BSA Fashion Photo Series

Archive, Teen Topics

By: Ella Haber

To contact this photographer email Muse Newspaper at

Legalized Cannabis: Let’s Be Blunt

Archive, Teen Topics

By: Lucy Garcia

November is a month that has been burned into the heads of politicians and United States citizens alike for one particular reason: Voting. In November of 2022, Maryland residents voted on things like the renaming of the Courts of Appeal and Howard County’s Orphan Court. However, there was one specific question on the ballot that the U.S. has been debating for a long while: the legalization of marijuana.

The topic of the Marijuana Legalization Amendment was question number 4 on the November Maryland ballot. A simple “yes” supported legalizing marijuana for adults 21 or older beginning in July 2023, as well as “directing the Maryland State Legislature to pass laws for the use, distribution, regulation, and taxation of marijuana.” When the final votes were counted, 32.8% voted no, approximately 635,572 people, while 67.2% voted yes, approximately 1,302,161 people.

Despite the legalization of marijuana being approved, there are still rules applied to the possession of cannabis. Starting July 1st of 2023, personal possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana will be allowed for those 21 and older. Possession above 1.5 ounces but lower than 2.5 ounces may be punishable by a $250 fine. Anything above 2.5 can be punishable to up to 6 months in jail or a fine of 1,000 dollars. Smoking marijuana in public may be punishable by up to $250, but smoking in the comfort of your own home is perfectly legal. Adults may grow or possess up to 2 cannabis plants out of the public eye, nevertheless, selling marijuana without a license is still against the law and punishable by up to 3 years in jail, or a fine up to $5,000. 

But with all these rules and regulations, the question still remains. What actually is marijuana?

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a cannabinoid drug that’s made from the dry flowers of Cannabis Sativa. The most common ways to use or consume marijuana include smoking, vaporization, and eating.

While the effects of cannabis depend on the amount taken, the responses of cannabis may include but are not excluded to: feelings of euphoria and/or relaxation, increased appetite, increased laughter, increased sociability, and dry mouth. 

However, just like any other drug, weed can become risky depending on how much is used and in what manner. Some long term effects could include a dependency on marijuana, building tolerance to marijuana, and in some cases, reduced cognitive thinking. If cannabis is being smoked, other effects may be sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, and if smoked with tobacco, cancer. 

The argument that marijuana should be legal in the US is one that has been around since the drug was first used. It has been the topic of many debates, as well as one of the anchors for President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, where he assured his voters that it was an issue he planned to solve if elected into office, and that is precisely what he did.

In October of 2022, President Biden announced that he would begin the process of pardoning those convicted of simple marijuana possession offenses under federal law and DC statute.

This announcement, made about one month before midterm elections, was the beginning of 3 steps that President Biden plans on taking to end the “failed approach” of marijuana in the United States. Firstly, President Biden plans on pardoning those who have been arrested due to cannabis ownership. 

“No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Expressed President Biden in a statement from the White House regarding the marijuana reform.

The second step that President Biden is taking is encouraging state governors to follow in his footsteps. President Biden urges them to do the same by pardoning marijuana offenses on a state level. 

“Just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either,” President Biden explained. 

This plan will ultimately end up pardoning around 6,500 people who have been convicted between 1992 and 2021, as shown in data collected by the US Sentencing Commission. Even though the majority, if not all of these people are not currently in federal prison, these pardons still have the ability to help with restrictions placed due to the stain on their criminal records. These obstacles could range from public benefits, opportunities for education, employment barriers, and, in some states, even voting rights. 

The incarceration rate for marijuana users, like many other incarceration rates, is skewed toward people of color. Despite the rates of marijuana use between POC and white people being akin, the average arrest rate for POC is significantly higher. 

“And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.” Stated President Biden. 

In a study done in 2020 by the American Civil Liberties Union, it is shown that in the state of Maryland, Black people are 2.1 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people, compared to the national average of 3.64. With these pardons, Black, brown, Latino/Latina, and indigenous lives will cease to be upended by rates for “conduct that many states no longer prohibit.

The third and final step that President Biden plans on taking is asking both the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the review of how marijuana is viewed under federal law. Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act. This is the same level that heroin and LSD are classified as, as well as higher than fentanyl and methamphetamine, despite these substances being substantially more dangerous and addictive.

 “We classify marijuana at the same level as heroin – and more serious than fentanyl. It makes no sense,” President Biden concluded. 

Regardless of the changes happening around marijuana for those over 21, rules, regulations, and laws for minor marijuana use stay the same. 

But now that Maryland voters passed the referendum, a new companion bill is being sent out regarding the logistics of the regulation process, specific timing, and marijuana’s use in the medical field. There are sure to be announcements with more details about this new bill later in 2023. Due to the taxation and distribution of marijuana still being up in the air, it is unlikely that dispensaries will be selling products anytime soon in the next 7 months. But for now, it’s time to sit back and watch the bud-ding act grow.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at

Headline photo caption:

Photo by Business Insider, “States where cannabis is legal,” Nov 9 2022

Lady in the Lake Brings Drama in Front of and Behind the Camera

Archive, Teen Topics

By: Micah Berger-Sollod

Baltimore has been the site of many hit TV shows, such as The Wire and We Own This City. Recently, Alma Har’el’s directed Lady in the Lake has begun filming here. Set in 1960s Baltimore, an unsolved murder pushed Jewish housewife Maddie Swartz to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist. It’s based on Laura Lipman’s famous book of the same name. While the release date is not yet known, the show has been filming since April and is set to release on Apple TV.

Alma Har’el, an Israeli film director, is both directing and writing the show. She is working with Endeavor Content, a film and entertainment studio working out of Los Angeles. The TV show involves many big names in the film industry, including Natalie Portman and Baltimore School for the Arts alumnus Moses Ingram. While the film brings lots of excitement to Baltimore’s arts scene, a fake claim of extortion and mounting heat from locals threatens the show’s support. No matter the opinion, most agree that Lady in the Lake is one of the biggest events in Baltimore’s entertainment industry in a long time.

Laura Lipman’s novel tells the story of a Jewish housewife and a Black bartender who show the deeply embedded institutions of racism underneath Baltimore’s investigative journalism. It follows two murders, one is of a White Jewish woman who is heavily publicized, and the other of a Black woman who is only mentioned by African American newspapers. The book is actually based on two murders from Laura Lipman’s childhood.

Filming began smoothly with shooting at locations all over the city. Many shooting locations are in  Jewish communities in Baltimore, including many synagogues such as Beth Am and Chizuk Amuno Congregation. Some Jewish community leaders such as Rabbi Daniel Burg have been asked to help facilitate the proper use of sensitive locations like these. But the story itself is not the only dramatic part of this TV show.

In August of 2022 Lady in the Lake producers claimed that during a shoot Downtown, a group of men approached them and demanded $50,000, or they would shoot someone. This was reported by a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department and is easily classified as extortion.

“Friday afternoon, on the Baltimore set of our production Lady in the Lake, prior to the arrival of the cast and crew, per their call time, a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then they fled the location. We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing,” the studio behind the series, Endeavor Content, said in a statement. After temporarily pausing filming, details about the crime became murkier.

Police then spoke with the private security supervisor, and she claimed they actually asked for just $4,000 and only threatened to shoot the gun in the air. The private security supervisor then retracted all claims on the incident, and later that day police declared it a false report.

“There were some threats made, I do know that for a fact,” said Venneith McCormick, a business owner. “There are some vendors up there by Lexington Market who think that they should’ve been paid because they’re vendors on the street.” McCormick owns a business that was taken over temporarily by the production company for shooting purposes, and while compensated he estimates he has lost up to $5,000. After the police declared it a false report, Endeavor Content went silent.

Thiru Vignarajah, a community leader, had this to say “Every time we hear these fabricated stories about violence in Baltimore, it tells the world that this is not perhaps a place to do business [or] to bring your families, and that hurts all of us.”

Al Hathaway, a community activist, claimed it was a slap in the face to the city and a blatant act of fear-mongering. 

Filming for the series has now continued and despite the fake extortion incident, there is still a lot of support for the series among the Baltimore community. On the 22nd of October Moses Ingram and many other members of the Lady of the Lake cast and crew came to BSA and hosted a panel discussion. Nearly 20 different students and parents joined BSA faculty to discuss all sorts of parts of the creative process and experiences from the industry. The crew included BSA alumni Ron Jeffries and Moses Ingram.

Back in March of 2021, Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o were set to star in the show. However, in May of 2022 Nyong’o exited the series and was replaced with Moses Ingram in June. Other names like Noah Jupe, Mike Epps, and Bryon Bowers were added in July. According to the production team filming is nearly done but a release date has not been set.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at

Headline photo caption:

A set from The Wire in Baltimore. Photo courtesy of J. M. Giordano.

Considering the Future of Harborplace

School Year 2021-22, Teen Topics

By: Audrey Weiss

The Inner Harbor is known to be one of Baltimore’s greatest attractions for locals and tourists, but it has faced great hardship in the last several years. 

Business after business has vacated the area, especially inside of the retail hubs known as Harborplace. This was partially a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the problem runs deep and was apparent far before the year 2020.

Harborplace, placed between the Maryland Science Center and World Trade Center, opened its doors in the year 1980, set with the intention of being a centerpiece of downtown Baltimore.

Harborplace was one of the first waterfront malls, and drew a lot of attention originally as it became a landmark of sorts. Unfortunately, the buildings deteriorated and haven’t been able to update in a way that has allowed them to maintain any of the buzz Harborplace once had. 

The decline of Harborplace isn’t entirely its own fault; within the time frame of the pandemic, many other business staples in the Harbor have left or died out, including the once very notable Barnes and Noble location that was beside the National Aquarium.

The future of Harborplace, and the Inner Harbor as a whole, have been gaining attention recently within news outlets and Baltimore residents, especially with new possible opportunities for reviving the space.

In early April, it was first reported that MCB Real Estate, a Baltimore developer, acquired Harborplace from the receivership it was put into in 2019.

The managing partner at the company, David Bramble, is meant to take control of the project. Bramble told CBS News Baltimore that the plan is to “reinvent and reimagine Harborplace as a modern gathering location that is awe-inspiring and authentically Baltimore.” 

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has pledged his support of the project, disclosing to the Baltimore Sun, “I’ve had the city solicitor working with him [David Bramble] since the beginning of the receivership process and I remain committed to seeing this to fruition.” 

Scott and his administration are willing to work with the redevelopment and a spokesperson for the mayor clarified they are willing to consider any requests for assistance, possibly including financial ones.

Though approval from a Baltimore Circuit Court Judge still has to go through, the future of Harborplace most likely will either entail simply major renovations, or demolishing the buildings to completely start over.

It is expected that the businesses that still reside within the waterfront mall space will be displaced when time for construction comes around, but the buildings are nowhere near filled to capacity, and so the amount of remaining businesses that would be affected is very few.

As plans for Harborplace are being considered, other parts of the Harbor have already taken steps to revamp the landmark; one major project that wrapped up last November was the opening of Rash Field Park.

The park, right up against the harbor, introduced a skate park, play ground, and other spaces for Baltimore natives to enjoy the waterfront view. 

There has already been a notable crowd that fills the park nearly everyday, circulating people into the harbor space and hopefully providing opportunities for local businesses that would incentivise them to formulate by the harbor.

It seems that there is still hope for the Inner Harbor, and many reasons for why attempts should be made to visit and enjoy the Harbor: to visit the new sites, support the businesses, and enjoy one of the landmarks of Baltimore.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at

DC Fans Finally Get The Batman They Have Been Waiting For

Archive, School Year 2021-22, Teen Topics

By: Frances Philippe-Auguste

Spoiler Warning

On March 4 2022 yet another Batman movie was released, this time with a new actor, Robert Pattinson. With the new Batman movie, it might be fun to go back in time to take a look at previous Batman releases.

All the way back in 1939 a man named Bob Kane was approached to create a new super for Detective comics. Because of the success of Superman, which released its first issue in 1938,  DC Comics wanted to continue creating new heroes. Bob Kane, with the help of his friend Bill Finger, created the Caped Crusader. 

Batman first hit the screens in the early 1940s. The two Batman television series from the 40s were not very popular or successful. But with failure comes success. In 1966 one of the most famous Batman shows was released.

Batman, the television series in color, was a great action-packed show that is very iconic with most of our parents. With the amazing Adam West as Batman and Bart Ward as Robin, this show was the best way to see Batman and Robin on screen. 

It was because of the success of the Batman television series that launched other Batman shows. In 1968 the first animated Batman show graced people’s televisions sets. This set the path for many other Batman movies and cartoons.     

1968’S ‘The Adventures Of Batman’ Starred The Dynamic Duo & Helped Launch Super Friends.

The Batman, 2022 is the first Batman movie we have gotten since 2012. And in all honesty, it might be one of the best Batman movies we have ever gotten. There is so much about this movie that will make fans and non-DC fans love this movie.

There are many ways to describe this movie. A non-DC fan might see this movie as a great dark movie with great cinematography. People can appreciate that this movie was a good kind of dark that was just the right fit for this movie.  

Robert Pattinson as Batman is something I think most people have been wanting for a very long time. Pattinson can best be compared to the animated and comic book Batman that I believe most of us think about from our childhood. 

Starting in about 2014, DC started releasing a modern animated movie series, Apokolips War, that were all tied together. Batman had a few movies and it is safe to say that Pattinson’s Batman is very similar to the mannerisms of Batman from those movies. 

Batman and Catwoman in ‘Batman: Hush’. Justice League Apokolips War movie series. TV Insider.

Batman in the animated movies was a very serious no-nonsense type of person who is a very skilled fighter who doesn’t use guns. He sticks to his oath of not ever crossing the line and every once in a while he will remind you that he is truly only human. 

Robert Pattinson does an amazing job at portraying Batman in this way. We can see by the amazing fight senses that he is an amazing fighter. We also get to see his detective skills as he has to solve all of The Riddler’s riddles and tricks. Batman’s emotional side comes into play as we see his interactions with Alfred and Selina, played by Andy Serkis and Zoë Kravitz.   

‘The Batman’ movie poster. Batman News.

There is no perfect way to describe this movie but DC fans can definitely see similarities from other DC media. One of the best ways to describe the movie itself is to compare it to the television show, Gotham

Young Bruce Wayne in ‘Gotham’ Season 2.

Gotham was about a young Bruce Wayne and Gotham City. It was a dark show that showed us many of the Batman villains that we all love. Now, saying that the new Batman movies are just like Gotham does not give the movie justice. The Batman is like if Gotham was ten times better than it actually was. 

It would be a crime to talk about this movie without talking about the Batman costume. The Batman costume in previous movies has not been that great. From the super basic look of Adam West to the super bulky not quite right look of Ben Affleck Batman suits have never been quite right. 

Ben Affleck as Batman in 2017’s ‘Justice League.’ New York Post.

That was changed in this movie. The suit was not super bulky where it made him seem weirdly out of place with the other characters. His suit was well-fitted and the mask looked just right. The suit was pleasing to look at and was just the most comically accurate suit that we have seen in any of the movies. 

The movie had so many points that would make DC fans just giddy with excitement. It leaves us wondering about what they might address in a possible second movie. Do we get to know what the joker might have planned? Will we get to see which Robin will grace our new Batman? These are all things that will have to look forward to in the future. 

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at

A Trend-Filled Year: Looking Back at the of Fashion 2021

Archive, School Year 2021-22, Teen Topics

By: Audrey Weiss

After over a year online, the start of the 2021-2022 school year brought the return to in-person learning and thus a return to dressing for school.

A conflict of comfort vs. style arose after the time spent in comfortable clothes during quarantine, which led to the need for readjustment into styling daily outfits for school, as many speculated before the start of the school year. 

“There will be a reckoning with comfort, but I think that people will be excited to dress up and show off,” stated Raissa Bretaña for the LA Times, a fashion historian and professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. 

Reflecting on 2021 and the return to the building, it can be said that people were ready and filled the past year with a diverse assortment of fashion.

Not surprisingly, Baltimore School for the Arts students are known for their style. Not only is BSA an art school, but the loose dress codes and lack of uniform in comparison to the rest of city schools give students more freedom when it comes to expression by way of clothing.

In 2021, many items and aesthetics have cycled through the interest of high school students and the world as a whole. Inspiration was picked up from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s, giving plenty of options.

Revivals of trends, as well as taking old styles and infusing them with individual creativity lay the foundation for many trends and aesthetics that could be seen in the hallways of 2021.

Sweater vests, corset tops, wide denim, unique knits, flared leggings, and platform boots are a few items that had at one point or another, risen to popularity in the past year. 

Specific pieces that were big in 2021 often got associated with styles or aesthetics either associated with a past decade or a generalized branch of clothing. As reported by NYLON magazine, indie, academia, cottagecore, Y2K, and kidcore were some of the most popular aesthetics of 2021.

Whether items or styles were simply worn for a few weeks during the peak of a trend cycle, or had been introduced into someone’s weekly clothing rotation, fashion trends from 2021 covered a lot of bases.

In fact, the timing of trend cycles has changed a lot within the past few years, and last year, many people started to take notice.

Social media is a key factor for this, with the promotion of micro-trends driving young people to phase through a multitude of styles and invest in new products for each one.

“The issue with TikTok influencing the fashion space is that now, micro-trends no longer live for three to five years—instead, they die out in a matter of months,” said Bianca Borissova for Screenshot Media in a piece about social media’s use in teen manipulation.

The number of trends that came up within only a year was astounding and expensive, so as far as the source for many of the past year’s clothing, online stores, and thrift stores were very popular because of their accessibility and affordability. 

The fashion worn at BSA in 2021 demonstrated many of the popular trends and reflected some of the most creative of fashion, but anyone walking down the hallway could notice the great amount of fashion diversity worn by the students.

One good thing to come of fashion in 2021 is that individuals were able to express themselves again with their appearance and develop their style in a setting with an audience. Despite concerns about the evolution of trends and how clothing is being marketed to the younger generation, the fashion of 2021 was unique and allowed a creative space to make up for the lost time.

To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at