Author Archives: Val

Marijuana legalized everywhere? NO!

Jacques, Renee. ” This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere.” POLITICS. 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2015

In this article Jacques explains how marijuana should be legalized and give the example of “since 2 states have already legalized the substance, it should be legalized everywhere.”  In my opinion this makes his point seem weak because it shows that he is “band wagon” his point.  He continues by dividing his article into subtopics where he elaborates more on each individual topic.  He gives such little detail under each sub topic it shows that he is not very knowledgeable on the subject and makes me question his credibility.  He uses his personal beliefs to deeply, when in reality it should be more based on facts.

He starts by mentioning how marijuana has never killed anybody.  Does it have to get to those extremes for people to believe that marijuana is harmful to the body? No, I think whether people have died or not, if studies have shown that it causes damage to the brain and body then it should stay illegal.  His points on this particular sub topic is just by comparing it to alcohol and other drugs.  He could have used people who have actually used marijuana to back up his theory, in order for his point to be stronger.

He continues by saying how 40% of Americans have admitted to using it, that in my opinion does not make it any better.   There are many people that have killed and robbed, does that make it right? No, just because so people do it, does not make it any better.  That would be an example of concession, because he states how people might think using marijuana is bad, but it really just depends on how the user takes it and on how they personally react.

Overall, his points were not very convincing, he pretty much stated topics and explained it, he gave no references and no persuading aspects.



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Cannabis on the developing brain

National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre. “Effects of cannabis on the teenage brain NCPIC + Turning Point.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Aug. 2014. Web. 3 Aug. 2015

The controversy of whether marijuana effects the human brain has been argued for years.  More specifically how it effects younger adults and whether or not it will eventually effect them as adults.  The video, Effects of cannabis on the teenage brain NCPIC + Turning Point by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre explain how the brain of a developing teenager works and how marijuana could effect their development as they mature.  It makes a connection with the first article, in that they both explain how during the teenage years is when people are the most sensitive to marijuana and how they are more capable to result in drastic side effects as they grow older.  First  off, the video begins by explaining how the brain of a teenager begins to develop with time and how there are different circuits in the brain that help develop certain traits.  It demonstrates how there are three main circuits that are developing throughout these teenage years, it includes, learning and memory, motivation, and mood.  The intended audience for this video would be for those who believe that marijuana causes no danger to the growing brains of children, this video is for those who think marijuana should be legalized because they don’t see how it effects users.  The real audience would be anybody that would be interested in learning about marijuana or anybody who came across the video on YouTube, whether they agree or not.

I found this video credible because of the organization that made the video, the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, showed deep knowledge in this specific topic.  The organization is from Australia and based on comments that I saw, many people log onto their websites and watch their videos online.  The organization demonstrates that they are knowledgeable on the topic because of the many different videos they make related to marijuana.  After looking up more of their videos and saw how informed they were and how they talked about how the brain is effected by marijuana which then literally effects everything you do throughout the day, it showed me that they are a credible source.   Not only do they talk about the effects in the brain specifically however, also on many other marijuana related topics.  Their argument is very informative and one can tell that the organization is against the legalization of marijuana because of the research done on how t effects the brain.

As I mentioned before, the video focuses on 3 main circuits of the brain, the learning and memory circuit, motivation and mood.  “Ensuring that our brain is wired in the right way during our teenage years with strong and healthy brain circuits is critical to our future and how we get the most in life,” the video explains, followed by a brief description of how each of those 3 circuits work and how the endocannabinoid system helps keep everything in order.  It continues with showing how the usage of marijuana can effect the flow of how the circuits work and can cause damage to the brain.  Next stating examples of how marijuana effects each circuit individually, mentioning,  “Short term memory is loss is a common characteristic of long term heavy cannabis use,” “Cannabis use can also lead to loss of motivation, heavy uses can feel detached and disinterested in things you used to like,” “It can also lead to low self confidence that in turn effects your mood,” which then follows by stating that marijuana effects teenage users much more because of the stage that their brain is in, which is still developing.  The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre based on not only this video but many others and their website, believe that marijuana destroys brain cells and causes many dangers to the developing brain.

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Rough and Tough




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RS #3

Children nowadays have been exposed to so much when compared to past generations.  As time passes, things change, whether it be people, norms or technology.  Recently, there has been arguments whether marijuana should be legalized and more specifically, if it is legalized, “how will it affect children and young adults?”  Many would argue that if legalized, there would be set boundaries for people underage however that argument could be debated if compared to the “set boundaries” on alcohol.

In the article the author, Sue Rusche explains how the legalization of marijuana can have a negative impact for the younger generation because of the higher chance of becoming addicted.  Rusche explains how in California, where medical marijuana is legal, how eventually children could react to the substance if it were to be legalized for recreational use.   Rusche research comes from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health where it states, “The younger kids are when they start using addictive drugs, the more likely they’ll become addicted. Children who start drinking or smoking pot at age 14 or before are eight times more likely to become addicted to alcohol, six times more likely to become addicted to marijuana than those who start in their 20s.”  She explains with this research, just how high the chances are of children becoming addicted to the substance compared to alcohol.  It demonstrates just how “strong” the law is on underage drinking, and how easy it would be for children to break the law against underage consuming of marijuana.  With those two in comparison it only demonstrates and proves Rushe’s point of how dangerous it could be for children, if marijuana was legalized.

She explains how with the legalization, will not only hurt them now, but will eventually be carried on as adults because of the fact, that they were so young when exposed to the drug. “Keeping drugs illegal prevents commercial industries from emerging, ones that are free to advertise and market to increase consumption and free to target children, a given percentage of whom will become addicted—and lifetime customers.”  She wants people all over the country to be aware of the dangers it can cause to children if exposed to the substance, she believes that if legalized, it will have negative repercussions to the growing generation who was exposed to the substance at a very young age.  The limits that would be set if legalized, is not enough she says,  many children break the law of underage drinking, whats to say they wont break the law of consuming marijuana underage?


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Mexican or American?

When I started this assignment I had many communities that I could talk about, like everyone else did, I am sure.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, that some were much more important than others.  These specific communities shaped me into the person I am today and they are a huge part of my life and the way I think, act and talk in my everyday life.  It is where my biggest commitments lie, where I have experienced my greatest pleasures, and I’ve dealt with my most serious problems, as said by the definition given by the authors of Critical Situations.

The Hispanic community has always been a huge part of my life; more specifically my mexican community.  I was born in the United States however, my dad was born in Mexico and my mom, not actually born there, however spent most of her life there and grew up in Mexico.  With that, you could see that my family’s roots are deep in the mexican heritage.  Growing up I was always taught to be proud of who I was, not only including that I was an American citizen, however to never forget where I came from, and in this aspect, where my family’s roots came from.  My whole life I grew up in the mexican environment, that sometimes included being identified with very well known stereotypes of, close family ties, parties every weekend and being around drunk relatives as a child.  However, the biggest stereotype that I had ever came across, was that Mexican women are uneducated and are only good for being housewives and having many children.

All my life I had to fight and work hard to break that stereotype in my personal life.  Many have made that specific assumption about me and believed that just because I had mexican descent in me, I was bound to end up in a specific way. That  I was bound to end up “like every other mexican girl.”  I was judged by many, not only in my community but by other communities, in elementary and middle school I went to schools where hispanics were the minority, unlike the high school I attended.  In my middle school is where I began to experience it, changing somebody’s way of seeing you is difficult after they have already made up their mind about you.  Without, even getting to know me, many people made assumptions and had opinions, on the way I should act, talk and dress.  Everything in my life I had to work hard for, not just for myself but to also prove that I am more than what others think of me.  I am more than just “every other mexican girl” and I will continue to prove those stereotypes wrong everyday until it is broken.

Like I mentioned before, I am an American citizen, and I grew up in Dallas Texas, specifically in a neighborhood very highly populated by hispanics.  Growing up I had to deal with the negative stereotypes of being mexican, however I also had to deal with the stereotypes of being an American citizen.  Most of these stereotypes were portrayed by my hispanic community.  I would vacation to Mexico to visit family, and many stereotypes that I was labeled as was that I was rich, because I lived in the United States. Another would be, that  I thought I was better than others because I was an American citizen.  Being labeled as something that you’re not, by people you barely know, can hurt.  I’ve always felt that I wasn’t a “real Mexican” or a “real American,” because of the comments and criticisms that I would receive from both of my communities.

Some organizations that seemed interesting to me that involved my communities was the “Chicano/Hispanic Law Students’ Association,” The Hispanic community is a huge part of my life and I have always been interested in law, I think this organization would be a great blend of the two. I plan on majoring in government and hopefully attending law school to become an attorney. This club, I believe would be a great opportunity for me to go back to my roots and really embrace two important aspects of my life.

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RS #2

Barcott, Bruce; Scherer, Michael. “The Great Pot Experiment.” Time. 25, May. 2015. Web. 19 Jul. 2015.

Barcott is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, National Geographic and many other publications and is the author of “Weed the People, the Future of Legal Marijuana in America.” Scherer is TIME’s Washington bureau chief.  This particular article comes from Barcott’s book where he talks about an experiment done by Yasmin Hurd, the Director of the Center for Addictive Disorders and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.  She studies the effect of marijuana on humans and animal models and how it can lead to addiction.

Hurd began an experiment to see how the dosage of marijuana ultimately affected the brain and how it would affect their offspring.  She began with a pair of rats and would present to them daily dosages of marijuana, in time she mated them, which is where she began to answer her question of: “Could parental marijuana exposure pass on changes to the next generation, even to offspring who had never been exposed to the drug?”  She tested the rat with the THC-exposed parents with a one of a clear health history, to see which rat would work harder to get to a dosage of heroin.  Not only did they perform differently, the rat with the THC-exposed parents worked twice as hard as the other rat, “when she analyzed the brains of the rats, she also found differences in the neural circuitry of the ones with drug-using parents. Even the grandkids have begun to show behavioral differences in how they seek out rewards.”  With these results Hurd begins to question if the usage of marijuana affects not only the user however, the offspring and the generations to come.

With that, there have been numerous of studies that have shown that the usage of marijuana has helped many cases as patients with pain, nausea and many other symptoms, however, for those who are wanting to use it for recreational purposes, it has shown that the percentages of addiction are increasing.  Also including the usage of young adults, increases the percentage of becoming addicted and of destroying cells in the brain.  They use this example to visually represent how dangerous it can be for young adults to be exposed to marijuana without the need for it medical.  “If the brain were a house, the childhood years would be spent pouring the foundation and framing up the walls. Adolescence, is when the wiring and plumbing get finished.”  If during the childhood year’s it is being wasted on killing brain cells and the chances of becoming an addict to the substance, the brain will never be given a chance to develop, because of, how they put it “the house would have poor foundation and walls”.

Using marijuana without the need for it medically can cause many permanent damages to the brain.  Although, Hurd would agree, that marijuana has shown to help patients with pain, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, if not used when needed, it can cause many dangerous symptoms to the brain and “also play a role in the regulation of pain, mood, appetite, memory and even the life and death of individual cells.”  It is explained how although the usage of marijuana can have its benefits for patients in need, those who are not can suffer from dangerous consequences especially for young adults.

This article was helpful for me because even though it shows a bit of both the positives and negatives and clearly shows how the use of marijuana recreationally is not healthy.  I believe that this article would help for those who are looking for studies on children and addiction.  It really blends those two aspects really well and it was quite helpful for me.


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