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KUNC's Colorado Edition: The Candidate, The Elk And The Mushroom

Psilocybin mushrooms
Esther Honig

This week on Colorado Edition, another Coloradan enters the 2020 presidential race. We look at Sen. Michael Bennet's resume. Plus, we recap a busy legislative session at the state Capitol and explore a movement to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

Michael Bennet — U.S. senator and former Denver Public Schools superintendent — is officially running for president. He made the announcement Thursday on CBS This Morning, citing two big reasons for running: a lack of economic mobility for most Americans and the need to restore integrity to government. Bennet is the second Colorado politician to declare a run. His friend and former boss, John Hickenlooper has been on the campaign trail since early March. Matt Bloom joins Kyra Buckley to talk about his chances.

Colorado lawmakers brought the gavel down on their annual legislative session on Friday. If you haven't been paying close attention – a lot has happened over the past four months that will directly impact your life. Scott Franz has this recap.

Psychedelic mushrooms were federally banned back in the 1970s, along with a host of other hallucinogens. Now, a growing movement wants access to this fungi for medicinal use. As Esther Honig reports – mushroom enthusiasts are seeking the freedom to take them without fear of criminal prosecution.

Chronic wasting disease is a deadly infection that has the potential to decimate deer, elk and moose around the country and possibly the globe. In last week's episode, we learned more about why the disease is so concerning. Now, Rae Ellen Bichell wraps up the series by exploring two important questions: where did the disease originate, and does it have the potential to spread to humans and become the next mad cow disease?

The new documentary Ask Dr. Ruth offers a portrait of the famous television sex therapist Ruth Westheimer. For KUNC film critic Howie Movshovitz, who teaches film and television at CU-Denver, Westheimer is a more compelling figure than the movie shows.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our intro music is "Remember Me" by Colorado musician Kalatana. The midshow break is "Bling Bong" by Robbie Reverb. Other music this week by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Lamplist"
  • "Lupi"
  • "Holo"
  • "On Three Legs"

This episode was hosted and produced by assistant news director Erin O'Toole and Karlie Huckels. Digital editor Jackie Hai handled the web. News director Catherine Welch and managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a weekly look at the top stories from our newsroom. It's available every Friday on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or wherever (RSS) you get your podcasts. You can hear it on the air every Sunday at 9 p.m. on KUNC.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.