It’s a proven fact that African-Americans experience disproportionate rates of marijuana-related arrests. The recent success of decriminalizing marijuana laws, has led to economic profit. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and it currently enjoys the lowest rate of drug overdoses in Western Europe according to the Washington Post. There are many benefits in the decriminalization of marijuana, such as a boost in the local and national economy. There is less of a strain on taxpayers if marijuana possessors are not jailed, and the industry also creates jobs. Last year, marijuana sales made $6.7 billion according to Bloomberg News.

However, the Washington Post reported that marijuana possession arrests were higher than any other violent crime arrest in 2016. This is where Hope Wiseman comes into the spotlight, she is a advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana and African-American rights. Wiseman will be the youngest African-American dispensary owner in the United States. Her goal is to aid African-Americans affected by the war on drugs through her company Compassionate Herbal Alternative. CHA is a medical cannabis company that includes Mary and Main, a Maryland-based cannabis store.

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Breakout acting roles are crucial. The first appearance on the silver screen sets the tone for an entire career. It’s hard to shake first impressions. O’Shea Jackson Jr. suffers from the same issue that many of his peers face after a seminal breakout role. Recently, he emerged on the Hollywood scene by starring in the critically-acclaimed biopic Straight Outta Compton. O’Shea reenacted his father’s early years growing up in Compton, California and becoming one of the biggest names in the hip-hop and rap industry. O’Shea’s carefully chosen film roles and meticulously measured steps towards fame and fortune have cemented him as one of the most talented and versatile up-and-coming stars in Hollywood.

He was born in the early 90s in Los Angeles. He grew and matured during the height of 90s and early 2000s Rap and Hip-Hop. Both he and his younger brother Kareem or whose stage name is Doughboy currently rap. Jackson goes by the name of OMG (Oh My Goodness). At the young age of 18, Jackson and his brother began touring with Ice Cube after appearing on the “I am the West” album. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly Jackson loved music and performing, “When I was 18, me and my older brother actually started performing with him on stage a lot. We were in Japan and we were in Australia, and I was having people in the audience tell me how my father’s words influenced and pushed them to become — one man became a doctor — lawyers. All these people listened to his words, and it fueled them to live their lives.”

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Usually a story of triumph and courage is left to the professionals at Disney. One exception is the real-life tale of Marchelle “Tig” Tigner, a black woman who chose to be a survivor instead of a victim of her circumstances. Marchelle is the owner of Trigger Happy Firearm Instruction. She noticed a lack of female representation in the gun community and felt compelled to couple her military background with her passion for women’s self-defense to teach women effective shooting and firearm safety.

After overcoming a sexual assault, Marchelle decided instead of owning a “victim” status she would become a “survivor” and vowed to help one million women be prepared in the face of danger. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Marchelle travels around the country teaching women the fundamentals of firearm safety, shooting and dispelling the myth that women only want pretty and colorful weaponry. 

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Women face many conflicts in the sports. They are often underpaid, underrepresented, overworked and objectified. From the rise of sexual assault allegations to the physical and mental strain from competing, being a woman in sports is a tough job. However, no one makes this tough job seem easy like Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. She made history after becoming the first Muslim-American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a Hijab in 2016. The illustrious member of the United States Fencing Team sparked many conversations about Muslim women in sports and most importantly in America.

US Ibtihaj Muhammad reacts competing against France’s Cecilia Berder in their womens individual sabre qualifying bout as part of the fencing event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on August 8, 2016, at the Carioca Arena 3, in Rio de Janeiro. / AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The restaurant buzzed with excitement as hungry guests waited to be seated. “You see how bright it is,” one woman commented as she pointed at the rustic brick walls that had been painted white. “It’s kind of modern and kind of industrial at the same time,” she concluded. Her friend, rocking an auburn afro, nodded in agreement. “Of course it is. You know Kandi’s got style.”

Although the restaurant has been open for more than a year, it was still the place to be. Located at 177 Peters Street in Castleberry Hill, one of Atlanta’s trendy artistic neighborhoods, the restaurant has gained an increasing amount of popularity for its connection to reality tv star Kandi Burruss. But as I waited in line, seduced by the smell of home-made soul food and staring at pictures on the three family members turned managers on the wall, I couldn’t help but feel warmth of home. Despite her fame, singer-songwriter, actress, record producer and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss-Tucker’s restaurant seemed authentic and down to earth. “Welcome to Old Lady Gang,” an upbeat server announced as she escorted me to my table. A lively group of young adults sitting at the bar laughed heartily as I followed the waitress, wondering what all Old Lady Gang had to offer.

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Middle School is a test of endurance, bravery and mental fortitude. The physical changes of the body combined with and pressures from school make for a lethal mixture of emotional volatility. The main concern of the average middle schooler consists of popularity, popularity and more popularity. Because there are attractive and physically-gifted jock types at the top of the social ladder, there must be a bottom to this social ladder. The bottom includes nerds and wimps like “Greg Heffley.” Heffley is the main character in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a fictional comedy novel by Jeff Kinney. Kinney that perfectly illustrates the perils of adolescence and the quest for acceptance and popularity. His writing reveals a unique brand of humor and child-like illustrations, gaining him a massive fanbase and readers for a lifetime.

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All eyes and ears have been paying attention to what’s going on in the NFL. Viewership has been down from a season ago, due to multiple protests and boycotts of the NFL for opposite reasons. The NFL and fans alike are fundamentally a part of a civil war of sorts, where one side is protesting and choosing to kneel during the national anthem, locking arms, or placing their hands on the shoulders of their teammates who choose to take a knee. This comes at a time where racial injustice in America has caused a massive divide among citizens, and has spilled over into the world of sports.

The stars of today have been more vocal in their support for the fight against racial inequality and police brutality that Colin Kaepernick originally decided to take a knee for. Majority of the guys who have been participating are doing so to bring awareness to the hypocrisy of the country when it comes to social injustice and police brutality, piggybacking on the Colin Kaepernick protest. While the other side is going as far as burning season tickets, jerseys, and other team paraphernalia based on their favorite team’s participation in the protest. Their feeling is that it’s disrespectful to the flag, the military, and the country altogether.

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