Author Archives: Shaniece!

About Shaniece!

I plan to become a sports lawyer because I have a heart for sports. I am from a small town, but that hasn't affected my dreams. I have huge plans outside of being a lawyer!

Are “Almost All Medical Marijuana Patients… Faking”?

Shaniece Denson

Gogek, Edward. “Crunching the Numbers; why I say almost all medical marijuana patients are faking it.” Reasons to Oppose “Medical Marijuana” in Arizona. N.p., 15 Nov. 2012 Web. 11 Aug. 2015

In this article, physician Edward Gogek contends that “almost all medical marijuana patients are faking” their illnesses in order to receive medical marijuana. He supports his argument with statistics from Arizona Department of Health Services, personal experiences that he has had in the state of Arizona, and the demographics that smoke marijuana within that state. Gogek provides information from Arizona because it has been a few years since the state has legalized medical marijuana and the evidence provided is more perpetual than the questionable evidence that is presented from states that have just legalized the drug. Gogek’s primary argument is directed toward the demographics and sex of medical marijuana users in Arizona. He asserts that majority of the patients seeking marijuana prescriptions are young adults and females. He also uses a comparison of tossing a coin to compare the results from the coin with the percentage of male and female citizens requesting medical marijuana in Arizona.

I agree that not all medical marijuana patients attempt to receive the drug because they suffer from serious illnesses or unbearable symptoms. However to make this argument comparing it to the tossing of a coin 1000 times is not reasonable. Gogek argues that the chances of a coin landing on tails is equivalent to a female seeking to buy medical marijuana in the state of Arizona. I cannot perceive physician Gogek or anyone else flipping a coin 1000 times and to actually comparing their results with charts containing the marijuana statistics that show the percentage of males and females buying medical marijuana. For this reason I consider this example a faulty comparison and one of which that isn’t significant to the controversy of whether or not marijuana cardholders are substance abusers. I also believe that it can be identified as a false analogy because tossing a coin to determine how many males or females will be found to smoke weed on a study does not resemble each other at all. In addition, I find it hard to believe Gogek’s argument because as mentioned earlier he states that the marijuana patients in Arizona are “mostly female”, but later in his article he argues that the “adult pot-smokers are 74 percent male… and are faking pain to get weed”. His second argument contradicts his first, therefore the audience should question his claims before deciding to believe them. The audience should also take into consideration the lack of reasonable evidence that Gogek provides. He implies that he takes the results from flipping a coin 1000 times and says that it “is almost exactly our situation.” Would you flip a coin 1000 times, and would you trust an argument that was formed around words such as “mostly” and “almost”?


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Mike Responds to “What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary”

Shaniece Denson

Mike. Urbana, IL. 28 July, 2015   dispensary.html?ref=opinion&_r=1

In a comment responding to David Casarett’s “What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary”, Mike states his opinion concerning physicians and the role they play in prescribing treatment. David Casarett’s article defends the argument that the more mainstream healthcare system should imitate certain proponents of the medical marijuana industry. This claim is directed at physicians who have the authority to make necessary changes in their clinics and in their methods of distributing relief. In his comment, Mike agrees with David Casarett’s argument, but he introduces an additional reason as to why doctors behave in a certain manner when it comes to providing treatment for their patients. The information that Mike gives allows the readers to better comprehend the intended audience which is doctors, and the situation that is at hand which happens to be their incompetence to yield sound treatment. Though Mike agrees with Casarett his reply takes the burden off of doctors and places its weight on the government. Mike contends that the government limits physicians’ abilities to grant effective treatment to their suffering patients. Mike’s argument causes there to be a change in audience; it takes the focus off of physicians and directs it toward the government.

Mike’s extensive knowledge on the subject makes him appear as a credible source. He provides situated information about the situation which implies that he has done previous research or that he is in a positions of authority to obtain such knowledge. He also states a resolve to solve the problem within the healthcare system that a person without direct experience within this situation would advocate. Moreover, Mike’s response was chosen by New York Times to be among 20 other notable comments out of 330 comments. New York Times is a distinguished venue that is respected by various communities; particularly communities that are well informed and value being well-read and knowledgeable. In spite of the use of minimum inflammatory language the speaker argues in what seems to be a responsible manner.

Mike acknowledges that doctors have the ability to treat unbearable symptoms that cause their patients to suffer. However he notes that it is impossible for physicians to do so when the government limits their power to prescribe certain medications, such as marijuana. Mike sheds light on the fact that since “cannabis isn’t legally available” doctors are forced to distribute medication that “the government is OK with making available”. These drugs include “hydrocodone and its analogues” which are noted to be much more dangerous than marijuana. Mike goes on to support this claim by saying that “in states that permit medical marijuana, opioid-related deaths have fallen.” In contrast to other areas where these type of fatalities continue to increase. Mike asserts that the government “prefers that people just go die” rather than legalizing medical marijuana to alleviate pains that are treatable. Ultimately Mike is arguing that the government should take a step back, and allow physicians to treat their patients the best way that they know how since doctors have more knowledge on the potency levels of certain drugs. Mike states that “the DEA hovers over doctors with … threats” to take away their prescription rights if they violate the DEA’s orders to limit the distribution of pain medication. With such guidelines it is impossible for doctors to give patients the care that they deserve and desire. Therefore, Mike argues that if the government would make marijuana available, remove their restrictions, and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as a pain medication then patients would receive healthy treatment.


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2016 Volvo XC90



by | August 2, 2015 · 9:28 PM

Marijuana Dispensaries Can Impact Your Doctor’s Visit

Shaniece Denson

Casarett, David. “What I Learned at the Weed Dispensary.” New York Times. New York Times,  28 July 2015. Web. 28 July 2015.

This online article deliberates on the controversy of whether or not the medical marijuana industry is taking the right approach in treating their patients. The author David Casarett sheds light on various methods used by marijuana clinics to provide assistance to individuals that seek relief from pain in marijuana. Casarett performs research and conducts interviews to obtain information that will give direction to the impact that the medical marijuana industry is having and determine whether or not our country’s healthcare system should follow suit. The author attends medical marijuana clinics and a weed dispensary to gain knowledge of the actual procedures that are being followed in such places. He also takes notice of the information that is shared between patients and the office staff members, as well as the knowledge that the patients share among themselves. Casarett considers the benefits within these communities and argue that the healthcare system must welcome the practices within the medical marijuana business.

David Casarett seems to be credible because he is a palliative care physician that lives to distribute aid to patients that suffer from serious illnesses, much like the patients that visit medical marijuana clinics to receive alleviation from unbearing symptoms. Though his position as a palliative care physician allows him to relate with his colleagues and understand their reasons for not giving medical marijuana patients extensive care, at the same time the research Casarett completes gives him the opportunity to identify counterclaims. This demonstrates that Casarett is willing to challenge the traditional approaches within his practice in order to make medical marijuana patients feel more secure. The author also provides quotes and the perspective of an individual that has rheumatoid arthritis and visits medical marijuana clinics and dispensaries in order to receive treatment and advice that will help ease her sufferings. Lastly, Casarett is considered a credible source because his article appears on the online site of New York Times. This venue is a distinguished newspaper that has won over 100 Pulitzer Prizes and that targets a broad audience. The fact that Casarett declares his argument in a responsible and insightful manner, and succeeds in having it published in New York Times shows his credibility.

Casarett announces that the medical marijuana industry is treating their patients in such an effective way that our “mainstream healthcare system needs to catch up”. He offers three “lessons” that can be learned from the medical marijuana system and how these lessons will benefit both physicians and patients. Casarett notes that physicians fail to treat medical marijuana patient with thorough care because of the claim that they do not have time to do so, in face Casarett agrees with his colleagues. Casarett also quotes a medical marijuana patient to show the desire that patients want to be “in control” of their own treatment.  Therefore, he suggests that physicians like himself distribute responsibility to the patients and office staff members in order for medical marijuana patients to receive the type of care that they deserve, one of which that admits them to be in charge of their medical care. The first resolution that Casarett promotes is to let the patients learn from each other. He implies that such communities that offer advice and support are effective in disbursing information among patients. Next, he encourages the idea that office staff members should spend more time with patients to give “detailed answers”, this would minimize the time required with a physician. Finally, Casarett states that “we should give patients more ability to manage their treatments”. These three suggestions are behavior that Casarett witnessed in the medical marijuana industry and believe are necessary take up by the mainstream healthcare system in order to make patients feel secure.

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My Communities

I belong to the Christian community, and I also am a part of the athletic community. I chose these as two that mean the most to me because at this point in my life I constantly find myself dedicating my time and energy to these types of lifestyles. It seems as if every time I turn around I am contributing to or engaged in one of these settings or both. I absolutely love faith, fellowship, and physical activity.

In the Christian community, as the name suggests, our lives belong to Christ. We strive to become more intimate in our relationship with God, and to continually mature our love for Christ by growing in our knowledge of who He is. We value the unfailing love of God and His gift of faith which allows our souls to be saved by grace. As Christians we acknowledge that we are not self made, but are created in the image of our Father God. Our ultimate goal is to become more like Christ and dwell with Him for eternity when He decides to come back to earth to call those home who’ve waited steadfastly for His return.

I believe the only time I feel stereotyped as a Christian is when people place Christians in a box labeled “perfection”. They ignore the fact that we are humans as well who happen to fight the same temptations that are common to everyone else. The only difference is our commitments and how we prioritize the condition of our souls.

As a part of the athletic community I love to improve my skills and compete. People in this community value progress and the joy that comes with performing. This community is also established upon close knit relationships that resemble those of a family; a very diverse, cutting-edge, talented family. A stereotype that members of this community hear a lot is that athletes are less intellectual and that things are handed to them because they are physically talented.

I am proud to be a part of both communities because each promote community service and take unique measures to contribute to society. I personally enjoy working with children and young ladies; my favorite act of service is mentorship.

I am interested in further learning about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. This organization does not directly promote Christianity or athleticism, but it incorporates some of the key values that lie within both communities. The values that I am referring to are love, support, diligence, and excellence. In addition, this organization is very similar to the non-profit organization that I began last year in my hometown for young girls. Both organizations aim to assist and encourage ladies while cultivating moral excellence. Ha, and I almost forgot this organization was established by and for black women, another community that I belong to!

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Marijuana Benefits the Brain and Economy

Brown Elizabeth. “Legalizing Medical Marijuana Has Benefits.” Factiva. U-Wire, 14 July 2015. 19 July 2015. <>.

Elizabeth Brown, a staff writer at the Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, reports medicinal and economic benefits of marijuana. Her main focus is to relieve the unnecessary pain of those individuals that can be treated with cannabis. She agrees with critics that the legalization of marijuana will have many affects, however she argues these results will vary from person to person and may not negatively affect some at all. Brown believes that the United States will experience more advantages than disadvantages by making marijuana a legal drug.

Brown could be viewed as a bias source because she has a close friend that struggles with epilepsy. The writer learns from that the nervous system disorder epilepsy can be treated by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a primary ingredient in a cannabis plant. This writer’s relationship with her friend impacts her position on the legalization of marijuana. Brown writes, “Knowing that [marijuana] could prevent her [friend] from experiencing the physical and emotional pain of seizures is extremely relieving”. She deliberately conveys actions that could go wrong for people like her friend if marijuana usage continues to be prohibited, actions as simple as driving or walking.

The writer does not ignore the negative effects that marijuana has on some individuals. In fact she writes that marijuana, “like any drug, it will affect people differently.” Again, Brown’s desire is that relief is provided to patients that suffer from mental disorders and other medical illnesses. In addition to alluding to the poor consequences of marijuana usage, she mentions that the legalization of marijuana would “reform criminal penalties for marijuana”, this in turn would grant economic gains. Brown evidently believes that giving these offenders an opportunity to start fresh will bring wealth to our nation.

According to Elizabeth Brown, “the economical benefits, beside the medicinal benefits, outweigh the possible risks of the use of marijuana.” The core of Brown’s argument is that marijuana would do more good than bad to our nation if it was legalized. She emphasizes this point by exploring medical and economic matters regarding marijuana. She explains how smoking marijuana could save epileptic patients from having seizures at inopportune moments and how it could decrease the accidents of others that have mental illnesses. Brown also describes how the United States could better the economy by amending laws that penalize offenders for possessing marijuana. These changes would ultimately bring in an increasing flow of money into our nation.

This source is valuable to my research because it provides another viewpoint on whether or not marijuana’s effect on the brain is beneficial to the economy of our nation. Unlike the last source that I researched, this one highlights the positive repercussions of marijuana usage. It allows the readers to develop their own opinion on marijuana’s overall medical and economic contributions. If other students that are researching the medical effects of marijuana are looking for a genuine argument, then this source would be excellent because the writer’s bias position makes the argument more sincere. Elizabeth Brown’s biasness enhances her stance on why she believes legalized marijuana has benefits.

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