Helene’s Farewell and Cannabis Legalization in Minnesota!

This week’s edition covers stories 
from July 27th to August 2nd, 2023.

Today’s issue is 725 words, a 5.5-minute read.

Isabella and Helene talk legal Cannabis in Minnesota, pop-culture updates, and passing of Ricky Cobb II from police incident. 

Good morning, readers! Helene here. First, an update for all of you: this will be our last edition of NewPrensa together. I’m leaving NewPublica (the parent company of NewPrensa) at the end of the week to pursue a different career. It’s a bittersweet thing, and I’m very grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had with NewPrensa and NewPublica. I’m resting easy, though, knowing that you’ll be in Isabella’s capable hands. 

A celebration at First Avenue marking Minnesota’s legalization of recreational cannabis on Tuesday 📸 Nicole Neri for MPR News

Now, the news. Cannabis is legal in Minnesota! Starting August 1st, possession of 2 ounces or less is no longer a crime, and residents are allowed to have up to eight marijuana plants, although only four are allowed to be mature enough to flower at once. Minnesota will become the 23rd state to legalize recreational use of cannabis! 

Because of licensing laws, cannabis shops won’t be able to sell flower until near the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025. Tribal systems aren’t required to abide by state licensing, so dispensaries on reservations are expected to open much sooner. In fact, the first recreational dispensary, NativeCare, opened in the Red Lake Nation in Northern Minnesota on August 1st. The regulation of Cannabis is an important step forward in creating a safer user experience, as cannabis laced with fentanyl has become increasingly common. No matter where you are in Minnesota, readers, I wish you a very happy legalization! That’s all from me today. 

Good morning, readers, Isabella here. Some interesting things have occurred in the past week, aside from the famous Barbenheimer release: Angus Cloud, known for his role in ‘Euphoria’, passed away at 25-years-old on MondayRauw and Rosalia split up and now we’re only left with their collaborative album ‘RR’; Vanity Fair recently released a misinformed article on famous youtuber Colleen Ballinger, who was accused of alleged inappropriate behavior with her young fans; Lizzo, singer,has been sued by three former dancers for sexual harassment and a hostile work environment; SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher says they have prepared themselves for the next six months, to continue the writers and actors strike.

Oh, and Twitter is now called ‘X’ – yeah, I know. Thanks, Elon. 

“No Justice, No Peace, Defund the Police”. 2020. 📸 user: Patterson9191717 | Reddit

On a local note, at NewPrensa we would like to acknowledge the passing of Ricky Cobb II, a 33-year-old Black man from Plymouth, who was shot and killed early Monday morning after he fled from police during a routine traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving without taillights. The Minnesota Department of Safety (DPR)  released footage of the incident, from the moment Cobb was detained to a gunfire that escalated the incident. The three officers have been put on standard administrative leave. On Monday night, Cobb’s friends and family held a ceremony with over 100 people to remember him. His mother, Danielle Pickett, “thinks that his race contributed to police shooting him, and that she saw him being racially profiled over the years,” according to the Star Tribune. Since January 2000, there have been at least 230 police-involved deaths in Minnesota. The Star Tribune has put together a map and a graph with the names of the deaths per year, also filtered by race, sex and religion, as well as a description of each incident and cause of death. 

Amidst the sorrow and pain, Ricky Cobb II’s passing demands urgent advocacy for change. It is a stark reminder of the pressing need to address police-involved deaths and racial profiling in Minnesota. We must stand in solidarity with Ricky’s family and friends, supporting their call for justice and accountability. Let us demand transparent investigations into such incidents and hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. Additionally, as we remember Ricky, we must confront the issue of gun violence and advocate for sensible gun control measures that prioritize public safety. Together, we can work towards a society where all individuals, regardless of race, are treated with dignity and respect, and where lives are no longer lost due to systemic failures. Our collective action can bring about meaningful change, making our communities safer for everyone.

If you have an interest in gaining deeper insights into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), there has been a comprehensive investigation conducted by the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota, Civil Division. The results of this investigation were published in June 2023. If you’d like to learn more about the findings, YouTuber Big Joel has created a video discussing the report, which could provide valuable information on the matter.

“The Minneapolis Police:  A Criminal Organization”. July 30, 2023. 📸 Big Joel | Youtube 

That’s all from us this week, folks. 

Are you looking for a fresh new taste of music to start your Thursday morning? Hit play on the Spotify icon below for NewMusica, a playlist by the NewPrensa team that brings you NewTaste and NewVibes.

-Isabella and Helene 

Hi, friend: Isabella and Helene here! 
We’re Communications Specialists by day
and wishing Helene well on her new chapter!
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