Newsletter: How High Can You Go?

April 20, 2015

New 4/20 Episode: Marijuana Rules!


On a day like today–4/20–we can’t help but ask, is it legal to get high, or not?

In nearly half the states, laws have been passed that make it legal to sell marijuana to people for medical use, and in four states, you can sell it, buy it and use it as you please.

But wait… the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal substance and under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, federal law takes precedence when there’s a conflict between state and federal law.

So if you’re lighting up, check where you live. If you’re thinking of selling pot, it might be good to consult a lawyer before you set up shop.

Reporter Peter Frick-Wright takes a look into the hazy laws and rules in Marijuana Rules.  Listen here.


Meet Our Team: Simone Seiver


Simone Seiver joined Life of the law’s Production Team just over a year ago as our very first intern. Since then, the Yale undergraduate has decided to stick around, taking on the role of Social Media and Post-Production Editor.  We’ll let her tell you a bit about herself…

Simone: I remember my first call with Nancy, our Executive Producer. It took a few months to get her on the phone–she’s busy!–but when we finally connected, I was ecstatic. I told her this: I don’t care what I do, but I want to do something with Life of the Law. I’d been a listener for a while. What better way to spend a summer, I thought, than to do it working for one of my favorite shows?

Luckily, Nancy stuck me into something I could do pretty well–social media. I’ve been doing it ever since, adding in a few responsibilities here and there: getting our stuff up on PRX (Public Radio Exchange), posting episodes to the website, and keeping our partners and scholars updated and involved in our work.

The cool thing about Life of the Law that people may not know is that our team is all over the country. New York, Brooklyn, Berkeley, New Haven, San Francisco, Alabama, Maine, and Seattle. Come to think of it, we have someone in just about every corner of the country. I’m an undergraduate at Yale right now, studying for BA/MA in political science.

In my free time, I like reading the news. No seriously–I do. It’s not just for work. I probably read the news for two or three hours a day. It’s my procrastination, distraction, therapy, pleasure reading, old friend…. all of it. I love the news. I’m also a billiards addict (thank goodness for intramural sports!), and I play lacrosse every now and then with friends.

I’m excited for our team retreat in just a few short weeks in Seattle at the Law and Society Association Conference. To all of our scholars, board members, reporters and producers who will be there: Let’s get together, talk Life of the Law and have a drink!


LIVE LAW 7 in Des Moines: The Line-Up!



What do a librarian, a judge, a student, an activist, a lawyer and a professor all have in common? On April 29th in Des Moines, Iowa these brave souls will kick off the upcoming election year with live stories  at LIVE LAW 7!

We’re especially thrilled to announce Romonda Belcher, Iowa’s first female, African-American judge will be sharing her story. The theme for the night?Schooled in the Law!
WHERE: Ritual Café, 1301 Locust Street

WHEN: Wednesday night, April 29th, 2015

7-8:15 pm (doors open at 6:30)

It’s great and it’s free!

More info here!


What We’re Reading Right Now




Does this look a prison to you? Because it is.  It’s just not one of ours.

Prison conditions in the United States are considered deplorable.  Overcrowding, high recidivism rates, and violence, plague correctional institutions throughout the country.

One country–Norway–has designed a corrections system very different from that found in the United States.

The New York Times Magazine sent reporter Jessica Benko to Norway, where the “goal of the Norwegian prison system is to get inmates out.”

Read the full feature here.


Stay tuned for our next episode on May 5: Judicial Independence


“Of course I know how to roll a joint.” – Martha Stewart