Year in Review – Part 2 “America”

Full Article by NW Academy Pigeon Press Staff

Gay Marriage: As of 2014, 35 states have legalized same-sex marriage. In 2004, Massachusetts was the first U.S. state, and the sixth jurisdiction in the world, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On May 19, 2014, Oregon became the 19th jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage. In just ten years, over half of the states in the US have legalized same-sex marriage. Although same-sex marriage is becoming more widely accepted, countries such as Germany, and 15 American states still have bans in place.

Marijuana Legalized: As of 2014, the number of states who have legalized the recreational use of marijuana has reached the grand total of four, as well as Washington D.C. Both Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana on a November, 2012 ballot. The 2014 Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, the only two states that had legalized marijuana at the time, was nicknamed the “Weed Bow.” Oregon has officially become the fourth state to legalize marijuana. Starting July 1, 2015, people in Oregon are allowed to have possession of up to 8 oz. in their home as well as 1 oz. in public. Homeowners are also allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants per household.

Ferguson: On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an African American teenager, was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson. Protests erupted around the Ferguson area. The public responded with outcries about modern racism and police brutality. Controversy occurred when details about the case became unclear as multiple eyewitness account all contained conflicting information. Political groups and new organizations only heightened tensions between the protestors and the government. The anger seemed to cooled down until November 24, 2014 when a grand jury released their decision not to indict Officer Wilson. This only caused more anger and protests however this time around the country. The Ferguson movement has also created many trending hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and other social media.

The Sony Hack: On November 24, 2014, information including emails between Sony employees, unreleased Sony movies, information about executive salaries along with other information was released by a group of Hackers going by the name “Guardians of Peace”. The CIA claims that North Korea was behind this attack. The group of hackers also requested that the Sony film, The Interview not be released, threatening terrorist attacks on theaters who shows the film. Sony later decided to fully pull the December 25 release date. Sony has no plans to release the film at all. The highly anticipated remake of Annie was also released onto pirated websites. Other movies released by the hacker group include, FuryMr. TurnerStill Alice and To Write Love on Her Arms.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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