It’s been a polarizing year. But one surprising issue that’s been resiliently bipartisan is marijuana legalization. This week in OtherWords, Paul Armentano looks at all the heartland states — red, purple, and blue — where voters approved ballot initiatives and candidates backing an end to pot prohibition.

Also this week, Nicole Braun shares a Medicaid horror story from Michigan to show what happens when governments don’t treat health care as a right. Sam Pizzigati puts a price on inequality (about $150,000 per American adult, he reckons). And Khalil Bendib imagines the right’s next “lock her up!” chant.

Finally, Jim Hightower looks at an issue near and dear to our hearts here at OtherWords: the attack on the free press posted by giant corporations gobbling up America’s local newspapers, bankrupting them, and selling them off. If you rely on the news your local paper provides, don’t miss it.

New This Week…

Marijuana Legalization Comes to America’s Heartland | Paul Armentano
Pro-legalization politicians and ballot initiatives won big in red, blue, and purple states across the heartland. That shouldn’t be surprising.

Hell-Care in Michigan | Nicole Braun
My loved one was abruptly dropped by Medicaid, which is potentially life-threatening. This is what happens when politicians don’t treat care as a right.

Free the Free Press from Wall Street Plunder | Jim Hightower
Our right to a free press is meaningless if hedge funds can gobble up and gut the community newspapers that exercise it.

What Does Inequality Cost the Average American? About $150k | Sam Pizzigati
Americans pay a steep price for not spreading their wealth around as well as other developed countries.

Lock Her Up! | Khalil Bendib
Another rousing chant from a “law and order” administration.

In Case You Missed It…

I’m Making It My Business to Stand Up for Immigrants | Dreya Moore
Immigrants have enriched my Lancaster, Pennsylvania community. Now the administration wants to punish them for not being rich.

Trump’s Trade Wars Hurt All of Us in Farm Country | Sue Dinsdale
When agriculture suffers, all Iowans do — even those who’ve never set foot on a farm.

The Senate Needs to Put People Before Pipelines | Todd Larsen
Last year, a little-known commission killed a boneheaded idea to make consumers prop up the coal industry. Now Trump wants to give an industry loyalist a seat.

Can the Next Congress Chase Down America’s Runaway Wealth? | Bob Lord
The last Congress ensured that America’s wealth will concentrate ever more rapidly at the very top — unless the next one does something about it.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of

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