Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis — and now a public university will offer the state’s first cannabis-focused bachelor’s degree.

Educators at Colorado State University-Pueblo say this new major was created after students expressed an intense interest in the field.

Participating students will leave with a science degree focused on chemistry and biology. They’ll take “rigorous” classes and become educated in a variety of sciences, professor David Lehmpuhl says.

Dan Epstein

State-mandated testing is supposed to protect Oklahoma’s medical marijuana patients from tainted weed. By and large it’s effective, but it’s not perfect. And many question the validity of test results. Independent producer Dan Epstein looked into how testing is supposed to work, and how some orange worms got through.

With the new year come many new state laws across the country. There are the usual suspects — gun laws, marijuana legalization and housing protections — but there are also some new frontiers: groundbreaking laws concerning Internet user privacy and the classification of contract workers in California, for example.

Here are some of the most notable laws taking effect Jan. 1, in no particular order:

Red flag

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a petition filed to allow voters to add recreational marijuana to the state constitution, the battle between Governor Stitt and tribal leaders over gaming compacts heats up as the end of the year gets closer and Oklahoma City Democratic Representative Shane Stone delays his resignation by one daym removing the need for a special election.


Major League Baseball announced changes to its drug use and testing policies on Thursday, removing marijuana from its "drugs of abuse" while announcing mandatory tests for cocaine and opioids. The policy will be effective starting in 2020 during spring training.

Players who test positive for prohibited substances, which include fentanyl and LSD, will be evaluated and prescribed a treatment plan. Those who don't obey the league's plan may be punished.

Some of the biggest players in Colorado’s marijuana industry may influence 2020’s high profile U.S. Senate race.

The incumbent is Republican Cory Gardner, who has supported the marijuana industry. Democrats have yet to choose their nominee but former Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has a mixed record on marijuana, is a front-runner.

Water and wildlife in the nation's public forests are slowly being poisoned by insecticides and other chemicals used in illegal marijuana operations, say forest police and researchers. They warn that the potential environmental damage could last generations.

Many of the grows are the work of highly organized drug cartels that take advantage of the forests' thick canopy to help hide their operations. Some sites go undetected for years.

Recreational pot is about to become legal in Illinois, but Chicago's Housing Authority says not in our backyard or front yard or anywhere on public housing premises, for that matter.

Housing voucher recipients received a letter from the agency last week, warning them about the ramifications of smoking or possessing pot on federally funded grounds even after it becomes legal on Jan. 1. In a nutshell, those who violate the federal law could face eviction.

Updated on Nov. 18 at 6:50 p.m. ET

California authorities announced they seized more than $1.5 billion worth of illegal marijuana in fiscal year 2019, or the rough equivalent of the state's legal market for cannabis.

More than 953,000 plants were seized from 345 raided grow sites around the state. Authorities arrested 148 people and confiscated 168 weapons under California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program.

Jennifer had a rough start to her pregnancy. "I had really intense food aversion and really intense nausea," says the 28-year-old mother of a five-month-old girl. "I wasn't eating at all."

She was losing weight instead of gaining it, she says, and couldn't even keep down her prenatal vitamins or iron pills, which she needed to deal with anemia. (NPR is only using her first name to protect her privacy.)