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How sensitive have US public schools become to violence - or even the hint thereof - since last year's shootings? Consider the growing number of essays that have landed someone in hot water since the current academic year began. In September, a Franklin, Ohio, teacher was reprimanded for assigning her students to discuss which famous persons they'd choose to assassinate and how that might be accomplished. Late last month, a Ponder, Texas, seventh-grader spent five days in jail because a Halloween "horror story" he wrote for English class described shooting his teacher and two fellow students. Now, a Batesville, Ark., teenager has been ordered to undergo counseling for his essay and, police say, will be charged with "terroristic threatening." It described blowing up "the whole dang school" to "get rid of all problems." The assignment was partial punishment for carrying a razor from home.

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Maine is 7th state to vote for medical use of marijuana

Maine voters overwhelmingly approved a measure last week that will allow physicians to prescribe marijuana for some illnesses. Only four states have similar statutes: Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington. Nevada voters have approved such a measure once, but must do so again next year for it to become a constitutional amendment. In Maine, 61 percent voted in favor of the measure; 39 percent were opposed. As a result, patients will be allowed to possess reasonable amounts of marijuana - and to grow the plants, if they like - as long as it's for personal use and they have a doctor's prescription. Residents of the District of Columbia approved a similar measure in 1998, although officials results were not released until September of this year. States that have voted in favor of medical marijuana use:






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- Reuters

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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