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51% Show #1330

Dr. Brainfish

On this week’s 51%, as more states legalize some form of marijuana use, one woman has a message for other women. We’ll hear about a female pinball wizard and a male midwife.

Jane West, Co-founder & Executive Director of Women Grow

According to Governing magazine, 23 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use, though D.C. prohibits the sale of pot. Alaska and Oregon are next after voter-approved ballot initiatives. Other states have legalized medical marijuana. Recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Colorado, and Jane West owns and operates a marijuana industry business there. She recently founded Women Grow, an organization intended to help women influence and succeed in the cannabis industry. Cannibas Radio Network’s Brian Bahouth recently spoke with West. 

Credit Donald Bell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chachijones/

Next, we travel to California, to another sphere where women are few. Angela Johnston, for KALW, tells us about a women’s pinball league that gives a positive tilt to the Bay Area scene. 

Often, we bring you stories of women in predominantly male fields. Let’s mix it up a bit and hear about the reverse -  men in an overwhelmingly female field. It was in 1982 when men were allowed to become midwives in France. Midwives train for five years and are present at each hospital birth. They care for women during pregnancy and birth and can provide birth control and gynecological health care. Yet, they do not have the same status as obstetricians or gynecologists. Sarah Elzas meets one of the rare men in this field today. He says the gender imbalance of his profession has led to its marginalization. 

Sarah Elzas produced this report for Radio France International.

Imagine coming home from school and finding your mom passed out, surrounded by empty liquor bottles. For Louise Farragher that was the everyday reality of her childhood in County Mayo, Ireland. She grew up detoxing her mother and looking after her younger siblings. Alan Meeney reports. 

US Rep. Mia Love

Members of the 114th Congress were sworn in January 6, and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says it was an historic swearing-in of 65 House Democratic women, the largest number of women in a party Caucus in the history of the Congress of the United States. The same day was historic for GOP women when Mia Love of Utah became the first black female Republican in Congress. Love, the 39-year-old former mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, was sworn in along with 57 other freshmen in the U.S. House. Her history-making election in November in Utah's 4th District drew national attention and helped secure Love's status as a standout among the incoming GOP lawmakers. She is part of a small group of black Republicans in the new Congress.  Love is also becoming a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. (plus music in and out 1:42)

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

And that’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. 

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