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New Battle for Singer Usher; Marijuana's Effects; Not Your Mother's Period Ad

Aired August 8, 2013 - 08:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Sounds like a song you would like?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I know. Singing that in my head. I like this song. Sad you now know all --


BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everybody. It is Thursday, August 8th. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: I'm Kate Bolduan. Chris is my mind reader. We're here with Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: That's a good look, too.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm keeping that between us.

BOLDUAN: You're going to keep that between us.



BOLDUAN: Speaking of crazy, coming up this half hour, we're talking about weed. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta spent an entire year investigating the effects of marijuana on the body and he'll tell us how we've been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years. He says his stunning discovery is ahead and he's going to be offering an apology of sorts.

CUOMO: And in what some might call a related story, a bear on a jet ski.


BOLDUAN: That was good, Chris.

CUOMO: That is good.

BOLDUAN: That was good.

CUOMO: That was -- I just came up with that.

BOLDUAN: That was good.

CUOMO: How about that?

BOLDUAN: He's so proud of himself. (INAUDIBLE).


CUOMO: I love it. My second favorite line so far.

BOLDUAN: He did it unscripted (ph).

CUOMO: Yes, that's right, the (INAUDIBLE) line.

PEREIRA: Oh, no.

CUOMO: That goes down. That's it. That's -

BOLDUAN: That goes down. Never (ph) again.

CUOMO: I was going to go on the Freedom Forum when my - when everything's done here in this career, that's how I'll be known.

All right, a lot of news this morning.

PEREIRA: Oh, my.

CUOMO: So let's get to Michaela for the five things you need to know for your new day.

PEREIRA: That's right. Let's start at number one. Parts of the Southeast and Midwest bracing for more rushing water. Flood watches and warnings in effect there in Missouri. At least 15 people rescued after flash floods rushed into a mobile home park.

The Silver (ph) Fire now burning east of Los Angeles, threatening homes and forcing mandatory evacuations in five communities. The fast- moving wildfire has so far consumed 6,000 acres.

Three winners, three very happy people will share the $448 million Powerball jackpot. Two winning tickets were sold in New Jersey, one in Minnesota. Let's give you the numbers, 5, 25, 30, 58, 59. What am I calling, an auction here? And the Powerball number, 32.

Evidence of a Russian rift. President Obama formally canceling a trip to Moscow next month for talks with president -- Russian President Vladimir Putin. The reason given, a lack of progress in the bilateral agenda.

And at number five, golf's final major underway in upstate New York. Tiger Woods looking for his first major victory in five years at the PGA championship. TNT, owned by our parent company, Turner, will bring you live coverage. You know we always update those five things to know. So be sure to go to for the very latest.


BOLDUAN: All right, Michaela, thanks so much.

A very scary story for a pop star and R&B star singer Usher says his five-year-old son is now doing very well after surviving a pool accident at his Atlanta home. But that pool mishap has sparked a new custody battle for him. Usher's ex-wife says the incident proves that she should have custody of the two children instead of he. Alina Machado has the latest from CNN Center in Atlanta.

So what is the latest, Alina?

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this battle is expected to play out in a courtroom here in Atlanta tomorrow afternoon. The hearing comes four days after that pool incident.


MACHADO (voice-over): Days after singer Usher Raymond's son nearly drowned in the pool at his Atlanta home -

CALLER: Yes, they're doing CPR on him now.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Is he breathing?

CALLER: Is he breathing? Is he breathing? He's breathing. Yes, ma'am.

MACHADO: The five-year-old is progressing. The singer releasing a statement says his son is, quote, "doing well and is recovering." The child's mother, Tameka Raymond, tweeted, "cabin fever. But I'm so happy to say that my son is doing much better. Talking and asking for food."

But the legal battle seems to be heating up again. On Tuesday, the day after the incident, Usher's ex-wife filed this motion seeking an emergency custody hearing. It's the latest development in what has been a bitter fight between the two. Usher and Tameka married in 2007. They were divorced just two years later. The singer gained custody of the couple's two young boys, but in Tuesday's court filing, Usher's ex-wife alleges he travels excessively, away from the home 85 percent of the time and that, quote, "the minor children are at risk while in the care of third party caregivers." The filing also says the child was left in the pool unsupervised by his aunt, who was caring for him at the time of the incident. Usher's attorney did not respond to our calls for comment.

TINA SHADIX RODDENBERY, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: I think it's going to be an argument by Usher's attorneys that the mother's showing poor judgment and spending her time and resources litigating over an issue when the child probably needs all the focus on him and his medical care and making best decisions there without the stress of preparing for a hearing. MACHADO: The near drowning comes more than a year after Tameka's 11- year-old son was killed in a watercraft accident on a Georgia lake.


MACHADO: Now, in his statement, Usher also thanked doctors and the two men who helped save his son's life. The boy could be released from the hospital very soon.

Chris. Kate.

CUOMO: All right, thanks for the reporting on that. Appreciate it.

Got another one for you this morning. Washington, D.C. just opened up its first medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday. Twenty U.S. state now allow the drug for medicinal use, which raises a big and obvious question.

BOLDUAN: That everyone asks when this comes up, is it safe and does it really work when we're talking about for medicinal purposes? Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here. He spent a year investigating the impact of marijuana on your body.

You know, culturally, I mean, we always giggle even when we bring it up on air when we say the word "weed" or talk about marijuana. Culturally we're programmed to think that marijuana is bad for you.


BOLDUAN: You've done a lot of research and think the evidence supports some -- a different conclusion, quite possibly. What do you find?

GUPTA: I absolutely think it supports a different conclusion and I think your choice of language is absolutely correct. We have been programmed. It's been sort of this cultural influence. And I'd take it even a step further saying, we've been misled. And it's been systematic for 70 years in this country to think that marijuana, which used to be part of the United States pharmacopeia, it was a legitimate medication that doctors prescribed, was demonized and somehow bad. And there's all sorts of influences on why that happened.

But if you look at even today at Pubmed (ph), which is sort of our Bible of new studies, 20,000 papers on medical marijuana. Ninety-five percent of them are basically on the ills and the harms of marijuana. And about 5 or 6 percent are on the potential benefits. So the whole system is sort of geared toward looking for the problems with marijuana as opposed to the potential benefits.

The DEA says it's a schedule one substance, saying it has no medical applications and it is a high abuse drug. Neither one of those things are true. They didn't have the science to support it then. They still don't have it now.

BOLDUAN: And in the documentary you explore that and you find unique patients and people who, with anything else they've tried, it didn't work. Marijuana helped them. So you found that it's safe, but how does it, I guess, stack up when you compare effectiveness of marijuana for medicinal purposes -

GUPTA: Sure.

BOLDUAN: Versus more common prescription drugs that everyone's more comfortable with?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, I think it stacks up really well in certain conditions. And, you know, when you're looking at medications, if you're being responsible, you want to look, is it safe, is it effective and is it more effective than what's already out there? And I think, for some conditions like intractable epilepsy, for neuropathic pain, which is something I deal with as a neuro surgeon. It's that terrible burning pain people get in their limbs.


GUPTA: Sometimes there are no good options at all and marijuana can actually not only be as good as what's out there, but better than what's out there.

And keep in mind, these pain meds that we give people, we've talked about this, but someone dies in this country every 19 minutes of an accidental prescription drug overdose. I could not find a documented case of someone dying of a marijuana overdose. So, you know, look, it can be safe and it can be very effective.

PEREIRA: OK. So there is this societal belief, you were talking about that Kate - that it's a gateway drug and that's one of the concerns parents have that if a kid starts using it young, that's going to lead to alcohol, it's going to lead to harder drugs. Did you find evidence of that even being real?

GUPTA: From a scientific perspective, I don't think there's any evidence that it leads to craving of other drugs. Do people who take marijuana then go on to harder drugs? Sometimes they do. Sometimes it's because of the situation we find that they're in. The same place that they're getting their marijuana is also a place where they could get something else, heroin, cocaine, something else like that. But the idea that physiologically your body changes in response to marijuana and now you have to do something else, that's what gateway implies. And, again, the science doesn't stack up there.

PEREIRA: Isn't there.

CUOMO: Sometimes just because we can't prove it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, right, especially when we're talking about parents and societal (INAUDIBLE), about behaviors, you know - and you know this very well because you switched your position on this.

GUPTA: Yes. I did. Because, look, I -- when I looked at those 20,000 papers, as well, I saw all the harm sort of being researched, and that's the first thing you see. I didn't look far enough, I didn't look deep enough. I didn't look into labs that are doing research in other countries, doing some amazing research. I didn't listen to the patients who said to me, it's working for me and nothing else has. I dismissed them as malingerers, just trying to get high. BOLDUAN: You even wrote about it.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, I wrote about this. And I also took the DEA at their word when they say this is a schedule one substance. I think we have a reasonable assumption that that's because they have science to say, this is a high-abuse drug. This is the most dangerous drug out there. That's what they're saying by calling this schedule one. Cocaine is a schedule two drug. I take them at their word when they say there is no medical applications. That wasn't true then. It's not true now.

CUOMO: The THC content being higher now. Marijuana's not your old marijuana. It's more deadly than ever. More addictive than ever. Did you find that?

GUPTA: Well, it's not deadly. I mean, look, again --

CUOMO: Not deadly, addictive.

GUPTA: Yes. Well, there's some - some concern. It is a higher potency THC now. It used to be around 1 percent on average. Now it's closer to 8 percent. That's certainly concerning and I think that that's, you know, certainly someone who's young, someone who's never done this before. They can have a very, very ill effect from that. They just won't feel good at all taking that sort of marijuana. That's in part because this has been an unregulated industry. People are taking this high THC because they want to get high. But this medicinal component of it, people who use the, you know, marijuana as a medicine, it could be very, very legitimate.

PEREIRA: And you say also that you're concerned about younger people because their brains haven't finished developing.

GUPTA: Yes. And I would say up to the age of 23, 24.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: Your brains don't fully develop until that age.


GUPTA: And, you know, I wouldn't recommend it for anybody. And if my kids were adamant about wanting to use marijuana at one -- some time in their lives, I'd say wait until you're in your late 20s.

CUOMO: And don't abuse it like just with any other medicine, right?

GUPTA: Like any other medicine is the key.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: I mean, you know -

BOLDUAN: Use it under the advisement of your doctor.

CUOMO: Right. BOLDUAN: I mean that's -

GUPTA: Exactly. And doctors, you know, myself included, should be - should be educated and trained in this.


CUOMO: Now, Sanjay has a special investigation into this. I hope one of the questions they answer is that Sanjay supposedly gained 13 pounds during this investigation.

PEREIRA: Come on. Come on. Oh, no.

BOLDUAN: And his new-found love for Nutter Butters, which is so weird.

CUOMO: And I'm just -

GUPTA: I'm coming up with new medicines, but I'm not sure there's anything that's going to work for Cuomo --

PEREIRA: That's going to fix this, right?

CUOMO: Word on the street is, my sources tell me - all right, and it is called, obviously, "Weed." A very provocative title. Only need one word for it. It airs this Sunday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Thanks for bringing it to us.

GUPTA: You got it.

BOLDUAN: A fascinating look into this. I'm going to (INAUDIBLE).

PEREIRA: Whose hand was that, doctor? Whose hand was that? Did you see the hand?

GUPTA: Cuomo's.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Sanjay.

PEREIRA: Looked kind of familiar.


PEREIRA: Uh-huh.

BOLDUAN: He's got nothing to say.

GUPTA: Chris is -

CUOMO: It's just all so absurd.

BOLDUAN: It's all so absurd, as he giggles and turns red.

PEREIRA: Uh-huh. BOLDUAN: All right. We've got much more news coming up on NEW DAY, including, it's a subject not many people want to talk about, but there's a new viral video that's breaking down barriers and it's gone -- really taken over the Internet. A very sensitive subject for pre- teen girls.

CUOMO: But, you know, the old water skiing squirrel, like that's as good as it got. No, no, no. The bear on the jet ski. And you can be weed-free and still appreciate it, coming up.

BOLDUAN: I'm surprised none of us called it craft (ph).


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

A provocative viral video has some applauding and others feeling a little uncomfortable with it, as they probably should, and that's the point, maybe. It's an ad dealing head on with a very delicate topic. A girl's first menstrual period but it tackles the subject like you have never seen it before.

And CNN's Kelly Wallace, our digital correspondent, who takes on many of these sensitive issues --


BOLDUAN: -- you took a look at this ad and what it says to us.

WALLACE: Yes, so like nothing you have seen before, indeed. I think Chris is already blushing there.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: He is turning red. Look at his face. This is the point.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: This is tough. This is tough.

BOLDUAN: This is the point.

WALLACE: It is -- it's an ad that's trying to get the conversation going about Aunt Flo's monthly visit in a humorous, shame-free way. And judging by the response online, it seems to be working.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just a big random loser and then things changed. I got my period.

WALLACE: This is not your mother's period ad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Its way more comfortable than cardboard and the protection I have been looking for.

WALLACE: Forget the commercials that made Aunt Flow sound like a horrible relative, in this one she is a red badge of courage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was the first one to get it. So I was like the expert. I became the camp gyno. WALLACE: With five million views on YouTube in a week, it has become an Internet sensation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a serious responsibility.

WALLACE: The brain child of Hello Flow, a company offering a monthly subscription tampon service and period starter kits for girls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole camp started getting care packages in the mail with tampons and panty-liners and candy.

WALLACE: The ad has left some dads blushing but women say it's about time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It wasn't something where they were trying to hide it like other like ads about your period.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know a lot of people find their periods uncomfortable, but actually it's kind of like having mine because I feel like more of a woman and I feel more mature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is who we are. Live it, wear it, be it. I'm a spokesperson for the period, yehey.


WALLACE: Actually, maybe Camp Gyno is helping more girls unlike their moms before them feel empowered. Not ashamed, period.


WALLACE: And a lot of moms are watching this ad with their girls. One mom I talked to for the piece I did on she said they've watched it about ten times. She said they've laughed. She said it (inaudible) a girl's period and makes it more of a source of pride and power.

Chris is still red.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: How about dads watching with the daughters.

BOLDUAN: Dads are the ones that need to be watching.

CUOMO: Why, why -- wait, why do I need to watch this?

WALLACE: Because --


BOLDUAN: You don't --


CUOMO: I'm not sure why I am here right now.

PEREIRA: One thing you probably realize.

CUOMO: Sanjay is getting nervous.


GUPTA: I have three daughters.

PEREIRA: -- out there that are having to deal with this uncomfortable topic.

And it's just nature. This is important. And it's just nature.

WALLACE: Some single dads, some stay-at-home dads and, also you know what I think it is. It's that open conversation that we don't want. If you feel embarrassed about it, then the girls, your daughters might feel embarrassed about it. So if you feel comfortable if you go into that store and you buy them their tampons they might --

GUPTA: Let's make a pinky promise to not be embarrassed by this.

CUOMO: You know whatever. I hear what you're saying, but no. I mean look, obviously you want them to be comfortable with their bodies and what is going to happen. They have to be in as much control themselves. I got two daughters, you've got three, I grew up you know under the thumb of three sisters and a mother, I respect that.


CUOMO: And I did have to go and buy them and I did not respect that. And I would have rather been beaten with a stick than having to go in there. But I get it, but it makes, you know I don't know that it's a daddy conversation. I'm open to it, it's great, my kid's 10, it's great to know that this is coming, thanks for reminding me of that. But if it helps the girls then it's ok.

BOLDUAN: I think regardless this is a kind of conversation that's needing to be had.

CUOMO: I never want to have it.


PEREIRA: Well the girl is a little young in this. That's the only thing I wondered about.

WALLACE: You know and the founder of the ads said they were looking for actually someone a little older but that this actress just knocked their socks off.

CUOMO: But it's coming younger and younger.

WALLACE: It is. That's the point. I interviewed women whose daughters got it at age 10, which is young.

PEREIRA: All right.

BOLDUAN: Kelly, thank you. Doctor, emphasis on doctor, seriously.

GUPTA: I've been to Iraq and Afghanistan --

CUOMO: I know it's like it's not even close. I'll take a tornado over this any day.

WALLACE: Sanjay's daughters you can call me.

CUOMO: All right after that, never more than now, because, really, it's about just not wanting your kids to ever grow up to be honest. Definitely really is as I still see my daughter like this and now I have to think about this.

So you know what I need "The Good Stuff". You hear the music, it's good.

Today's edition: walking a mile in another man's shoes or in this case, sneakers. Today we profile a fashion maven and self-professed sneaker nut who realized sometimes fashion is about more than just style, it's about dignity.


ANDRE MCDONALD, FASHION DESIGNER: My name Andre McDonald. I'm the founder of from the sole. It's basically a nonprofit organization where people donate sneakers. The repurpose of sneaker, we clean the sneaker take the inner soles out and wash them.

We go around New York City. One thing in fashion of having all these clothes you realized you don't really need that. And I realize that there are people, what we want, there are people in the world that need. Some people didn't get a sneaker they wearing for a while and then they give it and they move on to the next. But that sneakers you get rid of, someone needs that.


BOLDUAN: How about that.

CUOMO: Just giving them sneakers. Giving them shoes and you know what he's also giving them dignity. That's why we said it. You know especially the people that he is working with, homeless people in New York right now but he has plans to expand to other cities. You can find out how to donate your sneakers or probably more importantly your money on the group's Facebook page.

And again if somebody who find a way to help other people who went outside themselves --

BOLDUAN: Small things.

CUOMO: -- did something more and that's the message is that you can help these people. Think about how often you walk past a homeless person and you don't want to look at them and why because there's an embarrassment about it. And this is a way of overcoming it and realizes we're all connected. And we got this story from you out there. Send us more. Please, let us be able to keep telling you "The Good Stuff".

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY we've seen squirrels on water skis that's old news. Now we've got a jet skiing bear. I'm trying to keep Gupta around for this one.

CUOMO: Yes he's an expert on everything.

BOLDUAN: That's Berman's award of the day award.


CUOMO: You know the music, you know the man. John Berman is here to give us his NEW DAY award of the day award.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Today I bring you life imitating art or imitating squirrel. It is one of our favorite scenes from "Anchorman". Look.


WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: His name is Nutty the squirrel and he's three years old. How about that? That squirrel can water ski.


BERMAN: All right. That is impressive, but not as impressive as this. In Alaska, there was a bear that tried to beat that. Yes, folks, that is a bear on a jet ski. Ron Burgundy very impressed.

But there are serious matters to discuss here. Let me move on. In Los Angeles a restaurant there is going to serve something that will blow your mind. They are serving water, folks. They are launching a 45-page water tasting menu with waters from all over the world. I'm told much of it will taste, in fact, like water. The most expensive actually comes from California.

To help you choose the right water, they will have a water sommelier. So our award today goes to this restaurant there. They win the "there is such a thing as a water sommelier" award.

And if that doesn't do it for we have a bear on jet skis.

CUOMO: Well, it was a great intro to a segment with nothing to do with it.

BOLDUAN: No, but the good part is that the most expensive water is from California, not imported.

BERMAN: Indeed.

BOLDUAN: Just think about that.

CUOMO: Thank you JB.

PEREIRA: We have to go.

CUOMO: Take a break. Consider amongst yourselves.


BOLDUAN: That is it for us on NEW DAY --

PEREIRA: "CNN NEWSROOM" with Don Lemon starts right now. That's my boo.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Did you just say that. Someone was talking in my ear. And I just heard "That's my boo". I hope you are talking about me, Michaela.

BOLDUAN: She was.

LEMON: I am so not happy to see you guys this morning.


LEMON: Because that means neither of us won the Powerball and we both have to work for the rest of our lives.

BOLDUAN: It's a sad thing.

LEMON: All right, guys. Have a great day. Nice show. I'll see you soon.

PEREIRA: Bye, Don.