to crack and others don't? >> great question. people get addicted for a wide range. some have illnesses that contribute to drug addiction and others it is the best option available to them, others because they have limited skills in terms of responsibility skills. people become addicted for a wide range of reasons. if we were really concerned about drug addiction, we would be trying to figure out for cicely what each individual became addicted. but that is not what we're really interested in. we are interested in a society of vilifying a drug and that way we don't have to deal with the complex issues of why people
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would become addicted. >> talk about brain science. >> that is a good question. brain science at some level in terms of drug abuse has become that'sbecause people -- not to be disrespectful because that is my favorite sort of science, by the way. but the way we have been thinking about brain science is people show you pretty pictures, pretty images and you think it tells you something about how they behave. it doesn't. itm that perspective, concerns me deeply. but on the other side, i marvel at what we're learning about how the brain works in general. we are not anywhere near being able to explain drug addiction with our brain science yet. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to try to figure out what is going on in the brain. humans.ave been testing
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how does human experiments compare with rat and animal experiments? >> it depends on the question you're asking. for example, if you're asking the question about simple neurochemistry. when we think about dopamine. you've heard a lot about that neurotransmitter. if you want to know what cocaine dusted dopamine, you can use a rat brain to figure that out as well as a human brain. and that is pretty close. but when you start to talk about drug addiction and the complexities, drug addiction is a human sort of ailment, not an ailment in rats. what you can do in rats is maybe model one component, maybe two components of drug addiction. but understand that model might be quite limited. >> last year one of the nation's most prominent doctors announced he had shifted his stance in support of medical marijuana. dr. sans jacob the, chief ethical correspondent for cnn, openly apologized for his past
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reporting dismissing the medical uses of the drug. >> i've apologize for some of the earlier reporting because i think we have been terribly in systematically misled in this country and i did part of that misleading. i did not look far enough or deep enough or lapse in other countries that are doing incredible research or listen to the patients. . took the dea at their word there was no scientific basis for them to say what they said. >> your response to that? >> on the one hand, i applaud him but on the other, i might be embarrassed if i was a physician and i'm this late in the game. the evidence has been overwhelming for quite some time. if you read the literature and have been reading the literature, this position or this change should have come earlier. but, still, it takes courage to say you're wrong.
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i think it has been overstated how much praise he deserves. >> dr. carl hart tom i can you talk about your life's journey, how you ended up being the first african-american scientist to be tenured at columbia university? >> that is a question that society should answer. when we think about the numbers of african-americans who are in neuroscience and why they are low and why the numbers are low, that is an issue that society hasn't grappled with. it is related to some of this marijuana talk that we are talking about. you played something about kennedy earlier. those kind of people come at a sicken me, quite frankly. when we think about the role that racism has played in our drug enforcement and those people don't knowledge that? those types of practices have played a role in why african- americans are not in many areas in the united states. >> i want to go back to that
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clip. you're talking about patrick kennedy who battled addiction himself through his time in congress. >> which does not give him any sort of special qualification. i want to make clear. because you're an addict, a dozen to be some special insight about addiction. -- it doesn't give you some special insight about addiction. >> i'm concerned about the minority community that is now going to be targeted by these marijuana producers. you look at the alcohol industry, i tell you what, more alcohol does to bidders are in minority neighborhoods by a factor of 10. i can't even begin to take with the latest numbers are. you're from the west coast and know what l.a. looks like. -- itisn't an equal -- so is insidious. >> that is patrick kennedy who the nonprofit group
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called small alternatives to marijuana. >> he should be talking about, today, if we consider -- continue the same drug enforcement policy, one entry african-american men warned today will spend some time in jail. i have three african-american males. that means one will spend some time in jail. if he was concerned, he would be worried about those numbers. if he was really concerned, he would understand african- american men make up 16% of the population, 35% of the prison population. that is of foreign. we never hit is people talking about those numbers. when we think about the dangers of marijuana from a scientific perspective, let's evaluate this. when we think about the dangers of marijuana, they are about the equivalent of alcohol. now i don't want to somehow talk about the dangers of alcohol or other besmirch the reputation of alcohol, because i think every situation -- society should have
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intoxicants. we need them. alcohol is fine. >> why do we need them? >> it makes people more adjusting, decreases anxiety, alcohol is associated with a wide range of health beneficial effects, decreased heart disease, decreased strokes. the same can be true of a drug like marijuana. it helps people sleep better, decreased anxiety at the right doses. all of these beneficial effects. think about it this way. we have automobiles. they are potentially dangerous, particularly if you have been in new york city the past couple of days with the icy roads and so forth. in the 1950's, automobile accidents were relatively high. we instituted some measures -- seatbelts, speed limits are the sorts of things. even though we have more cars on the road, that rate has lyemendous
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decreased. we could teach people how to use struts more safely. they're not going anywhere. >> go back to your life story. how you ended up going from a tough neighborhood in miami to columbia university. an advisor on some of the most you beat drug policy panels in the country. >> when we think about how one b,es from point a to point there are some things that i point out in my book that are clear. ,ne thing was we had welfare the safety net for families like mine. i had seven siblings. all of us are taxpayers today, but we were raised on welfare. they no doubt about it, without welfare, i wouldn't be here. without some of the programs the government instituted for minorities in science by medical science, they helped me get a
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phd. i had mentors, a wide range of mentors. white, black, men, women -- a wide range of mentors. i had a strong grandmother and five older sisters who made sure that i stayed as close to the sort of beaten path as possible so it did not stray too far. >> you have talked about really recognizing racism, not when you lived here, but outside the country. where did you go to college? the airt to college in force. i went to college at the university of maryland who had college campuses on air force base. >> why did you go into the military? >> because i did not get the basketball scholarship i thought i would get. i was a big basketball player. i played on some of the best all-star teams in miami. i did not get the basketball scholarship i thought i should get, so went to the air force. it was the only option.
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while my time in the air force primarily was spent in england and while in england, i got quite an education about american racism. in england, they have programs on irregular basis like the west pbs series "eyes on the prize." i learned a lot about the u.s. civil rights movement in history while in england. the british were not bashful in their criticism of american s because they did not have to look at their own. my reality was corroborated while i was in england. >> so you come back to this country, and how did you end up at columbia? >> i finished up my undergraduate degree at the university of north carolina in wilmington. i went to the university of the onlyof wyoming for program that accepted me in the neuroscience phd program. i got quite an education not only about neuroscience, the
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society. things thater of yell and columbia. >> you begin your book talking about a human experiment that you recently did. explain that. this particular experiment was featured in "the new york times" recently. i had read the literature, the animal literature showing when you allow an animal to self administer, press a level to receive intravenous injections of cocaine, they will do so until they die. but then when i look at the literature more carefully, if you provide that animal with a sexually receptive mage, with some sweet treats like sugar water or something of that nature, a would not take the drug. they would engage in those other activities. i thought it would be interesting to find out whether or not crack cocaine addicts could also have their drug taking behavior altered or
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changed by providing an alternative. in that experiment, we used as low as five dollar cash and when you do that, you can see they will take the cash about half -- >> explain the scene. >> you have a person, you bring a person into the laboratory and their seated in a chair in front of a macintosh computer so they can indicate their choice. on the left would be drugs, on the right would be money. opportunitiese 5 separated by 15 minutes, for example. every 15 minutes a nurse would come in and ask them to indicate their option. >> who are these subjects? foreople who meet criteria crack cocaine addiction. these are people who smoke crack cocaine on five days a week, spend about $200 to $300 a week on the drug. they're committed cocaine users.
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we passed all of the ethical requirements to bring them into the laboratory. they have physical examinations. there carefully monitored by a nurse, physician, and so forth. >> so you have them sitting -- >> in front of a computer. every 15 minutes a nurse will come in and asked them to indicate their choice. once they do so, the nurse will bring in the option they selected, whether it is crack cocaine or the five dollar option. when you provide an alternative like five dollars, they will choose five dollars about half the occasion and drugs on the other half. but if you increase still tentative amount to something like $20, they will never take the drug. they will always take the money. sometimes people say, well, they're only selecting the money so they can use drugs when they leave the hospital. now, one thing that was said about crack cocaine users is that they could make rational choices once they had cocaine on board or once they are faced with the choice to take cocaine. well, they demonstrate, if that
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is what they're doing, they demonstrate they can display or do delayed gratification -- which is a good thing. but i know us of the people in those studies did not simply take the money to go buy drugs in a left the study. we paid some of their bills. they asked us, saved up their money and asked us to write a check for certain bills and that sort of thing. >> were you surprised by your findings? >> absolutely. fooled or hoodwinked just like the american public that crack cocaine addicts, if you present them with a choice to take crack cocaine they would take every dose and would be crawling on the floor looking for more. that is absolutely false. that is a myth. , yourally, dr. carl hart assessment of the media and dealing with the issue of drugs? >> since i'm a professor, so i give people grades, i would say
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"d-" & does deserve a -- +." scientists deserve a "d sign to say very little because they are afraid of sounding permissive. like their first goal is to not be wrong. we're missing an opportunity to help educate the american public about how to decrease harms related to drugs. youru just talked about three boys, you have three sons. what do you say to young people about drugs and alcohol? >> i think of these things just like i do any other potentially dangerous behavior. like driving in on a mobile. i make sure i educate my kids on how to be safe in driving their car, how to be safe when they
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have sex, the same is true with drugs. i make sure i let them know the potential positive effects in the potential negative effects and how to avoid the potential negative effects. i have written about this letter to my son about how to use drugs safely or what you need to be aware of. >> dr. carl hart, thank you for being with us, author of the new book, "high price: a neuroscientist's journey of self-discovery that callenges everything you know about drugs and society." dr. carl hart is associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at columbia university. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. moment withack in a the first socialist city inncilmember in decades seattle, washington. she is being sworn in today. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. turn now to seattle, washington, where a former occupy wall street activist is being sworn in today to the city council. kshama sawant is the first socialist elected to the city office in seattle in generations. >> we have shown it is possible to succeed as an independent grassroots, openly socialist campaign, not taking any money from big business, not occurring favor with the establishment parties of big business, having an unapologetic campaign platform for improving the living standards of seattle's
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working people and rejecting the business as usual. this moment belongs to that way of organizing. >> kshama sawant has also played a pivotal role in the fight for 15 movement. the campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the seattle area. voters in the nearby community of seatac recently increased the minimum wage are many local workers to $15. the vote is being challenged in the court. seattle's new mayor has just announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all city employees. we go now to seattle where we are joined by kshama sawant, newly elected socialist city council member of the seattle city council. of socialister alternative, teacher, and the union activist. congratulations, kshama sawant. can you talk about what today means, today your inauguration? >> thank you, amy, for having
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me. today's inauguration really is an absolutely historic moment for working-class politics, and to understand -- to really feel the moment that this is a turning point in the state. and i don't mean just the election of a socialist in city council, but everything that you have mentioned -- occupy movement, the movement to legalize erewhon ease, marriage equality -- this is all an indication people in this country are truly frustrated and angry and outraged at the status quo of the deepening incoming -- income inequality, the political dysfunction of the democratic --dy and democratic already of the democratic and republican party. the fact we have been victorious in this grassroots campaign is really an indication that people are ready to start moving forward.
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the real question is, how are we on the left, how are we going to take up this responsibility of organizing the vast numbers of people, especially young people, for whom there is no future, and how are we going to present it? >> why did you decide to run as a socialist? >> the first thing is, i am a member of socialist alternative, which is a nationwide organization of social and economic justice activists. and that by itself present a really different way of organizing politics and political actions where it is not simply up to me as sort of a superstar but really a democratic decision among large numbers of people saying, year after year we are asked to go for democrats or republicans and nothing changes. wall street is making historically high profits since
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the recession broke out. it has fallen squarely on the shoulders of or near working people. how do we come out of this? what is the way forward? presenting a different type of alert for politics was extremely important to me and everybody else who was involved in this campaign. there were hundreds of people who worked on his campaign. the important thing about running as a socialist is, for one, to show there is a definite openness for clear alternatives, not only to the big business parties, but the system they represent, the capitalist system. if you look at recent polls, they show people, especially young people, are much more open to socialism than you would find from the corporate media. people are also fed up with the .olitical dysfunction 60% of americans that they're looking for political candidate to democrats and republicans.
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everybody said, don't you have to vote for democrat or else the evil republicans will come in? that is correct. republicans and the right wing need to be defeated, but at the same time, it is important to recognize that the reason the right wing, the tea party and republicans, gain any sort of ascendancy over the american people is because the democrats do not present an alternative. the tea party arose because of obama's administration's failures to deal with the outrage against the bank bailouts. really, it is up to us to present a different way of doing that, to really show that working people can find for ourselves -- it is not simply about electoral politics. the elect world arena is one -- the electoral arena is one avenue where we can occupy the space, so to say, but the question is, how are we going to organize overall?
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how are we going to have a mass movement that will channel each -- challenge the status quo? >> i want to play highlights from news coverage of the recent march by the fight for 15 campaign in the seattle area. >> after the yes vote in seatac, there's a lot of energy behind this cause. >> basic necessities for everyday things you need. sometimes you just don't have enough on the wages we make now. >> i'm out here for everyone, me, my family, children, for future generations. >> $15 an hour would change her family's life. >> we could pay bills off, medical bills, go back to school. >> i wouldn't have to work two jobs. >> that was coverage of the whole campaign for the minimum wage increase to $15. you have been an integral part of that. explain what is happened at seatac and seattle. >> this really started with the
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growing discontent against economic inequality and abysmal standard of living and the race to the bottom that is being meted out to the vast majority of people, especially the younger generations, low-wage workers. as you have covered on democracy now! coed december 5, 2012 was a pivotal day when fast food workers walked out in new york on $15 anke a stand hour and the right to unionize without retaliation. and that movement for $15 an hour has really captured the imagination of people all around the country. as you mentioned, the seatac initiative last year in 2013, people voted in the majority to give $15 an hour to all the workers there, especially the airport workers, and in seattle, our campaign, socialist
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alternative campaign, has been campaigning for day one for $15 an hour for all workers in seattle and for affordable housing and for taxing the wealthy to provide funding for education. now this battle has come full force to seattle. you mentioned that mayor talking for 600 cityhour employees. we're saying this is a positive step forward. it really reflects how much ground swell of support the movement has been building up. i would sure -- i would urge , theone to go to website we have launched, a grassroots campaign that we're starting to mobilize in seattle, in 2014.for 15 i urge your viewers and listeners to go to the website and sign up to help out.
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please, give your financial contribution. it doesn't matter whether you are in seattle or not. this is the epicenter of $15 an hour. we need to support -- we need the support of everyone around the country. it is important to see how dramatically different the political terrain is here today since before occupy. before occupy, there was a lot of disenchantment in sort of a feeling of demoralization. occupy in did the silence on inequality of goods capitalism front and center. -- and puts capitalism front and center. what is happening in seattle is not unique in the sense the social conditions that are preparing people to jump into struggle exist everywhere in the country. what is different about seattle is the workers and labor activist in seatac went forward with this ballot initiative and socialist alternative and its supporters had the audacity to
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challenge the democratic party establishment and go forward with what is now a victorious campaign for a socialist city council. that is an example, a seed, for something that can be carried over. i urge everybody to support us. >> quickly, in washington, the 30,000 member union and machinist narrowly accepted a new contract from boeing that includes major concessions on pensions, health care benefits, wage growth. can you talk about this? the union had rejected boeing's previous offer in november. >> yes. for people who up and following the news, you know that boeing workers, the workers in the state of washington, have been extremely courageous and we have been in solidarity with them in rejecting -- this is economic blackmail by the boeing ceos. they have extracted tens of billions of dollars of subsidies from the state.
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this is yet another example of why we need an alternative to the democrats and republicans. have colluded as much as republicans. they totally sold out the boeing workers and urging them to accept this really -- this assault on their living standards. >> washington approved the largest corporate tax rate by a state tracinda corporation in u.s. history. to people who say want to run on a third-party platform like you did as a socialist? it is verysay possible. there is an openness. in fact, i would go farther than that. i would say, look at our .ampaign this would bely, an abdication of responsibility of us on the left if we did not challenge the two-party -- >> we have to leave it there,
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kshama sawant. thank you for being with us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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