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The Disaster of Marijuana Legalization with Alex Berenson

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May 2, 2024 5:00 am

The Disaster of Marijuana Legalization with Alex Berenson

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk

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May 2, 2024 5:00 am

The Biden Administration is moving to reduce restrictions on marijuana, and the drug is now legal in a majority of U.S. states. But is surrendering in the war on drugs a good idea, or just a disaster for the country's young people? Alex Berenson explains the many harmful side effects of America's most popular illegal drug, then responds to campus anti-Israel protests and the GOP's sudden, unfortunate temptation to roll back the 1st Amendment to stop them.

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Hey everybody, today on The Charlie Kirk Show, Alex Berenson. Why weed is really bad for you, and why legalization has been awful for the country.

We then talk about the COVID vaccine and recent news regarding that, campus protests and more with a very smart, smart man, one of my favorite guests, Alex Berenson, who joins us. Email us as always freedom at That is freedom at Subscribe to our podcast, open up your podcast application and type in charliekirkshow, that is charliekirkshow, and get involved with Turning Point USA at, that is

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You send a message, we play to win. Register now at slash peoples. Yesterday, there was some news. Joe Biden made marijuana weed, reclassified it, put it a schedule three drug.

U.S. Drug Control Agency U.S. Drug Control Agency will move to reclassify marijuana. Alex Berenson joins us, independent journalist, unreported truth sub stack. Alex Berenson, anything regarding weed or marijuana?

I always think get Alex on the show. He wrote a great book. I want to keep on plugging it. Remind the audience what the book is and your reaction to Joe Biden's announcement. It might not be the worst thing in your opinion. Yeah, so the book is called Tell Your Children. If I had any sense, I'd have a copy of it right here for you, Charlie, but I don't. So just imagine a black cover with with smoke drifting up. But it's called Tell Your Children.

Came out in 2019. And to my surprise, actually continues to sell pretty well because I think people, you know, when their children start using heavily and they see sort of negative consequences, they're like oftentimes, especially on the left, they're like, I didn't know that this could happen. There you go. You got the book up for me. They're like, I didn't know this could happen. And so they're looking for, you know, some kind of scientific evidence and something to help them understand what's happening.

So the book, I still hear from a fair number of parents on a regular basis. But so yeah, so the rescheduling of cannabis. Look, I hear from a lot of people, you know, I've heard from a lot of people in the last few months as this has come up. And then again, yesterday, as the Biden administration said, they're actually going to move forward with this.

How can they do this? You know, this is terrible. I don't think it's as terrible as a lot of people might think, or a lot of people sort of who are in the anti-cannabis camp might think. And here's why. A Schedule 1 drug that's like LSD, it's heroin, it's drugs that are really, you know, viewed as, viewed extremely negatively and have absolutely no medical value and are, you know, are essentially just dangerous.

Okay. And so one of the things that cannabis legalizers would say was, cannabis is not like this. Weed is not like this. You know, nobody overdoses and dies from injecting, you know, weed.

This is crazy. You know, you, putting it up here ahead of cocaine, let's say, which is a Schedule 2 drug, doesn't make any sense. And the country basically agrees with them.

Okay. Most of the United States lives in states where cannabis is legal, either recreationally or medically or both. So in some ways this argument has already been lost. So moving it from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 is a way for Joe Biden, who I don't actually think wants full federal legalization, to do something to shut up the people on the left who want full national federal legalization without really doing anything. And there's one other thing. People who are pro-cannabis always say, oh, this is such a great medicine. You know, it has so many medical properties.

And if it only weren't Schedule 1, we'd be able to figure out what all those things do. You know, it'll cure your diabetes and your gout and your cancer. I mean, just total nonsense. All right. And by the way, cannabis and its compounds have been scheduled, have been researched, especially outside the United States, for many years for all these things. And guess what? You know, smoking a plant doesn't actually cure cancer.

All right. You know, by the way, like tobacco, anybody? So let them make it Schedule 3. Let them do a bunch of research that's going to show that cannabis doesn't actually do all the things that the pro-cannabis people say it does. Let's shut up about, you know, this argument that making it Schedule 1 says it's worse than heroin. And then we can continue to talk about all the bad things that cannabis really does, from the fact that it causes some people to vomit uncontrollably, to the fact that it causes paranoia in a lot of users, to the fact that it ruins motivation, to the fact that, you know, people under 21 really shouldn't be using it, to the fact that legalization has done nothing to dent the black market in places like California. There are lots of arguments that I want to have about, you know, the problems with cannabis that are in my book, that are in Tell Your Children. And this one to me is a distraction.

And if Biden wants to do this, let him have it. So, Alex, I want to talk about all that. So people, I sent out an anti-weed tweet yesterday, and I didn't even say we should ban it.

I just said that it's not good for you. We need to talk about the dangers. We need to talk about the issues with it. And I would say that, honestly, Arizona was a better state when it was illegal, but the people don't want it. So like, OK, so be it.

You get the country you vote for. But I think we have to be drumbeat about the risks and we have to communicate the dangers associated. So let's start with one in particular that we have not talked about. And you've been on the show many times here, Alex, which is the black market. One of the guarantees from the weed lobby when I was growing up is that this would weaken the cartels. This would make the cartels go away and that the black market would basically disappear. We now have cannabis dispensaries and weed shops on almost every corner in Arizona, in Nevada, in California. However, the black market is robust and the cartels are richer than ever.

What happened, Alex? You know, you're right. It's actually a really amazing phenomenon. So it turns out that, guess what, a lot of people who smoke cannabis smoke a lot of it. OK. And a lot of those people aren't necessarily fully employed. And so they're looking for the cheapest possible sources.

All right. So if you have any kind of, you know, in California is a high tax state, it's a high regulation state. But, you know, even a state like Arizona, which isn't quite as expensive, if there's any taxes, OK, plus there's costs associated with running a legal business. You pay rent. You have employees you pay on the books.

You have insurance. The black marketeers have none of those costs. So their cannabis tends to be significantly cheaper. And all these people who bought all this weed for all these years on the black market, you know, basically saw no reason to switch. And so there's still a huge illicit market, which, guess what, is much harder to control than it used to be, because, you know, you can have legal forms growing cannabis. And certainly there's a ton of hemp being grown. And guess what, the easiest way to hide a high THC cannabis plant is in a bunch of low THC hemp plants. That's basically the same plant. It's just the amount of THC that the plant is generating.

And so, so guess what? Legalization has done essentially nothing to help the illicit market to the point where some of the legalized, you know, dispensaries are now begging for crackdowns on the black market. And in California, there's been two in the last two years, including one that I think was just a couple of months ago, terrible mass shootings at giant illicit cannabis farms, you know, where multiple people died, cartel-related almost certainly. And so this idea that cannabis legalization was going to destroy the illicit market has just proven completely false. The second contention, Alex, was that they said that it will actually lower user rates. They say that once it is legal, it will get rid of the allure that it is, you know, verboten and that we will then be able to, you know, lower the rates of weed. This was a guarantee or a prediction by the weed lobby. Has that proven to be correct, Alex Berenson? No, it has not. And you wouldn't expect it to be correct because there are going to be a certain number of people who are going to do, who will not do something if it's illegal.

Okay. And if it's legal, they'll try it, you know, and some of those people with an addictive substance, whether it's alcohol or, or, you know, or a prescription opioid or whatever, are going to wind up addicted to it. So, so no, it is absolutely not true that, that rates have gone down. And the most interesting thing is that the rates of really heavy use have gone up.

Again, prices are, are, are down, I think in both the illicit and the legal market. And so that makes it easier for people to use a lot. And I think people who might've, you know, used only on weekends or curtailed their use, now they'll smoke all the time.

They'll, you know, they'll get high and drive and they'll sort of almost dare the cops to stop them. And so, you know, you're absolutely correct. Use has not gone down. Remember as a kid, your parents and grandparents making you try all the vegetables on your plate, or when they coaxed you to eat fruit instead of sweets, that's because they knew what was good for you.

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Use discount code Charlie to get 35% off. So Alex, the other thing that some of the pot advocates will say is that it is very good for you for relieving pain, treating anxiety and depression. What does the data show, Alex Berenson? The data shows that's nonsense, okay? You might be able to get some temporary pain relief from cannabis, but when you try to use it long term for pain, it doesn't work very well. It doesn't actually reduce the amount of opioids that you're consuming. They've looked at this.

There was a very good study years ago in Australia that showed this. It's a drug, okay? One of the things that I said in Tell Your Children, it's only become more true, is that the great lie about cannabis is that it's somehow medicine, okay? It's not medicine. It's a drug people take because they want to get high. And you can argue about whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

It's personal freedom. On the other hand, as you correctly said, it makes people lethargic and lazy, and it's certainly not great for society to have a bunch of stone people on the roads. Is it more dangerous than alcohol? Is it less dangerous than alcohol?

There are all tons of legitimate debates to have about cannabis, okay? But it's not a medicine. It will never be a medicine. And by the way, even if it were a medicine, it had real good medicinal properties, what doctor would prescribe something that you have to smoke to get benefits for?

Again, this is one of the many lies around legalization. And so, no, it is not great for pain in the long term. And in terms of psychiatric conditions, it really shouldn't be used by people who have a predilection to any kind of paranoia, much less psychosis. And as an anti-anxiety drug, it's a terrible idea because, first of all, all anti-anxiety drugs are really not great to use long term because if you try to get off them, and I'm including prescription drugs in that too, you're going to have bad rebound anxiety. And that's certainly true of cannabis. But cannabis also produces paranoia.

And so if you're somebody who's prone to anxiety, it's a really bad idea to use a lot of a drug that can cause you to become paranoid. And so, I mean, it's so frustrating to me that this drug has been legalized under such false pretenses. Yeah. And so the advocates are rather enthusiastic about its benefits. What can we say then about the other guarantee they'll say, Alex, is that legalizing it will prevent children from accessing it?

What does that show? Are more teenagers using weed than 10 years ago or 20 years ago? Yeah. And they're using more of it, again, because prices have come down and teenagers are particularly price sensitive. And this idea that somehow legalizing it is going to, you know, a legal dispensary is going to have stricter rules on who can access.

Okay. Let's just say that's true. It's not entirely clear that is true, but let's say that's true. Somebody who's 22 and wants to deal can walk in to a legal dispensary, buy a bunch of cannabis and walk out to the nearest school and sell it there. So no, all legalization does is increase the marketing of this because it's a legal substance that can be marketed like any other legal substance and advertised.

And so you see advertising in legal states and increases accessibility and lowers the costs in, again, in both the illicit and illicit markets. So what you see are sort of slowly increasing rates of use. There hasn't been a dramatic increase in use. And I honestly think that one reason for that may be that cannabis today is so potent, it's so high in THC that a lot of, I think a lot of kids, you know, sort of 12 to 18 see their friends using are like, you know, like that doesn't actually look like that much fun.

That guy just passed out and like did nothing for the entire party after he, after he, you know, hit his, you know, his vape pen four times. And so unfortunately what you're getting is a small group or a medium sized group of people who are really, really heavy users and have a lot of problems that go with that. And then, you know, there's a larger group of people who are using a casually, but there hasn't been a giant increase in sort of once a year users.

So yeah, those kinds of passive users, if you will, not, not a giant increase. Alex, this is an incredibly important and interesting topic because parents are dealing with this every day and it's just kind of been normalized and it's just kind of been accepted as if, oh, you know, it's perfectly fine. It's just part of culture is important. Remember, every generation has a drug that is supposed to be all fun with no side effects and no addiction. And it's always a lie.

And it is always a lie. If you're using weed and you're using marijuana, you need to know about the downsides and the side effects. You have to know about it. And it's not talked about enough.

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Promo code Charlie. Alex, what is your immediate take on these protests that have been enveloping the Ivy League's? You are somewhat of a class traitor of yourself, formally with The New York Times.

I'm just curious of what you're hearing, seeing, witnessing and your take on all this. I mean, it's funny. Look, I'm Jewish, right?

I mean, just look at my hair, right? But I think I believe in free speech as like a foundational U.S. principle. Maybe, you know, it's the First Amendment. It's the most important amendment. And, you know, I know there are other people out there that might say the Second Amendment is the most important or the right not to have to testify against yourself is the most important. I think the right to free speech is absolutely foundational to the United States.

And I do think that colleges should kind of bend over backwards to let people protest. And, you know, look, there are things that these people say that is just disgusting, right? Like, you know, when you use the word genocide to talk about an Israeli invasion, when a genocide was committed against Jews 75 years ago, you know what you're doing.

You know the game you're playing when you say that, okay? And there's no evidence that Israel wants to eliminate, you know, every Palestinian. It's nonsense. It's sort of a disgusting way to hint at the Holocaust without saying it, all right? And these people know what they're doing, at least some of them.

Some of them are too stupid and ahistorical to have any idea. So even though I find the protesters and some of what they say, you know, awful, I think that really they should be treated generally with kid gloves because we have a tradition of free speech in this country and universities are central to that. That said, you start occupying buildings, you start, you know, actually making it impossible for, let's say, a Jewish student to cross the lawn without being, you know, attacked.

You can't do that. You're breaking the law. The First Amendment doesn't protect any of that. The schools have a responsibility to enforce the laws on their campuses. And, by the way, the most important thing of all is whatever rules are being set for these protests, they have to be applied to every protest, okay? So if some, you know, Nazis at Columbia or wherever want to come and say terrible things about black people, that's got to be allowed if this is being allowed. The rules have to be the same for every kind of protest.

And, you know, I was talking to Tommy Lauren at Outkick about this a couple of days ago. I don't, as I've said, I don't really like the red state crackdown, but I don't have a huge problem with it as long again as the rules are applied equally. So if the rules are going to be applied this way, you know, by the University of Florida against this protest, then they have to be applied against, you know, a pro-police protest that goes too far at the University of Florida. The most important thing of all is that whatever guidelines are set, they're applied equally. I mean, the older I get, the more I understand that that's at the heart of the rule of law. Whatever rules you make, you have to apply them in a content neutral manner.

So, Alex, I really agree with everything you said there. And I mean, I think Jew hatred has no place in decent society, but you have a constitutional right to say really vile things. I think when you start to smash windows, and I know you agree, and take over the interior of a campus building, we're not going to put up with that.

That's force, that's violence. And so there's a, let me be very clear, there is no such thing as hate speech. Hate speech is a subjective term. There is things that are vile that one person can say, there are evil things someone can say, but I hate the term hate speech. Do you see what I'm saying there, Alex?

Because it is so, it's thrown around like a Frisbee. Speech is speech. I agree with that. I mean, I do think these protesters, they've hurt their own cause because they're so clearly out over their own skis, right? Half of them don't know what they're protesting. And the other half, I mean, there was this great clip that got pulled from this press conference yesterday with this woman, graduate student at Columbia saying, we're going to die of dehydration if you don't get us water, basically. We have it.

Don't let us order door dash. I mean, they're so embarrassing. That part, I think they're hurting their own cause.

And I think to some extent it's emboldened the schools and emboldened people like, you know, people at places like the university of Florida, where they, you know, they came out with this great statement a couple of days ago where they said, we're a university. We're not a daycare. That's right. So if you want to protest, go for it. If you're going to break the rules, if the rules have been set out to you in advance, you can't do X or Y, and certainly you can't occupy this building and you do it, do not start whining when the police come in and take you out because you have broken the law. And that's, you know, and I do think what we're seeing is a revulsion at the fact that these entitled children want it both ways. I totally agree with that.

So I want to play this here. And this is the press conference. So when you went to Yale, is this how the people were? I think the Ivy League's little lost a step a little bit. Alex, I think you would agree that there's a little bit of a pomposity and arrogance, a smugness that might not have been there a couple of decades ago.

Let's play cut 77. Well, first of all, we're saying that they're obligated to provide food to students who pay for a meal plan here. You mentioned that there was a request to allow it to be brought in. I mean, well, I guess it's ultimately a question of what kind of community and obligation Columbia feels it has to its students. Do you want students to die of dehydration and starvation or get severely ill, even if they disagree with you?

If the answer is no, then you should allow basic. I mean, it's crazy to say because we're on an Ivy League campus, but this is like basic humanitarian aid we're asking for. Like, could people please have a glass of water?

But they did put themselves in that very deliberately in that situation and in that position. So it seems like you're sort of saying we want to be revolutionaries. We want to take up this building. Now would you please bring us food and water? Nobody's asking them to bring anything. We're asking them to not violently stop us from bringing in basic humanitarian aid. They're stopping the delivery of food? We are looking for a commitment from them that they will not stop it.

Well, I don't I'm not I don't know to what extent it has been attempted, but we're looking for a commitment. Alex, respond. What is there to say? You know, and of course, she's a lesbian writing her graduate thesis on Marxism or pre-Marxism in 1800. It all couldn't be a bigger joke.

All right. But what's not a joke is that, you know, this woman's going to be running NPR one day, right? I mean, this is the problem is that, yes, these are children and they, you know, they look and they act like children, even if they're in their 20s. But, you know, some of them are going to go on to positions of real power. And, you know, look, I do I think history is not going to look fondly upon this moment in American higher education.

It's not going to look fondly on these people. And I think you can very clearly distinguish between this and Vietnam. OK, Vietnam, by the time the student protests really accelerated, I mean, there were student protests in the, you know, in the mid 60s, but by 67, 68, the country had really turned against the war.

OK, and and and and it was pretty clear that the war was out of control and that Americans were dying for no good reason. And people and it wasn't just students who were angry about that. They may have been on the front lines, but a lot of people were angry about that. And the student protesters were sort of in the vanguard. These people aren't in the vanguard of anything.

They're just out in space protesting for what is basically ISIS. And, you know, and of course, the biggest joke of all is that if that, you know, same sex protester went to Gaza, she would not be treated particularly well. And, you know, we all know it.

She must know it in her heart of hearts, too. So, you know, it's all cosplay. It's all a joke, except that, you know, for people who actually want to go to school and get an education that are being denied that by these idiots right now. So, Alex, I want to just get your take institutionally. Do you believe that the institution itself is taking is lost a step that it is slipping in its prestige of how people view these Ivy League institutions?

I mean, on the one hand, I think yes. On the other hand, if you argue with these places are more powerful than ever. I mean, Yale, you know, Yale had an endowment of a couple billion dollars when I went there. Now I think it's 40 billion. You know, they've done they've gotten a huge amount of money has been given to them. They've been and they make great investments. And, you know, that's true of Harvard.

It's true of all these places. They're bigger than ever. They're more powerful than ever. In some ways, they're less beholden to outside forces than ever because they have so much money. And if you look at the number of applications, you know, when I when I went, I think, you know, 16 or 18 percent of the applicants got in. Now it's 4 percent. So, so clearly, the brand is more valuable than ever.

I don't think these these these kids are getting a better education. That's for sure. I think it's all you know, there's there was a statistic a few that came out a year or two ago where Yale had one administrator for every student. I mean, really, I know you're getting seen. Oh, come on.

No, no. I could find that for you. It's it's that same number I should have written about.

But in terms of the branding and in terms of their ability to put people at the top of sort of the U.S. government or U.S. companies, it's as powerful as ever. You'd have to say, please plug your books. I want to talk about because there's there's a slow drip of vaccine news that's been happening the last couple of days. I don't know if you saw this or not.

AstraZeneca is saying like, yeah, it might be some issues associated. Pandemia, all your books. Plug them, Alex. You're terrific. Well, you know, so there's Tell Your Children, which is about cannabis, and then Pandemia, which I wrote in 2021. Actually, the last book that I wrote, it's hard for me to believe I haven't gone three years without writing a book since about 2000.

But my substack, my unreported true substack has taken over my life. But Pandemia is all about, you know, sort of the first 18 months of the epidemic of the pandemic. And it sort of ends with my being kicked off Twitter, which I, you know, in June, in August of 2021, Twitter banned me under pressure from Pfizer, speaking of vaccines, and under pressure from the Biden administration. I sued. I forced Twitter to let me back on before Elon Musk took over. And now I am in the middle of suing the Biden administration and two very senior people at Pfizer for their roles in this conspiracy.

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Go to, Missouri v Biden, I'm super interested. Please walk us through it. So Missouri v Biden, the Supreme Court's going to decide it probably in mid June. You know, that's the case where Missouri and several prominent academics sued the Biden administration and said, you've had this big censorship scheme, not just on Twitter, but on Facebook, on other social media platforms.

You tried to get them to prevent us from having our views heard, especially about COVID and the vaccines. There's an issue of what's called standing in that case. In other words, you have to show a particular injury.

Courts are not in the business of making legislation. They're in the business of deciding particular cases. And these plaintiffs are going to need to prove that they suffered a particular specific injury. And the Supreme Court may or may not decide to reject the claim on that basis. We will find out.

I don't have that problem. I have a very specific injury that I can show was attributable to the Biden administration, to these people from Pfizer. I can show that they all were talking to each other. I can show that there was a conspiracy. And so I'm very hopeful that whatever happens with Missouri v Biden, that my case will be allowed to move forward.

I will say it's been upsetting to me. I sued in federal court in New York. And it's a Biden administration judge who's hearing this. Hopefully she will give us a fair shake.

That's all I can hope for and we'll find out. But to see the way New York State and the New York State courts have sort of perverted these cases, both the civil case and the criminal case against Donald Trump is very upsetting to me. Because again, the rule of law is what really matters.

And whatever you think of Donald Trump, or I think of Donald Trump, and I know that my opinions on Donald Trump are probably not the same as yours or most of your audience. Donald Trump is entitled to the protection of the law. And he's entitled, if he's going to be tried for something, it can't be for being a bad guy or having had sex with a porn star, or for having political views that a lot of people in New York don't like.

He has to be tried for a specific crime. And if you actually look at the indictment that was brought against him in New York State, the criminal indictment, it is a terrible case. It should never have gone this far. It should never have gotten to trial. And I think Democrats and Republicans are going to regret this. I think this is politicizing the justice system in a really dangerous way.

I totally agree with you, Alex. In closing here, the vaccine, AstraZeneca all of a sudden came out with a story. Are we getting closer to an admission here?

What is the latest news? It seems as if the majority of Americans think that this, that we were lied to and that there were more problems than benefits from the mRNA shot. Well, yes, if you just look at, you know, and I've written a lot about this on Unreported Truths, if you, by subset, if you just look at the uptake on the vaccines, you know, each booster has gotten fewer people than the last.

And, you know, the last one, almost nobody under 65 took, and even a minority of people over 65 took. So Americans have turned away from it. Whether or not we're ever going to get any real justice or any real admission by the companies that, you know, that they overstated the benefits, that there were a lot of people who took this who shouldn't have, that there were a lot of people injured.

I don't know. I don't know if we're going to get there, Charlie. I hear that a lot of Americans, you know, again, not your audience, not the Unreported Truths readers, but a lot of Americans just want to forget all about COVID and that includes the mRNA. And that's what these people are hoping for, unfortunately. Yeah, but it's going to be a fervent minority of a couple million folks that are not going to let this go because you're right, Alex, the majority of people, they want to just get back to NFL football because it's just too much for them, right? It's just they don't have the stomach for it and you can't blame them.

They don't have it. It's just too much lying. It's like my whole world's going to collapse. Do you have a thought on that? Imagine if you gave this to your kids, right? You would hate having to accept that. No, you want the lie to be true, actually.

And I kind of sympathize with that, which is, you know, your uncle, your aunt, your kid, your eight-year-old, maybe your 18-month old all got the shot and you just kind of just tune it out and you just don't want to hear it. Alex Berenson, you're doing a wonderful job. Thank you for being so generous with your time. Thanks so much. Thanks so much for listening, everybody. Email us as always, freedom at Thanks so much for listening and God bless. For more on many of these stories and news you can trust, go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 06:17:22 / 2024-05-02 06:32:10 / 15

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