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Stateside: Recreational pot goes on sale; Rep. Inman corruption trial; is there a “right to read?”

glass jar of marijuana flower on a glass counter
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Just three dispensaries in Michigan started selling recreational weed on Sunday. For those that did, business was booming.

Today on Stateside, we get a preview of State Representative Larry Inman’s upcoming corruption trial in federal court. 

The Traverse City-area Republican is charged with soliciting a bribe, attempted extortion, and lying to the FBI. Plus, the view from one Ann Arbor dispensary on the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in the state.

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

Even after booming first day of recreational weed sales, Ann Arbor dispensary isn’t worried about a shortage

Stateside’s conversation with Al Moroz

  • On Sunday, people lined up for hours outside marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor for the first day of legal recreational weed sales in Michigan. Arbors Wellness was one of the first few marijuana shops in the state to receive their recreational license. We spoke with the shop's general manager, Al Moroz, about the store’s first day of sales, who’s coming to buy, and what the future of selling marijuana will look like in Michigan.

Recreational weed is poised to be big business. Why have so few dispensaries started selling it?

Stateside’s conversation with Kathy Gray

  •  There are three more dispensaries who have their recreational marijuana licenses and are expected to open up in the next month or so. That will bring the total number of shops selling recreational weed to just six across the state. So why aren’t more dispensaries cashing in? Detroit Free Press marijuana reporter Kathy Gray answered that question, and she told us how the tax revenue from recreational marijuana will be spent.

What to expect as State Rep. Inman’s federal corruption trial gets underway this week

Stateside’s conversation with Max Johnston

  • Federal prosecutors have accused State Rep. Larry Inman of trying to sell his vote on legislation that would repeal the requirement to keep pay on state construction projects consistent with union wages. The Traverse City-area Republican remains in office, despite calls for his resignation from constituents and even some party leaders. We talked with Interlochen Public Radio reporter Max Johnston about the allegations, and what can be expected on the first day of Inman's trial, which begins Tuesday. 

Learn to Drive! If you aren’t passing a vehicle, stay out of the left lane.

Stateside’s conversation with Lieutenant Michael Shaw

  • There are a lot of signs along Michigan’s two-lane highways that read: “Keep Right Except to Pass.” That’s because sitting in the left lane is not allowed. Lieutenant Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police emphasized that the left lane is for passing only. And that “you have to do the speed limit to pass, and then get back over.”

Do students have a constitutional right to a good education? Federal case could decide.

Stateside’s conversations with Erin Einhorn

  • Do students have a constitutional right to literacy? That question is at the heart of a Detroit lawsuit that was argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in late October. The suit was filed in 2016 on behalf of some students from Detroit public and charter schools. It argued that substandard classroom conditions and a lack of certified teachers and up-to-date textbooks kept the students from learning to read. NBC News digital reporter Erin Einhorn explained what the plaintiffs are arguing, and how it ties into other lawsuits centering on the quality of education students receive.
  • This segment was originally broadcast on November 21, 2019

What does the government owe students when it comes to education?

Stateside's conversation with Derek Black and Kristine Bowman

  • The "right to read" lawsuit in Detroit got us thinking: what is the role and responsibility of government when it comes to providing an education? Do all children have a right to a certain quality of education? Or does government just need to make sure that there is a school building and teachers available? We discussed these questions with two people who spend a lot of time thinking about the topic.
  • Derek Black is a law professor at the University of South Carolina where his research focuses on constitutional law and education. Kristine Bowman is a professor of law and education at Michigan State University, as well as an associate dean of MSU's College of Education. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Detroit students in the lawsuit.
  • This segment was originally broadcast on November 21, 2019

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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