Differences and Similarities in the Arguments for Legalizing Marijuana

Decent Essays
Lorena Burgess
RHE 309S
October 28th, 2011

Differences and Similarities in the Arguments for Legalizing Marijuana
The legalization of marijuana has become a mainstream issue that the nation has become highly concerned about in recent years. Lately more and more conservative opposers have begun to change their minds, realizing the benefits of marijuana. Debate followers go as far as saying that it is no longer a question of if marijuana will be legalized, but when. The shift in viewpoints is due to the increasing awareness of some of the positive effects legalizing marijuana could have on the country. Pro-legalization advocates argue that the benefits of legalizing marijuana greatly outnumber the benefits of keeping it illegal.
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They know their audience is anti-legalization, so they want to make sure that the readers know, before they choose a stance, they’ve been lied to. This makes the authors seem like more trustworthy and rational choice. By using the Constitution to back up their arguments, there is no real way to justify anti-legalization.
Assumptions will be made that you’re anti-Constitution, and in turn, anti-American.
Another similarity between Cartwright’s stance and other arguments for marijuana legalization is the huge emphasis on the effects it will have on the economy. In the article “Up
In Smoke,” Kelley Beaucar Vlahos describes the economic benefits of legalization, while giving real number estimates of how much revenue could be brought in or saved. She writes, “Proponents of Prop 19 claimed taxes on legalized cannabis could bring upwards of $1.4 billion into beleaguered state coffers” (Vlahos 18). Cartwright does this in his article as well, stating that “In America, we spend nearly $8 billion trying to enforce the laws prohibiting the use and possesson of marijuana” (Cartwright 86). Cartwright further supports this argument by providing more proof of the waste of taxpayers’ dollars, stating that “in Texas, 97 percent of all marijuana arrests are for simple possession--an ounce or less--at a cost to taxpayers of $480 million a year” (86). Cartwright chooses to provide the reader with these statistics for deliberate reasons: it provides a
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