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Marijuana is a big part of the economy in Mendocino County, where officials have tried to make it safe to grow for medicinal purposes under state law. But federal agents recently raided a farm that has a Sheriff's permit and undergoes regular inspections.  Which strategy is most likely to keep a thriving industry underground? Also, the host of next year's Oscars will be Billy Chrystal.  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Greece has been scary enough for Europe's economy; now there's Italy. 

Banner image: Matthew Cohen, whose marijuana farm was raided by federal officials, undergoes an inspection by a Mendicino County Sheriff's deputy. (Screen grab from the Center for Investigative Reporting's examination of Mendicino's experiment to legalize medical marijuana cultivation.

Making News Academy Reverts to the Tried-and-True for the Oscars 6 MIN, 57 SEC

Billy Chrystal tweeted word this afternoon that he'll be the host of next year's Oscars, replacing Eddie Murphy, who withdrew after producer Brett Ratner was dumped for comments offensive to gays and lesbians. The Academy has confirmed Chrystal's message. Kyle Buchanan covers Hollywood as movies editor for New York magazine.

Kyle Buchanan, Editor (@kylebuchanan)

Main Topic When It Comes to Marijuana, Not Even a County Sheriff Can Cross the Feds 19 MIN, 7 SEC

Sheriff's deputies arrested seven men running a large marijuana plantation today near Pyramid Lake in Ventura County. On public lands -- cleared, terraced and irrigated by tubes leading to a nearby creek — they found 130 pounds of drying marijuana.  In Mendocino County, it's a different story. The Sheriff there is in a battle with federal agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency. They raided a marijuana farmer who had a Sheriff's permit and who was carefully complying with County Ordinance 931, designed to make it safe to grown medical marijuana under state law.


Michael Montgomery, KQED and California Watch (@MichaelMontCW)
John McCowen, Mendicino County Board of Supervisors
Joseph Russoniello, US Attorney's Office (formerly)

Main Topic Is Italy's Economy Too Big to Fail, but Too Big to Bail Out? 26 MIN, 41 SEC

berlusconi.jpgWhen it comes to the troubled economies of the Euro Zone, "contagion" is what economists, bankers, traders and political leaders fear most. Now the focus has shifted from Greece to Italy. Greece at least appears to be getting its economic act together, but Berlusconi's Italy is another matter. We hear about the billionaire Prime Minister who's promising to resign, and what Italy's potential bankruptcy could mean for the rest of the world.

Rachel Donadio, New York Times (@racheldonadio)
Beppe Severgnini, Corriere della Sera (@beppesevergnini)
Daniel Gros, Centre for European Policy Studies
Greg Ip, Economist magaqzine (@greg_ip)

Mamma Mia!

Beppe Severgnini

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