HLN host Nancy Grace faced off with not only her colleague Dr. Drew Pinsky on Tuesday, but the head of a pro-marijuana group as she blamed the drug for the shooting death of a Colorado woman last April.
“I’m not going to let the isolated stories you drag off the Internet impact and affect the millions and millions of Americans who use marijuana responsibly and do not impair or impact society negatively,” National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) chair Norm Kent told Grace. “You’re the one who’s sending out the bad message.”
“Are you saying the 911 call’s not real?” Grace asked, referring to an emergency call placed by the victim, 44-year-old Kristine Kirk.
“No, I’m saying your argument is not real,” Kent told Grace. “You take isolated instances of aberrant behavior and try to make them standardized for all marijuana users. And once and for all, Nancy, have you no conscience? When will this stop? When will you own up to the fact that millions and millions of Americans can light up a joint — and have been since the age of Woodstock — without impairing their families, driving recklessly or endangering people.”
“I was really just looking for an answer to the question,” Grace replied. “But obviously you’re stoned.”
The victim’s husband, 48-year-old Richard Kirk, currently faces murder charges in connection with the shooting. Prosecutors have said that traces of THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — were found in Kirk’s system the night of the shooting. The drug was legalized for recreational use in Colorado in November 2012.
To Grace’s apparent surprise, Pinsky said he was siding with Kent, since authorities recovered not only a partially-eaten marijuana candy and an unsmoked marijuana cigarette from the scene, but an empty bottle of hydrocodone.
Pinsky argued that this opened up the possibility that the suspect was going through withdrawal from hydrocodone when he purchased the marijuana.
“I’m not saying cannabis is not associated with psychotic episodes,” Pinsky explained. “I’m not saying the forensic pathologists are not right — there are human consequences from this drug. But that has nothing to do with the argument about whether it should be legal or illegal.”
Grace, who garnered national attention after she was rebuked by rapper 2 Chainz on her show earlier this month, literally scoffed at Pinsky before telling him, “You’re in our house now, alright?”
“It means you don’t get to talk,” Kent interjected, prompting Grace to tell him to “get it out of his system” before she continued.
“You can’t just throw out a fact unless you have backup for it,” she said, before arguing with Pinsky regarding the case.
Watch video of the discussion, as posted online on Tuesday, below.