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Baltimore Court Denies Marilyn Mosby's Request To Discard Over 5,000 Marijuana Cases

“I am deeply disappointed...My office is considering our options and will pursue all avenues to ensure we continue standing up for the people of Baltimore.”

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s request to overturn thousands of marijuana-related cases has been denied, The Baltimore Sun reports. The approximate 5,000 cases were denied dismissal because Mosby allegedly failed to present the adequate evidence, which would prove that the charges against those accused had a “disparate impact” on their lives.

Baltimore District Court Judge Kathleen Sweeney also reportedly questioned Mosby’s motives for wanting to clear these cases, because, she herself had prosecuted some of them. Initially, Mosby announced in January that she was going to stop prosecuting folks for marijuana-related cases, which disproportionately affect people of color in impoverished communities.

According to a study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2013, African-Americans are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession of marijuana. This, of course, impacts the national average of incarceration which affects black men the most. The same study found that the black arrest rate is 716 per 100,000 while whites are affected by 192 per 100,000.

"Ask any mother who has lost a son to gun violence whether she wants us to spend more time solving and prosecuting her son's killer or to spend time on marijuana possession," Mosby said in a statement, NPR reports. "It's not a close question."

"Though white and Black residents use marijuana at roughly the same rates, marijuana laws have been and continue to be disproportionately enforced against people of color," she continued. "There is absolutely no link between marijuana and violent crime and we've seen that all across the country."

Mosby had plans to dismiss cases that dated as far back as 2011. She presented the Baltimore District Court to dismiss nearly 3,800 cases and another 1,000 cases from the Baltimore Circuit Court, who is represented by Circuit Judge W. Michel Pierson.

“With 3,778 opportunities, the State fails to identify any actual single consequence suffered by any of these individuals,” Sweeney stated.

The state attorney is disappointed that authorities did not comply with her requests. “The role that courts play in our society is to be a place of last resort for people who have been wronged,” Mosby wrote in an email to WBFF Fox Baltimore reported. “I am deeply disappointed that this ruling did not afford us any opportunity to present legal arguments and essentially eliminated the court from being a safe harbor for those that were harmed by the discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws in this city. My office is considering our options and will pursue all avenues to ensure we continue standing up for the people of Baltimore.”

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21 Savage Unveils Free Online Financial Literacy Program For Young People

In continuing his efforts to help young people access financial literacy, 21 Savage announced  the launch of his Bank Account at Home Financial Literary Project on Wednesday (July 1). The campaign includes a partnership with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms to offer free Wi-Fi and tablets to those in need.

“I felt like it’s important more than ever to give our next generation the tools to succeed in life,” the rapper said in a statement to the Associated Press.

 

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I’m making financial literacy available to kids and families across the country this summer with #BankAccount At Home- a free online program to give you the tools you need to learn to save and make money. @chime @everfi @keishabottoms

A post shared by Saint Laurent Don (@21savage) on Jul 1, 2020 at 12:21pm PDT

21 Savage and his charity, Leading by Example, partnered with mobile banking service Chime, Juma Ventures and EverFi to “connect our youth with financial education and work opportunities to teach them how to manage and earn money.”

The Grammy winner launched the Bank Account Program in 2018.

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California, Arizona And More States Tighten Lockdown Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Surge

Coronavirus cases are surging around the country with several states changing quarantine guidelines as 4th of July weekend approaches. The U.S. reached a grim milestone of more than 80,000 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday (June 30).

In total, at least 2.7 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19 since March. Over 1.1 million people have recovered, while more than 100,000 have died.

California, Texas, Arizona, and several other states announced new restrictions this week including the temporary closure of bars, beaches, gyms and other business in hopes of flattening the curve after easing lockdown restrictions in May.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that travelers from over a dozen states with surging cases including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Utah, must self-quarantine for 14 days.

If you're traveling to New York from the following states you must self-quarantine for 14 days.

The states are: AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, IA, ID, LA, MS, NC, NV, SC, TN, TX, UT.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 30, 2020

The traveling restriction don't just apply to the states. The European Union has closed its bordered to U.S. travelers until further notice.As of Wednesday (July 1), Florida reported an additional 6,500 new cases, pushing the state total above 100,000. But despite the surge in cases, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to reinstate social distancing restrictions.

Meanwhile, Texas reported over 8,000 cases in just 24 hours, the highest one-day total for the state since the pandemic began. California saw record-breaking numbers as well, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to order the closure of beaches, bars, restaurants, and other businesses. The Golden State has surpassed 233,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, many of which are centered in Los Angeles County.

Arizona added 4,682 cases to its total of nearly 85,000 confirmed cases on Tuesday. North Carolina also hit a record high of 1,843 cases, bringing the state’s total of 66,513 following slight dip in the number of infections last weekend.

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50 Cent Offers To Help Virgil Abloh Amid Backlash Over Pop Smoke Album Cover

50 Cent wants to assist Virgil Abloh with the cover of Pop Smoke’s debut studio album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon. The fashion designer caught criticism after the album artwork hit the web earlier in the week, and fans felt the creation was disrespectful to the late rapper.

Fif initially criticized the creation on Instagram writing, “f**k Virgil he’s [out] of here,” after he learned that Abloh was behind the cover.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday (June 30), the G-Unit honcho offered Abloh a helping hand. “Hey Virgil we need new album art. They ain’t going for that bulls**t. Love ya work let’s get to it.”

Hey Virgil we need new album art, they ain’t going for this bullshit. Love ya work let’s get to it. 🤔Steven i told you this shit was 😡eww let’s get it right! #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi pic.twitter.com/mE24CtErto

— 50cent (@50cent) June 30, 2020

Abloh later explained that the cover was inspired by his final conversation with Pop Smoke. “This album cover was one of like 5 things we talked about,” Virgil wrote in a deleted Instagram post. “He mentioned his story felt like the metaphor of a rose & thorns growing from the concrete of his hood in Canarsie, Brooklyn. In your memory, I just finished it yesterday.” Pop Smoke's manager reportedly decided to change the cover of the album, which is slated for release on Friday (July 3).

UPDATE: Pop Smoke’s manager says they will change the album cover after listening to the fans. https://t.co/eGPQ9DXa1t

— Hot Freestyle (@HotFreestyle) June 30, 2020

In March, Fif announced that he was working on Pop Smoke’s posthumous LP. “I’m on the move listening to Pop Smoke. I deduced I’m gonna executive produce and finish his album for him,” he revealed on Instagram.

Pop Smoke was shot and killed inside his Southern California rental home in February. His murder remains unsolved.

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