Here’s a look at African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The California Supreme Court gave local governments power to zone medical marijuana dispensaries out of existence this week, a decision that upholds bans in about 200 cities but does little to solve Los Angeles’ years-long struggle to regulate hundreds of storefront pot outlets. The unanimous decision provided clarity for cities and counties that want to rid themselves of the dispensaries, which sprouted up statewide after a 1996 voter-approved measure that sought to authorize medical marijuana, but lacked specifics in how it would be regulated. Now, attorneys on both sides of the issue say, many cities will be inclined to ban the pot outlets rather than allow a limited number and regulate them—a practice that has spawned expensive litigation up and down California.
District of Columbia
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research and policy institution that focuses on the concerns of African Americans and other people of color, recently held its annual gala dinner where Vice President Joe Biden addressed the crowd. Under the banner—“Jobs. Partnerships. Progress.”—the event was an opportunity for elected officials, business, civic and community leaders from across the country to celebrate the rise of African Americans in the nation’s political and civic life. The vice president’s remarks took place as the Joint Center honored Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with its 2013 Louis E. Martin Great American Award, which is given annually to an exemplar of change, progress and coalition-building across racial lines.