Student Jones

Professor White

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12 November 2020


I. Introduction A. Introduction

i. Both founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the hemp plant as a source of income, harvesting the fibers for rope and fabric production. Marijuana was also a common ingredient in medicine at the time (PBS).

ii. Some people argue that pot is a gateway drug, but in truth alcohol is the problem. Marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes. Legalizing marijuana can reduce drug trafficking and crime.

iii. Marijuana should be legalized with the same restrictions as alcohol. II. Body paragraphs

A. Background information (only if necessary!) i. History of Marijuana

ii. Used frequently from 1600-1890 iii. 1906 Food and Drug Act iv. Creation of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1973 v. War on Drugs in 80s

vi. California first state to legalize pot in 1996 vii. All information from PBS, A. Counterargument (opposing view only)

i. Gateway drug ii. According to Stacey Sugar, the clinical director at the Towson-based

Maryland Addiction Recovery Network, “marijuana could be a gateway drug for some, but not everyone, and that a lot depends on the user and whether they are predisposed to addiction…Marijuana is the easiest drug to get a hold of after alcohol and cigarettes, and some of those who like a marijuana high may be more interested in trying other highs” (qtd. in Synder).

iii. Too dangerous to legalize B. Refutation

i. Alcohol is the gateway drug ii. “A study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of School Health has

concluded that the theory of a gateway drug is not associated with marijuana, but rather one of the most damaging and socially accepted drugs in the world, alcohol” (Scharff).

iii. Alcohol should be regulated not pot

iv. 7-11 doesn’t sell heroine like back ally drug dealers; make it legal to stop drug dealers encouraging people to do harder, more dangerours drugs

C. Supporting paragraph i. Treat multiple illnesses

ii. “Cannabis use for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and pregnant women treated for hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)” (Koren and Cohen)

iii. Safer for children and pregnant women; helping special kids adjust to social situations

iv. “Marijuana, especially for military personnel experiencing elevated PTSD symptoms may negatively impact suicidal thoughts and behavior” (Allan et al.).

v. Help our veteran heroes adjust to civilian life. D. Supporting paragraph

i. Can be used as an alternative to opioids ii. Cannabis can be used as an alternative to opioids for pain management

(Khangura). iii. Less addiction and deaths due to opioid addiction iv. Personal example of a friend who died from an opioid overdose

E. Supporting paragraph (strongest evidence goes here) i. Less crime and drug trafficking more taxes

ii. Since marijuana is not legal on the federal level, some state dispensaries are being targeted by the government and fined or raided. But they are paying taxes and illegal drug traffickers do not (Alsharaiha).

iii. Make it legal on the federal level to increase tax revenue and stop illegal trafficking; making it safer for our communities

iv. Taxes can be used to better our schools II. Conclusion (choose one)

A. Support politician who promote the legalization of recreational marijuana on the federal level and vote

Works Cited

Allan, Nicholas P., et al. “Interactive Effects of PTSD and Substance Use on Suicidal Ideation

and Behavior in Military Personnel: Increased Risk from Marijuana Use.” Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), vol. 36, no. 11, Nov. 2019, pp. 1072–1079. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.1002/da.22954.

Alsharaiha, Michael Nabeel. “Smoking out the Criminals: How Federal Tax Policy Can Reduce Illegal Drug Crime by Supporting the Legal Marijuana Industry.” University of Toledo Law Review, vol. 48, no. 2, Winter 2017, pp. 319–336. Academic Search Complete,

Khangura, Jessica. “Considering the Integration of Cannabis into Conventional Chronic Pain Management Strategies.” UBC Medical Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, Fall 2020, pp. 24–26. Academic Search Complete,

Koren, Gideon, and Rana Cohen. “Medicinal Use of Cannabis in Children and Pregnant Women.” Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 1–5. Academic Search Complete, doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10382.

PBS. “Marijuana Timeline.” Frontline. WGBH Educational Foundation, 2014,, accessed 12 November 2020.

Scharff, Constance. “Marijuana: The Gateway Drug Myth: Science Shows Overwhelmingly That Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC , 26 Aug. 2014,, accessed 16 June 2015.

Snyder, Ron. “Experts Debate Whether Marijuana Is a 'Gateway' Drug.” ABC 2 WMAR Baltimore. Scripps TV Station Group, 16 Feb. 2014,…#ixzz2tYh3XWgf, accessed 16 June 2015.

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