Jonathan McSpadden Legalizing Marijuana

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Jonathan McSpadden

Legalizing Marijuana
About Marijuana. (n.d.). - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws. Retrieved February 7, 2012, from
 I learned about marijuana the plant and a more informative side rather than an argumentative article. The slant might be to legalize marijuana. It acknowledges many points on the money side as well as the smoking side of it. It is unlike the other sources because it seems very laid back about the topic. I think this might be a government written article because there is no author and it is on a basic marijuana site its seems like. I believe the purpose is to inform the reader of the tax revenue that marijuana itself would create. The amounts are extremely high and would push our country to become even wealthier. The authors motive could possibly be to legalize marijuana and inform those who do not know about it. Logos was used to relate to the logic and the facts presented. There was no pathos, because no one was acknowledged with credibility at all.
Category. (n.d.). Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?.Economics at Retrieved January 30, 2012, from


After reading this article I was able to find out about the money side of legalizing marijuana. There were many studies done by Stephen T. Easton of the Fraser Institute that showed the economic side and how to sell marijuana legally. When reading and mentally hearing the tone of the article, it is easy to conclude that the author is in favor of making marijuana legal. In this particular article, there is only one side on the subject of legalizing marijuana instead of having points from the opposing side as well. This piece is definitely intended to argue with the people against legalizing marijuana. There are constant facts that proven research studies show, that make legalizing marijuana a good idea. The author of this article is unknown, but talks about an economist that worked out the entire math and came to the conclusion of pricing and taxes. This insinuates that the author as well as the economist is for the legalization of marijuana. I believe that the article is intended to be seen by government officials who actually have a say in changing the law. It is an article full of statistics  that propose ideas on how to regulate the substance legally. The author uses pathos by using the economist's credibility to explain all of the information obtained from Stephen T. Easton. 

Cohen, A. (n.d.). Time For Marijuana Legalization? - CBS News. Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from
The author in this article helped me understand the political side to legalizing marijuana. There were many statements regarding criminal justice and budgets for the federal system. The author is proposing that America should start taking this subject seriously and have a national debate about it. He seems to take the neutral side of the discussion to help get his point across as well as to avoid getting emotional during debate. This is an argumentative situation, but it is effective due to the tone and deliverance of the author's article. The author is Andrew Cohen who seems to have researched this topic very well. He is a writer for CBS, which establishes pathos, or his credibility. Andrew Cohen's motive is to legalize marijuana in order to focus on real crimes instead of marijuana possessions. He uses pathos by providing reliable information explaining marijuana's harmlessness.
Jenkins, M. (n.d.). Ganjanomics: bringing Humboldt's shadow economy into the light — High Country News. High Country News. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from


In this article, I was able to find out about the profit gained from medical marijuana. There were many statements pertaining to the financial gain as well as the economic good it is doing for the state. There doesn't seem to be too much of a slant in the article, because the author just seems to simply describe the debate going on between those against marijuana and those for it's legalization. This source does give each opposition a chance to explain their side, but most of the information is about the reason to legalize marijuana. This source is a possible contender to be intended as an argument, as there are many facts about the income. The only way this piece is different from my other articles gathered is because of how much depth there is. The author also narrows it down to California and a few cities that have medical marijuana dispensaries. The author's name is Matt Jenkins who is a reporter in California. He has done other reports about California's medical marijuana use, as well as other news around the state. I believe that the author's motive was to inform the reader of all the reasons to legalize weed and to possibly persuade those to contribute to the war on marijuana. Matt Jenkins, the author, used logos to persuade the reader by presenting facts. He brought in real statistics about how California racked up 13.8 billion dollars thanks to medical marijuana.

JOHNSON, K. (n.d.). Marijuana and Medical Marijuana - The New York Times. Times Topics - The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from



     As I read through this article about marijuana, I learned that many people smoke weed. In Colorado there are 88,000 people with medical marijuana cards. It seems easy to tell that the author of this article is in favor of legalizing marijuana. It also appears to only show the pros about marijuana and nothing about the cons of legalizing it. The article suggests a calm tone of arguing that marijuana should be legal, as well as the tone of someone who neither favors nor opposes the legalization of marijuana. The article was posted in the New York Times, which seems trustworthy to most people. There is only so much in the media that I can personally believe, but in this case i do agree with the New York Times article. The author's name is Kirk Johnson, a writer for the New York Times. I am not sure of his expertise on the subject, but it does seem apparent that he did appropriate research on the topic before having it published in a major newspaper. Kirk's motive on this article seems that he would be in favor of legalizing marijuana. He talks about how it would be safer to have control of the substance instead of possible causing harm to dealers and buyers on the street. In my opinion, the intended audience would be people against the legalization of marijuana. Mr. Johnson appealed to the audience with facts and opinions from others, using ethos and logos.
Legalize Marijuana, Legal Weed, Marijuana Facts . (n.d.). Legalize Marijuana, Legal Weed, Marijuana Facts . Retrieved January 30, 2012, from
    In this article, I learned about the harm drugs can do to you. There were many facts about deaths caused by legal substances and deaths caused by illegal substances. The claim in the article is to obviously legal marijuana. The author explained many different characteristics of marijuana and how it compares to other substances around the world. There are not very many opposing viewpoints besides the one of the author. It is easy to assume that this is intended for an argument after reading the article. The source has some paragraphs that seem untrustworthy and very opinionated, but there are also a lot of excerpts that are accurate and trustworthy. The author is unknown, but has knowledgeable facts that suggest he is someone with expertise in the subject. The author's motive seems to be his love for marijuana. His tone is easy to comprehend as someone wanting to get his point across. With this being said, the intended audience is those who don't know whether to legalize marijuana or not. This affects the content because the author used ethos and pathos to bring the reader to his point of view. 
Marijuana - Telling Teenagers the Truth about Smoking Pot. (n.d.). Marc Perkel's Web Site. Retrieved February 7, 2012, from


I learned a few different things in this particular article. There were paragraphs that talked about how it effects your sexual hormones as well as more interesting facts I was unaware of. There was a slight slant that the legalization of marijuana would not be a bad idea, but the author also said that he is not encouraging kids to smoke weed, but to inform them instead of lie like the government. This source does acknowledge both points of view in this hotly debated topic. There are reasons explained as to how marijuana is safe and how marijuana cannot be safe if put in the wrong hands and abused. This piece could be seen as an argument or as just another article prescribing information for those ill educated on the topic of marijuana. This source is different from the others because it has a lot more information than the other sources and actually supports reasons for both points of view fairly. It shows a picture of what seems to be the artist as a male, but there is no sign of his name. He says that he has been smoking pot for 25 years and still maintains a genius IQ. It is whether or not the reader believes the artist as to how much credibility can be distributed to the author. I believe his motive is to explain that pot should be legalized in order to possibly protect younger kids, as long as the drug is not abused too much by the user. The intended audience is people who only know certain things about marijuana and not the full story. He uses logos by presenting valuable facts that are credential to a debate about marijuana. He then uses pathos to establish his knowledge on the subject by telling the reader that he has been smoking marijuana for 25 years straight now. 

Messerli, J. (n.d.). - Legalization of Marijuana (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages). - Free Balanced, Non-Partisan Discussion of Political & Social Issues for Debate (Pros and Cons - Decision Making Politics). Retrieved February 1, 2012, from


     As I read into this certain article, I found a good argument. Both sides were able to evenly express their views on why or why not marijuana should be legal. There is not a slant that I was able to identify in this article, but the overall thesis is; If marijuana is legalized, then what will the effects be on this country? This article clearly shows that both sides are fair. It also seems to be an argument because in Composition II, everything is an argument. The site is titled balanced politics, which to most is pretty trustworthy. Neither side bashes on the other because each side is able to state their reasons for their answer. The man who wrote this article is named Joe Messerli. I am unaware of his experience with the topic, but because the site ends with org it is usually a trustful site. Joe's motive is just to inform the audience that has no idea about the debate. There are different opinions on the subject as well as facts explaining effects of marijuana. This piece is an argument obviously, because both sides present their case debating who is right and who is wrong. The author doesn’t seem like he wants to persuade the reader but just inform the reader.

Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense - TIME. (n.d.). Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - Retrieved January 30, 2012, from,9171,1889166,00.html
I learned from this article about how much money was made in California from marijuana dispensaries. I learned about the effects marijuana has and how they are less harmful than the effects alcohol has on someone. The author seems to claim the harmlessness of the substance. The author is constantly stating facts about what is more harmful than marijuana and how safe it actually is. In the source, the opposing views are acknowledged but not talked about as much. This article does seem to be intended as an argument as it describes the amount of money America can make and how much safer it will make our country. This differs from other sources by actually starting off being sarcastic and then later delving into crucial information obtained by the author. The author's name was unobtainable, but the author does suggest to the public that legalizing marijuana wouldn't be such a bad idea. This article is also intended for an audience against marijuana becoming legal in America. It affects the content by having the reader read the article in more of an arguing way. The author uses ethos to grab the readers emotions like he does in the very beginning. He relates with logos by providing all of the necessary information and facts.

Why marijuana should be legal: logical arguments for students writing essays and papers about marijuana legalization.. (n.d.). Marijuana Legalization Organization. Retrieved February 3, 2012, from


Overall, this article showed me six main reasons of why marijuana should be legalized. There was a slant the author took because explained reasons for legalization only, and was confident that calling marijuana illegal is ridiculous. This piece is intended as an argument because all of the information inside of the article are for the legalization of the substance we call marijuana, or weed. It is definitely not a fair argument, as it only acknowledges the pros and not the cons of marijuana. It seems to have sources that I can view, but knowing how trustworthy it is, is a mystery. There is no author stated anywhere on the page, it is just a website with different articles that support the legalization of marijuana. I believe that the intended audience, are those who are unaware of the marijuana topic, or those who are against marijuana. Whoever the author is, he or she used pathos to logically explain the proven facts pertaining to marijuana. 

  1. Trying to find an article that fairly expressed both points of view was the hardest thing to do during this research. I also was unable to find many names of authors that wrote the articles.

  2. Most of the sources seemed like they were trustworthy. A lot of these articles helped me better understand the characteristics of marijuana.

  3. I have learned quite a lot that I did not formerly know about marijuana. I’ve learned about what it can do to the human body and how harmless it truly is.

  4. There is a documentary I have seen that is titled “The Union”. It is all about marijuana and how the government has lied and has many facts that are essential for the world to hear. I could not find this movie, unfortunately.

  5. I believe that everything but, certain discussions in The Union, has been said. I could participate in a scholarly discussion over the topic and be a very knowledgeable person in the conversation.

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