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Home Baked: One Woman's Subversive Response to the AIDS Crisis

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Meridy Volz eats her Sticky Fingers Brownies. (Courtesy of Meridy Volz)

We’re all bracing ourselves for a surge in hospitalizations, for more people lost to COVID-19, for more closures and lockdowns. So we’re reprising one of our documentaries about another time we all faced a public health crisis. This week, we travel back to a time when the world was facing another public health crisis. Lisa Morehouse brings us the story of a woman who became an unexpected source of comfort to people suffering from AIDS in the early 1980s. Her baking business, Sticky Fingers Brownies, provided gooey marijuana-filled brownies to people dying from the disease in San Francisco. Pot brownies weren’t going to save anyone’s life over the long term, but Meridy Volz says they brought some relief, and there wasn’t a lot of relief in those days. We hear the Sticky Fingers story, and look back at a time when the federal government was slow to act on the AIDS crisis.

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