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3 pages/≈825 words
Literature & Language
Article Critique
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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Legal Marijuana Article Critique (Article Critique Sample)


The task was to review a given newspaper article

Legal Marijuana
The article ‘why I support legal marijuana’ appeared on The Wall Street Journal on 26 October 2010. The author, George Soros, supports the legalization of marijuana in the country. He gives various reasons for his support of the legalization. However, the author does not provide real-life examples to support his claims, and rather bases them on theories concerning the use of the drug in the country. This paper seeks to analyse claims and opinions of the author, and to provide real-life examples to these opinions whenever possible.
First, the author opines that racial prejudice played a role in the prohibition of the drug. He claims that the principle motivation to prohibit the drug was prejudice and discrimination against Mexican immigrants, saying that the authorities then thought the drug to be a killer. The author does not support this argument with any evidence. However, available survey and research indicates that overdose of the drug leads to death, either directly or indirectly. As such, the authorities could have been right in labelling the drug a killer. For example, in 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that marijuana significantly impairs one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, citing effects such as decreased car handling performance, inability to maintain headway, impaired time and distance estimation, increased reaction time, and lack of motor coordination. All these point towards increased number of road accidents, and therefore more deaths and casualties. In Colorado alone, traffic fatalities involving drivers testing positive for the drug increased by 114% between 2006 and 2011, after the legalization of medical marijuana in the state (Rocky Mountain HIDTA, 2013). Recently when recreational marijuana was legalized in the same state, 37 people were reported dead from overdose.
The author also claims that legalizing the drug would make more readily assessable to adults with no significance increase in its availability to minors. In Colorado, following the passing of Amendment 20 in the year 2000 that legalised medical marijuana, the number of applicants has increased steadily over the years. However, in 2009 when the one-to-five ratio of caregiver to patient ratio was amended, the number of applicants increased by over 38000 people. Applicants to the programme are adults with medical conditions. Amendment 64, which was passed in 2012, legalised marijuana for recreational use, but only for individuals 21 years or older (Rocky Mountain HIDTA, 2013). This means that the availability of the drug would only increase to the people of legal age. However, legalization of the drug would lead to cases of unintentional exposure of children to the drug, as it happened in Colorado especially after more people gained access to medical marijuana. For example, in February 2010, ten-month-old twins in Commerce City, Colorado, were hospitalised after eating food infused with marijuana. Their parents were medical marijuana patients (Rocky Mountain HIDTA, 2013). In 2011, the national rate of use of the drugs was 7.64% for youth between12 and 17 years of age. 6.6% of high school senior students were reported to use the drug, which was the highest rate since 1981. According to the Colorado Department of Education, there was a 37% increase in the rate of drug related suspensions and expulsions, despite the fact that offenders were often arrested and charged. As such, there is need for effective drug education among the youth. Drug education as a preventive measure would help lower these cases.
Marijuana trade earns easy profits to illicit traders, while denying the government revenues in the form of taxes. Legalizing the drug would see to it that its trade is more organised and easy to target for taxes. Traffickers make ...
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