A new report shows a record number of homeless people died in Sacramento County in 2021. An investigative reporter reveals the failures of California’s legal cannabis market since marijuana became legal in the state in 2016. A volunteer group shares how much trash they’re moving from Lake Tahoe and surrounding lakes to help restore their natural beauty.
Sacramento's record homeless deaths
Nearly 200 unhoused Sacramento County residents died on sidewalks, in tents, vehicles, shelters, or hospitals last year — a record number. That’s according to a new report published this week. It’s a nearly 50% increase from the year before, and more deaths are linked to hypothermia than in the previous two decades combined. The report also suggests the homicide rate among the unhoused community was nearly 14 times higher than the county homicide rate. CapRadio Reporter Chris Nichols joined Insight to share more on these findings, the difficult conversations being had, and understanding how investment is falling short.
Investigation into the legal cannabis market
The passage of Proposition 64 in 2016 came with big promises for California voters. The legalization of recreational cannabis in the largest market in the nation also came with clearing records of those previously prosecuted as well as equity investments. However, heavy taxes and regulations coupled with a lack of enforcement resources to combat illegal grows have led to an explosive black market that is driving out legal businesses. As enforcement agencies work to stamp out one illegal operation, many more pop up and with the outlaw grows come environmental degradation, labor exploitation, violence, and death. Paige St. John, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, joined Insight to discuss their investigative reporting titled, “Legal Weed, Broken Promises: The fallout of legal pot in California.”
Cleaning up Lake Tahoe
The organization's name is simple: "Clean Up the Lake." It's also their mission. Since 2018, Colin West and his group of volunteers have dedicated their time, expertise, and diving skills to go inch by inch along the coastline of Lake Tahoe and surrounding smaller lakes to fish out as much junk and trash as they can get their hands on. Included in those numbers is their latest effort at "Fallen Leaf Lake," near Lake Tahoe, a much smaller and shallower lake. And their work has paid off big-time, but with some surprising results. Colin joined us on Insight to talk about their efforts to clean the lake and what they've found over the years.