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White House announces meeting with weed legalization activists next week

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Activists in a group supporting marijuana legalization said on Wednesday that White House officials had invited them to a meeting next week to talk about issues surrounding the substance.

“I hope to establish an ongoing dialogue with the White House and cannabis reformers,” said Adam Eidinger, co-founder of the DCMJ activist group.

“This meeting is hopefully the beginning of many meetings where the White House will make reforms before this administration’s time ends,” said Eidinger, who has led efforts to legalize pot in the nation’s capital.

The White House had no immediate comment. President Barack Obama’s final term ends in January.

DCMJ had written to Obama, his senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and other White House officials asking for a meeting. A source at the group said the meeting on Monday would be held with officials from the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, but he did not know exactly what marijuana issues they wanted to discuss.

The group wants the federal government to remove marijuana from the so-called list of Schedule One drugs that includes substances like heroin and cocaine. Activists say many Americans, especially blacks and Latinos, are needlessly jailed and medical research into cannabis is delayed because of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that initiated the listing. It was signed into law by former President Richard Nixon.

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Obama has long said he supports decriminalizing marijuana but not legalizing it. He has called for reform of the criminal justice system for disproportionately incarcerating African-Americans for non-violent drug offenses like possession.

Last year, Obama, who has been open about smoking pot in high school, said young people should care more about issues like climate change than legalizing the substance.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)

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Cops defend tackling and handcuffing 12-year-old boy for roughhousing with his cousin

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Police officers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have faced an onslaught of criticism after they handcuffed and arrested a 12-year-old black boy, the Associated Press reports.

Officers claimed the boy was being violent, trying to attack a man with a wooden pole. The boy's mother disputes that account. She claims her son was just playing with his cousin.

Carreion Baker told a local news outlet that he wasn't aware that officers were after him, which is why he didn't respond to their commands to stop.

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A Maryland school told them to be quiet — but see what these students did

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Following the Parkland school massacre, students from Montgomery Country, Maryland were angry, grieving and scared. So what did they do? They quickly formed MoCo Students For Change and mobilized an estimated 6,000 students from over 40 schools in the area to attend a student rally on Capitol Hill that they organized to fight against gun violence.

In Brave New Films’ latest #YouthInAction series, we get a glimpse of what it’s like to organize this event through the perspective of the MoCo students themselves. Watch as they fight for their survival.

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GOP pollster gets hilariously destroyed after blaming a broken elevator in his European hotel on ‘socialism’

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Republican pollster Frank Luntz drew hackles from across the internet on Tuesday after he blamed a broken elevator at a hotel in Austria on "socialism."

Writing on Twitter, Luntz complained that the elevator at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria has not been functioning for three straight days -- and said that the European social welfare state was responsible for this purportedly dire situation.

"Please don’t bring European-style socialism to America," Luntz pleaded.

I’m at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria. Almost 200 rooms… But the elevator has been broken for 3 days.

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