Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Good News


I've got a bundle of good news today, which is rare and necessary!

First of all, Oakland is doing something fucking huge with its cannabis industry.

Oakland: Groundbreaking pot permit program takes shape

With those stats from the city of Oakland’s Department of Race and Equity in hand, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to overhaul the nation’s first equity program to set aside 50 percent of medical marijuana and cannabis business permits during the first phase of permitting for people affected by the War on Drugs. The council vote was taken around midnight after three hours of public comment and debate. 
The revised program builds on laws passed in May that began a tug-of-war among council members divided on the details. A number of amendments to the laws were rejected by Councilwoman Desley Brooks, who represents a portion of East Oakland and spearheaded the equity program to make sure Oakland residents have more control and access to an industry that has been dominated by whites, some of whom are new residents.

Black individuals have been pointing out the unequal access to the booming cannabis industries in areas where it's been legalized for a long time now, in addition to the fact that black communities have historically been disproportionately targeted for arrest for nonviolent cannabis-related offenses, and still are. Just because it's legal doesn't mean all of its use is legal, nor is selling it without jumping through a fuckton of expensive hoops.

But I did not expect to see action like this so soon. This is incredible and awesome. But of course:

But while the new cannabis laws are breaking down industry barriers for some longtime residents, business owners and those new to Oakland say the changes have moved the needle too far in the other direction, and they are being pushed out of the pot bonanza.


As usual, as soon as privileged people lose a little bit of unfairly-given ground, the tears start falling.

Anyway, next up, this fucking racist might go to jail.

Joe Arpaio, former sheriff in Arizona, is found guilty of criminal contempt

More than a month after lawyers wrapped up closing arguments, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton found Arpaio guilty for defying a judge’s 2011 court order to refrain from racially profiling Latinos during patrols and turning them over to federal immigration authorities. 
The 85-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 and could face up to six months in jail. 
During the trial, which took place in a federal court in Phoenix, prosecutors argued that Arpaio intentionally violated the court order, which demanded his officers stop detaining people simply on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally — a practice that had led to the detention of some Latinos who were citizens or legal residents.


His lawyer's are planning to appeal and he's only looking at up to six months if the verdict stands and probably won't see any jail time at all but fuck a cop actually getting convicted of something? That's what you get when you fuck with a judge. Too bad we still can't get justice for murdered black people.

Good news for trans people, too!

This Friday, Stand With Bandcamp in Support of Trans Rights

Bandcamp, which is apparently really cool, is donating 100% of the company's share of every sale made this Friday, August 4th. They did the same kind of thing after the first announcements of the Muslim ban. I'm not always a fan of companies trying to cash in by giving tacit support to oppressed communities but this is badass. The link above also contains a list of trans artists you can support. Thanks Bandcamp!

And good news for trans military personnel.

Former Navy surgeon: I’ll perform free surgeries for trans military personnel

McGinn, who is also transgender, will perform free gender confirmation surgery for any military member who has already scheduled the procedure with her office. 
“If the commander-in-chief won’t take care of our veterans, our veterans will. I will do surgery for free on the number of people that I have already lined up for surgery,” she told Michael Smerconish on Saturday.

Fuck yes, community activism and support! It's not clear if the trans military ban will ever actually go into effect, but this is an amazing way for someone in a relatively stable position to help those who could be fucked over by our transphobic government. Thank you, Dr. Christine McGinn.

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