U.S. government is really simple
It used to be called “civics” or “U.S. government” when I was in school; now it is just plain “government.” For the most part it was boring – places to remember (Lexington, Bunker Hill, Independence Hall), dates to memorize (1776, 1789, etc.) and parts to understand (Congress, Supreme Court).
Actually, civics or government was and is very simple. It takes time and effort to make it complicated (which we have succeeded in doing for more than 200 years).
First, everyone is equal.
Second, everyone has certain basic rights – life, liberty and the right to be somebody.
Third, government is, as Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address, “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
The work of government is also very simple: Form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, secure the blessings of liberty (see the Preamble to the Constitution).
American government is essentially a service organization, serving the people (reread the six purposes). And because the people created it, they share the expense of its work and together share the benefits.
The truth is that the American government’s goals and purposes are elementary, its functions are basic common sense, and it belongs to all the people.
It’s really very simple.
Less than a year after a marijuana-related infant death, legislators are trying to encourage more use by reducing the penalties (May 8 Eagle). Some readers may remember the outrage last summer when Seth Jackson left his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car. He was high on pot.
This was only one of many examples of drug-related tragedies in our country, but now the Legislature wants the users causing these problems to know that if they get caught on first or second possession they will only get a reduced fine instead of jail time. Lawmakers rejected several proposals that would at least impose alternative sentences, such as drug rehabilitation with community service and extra fines.
Apparently reducing overcrowded prisons isn’t good enough for the legislators; they have to encourage drug use, too. I guess they want more dead infants. Please contact your state representative and ask why that is.
Legalize and tax
Gov. Sam Brownback cut funds for education to help cover the cost of his tax cuts. But if cannabis were legalized, it could help fix this problem.
Colorado brought in $69 million in tax revenue from legalization in just one year. If Kansas would legalize marijuana, we could put more money into the school system. Legalize and tax marijuana, for both recreational and medical use, and the funds will start flowing in. Instead of closing schools, we could be building them.
Additional revenue could help keep tuition from going up. Soon only the wealthy are going to be able to afford to go to college. Legalizing marijuana could help solve the problem.
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