Tony Bennett Calls for Drug Legalization Following the Death of Whitney Houston


A day after Whitney Houston’s unexpected death, singer Tony Bennett, music icon and winner of 17 Grammy Awards, paid tribute to the award-winning star at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party. He took this opportunity not only to honor her life and accomplishments and sing a song in her memory, but also to advocate for the legalization of drugs.

(Photo Credit: AP)

In spite of the fact that there is speculation that Houston’s death was drug-related, given her history with drug use (including marijuana), Bennett bravely spoke up about what so many already know: the war on drugs is a failure and is more harmful to society than the drugs themselves. For marijuana offenses alone, there were over 850,000 arrests in 2010, and 88% of those were for simple possession.

Watch this video of Tony Bennett speaking up for change. He gets it, and he had the courage to say so.

(Author’s Edit: Original video was taken down by YouTube user. New video links to CNN’s coverage, with Tony Bennett’s comments, as well as a panel discussion including Arianna Huffington, who echoed Bennett’s sentiments that the war on drugs has failed.)

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Drugs, Safe and Otherwise


In Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle, columnist Jon Carroll went off on an ad that’s run lately in his paper and others promoting a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The drug is called Humira, and Carroll is aghast at warnings in the ad, which advise that people taking this drug might be at risk for fatal infections, heart failure, and “certain types of cancers.”


“I look at the risk-benefit ratio, and I worry,” Carroll concludes, and understandably so.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It can be painful and even disabling.

Of course, there’s a drug that’s a well-documented pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, and there is already some evidence that it may work for rheumatoid arthritis. It doesn’t cause fatal infections, cancer, or heart failure. But you won’t see major drug companies advertising it. Can you name this drug?

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