Stephen Colbert on marijuana legalization (video)

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta changes his mind in favor of marijuana legalization, and Stephen Colbert is there.


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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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45 Responses to “Stephen Colbert on marijuana legalization (video)”

  1. Brown Sugar says:

    Marijuana has lots and lots of health benefits. It should be legal in all states and taken out of the drug class category altogether. LEGALIZE !!!!!

  2. Chris says:

    Uh, weed has no side effects besides the munchies and the lazies…

  3. Papa Bear says:


  4. HelenRainier says:

    What always amazed about them was how quickly they could manifest themselves. One minute I’d be fine, and then bam! They effected my vision, my balance, and a rip roaring pain on one side of my head. Thank god I don’t have them that frequently now — perhaps one every few months or so. Compared to having them on a near daily basis in my 30s this is a blessing.

  5. BeccaM says:

    That’s one of my issues with all the prescription meds: With purported effectiveness come horrible and often debilitating side-effects.

  6. BeccaM says:

    It’s okay. :-) Your furry heart is in the right place.

  7. BeccaM says:

    My migraines eased up some in my late 40s for the same reason, in severity and frequency. But I still get ’em.

  8. Papa Bear says:

    Oh well — it was worth a shot!

  9. HelenRainier says:

    Becca, my migraines have literally disappeared since I’ve been post menopausal. I get them once in a rare while now. I guess I’m just lucky that mine have mostly abated upon menopause.

  10. HelenRainier says:

    Years ago I suffered literally daily with migraines. A doctor put me on amytriptiline as a “preventive.” The amytriptiline made me a zombie that I cut my dosage in half, still felt zombified and finally quit taking the stuff. It was awful. From that point I just suffered the migraines. This was in the early 80s and as I understand the preventive meds now are almost as bad. MJ, either the sativa or indica, can be very good for relief of an arsenal of ailments, is non-addictive, and should be legalized for both medicinal and recreational use.

  11. BeccaM says:

    I’m already well aware of rebound migraines, and one of the things my doctor and I tried was eliminating all caffeine from my diet.

    Result: Increased migraines, even weeks after it was out of my system.

    Thing is, I don’t usually consume caffeine other than my one mug of coffee in the morning. Not in soda, nor in teas through the day. The only exception there is when I need to take and Excedrin and/or I’ve decided to try some chai to help boost the coffee on bad days.

  12. Papa Bear says:

    If caffeine helps reduce the pain, you might be suffering a “rebound” migraine. Caffeine dilates the blood vessels in the head, but the body can only hold that tenseness for a certain amount of time, then it has to relax the vessels. That “rebound” or sudden change of size is what causes the pain in a rebound migraine. The only way to completely get rid of it is to cut caffeine out of your life. That’s a long hard road in and of itself, but in the end, it’s worth it.

    Then, of course, there’s the trusty tried and true: pack your head in ice until it gets numb. As long as you stay still, it helps. It doesn’t fix it, but it does help…

  13. BeccaM says:

    So are you, dear.

  14. karmanot says:

    You are an amazing human being. peace, m

  15. BeccaM says:

    Some of it is just being used to it — and also being used to people simply not comprehending or accepting the pain really is real and really is almost always there.

    Things got really bad in the late 90s and early 00s though, so I began working with a terrific GP who decided we would work on making the headaches and migraines (two related but different things) tolerable. Pain management, and an attempt to give me a degree of control over how much pain I’m experiencing, even if I couldn’t get rid of all of it.

    One of the first things she had me do was keep a headache/migraine journal. Every day, rate the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, including any changes. I also tracked everything I ate and drank, and discovered there were some things that would actually trigger a migraine, including certain dark red wines, smoked hard cheeses and smoked meats, being around tobacco smokers (even if they weren’t actually smoking, if I got enough off their hair and clothes, it could trigger one), being in exceptionally polluted air of any kind, and some perfumes, to name a few. Not getting enough sleep, or disruptions in my sleep patterns — another trigger.

    We tried several different prescription meds, both palliative and preventative. Some worked, some didn’t. I’m also probably one of not that many people whose doctor specifically told them to be sure to have a cup of good, strong coffee (or other source of caffeine) every morning. It makes a huge difference. Then, based on whatever the pain level is, I decide what to take in terms of a medicine. If the pain is 0-3, the coffee is usually enough, especially if I also stay well hydrated. That low, I’m barely aware of the pain unless I think about it. From 4-6, I’m probably gonna pop 2-3 ibuprofen, which seem to work well for me. Around 7-8, I’ll go for heavier meds, such as Excedrin Migraine Formula (it really works), or take the ibu more often, or take some of my prescription meds. At 9-10, I close the drapes and will sometimes wear an ice-pack on my head. I usually can’t eat. This is the level at which I wish MJ was legal, because the times I did try it in years past, I could cut that pain in half or more within minutes.

    Over the years, I’ve had a few of what they call ‘converted migraines.’ These are ones that sit in the 7-10 range for weeks or months without interruption. (It was actually one of these that drove me to the doctor… thank god I finally surrendered to my wife’s nagging.) That kind of pain is seriously debilitating, and depressing, and I’ve read several times that it can drive someone to suicide. When I’ve had those, I can kind of force myself to function and get things done, but it’s exhausting.

    One of the worst things about the converted migraine is within about a month, you forget that you were ever pain-free or relatively so.

    I’ve also had what I call “off the scale” migraines. These are maybe 2-3 times a year where I am literally unable to function. Auras. Vomiting. They usually last 24-48 hours. For those, I take the strongest meds I have, crawl into bed, and try to sleep it off.

    Today, the pain is around 5. So it’s ibuprofen.

    Anyway, if you ask anyone who deals with chronic pain how they manage to function, and you’ll usually get similar answers: Because doing nothing can be worse, and sometimes staying busy keeps our minds off it. And also because we’re simply used to it.

  16. karmanot says:

    Even dude, even

  17. karmanot says:

    OMG. Yet, the clarity with which you write is exceptional. How do you manage the pain and create a normal functioning life?

  18. karmanot says:

    Yep, I’m going through that too. The big pharma lobby is preventing Medicare from accepting alternative, holistic and natural traditional meds. Meanwhile the toxic prescriptions and side effects are often worse than the symptoms.

  19. Papa Bear says:

    I take Relpax and it does a decent job for me. After years of suffering I discovered that my migraines are mostly triggered by caffeine &/or alcohol. Cutting those out of my life leaves me with about one migraine per year, instead of one per month. And the Relpax fixes it in a few hours instead of the week it used to take.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that the rare migraine I have now is triggered by hidden caffeine. It’s incredible how many foods naturally contain caffeine in small amounts.

  20. BeccaM says:

    My doctor felt that Maxalt was too risky given my family’s history of heart disease and high blood pressure, and my own history of depression. Plus, I’m a post-menopausal woman, and that’s another risk factor.

  21. BeccaM says:

    Too true… and sorry to hear you’re a sufferer, too.

    You’re right of course. What most of ’em don’t realize is migraines are a transcendent form of pain. And that many of us migraine sufferers also have frequent or nearly non-stop headaches, too. I don’t think I’ve been completely headache free for more than a day since I was eight years old.

  22. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Have you and Becca tried Maxalt? It really helps with my migraines. There is a problem, and that’s the cost even with insurance. I have cluster migraines, and I can really go through the stuff. It’s not an opiate and will not help with other types of pain, but it does not have the side effects of an opiate.

  23. Papa Bear says:

    That’s because a non-migraine sufferer thinks a migraine is just a “bad” headache. To those of us who have them, migraines are a level of suffering most people could not survive…

  24. Yeah, they just chose to ignore the positive research. I can’t believe the gov’t considers it more dangerous than cocaine. I didn’t know it was Schedule 1 and Cocaine was 2 before this, or at least I don’t remember.

  25. BeccaM says:

    Interestingly though, Gupta’s opinion piece refers to the fact there was a fair amount of medical research prior to its placement on the Schedule 1 list. Some negative, but a surprising amount of positive outcomes.

    All of the early research was ignored and declared irrelevant because it didn’t agree with the required policy conclusion, which was “no medical benefit.”

  26. BeccaM says:

    Then don’t jump down my throat, accusing me of an offense that was never intended for you.

  27. Oh please. Don’t even.

  28. Monoceros Forth says:

    I know. It’s insane. The government arguments for keeping marijuana Schedule I are lethally circular: we’re not going to let you study its medical use because it’s classified as having none, and we’re not going to reclassify it because there aren’t any studies proving it’s medically useful! Madness!

  29. BeccaM says:

    Funny how you assumed I was referring to you.

    I wasn’t. Projecting much?

  30. BeccaM says:

    That was part of my trouble with them, too — the opiates actually didn’t blunt the pain much. At least, not enough to be willing to deal with the horrible itching side effects.

    There was one medication prescribed for me in India called ‘Vasograin’, which is an egotamine + caffeine pill — not available in the U.S., so I brought back a TSA/FDA legal amount for personal use, which I’ve been rationing for the last few years when I feel a bad migraine about to start up.

  31. As long as tobacco is legal, marijuana should be legal. Neither is healthy, but so what?

  32. If you are accusing me of downvoting all of her/his posts I can tell you right now it’s not me. I have better things to do BeccaM than spend time downvoting some paranoid crazy narcissistic crazy person who thinks that everyone is spying on him/her because (s)he’s some outrageous liberal and a menace to the administration. It could just be that people actually don’t like what it has to say. Anyone thought of that?

  33. trinu says:

    The thing is the DEA classification effectively prohibits scientists from doing any research on it, because then they would be in illegal possession of a controlled substance, even if they were only doing the experiments on lab rats.

  34. Monoceros Forth says:

    Yeah, I know about the itching. I understand it’s a really common side effect of opiates and I remember it well from the last time I was prescribed any. Nor can I really say that they did more than blunt the pain a little–this was from a really serious episode of back trouble some years ago–but at least I could still mostly function.

  35. LOL awww a downvote. Poor baby. I’m sure it’s the NSA after you!

  36. Yeah you pretty much summed it up, although I think they’re starting to realize they’re losing the war.

  37. BeccaM says:

    I’ve tried Vikes and Percs, and the only thing they do is make me muzzy-headed and like to scratch the skin off my forearms. Darvocet used to help somewhat, but they don’t make ’em anymore.

  38. Monoceros Forth says:

    …I almost never take them because the side-effects can be debilitating.
    I could say the same about weed :-/ I don’t suffer from the sort of pain that marijuana can do anything about (at least, it doesn’t seem to do much) but I can say from experience that at least on Vicodin I’d still be able to trust myself behind the wheel of a car. Also it’s nice not to feel like eating three pounds of potato chips at a sitting.

  39. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m no huge fan of the stuff, I admit, and I do not much enjoy feeling stoned, though the noxious weed has been of some value for my chronic insomnia. I hope that sufficient medical investigation of cannabis can eventually yield something more effective, more predictable in its action and with fewer side-effects than smoking pot. I do heartily agree that marijuana shouldn’t be any more illegal than beer is and, lately, the reasons given by federal government officials for why we should keep it illegal are getting ever more ridiculously circular. But we all know it’s really about preserving the drug-enforcement apparatus and not the least bit about protecting the public health against a nonexistent danger.

  40. BeccaM says:

    I’ll say this much: If I had legal access to MJ, I wouldn’t need anything more than that and OTC pain relievers to control my chronic migraines.

    As it is, I have to get expensive prescriptions for meds that barely work, if ever, and I almost never take them because the side-effects can be debilitating.

    I suspect it’s probably the entire point from the perspective of BigPharma…

    Unfortunately, whenever a state talks about legalizing medical MJ, they never include migraines in the lists of qualifying conditions.

  41. BeccaM says:

    Or some asshole with too much time on his or her hands is cyber-stalking you here, my friend.

  42. nicho says:

    A downvote? Must be Ruppert Murdoch. Or someone has written a bot that just downvotes everything I post.

  43. Legalize it and don’t criticize it. I’ve smoked pot and not touched alcohol for many years and I’m much healthier and happier for it.

  44. cole3244 says:

    decriminalize all drugs and eliminate the death penalty.

  45. nicho says:

    I can’t believe you tricked me into watching — if only briefly — that useless lump of criminal adipose tissue Piers Morgan.

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