Do You Know About Amendments 1&2?

by arianna blanck

Amendment 1:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Background on Amendment One

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message. The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Despite popular misunderstanding the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the first amendment is not very different from the right to freedom of speech. It allows an individual to express themselves through publication and dissemination. It is part of the constitutional protection of freedom of expression. It does not afford members of the media any special rights or privileges not afforded to citizens in general.

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Amendment 2:

  1. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Amendment 2 explanations

The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, Amendment 2 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have legalized medical marijuana. Specifically, the measure would have guaranteed the following:[1]

  • That medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or personal caregiver would not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under state law.
  • That a licensed physician would not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions for issuing medical marijuana to a person diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition" under state law.
  • That registered medical marijuana treatment centers would not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under state law.

The measure defined a "debilitating medical condition" as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV, AIDS, ALS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease "or other conditions for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient."[1]

The Florida Department of Health would have been responsible for regulating medical marijuana. The department would have issued and regulated patient identification cards and personal caregiver identification cards, developed procedures related to medical marijuana treatment centers and instituted regulations defining reasonable amounts of marijuana for medical use. The department would have been required to protect the confidentiality of all patients

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