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Stateside: Communities reject weed businesses; growth in long-term subs; dark money in Lansing

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This week, three Michigan towns voted to keep marijuana businesses out of their communities.



Today on Stateside, the use of long-term, uncertified substitute teachers has increased tenfold in the past five years. We talk to the Bridge Magazine reporter who broke this story about what it means for the state's neediest students. Plus, documents from a federal court case offer a rare look at how dark money influences Lansing lawmakers. 


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


Three communities rejected weed businesses at the ballot this week. Will more towns follow suit?



Stateside’s conversations with Scott Greenlee and Josh Hovey

  • Michigan voters might have approved recreational use of marijuana, but some towns aren’t as keen on the idea of marijuana businesses opening shop locally. This week, three communities voted to ban marijuana businesses despite legalization. 
  • Scott Greenlee of Greenlee Consulting is one of the leading opponents of legalized marijuana in Michigan. He explains why some communities are less eager to welcome marijuana growers and shops into their towns.
  • Josh Hovey is a spokesman for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. He discusses what these rejections might mean for Michigan’s burgeoning recreational weed industry.


Bridge Magazine analysis finds long-term substitute teachers have increased tenfold in five years


Stateside’s conversation with Ron French


  • Michigan schools are increasingly relying on uncertified, long-term substitutes to teach Michigan students. Reporter Ron French reported on this issue for Bridge Magazine, and he joins Stateside to talk about why this is happening, and which students are most affected. 


Macomb murder conviction overturned because of juror’s racist remarks


Stateside’s conversation with Wade Fink

  • Terry Lamont Wilson was sentenced to first-degree murder in 2013. This week, his conviction was vacated by a Macomb County circuit court because a juror “made racist statements while he was deliberating guilt or innocence,” according to a press release.
  • Wade Fink runs the law firm that worked to vacate Wilson’s sentence. He explains the case, and talks about what happens next for his client. 


Political roundup: Will momentum on gun law changes last? 



Stateside’s conversation with Ken Sikkema and Brandon Dillon

  • In the wake of mass killings in Dayton, Ohio,  El Paso Texas, and at a California food festival, federal Republican lawmakers seem to be more open to changing gun laws than they have in the past. Will that hold true when it comes to Michigan's state Legislature? 
  • We try to answer that question with our Friday political commentators. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan State Senate, and Brandon Dillon is a former Democratic legislator and former Michigan Democratic Party chair.

Newly-released court documents offer a glimpse into dark money’s influence in Lansing


Stateside’s conversation with Jonathan Oosting


  • The federal court case against Republican State Representative Larry Inman is giving the public a rare glimpse at the inner workings of the Capitol. Usually, the state lawmakers are exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests, meaning that communication stays behind closed doors (or computer screens).
  • Reporter Jonathan Oosting from The Detroit News talks about what emails and other documents released as part of the court case have revealed about the role of PAC spending in Lansing. 


Despite enforcement, river boozing still a concern



Interlochen Public Radio’s Taylor Wizner reports

  • After years of alcohol-fueled floats, the National Forest Service banned booze on three popular northern Michigan rivers. Following public outcry, it reversed the ban. Instead, conservation officers have pledged to educate river users and ramp up law enforcement. Taylor Wizner from Interlochen Public Radio reports on how that's going. 

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