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5 Things to Know This Weekend: June 23, 2017

5 Things to Know This Weekend: June 23, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Before heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to check out the news of the week. 

On Monday, Mexico legalized medical cannabis. 

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a bill that allows for the legal sales and consumption of medical marijuana. The bill, which was passed in April, received overwhelming support from Mexican legislators and citizens and was publicly endorsed by Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles, noting it as a tool for helping heal the sick. 
Meanwhile, in America…

Photo by Getty Images

Photo by Getty Images

On Tuesday, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and other Big Oil companies launched an ad campaign promoting a carbon tax on corporations' CO2 emissions.

The ad revealed the gas companies’ support for the conservative-led Climate Leadership Council, alongside other companies like Unilever, Pepsi, and Johnson & Johnson. In February, the "free market, limited government" group proposed a $40 tax on each ton of CO2 emitted that would increase over time to encourage a shift towards renewable energy. The proceeds would be returned to individual American taxpayers. While the Nature Conservancy and Conservation International are founding members of the Council, other environmental groups, including Greenpeace, remain unimpressed with what they describe as little more than a publicity stunt. 

Wednesday was the start of summer and longest day of the year, but residents living on the Gulf Coast spent all that daylight prepping for Storm Cindy. 

Photo via NBC

Photo via NBC

Seventeen million people were under a tropical storm warning from Texas to the Alabama-Florida border, expecting up to 15 inches of heavy rain, tornados, and flash flooding through the end of the week. On Thursday, southern states declared a state of emergency as the storm made landfall in Louisiana near the Texas border. The heavy rain and winds are expected to subside over the weekend. This is the second tropical storm to hit the south since the start of the rainy season, following Tropical Storm Arlene in April. 

Photo via NBC

Photo via NBC

On Thursday,  Senate Republicans unveiled a “discussion draft” of the health care reform bill.

If passed, the plan would let states waive health care benefits, lower the number of people who receive tax credits for health care, phase out Medicaid expansion, and cut funding to Planned Parenthood for one year. It would also decrease taxes created as a result of the Affordable Care Act. It’s slightly different than the version the House passed in May, but analysts predict millions of Americans may lose coverage just the same. Senate leader Mitch McConnell reportedly wants to fast-track the vote, cutting out public hearings and other opportunities for input, and hopes to pass the bill before the Senate adjourns for the July 4 holiday. 

Photo via iStock

Photo via iStock

On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced US new home sales increased more than expected in May. 

According to the report, new home sales rose by 2.9 percent—or 610,000 units—for single family homes in May. Median sales prices also rose to an all-time high, no surprise for would-be homebuyers frustrated by a very pricey market.  

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