This is example of Argumentative Essay the topic was about Legalize Marijuana yes or not ?
Legalize Marijuana yes or not ?
In 2000, George Bierson’s "Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug", was published by the Massachusetts News.
Bierson concludes that marijuana is harmful in many ways, including brain damage, damage to the
reproductive system, and weakening of the immune system. He also attempts to convince the reader
that marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads the users to venture into much harder drugs. I believe that
research to support anything can be found if one is looking hard enough, but that the fallacy of Bierson’s
conclusion is due to his research seeking facts to support an already-assumed conclusion. Based on my
research and my own personal experience, I have found that several of his points, when looked at
logically, do not reach his conclusion.
One of Bierson’s strongest supporting claims is of the physical harms of marijuana. He argues that
Heath's tests of the monkey's brain seemed to show conclusive evidence of brain damage; however, he
fails to mention that the tests were later discredited: the monkeys were given extremely high doses,
doses exponentially higher than that of the average recreational or medical marijuana user, and the
test’s sample size was too small. More current studies of people who are heavy marijuana smokers show
no evidence of brain damage; in addition, the American Medical Association has officially endorsed the
decriminalization of marijuana. I find this to be quite a bit more compelling than an outdated and poorly
executed test. His claims of damage to both the reproductive system and the immune system are again
based on invalid experiments of nearly lethal doses administered to mice and other animals, not
humans. Moreover, several studies of the effects of marijuana on the human reproductive and immune
systems have failed to demonstrate adverse effects.
One of the longest standing arguments against the use of marijuana is that it gives users a "gateway" to
harder or more illicit drug use. Bierson states in his article that "Marijuana is the seed from which the
scourge of drug abuse grows. If we stop the marijuana, we will stop the rest of drug abuse". I have
several issues with this statement: first, the simple fact that many heroin and cocaine users used
marijuana first does not conclude that the latter is the result of the first. Correlation is not causality.
Bierson’s vehement argument against marijuana alone become suspect, as most of these heroin and
cocaine abusers had also previously used alcohol and tobacco. According to government surveys, a
conservative estimate of 80 million American has tried marijuana in their life, and 20 million admit to
using it recently; if marijuana were truly a gateway drug, we would see a higher percentage of regular
users. Instead we are seeing an even smaller percentage of abusers of cocaine or heroin. In fact, most
people who use marijuana most often quit on their own before the age of 34. If anybody is still
compelled to buy into the "gateway" theory, a real-life example is available for all to see: In Holland,
marijuana has been partially decriminalized since the 1970's. Reports show that the use of cocaine and
heroin has significantly decreased, thus contradicting the hypothesis of marijuana as a gateway drug.
Instead, these statistics appear to point to the conclusion that marijuana is more likely a substitute for
harder drugs rather than a launching pad.
While I do feel that Bierson has failed to present conclusive evidence of the harmfulness of marijuana
through the points made, it is not a proper statement to claim that marijuana is "harmless" either. Even
though the properties of marijuana have shown not to be physically addictive, one can become
psychologically addicted. However, this is true of just about anything that can give one pleasure, such as
chocolate, gambling, or shopping. No substance will be safe for everybody, under all circumstances, or
when used in excessive amounts. For example, over-the-counter medications can be deadly for those
who are allergic or who overdose. On the other hand, marijuana overdose has never been a sole
reported cause of death: the amount of cannabinoids required to have a lethal effect are more than
40,000 times the necessary dosage for intoxication, making it highly unlikely that a person would be able
to or could be able to achieve such a concentrated amount in their bloodstream. This is a severe
contrast to alcohol, where one can very easily bring about one's demise, and at only a mere four times
the legal limit.
Marijuana continues to be a relevant controversial issue in society today, as many states included
decriminalization and legalization proposals on their ballots. It can be very difficult to know which side
to support, partially due to the media propaganda, some of which even contradicts itself in its fervor.
This is likely the result of many wealthy and influential organizations that have a financial interest in this
issue, from the pharmaceutical companies who stand to lose profits from legalization, the governments
who stands to gain from taxation, or the "dealers" who will be put out of business with the elimination
of the black market. It seems that those with a vested interest in the legalization or continued
criminalization of marijuana will pull whatever strings necessary to sway public opinion to their side.
This may include creating, supporting, or merely citing biased or invalid research to support the desired
conclusion, just as Bierson has done in his article