Author Archives: Anthony Matthews

About Anthony Matthews

Business major from Abilene, TX. Sole proprietor of iGoRepair. I'm a pretty outgoing person, so don't be afraid to hit me up fam.

Use all the logical fallacies!

Tomczak, Larry. “4 More Reasons to Reject Legalizing Marijuana.” The Christian Post, 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.

I stumbled upon this lovely article, which states 4 reasons not to legalize marijuana. The first reason is to “maintain maximum mental capacities”. He starts out by saying that a majority of Americans believe our country is going “in the wrong direction” and that there are “apocalyptic warnings” around us. He then rambles on about controversial subjects which is obvious he isn’t in favor of such as “abortion, gay marriage, Islamic terrorism…” and much more. He goes on to say that marijuana “affects motor skills, causes brain damage, your IQ will drop…” and names many more reasons. The second reason is to “protect public safety”. He is aware of the marijuana/alcohol comparison and even cites statistics. He says alcohol should stay, but safety shouldn’t be worsen by allowing another addictive on the streets. The third reason is “don’t relinquish control of your life” by saying that marijuana is a gateway and that we should not give in Letto sin. He then says that many media sources are publishing on the negatives on marijuana and that pop culture needs to inform the public that it’s not good. The last reason is “be responsible and care for our children” in which he says kids aren’t given a clear message, pressuring Christian parents to inform their child, and cites statistics on how kids can get addicted and such.

The first logical fallacy I encounter is actually in the 2nd sentence, “Apocalyptic warnings seem to be swirling all around us amidst accelerating moral decline.” He is appealing to force by implying that there are warnings and that if marijuana is legalized, something horrible is to come. He then uses the same flawed argument by quoting 1 Pet. 4:7, NIV which states “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so you can pray.” By using a source that he knows his audience will agree with (the Bible), he tries to scare them. This claim says if you keep your mind sober (clear of sin) and you pray, then you won’t have to worry about the end. He uses a slippery slope by coming up with the idea that one would start out smoking joints outside and next thing you know they’re “driving high down the highway” and the next day he’s “next to a judge with a weeping father who lose his loved one and his three children”. This implication is stating that simply by smoking, you’ll be inclined to make foolish decisions, which in turn turns out to be dangerous. Ad hominem is used by stating “Fearful and selfish parents are caving because they don’t want to alienate their children…” in which in he basically tells his audience (Christian adults) that if you don’t inform your child of the “dangers” of marijuana, you are a “coward” and selfish.

The above fallacies mentioned are just a drop in the bucket compared to the whole article, which contains many, if not all the types of fallacies to exist. Many arguments against the drug are not backed up by credible sources and half the article does not even focus on the drug, but focuses on Bible verses and making the audience feel bad. It is evident he is pushing his agenda upon his readers with little to no intent to actually focus on all the aspects of the drug, but just cherry picks the whole article.

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Successful Marijuana Users

Reilly, Ryan J. “50 Successful Marijuana Users Who Prove That the Person Matters More Than the Plant.” The Huffington Post, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 03 Aug. 2015.

The controversy surrounding the users of marijuana is that they often fall victim to negative stereotypes. This article is related to the first one in that they both attempt to clear the negative stereotypes of those who use the drug. The first article I used from CNN portrays an everyday functional member of society that smokes marijuana. This one follows suit, but focuses on the very successful people we all know that have or currently use the drug. This source teaches me that the speaker is very informative about the marijuana debate in general. They do a great job in informing the public about the role models we have, that also happen to have smoked before. The article has a positive bias stance about the topic and focuses more on the users than the actual plant itself. He wants to make marijuana look more positive by showing us all the successful people and I believe they want to open the mind and change the perspectives of the intended audience, which seems to be those who have a negative or neutral perspective on marijuana users.

I believe the source is credible because there is a slight positive bias towards the subject about marijuana. The speakers is credible and has authority too. Ryan J Reilly has been covering law enforcement and legal news since 2009. He has written articles in the past about cannabis, but they all seem to portray a neutral, yet slightly postive-biased stance which portrays sophisticated journalism. He seems to be a part of a community of journalists who really care for the public’s best goodwill, because when he covered Ferguson, he got arrested there with a bunch of other journalists as well, which shows his passion for what he does. This particular source blows me away because 50 people are named and he cites each individual to when they claimed they  smoked. He also does not put any opinion in this article. The publisher, The Huffington Post, has been regarded as a bit of a left/liberal site. However, most of the articles are written by independent journalists, so the articles attempt to remain neutral in stance. They are very respected by most people, with Republicans having a slight nuisance about the site. The citations are also credible because they refer to the person’s interview, speech, blog, etc. to when they let the public know that they’ve used weed. The text doesn’t necessarily argue any point, but rather opens up a different perspective on the stereotypes of marijuana users.

The article starts out by outlining the controversy, that weed causes a “lack of motivation” and opponents of the drug have a bad perspective. Then he informs us of the Marijuana Policy Project, which released a list of the 50 most influential Americans who have used marijuana. Reilly says that the goal of this list was to “dispel the myth that marijuana users are losers” and to highlight that in fact, most are rather “productive and successful”. The rest of the article is the author naming all 50 successful marijuana users, in what seems like, “slightly popular/successful” to “most influential and successful”, with a cited statement of when they said they used the drug. Starting with #50: Snoop Dogg and ending the article with #1: Barack Obama. The author seems to also believe that the typical negative stereotypes regarding marijuana users isn’t true because the first sentence of the article is “these guys just blew pothead stereotypes up in smoke” which seems to be a jab at those who do hold such a negative stereotype.

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The All-New Volvo XC90

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Good People Smoke Weed Too

Imam, Jareen. “‘I like weed, and I’m a good person’: Pot smokers fight stereotypes.” CNN., 11 September 2014. Web. 29 July 2015.

In paragraphs 1-4, we are introduced to an anonymous 31 year old man who lives in Ohio. He’s a father, a registered voter with the Republican party, goes to church, donates to charity, is a business man at an insurance firm, and even gives piano lessons to disabled children. He sounds like a normal man doesn’t he? Well the only difference is, he smokes marijuana. He smokes it before putting on some Netflix to relieve his stressful day. He remains anonymous so his activities can’t be known in his small town because of the bad wrap surrounding marijuana.

Marijuana for the past couple years has always been given a bad wrap, but now in 2015 people are starting to realize that in fact, marijuana has way more benefits than detriments. According to a CNN International survey, 55% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized, with half of the respondents claiming that they have smoke the drug as well. Laws concerning marijuana prohibition should be amended, because as we saw in the earlier paragraphs, there are many normal everyday humans that enjoy it.
presidents-day-tokersParagraph 6 highlights the outcome of Colorado legalization, showing that marijuana purchases aren’t slowing down. In fact, Washington D.C. plus other states are following suit such as Washington, Oregon, Alaska (which already legalized after this article) and New Hampshire where the preliminary vote went through.

The following paragraphs highlight more normal people who would smoke marijuana once it becomes legal, including those who are engineers and college students. They say that it’s a “viable” alternative to alcohol, it’s relaxing, and stimulates creativity. According to another lady, who is 21, said it helps her fall asleep at night. She says it’s a “sleep remedy” after her long work hours as a security dispatcher at the university. In fact she seemed very enthusiastic about smoking because she wrote to CNN that “I LOVE POT!” because it does allow her to unwind and relax. She recommends that everyone should try it. Due to the consistent smoking in college, she says it keeps her well rested throughout the year and that it doesn’t affect her grades. She’s on the Dean’s List due to her straight A’s. Her parents know about her activity, but only worry about the legal aspect of the drug.

The rest of the article gives other productive members of society’s stories about why they smoke. One is a computer engineer with two degrees who uses it to keep him emotionally healthy and happy. He wants it to be legal in Hawaii because he says that it’s a “boon to society”. Another is a magazine write, author, and journalist. He says it allows her to be creative and cut down on drinking. He says it also allows him to be a productive citizen. One testimony is from a security guard who says he wants it legal because he would stop drinking alcohol immediately. He says alcohol makes him a bad angry person and he would prefer to smoke without causing problems. The last testimony is from a veteran and retired electrical engineer. He found that it would keep him in line with his studies and that allowed him to graduate with good grades.

All in all, this whole article is a great perspective with many testimonies from everyday normal people. They just simply enjoy marijuana to relax, concentrate, become creative, and much more.

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We all belong to many communities that support us and form the person we are today. Some big some mall, but they play a role in our everyday life. I have two major ones that make me who i am.

My first community that I cherish is being latino. Although I am half, I still take great pride in being who I am. Growing up and meeting my family on my mother’s side, I have been encouraged to become a better person. I never have really been discriminated against myself, but I have seen my latino and latina friends get told harsh things. In politics I often observe how latinos everywhere usually are frowned upon. Many people don’t want to help the immigrants because they are “going to take our jobs” and “bring crime into this country”. I do not believe this is true. In fact, a great majority of these immigrants actually contribute to society. They take any jobs that many people do not want such as construction, cleaning services, and much more. As a latino going to college, I feel blessed and hope to serve as a role model for many hispanics who have the dream of attending. I hope to serve as an encouragement to my mothers side of the family to let my cousins and nephews know that you can do anything if you truly believe yourself.

This leads me to my second community and that is being a first-generation student. My mother and father did not go to college. However, they are still doing fantastic in life as my mother runs her own business and my father is in the United States Air Force. Being a first-generation student, I hope to set a precedent for my siblings and for the rest of my family name. My parents came from poor backgrounds, so college was not much of an option. I have been discriminated rarely about this issue as well, but have heard remarks such as “your parents didn’t go to college?” or “are you sure you’ll be able to make it?”. Remarks like these make me even more proud to be where I am.

As a first-generation latino, I have surpassed many milestones and I hope to turn more heads. I found a specific organization called Project MALES, who mentor latino first-gen males and help them achieve their dreams. I hope to join the organization to help me and support me along the way.

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The Marijuana Gateway Myth

Nogueira, Felipe. “Where Drug Myths Die: An Interview with Carl Hart.” EBSCOhost, 01 June 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.

The article I found online is an interview between Felipe Nogueira & Carl Hart: an associate professor of Psychiatry & Psychology at Columbia University. He works in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute as a research scientist & is a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Dr. Hart believes that drug users actually have rational behavior & are able to choose which drugs appeal to them. He is posed with many questions & provides his feedback on some of marijuana’s most controversial aspects. He says that marijuana is not a gateway drug, but however many cocaine & heroin users did start off smoking marijuana. His research has shown that the majority of marijuana users don’t go on to smoke other drugs and uses the example of “The last 3 presidents smoked marijuana before taking office, therefore marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House” to show the irrational silly myth of marijuana being a “gateway”. With that statement he is saying that just because that they may have been involved with marijuana in the past, doesn’t mean that it is the drug itself that influences the mindset, but the behavior and mentality of the user. He says those who use harder drugs have been affiliated with petty crimes in the past & those have a slight influence on their drug behavior.

Dr. Hart says that “drug addiction is behavior that disrupts your physiological functions, your job, your family life, and these behavioral disruptions have to occur on multiple occasions”. He backs up his claim by saying that just because you have 1 disruption in the important aspects of your life, doesn’t make one an addict. Addiction takes time & most statements regarding “marijuana addiction” is just simple hyperbole being shout out by the Ignorant.

When it comes to statistics, marijuana actually has the lowest addiction rate of any mind-altering drug with 10% of users being addicted. This is a way better stat than those who consume cigarettes: 33%, heroin: 25%, cocaine: 20%, and alcohol: 15%. Although the alcohol addiction rate is quite low, he says it’s the most harmful when it comes to being addicted because there have been cases where many have died from alcohol withdrawal, where a withdrawal for marijuana doesn’t even exist. He says that the “killing of the brain cells” myth may be true, but it rarely happens as it requires the user to consume 20-50 times the “normal” amount a human would use.

Overall this resource is very valuable into the debate about marijuana usage on the brain & whether it’s a gateway or not. It’s always more relieving when a doctor provides his insight based on research & studies he has been conducting in the past. This provides a more sophisticated & less bias perspective on the myths. Other people in the class might find this interview helpful because the doctor is affiliated with many drug-based groups & sees the evidence first hand through his experiments. This interview should serve as an insight about what the answers are over the most popular myths regarding marijuana.

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