“Americans are not ready to make another mistake like we did with alcohol and tobacco.”

Ludwig, Mike. “Marijuana Legalization Debate Turns Heads on Campus.” Alt-Press Watch. Proquest, 28 Jan. 2008. Web. 19 July 2015.

Mike Ludwig is a writer and investigative reporter for Truthout, a nonprofit news organization in the United States. In this article, Ludwig writes about the “Heads vs. Feds” debate that took place at Ohio University. The debate was between Steve Hager, former editor for High Times (a magazine dedicated to the fight for marijuana legalization), and head of New York City’s Drug Enforcement Administration, Robert Stutman. They disputed the legalization of marijuana and its pros and cons on society.

Ludwig begins by saying that Hager motivated the students of Ohio University to become activists for the cause of legalizing marijuana and suggested that they become serious about it if they really want to see a change. According to Ludwig, Hager argued that the positive factors of marijuana outweigh the negatives and that marijuana can have valuable medicinal and spiritual properties. Ludwig reports that Hager thinks the black market encourages corruption and drug trafficking, and with the legalization of marijuana, the two of these would slow if not completely end.

According to Ludwig, Hager’s opponent, Stutman, disagrees and claims that marijuana should not be made legal. The reason behind this being that “legalizing marijuana validates a drug that intoxicates, impairs depth perception, and can lead to health problems such as lung cancer.” Seeing that marijuana can be tremendously harmful to our bodies, Stutman insists that America is not ready to repeat the mistake that was made with tobacco and alcohol.

Ludwig says that both Hager and Stutman agree that drug use on its own should not warrant a prison sentence, however, Stutman does not side with the use of marijuana recreationally. Hager concludes his argument with, “We have built the largest prison system in the world in my lifetime. I think doing 10 years in the prison system is worse for you than smoking a joint.”

I found this article helpful because the two debaters certainly have “the credentials for their respective positions,” as Ludwig states. Both of them are experts in their fields and have contrasting opinions on the legalization of marijuana that are more unique than those I had read in other articles. It was interesting to me to hear that DEA Officer Stutman believed that if marijuana were to become legal, it would add onto the list of mistakes America has made, the other two being alcohol and tobacco. I think this source could be of use to those who are thinking of writing on how marijuana affects society as a whole.


Filed under RS 2

7 Responses to “Americans are not ready to make another mistake like we did with alcohol and tobacco.”

  1. Marisol Martinez

    Yes! We should not make another mistake such as with tobacco and alcohol, I believe through time marijuana can become as dangerous as tobacco. I understand many want the drug to become legal for recreational purposes and economical purposes, but are we really wiling to risk the potential harm of this drug just to make profit? . I think we should be more worried about how it could affect our health and our society instead of being selfish and just worrying about its benefits. I also agree with Hager that you don’t want to spend 10 years in jail for smoking a joint.

  2. Briza

    I found this article really interesting and I almost used it in my essay! Having the viewpoints of pro and anti marijuana gives the article a lot of depth. The setting of the argument taking place in a university reflects on the marijuana debate effecting younger generations more than older ones. Both of the viewpoints make good arguments and I agree with the agreeing argument that marijuana should be decriminalized if not legalized.

  3. Jasmine Seals

    This article was nice to read since you are able to see two different viewpoints. I agree marijuana should be legalized for marijuana purposes only. On the other hand, I also think that the United States does not need to legalize anymore drugs that can be harmful to the body. I think decriminalizing marijuana is the better way to go about it.

  4. Kimberly

    I agree with Hager o his view on marijuana. I also believe the positive factors of marijuana outweigh the negatives. I mentioned in the other post how I have been finding stories of how the drug is beneficial. As for when he says that marijuana can have valuable medicinal properties, the way I see it even if it saves one life especially when that life is that of a kids, then it’s worth legalization. There are several kids out there that resort to medicinal marijuana because they don’t have any other choice.

  5. Telana

    Reading about two different viewpoints was definitely interesting. Your summary was well organized and easy to follow. I have to agree with Hager on this one as well. His arguments are pretty valid.

  6. Henry Barragan

    I agree with Kimberly, marijuana has a lot more benefits rather than disadvantages. I believe its because of the bad reputation it has over the years and how people have use it in the past. However this is just me with my wishful thinking, why cant we just study the plants properties and figure out a way to make it a lot more safer to use. If this happened, then we wouldn’t have to worry about the negatives anymore.

  7. Rosalio

    This article provided two good viewpoints. I agree that marijuana should only be used for medical purposes, however, stuntman provides his own good points such as America does not need another drug available that does harm to its users. I found his statement adding marijuana to a list of “mistakes” that America has made such as the legalization of tobacco and alcohol very interesting.

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