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The Weeds

The Weeds

Author: Vox

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The Weeds is Vox's podcast for politics and policy discussions. Every Tuesday, Jonquilyn Hill and guests take a deep dive into the policies shaping our world — from immigration to climate change to crypto and more. 

Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

659 Episodes
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Insulin is for the world

Insulin is for the world

2023-01-2445:531

When insulin was discovered in 1923, the scientists sold the patent for only a dollar, hoping to make it accessible to those who need it. At the time, one of the discoverers said, “Insulin is for the world.” Fast-forward over 100 years, and some diabetics are rationing the lifesaving drug because the price is so high. Why does insulin cost so much, and what does that cost tell us about the American health care system? Host Jonquilyn Hill talks with Vox Senior Correspondent Dylan Scott about the price of insulin and the steps some states are taking to bring it down. Host: Jonquilyn Hill Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Buckle up for another trip in the Weeds Time Machine! Today, we are going back in time to 1965 to talk about one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in American history: the Voting Rights Act. Once again, its fate is in the hands of the Supreme Court. Professor Atiba R. Ellis walks us through the legislative and judicial history of this landmark policy. References: Atiba Ellis  Brief amici curiae of Boston University Center for Antiracist Research & Professor Atiba R. Ellis Atiba Ellis: Using Memes to Break Out of Voter Fraud Talk  The Changing Racial and Ethnic Composition of the U.S. Electorate | Pew Research Center  Voting Rights Act (1965) | National Archives  Host: Jonquilyn Hill Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Gerrymandering shapes our political maps, which in turn shape our policies. While there are concerns about how hyperpartisan voting maps are becoming, there’s one state where grassroots organizers have changed the system. On today’s episode of The Weeds, we pass the mike to one of you and answer your burning questions about redistricting in this polarized era.  References: Where Did the Term “Gerrymander” Come From? | History| Smithsonian Magazine Opinion: Gerrymandering on steroids is the new normal | CNN Redistricting experts weigh in on results of first general election under new maps | Detroit Free Press  Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, a book by David Daley  Host: Jonquilyn Hill Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
(Originally aired May 2022) Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind are joined by Annie Lowrey (@annielowrey), a staff writer at the Atlantic, to talk about why it’s so hard for people to get government benefits. Frequently called the “time tax,” the administrative burden of applying for and distributing government benefits leads to thousands of people not getting the aid they qualify for.  References: Annie Lowrey on Code America’s efforts to fight the Time Tax Pamela Herd and Don Moynihan's book on administrative burden Why Is It So Hard to Make a Website for the Government? from the New York Times White paper — Program Recertification Costs: Evidence from SNAP A sudden change to SSI eligibility had huge, lasting negative consequences Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Climate optimism in 2023

Climate optimism in 2023

2022-12-2045:163

In 2022, we saw a lot of climate change news. Europe hit record-high temperatures, Pakistan was devastated by flooding, and in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency got a little less powerful. While those are major causes for concern, there is a bright spot on the climate change policy landscape: 2023. Vox’s Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) tells us what to look forward to next year.  References: The next frontier for climate action is the great indoors  The mystery of methane gone missing  The US could stop one cause of heat wave deaths tomorrow  Climate change has made air conditioning a vital necessity. It also heats up the planet The good and bad news for the planet after the latest UN climate talks  Even Breathing Is A Risk In One Of Orlando's Poorest Neighborhoods | HuffPost Voices  Host: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Last month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a new mental health policy that lowers the threshold for involuntary commitments for psychiatric care. While the Adams administration argues this shift is a solution for growing crime and homelessness numbers, critics argue it’s a step in the wrong direction. What’s the history behind involuntary holds, and what does it say about mental health policy in America? References: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline  SAMHSA  Introducing the "Designed to Fail" series | Mental Health America  America's Long-Suffering Mental Health System  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer  Cristian Ayala, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
With the 2022 midterm elections mostly over, members of Congress are back on the Hill to wrap up loose legislative ends. One of the bipartisan bills floating through the lame-duck session is the Electoral Count Reform Act, a bill that would add protections to the presidential transfer of power. So, what exactly does this legislation do to protect elections, and is it enough?  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
(Originally aired August 2022) Vox senior correspondent Dylan Matthews sits down with Felicia Wong (@FeliciaWongRI), president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, to talk about a new era of industrial policy. They discuss the theory of modern supply-side economics, the passage of the Inflation Reduction and CHIPS acts, and how much common ground exists between the political left and the right. Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director  Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The world of cryptocurrency is infamously unregulated, but what happens when a major crypto exchange crashes, uprooting almost the entire crypto ecosystem, and there’s no regulatory body in charge? You have the FTX crash of 2022. And it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room: why don’t we have a regulation framework for crypto? It seems like an obvious solution, but as The Verge’s Liz Lopatto (@mslopatto) and financial regulation expert Yesha Yadav explain, it’s not as simple as it sounds.  References: Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself The collapse of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s shocking downfall How FTX played both parties and almost won Washington  Man who cleaned up Enron says FTX is worse  Binance to sell rest of FTX token holdings as Alameda CEO defends firm's financial condition  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Patrick Boyd, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Let’s be blunt: Weed policy is complicated. As with many elections in the past decade, recreational marijuana was on the ballot again during the 2022 midterm elections. After Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational use in 2012, more and more states have decided to ride the green wave. And recent moves by the Biden administration signal the federal government may finally come around to decriminalizing marijuana. But do these policies have any power?  References: Marijuana election results: Maryland and Missouri vote to legalize cannabis by ballot measure President Biden’s pardons for marijuana possession, explained  Federal marijuana legalization is stopped in its tracks Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
How to call an election

How to call an election

2022-11-0854:253

We did it, y’all – we made it to Election Day! And if you’re like us, tonight you’ll be glued to your TV and constantly refreshing Vox.com waiting for the returns to come in. We’re pretty used to knowing the winner that same night, but in 2020, we had to wait days before a winner was announced. So this got us thinking: How do news networks know when to make a call? And how has that changed through the years? We talked to three experts to find out. References: The 2022 midterm elections, explained When will we know results in the 2022 midterm elections? How elections are called and what “projected winner” means, explained (November 2020) How we call races | AP EXPLAINER: Why do the media call races in US elections? | AP News Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer  Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
How to fix inflation

How to fix inflation

2022-11-0157:264

With only a week to go until the US midterm elections, inflation is the issue at the top of most voters’ minds. As Democrats and Republicans make their cases for who can get prices to come down, one thing remains true: High prices are not going to go away overnight. Economists Mike Konczal (@rortybomb) of the Roosevelt Institute and Michael Strain (@MichaelRStrain) of the American Enterprise Institute discuss how we got here and the least painful way out of this. References: Is the cure for inflation worse than the disease? Today, Explained: The devil’s bargain on inflation To beat inflation, the Fed might have to trigger a recession What aren't we doing to fix inflation?  Student Loan Forgiveness Plan Won’t Make Inflation Worse—Even If It Adds $400 Billion To Deficit, Goldman Says  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill)  Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Efim Shapiro, engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Why scaring voters works

Why scaring voters works

2022-10-2549:032

Midterm elections are around the corner, and while voters are concerned about the economy, inflation, and abortion, there’s one other issue jumping to the top of the list: crime. Rising crime comes up in campaigns like clockwork, but during this election season, it's making a particular mark on two key Senate races: Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Vox’s Nicole Narea (@nicolenarea) and Li Zhou (@liszhou) explain. References: The 2022 midterm elections, explained 2021 crime rates are a big mystery Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill)  Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer Efim Shapiro, engineer  Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The midterm elections are three weeks away, and candidates aren’t the only ones on the ballot. Voters across the country will decide new laws and policy through ballot initiatives, which can include proposals like legalizing recreational marijuana, funding in-state college tuition, and raising taxes to fight climate change. But how do these issues get on the ballot in the first place, and will they stay there? Vox policy editor Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson) explains. References: The 2022 midterm elections, explained Two states, two visions for the future of labor  The states where the midterms will directly decide the future of abortion access  New Mexico voters are set to weigh in on a constitutional ballot measure for early childhood education this November Sample ballot lookup — Ballotpedia  VOTE411  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The midterm elections are four weeks away. Senate control is on the line, and races in battleground states are tightening. Few things say “close election” like an October surprise. The one getting the latest buzz this election cycle comes from Georgia, courtesy of Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker. Vox politics reporter Li Zhou (@liszhou) explains the race, and Rutgers professor David Greenberg (@republicofspin) tells us the origin of the October surprise. References: Herschel Walker is an epically flawed candidate. He could still win.  Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Pollsters are starting to panic. There’s headline after headline after headline ahead of the midterms on whether this election cycle’s polling is accurate or not. How does polling actually work? Is it really representative of how voters are feeling and what the outcome will be on Election Day? And when it comes to Democrats, why is polling so wrong? Amy Walter, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Cook Political Report, explains why polls are complicated, lessons to learn from past elections, and what we could expect this November. References: Which Midterm Polls Should We Be Taking With a Grain of Salt? Pollsters fear they’re blowing it again in 2022 Hosts: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
US immigration policy is complicated. And when Republican Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis chartered buses and planes to relocate migrants to “blue cities,” it raised a ton of legal questions. But it also ignited the age-old question about our immigration system: Why is it so complicated? Weeds veteran Dara Lind (@DLind) explains. References: Why Ron DeSantis is baiting Biden on the border  Opinion | Ron DeSantis Is Making an Asylum Crisis of His Own Host: Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill), Vox senior producer  Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
For the September issue of The Highlight, the Vox politics team examined the fastest growing voting bloc in the country: Latino voters. But the 32 million voters that make up the Latino electorate are not a monolithic group. In today’s episode, we’ll look at the intricacies and nuances of the Latino voting bloc and what might happen in the 2022 midterm elections. References: Ruben Gallego's ready for a fight — even if the Democratic Party isn't  Yes, most Latinos are Christian. No, that doesn't make them anti-abortion.  Latino voters are being flooded with even more misinformation in 2022  The full September issue of The Highlight from Vox Hosts: Marin Cogan (@marincogan), senior correspondent Christian Paz (@realcpaz), senior politics reporter Nicole Narea (@nicolenarea), politics reporter Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
How do we make life better for future generations? Who gets to make those decisions? These are tough questions, and today’s guest, philosopher William MacAskill (@willmacaskill), tries to help us answer them. References:  What We Owe the Future by William MacAskill Effective altruism's most controversial idea  How effective altruism went from a niche movement to a billion-dollar force Effective altruism’s longtermist goals for the future don’t hurt people in the present  Hosts: Bryan Walsh (@bryanrwalsh) Sigal Samuel (@sigalsamuel) Credits: Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer Libby Nelson, editorial adviser A.M. Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Vitamin X

Vitamin X

2022-09-0634:581

Today on The Weeds, we are sharing an episode of another Vox podcast, Unexplainable, that originally aired in June 2022.  Millions of Americans take dietary supplements — everything from vitamins and minerals to weight-loss pills and probiotics. But because supplements are loosely regulated in the US, their makers don't have to prove that they work, or even that they are safe. Full transcript available here. Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Comments (125)

Deb Fernandez

Please stop using the term "birthing person" until you cite me a case where a man gave birth.

Jul 11th
Reply

Aaron Britton

One of the most disingenuous political podcasts out in leftist media

Nov 7th
Reply

Midnight Rambler

fuck the new York times

Sep 7th
Reply

Hans T

"I would never think of enlisting in the Army. I would rather live, not die." what an arrogant, ignorant, and snobbish think to say. I have served in the Army for almost 20 years and I too would rather live than die. That is not what differentiates those who choose to serve from those that do not. I listen to The Weeds podcasts to hear intelligent conversations about major issues but that was some sophomoric bullshit.

Aug 11th
Reply

Aaron Britton

One of my favorite episodes so far

Aug 7th
Reply

Philly Burbs

if black kids are not taking advance courses who's fault is that? not all kids black & white can take advance courses that being said education starts day one. if a kid is failing in school who needs to take charge? the parents.

Jul 19th
Reply

Philly Burbs

I don't know any school.that doesn't teach slavery. or teaches whites are better than black people. disagree? show me. we have class privilege over white privilage. why doesn't one black leader come out, write exactly what CRT is, put it on paper & send out press releases? take questions & be open when people disagree with you? people fear change. people do not want to be blamed for someone else failures when they 1. they are having a hard time themselves 2. none of their relatives owned slaves or were slaves. 3. black people want us to listen to them but they refuse to listen to whites, it's ok to call whites names & reduce them to a label you. not vise versa

Jul 19th
Reply

Philly Burbs

The most racist people I know voted for Obama. They had hope for change & didn't see a black man. They saw that guy they worked with who was a work friend. Then Fox news went into overdrive.

Jul 9th
Reply

Aaron Britton

Fascinating conversation

Apr 17th
Reply

Greg Fishman

read this title having not checked the news in two hours and it nearly gave me a heart attack. jeeze.

Nov 6th
Reply

yakurbe 0112

I'm really confused. how is the argument that we should put aside or differences to take down the powerful, wealthy elites not a class argument?

Oct 18th
Reply

yakurbe 0112

This podcast contained the best argument I've actually heard thus far to actually vote for Biden, rather than simply against Trump, as a leftist. If Biden is actually non-ideological (rather than ideologically neoliberal which idk), and is forced (and also able) to remove the filibuster, the left wing of the party will be in a position to bargain in congress with the dems for real change. there's a number of assumptions there, but none are too, too crazy. it's at least worth thinking about. certainly more than "we can push him left after he gets into office". the outcome looks the same, but this has an actual mechanism by which it could work. so thank you and good job. you've given me more to think about.

Oct 6th
Reply

Jemi Assefa

it would be great to get reference to some of the statics and Data discussed

Aug 19th
Reply

Ghost Rider

it is broken

Aug 13th
Reply

Ryan Pena

man I'm so glad they did this pod. just had this conversation with someone yesterday about the supposed epidemic of child sex trafficking. crazy how people believe this stuff

Aug 11th
Reply (1)

yakurbe 0112

I like this guy

Aug 4th
Reply

Samuel Marcucci

If Biden picked Warren it would mean a republican governor in Charlie Baker would appoint her successor though right?

Jun 28th
Reply

Carl Davidson

FANTASTIC interview and guest. A very illuminating and explanatory discussion about qualified immunity.

Jun 20th
Reply

Gwendolyn S

Damn, the Biden advertisements at the end were boring AF.

May 31st
Reply

Ada Bruguera Riera

What I don't like about this podcast is that sometimes you guys don't really seem to be having a conversation, rather you seem to be blurting out information and opinions, and not really listening to each other. "Let's see who says the most interesting thing". It gets somewhat abnoxious.

May 11th
Reply
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