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, weed, hemp, cannabis, and ganja, all words for the same thing. In Colorado, the legalization of marijuana is a topic that has been debated over many years. Dispensaries have been popping up everywhere around Colorado, Denver especially, and there are many different views on this drug. Smoking weed, in the past, has been looked at as a criminalizing act, one only taken up by those in the lower sector of society. Although the views have not changed much, smoking cannabis has been decriminalized with the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado. Although there is a group of people who are going to abuse the drug, it can have great benefits for those who are in need of its medical capabilities. These people should not be punished, and suffering, because there are people who abuse the drug. One of the major downsides to the legalization of cannabis to the general population is the abuse factor present. Although studies have shown that it is not as addictive as prescription drugs, it still has an addictive nature. Even though doctors are only supposed to give prescriptions and med cards to those people who truly need it, anyone who complains about back pains for a few months could get their medical marijuana card without a problem. A second con to the legalization of marijuana to the general public is the unknown contents that may be in the marijuana. It is not difficult to become a grower while being within regulations for growing placed by the state. Since the weed is not coming from one place, and due to the fact that there are many different strains, one is
unable to know if the cannabis they have is laced or grown properly. Legalizing marijuana to the general population could cause a decrease in the drug scene. Even though this seems good at first, pot is not the only drug that is sold on the streets. By decreasing this aspect of the drug trade in the United States, an increase to more serious drugs could occur. Lastly, if marijuana was legalized to the general public, it may decrease the number of people that want to smoke it since the criminalized factor would be gone. Although there are advantages to legalizing marijuana to everyone, like there are advantages to anything, there are far more benefits to just having it for only medical patients. Although some people believe that marijuana should not be legalized for anyone; there are multiple laws and acts helping contain and regulate its sale and usage for medical purposes. In 2000, Colorado joined the other four states that had already legalized marijuana, California being the first (Healy). Colorado legalized marijuana for patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions allowing them to carry up to two ounces of a usable form of marijuana (Statute 0-4-287). To regulate the legalization of medical marijuana, Colorado decided to make medical marijuana cards that make it so that not just anyone can walk into one of the dispensaries in the state and buy cannabis. As far as medical marijuana cards are concerned, a bill has been passed in Colorado that states that anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 will have to undergo the process of getting approved by two doctors in order to receive their card (Healy). This helps make sure that not just anyone who wants to get high and complains of a headache or back pain can get access to medical marijuana. Another bill made it so that a doctor must have a previous relationship with a patient before they are able to get his or her medical card (Senate Bill 10-109). Both of these bills have been used to regulate the use of cannabis and to make sure that it is not
being given to those who have bad intentions. Since it has been found that there are now more dispensaries in Denver than Starbucks (Dokoupil), the state legislature has decided to impose laws to regulate these dispensaries. Also in 2000, Colorado passed a bill that states that dispensary owners must get a background check, spend five thousand dollars in licensing fees, and turn in security plans (Healy). This helps with the concern that the medical marijuana is not up to standards or that it is not grown properly. Medical marijuana should stay legalized and it should not be legalized for everyone due to the many laws and bills already in place in Colorado that are regulating the use and sale of medical marijuana. Colorado legislation is putting forth effort to keep medical marijuana in the hands of those who could use its medicinal benefits; legislatures understand the possibility of abuse and are taking precautions to keep medical marijuana a legitimate prescribed drug. Another benefit to legalization of marijuana is the taxation that could be collected for its sales. With marijuana being legalized for medical uses, it can be taxed at the dispensaries in which is it sold and therefore, make money for the state. It has been found that Denver s 484 dispensaries already charge sales tax, which is greatly benefitting Colorado (Healy). The large amount of sales tax that had been received, due to medical marijuana, helps out the individual cities and state as a whole. In 2010, Colorado gained over 2.2 million dollars in sales tax from medical marijuana sales. Dispensaries have also paid over $2.2 million dollars in local sales tax in Denver, and around $380,000 in Colorado Springs (Ingold, 2010). The amount of taxes gained from medical marijuana sales was projected to be about 0.7 percent of the entire sales tax revenues in 2010 (Ingold, 2010). Since the state is making money off of this medical marijuana being sold, it should stay
legalized increase the amount of taxes placed on it, which, in the end, will help the state, even more, financially, but it should not be legalized for the general public. There are many advantages to marijuana as far as medical uses are concerned. Medical marijuana cards are given to those patients that will benefit from its range of treatments. It is said to benefit an assortment of symptoms, from glaucoma, to aches and pains throughout the body. Colorado law states that ganja may be used for cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), severe nausea, sever pains, seizures and other debilitating medical conditions (Statute 0-4-287). Although its recreational use has been criminalized, it can be extremely beneficial. One of the positive sides to medical marijuana is that more research has been done with marijuana than most prescription drug on the market. This research has shown that cannabis is less dangerous and addictive, and there has not been a lethal overdose found ( A Case for Marijuana s Medical Merits ). This is in contrast to the many of the prescription drugs currently on the market, such as Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, Xanax, Valium, and others. Many people ask why marijuana is not legalized since it is less dangerous or addictive than any of the commonly abused prescription drugs listed above and the answer is due to the criminalizing manner in which it is portrayed. If you look at it as just any other prescription drug, like the ones listen above, and take out the criminalizing manner of it, it actually seems like a better alternative since it is safer and less addictive. Many teens nowadays take painkillers and muscle relaxants to get high. Adults, after surgeries, become addicted to the prescribed medications and experience withdrawal after use. If smoking marijuana is a less addictive and less dangerous than these drugs, why are they legalized whereas cannabis is not? The current level of
legalization of marijuana is a benefit due to the immense research that has been done and the fact that it is safer than many of the drugs currently on the market. Although there is concern about the many different strains and types of medical marijuana, which can be seen spread out in the counters at dispensaries, each type helps a patient in a different way. There are some strains that help calm and relax, others that help with pain, and some that just wipe a person out. There are two main types of marijuana, sativa and indica. Sativa is the type of marijuana that does not give a patient the crash or relaxation effect. It makes the patient energetic while reducing pain. Indica, on the other hand, is the strain of cannabis that relaxes the body and is said to give more of a body high ( Choosing Your Marijuana - Sativa or Indica? ). Indicas are more likely taken at night to help a patient sleep where sativa is more used for daytime smoking. Sativa is said to have more THC, which is one of the main components of cannabis. The more THC a strain has in it, the more potent it is said to be. With the many different strains of cannabis that are available to patients, a range of symptoms can be treated. Marijuana should be legalized because it is not as criminalized as it has been made to be. There are many different strains that help with different problems and each patient can figure out which helps with their debilitating disease best. However, if it was accessible to the entire population of Colorado, the situation could get out of hand. There are concerns with the problem of being under the influence of marijuana and driving. Recent legislation is moving forward placing a level of THC that is acceptable for a patient to drive with. The limit the government in Colorado is trying to place is five nanograms of THC, which studies have shown to be the limit in which people are impaired (Ingold, 2011). People have been concerned that this limit of five nanograms might be too
low for those people who have high THC tolerances. It has also been proposed by one representative from Boulder that the THC limit be raised to eight nanograms instead of five. Another representative suggest a two-nanogram limit; however, both of these propositions were shot down (Ingold, 2011). This bill will continue to the go through the process of being made into a law to help reduce the concerns for people that are against it. Although these laws are good for medical patients, it should not be legalized to the general population. Medical marijuana is a topic that has been debated since it was first legalized in Colorado in 2000. There are many people in opposition to its legalization, but it has been found to be less addictive and less harmful than many of the prescription drugs on the market. There are different strains to help with different problems. Finally, tons of legislation have been made, and continue to be revised, in order to help regulate the use and sale of marijuana. Although smoking cannabis has been seen as a criminalizing act in the past, the legalization, legislation, and research done concerning marijuana is beginning to decriminalize it in many states. The current level of legalization for medical patients is good; however, if it were to be legalized for the entire population, the state could not regulate it as much.
"A Case for Marijuana's Medical Merits." H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks 69.14 (1995): 13. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Apr. 2011.
"Choosing Your Marijuana - Sativa or Indica?." The Best Marijuana Seeds & Cannabis Seeds Shipped WorldWide. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
Dokoupil, Tony. "Colorado s Dope Dilemma." Newsweek 155.8 (2010): 8. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Apr. 2011.
Healy, Rita. "Postcard: Denver." Time 175.9 (2010): 6. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Apr. 2011.
Ingold, John. "Colorado Bill Advances that Regulates Drivers' Marijuana Use." The Denver Post. N.p., 23 Mar. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
Ingold, John. "Medical-Marijuana Sales Tax Nets $2.2 Million for Colorado this Year." The Denver Post. N.p., 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
"Senate Bill 10-109." Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
"Statute 0-4-287." Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2011.
Dear Josh, HERRROOO! I feel like this far your paper has a good start. As far as your introduction goes, I feel like you could add more background information. I feel like I have a somewhat clear understanding of the pine beetle infestation, but more background information might grab my attention a little more and cause me to focus better throughout your paper. I also feel like your thesis could be a little better, for I did not understand what you were arguing until later on, about half way through the paper. You do support your argument with good facts and do a great job in showing the oppositions and then shooting them down. Although you already do a good job in giving evidence to your argument, I feel like you need to use more sources to show more points of view. By doing this, your argument would be stronger showing there are professionals that agree with you. Also, this will get you full credit for that part of the assignment. You do a good job in including these sources well and spreading them throughout your argument. I like how you use the sources to back up your thoughts and not provide your argument on their own. You explain why each source was used, in a way, and that shows that you have researched your topic, making your paper more credible. Some other things I feel that need some work are maybe adding a concluding sentence(s) to the end of paragraph 5 and maybe others, just so that you can show how that paragraph ties back to your thesis.
Reverse Outline I. Conclusion
II. Body a. Opposition - Adaptations in beetles i. Say its something that should be looked at in the future, but bigger problems at hand currently. b. Logging main argument i. Logging is the best option. ii. Provides jobs iii. Can start over c. Opposition unreasonable alternatives i. Peeling off bark ii. Waiting for the beetles to be killed by natural disasters/causes d. Opposition pesticides i. Widely used currently ii. Not a good idea for many reasons 1. Not very effective. 2. Don t know if the entire tree is covered 3. Too many variables affect the ability for pesticides to work. e. How beetles are traveling to healthy trees III. Introduction a. Thesis: use logging b. Provide some background
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