8.29.16: The Struggle to Homegrow, Movie Ratings, & Learning Law On the Inside

Aug 29, 2016

In states all across the country, the days of pot prohibition are coming to an end. Today, critics say new regulations favor so-called the "Walmart weed" industry and put the squeeze on home growers.

Plus, Derrick Hamilton has never been to law school - but that hasn't stopped him from filing federal complaints against inhumane treatment of inmates, and helping others obtain hearings. He also fought the wrongful that put him in jail for 21 years. We'll talk with a jailhouse lawyer who was set up, but still believes in the power of the law.

Listen to the full show. 

The Struggle to Homegrow

Despite the federal government’s recent decision to uphold marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 substance, most indicators point to pot's days of prohibition coming to an end. 26 states now permit the use of medical marijuana, but of those, only 15 sanction home cultivation and legislation has become increasing restrictive towards home growers. Reporter Joel Warner is a contributing writer for Vice’s online magazine Motherboard. He found that the squeeze on growers limits access for people requiring medical marijuana treatment. 

More Violence, Less Language in Summer Blockbusters

Machine gun executions...human incinerations...blown up buildings - all the markings of the summer blockbuster Suicide Squad - and it's rated PG-13. On the Indie-er side of things, Don't Think Twice is a dramady about a free-wheeling improv troupe presented with the possibility of real fame on national TV. That one got an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America - or MPAA - for featuring adult language and drug use. It's a standard that critics find baffling.

Katie Kilkenny  is associate editor who writes about culture for Pacific Standard. She wrote "A Brief History of Increasingly Violent PG-13 Films," and joined us to talk about it. 

Morocco in the Movies

Hollywood has had a long relationship with Morocco.  Maybe it's the diversity of the country’s cities, or the spectacular desert light... But some people aren't crazy about how the landscape and people are cast.  Producer Jake Warga has the story.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Slime Style

Bouncing back from addiction takes strong support. Mike Riorden and Josh Chapman find that support in skateboarding and their friendship. To help keep clean, they’ve been creating skateboarding videos, which later get posted on Instagram. Producer Todd Whitney brings us their story. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Learning Law On the Inside

For someone who never went to law school, Derrick Hamilton has a pretty good record. He learned about the law while serving time for a murder that he didn't commit. Hamilton is well known among so-called jailhouse lawyers. He filed federal complaints against inhumane treatment of inmates, and helped others obtain hearings in addition to fighting his own conviction - which was vacated after 21 years on the inside.

Soon after leaving prison, Hamilton had met Ilya Novofastovsky, a civil attorney with an interest in wrongful convictions. Novofastovsky runs the Novo Law Firm, in Manhattan, and Hamilton urged him to start the Novo Innocence Project – he now works at the law firm as a paralegal.

We read about Hamilton in a profile called "Home Free" by the New Yorker reporter-at-large Jennifer Gonnerman.     

The music in this episode came to us from:

David Szesztay: "Easy Easy," "Coffee Shop"

Blue Dot Session: "Slilt"

Broke For Free: "Night Owl"

Poddington Bear: "Rain on the Glass"