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Aired June 4, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Is hate from the pulpit inspiring attacks on gays? Is open hatred ever justified?
Singer Sam Harris says no and he is here and he`s angry.
How do you feel? Call us, 855-DRDREW5.
And, later, moms who use drugs. Is that ever OK? We`ll talk to one mom who was prescribed medical marijuana and had her kids taken away.
Let`s get started.
PINSKY: Good evening, and welcome to the program.
Now, tonight we`re going to get into a topic that I think we all need to really think about. Sometimes when leaders and people in the public advocate certain things, it`s incumbent upon us to talk about it, think about it, and respond to it. And mostly I`m talking tonight about hate.
And hate crimes led to a record number of murders in the gay community in 2011, according to a new report from the National Coalition of Anti- Violence Programs.
So why do we spread hate? I`m interested in this. Why do good people come out in terribly hateful ways? I have to ask myself, could religious sermons that we`ve all heard -- I`m going to show some of those to you tonight -- could they be inflaming prejudice?
Here`s what a Kansas pastor told his Sunday congregation. It`s disturbing. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PASTOR CURTIS KNAPP, NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: They should be put to death. That`s what happened in Israel. That`s why homosexuality wouldn`t have grown in Israel. It tends to limit conversions. It tends to limit people coming out of the closet.
Oh, so you`re saying we should go out and start killing them. No? I`m saying the government should. They won`t, but they should.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PINSKY: So that would be a just government that goes out and kills a minority group.
And then a North Carolina pastor had this to say. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASTOPR CHARLES WORLEY, PROVIDENCE ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH: I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all lesbians and queers, but couldn`t get it past the Congress. Build a great big large fence, 50 or 100-mile-long, put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can`t get out. Feed them. And you know what, in a few years they`ll die off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So let`s talk about this. Call us now with your questions and reactions at 855-DRDREW5.
Joining me first off here is Singer Sam Harris. You might remember him as the winner of "star search." he`s a gay rights activist.
Now, Sam, you compare some of these public speakers to other charismatic leaders that people have kind of gone along with in this historical past.
SAM HARRIS, SINGER: Well, one comes to mind.
PINSKY: Which one?
HARRIS: When you hear somebody talk about putting somebody behind an electric fence, to let them die, does that conjure up any memories?
PINSKY: Electric fence. Now I heard of a government -- one of the preachers say that the government should go ahead and -- should go ahead and kill people of certain minority groups. Kill them.
By the way, I am a huge advocate of the First Amendment. I think they have a right to say whatever. We must speak up and think about these things.
HARRIS: Do we think the Founding Fathers attended for the first amendment to incite violence and murder? I don`t think so. There`s a big difference. And when this man is talking about killing off a faction of people, especially in an electrified fence, it makes us think of concentration camps and Hitler and Jews.
And you look at Germany in that time, and who were, you know, had fallen on hard economic times, were losing their property, were confused, felt their culture was slipping. Here comes this charismatic man, who says here`s who you can blame it on, here`s whose fault it is.
People love to have a common enemy. The blacks were off the table, thank God. Now we`ve moved down to the gays.
PINSKY: Well, the logic, though, is any minority group can be, their rights limited by a majority simply because. Isn`t that`s what really underlying all this?
HARRIS: First of all, civil rights should never be dictated by vote or by mob rule. The Civil Rights Act never, never would have passed if it had been put up for public vote. That`s why we have courts. That`s why we have hopefully wise lawmakers and legislation.
Equal rights -- and you can`t be more equal in one state than another state. It`s all crazy.
PINSKY: I agree with you. It gets complicated, though. I think people want to lay this conversation at the foot of religious activism and fundamentalism, which I imagine we`d be hearing from callers out there who are Christian and who are very concerned about anything involving hate.
Let`s go right out to the phones. Let`s go to Becky in Tennessee.
Becky, what do you got for me?
BECKY, CALLER FROM TENNESSEE: I was part of a Christian movement when I was a teenager, came out as a lesbian at the age of 22, was then put on church discipline. So, I`ve been part of the part where people treated me with hate.
And I just wanted to say Sam Harris, I think he`s a wonderful role model, and Dr. Drew, thank you for having a show like this on TV.
PINSKY: Thank you, Becky, for just ringing in here with us.
Let`s go to Sandi in Ohio. Sandi, what do you got?
SANDI, CALLER FROM OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
SANDI: I`m a conservative Christian, but I am very, very supportive of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual community. I honestly think that these pastors have gone way, way too far in judging and they are inciting the hate crimes.
PINSKY: But, Sandi, I heard one of the gentlemen got a standing ovation when he came back to the church. And maybe that just to support his right to speak up, or whatever that might. But there`s got to be a lot of people out there to support this point of view, too. I`d be interested to hearing from them. What would you say to those people, Sandi?
SANDI: You have the right to your opinion, but you don`t have the right to judge other people because we, as a society, have to stop this judgment. Each individual has their own problem to worry about.
Michelle, I believe is my next caller. Michelle, let me go to you in Arizona. There`s a lot of biblical literalism gets involved in these conversations. Michelle, what`s your point of view?
MICHELLE, CALLER FROM ARIZONA: I just had a question about -- not really about like the ministers but just about the biology and about just being gay. And you`re a doctor, and I just want your educational opinion about that.
PINSKY: All right. So, Michelle, let me be super -- as clear as I can possibly be based on what is known. There is clearly some genetic biological component to homosexuality, particularly shown in men. Homosexuality in men and women are slightly different. Women are more fluid with their sexuality, men tend to be more either/or.
There can be certain experiences in childhood that clearly can also contribute to homosexual orientation. But whether it`s pure genetics or environment plus genetics or just environment, once you`re there, you are there. There`s no evidence that it can be changed. In fact, one of the leading advocates of this sort of treating homosexuality has recently come out, and if you saw on "The New York Times," very important psychiatrist and he apologized putting people through treatments that clearly were not helpful, they were harmful, because once that particular orientation is formed, it`s a part of who that person is and it`s not something that`s amenable treatment. It`s just the facts.
Kia in Illinois. Kia?
KIA, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi.
PINSKY: Hey, what do you got?
KIA: I was just thinking that, you know, we`re talking about preaching hate in the church, and it shouldn`t be allowed over the pulpit. I feel like this: the church should definitely not be preaching hate. I think if anything they should be preaching love because that`s what Jesus` message was really all about.
If you`re in the church, you have some sense of what love actually is or what, you know, this great love has done for us. I think we should spread a little bit more love.
PINSKY: Kia, I agree. Doesn`t this -- does any of this surprise you? It surprises me. I`m shocked that more people aren`t sort of talking about this. Don`t you think we should?
KIA: I think we should talk more about it, because you know what? Love is what draws people. If you want to push people away, that`s the thing you do. You talk about them or talk about hate.
PINSKY: Yes. There you go. I have to go to break. I`m sorry. We`re returning with you in just a minute.
Next, one of our more controversial guests is returning, Janet Boynes. She claims she is proof that a person can change back and forth between gay and straight. We`ll talk to her after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET BOYNES, FORMER LESBIAN: I believe that if you`re living a homosexual life, I don`t believe that`s God`s best for you. I believe God made us man and woman and I believe that, you know, changing your sexual orientation is not God`s best for your life.
PINSKY: You make me nervous. I`m not sure I`m living God`s best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Welcome back. Tonight we are discussing hate and our leaders that espouse hate and what we should do about that. Call us now with comments and questions at 855-DRDREW5.
There is a lot of hate that`s been expressed for gay and lesbian. Can a person change from gay and straight? That debate is back in the headlines.
Take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some homosexuals can change.
PINSKY (voice-over): A psychiatrist who pioneered gay therapy now acknowledges cannot be turned straight. Dr. Robert Spitzer says his gay cure so-called is based on research that is flawed. He apologized to the gay community as a whole and individuals who underwent therapy that ultimately was ineffective and in some cases damaging.
The bill has been introduced in California that would ban gay cure therapies for those under 18.
Opponents insist changing from gay to straight is absolutely possible, and some even say day are living proof.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINKSY: All right. Joining us now is Janet Boynes, she was gay. Now she says she is the living proof of changing back to heterosexual.
Tell me the story there, Janet.
BOYNES: Hi, Dr. Drew. How are you?
PINSKY: Good. So you had some sort of intervention -- go ahead.
BOYNES: You know, it`s not about an intervention. My intervention was Jesus Christ. You know, he transformed my life. I believe change is possible through him.
I believe homosexuality, you know, last time I said it`s not best for your life, I personally believe what the Bible says that it`s sin. You know, of course, I went to a church and they`re the ones who helped me here in Minneapolis, you know, with the transformation of living a heterosexual life.
But, two, that`s through the power of Jesus Christ. Without him, I wouldn`t be where I`m at today. So I know change is possible because there`s thousands of people out there that are living a heterosexual life that are no longer homosexuals.
And if you don`t want to change, as you well know, Dr. Drew, you work with people the that are on drugs, alcohol, pornography, and you know and you said this before, and I`ve heard you on many of your shows, if you don`t want to change, you`re not going to change. If your heart is not right to change, you`re going to stay the same way.
PINSKY: That`s correct. I`ve seen people try to change and be hurt by it. And not everybody`s sexual orientation is exactly the same in the sense it`s set in the same way internally whom the person is. Some people are more flexible and can change if they want to and some can`t.
Let`s take some calls. Jallen in California? Or Jallen?
JALLEN, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew, thanks for having me.
As a survivor myself and now as a sexologist who studies the effects of reparative therapy, in ministries, I can tell you that I`ve been inside the ministries and they`re hotbeds of religious abuse. I`ve really never seen anyone truly change their orientation. And what I`ve experienced there has been great shame, great depression, and others feeling hopelessness, having suicidal tendencies, heightened fear -- all these things, not because they`re trying to work the process, but because the process did not work for them.
And as a result, they felt like a failure. And, you know, you`re talking about hate. I think we need to look very carefully at the messages that reparative therapies and ex-gay ministries put out, because in a sense essentially they are saying that homosexuality does not really belong in their society. If there was a real perfect society, everyone would be heterosexual.
How close is that effort to what the bully says when he says, well, you know what, I don`t think you as a homosexual belong around, I`m going to do something about it.
PINSKY: I have to interrupt you. I`m running out of time. Thank you for that comment, by the way. Well said I`m going to give Janet the last words so she can have a chance to talk on this segment.
Janet, go ahead.
BOYNES: Dr. Drew, I don`t think that`s true.
BOYNES: I don`t think that`s true. Change is possible, and when people come to ministry and ask for help, only thing I am is a spiritual guidance through them. But I can`t change lives, but Jesus Christ can. You ask Jesus in your heart, I guarantee your life will change. That`s all you have to do is say the salvation prayer.
What I have a problem with, we get so many men and women out there that said that the church is the bad person. What about those who are calling my ministry who are sending me nasty e-mails, who calling me out of my -- Dr. Drew, you always have a tendency of putting people on your show that is against Christianity. Why don`t you, Anderson Cooper, and Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, put people on their show or bring them to the White House that change is possible?
You never give us the opportunity to come on your show and really tell our side of the story.
PINSKY: Well, I am giving --
BOYNES: It`s always one side.
PINSKY: I am giving you your chance. I certainly am very in favor --
BOYNES: No, you`re putting more people --
PINSKY: I`m just taking callers. Callers are calling spontaneously, Janet.
BOYNES: Against Christianity than for Christianity, it`s always one sided.
PINKSY: Well, that`s why I have you here to make sure it`s not one sided. I do have to take another break.
I`m going to bring a man in next who did -- has changed quite a bit. He was a drag queen and a male stripper, and he says he`s no longer that nor gay. He joins us after the break out. Excuse me, after we break.
Check this out now from OWN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always wanted to marry a girl. I just wanted to see if that was even possible. That was always something I wanted so bad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it`s possible?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA LING: I`m in Minneapolis getting to know a young man named Christian who is trying to change from gay to straight. Christian is giving me a driving tour of his past. To show me the nightclubs and bars he used to frequent, the bars where he picked up men and the clubs where he worked as a stripper and a drag queen.
CHRISTIAN: I feel like I have choices. The human brain is amazing, and I just believe that that`s something you can literally, like, work through.
LING: And you think it`s wrong in the eyes of God to be gay?
CHRISTIAN: It`s not his plan for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And that was from the OWN network`s "Our America" with Lisa Ling. Christian is the young man who appeared in that episode called "Pray the Gay Away." He credits Janet Boynes with helping leave that lifestyle.
Christian is with us now.
Christian, you call Janet your hero. Tell me why?
CHRISTIAN: God really used her in an awesome way to reach my heart. It was hard. I was very angry toward the church, toward everyone in my life growing up. So God really used her and a few others to really reach me.
PINSKY: Well, just hearing that little bit of tape we just saw, it seemed like you had sexual addiction, and sexual addiction can certainly respond to spiritual interventions. This is my concern. We`re sort of blanketing all homosexuality as all one thing and all amenable to certain kinds of intervention and it`s more complicated than that.
Sam, you agree with me on that, don`t you?
PINSKY: I fear those attitudes foster the hate we were talking about earlier.
HARRIS: I was never a stripper. I was never a club person. I`m like a guy who has -- I`ve been in a relationship for 17 years. We have a 4- year-old son. I`m like a regular, you know, Joe Shmoe guy who has a really happy life.
If you are happy, if you`re happy in your spiritual quest, that`s all that matters.
HARRIS: I want people to be happy. I can also say --
PINSKY: I`m happy for Janet.
HARRIS: You can be a happy gay person and have a normal life with children and relationships, and real life.
I`d like to speak to a little bit about these vitriolic sermons. These things have always, always existed, right? And now we have cell phone cameras and now we have all this stuff. And now we`re seeing it. That`s the difference.
The Ku Klux Klan hood has been ripped off, right? And whether we see it through police brutality, or this kind of thing, or any kind of bullying, what`s happened is now this is creating a visceral reaction. The real question is what do we do with that? So often I think we, you know, we forward and delete.
PINSKY: I think we just talk about it.
HARRIS: We talk about it but we have to take action. It can`t be the next sound bite. It`s not going to be gay people that change this. It`s going to be straight people that change this.
PINSKY: Take a quick call. Michael in Massachusetts. Michael, go ahead.
MICHAEL, CALLER FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
MICHAEL: Hi. If it`s a choice to be gay, wouldn`t it make sense that straight people choose to be straight? And if it`s actually a choice, why would a gay person after being verbally or physically bashed not go back to being straight?
PINSKY: Why would a person make a choice one way or the other? Christian, do you have an opinion about that?
CHRISTIAN: It`s different for every person. I agree with that.
PINSKY: Let me ask this of both of you guys. One of my concerns is that so much of the bashing that goes on is based on biblical literalism. You know, you hear these literal, these things from the Bible being quoted literally and there`s lots of stuff -- Janet, help me with this. There`s lots of stuff you can quote from the Bible literally that`s awful.
I`ve got one here from Leviticus. "If a man commits adultery with another man`s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death." We don`t believe that, do we?
BOYNES: Well, you`re only reading part of the Bible and not all of it. You can take that out of context. Of course, that was the Old Testament. I very much believe in the Old Testament.
But, you know, we`re also under the new atom, the new testament as well, Corinthians 6:9, that liars, thieves, won`t enter the kingdom of God.
PINSKY: That`s on them, though.
BOYNES: The word of God, you do take it out of context.
PINSKY: Janet, I agree with you, I`m happy for you guys. I have to take a break. I`m so sorry. Thank you, Janet. Thank you, Christian. Of course, thank you, Sam.
I know, television, it`s frustrating, Janet. I agree with you.
All right. We`re going to get into this story next. Last weekend, Arizona, a mother allegedly left her baby on a car roof and drove off. The consequences of parents using, up next.
PINSKY: Have you ever driven off with something on top of your car? Perhaps a cup of coffee, cell phone, purse? How about a baby? That`s right. A baby.
Police say a 19-year-old mother smoked pot and forgot to put her newborn inside the car. You will not believe how it ended.
Would it have been different if she was using it for medical purposes? I`m talking to a woman who says police took her kids because she used medical marijuana while she breast-fed. Call in with your questions, comments for her at 1-855-DRDREW5.
What about mothers using other legal or prescription drugs? Antidepressants, anti-anxiety, sleeping pills -- where do we draw the line?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): And there`s an epidemic of Americans -- American parents, particularly, using drugs. The terrible consequences.
A mom yesterday was, rather Saturday, was arrested in Phoenix after driving off with her one-month-old baby still on the roof of her car. The infant was strapped into a safety seat, fell off the vehicle in the middle of the street, thank God unhurt. The teen mom later admitted she was high.
California, a mom who breastfed her baby while using medical marijuana was arrested and her child was taken away. Here`s a police audiotape of that event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, listen. Don`t worry, Daisy, listen to me. Daisy, listen to me. Baby doll, listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You took my baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Joining us now is that desperate mom, Daisy Bram. I`ve also got Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, author of "Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay." Stefanie, you were a mom who thought wine and parenting kind of went together at one time.
STEFANIE WILDER-TAYLOR, AUTHOR, "SIPPY CUPS ARE NOT FOR CHARDONNAY": I did. I spent a lot of time and TV time defending drinking, and you know, I really felt that nighttime after the kids were in bed was, you know, a great time to unwind and have a glass of wine. And I really did feel like it was my time.
PINSKY: A glass?
WILDER-TAYLOR: Well --
PINSKY: A few glasses.
WILDER-TAYLOR: It became more than a glass. And, you know, my nightly ritual became kind of a compulsion. And, you know, to be honest, people would say things, you know, when I was on TV and talking about how great it was, like, well, what happens if something happens to your kid?
PINSKY: Right. What if something goes wrong while you`re using?
WILDER-TAYLOR: -- go to the hospital. I would be defensive and say, well, I`m not going to go get in the car and drive my kid to the hospital. I`m going to call 911. You know, I was, I think, in denial.
WILDER-TAYLOR: And, you know, I look back and I go, yes, obviously having a few glasses of wine and a Xanax is a recipe for disaster if something does go wrong, God forbid.
PINSKY: Now, Daisy, you`re facing child abuse charges for having used your prescription pot and then breastfeeding. Is that correct?
DAISY BRAM, BREAST-FED BABY WHILE ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA: So far as I know, the initial charges were related to that. I think what`s almost more critical at this point in noting is that the child dependency courts were able to keep my children away from me for four months because of that.
And there was also court order put in place to keep me from breastfeeding my children. They were placed on formula.
PINSKY: And I got to say something. My heart goes out to you. I heard that desperation in that tape. I mean, that`s just awful. I get concerned about how far --
BRAM: Thank you.
PINSKY: -- our government goes to interfere in our lives. I`m all about child safety and I hope whoever prescribed the marijuana advised you not to breastfeed, because if not, I think you have a malpractice case more than anything else, right? Did they advise you? Did they advise you?
BRAM: Well, I think what`s -- I think what`s really worth noting here is the detriment that may or may not have come to my children because of my cannabis consumption or in breastfeeding.
It pales in comparison when you imagine, when you take into consideration the impact that four months of being separated from their mother had, particularly, on Zeus here who was three weeks old at the time of that audio.
PINSKY: I see why you call him Zeus now. A powerful young man.
PINSKY: Let`s get to some calls. Marta in Arizona. It`s a complicated issue. Go right ahead.
MARTA, ARIZONA: Hi, Drew. How are you?
PINSKY: Hey, Marta, go ahead.
MARTA: OK. Can you hear me now?
PINSKY: We got you.
MARTA: Hi. Yes. I was calling because I abused drugs all my life, you know, and I`ve had children, too, but -- and I`ve always taken care of my kids. And they`ve never got hurt or nothing like that. I think that --
WILDER-TAYLOR: You`re lucky.
MARTA: Like the lady that`s on the phone now, saying about her breastfeeding her baby. Now, that`s, you know, common sense tells you not to do that.
PINSKY: So, she crossed a line, and yet, we all -- now, what do you call what Marta`s in? We call that --
PINSKY: That our using would not affect our kids. One of the things from a medical standpoint is when you`re using any substance, your brain, the empathic centers of your brain that you need to attune to a child don`t work right. So, what children need to grow isn`t available the way it should be.
So, Marta, to say I used my whole life and didn`t affect my kids is just not possible. It may not have profoundly affected, they may be sort of OK, but for the grace of God, but it`s tough to say it didn`t affect them at all.
WILDER-TAYLOR: I think people work really hard, too, to create that boundary around themselves that it`s not hurting my kids.
WILDER-TAYLOR: Because they want to keep doing drugs.
WILDER-TAYLOR: I mean, you hear --
PINSKY: It`s very painful to imagine something actually hurt your kids.
PINSKY: Karla in Oklahoma, very quickly before we go to break -- Karla.
KARLA, OKLAHOMA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
KARLA: I just wanted to get in that I also believe with all of my heart that I was not harming myself or my family because alcohol`s legal and pot is considered so lightweight. But what happened was that I lost all ability to differentiate not only the difference between right or wrong, but what`s real and not real.
PINSKY: OK, Karla, hold on. I want to hear more about that story, but I`ve got to go to a break, so hang in there. I`m going to hear why you lost contact with reality from what you call legal and lightweight drugs. That, more calls after this.
PINSKY: I`m back. I`ve been speaking to Daisy Bram who had her children taken away from her for using medical marijuana and then breastfeeding. Daisy, my question to you is, did anybody tell you not to do that? Were you advised not to -- and are you -- are you using currently? Because you`re breastfeeding right here with us. And I want to be sure that`s not what`s going on.
BRAM: Well, I discussed with my physician at great length the, you know, the negatives and the positives or the pros and cons rather of breastfeeding cannabis consumption.
PINSKY: So, he or she did not advise you -- OK. But the doctor didn`t say you can`t do that, it`s not good for the baby?
BRAM: No, he did not advise me to do that, but one thing that we discussed was the drawbacks of formula.
PINSKY: Listen, I don`t want to get into that. I don`t want to get into that, because, you know -- women breastfeeding shouldn`t be taking anything. That`s the fact. I mean, that`s just simply the fact. And when all women should be encouraged to breastfeed, certainly, the age of two for sure.
We`re all on board with that. Now, I want to get back to my -- oh, and you`re not smoking pot now? That`s the other thing. You know what I mean?
BRAM: No, absolutely not.
PINSKY: OK. I was talking to Karla before the break, and she had told us about how she was using, I guess, cannabis and alcohol and actually lost touch with reality. Can you fill in the details for me there, Karla, a bit?
KARLA: Sure. You know, what I thought was that because it wasn`t crack or meth or heroin or one of these hardcore drugs you hear about, and, you know, there was always a push about making marijuana legal. I basically fooled myself into thinking it was OK, because at the end of the day, it`s what I really wanted to do.
PINSKY: Well, but Karla, that`s the point, yes. That`s what Stefanie has been saying all along. But my question is though, those are not two drugs that typically cause people to lose touch with reality, unless, you`re using a lot.
KARLA: I was using a lot.
PINSKY: OK. OK.
KARLA: I really was. And I honestly thought, you know, like your previous caller, my kids were going to school. No one seemed to be in harm`s way. We never had a horrible accident. But later on --
PINSKY: Thank God.
KARLA: -- down the road, Dr. Drew -- thank God.
KARLA: Down the road when my kids became teenagers and they were obviously aware of what was going on, even though I never had it around them, did not keep alcohol in the refrigerator, but they knew.
PINSKY: Yes, of course.
KARLA: They weren`t stupid.
PINSKY: Well, not just being smart or stupid, they`re sponges emotionally, and they need mom to be available. And it`s scary to have an intoxicated parent. It just is. Karla, thanks for sharing that story.
KARLA: If I can just add, I did not have the state take my children, but when they got old enough, they chose to go live with their dad, and that was infinitely more devastating because it was a choice they made.
PINSKY: Thank you for that. Thank you for the story, Karla. I appreciate it. Let`s go to Jennifer in Washington -- Jennifer.
JENNIFER, WASHINGTON: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: I just wanted to comment being a child of someone who, you know, was addicted or has been addicted throughout their life to drugs that I don`t think as a parent when you`re in that bubble that you see the effects that it causes. You can`t possibly see the way that it affects your children.
Every time you`re feeding your disease or you`re, you know, filling that void, you`re missing that moment with your child, and there`s no way to ever take those moments back or you can never see the effects regardless of how -- you can explain it to a parent or try to get them to understand.
JENNIFER: You can never fully, fully grasp that.
PINSKY: And I think that Stefanie was agreeing with you on that.
WILDER-TAYLOR: I just feel it (ph). When you get to a point with your drinking where you`re rationalizing -- I`m not saying the guest is rationalizing, Daisy, but I`m saying, when you`re kind of going well the pros and cons, well, if I just have one more drink and still be able to drive, and I won`t be -- won`t be in my breast milk. When you`re starting to do that, to me, that`s addiction.
PINSKY: Daisy, I want to hear from you. Go ahead. I`m sorry. We couldn`t hear you. Go ahead, Daisy. Go ahead.
BRAM: I don`t drink alcohol. So, we`re not talking about alcohol at all. We`re talking about a recommendation with a board certified physician. But in terms of alcohol, I would never advocate for women to consume alcohol and breastfeed, drive, drive their children.
WILDER-TAYLOR: I could drive a lot better drunk than I could high, I`ll be honest with you.
PINSKY: and how about other prescription drugs, Daisy?
BRAM: I don`t drugs (ph).
PINSKY: I mean, why -- you know, there`s all kinds of things that can get in your system that gets to the baby through the breast milk. I don`t think anything should be getting to the baby through the breast milk, do you? Other than the breast milk.
BRAM: Absolutely. Absolutely. The alternative to cannabis for me would be probably an opiate-based prescription painkiller of some sort. And I feel like that`s probably not the sort of substances that I -- you`re right. Absolutely. Substances in general. The breast milk should be as pure as possible.
PINSKY: And what do you -- how are you staying clean now?
BRAM: Well, as a condition of my release, so that I don`t go back to jail, I was ordered to relinquish my 215 privileges. So, it`s not a matter of choice really. That`s just --
PINSKY: Yes, but you`re getting by without substances now. How did you manage -- the choice was opiates or marijuana? That`s a pretty heavy choice. And now, you`re doing nothing. How does that work?
BRAM: It works in terms of ultimately, the best thing for my children is for me not to be in jail. So, I`ve made it a point to stay in accordance with the conditions of my release from jail which is not to consume cannabis nor have it around me.
WILDER-TAYLOR: It makes me wonder --
BRAM: My kids are priority number one.
PINSKY: Good. That`s good -- Stefanie.
WILDER-TAYLOR: If there`s a threat of having the kids taken away. It just makes me wonder if that was lifted and she didn`t have to submit to drug tests or whatever if then --
PINSKY: Here`s my point. If the pain is so bad that you have to take an opiate or a cannabis, you chose cannabis, fantastic, but magically, you can do OK without anything when it comes between being uncomfortable and having your kids taken away. I`m just saying, don`t take anything. That`s all I`m saying.
That`s the healthiest thing to do. It shouldn`t be between an opiate and cannabis, it should be between nothing and nothing and being a little uncomfortable. God bless you, you`ve done it and you put your kids as a priority. I commend her for that.
WILDER-TAYLOR: Yes. Which a lot of people don`t do.
PINSKY: You`re absolutely right.
WILDER-TAYLOR: A lot of people would pick the drug, would pick the pot over their kids.
PINSKY: And look, I commend Daisy for doing so. Stefanie, thank you for sharing.
WILDER-TAYLOR: Good job, daisy.
PINSKY: Thank you all.
Now, next up, I`m going to bring in Kevin Sabet who is an expert in the legislative issues around cannabis. I just want to question him a little bit about what we do with all this and how to understand what parents are choosing or not choosing and hear -- Daisy was talking to a doctor about this. And he seemed to sort -- he or she condoned what she did. I want to hear what Kevin will say about that.
And then, your calls about anything after this.
PINSKY: Welcome back. Now, joining us via Skype is Kevin Sabet. He served in the Obama administration as senior advisor in the White House office of National Drug Controlled Policy.
Kevin, I hope you heard that conversation we were having about the mom who was breastfeeding and using cannabis and having her children taken away, the doctor condoning it, and the police, you know, I mean, tearing this family apart.
I have very mixed feelings about the entire story. What do we do with this? How do we have a rational policy in the face of all these kinds of consequences?
KEVIN A. SABET, PH.D., SERVED IN WHITE HOUSE OFFICE NAT. DRUG CONTROL POLICY: Well, I think these consequences, and I agree, Drew, it`s unfortunate. And, you know, we don`t know exactly the whole situation, but we do want to be careful with government encroaching too much on our lives. I think the issue, though, comes down to the fact that, here, we have a drug, cannabis, marijuana.
That`s the only drug that we`ve ever voted on in terms of it being medicine. Now, I think medicine should go through a proper standard FDA procedure where there`s safety and efficacy and the dosage is the same, whether you get it from a pharmacy in California or in Maine, it`s the same drug. The issue with marijuana is, it bypasses the entire system in favor of a political system.
So, the result of voting on a medicine where you have the vast majority of doctors in California and in these other states do not approve of smoking marijuana as medicine. Instead, they give it in a pill or they offer an alternative medication.
When you have a handful of doctors in California making good amount of money from this and other states recommending marijuana and then people having to go and either grow it themselves. By the way, we didn`t even talk about what happens when kids are exposed to toxic fumes or hazards of indoor marijuana growing where there`s, you know, fire issues all the time.
PINSKY: But Kevin, Kevin, let me flip around your argument a little bit and say, is it not the case that we`ve gotten into this situation because the research, as it applies to research in cannabis, has been politicized as well and because cannabis has been sort of vilified as a bad drug, doctors can`t do the research that they need to do in order to bring it through the usual system?
SABET: Yes, I mean, obviously, you know, for 100 years ago, the research for opium-based medications went one way in terms of rapid development and the research for cannabis-based medications went another way in terms of responding to fear and immigrants and those kinds of things. So, I agree with you on that.
But Drew, today, the research on cannabis is actually, you know, it`s thriving. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has a research plan over $14 million.
And anyone can look this up on the NIH website, National Institute of Health, where they`re looking at marijuana-based medications. They`re looking at, you know, the marijuana system, cannabinoid system in your body, that your body responds, to find medications based on --
PINSKY: But Kevin, I`ve got -- I`ve only had a minute left, but I want to push on that a little harder and just say it costs $500 million to bring a drug to market. I love it was 14 million for research (ph). I -- but just, it`s the history has not been good. We need to stop thinking about good drugs and bad drugs and just rational medicine, don`t you think?
SABET: I agree with you totally. Any drug -- first of all, when you have kids around, you`re breastfeeding, I mean, you`re right, you shouldn`t be dealing with any drug. If you are going to be dealing with a cannabis drug, let`s do a cannabis-based medication that`s gone through the process. The process, you`re right, has never been perfect.
Frankly, pharmaceutical companies haven`t been jumping at the cannabis market because they haven`t seen a big market for it, really.
SABET: But I think we would both agree, let`s take it out of the, you know, 300-pound bouncer guarding the neon sign cash only and a 25-year-old kid who has no medical experience giving you medical advice at a cannabis shop. You know, I think there`s something a little wacky with that, too.
PINSKY: Kevin, thank you as always -- I appreciate your time. I know I got you up at 4:00 in the morning where you are right now. I appreciate it so much.
Got to take a break. We`re coming back with more calls on any topic you should like. After this.
PINSKY: Take a look at this photo of a truck driver. You can see how the sun exposure -- is that going to be behind me now? There he is. Look -- I got to walk up there. You guys don`t mind if I do. Take a look at this side right here. Obviously, a lot more aging that side of his face as compared to the other side because of sun exposure.
That was the side where the, you know, sun was coming into the window. And those of you that roll your window down and put your arm on the window sill, think about that picture when you do that next time. Go to a call. Illinois, Amy.
AMY, ILLINOIS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
AMY: Hi. I just want to let you know, I was diagnosed with melanoma two years ago at the age of 30. And I go every three months to have my liver levels checked.
PINSKY: Oh, goodness.
AMY: And it will be two years in July, and then, I have to go every six months for another three years.
PINSKY: That`s very scary.
AMY: It doesn`t stop when they remove it.
PINSKY: No, I know. And I`m glad you`re well. Melanoma is a very dangerous condition. And let`s all look. Put that picture back up there, because that is just age-related sun damage. There`s also other -- there`s squamous-cell cancer, basal cell cancer, and as Amy is saying, melanoma, all of which go up with periods of exposure.
And for nothing else, if you don`t believe you can get those cancers, look at this age-related changes that on one side, a sun exposed versus the other side relatively protected from the sun, that just coming through the truck window. My goodness. All right. Let`s take another call. Miranda in Alabama -- Miranda.
MIRANDA, ALABAMA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Miranda.
MIRANDA: Yes. My question is a reference to herpes and oral sex.
MIRANDA: (INAUDIBLE) I understand that condoms are necessary, but what if your partner wants oral sex? Should that be the same or absence from sex all together or is there another method that can be used?
PINSKY: I didn`t quite hear all of your -- what you said there. But listen, you`re potentially contagious at all times when you have herpes. Herpes of the mouth or genital herpes, they`re obviously very contagious if you have an outbreak. And the rule of thumb is to reduce the risk of transmission.
And by the way, I want to remind you that Wednesday is our show as we dedicate to sex and relationships. So, this, Miranda, would be perfect for that day. But let me say, obviously, you know, religious use of a condom, using an anti-viral medication like Zovirax or Valtrex can reduce the risk of viral transmission.
And then, if you`re in a committed relationship, because herpes really has no real consequence. It`s just a skin rash. You can contemplate whether or not you want to keep protecting yourself or just kind of let it go and see. The chips fall where they may.
I want to thank you all for watching tonight, but an interesting show. I will see you next time. Be sure to call in, and Nancy Grace starts right now.