October 20th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Federal gov't OKs medical marijuana. First step toward legalization?


Signs advertise medical marijuana prescriptions outside an evaluation clinic on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Public support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high - no pun intended.

And coincidentally, the Obama administration is easing up on the use of medical marijuana. The Justice Department now says pot-smoking patients and their authorized suppliers shouldn't be targeted for federal prosecution in states that allow the drug for medicinal purposes.

Officials say it's not a good use of prosecutors' time... Although they say agents should pursue marijuana cases that involve violence, the illegal use of firearms, selling pot to minors, money laundering or other crimes.

Supporters say marijuana helps treat chronic pain, nausea and other illnesses... while critics say this move is a step backward in the fight against Mexican drug cartels.

14 states currently allow some use of marijuana for medical reasons. California is especially known for having pot shops everywhere.

A new Gallup poll shows support for legalizing marijuana has shot up in the last few years to 44 percent. 54 percent are opposed. Support for legalizing weed had been fixed at around 25 percent from the late 70s through the mid-90s.

Liberals and younger people are more likely to favor decriminalizing pot... no surprise there... while conservatives and seniors are more likely to be against it.

Gallup suggests that if public support continues growing at the same rate - the majority of Americans could favor legalizing the drug in the next few years. California voters may get to weigh in next year with a ballot initiative to legalize and tax marijuana as a revenue source.

Here’s my question to you:The federal government OKs medical marijuana. Is it the first step toward legalization?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government • Health
October 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

When should Pres. Obama stop blaming the Bush administration?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to Afghanistan, the Obama White House keeps pointing fingers at President Bush. Although the war is in its ninth year - they make it sound like things are back to square one.

Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel says President Obama is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side and the strategic side - a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to Obama's predecessor.

As President Obama continues to delay his decision whether to send as many as 40,000 more troops into battle - the latest excuse is the runoff election in Afghanistan - the tide is turning against the war here at home.

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows 59 percent of Americans are opposed to sending more troops into Afghanistan...only 39 percent support sending troops - and 28 percent say we should withdraw all U.S. forces.

And, perhaps even more troubling for the current administration: 52 percent of those surveyed say Afghanistan has turned into another Vietnam-President Obama's Vietnam.

There's no doubt President Bush deserves a lot of the blame for the problems in Afghanistan. His decision to invade Iraq derailed America's mission there. But President Obama has been in office for nine months now and some days his administration acts like they just discovered we have troops in Afghanistan.

Here’s my question to you: At what point should President Obama stop blaming the Bush administration?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


October 20th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should health care reform contain a public option and be mandatory?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance. A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both crucial groups, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option.

57 percent favor the public option and 56 percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy insurance - either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.

Here's the catch: There's even broader opposition to how to pay for all this. 61 percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans.

And nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit... although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to get health care reform.

If you're having trouble sleeping tonight, the Senate Finance Committee has posted its health care bill online - all 1,500 pages of it.

This Senate plan does not include a public option. But in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she'll continue to fight hard for the public option.

Republicans and some conservative Democrats are opposed - saying it will drive private insurers from the market and lead to a government takeover of health care.

Here’s my question to you: Should health care reform contain a public option and be mandatory for all Americans?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care