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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
U.S. Caught in Polar Vortex; Interview with Chris Kluwe; Life or Death Battle for Jahi McMath's Family; Liz Cheney Drops Out of Senate Race; Bull Launches Woman Into Stands; Gone To Pot: Who's Cashing In On Colorado's New Growth Industry; New Rescue Mission Off Antarctica
Aired January 6, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Let us know what you think of Jay Carney's new look. I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching. "AC 360" starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Don, thanks.
Good evening, everyone. Tonight a deep freeze gets deeper, and you'll be feeling it even if you're some place warm right now.
From record-lows to thousands of flight cancellations, we'll tell you what you need to know.
Also tonight, he says he's confident he was forced out of the NFL because he stood up for marriage equality. The always outspoken Chris Kluwe's first televised interview since leaving the Minnesota Vikings.
And later inside the great Colorado green rush. Part one of our special series, "Gone to Pot." The big business and it's growing bigger of legal marijuana.
We begin tonight with cold that can kill in minutes, that freeze for big parts of the country for days on end.
Take a look. This is not Antarctica. This is Detroit where shipping traffic is caught in the ice and temperatures are well below zero.
Look at that picture.
Elsewhere planes are grounded, schools are closed, hospitals, first responders on emergency footing. Meantime, traditionally cold places are now warm, all because the weather pattern that makes winter cold just couldn't stay put.
More from Stephanie Elam.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Icy cold temperatures gripping the United States. The coldest in nearly 20 years. The cause, a weather phenomenon known as a polar vortex. It makes temperatures plummet to major lows where you least expect it. Just today it was warmer in Anchorage, Alaska, than it was in southern cities like Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Here in Minneapolis, it hovered below zero in the double-digits, but it actually felt like 40 below zero. This bitterly cold arctic air mass is not only potentially one for the record books, but the zero degree chill is downright dangerous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 10 to 15 minutes we're looking at a potential for frostbite. So for our kids who are walking to school or have to wait at the bus stop, that's extremely dangerous. We don't want to put them in that situation.
ELAM: The cold temperatures forced the closing of this school in Illinois and many other districts in the Midwest. In Minnesota alone, 2,000 public schools were closed today affecting more than 840,000 students.
And cities throughout the nation are making plans to bring homeless people off the street.
Snowy conditions prompted this spirited snowball fight in Indianapolis on Sunday. But in other parts of the Midwest including Missouri, poor visibility and snow-packed roads became a challenge for drivers.
A winter weather mix made a mess at airports prompting massive delays and more than 3800 flight cancellations today. Roughly the same number got cancelled on Sunday. That's when this Delta plane skidded off an icy runway at JFK airport. No one was hurt and the plane was towed with passengers on board back to the gate.
As many as 140 million Americans are feeling this freeze, which is expected to stick around for at least a few more days.
COOPER: So, Stephanie, you're in Minneapolis, how cold is it there right now? And how -- I mean, you look miserably cold. How cold is it expected to get over the next couple of days?
ELAM: It is pretty miserable, Anderson. That's true. It's negative 15 right now, but if you factor in the wind chill, which is really the problem, it is negative 39 they said right now. So that's what it feels like. It is brutal with the wind around here.
Now the relief is coming at the end of the week, by Thursday, it should be, like, one whole degree or three degrees. And then it'll go up to 19 degrees and that I have to say sounds actually pretty good right now -- Anderson.
COOPER: I understand it's so cold there you can actually throw hot water in the air and it turns to snow, is that true?
ELAM: I saw this last night for the first time, blew my mind. We got some hot water here for you. Let's see if it works right now, Anderson. Live TV. Here we go.
COOPER: That's crazy. ELAM: All right. It has to be really hot. It has to be really, really hot and if you do that, then you get the mist out there.
COOPER: That is crazy.
ELAM: It's some unbelievable science project. Yes.
COOPER: I thought you were just clutching some warm coffee. I was going to make fun of you because I've never seen a reporter clutching coffee during a live shot. That's incredible.
COOPER: Stephanie --
ELAM: No, it was all just for this trick.
COOPER: I don't know who you pissed off to get this assignment but I do appreciate you being with us. Thank you.
Stephanie Elam, braving the cold temperatures all day.
Now to Chad Myers in Atlanta for a broader look on these wild temperature swings and what to expect next.
So, Chad, what is the latest?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's still going to be cold for four more days in a lot of cities. So what you feel now is what you're going to have for a long time. Even into the weekend. Thirty- eight below is what it feels like in Minneapolis, 35 below in Milwaukee. So big cities, tens of millions of people feeling this. Also the pets are feeling it as well. Make sure that they are not left outside in this kind of weather.
It's 34 in New York. And as you say, that's great, it's nice and warm here. Yes, but it's two in Altoona, and that weather is moving that way. By tomorrow morning New York City is down to 11. Boston 54 today, down to 17 tonight and 12 tomorrow morning as we work our way into Wednesday.
It does warm up a little bit, at least by the end of the week. We start to see a little bit of an almost to normal -- I guess that was what Stephanie was getting to, hey, up to three. At least we're positive. Nashville seven, Atlanta 16. Everything frozen here.
When I lived in D.C., it got down to 20. And all the apartment managers would say, you know, turn the water on, let it drip because otherwise it's going to get down to seven, it's not 20. We're so far below -- I mean, these are just sublime type temperatures. What you can do to try to help your pipes from that freezing, if you don't have kids or pets or chemicals under the sink, is open those sink doors, at least some of the heat gets in there and you don't get that cold air trapped under your sink and all those pipes freeze. Because when they melt, when those pipes melt, all that water just goes everywhere. There's our low tonight in Atlanta, seven degrees. Schools are closed because they don't want kids to stand on the bus stop. I can completely understand that. They don't make clothes in Atlanta like they make them for Minneapolis. They're just not that warm.
Atlanta should be 52, by Thursday, 42. That might feel like a day at the beach.
COOPER: Chad, what exactly is a polar vortex?
MYERS: I have that -- I have that somewhere. What we have on a normal day, there's the North Pole right through there. You have a little jet stream going around the North Pole, keeping the cold air up here where it's supposed to be. But when you get a dip in this vortex, in this low that goes all the way down to New Orleans, all that cold air that's supposed to be making more sea ice is now down here making ice in the Midwest and the northeast.
That's exactly how it happens. It's a big trough in the low pressure, a big trough right here in this jet stream. All that cold air goes straight south right to us.
COOPER: Unbelievable. All right. Chad, appreciate that.
From weather now to sports.
In football punting traditionally means dropping back, giving up the attack for a while. That is not, however, how Chris Kluwe plays the game on or off the field. As a punter for the Minnesota Vikings he used his foot as an offensive weapon. Off the field he did the same with his words, pushing loudly and frequently for marriage equality. Same-sex marriage for gays and lesbians.
Too loudly, he now says, for his team which released him before the 2013 season. And now he's speaking out about that. In Deadspin under the headline, "I was an NFL Player until I was Fired by Two Cowards and a Bigot" -- he's talking about his former coaches -- Kluwe highlights how he claims uncomfortable management that came with his views and the bigotry he says he encountered from one of the coaches.
A little more than a month before the team released him, I asked Chris what was driving him to speak out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I'm interested why you have been so vocal on this issue? Because you don't see a lot of players coming forward and speaking out on this issue, straight players who are taking very public stand this. What was your evolution on this?
CHRIS KLUWE, FORMER PUNTER, MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Well, I've always been raised to treat other people the way I would like to be treated. It's a fairly simple philosophy. A lot of -- you know, a lot of religions have it as a core tenet, and to me, it was the fact that people are not being treated fairly. If I am free to marry my wife and to raise my children, why are other people not free to do the same thing? That's what America is founded on, the freedom to live your own life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Chris Kluwe joins us again now tonight. He's taking part currently in Athlete Ally, and All Out Principle 6 campaign in support of nondiscrimination of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. He's also the author of "Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football and Assorted Absurdities."
Chris, it's good to have you on the program again. I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. This article you wrote, and the headline is, "I was an NFL Player until I was Fired by Two Cowards and a Bigot," one of the cowards you talk about is your former head coach, the bigot, you say, is the special teams coordinator, the coach on the Minnesota Vikings.
You say he said vocally to you, over repeatedly -- what you describe as homophobic comments. At one point he said something about we should round up all the gays, send them to an island and then nuke it until it glows. He said that you were going to hell along with the other gays.
Did other people, other teammates hear him say these things?
KLUWE: Yes, there are -- there are witnesses to all the things I put in that piece on Deadspin. And, you know, I made sure that I had witnesses because otherwise that's a very easy defamation of character case. And you know it would be -- would be pretty easy for him to prevail on the court of law.
COOPER: Because, that coach, particularly the special teams coordinator, he categorically denies this, he says he has gay family members. What did you make of that?
KLUWE: Well, you know, it's not like he's going to come out and say, yes, I said all those things, please end my career now, you know, generally these things go through a certain legal process. But I'm 100 percent confident in everything that I related as how it happened and really encouraged by the fact that the Vikings are taking it seriously and opening an independent investigation because I think, you know, once they talk with people, they'll find out what happened.
COOPER: The thing about this -- independent investigation, and this is being run by two attorney, I believe, maybe one -- a former judge or current judge that they don't have subpoena powers, so it's up to the players whether or not they want to cooperate or whether they just want to say, well, I don't remember what this person may have said.
Are you confident players will step forward and back up your account?
KLUWE: Yes, I'm confident because, you know, it's the right thing to do, and then also, one of the things that I'm going to push for and will absolutely demand, is the fact that there must be anonymity for these witnesses because being blackballed in the NFL is a very real possibility. And that's not something I'm willing to, you know, force my friends, my former teammates to submit to. And if it means interviewing all members of the 2012 Vikings in order to make sure that no one is singled out, then, you know, that's what it takes.
COOPER: I read your article that you wrote, and I mean, it is very detailed. Have you been keeping notes all along about encounters you had with some of these coaches and things they specifically said?
KLUWE: I didn't start keeping notes until April, like I said in the article, when they drafted a punter, and it was clear to me that my job was done with the Vikings because up until that point I was under the impression that I would still be playing for the Minnesota Vikings. I had done everything the coaches wanted me to do, my stats were the same as they'd always been. And I had no reason to think that they were letting me go.
No one had ever said they were dissatisfied with my performance. But once they did draft a punter, I realized, OK, I need to -- I need to get all this stuff down now while it's fresh and make sure that I have it because this is a story I would like to tell later.
COOPER: The team has said categorically, look, this was just about your performance on the football field. Nothing about you speaking out. That the owner of the team at one point praised you for some of the things you were saying and your coach, according to you, seemed surprised by that, and said, well, I guess I've been overruled.
To those who are hearing this maybe at home and say, look, you're just -- you're just bitter you got fired and you're coming up with this, this is just sour grapes, what do you say?
KLUWE: Well, I would say that I don't have anything against the Vikings organization itself. I had eight wonderful years with the Minnesota Vikings. And it was really great to hear Zygi Wilf come up to me and proclaim his support. What I would say is I had a problem with three individual people within the Vikings and the fact remains is that I did everything my coaches wanted me to do consistently throughout those eight years.
No one ever told me that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do. And the only thing that changed from year eight to when I got cut is I started speaking out on same-sex rights.
COOPER: The coach of your team when you did start speaking out, several times said to you, please stop doing this, and he quoted another coach who said, you know, something to the effect of, you know, a smart coach once told me, a player shouldn't talk about politics and religion.
Did -- was there at any point where you felt, you know what, maybe I should just stop speaking out?
KLUWE: Well, that was -- that was a decision that I made very early on when I first committed to working with Minnesotans for Marriage Equality is that whenever I do something, I'm going to do it to the utmost of my ability. I mean, if I commit, you're getting 100 percent of what I have. And so that meant that if I was going to speak out in favor of same-sex rights, then, you know, I wasn't going to back down.
I'm going to take this all the way, which means treating people the right way, and so when it came to my head coach saying, hey, you need to stop speaking out about this, I said, well, no, that's not the right thing to do. You know, we are all American citizens, we all deserve the right to live our own lives free of oppression, and this is something that I think is important. This is something that I think needs to be addressed.
COOPER: Is it possible that what they were annoyed about wasn't necessarily the topic you were speaking out on, on same-sex marriage, but on the fact that you were speaking out, that you were getting attention, that some -- maybe they felt it was overshadowing what the team was doing or overshadowing other players on the team?
I mean, you don't see a lot of NFL players speaking out on a lot of issues.
KLUWE: Yes, I mean, it's possible they felt, yes, maybe we don't want our punter to be known in the media, but again, like I said, this -- I felt that this was a cause worth speaking out on, and I think for the people who like to make the -- you're causing a distraction argument, a lot of sports pundits picked the Minnesota Vikings to have no more than five wins that year, and we ended up going 10-6 and going to the playoffs, so, you know, if that was a distraction, well, then, it obviously affected the team in a good way.
COOPER: Would you consider some sort of legal action against the team if you feel you were fired unfairly?
KLUWE: I'm hoping to avoid that, because like I said I really don't have any qualms with the Vikings organization as a whole. This really is between me and three specific individuals, and I'm very encouraged by the Vikings opening an independent investigation with these two individuals because they have a good track record of getting to the truth and getting to it the right way.
So, you know, legal option isn't off the table, but it is definitely an option I would prefer to avoid because I still have friends in that franchise. I know a lot of people there, and really I'm just hoping to get this over with as soon as possible and get the right thing done.
COOPER: Do you think you'll be able to play again somewhere else? Do you think another team will have you? I mean, it's one thing to speak out, it's another thing to write this article saying your former coach is a coward and the special coordinating coach is a bigot?
KLUWE: Yes, that pretty much threw the stick of dynamite on that bridge.
But -- no, I think my time in the NFL is done. I mean, you can't write an article like that and expect to play again. And really, that's also why I'm going to insist on anonymity for the players, you know, to -- who witnessed this. It's because it's very much this could affect their careers, if you become known as a player that ratted on another player or ratted on a coach, then that affects your future employment.
I mean, the Jonathan Martin case is an excellent example of that, and that Jonathan Martin may not play in the NFL again. Not through anything he did, but just from the fact that he potentially broke the locker room code of silence, so to speak.
COOPER: Well, Chris, listen, I wish you the best, and I appreciate you coming on tonight. Thank you.
KLUWE: Yes. No problem. Thank you for having me on.
COOPER: We'll obviously continue to follow what happens to Chris Kluwe.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. Tweet us using hash tag "ac 360."
Just ahead, a young girl leaves the hospital with a death certificate from the local coroner. But renewed hope from her family. The question is, does medical signs have any hope to offer? We'll talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about this.
Later, just now learning why Liz Cheney dropped out of her Senate race ending what became a bare-knuckled political brawl for one of America's leading political families. "Raw Politics" ahead on 360.
COOPER: There are new developments in a story that is heartbreaking no matter how you look at it. The emotionally charged legal and medical battle over Jahi McMath. She's 13 years old and last month she suffered severe complications after a tonsillectomy at Children's Hospital in Oakland, California. She got her tonsils taken out.
Her doctors and a judge have declared Jahi brain dead. And under California law, that means she is legally deceased. Her family, though, believes otherwise. Sunday she left the hospital.
More on that from Dan Simon now.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is out of the hospital now, still attached to a ventilator, rolling down a dark highway in a private ambulance. Her destination is still a secret. But Jahi McMath's future is just as certain as it was several weeks ago. She is medically dead, according to doctors, only a machine can keep her heart from stopping. Yet her family has refused to accept it, and even now speaks in optimistic tones.
OMARI SEALEY, JAHI MCMATH'S UNCLE: I hope to have her come back home with 100 percent full recovery.
SIMON: Jahi's mother has said she'll never let her go.
NAILAH WINKFIELD, JAHI'S MOTHER: She's not a corpse up there. She is a pretty 13-year-old girl up there that I gave life to.
SIMON: So together she and her family's attorney secured what they believe is a victory to get the teenager to a long-term facility that will look over Jahi indefinitely. Where exactly she's been taken they will not say because this case has produced such volatile rhetoric.
CHRISTOPHER DOLAN, FAMILY ATTORNEY: We've had people make threats from around the country. It's sad that people act that way. So for Jahi's safety and those around her we will not be saying where she went or where she is.
SIMON: We do know, however, that a rehab center for brain injuries in New York has publicly welcomed her.
ALLYSON SCERRI, FOUNDER, NEW BEGINNINGS COMMUNITY CENTER: This little angel is a true survivor. She's a strong little girl. Eighth grade, 13 years old, she's in there, and she's fighting all the way. Her heart's beating strong. The power of prayer, she can come through this.
SIMON: And these kinds of statements medical ethicist say are the problem and does the family no favors.
DR. JOSEPH FINS, CENTRAL MEDICAL COLLEGE: This is a tragedy of huge proportions. Anyone who has lost a child, you know, our sympathies have to go out to them. But I think to be most sympathetic is not to perpetuate this intermediate state.
SIMON: But attorney Chris Dolan who has been the family's fiercest advocate insists this is about parental choice, about who has the final say on pulling the plug.
DOLAN: What the family wanted was a chance. And I think that's what real important to understand is what this legal action was really about. It was about this girl named Jahi, but it was also about every parent in the United States who should have the right to make that choice, not a hospital who comes in and says today is the day your daughter dies.
SIMON: And therein lies the problem, say doctors and ethicists, because Jahi did die really a month ago.
WINKFIELD: Please give us some more days.
SIMON: And so continues the tug of war between a grieving family and those who subscribe to painful medical realities. It's also a case that seems far from over.
COOPER: Well, that's certainly true tonight. That was Dan Simon reporting. As you just saw, Jahi's parents believe there is still hope for their daughter. Whether or not their hope is justified, experience suggests that being as they are at the intersection of faith and medical fact, it's an agonizing place to be.
As a practicing neurosurgeon, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been there. His family has grappled with moments just like this one.
Sanjay, so she's left the hospital. It sounds like she's going to end up in this long-term care facility. What's her prognosis at this point?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, her prognosis is she has been declared brain dead and, you know, that's an irreversible condition. So there's really nothing to be said about prognosis or any of the other interventions that may take place in terms of affecting her prognosis.
That's a -- it's a tough thing to hear, it's a tough thing to say, frankly. But that's the truth when it comes to brain death, we are talking about death. This is just another term for it.
COOPER: Is -- I mean, is brain death different than a persistent vegetative state or being in a coma?
GUPTA: It is. And I know you've done some reporting on this as well, Anderson. People who have come -- who've seemingly recovered from deep comas.
GUPTA: This is different. And terms matter here. People can be in a coma and still have brain activity. They can be in a persistent vegetative state and still have brain activity. With brain death, there is no brain activity. The higher brain functions as well as the lower brain functions which control your reflexes in terms of breathing, controlling your heart rate, all these sort of basic functions of the body.
That part is not working anymore. The only way that you have any of those functions at all is artificially through these machines.
COOPER: Her family, though, is saying that she responds to touch. Is that -- is that possible with somebody who's been pronounced brain dead?
GUPTA: Well, people can have movements that are more reflexive and more as a result of activity in the spinal cord as opposed to the brain. They're sometimes called myoclonic activity which can sort of the jerking type movements. And again none of this is easy to talk about and, you know, I've had these conversations with families. The person who is brain dead, obviously, is experiencing nothing.
So it's not in response to touch. Could it be coincidental in some way? Perhaps. But, you know, oftentimes as you might expect, families see what they want to see, and that may be what's happening here as well.
COOPER: It's such a tragedy. Sanjay, I appreciate the update, thanks.
GUPTA: You got it, thank you.
COOPER: Yes. Just so sad.
As always, you can obviously find more on this story and others at CNN.com.
Just ahead tonight, new details on why Liz Cheney pulled out of the race for U.S. Senate seat in Wyoming.
Also we're following the money in Colorado where the big business of pot is now legal. We'll take you inside.
COOPER: Hey, welcome back. In "Raw Politics" tonight, some new information on why Liz Cheney has dropped out of the race for U.S. Senate seat in Wyoming. In a statement she cited serious health issues in her family.
She was trying to unseat Republican Mike Enzi. Now polls last year showed him with a big lead.
Cheney's campaign was rocky to say the least. Some accused her of being a carpet bagger who was trying to coast on her father's coattails and connections. Then there was her very public feud with her gay sister Mary over same-sex marriage.
Chief national correspondent John King broke the story, he joins me now with some new details -- John.
So, John, the statement only cites serious family health issues as the reason for dropping out. Do we know anything more?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I do know more, Anderson, from conversations with several close friends of Liz Cheney and I'm going to respect the family's privacy but there are some cynics who say she's just quitting because she was losing the race.
I can tell you from these close friends and associates that she is dealing right now with two separate health issues and personal crisis with two of her daughters, and that she just finally decided that the cumulative pressures that she needed to be a mom right now and not a candidate.
But from all indications of the reporting is that these are serious challenges for the family.
COOPER: She was far behind in the polls. I mean, did she have a chance of actually winning?
KING: It's a great question. Again, the cynics are saying, well, there were no independent media polls, we should make that clear. But there were some polls conducted by political organizations that showed her, most of them, by -- trailing by 2 to 1 or more to the incumbent Senator Mike Enzi.
I would say this as a caution. Number one, her campaign was not off to a great start. Number two, she's never ran for public office before and some of that showed, meaning her inexperience showed and there were some embarrassing moments. But if you look at the history in the last couple of cycles of these Tea Party and conservative challengers who take on Senate incumbents or establishment candidates -- Mike Lee is a senator from Utah now, he beat Bob Bennett, he closed very late in that race.
Senator Richard Lugar was defeated in Indiana by a Tea Party challenger. That race changed very much late. Rand Paul, the United States senator now, ran in Kentucky against an established candidate, that race closed very late.
So Liz Cheney was behind in the polls we could see but I would not by any means say that she didn't have a chance because often --
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- established candidate. That race closed very late. So Liz Cheney was behind in the polls we could see, but I would not by any means say that she didn't have a chance. Often the race was about her early on, which is unusual because of her celebrity, the race was about Liz Cheney. Come primary day had she stayed in, it would have been more and more about the incumbent, Mike Enzi.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You know, allegations of her being a carpet bagger. She's certainly had a lot of money behind her, but she kind of a neo-con in terms of her foreign policy. Not the traditional Tea Party candidate.
KING: Exactly right. Look, she was someone who is coming in and saying that Mike Enzi is too willing to go along, to get along, too open to having conversation with the Democratic president, Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues in the Senate. Not tough enough on some issues or at least she was tougher. This is part of the philosophical debate going on in the Republican Party. You have some who have taken a break from her dad's neo-con views. Liz Cheney is the opposite, very aggressive saying America has a strong foreign policy. This was an interesting race had it gone forward to air out some of the civil war philosophical disagreements in the party, but we won't get that now.
COOPER: And even philosophical disagreements within her own family, obviously with her sister on the whole subject of same sex marriage. If you had to wager a guess in terms of her political career, you wouldn't rule out a future run? KING: I would not rule out a future reason. And I would definitely not rule out future political activity. You mentioned the disagreement, the very public spat with her sister over gay marriage, played out right around the holidays. Look, that was part of this too. Let's be honest. This is a combination of things.
This was the trouble with both of her daughters. This is the trouble with her sister. This is a first time candidate. This was, yes, part of the fact that she was losing early was part of the way too. So cumulative effect of all that, the stress and the pressure she decided she needed to be a mom right now and take care of her family.
Liz Cheney wants to be active. Most of her friends believe she will run again, Anderson. Even if she doesn't run, she'll be active and conservative for us as you can be sure of that.
All right, John King, thanks very much. There's a lot more happening tonight, Susan Hendricks has a 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a federal judge has ruled that Chicago's ban on gun sales is unconstitutional. The 2010 law was passed by the city council. The judge stayed his ruling to give city officials time to file an appeal.
In another big ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has put same sex marriages in Utah on hold, while state officials appeal the decision allowing the union. Last month, a federal district court struck down Utah's ban on same sex marriages ruling it violates the principles of equal protection and due process.
Mary Kay Letourneau, the Washington State teacher who served more than seven years in jail for raping one of her sixth grade students was arrested again today. She's accused of driving with a suspended license and failure to appear in court. Letourneau married that former student in 2005. They have two children.
In a festival in Costa Rica, an 1100-pound bull charges and throws a woman right into the stands. There she goes, luckily she survived, she told a local TV station she was terrified at the moment, but now she can laugh about it. Seeing that video is amazing.
COOPER: Unbelievable. All right, Susan, thanks very much.
Just ahead, a lot of people are looking to cash in on Colorado's new growth sector, marijuana. You may be surprised by who is looking to invest. We're going to check in on the rescue mission still underway in Antarctica. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Colorado as you know, began the year with the pioneering move becoming the first state where you can buy recreational pot, marijuana. The lines have been long. Sales brisk. It's a story with huge implications and a lot of different facets. We're going to be focusing on a lot of the different angles in our special series "All This Week Gone To Pot." In a new CNN/ORC poll we commissioned 55 percent said they think marijuana should be legal, more than half. That's a big shift in support. It was 26 percent in 1996, just 18 percent in 1973. Here's another measure, today, just 35 percent said smoking marijuana is morally wrong compared with 70 percent back in 1987.
Over the next few days, we're going to look at why so many now support the use of marijuana and why so many still oppose it. No matter where you stand on the issue, one fact is undeniable, pot is big business and in Colorado, many people are looking to cash in, including the state's treasury, Randi Kaye reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which one is this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hongkong --
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Grove in Denver, it's hardly business as usual. This marijuana dispensary has gone from serving 25 to 50 customers a day, selling medical marijuana to about 400 people daily. Now, that recreational pot is legal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We definitely did get in at the right time. We were able to get in on the bandwagon with the recreational.
KAYE: Erin and her husband own the Grove. Before this, they were in the real estate business. When they opened their doors on January 1st, the first day pot was legal here for those 21 and older, they were swamped by customers.
ERIN PHILLIPS, STRAINWISE: It was very, very busy. We had people ling up before the doors opened. Throughout the day we pretty much had a three to three and a half hour wait. We had people coming in the door just stunned. They were all like kids in a candy store.
KAYE: Which is exactly why investment groups are sinking money into Colorado. Arc View Investment has dropped $3 million nationwide on cannabis companies. A million of that right here in Colorado. Arc View's CEO believe cannabis is the next great American industry and predicting 64 percent growth in the next year. Shawn Phillips says dispensaries can use investor money.
SHAWN PHILLIPS, STRAINWISE: Most retailers spent between $50,000 and $200,000 to get their shops up and going. A large grow could be anywhere from 400,000 to a couple million depending on what they put in it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our bestseller is Jack Flash. It gives you all of the effects, it relaxes you, can put you to sleep. With some of the effects of a Sativa, which will keep you
KAYE (on camera): Can I take a smell of it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. KAYE: It's strong.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very strong.
KAYE (voice-over): They've sold about 20 pounds of marijuana every day. Colorado residents can buy up to an ounce, but the Grove more often sells an 8th of an ounce.
(on camera): So let me give you an idea what an eighth of an ounce looks like. Here at the Grove, this will cost you 60 bucks plus tax so it comes out to about $73. Now one of the reasons that they're setting their prices higher here, is that so they don't run out of supply. This is the learning process, the owners know they have to see how it goes, but they do expect prices to come down.
SHAWN PHILLIPS: I think this could be a very big year for us and the company as a whole. I can't give you specific numbers, but I think that we will do probably two or three times what we did last year based on the numbers we've seen so far this year.
KAYE: The National Cannabis Industry Association is projecting recreational marijuana sales will exceed $200 million in Colorado this year handing the state $67 million in tax revenue.
COOPER: Randi Kaye joins us now live from Denver. Are store owners able to keep up with this high demand, Randi?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, what's crazy is that some dispensaries have actually run out of their supply already, which is incredible because this is just the first week. Here at this grow house, which belongs to Sean and Erin Phillips, who you saw in our story. They as you could see are in no danger of running out of their supply, even though they're open seven days a week. They have 20,000 square feet here filled with marijuana plants -- Anderson.
COOPER: Wow, Randi, appreciate it. Thanks very much. We'll have more all week on this. Brian Schweitzer is the former governor of Montana who fought to keep medical marijuana legal while he was in office. He joins us now. So medical marijuana is legal in your state, which by the way, a lot of people don't even realize, what was your experience with it in Montana.
BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MONTANA: Well, we passed it by initiative, nearly 70 percent of Montana voted for it in 2004. Since the Bush administration was still enforcing federal law, very few people were willing to tread in that territory. There were probably only a few 100 medical marijuana cards that were issued.
After Obama was elected, the holder, Attorney General's Office issued what was called the "Ogden Memo" and this was a fellow who worked there effectively telling us states and I think there 15 of us at that time who had medical marijuana, if your providers followed your state law, they were going to be hands off. So we states that had medical marijuana saw a market increase in the number of consumers and producers. We had about 30,000 people in Montana who were card carrying medical marijuana users. Main street businesses who invited county commissioners and police to come in, wanted to make sure that they were following the letter of the law.
We were in the middle of a legislative session. People were concerned that some of these people that got medical marijuana cards were just dudes that wanted to smoke pot, so they got some doctor to give them a card.
COOPER: Which is an issue, I mean, in a lot of these places in California, it's like that.
SCHWEITZER: Fair enough, we were working on legislation that would close this thing up a little bit. The legislature sent me a bill repealing. I said, wait a minute, 70 percent of Montana voted for this thing and I vetoed it. Let's get this thing right. So we're in the middle of crafting this bill that works. The feds came in, arrested a bunch of these people that were the largest producers and put them in federal prison.
COOPER: While you were watching that piece, you would say be careful folks in Colorado. The federal government still views this as illegal?
SCHWEITZER: I wouldn't trust them. They did it to us in Montana.
COOPER: Do you believe the legalization for recreational purposes should occur?
SCHWEITZER: I think Colorado and Washington is a pretty good experiment. I think the federal government ought to let states decide, if a state doesn't want medical marijuana, don't have it. If the state wants it, let them regulation it.
COOPER: How much money do you think this could bring the states?
SCHWEITZER: It's interesting, Colorado claims it's a 27 percent tax when you consider all the taxes that they are going to put on it and some think it could bring them hundreds of millions of dollars. I don't think we know.
COOPER: To those who say, this is a slippery slope, you're going to encourage young people to start to use it, if it's recreational, what do you say?
SCHWEITZER: Well, we regulate alcohol and we're not supposed to be selling it to people that aren't old enough to buy it. We're not supposed to be using it when we drive on our highways. Sometimes people do. I think probably every city in America, if you want to buy some pot, you can buy some pot from somebody. It's already out there. People have already made those decisions.
Some people smoke pot now and some will smoke after it's legal. I think we need to watch what happens in Colorado and Washington, and if those other 48 states don't want to do that let those states make those decisions. As usual the federal government gets it wrong.
COOPER: Governor Schweitzer, it's always good to have you on. Thank you very much.
SCHWEITZER: Good to be back.
COOPER: Appreciate it. Up next, in another rescue mission off Antarctica after 52 scientists and journalists are pulled from a ship stranded in the ice. We're going to talk to three of them to tell you about the new trouble near the South Pole.
COOPER: A new rescue mission is underway off the coast of Antarctica tonight. Remember those scientists, journalists and crew members whose ship got stuck in ice on Christmas Day, we've been following their ordeal ever since. The good news after nine days trapped on that Russian ship, 52 passengers were rescued, taken by helicopter from a Chinese icebreaker to an Australian icebreaker. That's the good news, they're on the way.
But now the Chinese ship is stuck so is the Russian ship, and a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker is steaming their way to help. Joining us tonight, safe on the Australian ship, Laurence Topham, lead researcher, Chris Turney and Alok Jha. Alec and Lawrence are from Britain's "Guardian" paper.
So Alec, Chris and Lawrence, the last time I spoke to you guys it was New Year's Eve here, New Year's Day where you were. You were in jolly spirits then, how are you now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're doing very well. Can we say a huge thanks for the captains and crew, everyone has been brilliant, it's fantastic to be heading home now?
COOPER: How did the rescue go, the video of it, it looks amazing.
CHRIS TURNEY, EXPEDITION LEADER: Well, what happened was, we were ready for several days, we've been drilled to get our bags packed and a few hours, the helicopter would arrive, and we would be taken off to the shoot along the Chinese icebreaker.
It looked like the ship we were on now, couldn't get to the area. A new plan came into action. The fact that we were there extra days, suddenly we're on board a new ship. We've been trying to get ourselves used to it the last few days.
COOPER: The teams are turning down 25 minutes. We got everyone off the ship, really incredibly well. Everyone was very friendly.
COOPER: Alec, I saw you tweeting about a patch of rough weather, the snowstorm in the southern ocean. That must have been tons of fun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was looking at it from where I'm standing now, which is the back deck of the Aurora, and it was absolutely beautiful for -- all the way -- both sides. It was a massive snow globe, and we're sort of sailing through open water, which is a novelty for us. We were stuck for about ten days. It was beautiful, rough and scary. It was very, very, very cold.
LAURENCE TOPHAM, VIDEO AND INTERACTIVE PRODUCER, "THE GUARDIAN": A moment ago, the ship just sort of turned really quite dramatically. There was a curve in the water, we're trying to work out why, we looked out and there were three beautiful whales swimming by the ship.
COOPER: That's awesome. I understand you're expected to make landfall tomorrow night, are you still on track for that?
TOPHAM: We'll be arriving in Casey. I don't believe we'll be getting off the ship, a lot of logistical work to do. We'll be staying put and keeping busy on the ship while they get on with their important scientific research and stuff.
COOPER: Professor, let me ask you, there has been as you know, some coverage on web sites on climate change skeptics who say, who point to the fact that this was a climate change expedition, and it got caught in the ice. They read into that something about climate change. Can you explain where the ice came from? Why this was an anomaly, why you got caught in the ice?
TURNEY: Yes, absolutely, the key thing here was, this was multiyear ice. This isn't a single year ice. We weren't frozen in as much. This was old ice that was remobilized by the weather, for some of it, that ice, which was incredibly thick got swept up. There does seem to be some confusion, the fact that it was -- it was a lot colder and we were frozen in, this wasn't the case, it was old ice.
ALOK JHA, SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT, "THE GUARDIAN": The professor's being very polite there, I have no such -- there's vulgar stuff out there about this. This wasn't climate change, it was just a weather event, and the ice was old ice, it didn't form this year, so it makes no sense, the arguments make no sense that we're hearing from except ticks out there.
COOPER: In terms -- obviously this has been a huge adventure, what happened, the fact that you're still out there, is there something you will miss the most from this whole experience?
JHA: The food.
TOPHAM: I think waking up every day and being able to see incredible wildlife out your window, when we were in Antarctica, we were surrounded by penguins, and that's one thing you never get tired of.
JHA: That makes me feel bad now. I was also --
TURNEY: And it's -- it was amazing being there. We had an amazing crew. We had that camaraderie where we could carry on. Doing our research, pushing on with our work, we're still continuing as best we can -- they've been so accommodating, some of the other things we wanted to do, heading back north we have not been able to do. Quite frankly, I'm massively relieved everyone's going home safe and sound. TOPHAM: It's a bond between everyone, that we're stuck on this boat together, and having gone through this experience as a group, I think there's a bond that has -- that's developed between everyone.
COOPER: Well, it's something that any of our viewers who have been watching our interviews over the last week or so, will certainly agree with you, there's a bond there. Your spirits have been inspiring to a lot of people around the world, I appreciate that, and I appreciate you talking to us. Thank you and I wish you a speedy trip home.
They're all very jolly all the time. The "Ridiculous" is next.
COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight we have a revolution in comfort, a downright marvel in repurposing. I'm getting ahead of myself, it's just very exciting until now, when he wanted to keep warm, but look like an idiot, you had only a few choices.
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ANNOUNCER: Now there's the Snuggie. The blanket with sleeves, it keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands, use your laptop without being cold or enjoy a snack while staying snuggly warm.
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COOPER: And when I say look like an idiot, I'm referring to myself. Clearly you needed jeans you could sleep in as well.
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ANNOUNCER: Do you love stylish sexy jeans? Do you love soft, comfy pajama bottoms? Now, get the best of both worlds with pajama jeans, the hot new fashion sensation that fits every figure perfectly.
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COOPER: Yes, we have access to pajama jeans. We can get a Snuggie, but one man dared to go even further to ask the question, what if I made pants out of this sweater. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Swantz, part sweater, part pants, all wonderful. As the creator of Swantz puts it, your booty deserves to be as warm as your body.
Clearly the guy can make a billion dollars selling Swantz on late night infomercials, but Swants are for everyone. And on the web site, there's a handy guide to making a fetching pair of do it yourself Swantz.
Essentially step one, take off your pants. Step two, put your legs on the sweater's arm, cut the neck out and saw up the crotch. Spreading this information is your kind of your post-holiday gift to you because if you have an ugly sweater, now you can turn it into an ugly pants and have yourself a merry little Swantzmis, all throughout the bitter cold of winter. Listen, it's cold out there. You need layers. Something long underwear then pajama jeans and the Swantz on top, wrap yourself on a Snuggie or two and you'll be good to go on "The Ridiculist."
That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern for AC LATER. Hope you join us for that. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.