Category Archives: Blog Post 4

Rescheduling marijuana. BP.4

medical-marijuanaHudak, John. “How to Reschedule Marijuana, and Why It’s Unlikely Anytime Soon.” The Brookings Institution. Brooking, 13 Feb. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

In the article “How to reschedule marijuana, and why it’s unlikely anytime soon” by John Hudak and Grace Wallack , the authors argue why marijuana is most likely to not be reschedule soon. The article also argues how The Controlled Substance Act is prohibiting medical marijuana . It states that in 2006 the FDA reaffirmed that they did not find any scientific studies supporting medical marijuana as schedule II. In July 2011 the DEA denied the petition for medical marijuana to be legalized stating that marijuana has no accepted medical use and would therefore remain in schedule I. The authors also state that if marijuana was to be rescheduled then it would complicate their production and prescription process. The drug would have to undergo testing and numerous regulatory requirements, “the outcome may not be what legalization advocates would want in the end.”

The article adds that Congress has the power to reschedule marijuana, “ether through new legislation specific to marijuana or through tailored amendments to the Controlled Substance Act. Basically the author states that if Congress wanted to they would have had already reschedule marijuana. The author then gives examples of proposed bills that have failed. The first bill that was proposed to move marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule II was introduced by Representative Stewart McKinney (1981). In 2011 Representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank introduced a bill to remove marijuana from the schedules entirely, and as usual “died in committee”. The author then adds that President Obama is contended that Congress has the responsibility to reschedule marijuana. According to the article “It is ironic that the president, who is so often criticized for overreaching his authority, is shrinking from the administrative power that Congress has granted him”. The author argues that even the President doesn’t want to be responsible for rescheduling. Lastly the author states that some in Congress “have been quite vocal about their opposition to administrative scheduling”. Also that the actor at the DOJ and HHS as well as the white House may be unwilling to spend political capital on this issue. This decreases the possibility of rescheduling marijuana.

The author states that the Controlled Substance Act is getting in the way of medical science. The law that identifies marijuana as a Schedule I Substance, “meaning it has a high potential for abuse and no current accepted medical use”. The author then states that the substance Scheduled II-V are still subject to varying degrees of control, but have a recognized medical use and can be dispensed with a prescription. The fact that the author states that marijuana, a Schedule I substance is high for potential abuse is debatable. Substances that are also classified II are as addictive. For example cocaine, morphine, and Opium are Schedule II substances and can be as addictive as marijuana. This is one of reasons why people disagree that marijuana should be used for medical purposes. Marijuana should be reschedule and The Control Substance act should be readdress considering medical marijuana.medical-marijuana





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Blog Post 4

Panne,Valerie Vande. “Big Pharma’s Weed Winner”. The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast. 24 01, 2014. Web. 11 08, 2015.


In Valerie Panne’s  article titled “Big Pharma’s Weed Winner” published by The Daily Beast, Panne chronicles GW Pharmaceuticals new marijuana-based drug Sativex and claims that this new company is the safest of all cannabis businesses.

In her article, Panne describes Sativex and its makers GW Pharmaceuticals. Sativex is derived from cannabis and is used to treat the spasticity caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Panne argues that Sativex is “different”, because it contains THC (tetrahydrolcannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), real compounds of marijuana, unlike other synthetic marijuana-based drugs on the market (Panne). She goes on to say how legitimate GW Pharmaceuticals is because they are partnered with Bayer and Novartis, two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies out there. Panne suggests that because of this merger with large companies, this makes GW Pharmaceuticals and subsequently Sativex more attractive to investors (Panne).

Although Panne is on board for the pharmaceutical industry to get into the marijuana game, she realizes how this can affect those farmers who began commercial marijuana growing. She describes how local farmers are being “forced out” of the business because of the heady licensing fees states are now requiring for growing marijuana. Moreover, Panne writes how these local pot businesses made the marijuana market thrive, but their money is deemed illegal in the eyes of the government. Panne then goes on to say how GW Pharmaceuticals is different, presumably  because they are seen as a legal enterprise (Panne).  Panne concludes that because GW Pharmaceuticals has been successful with getting Sativex on the market world-wide and is trying for the U.S. , this makes them perhaps “the most safest, most trusted of all cannabis dealers” (Panne).

I cannot deny the success of GW Pharmaceuticals product that Panne feels is a game-changer, but I am doubtful of their sincerity because they are a pharmaceutical company. In the beginning of the article Panne is quoting things that she would usually say about a pharmaceutical company like “this anti-depressant is being prescribed off label and is making kids under 18 kill themselves” (Panne). A statement like this shows how Panne herself is skeptical of pharmaceutical companies. Panne overgeneralizes her argument when she says that Sativex is safe because she couldn’t find any side-effects of it , but then relays the information that the drug is only legal in twenty-four countries and is still going under trials in the U.S. (Panne). Knowing that Sativex is still under trials makes Panne’s argument of a trustworthy marijuana- based drug seem faulty, the jury is still out as to whether Sativex and GW Pharmaceuticals for that matter are safe.

Panne makes another over-generalization when she claims that GW Pharmaceuticals could be better a cannabis dealing than mom and pop organizations. GW Pharmaceuticals is one company with one marijuana-based (emphasis on based) product.  Panne mentioned in her article how these local organizations were the ones that put marijuana in the spotlight, but now with her endorsing  companies like GW Pharmaceuticals, its okay to snatch it from under them. Panne made a point to let her readers know that Sativex is a plant derived drug, not the plant its self. If the product doesn’t really have all the good things marijuana has to offer, it makes me wonder what else GW Pharmaceuticals has included in Sativex. Does this drug have the qualities that “mom and pop” weed has? Panne over-generalizing that this drug and its company are somehow the answer to the medical marijuana issue makes her arguments simple,  in that it doesn’t cover the topics complexity.




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Guns Don’t Kill People, People kill People

Martin, Donald. “LETTER: Guns Don’t Kill People, Etc.”,  Hartford Courant.  19 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 Aug. 2015

In this article, Martin discusses an experiment that he performed and gives us his results. His experiment mocks the idea that people who want guns to be banned believe that guns are the ones who kill people. Martin says how he positions his shotgun in a wheelchair on his front porch to see how many people it will kill. He mentions how many people pass by and yet when he comes back to check on his shotgun it had not killed anyone. He furthers this with, “It had not even loaded itself.” He also says how “surprised” he was because of all the people arguing about guns being dangerous and to find out guns are not the ones who kill people but people who misuse them do or he is “…in possession of the laziest gun in the world.”  Martin ends his letter with another representation by saying, “So now I’m off to check on my spoons, because I hear they make people fat.”

Clearly Martin is targeting those who are non advocates of guns. He does this in a ironical way by presenting the gun with human characteristics. Martin claims that these non advocates are over exaggerating on guns by banning them. It is true, unrealistically speaking that guns are the ones who kill people but rather people who handle guns do. In this case, people with guns kill many people, more than they would if they didn’t have guns. People get angry and upset all around the world. Yet, there aren’t any mass shootings every few weeks in Japan for example or in England. The reason for this would be because residents of those places who have these impulses don’t have easy access to lethal weapons and unlimited ammunition. On the other hand, in America it is not difficult to find these firearms because they are everywhere.

Martin’s argument about people being the problem other than guns is not backed up with any evidence. Instead he only uses a fictional situation making his statement invalid. He argues that , “the media is wrong and the killing is by people misusing guns.” Although guns don’t have a mind of their own, the purpose of a firearm is to kill and extinguish a life with the minimum amount of effort possible. These weapons are made to kill at a great distance, speed and lethality. When these weapons do their job in a mass shooting, there is an endless list of excuses blaming things other than the gun itself. Making Martin’s argument about guns not killing people inaccurate because in reality they do. Though it is not relevant to the way Martin puts his dispute.

Overall, the way Martin approaches these controversy affects the effectiveness it would have on his audience. Readers would think he is not trustworthy because he mocks those who don’t agree with him or are on his side of the argument. His response to those who think guns are dangerous is immature and makes his justification seem less convincible.




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SeaWorld’s Low Blow

Pedicini, Sandra. “SeaWorld Steps up Offense against Former Trainer John Hargrove.” Orlando Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2015. Web. 12 Aug. 2015.

John Hargrove, a former SeaWorld trainer, published a book entitled “Beneath the Surface.” In his book, Hargrove provides readers with a firsthand look into what happens behind the scenes at both SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld San Diego. He criticizes SeaWorld and “portrays the animals as bored and stressed out.” Hargrove claims that trainers were sometimes instructed to hold back food, yet SeaWorld denies this statement. He also argues about other issues raised in the 2013 documentary “Blackfish,” such as SeaWorld being an unsafe environment for its killer whales.

In response to Hargrove’s book, SeaWorld sent an “almost 5-year-old video of Hargrove drinking and repeatedly using a racial epithet” to reporters. SeaWorld also said that John Hargrove quit his job “after being disciplined for a severe safety violation involving the park’s killer whales,” resulting in his transfer from orca stadium.

Hargrove disputed SeaWorld’s comments about him and stated that he believes SeaWorld is “conducting a smear campaign against him.” Instead of addressing the actual issues about the killer whales, SeaWorld is using anything they can to discredit Hargrove and make him look like an awful person.

SeaWorld spokesman, Fred Jacobs, says in an email: “We are offended by John’s behavior and language. The video is particularly reprehensible since John Hargrove is wearing a SeaWorld shirt. SeaWorld would have terminated Hargrove’s employment immediately had we known he engaged in this kind of behavior.” Hargrove claims to not remember the incident, but regardless, he states that this is a pathetic attempt on SeaWorld’s behalf to slander his name. In addition to releasing the video, it was also discovered that SeaWorld helped fund a website called RealJohnHargrove which “attacks” and “mocks” the ex-SeaWorld trainer.

Although SeaWorld is correct that this video showed John Hargrove to be irresponsibly drinking and his use of the “n” word to be highly inappropriate, I do not think SeaWorld should have personally attacked Hargrove because Hargrove’s use of a racial slur and his decision to drink does not affect or correlate with his opinions about SeaWorld being an unsafe environment for killer whales. This article is a perfect example of the ad hominem fallacy. Instead of using research or facts to refute the criticism in Hargrove’s book, SeaWorld decided to retaliate by releasing a video of Hargrove after having had too much to drink. To make matters worse, SeaWorld also funded a hate website entitled the RealJohnHargrove. On this site, people post articles and dig up dirt about Hargrove in order to mock the previous SeaWorld trainer.

These two responses that SeaWorld used are completely illogical and do not come close to addressing the arguments against SeaWorld’s mistreatment of its animals. These personal attacks do not have any correlation with the points SeaWorld should be addressing about it being an unsafe environment for killer whales. SeaWorld’s release of Hargrove’s drunken video is definitely in attempt to discredit him, making this an ad hominem fallacy.


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Why Police Body Cams Will Not Solve Problem.

Williams C., Lauren. “Why Cameras Alone Won’t Solve Our Police Abuse Problem.” ThinkProgress, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2015.


Lauren C. Williams’s article “Why Cameras Alone Won’t Solve Our Police Abuse Problem” discusses the possibility that videos from police cameras can be subjected to abuse if not carefully mitigated during police reform just like other law enforcement tools. This idea comes from the statements of Hanni Fakuory, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. Fakuory also states that the “use of video footage of police misconduct doesn’t always yield justice.”

Within the article Fakuory provides two reasons behind her claim of police body cameras subjecting abuse. Her first reason states that Justice is not guaranteed. She begins stating that “witnesses’ and police video recordings, even those that may be damming, have not consistently led to convictions in the past of police accused of violating citizens’ rights.” She then offers a couple of examples, one pertaining to a Chicago police officer who was not charged despite video footage showing him standing over a victim’s body fatally shooting the unarmed man on in 2013. Another example she offers is an incident that happened earlier this year. Police officers caught on tape beating a schizophrenic homeless man to death were acquitted by a jury. As videos go viral of police abuse, little legal action has been sparked. As Fakuory’s final example, she brings up the Eric Garner case stating that no charges have been brought against the officers involved in his death even after the medical examiner ruled the killing a homicide. Instead, the officer who fired the deadly shot was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter instead of murder.

As some police departments have adopted body cameras, Fakuory suggest that others have rejected the technology after learning that Los Angeles police officers were caught disabling voice recording equipment on about 50 squad cars, most of which were used to patrol low-income communities densely populated with people of color. And in cases where cameras are used, departments frequently deny request for footage or tamper footage before its release.

Fakuory’s second reason supporting her claim surrounds the potential for abuse. She states “when it comes to technology, there’s the potential for abuse.” Overall law enforcement’s history with technology tends to follow the same pattern: “when they get new tools, they use them aggressively especially as these things get smaller and easier to use.” She begins to compare body cameras to what happened when police forces began using tasers and mace. Although these methods were introduced as a non-lethal way to subdue suspects, they have become prone to abuse. Fakuory closes with evidence within the New York Police Department that support her claim of lethal force.

Although I do agree with Fakuory’s reasoning in that even if video footage is provided, officers in some cases do in fact do not get charged with their actions towards civilians. In a sense, just because we capture events on camera it does not mean justice will be served as much as we would like to see it be. However, I completely disagree with her comparison of video cameras to other tools such as tasers and mace. This comparison is outrageous and should not be believed by the audience due to it being a clearly false analogy. This analogy compares two things that share no similarity, and in this case body cameras have nothing to do with mace and tasers. Fakuory wants the audience to believe that these cameras could become a lethal force, which is ridiculous to think about. Would such a camera become a blunt weapon of some sort? Ultimately resulting in her uncanny argument.



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Blog Post 4: Yoga pants lead to dress code?

Cepeda, Esther. “Cepeda: There is a good reason for school dress codes.” The Salt Lake The Washington Post, 09 Oct 2014. Web. 11 Aug 2015.

Esther Cepeda, a former high school teacher, published an article to The Washington Post regarding a good reason in her opinion why school uniforms and dress codes are extremely important. The author claims that dress code ends the “disrupted educational atmosphere and constituted threat to the health, safety and decency of all students” that wear inappropriate clothing (and she stresses yoga pants multiple times in the article). “Enforcing the dress code was a nightmare.” Cepeda continuously states how she hated having to put up with students that “put up a major fuss when you sent them to the dean’s office to cover up.” Although she did not enjoy enforcing the dress code, in her eyes, a strict dress code was a strong necessity in all schools because how else were gentlemen supposed to learn when there is a girl strutting her stuff wearing tight yoga pants around school (Cepeda)?

Cepeda mostly talks about how young female student’s bodies, that she experienced at the school she taught at, are the distraction to men and faculty that led to the need of enforcing a dress code. “Teachers have to play avert-the-eyes in order not to inappropriately eye students.” She speaks as an experienced teacher that found enforcing the dress code worth the hassle if it meant less of a distraction to people.

I think Cepeda’s argument that a dress code stops the disruption and distraction of the learning environment is an overgeneralization fallacy because, based on what she points out about female distraction, school dress codes don’t get rid of the distraction but only cover it up. When Cepeda says inappropriate clothing disrupted peoples focus, it is evident that she believes a dress code or school uniform will solve the problem of the human body and public profanity as being seen as a distraction. I found it kind of ironic that she only mentioned how females caused a distraction to other students. Being a female herself, Cepeda should understand that dressing a certain way is not always meant to be set as a distraction. For example, woman nowadays dress nice because they are confident about themselves. As for yoga pants, what Cepeda said about women wearing “bun-baring yoga pants to school” as provocative clothing, was ridiculous on its own. Most people wear yoga pants either because they are comfortable or that is the first thing they find in the morning to wear, not because students are out to seek attention. lululemon-pants

Again, schools are set to prepare students for the real world and college. In the real world, there aren’t any dress codes or mandatory uniforms unless your job requires it. Cepeda’s article was humorous because of the way she put down woman. She makes it seem as though men do not violate any dress code by focusing so much on woman and her choice of words sham woman’s bodies such as “bun-baring” “strutting their stuff” and “provocative.” Even if a strict dress code or school uniform was enforced to every school, that would not get rid of men or women checking each other out in a sense (sad but true).


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