Prohibition disaster continues with pot
Regarding the Jan. 19 opinion column, “Is marijuana the next Prohibition battle?” I’m surprised it took so long for two college professors to question the federal government’s hypocrisy.
For 83 years now, powerful politicians have refused to end our costly, unjustifiable war against female cannabis flowers.
In discussing alcohol Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, Donald Boudreaux and Adam Pritchard made their own “important omission,” that of the major role played afterward by one mean federal bureaucrat named Harry Anslinger.
In 1937, Anslinger cemented his reputation as a purveyor of nonsense regarding female cannabis flowers at a committee hearing in the U.S. Congress. Citing biased newspaper articles as evidence, he testified that “marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
Basically, the same Puritanical fervor that resulted in a constitutional ban of alcoholic products later emboldened Anslinger, the first federal drug czar, to arbitrarily impose anti-“marihuana” spending on the states. (That’s been the legal spelling all these decades.)
Today, with more than 30 of 50 states openly defying the federal ban, it is now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who exercises the power to do nothing but prolong that total waste of our tax dollars.
Anslinger must be delighted in his grave by the public policy disaster that he instituted.
Police need access to records for safety
I rarely agree with your left leaning editorial page, but I enjoyed a vacation from that position on January 15. Your stance on the “Green Light” law is entirely correct.
Good decisions require the best, accurate information one can gather before making such decisions.
Denying the latest, accurate information to law enforcement personnel in any potentially dangerous situation is a disgrace. The first and primary function of government at federal, state and local levels is protection of the citizenry. The “Green Light” law throws that principle in the trash.
“Green Light,” bail reform…what’s next? Voters, wake up.
New York state is one of the 50 United States of America, a constitutional federal republic, and cannot and should not expect to enjoy the benefits of the republic of which it is part while rejecting the responsibilities.
As you well know, the assault on your position has already begun. Stand firm.
Civics education vital to future citizenship
The Jan. 13 Gazette (“Earning the ‘gold standard’”) reported on a recent proposal to the state Board of Regents that would give high school graduates the opportunity to earn a “seal of civic readiness” on their diploma, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of social studies and civic participation.
Just 24% of eighth-graders who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress civics exam in 2018 were deemed proficient in civics.
Preparing and encouraging students to participate in their government and their community are important components of our responsibility to educate our children.
Research has proven that students’ community service and experience outside the classroom are critical to their learning and preparation for college, career and life.
Teenagers engaged in civics make greater scholastic progress during high school and acquire higher levels of education than their otherwise similar peers.
The likelihood of college graduation is 22% higher for students who participated in high school community service to fulfill class requirements.
As the Regents consider updating graduation requirements, I urge them to ensure that civic readiness and engagement are included.
At Passport for Good, we measure the positive impact of student engagement outside the classroom in participation-in-government classes, honor societies and community service activities in schools across the state. We see firsthand the positive impact such engagement has on students, their schools and communities.
New York should adopt measures to ensure students and their parents understand that such engagement is an important part of long-term success and the development of good citizens.
The writer is founder of Passport for Good.