Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

906 Words May 28th, 2012 4 Pages
Running head: CRITICAL ISSUE ANALYSIS: MARIJUANA

Critical Issue Analysis: Marijuana

Janet Matthews

University of Phoenix

April 22, 2009

Critical Issue Analysis: Marijuana

Gfroerer, J. W. (2005). Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug

First time marijuana use will lead to harder drugs, creates health risks including HIV.

Earleywine, M. (2004). Marijuana Is Not a Gateway to Other Addictive Drugs.

Most marijuana users do not touch hard drugs.

First time marijuana use does not mean an individual will use harder drugs because people will use whatever drug is available when they are ready to experiment. According to data from the 2000 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse
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One of the articles’ headliner says first time users are under 17, but in reading the paragraph, the findings are since 1992 the age range has remained around 17, a big difference between saying “under” and age and “around” an age. While sensationalizing all the propaganda, this pertinent information is buried and the actual focus of the article becomes lost.

Because the authors of the first article bombard the reader with word usage designed as a scare tactic, it ultimately has little effect. This rhetoric could end up backfiring on those who use the article in a drug awareness effort due to blatant lies and half-truths. Not to mention, the authors of the first article are researchers, therefore, the only responsibility is gathering the information without taking a direct stance on the issue. This limits the credibility of the authors, who work for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The author of the second article uses data from the same source as the previous, without the feeling of information shoved down the readers throat. The article has a more realistic approach because every reader can identify with the content. Although there may be some exaggerated points, the article speaks to what people know, therefore, more creditable. To the author’s credit, a recipient of nine teaching awards for drugs and human behavior, leading researcher in psychology and addictions, the Associate Professor of Clinical Science and Director of

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