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Democracy Works: The People Want Pot

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At a time when the United States seems more polarized than ever, marijuana legalization might be one of the few issues that can receive bipartisan support, passing in red and blue states alike through direct democracy initiatives. Our guests this week explain what's happening and where things might go moving forward.

Lee Hannah and Dan Mallinson, have been studying marijuana policy for several years and watching as initiatives pass in states across the country. We discuss how the process of organizing around a ballot initiative has changed as the marijuana industry grows, and whether the growing number of states legalizing marijuana  will lead to changes at the federal level.

Hannah is associate professor of political science at Wright State University and Mallinson is assistant professor of public policy and administration at Penn State Harrisburg. Both received their Ph.Ds from Penn State, where they worked with Democracy Works host Michael Berkman.

This episode hits many of the items on the Democracy Works bingo card — federalism, states as laboratories of democracy, ballot initiatives, social justice, and more.

Jenna Spinelle is the Communications Specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. She is responsible for shaping all of the institute's external communication, including website content, social media, multimedia, and media outreach.