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Legalization of Marijuana

Legalization of Marijuana



  1. In November 2012, Colorado and Washington legalized the use of recreational marijuana. After the November 2014 elections two more states–Oregon and Alaska–legalized marijuana use. In addition, 16 other states and District of Columbia permit the medical use of marijuana.  On the other hand, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 prohibits the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana.  Federal and State laws are at odds with each other.  Read the following articles about this conflict in federalism.

In California, It’s U.S. vs. State Over Marijuana

Dispensing with the Constitution: Obama’s executive caprice

Discuss the following questions:

  • Based on your interpretation of Constitutional powers, which government (state or federal) has the authority to create laws concerning marijuana usage?
  • When state laws are in conflict with federal laws, which should take precedence?
  • After reading the two articles, what do you think the Federal government should do concerning state laws that are in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act?

Remember, in order to receive full credit you must post an original post and respond to a fellow student.
Review the Discussion Board Rubric by clicking her:  Discussion Board Rubric


Example: The federal and state law both play a part in discerning the usage of marijuana. The federal government is based of the Constitution and has the ultimate say. However the states that have voted to become medicinal or recreational usage states have also the right to regulate the taxes for it.


State laws that are in conflict with federal laws need to work together to form an agreement. Certain issues should ultimately be taken to the federal government. For instance, gay marriage used to be a states’ issue where they worked back and forth. After all of that, the federal government stepped up and legalized it as a federal law.


I think that the federal government should step up and change marijuana from not being a part of the Controlled Substance Act. There is a ton of back and forth currently with states and federal relations. Legalization can take place without involving the states and the Controlled Substance Act.



  1. After completing the “What it Means to be a Representative” Learning Module (located in Session Four: Learning Activities and Readings Folder) you understand that many different people and groups compete for a member of Congress’ vote.  If you were elected to Congress who would you represent on policy decisions?  List the following in order of importance for your decision making.

the special interest groups who supported you in the election
the individuals who voted for you
your constituents
your political party
the executive
the country
your own best judgment
Why did you pick your number one?  How did you decide which to place last?

When you reply to another student, consider some of the following questions:

If you are looking at a list that is much different then your own, has the student explained his position in such a way that you can see merit in his choices?
As you look at another student’s list, consider this.  Would you vote for this person knowing the order of who they would represent?  Why or why not?  Do you think that legislators would honestly complete this list and let the voters see it?
In your opinion, is there an ethically right or wrong answer?
Which choices might strengthen or weaken democracy? Why?


Remember, in order to receive full credit you must post an original post and respond to a fellow student.
Discussion Board Rubric



Example: 1. my own best judgment. 2. the country. 3. the constituents 4. the individuals who voted for me 5. political party 6. the special interest groups 7. the executive


I picked my own best judgment as my number one priority because my opinions and my judgment would have been what I presented to the people who would have voted me into Congress. That being said, it could be argued that the constituents and the individuals who voted for me fall into this category as well. I placed the executive as my last priority because, as the executive branch is a separate branch of government, I don’t believe it is wise to consider the executive’s viewpoint in my decision. Making a judgment with too much priority invested in the executive would ultimately muddle the purpose of the separate branches of the government.

  1. Read the following two articles. One is written by a conservative writer, George Will and the other by liberal writers Steve and Cokie Roberts. Each article highlights adifferent issue with redistricting.
    Voting Rights Gone Wrong– George Will
    Why Redistricting Should be Independent of Politics – Steve &Cokie RobertsDiscuss the following questions:
    Why should voters care about redistricting?
    What are some of the negative effects of political redistricting?
    Do you think it is in the public interest for your state to use a commission or board for redistricting? Explain the reasons for your response.
    If you think a board or commission would be a good idea, how should its members be chosen? What guidelines should be used for redistricting?

Discussion Board Rubric


Example:Voters should care about redistricting because it affects them in many ways. If someone decides to try and change the political status of say a state or community, then almost every decision will be different. Everything that was decided before may be different, and even new officials may step in to take their place. It affects the future of your families, schools, taxes and etc. Yes I think that a commission would be the best idea. If the people of the state or county choose the members, then there shouldn’t be much change unless they are doing an awful job or something becomes corrupt. By maintaining order, the selected group of people will be happy because there isn’t any change or new rules to follow. A lot of times people become angry because they are so used to something that when something slightly changes, it causes an outrage.


  1. In this assignment you will consider and write about the qualities that make a good president.


Read the article “How to Measure for the President” by John Dickerson. Dickerson sets forth four qualities that he thinks should guide voters as they evaluate presidential candidates. He finishes the article by asking readers to further discuss and consider the qualities that make a good president.


“Make your case for skills that are important and why you think so…Different people will reach different conclusions about how much experience or management ability a particular candidate has, and one attribute may overshadow all the rest given the particular demands of the moment. The goal is to help us better think about the qualities these presidential candidates may actually need once in office.”


Integrating what you learned in the simulations, videos and readings from this session what qualities do you think a president needs in office? Discuss the following questions:


What do you think; is Dickerson’s list of qualities complete?

What would you add to the list of qualities needed for the presidency?

What questions would you ask in order to ascertain that quality?

Why do you consider these qualities important?


Discussion Board Rubric


Example: I think his list is good but I still think that there are a few things missing. I think that I would add the idea of civic virtue, communication, and lastly religion. Civic Virtue basically means giving a hand out when needed. Communication is important because the President has to talk to leaders from all over the world, we have to make sure we are in good hands and he doesn’t start a feud. Lastly, I do believe religion plays a role. The very first question that the Founding Fathers asked back in 1776 was “Should we pray”. Although the President doesn’t have to necessarily proclaim his religion, I think that he needs to be understanding to other religions and make sure he also doesn’t say anything to offend them. I think the questions that I would ask are these, “Whens a time you helped someone that you didn’t know and what was the impact?”. Also I think the next question would be, “If you are talking to a country about religion that isn’t necessarily your ally, how would you handle that?” I think that these questions absolutely matter because we wouldn’t want to start a war.

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Category: Sample Questions