On this week’s show, Natalia, Neil, and Niki debate the decline of democracy in North Carolina, the trend toward legalization of marijuana, and the dominance of Alabama football.
In a recent piece for U.S. News & World Report, Niki argued that North Carolina had become a “laboratory of illiberalism” because of recent measures to disenfranchise voters and strip power from elected officials. Natalia outlined North Carolina’s history as a state of “business progressivism.” Neil recommended Bill Chafe’s classic work, Civilities and Civil Rights, for how it complicates North Carolina’s legacy as a progressive state.
Eight states and DC have legalized marijuana in recent years. Niki noted pot had not been criminalized by the federal government until 1937. Natalia discussed how marijuana’s association with Mexico gave it racial dimensions in the U.S. Neil recommended Patrick Radden Keefe’s 2013 New Yorker article that looked at how pot’s legalization in Colorado and Washington had affected those states. Niki noted how the 1936 film Reefer Madness had served as a warning about the drug’s effects only to become a camp classic by the 1960s and 70s as people saw pot use as a joke.
The University of Alabama is playing for its 17th national championship in football. We discussed what has made the program so great and what it has meant historically.
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