Take heed

West Virginia’s Legislature has legalized medical marijuana, and state officials have begun trying to figure out how to make the process work. We have a two-part suggestion for them: 1. Study very carefully all of what Maryland has done with regard to the medical marijuana program it legalized four years ago but still has yet to fully implement. 2. Don’t do what Maryland did. Attempting to briefly describe the way Maryland’s medical marijuana program has been beset by changes in policies and procedures, legal challenges, unasked or unanswered questions and bureaucratic delays would be about like trying to sum up World War II in 100 words or less. (Times-News)

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The poverty 'mind-set'

There's a grain of truth and a mountain of myopia in Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson's assertion during a radio interview that having the "right mind-set" can bring a person out of poverty and the "wrong mind-set" can condemn him or her to it despite all the advantages in the world. No doubt that talented, driven and lucky individuals can, through sheer will and hard work, lift themselves out of poverty. Dr. Carson is a prime example. He overcame enormous odds in life and rightly serves as an inspiration to many. But his moralistic view of poverty discounts the long history of injustice that makes the path out of it so difficult. (Balt. Sun)

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Jeananne Sciabarra, Leni Preston: Fight to protect health benefits

The intentional attack on the Affordable Care Act, which is playing out in Washington, is both cruel and immoral. It would undermine the progress in health care we have made while 23 million Americans would lose their coverage. In Maryland alone, based upon the new Congressional Budget Office score, 181,204 individuals in the private market would lose coverage, Medicaid would be eviscerated and premiums would rise even more. This is unacceptable. Equally so is the enormous market anxiety being created by the Trump administration as it refuses to commit to continuing cost-sharing reduction payments. These are absolutely critical to making health care services affordable for lower-income people and keeping insurers in the marketplace. In Maryland, more than 83,000 individuals are projected to benefit from over $97 million in cost-sharing reduction payments in 2017. (Balt. Sun)

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Congratulations, Naval Academy Class of 2017

It's a high honor for a Naval Academy graduating class to be addressed by one of the officials who take turns doing so — this year, for the Class of 2017, it's Vice President Mike Pence. But the occasion should also be important to the speaker. It's good for ranking decision-makers in our government to get a first-person reminder that military force isn't an abstraction or an element in a geopolitical equation. It requires sending into harm's way some of the best people this nation has ever produced, the majority of them young people. This is not a resource to be risked lightly. (Capital)

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A strategic plan for Harford's schools

The Harford County Board of Education is seeking public input as it develops its next five-year strategic plan. The plan lays out the board's core values, mission, vision and long-term goals for students, school system employees and the community. "It has our goals, it's a five-year plan; we're looking for community input," School Board President Nancy Reynolds said during Monday's board meeting. We strongly urge our readers to look over the plan, regardless if you have children attending the public schools. (Aegis)

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Mileah Kromer: Md. gubernatorial race could foretell 2020

Maryland rarely is the main dish in national politics. Yet our gubernatorial race is set to answer some of the most persistent and important political questions generated by the 2016 presidential election. This midterm election cycle, the country would be wise to pull up a chair and dig in. Consider first the re-election efforts of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. (Balt. Sun)

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This Purple Line ruling would be laughable — if the consequences weren’t so dire

In 2009, when Metrorail ridership peaked at about 225 million annual passenger trips, no one could have predicted the scope of safety mishaps and ridership declines that ensued, costing the subway system more than 15 percent of its passengers. Now a federal judge, in a specious ruling, blames federal and state transit officials for not taking a “hard look” into the crystal ball today to divine Metro’s ridership levels a decade or two from now. And, says the judge, this failure is so glaring that it justifies blocking progress on one of the most critical transit undertakings in the region — the Purple Line light-rail project. (Wash. Post)

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Are Confederate monuments 'our story?'

In January of last year, a seven-member mayoral commission recommended the removal of two of four Confederate era monuments from Baltimore's public parks. Sixteen months later, the offending statues haven't budged. While some "interpretive" signage has been added, they remain where they are and what they are — symbols of racism, fond tributes to the "Lost Cause" cult. (Balt. Sun)

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