Glenn Beck on Thursday came close to endorsing the legalization of marijuana, but after his radio co-hosts pressed him on the matter, decided he wanted to hear a debate between the experts before making a final statement.
Beck was discussing the story of Shona Banda, a marijuana activist who uses the drug to manage her Crohn’s disease. The woman came home last month to find officials from the Department of Children and Families and police officers on her porch after her 11-year-old son defended the use of medical marijuana at school. They told her she was not allowed to enter her home until they had secured a search warrant, so she sat on her porch for more than three hours until they obtained a warrant and conducted a search.
Early reports say police found 2 ounces of cannabis oil, but police say they found more than a pound of "suspected marijuana" in the home. Banda has since lost custody of her son, though she has not yet been charged with a crime.
Banda recorded her exchange with police, and after playing the video, Beck was enraged by how disrespectful he believes officials were. He was particularly enraged when the sergeant said it "doesn't matter" what evidence there was against her or that they didn't yet have a warrant.
"These people are treating her like she's some criminal. She's at her house," Beck said. "As a fellow citizen, I would first say, 'Excuse me, could I have an ounce of respect and not smugness from you? I'm a fellow citizen. You come here and want to search my house. No. I know my rights. Second of all, I'm innocent until proven guilty. Can you turn down your smugness just a tad for me?'"
"I'm about to go all Libertarian," Beck continued. "I'm about to cross the Rubicon on this. Legalize marijuana. Legalize it."
"Yeah, I'm not there yet," Pat Gray responded. "I won't ever be there."
"The way to stop this is to legalize it," Beck argued. "People drink liquor over in Italy. At four years old, you're drinking a glass of wine. And the alcoholism rates are nothing like ours."
"I think the problem here is not whether marijuana is legal," Gray said. "I think the problem is the oppressive agency of CPS or DCF ... [and] police agencies that get out of control and become authoritarian on you for no apparent reason."
"I need to discuss it more. I need to think about it more," Beck concluded. "Here's what I want to do. Next week, you get the best pot advocate and the best guy that says, 'No, pot is not right.' I'll have them make their cases."
"We'll work through it," Gray agreed.
"So next week, I may be America's pot advocate," Beck laughed. "Leading pot hero."
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