You are on page 1of 5

Lyndon Hopkins Professor Mills Enc1101 October 30, 2013

Rhetorical Analysis

In this rhetorical analysis I will be looking at the discourses used to form different rhetoric situations in two news articles relating to the impacts of cannabis on health. Both articles discuss the potential health and socioeconomic issues related to our youths increasingly excessive use of cannabis. The first article focused on marijuanas impact on IQ and revealed two different rhetoric strategies debating the relationship; this back and forth between rhetoric creates rhetoric in and of itself for the reader to pick up on. The second article looks at our youth more closely and explains the adverse effects this drug is having on teens specifically in legalized areas. The discourse used by this author makes the reader feel like there is a problem and that something should be done to correct it. Madeline Meier conducted a study at Duke University assessing the effect of marijuana use on cognition, as measured by IQ( Szalavitz). The results suggested that marijuana was having a negative effect on brain development(Szalavitz). The TIME article up to this point seems not to have any purpose other than to simply inform but once a conflicting follow up study questions Meiers findings exigence is created and discourse is used to ignite the audiences curiosity for the truth. Ole Rogeberg from Norway found that the estimated effect of adolescentonset cannabis use on IQ is likely biased and the true effect could be zero. Mathematical modeling found that because education can affect the trajectory of IQ development differently in

people of different socioeconomic status, the environment, and not marijuana, may be the source of the poorer cognitive development. The intended message of this article is somewhat unclear due to the conflicting studies within it. Unsurprisingly no clear correct answer is common when asking cannabiss overall impact on the functionality of its user. Maia Szalavitz does a great job presenting these studies and findings in ways that effectively capture the audiences interest and so to provoke internal debate within the reader. I think that because this is such a highly debated subject creating discourse through debating can be difficult. In the next article I rhetorically analyze there is a distinct common ground in the discourses used, providing sufficient exigence to form persuasive rhetorical situations. is a news website local to Colorado, it should be noted that its a statewide organization with family based values. Although federally illegal under Colorado state law marijuana will become recreationally legal by 2014. This warrants many studies and reports in the Colorado area on the effects of the industry in the surrounding communities. One investigation done by the education news Colorado, Solutions, and the I-News Network consisted of dozens of student interviews relating to cannabis use. The article emphasizes the general misinformation teens receive about medical marijuana. The author Katie McCrimmon uses discourse like the vision of 15 year old girls smoking all day to emphasize the rising drug use among teens in Colorado. I find this to be a little extreme. She also at the beginning of the article tells us there are kids as young as 10 experimenting with weed. Why such graphic statistics? and are they really accurate? Although these question are rhetorical there could be an inference made from it. The author wants us to believe there is a problem so that action will be done to correct it. In this case action resulting from discourse would be the repression of medicinal marijuana.

The Colorado News article goes on to claim that the neighboring thriving medical cannabis industry has caused more and more teens to justify abuse and claim health benefits. As well the investigation indicated that We need to tell people that youth are the most likely to become addicted to marijuana and that when they become addicted, they are at higher risk for every bad outcome a teenager can face (McCrimmon). The way this discourse is presented it leads the reader to believe there is a causal link between marijuana use and risky behaviors, like dropping out of school. This is misleading and cannot be used to generalize to a large population because the investigation only looked at high school kids that are high risk, and reported they were high risk. All it does is correlate risky behaviors with other risky behaviors. If the study was much larger however and had selected students that only used marijuana, and no other drugs then the writer could make a qualified statement. The rhetorical situation Katie paints is one where you navely believe broad mislead research and conclude that marijuana is harmful and should be avoided. The article then goes on to explain the relationship of alcoholism and cannabis use among teens; when cannabis consumption goes down the alcoholism rate increases and vice versa. Why does this article aim to exaggerate and prove a point? The discourse used by the Colorado News may have been intended to get people to want to cite dispensaries close to schools more or keep voters on the conservative side. None the less the article does convey a message of purity and well-being of our youth. Addiction among youth is prevalent around Colorado and There is no debate in the scientific community, marijuana is physically and mentally addictive.(McCrimmon). The medical/scientific paper that is attached to this article examines the long term effects on the executive functions of users, finds no direct correlations

between long term impairment and use, and then claims to have done so in the conclusion where it quotes the research. This makes me weary of all the statistics within the article. Dispensaries are flooding Colorado like crazy especially in the Denver area resulting in a huge influx of legal cannabis availability. Consequently local teens are reported using more and more legal pot compared to illegal pot due to its availability. Is this a bad thing? With black markets down more and more tax revenue is being put back into schools and communities through cannabis taxation. The Colorado News article stated that this is bringing the drug use of teens up statistically. Once again I believe this is where the exigence manifests. The creator of this article wants a picture to be painted on the face of pot; a face that is mean, dangerous, and scary. There could be many reasons behind this but the main one I believe is simply that the marijuana industry and the legalization of it could replace or affect adversely a large number of profitable industries and organizations throughout the world. Unfortunately I dont ever see the flower being federally legal while there are so many benefactors fighting for its illegalization. Some of these benefactors may include pharmaceutical, textile, and environmental industries. Both articles covered in this analysis bring to light different rhetoric used to debate the nature of this topic. As it pertains to higher learning cannabis seems to have a neutral effect on the processes used to achieve this education. There will always be cases where an individual is affected poorly by the use of cannabis in his or her studies but just as many cases come out where people use it to push through or keep invested. Concluding that the nature of the effect cannabis has on higher learning among adult students is inconsistent.

Works Cited McCrimmon, Katie "Research Shows Adverse Effects of Marijuana on Teens as Drug Use among Students Appears to Be Rising | EdNewsColorado." Research Shows Adverse Effects of Marijuana on Teens as Drug Use among Students Appears to Be Rising | EdNewsColorado. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2013. Szalavitz, Maia, and Maia Szalavitz. "New Research Questions Marijuanas Impact in Lowering IQ |" Time. Time, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.