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Colorado Edition: From Illegal To Essential

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Photograph by Drew Olberholtzer / NGT
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The Stanley brothers inspect young crops at their medical marijuana growhouse.

Today on Colorado Edition: Book recomendations for life in quarantine. We also take a look at how county jails in northern Colorado are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Plus, we hear about a recent survey of local business owners about how the virus has impacted their business, and we take a look at how the marijuana industry went from illegal to essential in less than a decade.

COVID-19 In Northern Colorado Jails

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class action lawsuit against Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, alleging that the sheriff’s office hasn’t done enough to protect people from the Coronavirus inside the county jail. Nine inmates and 13 deputies have tested positive over the past week, according to a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. KUNC’s Leigh Paterson joined us to talk about her reporting on how Northern Colorado jails are managing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Marijuana: From Illegal to "Essential"

With stay at home orders and social distancing measures in effect, many businesses around our state are closed. There’s been some debate about what is considered “essential,” and what should, and shouldn’t be. Here in Colorado, the marijuana industry went from being illegal to being essential in less than a decade. KUNC’s Luke Runyon has our story.

Local Business Survey

Millions of people across the country, and tens of thousands here in Colorado, have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 outbreak began. BizWest recently put out a survey to see how local businesses are faring, and their publisher and editor Chris Wood joined us to explore some of the key takeaways. 

National Service

In times of national crisis, ranging from wars, natural disasters, or pandemics, there’s a safety net of people you might not see. They’re the ones who have chosen a career in public service -- like working for the government or as an emergency responder. But in times of political divisiveness what might inspire more Americans to serve? As the coronavirus sweeps the country, a national commission’s new findings offer some ideas. KUNC’s Military and Veterans Reporter Michael de Yoanna joined us to talk about it. 

Stay-At-Home Book Recommendations

With the stay at home order, and advice about social distancing, you probably have a lot more time on your hands than usual. So why not pick up a new book? Renee Becher, events coordinator at Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins, joined us to give some book suggestions for the whole family.

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

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Waltz for Zacaria" by Cholate
  • "Black Ballots" by Union Hall
  • "On Three Legs" by Textile Caramb

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.