Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill allowing three cities to establish supervised drug injection sites to address the rampant overdose crisis. Researchers and farmers are looking into whether agave can be grown commercially as California faces a prolonged drought. CapRadio’s Donna Apidone shares her conversation with the authors of “Dear White Women.”
Safe injection site
An effort to open the first safe drug consumption sites for those struggling with addiction in California fell short once again on the governor's desk. Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed SB 57, a bill that would have authorized pilot programs for these sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. The bill has been a persistent effort by progressives within the governor's own party to address an escalating overdose crisis. Proponents said the bill could have helped reduce overdose deaths in the state, which rose to more than 10,000 from October 2020 to September 2021. But the idea of allowing people to consume drugs in a supervised environment, and connect them with other services, faced strong political opposition. Ultimately, the governor expressed concerns about the "unintended consequences" of these programs in his veto message. Insight invited CalMatters health reporter Ana Ibarra onto the program to share her reporting on the governor's decision and its impacts on the effort to reduce overdose deaths in California.
Agave in California
Within the past decade, a new crop is beginning to plant roots across the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. The crop is new to California growers, but south of the border, it dates back centuries: Agave is the source for tequila and mezcal when distilled and a low-water crop that pairs well with the California drought. This year there has been some movement to establish a network for the California agave industry to grow. The California Agave Council was created earlier this year, and its founder is a grower in Yolo County. And earlier this month, UC Davis announced its devoting research into agave and its viability in the state. Craig Reynolds, the founding director of the California Agave Council, Ron Runnebaum, assistant professor of viticulture and enology at UC Davis, and Stuart Woolf, a Central Valley farmer who gifted the initial agave research funding to UC Davis, joined Insight to discuss this potential future California cash crop.
"Dear White Women"
Dear White Women is a book about race and how to have the hard conversations about it, and why those conversations are so important. CapRadio’s Donna Apidone shares her conversation with the authors of Dear White Women, which breaks down the psychology and barriers to meaningful race discussions for White people.