The piece was reported by Randi Kaye, who rode on a "cannabus" and later reported from a "Puff, Pass and Paint" party, while showing viewers the number of different ways an individual can consume the drug.
Can someone explain why CNN is showing people smoking weed with a bong??!! My kids are watching this for the ball drop and I had to turn it all off! Obviously, they have no idea what to do with the show without Kathy Griffin.— Virginia Meagher (@vameagher) January 1, 2018
C’mon @CNN. You glorify a bunch of white people smoking weed but completely ignore the fact that a bunch of people of color are disproportionately in prison for smoking weed. Let’s leave the sensationalization of white people doing things other people get in trouble for in 2017.— kubi-facts (@JKub_eXtreme) January 1, 2018
Ok black men are IN JAIL for SELLING WEED and CNN is interviewing white people smoking weed and painting.— Jar Jar Binx #1 Thottie (@AnraMcCasland) January 1, 2018
Kaye was reporting from Denver, Colorado, where recreational marijuana usage is legal.
To end the segment, Kaye threw back to host Andy Cohen — who makes frequent references to his own marijuana usage on his Bravo program Watch What Happens Live — by offering up a joint.
Cohen jokingly warned Kaye to pace herself throughout the night.
"Dose yourself properly, Randi. We don't want any trouble from you," he said.
After her segment ended, Cohen turned to Cooper and asked, "Is Randi Kaye like, a notorious stoner that I don't know about?"
"No, not at all. She's just very game to report and go to the front lines on things," replied Cooper.
At one point in the broadcast, Kaye helped a man light up a gas mask bong, at which point Cooper, in New York, covered his face.
"I don't think this is really what a gas mask is used for, but, wow! Okay! This is New Year's Eve Denver style," Kaye said, before Cooper quickly reminded viewers what they were watching was legal in Colorado.
Later, at the "Puff, Pass and Paint" party, Kaye is shown cracking up laughing. Cooper said, with a slight shudder and shrug, "Oh goodness. You're just giggling now, Randi."
Meanwhile, California ushered in 2018 by opening retail cannabis shops for the first time.
The recreational marijuana segment was not the only part of the broadcast CNN viewers disapproved of. Many took to Twitter to express their dismay with Andy Cohen, who replaced Kathy Griffin on this year's special.
Fans wanted Griffin back on the air with Cooper, saying Cohen wasn't as entertaining or funny as Griffin.0comments