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It looks like the parties–and hallucinations–in Denver, Colorado are about to be a bit more lit! Denver residents have now voted to decriminalize shrooms (mushrooms, especially ones with hallucinogenic properties), becoming the first American city to do so!

via Complex

shrooms

The ballot measure was projected to fail Tuesday night with “no” votes holding a solid lead in early returns; but on Wednesday afternoon, the final unofficial results showed that the he initiative had passed by a narrow 1.12 percent margin, with 89,320 votes in favor of Initiative 301 and 87,341 were against it.

It’s important to note that these numbers remain unofficial, as the Denver Elections Division will continue to collect military and overseas ballots; however, the Denver Post points out that these votes rarely make a difference because there are typically arrive in small numbers. The results will be certified on May 16. 

Initiative 301, led by Decriminalize Denver, will effectively decriminalize the use or possession of psychedelic mushrooms by people 21 and older. Though it doesn’t legalize the psilocybin, which is illegal on both state and federal levels, the measure prohibits Denver from using resources to impose criminal penalties against adults who are caught with psilocybin—the active hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushrooms. 

“It’s been one hell of a 21-and-a-half hours,” Initiative 301 campaign manager Kevin Matthews told the Post. “If these results hold, this is an example of the absurd comedy of the great metaphor. Against all odds, we prevailed. This is what happens when a small team of dedicated and passionate people unite under a single idea to create change.”

Those in favor of psilocybin decriminalization argue that hallucinogen has been used for thousands of years, and may be beneficial to those who suffer from substance addiction and/or mental health issues.

“Our victory here is a clear signal to the rest of the country that we’re ready for a broader conversation around psilocybin and its potential benefits,” Matthews said. “[…] We’re looking forward to creating a positive relationship with city officials. We have the resources ready to make sure the Justice Department, the (district attorney’s) office and the Denver Police Department have the education they need to implement this in a way that’s fair.”

Denver, in particular, the western regions of the country seem to be decriminalizing recreational drugs left and right, notably marijuana. We are wondering when the North and South are going to catch up!

Celebrity News

Morehouse Commencement Speaker to Pay Off Class of 2019’s Student Loans, Angela Bassett Receives Honorary Doctorate!

They say “you can tell a Morehouse Man when you see him, but you can’t tell him much.” This is definitely the case for billionaire, Robert F. Smith,  a technology investor and philanthropist, and Morehouse graduate who was also the speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony. After announcing a 1.5 million dollar gift to the school, Mr. Smith announced he would give the graduating class of 2019 an even greater gift by wiping out their student loan debts!

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tudent Debt Pledge morehouse h

They say “you can tell a Morehouse Man when you see him, but you can’t tell him much.” This is definitely the case for billionaire, Robert F. Smith,  a technology investor and philanthropist, and Morehouse graduate who was also the speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony. After announcing a 1.5 million dollar gift to the school, Mr. Smith announced he would give the graduating class of 2019 an even greater gift by wiping out their student loan debts!

via Atlanta Journal Constitution

robert f. smith

Robert F. Smith

But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019. 

Graduates react after hearing billionaire Robert F. Smith is paying all student debt for the Class of 2019 during the Morehouse College commencement ceremony In Atlanta, on Sunday, May 19, 2019. (Photo: STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

“This is my class,” he said, “and I know my class will pay this forward.”

The announcement came as a surprise to Smith’s staff and to the staff at Morehouse, and elicited the biggest cheers of the morning.

Tonga Releford, whose son Charles Releford III is a member of the Class of 2019, estimates that his student loans are about $70,000.

“I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she said.

The gift has been estimated to be worth up to $40 million.

angela bassett

Actress, Angela Bassett, also received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse, making the day all the more magical. Black Excellence was clearly in full effect on the hallowed grounds of The ACU today and we are here for it!

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Ka-Ching! PornHub in Talks to Buy Tumblr from Verizon, and “Restore It To Its Former Glory!”

Whether you like it or not adult entertainment is here to stay! People have sex, and some people get off watching it. Tumblr, a site that was initially for artist over the years became a site rife with porn and sexual acts until late last year when the site’s administrators decided to remove all adult content from its pages. Naturally, Tumblr became a thing of the past as people moved towards Twitter and other sites for their porn fix. Verizon has been in talks with a number of companies interesting in purchasing Tumbler, including PornHub; who wants to restore the site to its “former glory!”

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pornhub tumblr

Whether you like it or not adult entertainment is here to stay! People have sex, and some people get off watching it. Tumblr, a site that was initially for artist over the years became a site rife with porn and sexual acts until late last year when the site’s administrators decided to remove all adult content from its pages. Naturally, Tumblr became a thing of the past as people moved towards Twitter and other sites for their porn fix. Verizon has been in talks with a number of companies interesting in purchasing Tumbler, including PornHub; who wants to restore the site to its “former glory!”

via The Verge

verizon logo 2019

On Thursday evening, Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and “very much looking forward to one day restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content.” The company did not say whether it has actually made any legitimate offer to Verizon, however.

Price is referring to a major change implemented late last year, when Tumblr took the controversial step of banning porn on its platform. The company has been using AI to detect and automatically block images and videos that contain certain adult content. Existing posts containing porn were made private and are no longer publicly accessible. The move resulted in harsh criticism toward the company and a steep decline in web traffic, but Tumblr has given no indication that it plans to reverse its decision. Pornhub quickly sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away.Tumblr itself was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013 during the Marissa Mayer era as an attempt to revitalize and steer new, younger users to the sinking internet staple. But Yahoo never really knew what to do with Tumblr, and the micro-blogging site — with its millions of personal blogs and some of the weirdest, best things on the internet — did nothing to reverse Yahoo’s business fortunes.

finalized its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo in 2017, which led to it taking ownership of Tumblr. Tumblr is currently part of Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), the umbrella brand for digital properties that Verizon ultimately controlled after its two buyouts of AOL and Yahoo. The Journal notes that Verizon’s attempt to offload Tumblr comes as it tries to make the best of its collective media business after a $4.6 billion write-down last year, which was essentially an acknowledgement that both deals had been a mistake. Verizon sold one of its Yahoo assets, Flickr, to SmugMug about a year ago. Guru Gowrappan, the executive put in charge of Verizon Media Group last year, later criticized that sell-off as too time-consuming without enough reward.

But publicly, Verizon executives remain committed to the properties despite layoffs that have affected some of the sites and entertainment divisions. “I hope there is no doubt about our commitment to Verizon Media Group and how it fits into our whole strategy,” CEO Hans Vestberg said earlier this week, according to the Journal. Tumblr, it seems, is not necessarily part of that strategy. But now the question becomes whether there’s even a viable buyer for the platform in 2019 that won’t let it slowly wither away.

Honestly, PornHub purchasing Tumblr is not a bad idea. It is a proven fact the porn is one of the biggest uses for the internet, why shouldn’t they capitalize that further?

 

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Current Events

That Check! Black Woman Gets $100K from Oregon County over “Blue Lives Matter” Flag!

Refusing to deal with discrimination and a hostile work environment hits differently when  you have to pay out $100K to a Black employee who claimed who work environment became racially insensitive. Her stance stemmed from a probation officer at her job hanging up a “Blue Lives Matter” flag; and management failing to do anything about it despite her reporting it was demeaning to the Black Lives Matter movement and promoted police brutality.

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Karimah Guion-Pledgure and blue lives matter

Refusing to deal with discrimination and a hostile work environment hits differently when  you have to pay out $100K to a Black employee who claimed who work environment became racially insensitive. Her stance stemmed from a probation officer at her job hanging up a “Blue Lives Matter” flag; and management failing to do anything about it despite her reporting it was demeaning to the Black Lives Matter movement and promoted police brutality.

via NYDN

blue officer badge

Karimah Guion-Pledgure decided to sue Multnomah County after months of alleged harassment. The lawsuit claims that the Blue Lives Matter flag “demeans” the Black Lives Matter movement.

A probation officer at the woman’s office hung one above his desk in September 2017 and supervisors would not require the man to remove the flag. Co-workers disagreed with the woman that it was derogatory. She claimed she was harassed because of her stance and faced “discrimination and retaliation” during her time working as a corrections technician for the county.

Supporters of the Blue Lives Matter flag claim it is meant to honor the sacrifices law enforcement officers make and the work they do, but Guion-Pledgure believes otherwise.

A copy of the lawsuit obtained by the Daily News said the Blue Lives Matter movement “co-opts” the Black Lives Matter movement’s slogan and repurposes it to shift focus from black lives to law enforcement, which is “a chosen profession, not a racial identity.”

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved the settlement on Thursday, the Portland Mercury reported. As part of the settlement, Guion-Pledgure had to resign from her job with the county on Friday.

The lawsuit claimed that the poor workplace environment led the woman to suffer from stress and health problems.

Guion-Pledgure’s attorney Ashlee Albies told the Daily News her client didn’t want to file a lawsuit, but felt there was no other way to bring attention to the issue and stop the workplace harassment she was experiencing.

Albies said Guion-Pledgure is relieved her issue was resolved and hopes the county will be more welcoming to others in the future.

The lawsuit details examples of the discrimination and backlash the woman faced.In July 2018, Guion-Pledgure created her own “equity wall” in response to the Blue Lives Matter flag remaining on the wall. It was made up of visuals of people of color killed by police in the United States and visuals of immigrant children separated from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A co-worker complained about the wall the next day and she was told to remove it but refused since the Blue Lives Matter flag has been allowed to stay up for months even though there had been many complaints, the lawsuit said.

In response, the office instituted a policy limiting the size of pictures to smaller than 5-x-7 inches. Co-workers with Blue Lives Matter flags responded by bringing in smaller versions and the day the policy was enacted, two notes were left on Guion-Pledgure’s equity wall. One read “Thanks a lot,” and the other read, “Bitch.”

She reported the incident and went on leave for a few weeks. Even after her return, she said the complaints against her and anxiety stemming from the workplace continued for months and she eventually filed a lawsuit. She originally was seeking $420,000 in the lawsuit, but settled for $100,000.

Blue Lives Matter flags and photo displays like the collage Guion-Pledgure created are no longer allowed under a new policy at the woman’s former workplace, OregonLive reported on Friday.

This only reiterates the point that politics do not belong in the workplace! Shout out to Multnomah County for settling this before it cost them and the State of Oregon millions in the long run.

 

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