American Morning

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April 14th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

We Listen!

Here’s your daily recap of the best feedback we got from YOU today. Continue the conversation below. And remember, keep it brief, and keep it clean. Thanks!

On Tuesday, AM viewers voiced their enthusiastic approval of marijuana legalization. The few dissenters lobbied fervently against such change:

  • David: The best thing would be to legalize pot. It takes it out of the hands of the drug lords that deal the harmful drugs like Heroin, Cocaine and meth. Plus it can be taxed and that is fair. Nobody has EVER overdosed on pot! Anyone that disagrees with this is ignorant of the issue. You statement that pot is a big part of the Mexican drug trade is untrue. Most is grown in the USA or B.C. now.
  • Berotte813: I am truly angry that anchors would even mentioned to legalized drugs. Legalizing would be chaos. If Kiran Chetry for example is under the drug influence, do you think she would be able to deliver the news properly? She propably would hallucinate about the camera man being a bear or a snake. In short, people with influence of drugs are fatal for the society. People at work would be like zombies, talking, walking, flying, and killing people is just going to be normal. NO!! is my answer.

What’s your take on the argument in favor of drug legalization? Is it the best way to solve our deficit issues and get farmers working again? Do you believe that law enforcement officials want to keep drugs illegal to provide “job security” for themselves? Are you in agreement with the second viewer above who worries that people will be come “zombies”?

The segment on the supposed rift between President Obama and Vice-President Biden was angriy received by viewers:

  • Sharon: Unbelievable. You manufactured a whole segment on the vice president of the United States based on an SNL skit and a comment/lie made by right wing buffoon Karl Rove. The News You Can Trust. Riiigghhttttttt. No wonder your ratings are in the toilet.
  • Nels: What was the point of your segment that there is a rift between Biden and Obama? There was not even close to being any evidence presented of it. You might as well instead have included a segment of Joe Biden robbing a bank. You would have had as much evidence. And how could you include a segment of Karl Rove accusing Biden of being a liar without including a disclaimer of Karl Rove's own problems of telling the truth. You do recall that he had to go to a grand jury 5 times to get his story straight, dont you? How do you expect us to take CNN seriously when you put out rumours as facts?

How did you feel about the segment regarding the “rift” between President Obama and VP Biden? Do you believe such an issue exists or are you in agreement with the viewers above that the problem is “manufactured” by the media or right wing conservatives?

Lastly, the segment on other countries’ tax structures was blasted by the audience:

  • Jay: Come on Am Morning You guys can do better than this can't you? Most of the countries that you listed that pay higher taxes provide a lot more services or better said, The people from those countries get more for their buck than We do. From the World class Free Colleges to health care, vacations, pensions, retirement All kind of services for their buck. And note that these countries are healther, smarter, and more productive, than Americans are. I mean, tell the whole store if you are going to tell the story, or is that too much truth reporting for CNN?

Do you feel Americans pay too much in taxes for the services we receive? Is the tax stucture in our country unfair? Would you be willing to pay substantially more in taxes if you could be certain of receiving such services as free college and health care?

Filed under: We Listen
April 14th, 2009
01:34 PM ET

Insatiable demand – Americans want their pot!

CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Fmr. DEA Agent Bob Strang and author Juan Hernandez about America's drug addiction.
CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Fmr. DEA Agent Bob Strang and author Juan Hernandez about America's drug addiction.

Happy Tuesday. All this week on American Morning, we're breaking down America's drug addiction and how it's helping fuel the violence spilling over the border.

This morning we looked at the 8.5 billion dollar business of marijuana.

In her report this morning, Jeanne Meserve dug deeper into the issue and found marijuana is the cash cow for cartels with revenue eclipsing cocaine, heroin and meth combined. Watch the story

But how do you stop the supply when there's such a massive demand?  Opinions are mixed.  There's a small but vocal lobby to legalize marijuana, tax it, and cut out the cartels by bringing the dealing and regulation to Main Street. 

Others say it has to start with education about the dangers of drug use, tougher enforcement and targeting of the actual cartel king pins. That's where enhancing our relationship with Mexico comes in. 

Here's a look at the debate this morning with Juan Hernandez, who once advised former Mexican President Vicente Fox. He also wrote "The New American Pioneers". We were also joined by Bob Strang, a former special agent with the DEA. Watch the debate

We also got some great comments from our viewers following us on Twitter and calling into the show hotline.

Our amFIX poll asked, do you think the United States should legalize drugs?  Here are the results so far:

  • No way – 8%
  • Yes, all drugs – 48%
  • Only marijuana – 44%
    Remember, this is not a scientific poll.

Don't miss tomorrow when we bring on Congressman Ron Paul in our 7am ET hour.  He's a fierce advocate for personal liberties. Paul says we should legalize drugs and that personal freedom means we are also free to make bad choices. Do you agree? Please weigh in as always.

See you in the morning,


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Drugs
April 14th, 2009
11:32 AM ET

The big business of marijuana

Which drug is the cash cow of the Mexican drug war - cocaine or marijuana? Jeanne Meserve takes a look.
Which drug is the cash cow of the Mexican drug war - cocaine or marijuana? Jeanne Meserve takes a look.

From CNN's Jeanne Meserve

And all this week we're breaking down America's drug addiction and examining how it's helping fuel the violence spilling over the border.

Today we're looking at the 8.5 billion dollar business being made off marijuana. How do you stop the supply when there's such a massive demand?


What do you think? Is marijuana a victimless drug or is it fueling the violence in Mexico?

Vote! Should drugs be legal in the U.S.?

Filed under: Crime • Drugs
April 14th, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Biden puppy haunts breeder

CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.
CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.

From CNN's Melissa Morgenweck

There was no need to ring a doorbell when we pulled up to the Wolf Den kennel in Chester county Pennsylvania. At least a dozen German Shepherds announced our arrival.

Linda Brown greeted us and introduced us to the pack including her favorite, 13 year old Hans. Most of the dogs in this section had once been breeders. Now she keeps them as her personal pets.

They are just one grouping of the approximately 80 adult dogs that she says live on her property. “German Shepherds look into the mirror of your soul. They are intelligent and protective and your animals for life.”

Brown told us that she had been up since 4am helping deliver a litter of puppies. “They like to give birth in the middle of the night when it’s quiet and still.”

As we toured the property Brown recalled the day last December when Vice President Biden came to pick out a dog. “He picked the puppies up and literally kissed them all over. And when he did finally select his puppy he just wouldn’t let him go.”

But Brown says she has paid a big price for the publicity. Soon after the visit she claims she received death threats from animal-rights groups. Dog wardens from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture also made multiple visits to inspect her kennels. (The state told one of our producers that inspections typically take place twice a year.)

Brown was cited for poor record keeping, dirty housekeeping and mistreating her dogs. Last month she was cleared of all citations. “It hurts the depth of your soul that they would even have the nerve to call me and tell me that I’m inhumane with my dogs. My dogs are treated better than most children are treated.”

Filed under: Controversy
April 14th, 2009
08:28 AM ET
April 14th, 2009
07:01 AM ET

Fast Forward

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Some of the stories that will be making news later today:

At 10am ET, a government watchdog group releases its annual report on pork barrel spending better known as the congressional "pig book." The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is expected to include some 340 pet projects in this year's budget totaling more than four-billion dollars.

At 11am ET, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Department of Homeland Security. She'll be joined by Secretary Janet Napolitano. The first lady's office says the goal of the agency tour is simply getting to know the community.

At 11:30am ET, President Obama will give a major speech on the ecomony. He'll talk about how the specific steps the administration is taking fit the broader vision of economic recovery.

Later today in Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a conference focusing on Haiti. She will discuss how the U.S. and other countries can provide aid to the poorest country in the Americas. Secretary Clinton travels to Haiti on Thursday to meet with that country's president.

All day long we're keeping a close eye on the flooding in North Dakota. The National Weather Service says the Sheyenne River is headed for a crest at around 22 feet in the next couple of days. That river empties into the Red River near Fargo, which is also in danger of reaching a second flood crest this week.

Filed under: Fast Forward
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