Stateside: Medical marijuana shortage; Pentagon’s PFAS controversy; Detroit’s “shadow census” | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Medical marijuana shortage; Pentagon’s PFAS controversy; Detroit’s “shadow census”

Jan 18, 2019

Today on Stateside, Michigan regulators allow unlicensed dispensaries and growers to reopen in midst of a medical marijuana shortage. Plus, a software engineer who traded building software for building kitchen cabinets.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Unlicensed dispensaries, growers allowed to operate again to ease medical marijuana shortage

  • With both recreational and medical marijuana now legal in Michigan, you would think it would be easy for people with prescriptions to get a hold of the drug. But there’s actually currently a shortage of medical marijuana in the state.
  • We talked to Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, about what’s behind the shortage, what the state has done to help, and the options for medical marijuana patients.

Artisans of Michigan: A software engineer now engineers cabinetry

  • David Zaret used to build software. But after 20 years of staring at a screen, he decided he’d rather build things in the physical realm. For our latest Artisans in Michigan, we talk to the former engineer about why he made the switch, and the blood and sweat that goes into building high-end kitchen cabinets.
  • Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

What is the Green New Deal? Michigander behind youth-led movement explains

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal created millions of jobs and helped lift the country out of the Great Depression. Today, a group of young activists is pushing for a similar jobs program focused on addressing the impact of climate change. They call it the Green New Deal. 
  • Will Lawrence co-founded the Sunrise Movement, the group pushing for the Green New Deal. We talked to him about the details of the plan, and the politics of making it happen.

Pentagon sought controversial scientist to review dangers of PFAS chemicals

  • A number of active and closed military bases in Michigan, and around the country, are contaminated with chemicals known as PFAS. New reporting from Politico’s Annie Snider finds that the Department of Defense sought to hire a controversial scientist who had previously downplayed the risk of PFAS chemicals. Snider tells us why the Pentagon wanted to hire Michael Dourson, and what that tells us about the department’s efforts to clean up PFAS contamination at its bases.

Political Roundup: Lame duck sweetheart deals; legislators turned lobbysists

  • We talk to our Friday political commentators about a $10 million sweetheart deal passed during the lame duck session, and some former legislators' new roles as lobbyists.
  • Vicki Barnett is the former Mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and a former Republican legislative leader.

Why Detroit is launching its own “shadow census” ahead of 2020 national count  

  • The U.S. Census doesn't kick off until March 2020. But some cities, including Detroit, are collecting their own data to make sure their citizens aren't falling through the cracks.
  • We talk to Victoria Kovari, who is leading the city’s “shadow census,” about the effort to make sure all Detroiters get counted, and why it matters that they do.

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