Marijuana reclassified

Last week, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moved to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III controlled substance. Schedule III drugs are a less tightly regulated category in which federal rules allow for some medical uses, but the proposal would not legalize marijuana for recreational use. Schedule III drugs are still controlled substances subject to federal criminal prosecution of anyone unauthorized to sell. The reclassification also would not immediately impact anyone already affected by criminalization of marijuana. 

Federal reclassification may help ease tax burdens for the marijuana industry, which currently experiences an effective tax rate of over 70%. If marijuana is moved to Schedule III, cannabis businesses will be allowed to take the same federal tax deductions as any other business.

Chicago Sky’s Candace Parker retires

“The competitor in me always wants one more, but it’s time. My HEART & body knew, but I needed to give my mind time to accept it,” said three-time WNBA champion Candace Parker in an Instagram post announcing her retirement. 

Parker, who grew up just outside of Chicago in Naperville, was a No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA draft. She played for the Los Angeles Sparks starting in 2008 while also playing overseas during the WNBA off season, and joined the Chicago Sky in 2021. During her time with the Sky, the franchise won its first championship, and the following year Parker spearheaded the team’s best record. She ended her career with the Las Vegas Aces, sharing that she walked off the court with her daughter after what was now her last game. “I ended the journey just as I started it, with her,” she wrote. 

Parker has had over ten foot injuries in her storied career, and as preparation for this upcoming season approached, these injuries pose significant challenges. Instead of undergoing another surgery, Parker has decided to retire and focus on her other interests and businesses. Fans have taken to social media to wish Parker good luck on her recovery journey and what the future holds while sharing how much she’ll be missed. 

CPS change from student based budgeting

In early April, Chicago Public Schools officials shared preliminary plans for a new budgeting formula that will seek to standardize staffing levels at all schools based on need—a significant shift from funding policies of old.

Back in 2014, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) adopted a budgeting formula predicated on student enrollment. This meant that schools with higher enrollment levels would receive more funding, and schools with lower enrollment levels would receive less. Between 2012 and 2022, student enrollment in CPS schools dropped by 80,000 students, leading to widespread budget cuts at schools where enrollment had dropped, and maneuvers such as Rahm Emanuel’s infamous closure of fifty schools in 2013. Multiple reports since then, and criticism from activists groups and the Chicago Teachers Union alike, have critiqued student-based budgeting as one that negatively impacts the South and West sides, creating clusters of under resourced schools in those communities. Individual school budgets are currently being determined under the new formula by the district, school principals, and local school councils. 

Chief Keef at Summer Smash

Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash festival in Bridgeview dropped their lineup and it instantly made waves on social media for its unexpected Sunday headliner: Chicago’s own drill king, Chief Keef. It’s been over a decade since the South Sider performed live in the city due to an outstanding warrant related to a child support case. In an attempt to still perform, the now twenty-eight-year-old held a hologram concert that was shut down in July 2015 at Hammond, Indiana’s Craze Fest. Keef’s last Chicago performance was at Congress Theater alongside King Louie and Lil Durk; they opened for Meek Mill in 2012. The concert was also shut down due to an altercation. Chief Keef was only sixteen-years-old at the time and has since relocated to California. The drill artist dropped a new album alongside Mike WiLL Made-It titled Dirty Nachos with eighteen tracks on March 15 this year. The project features artists like Sexyy Red and 2 Chainz. A Chief Keef performance is a real treat for Chicagoans who can buy single-day passes starting at $150 and three-day tickets for $385. The festival is taking place June 14-16.

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