Federalism Assignment

The United States is a single country, but our federalist system allows individual states to create their own laws and policies across a wide range of issues. The states are diverse in terms of population, geography, economics, and political culture. This assignment will give you the opportunity to learn about how states differ from each other in their laws and policies.
1. Choose four US states–any four you want. For each state, you need to research and report on the following:
  • Does the state allow corporal punishment in the schools? (In other words, are public school teachers or principals allowed to physically discipline students by spanking or paddling them?)
  • Does the state use the death penalty (capital punishment)?
  • What is the legal status of marijuana (cannabis) in the state? (Note that decriminalization does not mean that it is legal to use/posses marijuana; it means that the penalties are civil, like a traffic ticket, not criminal.)  Be clear about any differences between medical and recreational use.   
Put your findings into your own words rather than cutting and pasting chunks of text from the internet. 
2. After you have provided the facts about each states laws, write a paragraph reflecting on what you found. What did you think about what you learned about the policies? Were you surprised by any of the resultshow did what you found match up with what you expected of each state? Note that I expect you to write a single paragraph discussing what you learned about all four states’ policies, not separate paragraphs about each state or policy.
3. Provide citations to show where you found the information.* Each citation must include:
  • the name of the website, publication, or organization providing the information. Don’t just give me a URL (www.name of a website…); write out the name of the website/publication/organization.
  • the title of the specific page or article
  • the URL (provide the web address of the specific page(s) where the information is from, not the general URL of the website)
  • the name of an author, if any,
  • the date the information was posted or updated, if available.
Avoid automatic citation generators, because they may not include all of the necessary information. Im not asking you to use a specific citation format; I just want you to list all of the information. Provide a citation for each individual page/article from which you got information.
*A note on sources. You are unlikely to find accurate, reliable information on sites where people post questions and other people answer them, like ask.com or yahoo answers. You are more likely to find accurate, reliable information on websites published by news sources or research organizations (like The New York Times, CNN, the National Conference of State Legislatures, ncsl.org). If you are unsure about whether a source is appropriate, you can email the professor. 

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