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my persuasive paper (EXTREMLY long read)

Discussion in 'General' started by detsl, May 29, 2003.

  1. hey i posted about having to write a persuasive paper for school about a month ago. Well its basicly completed and almost ready to hand. Im just looking for some feed back, proof reading help(i havent even proof read it myself), and suggestions. ENJOY

    The legalization of marijuana is a very controversial subject. Many people believe marijuana laws should be abolished or at least reformed, while others just view marijuana as a drug that should be kept out of the reach of the public. This issue has been a notorious topic ever since marijuana became federally illegal in the U.S. in 1937. It will most likely continue to be a divisive subject until a compromise is met.
    One reason why this topic is so contentious is due to the fact that thousands of people break this law daily, and many of these users are arrested yearly. If you are caught in Florida with more than 20 grams of marijuana it's a felony, and you could be facing up to five years in jail and a 5,000-dollar fine.(norml.org)
    The best way to debate the legality of marijuana is to compare it to drugs that are already legalized, such as tobacco and alcohol. The ratio for the amount of marijuana needed to overdose to the amount needed for intoxication is 40,000:1. This same ratio for alcohol is usually between 4:1 and 10:1, leading to about 5,000 deaths annually. (420times.com)\tWhen smoked, marijuana and tobacco contain about the same amount of carcinogens, a cancer-causing substance or agent. The major difference between the two drugs is that tobacco has a 90% addiction rate, while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. (http://www.norml.org.nz/) This leads to a much higher volume of smoking by cigarette smokers. Thus, a heavy cigarette smoker would consume many more carcinogens than a heavy marijuana smoker would consume.
    Over 45,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco. That's twenty percent of Canada's annual death toll.
    Approximately 1900 Canadians die each year from alcohol, not even including drunk driving accidents.\tAmazingly, total number of deaths attributed to all illegal drugs in Canada in 1995 is estimated at 804. (www.hc-sc.gc.ca)
    Elvy Musikka, a 63 year-old woman who receives legally prescribed medicinal marijuana from the federal government, feels medical marijuana should be completely legalized. She has been arrested in the past for growing marijuana in her home. “When asked, ‘Do you think marijuana should be legalized solely for medical use, or are you in favor of complete legalization?' Elvy answered, ‘Knowing the history of marijuana, I believe to arrest an adult for choosing a ‘wiser bud' is the epitome of hypocrisy. And to arrest a patient for helping another patient is a blasphemy on the creator's work.'” (http://www.geocities.com/pamphletsite/glaucoma.htm)\tJudge Richard Posner, who is the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, is the highest-ranking judge to advocate the legalization of marijuana publicly. Judge Posner feels that the legalization of marijuana would significantly reduce crime. Posner, who was appointed during the Reagan administration, was described by American Lawyer as "the most brilliant judge in the country." “‘It is nonsense that we should be devoting so many law enforcement resources to marijuana,' he said. ‘I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people to prison for life without parole.'” (http://www.ndsn.org/nov95/posner.html)
    As early as 6000 B.C., marijuana has been used by humans. These early users were the Chinese who ate cannabis seeds for food. The idea of marijuana prohibition was seen as early as 1798 AD when Napoleon discovered that a majority of the Egyptian lower class used it habitually. By 1931, anti-marijuana legislation had been passed in all but two states. The last two states passed their anti-marijuana laws in 1937, the same year in which marijuana became federally illegal in the US. In 1975 the FDA created the Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana. After many hearings in 1988, the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) administrative law Judge Francis Young decided that marijuana should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. (marijuanaaddiction.info)
    Though the growing of marijuana has been prevalent in the U.S. since 1611, the smoking of marijuana didn't become common until the 1920's. The most common group in society that partook in the smoking of marijuana was immigrants. Since immigrants at the time were viewed as violent or even inhuman, many people pointed fingers of blame at marijuana. In the 1950's, one of the first federal mandatory prison sentences was created. It enforced a 10-year minimum for possession of marijuana, and a mandatory death sentence for the sale of marijuana to a minor. (www.wikman.com/). A major battleground in the ‘marijuana legalization' debate is the concept of medical marijuana, which means that a doctor can legally prescribe marijuana to a patient to help treat conditions such as cancer or cataracts. Twenty-one states have authorized medical marijuana studies, but only six states have implemented programs. (http://www.marijuana.org/StateStudies.html)
    There are two main ways of consuming this medication. The first method is called inhalation therapy. Through this method, the patient smokes marijuana similarly to how someone would smoke tobacco. The second method is THC(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) capsules, which are swallowed like any other medication. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that gives a user a high. There have been many studies over the years testing the success rate of medical marijuana and also comparing these two methods.
    “Tennessee: This study involved an evaluation of 27 patients. The patients had all failed on other forms of antiemetic [ ] therapy including oral THC. The study found an overall success rate of 90.4 percent for marijuana inhalation therapy. In comparison it found a 66.7 percent success rate for THC capsules. In the under-40 age group, the study found a 100 percent success rate for marijuana inhalation therapy.”
    "Over 74 percent of the cancer patients treated in the program have reported that marijuana is more effective in relieving their nausea and vomiting than any other drug they have tried." -California Research Advisory Panel
    (http://www.medmjscience.org/)
    George McMahon is one of five patients left in the nation who has been prescribed medical marijuana through an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) program called “Investigational New Drug.” This program is studying the effects of long-term use in patients. McMahon has Nail Patella Syndrome, which is an hereditary condition that causes bone deformities, immune system dysfunction, glaucoma and kidney disease. George has had many drugs prescribed such as morphine, Demerol, Valium, and codeine. None have been as helpful with his condition as marijuana has been.
    In 1988 the DEA's (Drug Enforcement Agency) own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, called marijuana “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” (norml.org) He then called for it to be reclassified as a Schedule II drug. In the US, drugs are classified on a scale from Schedule I to Schedule V, one being the most harmful, five being the least harmful. This request was rejected by the DEA, and it went on to issue its final rejection to all pleas of reclassification in March of 1992. Actions such as denying the reclassification of marijuana make it much harder for patients who need medical marijuana treatment to obtain their medicine.
    An anonymous college student and ex-marijuana smoker says that he has stopped using drugs, alcohol or even some sugar products. He believes that if marijuana is legalized that alcohol abuse would drop because people would have more than one drug of choice. He also feels there should be an age restriction of over 21, just as with alcohol, and increased penalties for crimes committed under the influence of marijuana.
    The highest elected official to advocate the legalization of marijuana is Gov.Gary Johnson of New Mexico. He has made numerous pro-legalization statements such as, "Control it, regulate it, tax it” and "If you legalize it we might actually have a healthier society." (cnn.com) Amazingly, Johnson is against the use of drugs; he just believes that people who decide to use drugs should not be punished with jail time.
    One reason why numerous people are against the war on drugs is due to the fact that it wastes countless amounts of our countries resources and gets very little accomplished. Over 600,000 people are arrested on charges of simple possession each year in the United States (www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/5249453.htm). Our government spent 18.8 billion dollars fighting “the war on drugs” last year (www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/id/7407).
    Many people debate whether or not marijuana should be included in this expensive war on drugs. Numerous Americans feel the authority's time and our money should be spent fighting harder drugs.
    \tWe live in a country where anyone of age and with a relatively clean record can obtain a deadly weapon. We live in a country with countless of harmful drugs, which have been proven to be worse than marijuana, are readily available to the general public. The question that makes the topic of marijuana legalization so intense isn't ‘weather or not marijuana is a drug', nor ‘is it good or bad for you', the question is ‘does the punishment fit the crime'. Can people really be punished for choosing to harm themselves?
     
  2. Originally posted by detsl

    The legalization of marijuana is a very controversial subject. Many people believe marijuana laws should be abolished or at least reformed, while others just view marijuana as a drug that should be kept out of the reach of the public. This issue has been a notorious topic ever since marijuana became federally illegal in the U.S. in 1937. It will most likely continue to be a divisive subject until a compromise is met.
    One reason why this topic is so contentious is due to the fact that thousands of people break this law daily, and many of these users are arrested yearly. If you are caught in Florida with more than 20 grams of marijuana it's a felony, and you could be facing up to five years in jail and a 5,000-dollar fine.(norml.org)
    The best way to debate the legality of marijuana is to compare it to drugs that are already legalized, such as tobacco and alcohol. The ratio for the amount of marijuana needed to overdose to the amount needed for intoxication is 40,000:1. This same ratio for alcohol is usually between 4:1 and 10:1, leading to about 5,000 deaths annually. (420times.com)\tWhen smoked, marijuana and tobacco contain about the same amount of carcinogens, a cancer-causing substance or agent. The major difference between the two drugs is that tobacco has a 90% addiction rate, while marijuana is less addictive than caffeine. (http://www.norml.org.nz/) This leads to a much higher volume of smoking by cigarette smokers. Thus, a heavy cigarette smoker would consume many more carcinogens than a heavy marijuana smoker would consume.


    a little more could be said here...
    perhaps something on how the american governemtns own tests in the 60's showed that THC actually destroys cancerous cells or slows/stops their development.

    also you would need to mention the dangers of all the known & UNKNOWN addatives in tobacco.

    Over 45,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco. That's twenty percent of Canada's annual death toll.
    Approximately 1900 Canadians die each year from alcohol, not even including drunk driving accidents.\tAmazingly, total number of deaths attributed to all illegal drugs in Canada in 1995 is estimated at 804. (www.hc-sc.gc.ca)


    perhaps this would be a good place for a graph. nothing compells the audience like a graph. be sure to express percentages of users dying and not percentage of total population. but maybe showing that too would have just as great an impact.


    Elvy Musikka, a 63 year-old woman who receives legally prescribed medicinal marijuana from the federal government, feels medical marijuana should be completely legalized. She has been arrested in the past for growing marijuana in her home. “When asked, ‘Do you think marijuana should be legalized solely for medical use, or are you in favor of complete legalization?' Elvy answered, ‘Knowing the history of marijuana, I believe to arrest an adult for choosing a ‘wiser bud' is the epitome of hypocrisy. And to arrest a patient for helping another patient is a blasphemy on the creator's work.'” (http://www.geocities.com/pamphletsite/glaucoma.htm)\tJudge Richard Posner, who is the chief judge of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, is the highest-ranking judge to advocate the legalization of marijuana publicly. Judge Posner feels that the legalization of marijuana would significantly reduce crime. Posner, who was appointed during the Reagan administration, was described by American Lawyer as "the most brilliant judge in the country." “‘It is nonsense that we should be devoting so many law enforcement resources to marijuana,' he said. ‘I am skeptical that a society that is so tolerant of alcohol and cigarettes should come down so hard on marijuana use and send people to prison for life without parole.'” (http://www.ndsn.org/nov95/posner.html)
    As early as 6000 B.C., marijuana has been used by humans. These early users were the Chinese who ate cannabis seeds for food.


    first recorded use of cannabis as a medicine... 2800BC chinese again.


    The idea of marijuana prohibition was seen as early as 1798 AD when Napoleon discovered that a majority of the Egyptian lower class used it habitually. By 1931, anti-marijuana legislation had been passed in all but two states. The last two states passed their anti-marijuana laws in 1937, the same year in which marijuana became federally illegal in the US. In 1975 the FDA created the Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana. After many hearings in 1988, the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) administrative law Judge Francis Young decided that marijuana should be reclassified as a prescriptive drug. (marijuanaaddiction.info)
    Though the growing of marijuana has been prevalent in the U.S. since 1611, the smoking of marijuana didn't become common until the 1920's. The most common group in society that partook in the smoking of marijuana was immigrants. Since immigrants at the time were viewed as violent or even inhuman, many people pointed fingers of blame at marijuana.


    Harry J Anslinger and his uncle really need a mention @ this point to show the absolute ludicrousness of prohibition during these strange dark times.


    In the 1950's, one of the first federal mandatory prison sentences was created. It enforced a 10-year minimum for possession of marijuana, and a mandatory death sentence for the sale of marijuana to a minor. (www.wikman.com/). A major battleground in the ‘marijuana legalization' debate is the concept of medical marijuana, which means that a doctor can legally prescribe marijuana to a patient to help treat conditions such as cancer or cataracts. Twenty-one states have authorized medical marijuana studies, but only six states have implemented programs. (http://www.marijuana.org/StateStudies.html)
    There are two main ways of consuming this medication. The first method is called inhalation therapy. Through this method, the patient smokes marijuana similarly to how someone would smoke tobacco. The second method is THC(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) capsules, which are swallowed like any other medication. THC is the
    main active ingredient in marijuana that gives a user a high. There have been many studies over the years testing the success rate of medical marijuana and also comparing these two methods.
    “Tennessee: This study involved an evaluation of 27 patients. The patients had all failed on other forms of antiemetic [ ] therapy including oral THC. The study found an overall success rate of 90.4 percent for marijuana inhalation therapy. In comparison it found a 66.7 percent success rate for THC capsules. In the under-40 age group, the study found a 100 percent success rate for marijuana inhalation therapy.”
    "Over 74 percent of the cancer patients treated in the program have reported that marijuana is more effective in relieving their nausea and vomiting than any other drug they have tried." -California Research Advisory Panel
    (http://www.medmjscience.org/)
    George McMahon is one of five patients left in the nation who has been prescribed medical marijuana through an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) program called “Investigational New Drug.” This program is studying the effects of long-term use in patients. McMahon has Nail Patella Syndrome, which is an hereditary condition that causes bone deformities, immune system dysfunction, glaucoma and kidney disease. George has had many drugs prescribed such as morphine, Demerol, Valium, and codeine. None have been as helpful with his condition as marijuana has been.
    In 1988 the DEA's (Drug Enforcement Agency) own administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, called marijuana “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” (norml.org) He then called for it to be reclassified as a Schedule II drug. In the US, drugs are classified on a scale from Schedule I to Schedule V, one being the most harmful, five being the least harmful. This request was rejected by the DEA, and it went on to issue its final rejection to all pleas of reclassification in March of 1992. Actions such as denying the reclassification of marijuana make it much harder for patients who need medical marijuana treatment to obtain their medicine.
    An anonymous college student and ex-marijuana smoker says that he has stopped using drugs, alcohol or even some sugar products. He believes that if marijuana is legalized that alcohol abuse would drop because people would have more than one drug of choice. He also feels there should be an age restriction of over 21, just as with alcohol, and increased penalties for crimes committed under the influence of marijuana.
    The highest elected official to advocate the legalization of marijuana is Gov.Gary Johnson of New Mexico. He has made numerous pro-legalization statements such as, "Control it, regulate it, tax it” and "If you legalize it we might actually have a healthier society." (cnn.com) Amazingly, Johnson is against the use of drugs; he just believes that people who decide to use drugs should not be punished with jail time.
    One reason why numerous people are against the war on drugs is due to the fact that it wastes countless amounts of our countries resources and gets very little accomplished. Over 600,000 people are arrested on charges of simple possession each year in the United States (www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/5249453.htm). Our government spent 18.8 billion dollars fighting “the war on drugs” last year (www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/id/7407).
    Many people debate whether or not marijuana should be included in this expensive war on drugs. Numerous Americans feel the authority's time and our money should be spent fighting harder drugs.
    \tWe live in a country where anyone of age and with a relatively clean record can obtain a deadly weapon. We live in a country with countless *of*(remove) harmful drugs, which have been proven to be worse than marijuana, are readily available to the general public. The question that makes the topic of marijuana legalization so intense isn't ‘weather or not marijuana is a drug', nor ‘is it good or bad for you', the question is ‘does the punishment fit the crime'. Can people really be punished for choosing to harm themselves?



    a very good report.
    i've writen several of these myself, and everytime i do i realise i could write a books worth on the subject.

    i liked very much where you were going with it near the end.
    perhaps you could up this a little bit. perhaps a little more on harm reduction as a means to reworking the laws and a reason to do so.

    also, there was little mention of holland.
    when talking about the need to concentrate drug war effeorts on harder drugs, one should always mention holland, where the everage age of heroin addicts is something like 42, and steadily going up each year, meaning that practically no new junkies are starting up with the habit - this in a place where the "drug war" is one of education & healthcare. Then compaire this to the US (or UK) where the average age is in their teens and the drug war is a propaganda and law enforcement matter.

    now that i've waffled on for a bit, i cant remember if you pointed out that the AmericanMedicalAssociation (even though i get that you come from Canada) are overwhelmingly in favour of reform in cannabis laws, the Government still rallies on with its own agenda... an agenda based on the wishes of those in industrys that could stand to loose out post legalisation.
    and perhaps a mention as to how America conducts pressure on other nations to share their draconian laws on cannabis.



    It's always good to see fellow tokers doing something like this for the legalisation process.

    :)

    keep it up.
     
  3. Now I know what im using to turn in when I have to write a paper like that. Thanks man!

    j/k
     

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