Retail sales of recreational marijuana are now legal in Colorado. Host Michel Martin looks at the highs, and possible lows of the new law with Dana Coffield of The Denver Post, and The Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht, author of Weed Land.
And our last word in business today is green rush.
The first legal sale of recreational marijuana in recent memory happened in Denver yesterday.
TONY FOX: 8 a.m., we're going to do.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
That's Tony Fox, who owns the 3-D Cannabis Center. She was making the ceremonial first sale, surrounded by dozens of reporters, to Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, who was involved in the campaign to legalize pot in Colorado.
A Harvard economist finds there are psychological connections between the bad financial planning of many poor people and the poor time management of busy professionals. In both cases, he finds the experience of scarcity causes biases in the mind that exacerbate problems.
And even as things are looking up for the auto industry, many Americans still feel the sting of the 2008 recession. In the years since, many banks have been hit with large fines, but no major Wall Street executive has been convicted of criminal charges for their role in the financial crisis. That's not always how it went. A few years ago, a series of corporate scandals generated outrage and some stiff prison sentences.
Let's hear now about a new reality show featuring a mild-mannered Canadian who gives outlandish advice to companies looking to up their game. It's called "Nathan for You." And as NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, it's become an unlikely hit for Comedy Central.
(SOUNDBITE OF A BARKING DOG)
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: On a sunny winter day in North Hollywood, Nathan Fielding is directing his latest quirky marketing ploy, this one for a new housecleaning service.
This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.
The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
NPR's business news starts with Fiat and Chrysler.
The Italian automaker Fiat has paid $4.3 billion to gain complete ownership of Chrysler. The agreement announced yesterday is not a big surprise. Fiat already held a majority share of the Detroit automaker that produces Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.
Industry analysts say this final step in the merger creates a global company that's better able to compete with the likes of General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And in this new year, Colorado is turning over a new leaf. State license retailers spent their New Year's Eve putting plant buds on shelves, stuffing baggies and rolling joints in preparation for what's being called Green Wednesday. Colorado is the first in the nation to regulate and control a recreational marijuana industry.
As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.
"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.
And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.