The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

89° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    Wait – no clever acronym?

    Sane drug policy is a rarity in Washington, where prohibition and prosecution reign supreme. But a few Congressional legislators hope to legalize this weekend’s unofficial cannabis commemoration with a new bill. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced the “”Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act”” yesterday, which would eliminate federal penalties for possession and nonprofit transfer of limited amounts of marijuana. Frank, who co-sponsored the bill with Texas Republican Ron Paul, explained in a press release: “”If the laws I am proposing pass, states will still be free to treat marijuana as they wish. But I do not believe that the federal government should treat adults who choose to smoke marijuana as criminals.”” If there’s one thing we like more than tokin’ up here at the Daily Wildcat, it’s respecting the principles of federalism. Barney’s bill deserves a Pass.


    ASUA passes on Passover

    On Monday, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s appropriations board rebuffed a request by UA’s Chabad Jewish Student Association for $1,900 to help pay for the club’s annual Passover celebration, citing a bylaw prohibiting alcohol. Wine is an essential part of Passover ritual, but as ASUA executive vice president Jessica Anderson explained to the Wildcat, ASUA has “”a very no tolerance policy”” covering even the one-ounce portions of wine at the event. Appropriations Board Director Melodie Schwartz defended the decision, saying “”We’ve got to stick with the bylaws on this one.”” We agree that ASUA ought to follow the bylaws – especially Section X of the organization’s rules, which prohibits funding “”religious activities.”” Or maybe the most important bylaws of all – the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the U.S. Constitution, which also outline “”a very no tolerance policy.”” The issue here isn’t alcohol – it’s the fact that public money might subsidize religion. We hope Chabad finds funding for their Passover celebration by this weekend, but meanwhile, student leaders ought to read up on the rules- and have the guts to apply them fairly toward all religious groups on campus. For beating around the burning bush, ASUA deserves a Fail.


    Cotton swabs for everyone!

    In the debate over the REAL ID Act, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has sworn that, “”We are not going to have a national database.”” Three months later, however, his colleagues at the Justice Department have started moving in that direction. Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin announced Wednesday that the government will begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by the Feds. Furthermore, if individuals are proven guilty, they can only ask that their DNA be removed – there is no guarantee that it will be. This new procedure is naturally done under the aegis of “”safety,”” but it leaves a chilling and unanswered question: Wouldn’t it be safer to simply take everyone’s DNA, to allow us to catch even more criminals? For taking us further down the road to the surveillance state, the U.S. Justice Department gets a Fourth Amendment Fail.


    Petty in Philly

    The mainstream media has been quite bipolar this election: While often decrying “”Rovian”” politics and their ilk, they help to encourage such low-brow tactics with the free media coverage they give to them. In the fervor over this “”cataclysmic”” presidential election, however, they seem to have forgotten the criticism, and instead rush headlong into every non-story like junkies seeking a fix. Nowhere has this been better demonstrated than Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia. The ABC News moderators, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, spent the first 50 minutes of the debate discussing lapel pins instead of Iraq, pastors instead of civil liberties and past friends instead of future policies. For continuing to drag this supposedly hopeful election into the muck, the ABC News debate coverage gets a “”gotcha”” question: haven’t you Failed?

    More to Discover
    Activate Search