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FROM THIS EPISODE

This time next year, 4/20 could have a whole new meaning in California since voters are expected to legalize recreational pot in November. We take a close look at all the marijuana-related ballot proposals and look at what California can learn from pot legalization in Colorado.

Also, a powerful drug that’s much more potent than heroin has been linked to recent overdoses, many fatal, across California. What are state public health officials doing about it?

Next, marine life on the West Coast is being impacted by changes in our oceans due to climate change. What do scientists recommend we do?

After that, the director of a new film The Invitation talks about making an independent thriller set in the Hollywood Hills.

And finally, bad news continues to roll in for Theranos, the Silicon Valley-based blood-testing company, which is the subject of two federal investigations.

Caption: What legal marijuana looks like in Amsterdam. Photo by nickolette/Wikimedia commons.

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Laura Swisher
Sarah Sweeney

What Should California Expect If Pot Becomes Legal? 10 MIN, 31 SEC

This time next year, 4/20 could have a whole new meaning in California since voters are expected to legalize recreational pot in November. At one point, 20 marijuana initiatives tried to get on the ballot, but the odds-on favorite is now the Sean Parker-backed “Adult Use of Marijuana Act”. If pot becomes legal in California, problems could emerge that the proposed laws do not adequately address. For example, how will the cops know when you’re too stoned to drive? We’ll look at the what’s happened in Colorado, the first state to make recreational marijuana legal in 2012, to get a sense of what might happen in California.

Guests:
Ricardo Baca, Denver Post (@bruvs)

Overdoses from Fentanyl Up in California, Public Health Alert Issued 9 MIN, 5 SEC

A powerful drug that’s 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin has been linked to recent overdoses across California, many of them fatal. It’s called fentanyl, and it’s a synthetic painkiller given mainly to cancer patients; but it’s also a street drug known as “China White,” “Apache,” and “TNT”, among other names. In the Sacramento area alone, illegal fentanyl has been linked to more than 50 overdoses, 11 of them fatal, since last month. That quick and troubling surge prompted the California Department of Public Health to issue a statewide alert earlier this month.

Guests:
Karen Smith, California Department of Public Health

How to Mitigate Ocean Acidification on the West Coast 6 MIN, 42 SEC

As millions of tons of CO2 are pumped into the atmosphere every day, the world’s oceans are becoming more acidic causing devastation to marine life. Oysters and other shellfish are having trouble building their shells; salmon and other bigger fish are losing some of their sources of food. Because of the way ocean currents work, the problem is even worse on the West Coast than on the East Coast. Now, scientists on the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel have issued a new report that looks closely at the problem.

Guests:
Francis Chan, Oregon State University

“The Invitation” and Indie Horror 14 MIN, 1 SEC

Sixteen years ago, director Karyn Kusama made a huge splash at the Sundance Film Festival with her first movie, “Girlfight”, which starred then-unknown Michelle Rodriguez as an aspiring fighter. The film remains the only ever to win both the festival’s Grand Jury Prize and the Directing Award; but after that first flurry of attention, Kusama found Hollywood wasn’t as welcoming as it seemed. Now, more than a decade later, she’s returned to her roots with her new film, “The Invitation,” a small, independent thriller set at a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills.

Guests:
Karyn Kusama, Director of "The Invitation"

Theranos Investigations and Silicon Valley Dealmaking 5 MIN, 38 SEC

The bad news continues to roll in for Theranos, the Silicon Valley-based blood-testing company that was previously valued at $9 billion. Just a few years ago, the company’s wunderkind C.E.O. Elizabeth Holmes was the subject of glowing media profiles. Today, the company she founded is the subject of a criminal probe by the Justice Department, and is also being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations of fraud. Regulators are also considering banning Holmes from owning or running blood-testing labs for two years. How unique is a probe into a company like this? What do the investigations into Theranos say about deal making in Silicon Valley?

Guests:
Nick Stockton, Wired magazine (@StocktonSays)

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