Category Archives: RS 1

Oregon Starts, The Other 49 Will Follow

Rivero, Daniel. “Pot Legalization in Oregon May Come with a Big Perk.” Fusion Media Network, 14 July 2015. Web. 15 July 2015.

Daniel Rivero produces and reports written articles online over topics on general legal and justice related issues in America, while also the author of “Pot Legalization in Oregon May Come with a Big Perk” article. Mainly, the article refers to a new bill which will change marijuana regulations by erasing any marijuana-related criminal charges of citizens living in the state of Oregon and give America a chance to see the effects of the people within this state to determine if the implementation of this measure should occur beyond Oregon.

freedom memeThe state of Oregon wishes to enact a bill that, eventually, will eliminate the past marijuana-related charges. This, in turn argued by Rivero, would free up the citizens of Oregon, mainly African American males, whose record remains tainted as a result of a marijuana-related charges, to pursue jobs that they could not pursue otherwise, stated by Rivero. As stated by Rep. Lew Frederick, a Democrat who initially created this bill idea, ”When you have a number of people, especially young black men, who are not eligible to get jobs – young black men, young black women – that affects everyone. If we can address that then we can begin to address a lot of other social issues,” Rivero addresses the suppression of African Americans in Oregon, specifically males, because of marijuana-related charges, since they get caught carrying this drug the most (pg. 11). The author admits that this one issue takes up too much time today with “social issues”, thus, we must focus on solving this one out as soon as possible to utilize our effectiveness as a society. A woman who actively researches at the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Alison Marqusee, speaks of various ways that the “petty” charges affect the African American community, spoken by Marqusee,  “[The bill is] important because having a criminal record is extremely harmful to someone’s ability to find employment, to their ability to access public benefits, and sometimes for their ability to find affordable housing,” many in this community agree, as well as the author, that these charges most negatively affect people’s lifestyles in Oregon (pg. 7). If the bill were to pass, Oregon officials would liberate the lives of many people affected by marijuana charges in the past.

wizweedmemeAlong with the liberation of citizens’ lifestyles, Oregon jails will no longer contain people who dealt with marijuana, but people who committed non-”petty” crimes, such as theft. Rivero argues, “Several hundreds were sitting in state jails for doing something that was now considered legal,” again reinforcing this idea of liberating the citizens of this state. Since “recreational marijuana became legal on the first of this month”, changes seem to speed up rapidly in this state in comparison to others, as implied by Rivero. The suppression of African Americans in this state continues to emphasize itself “Black Oregonians are more than twice as likely to get arrested for marijuana than their white counterparts, found a American Civil Liberties Union study released in 2013,” a fairly recent study in which exploits the truth about race in relation to marijuana arrests (pg. 10). Once this bill passes, this trend of blacks getting incarcerated for menial charges would not continue, thus giving the African American community a chance to thrive in Oregon.

I found this article very useful, because I never realized the impact that legalizing marijuana in one state would place on the African American community. A drug viewed as restricting and dangerous by some, actually poses an opportunity for a community of citizens to liberate themselves and contain the opportunity to create their own lives and carry on the lifestyles they desire. Evidence points to other state officials within the United States finding this article the most useful. Within the text, Rivero points out a comment made by Marqusee, ‘“We hope that once this law goes into effect, it will help other states start from a better position when they are drafting legislation,”’ she said. ‘“It should be standard,”’ marijuana placed an astounding impact on this state’s community and laws. If the bill gets passed, the outcomes occurring in this state will be observed to see if these type of laws should exist beyond Oregon.

– RS 1 written by Ashley Bedford


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RS 1: Law and Marijuana

Berman, Douglas A. “How medical marijuana could literally save lives”, 14 July 2015 Web. 15 July 2015.

Douglas B, who is a professor at the Moritz college of law and is an editor for the website For his college experience he attended Princeton University as well as Harvard Law School, while in law school he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. In this article he talks about how the use of medicinal marijuana can save lives from illnesses. He also gives us insight on the other side of the perspective from medical marijuana opponents and their views.

To start the author begins the post with views from medical marijuana opponents jumping on an analysis by the Journal of American Medical Association(JAMA) displaying that there isn’t enough solid evidence that marijuana is helping the conditions of glaucoma, anxiety or parkinson disease which it is usually prescribed for. He then states that “the study did not say that pot wasn’t helpful for people suffering from those ailments; it said there was no evidence to that effect” meaning that medical marijuana is still helping the cases just in a different way. It also means that you can’t mark out the use of medical marijuana just yet.

He then goes on to say “Importantly, however, the JAMA study found solid evidence that marijuana is effective at treating one big condition: chronic pain. The JAMA review found “30 % or greater improvement in pain with camabinoid compared with placebo,” across the 79 studies it surveyed. Proving that with the use of pot patients can lose the feeling of chronic pain. Which also can increase the health and happiness of the patient. This is very effective because the use of alternative medicines like pain killers are a high risk factor for overdosing. Douglas B, then says “Prescription painkillers are highly addictive and deadly — they killed more than 16,000 people in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s’s latest numbers. In the U.S., drug overdoses kill more people than suicide, guns or car crashes. The CDC now calls prescription painkiller abuse an “epidemic.”” Which reinstates the opinion of pot being the more healthier choice medicine to take when patients are having chronic pain conditions.

In the end, Douglas wraps it up with evidence that shows “that access to state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries is linked to a significant decrease in both prescription painkiller abuse, and in overdose deaths from prescription painkillers.” This part of the article really helps with the legalization of marijuana because it shows that with marijuana being a healthier alternate drug to pain killers. More than 10,000 of patients lives are being saved from pain killer abuse and overdose.

This source  is treasured to my research because I believe in the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. I learned a few things from stake holders from both sides because of the insight Douglas B had on this controversy. This post really helps me believe that marijuana can help many types of conditions as long as we as a country try to pass the legalization of weed. My fellow students can find this article helpful if they have any doubts of the use of medicinal marijuana or if they just want to learn more about the subject.


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Weed Out The Bad From The Good.

Gupta, Dr. Sanjay. “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Time for a Medical Marijuana Revolution.” CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 July 2015.


downloadDr. Gupta is the multiple Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, is a practicing neurosurgeon, who has been leading an ongoing investigation on medical marijuana for the past three years. In Dr. Gupta article “Time for a Medical Marijuana Revolution” he talks about how the United States should legalize marijuana. He highlights medicinal marijuana, the good that has come with the drug and how it should be seen for what it is, medicine. He argues that despite it being seen as something immoral, his view of it is that it is beneficial to those who suffer from disorders and diseases.

According to Dr. Gupta, over the course of his research society has slowly started to be a bit more open minded about the topic of marijuana. “Support for legalization has risen by 22% since 2015.” He believes that a revolution is starting due to the use of not only young adults but as well as parents (who also purchase it for their kids), grandparents and a police officer he has talked to from Michigan. He has seen additional signs of the revolution among his colleagues, his patience and his friends, who at one point were to uncomfortable with the topic to talk about it.


Dr. Gupta realizes that the topic of the legalization of marijuana can be tricky, he sees himself on the right side of science, but on the wrong side of ideology. Dr. Gupta states that, “there is now promising research into the use of marijuana that could impact tens of thousands of children and adults, including treatment for cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, to name a few.” Marijuana could greatly reduce the accidental overdoses of pain killers, which is the greatest cause of preventable deaths in the country. As seen in the video Dr. Gupta states that with the U.S. being 80% of the world’s pain medication consumers, the U.S. should pushed legalization and reduce overdoses in the U.S. The people in the studies have resorted to the use of marijuana because they have not found anything else out there that has helped. Marijuana has skeptics write it off because the majority of studies done on it have been to see the harm it does, not what its benefits are.

This article shares the prospective of marijuana from a medical view. It is argued that even though it may not be seen as virtuous, but once people realize how many lives it has saved and he benefits of it, they may come to change their view. To those who do not see the benefits of the legalization of marijuana, you should see the article and watch the videos that are included with an open mind.


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HighScores: Do pot and video games feed each others’ addictive qualities?

Wenzel, John. “High Scores: Do Pot and Video Games Feed Each Others’ Addictive Qualities?” The Cannabist. The Cannabist, 3 Feb. 2015. Web. 15 July 2015.

There are pretty much two things in this world that John Wenzel believes that go together perfectly; weed and videogames. John Wenzel is a reporter for the website “the Cannabis”, and is the author of both the nonfiction book “Mock Star”, and the article “High Scores: Do pot and videogames feed each others’ addictive qualities?” This article was posted on February 3, 2015; in it John comments how marijuana and videogames are almost made for one another because of their ability to pretty much waste your time and mellow you out whenever you want. However it is known that both weed and video games can be very addictive to certain types of people, so Wenzel asks the question; is there a higher danger of addiction when we combine the two.

Wenzel reported that the combination of both weed and videogames addiction rate is actually relatively smaller than the addiction rate of cigarettes, saying that “video games and weed, even combined, still less habit forming that a pack of Marlboros.”  He goes on to say that there have been reports that say that young adults who play videogames constantly everyday tend to smoke twice as much as casual players. However according to Wenzel; there have been reports saying that any substance use while gaming actually intertwines with the virtual experience. So he argues that there still isn’t any real scientific evidence that suggest that marijuana and gaming combined can be bad. According to Wenzel “[His] experience tells [him] that they’re more of a complementary duo.”

Wenzel suggestion when people tend to combine the two, it isn’t because of their addictive traits. It’s essentially because of the same reason why anyone actually does anything, which in Wenzel words, it’s “a uniquely satisfying form of relaxation, escape and entertainment.” So according to Wenzel, studies have shown that people that are most likely at risk of addiction to video games tend to feel alienation and a lack of accomplishment in society. Some might say that they are just weird people and outcast of society, but actually it can be anyone. Wenzel then goes and explains his own experiences with the combination saying that the experience is similar to drinking a few beers and just lounging around playing games that award you for playing compulsively. Which could to lead to more serious scenarios such as emptying your bank account or neglecting your family. However Wenzel goes on says that all these actions and traits can be categorized as “Addictive”, but also can be written down as just “Lazy.”

All-in-all with the absence of actual hard research on the topic, we can’t really reach a fair conclusion. But as Wenzel puts it “these things are supposed to be fun, so do we really want to explore how bad they can get?” Like any indulgence, Wenzel argues that video games and weed are appealing because they’re a break from the real world, not a daily replacement.


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A Hidden Concern

Rosenbaum, Marsha. “Legalization of Marijuana: What About the Kids?” The Huffington Post, 02 Dec. 2014. Web. 15 July 2015.

Marsha Rosenbaum, a former National Institute on Drug Abuse researcher and founder of the Drug Policy Alliance ‘Safety First’ drug education project sheds light on the hidden concern that such legalization reforms may affect teenagers. Rosenbaum specifically argues that legalization would “send the wrong message” ultimately causing an increase in teenage consumption of marijuana.

Stating that “the end of marijuana prohibition seems inevitable due to a majority of Americans favoring legalization” Rosenbaum enforces her knowledge that although none of the new reforms would allow the sale to minors, parents like her as she states, still hold worry for their children. As a federal funded researcher, Rosenbaum points out her daily work regularly checking survey data that revealed a majority of teens responded that they would not try marijuana even if it were legal. Although this statement may counter her very own argument, that legalization would cause increase use within teenagers, she states that “Even if legalization for adults does not affect teenage use, it does present an opportunity to re-think our approach to drug prevention and education”.

In other words, although Rosenbaum honestly states her tested research proved that the rates of teenage marijuana use are fairly low, she indicates that to keep it this way parents must take the opportunity provided to teach and educate teens on strategies for dealing with marijuana in this new era. As Rosenbaum suggest that a majority of teenagers have used marijuana, for this reason as a parent, drug education is important to emphasize to get them to understand that legalization applies to adults only and the consequences of use under twenty one years of age are taken seriously.

Rosenbaum remarks that as a mother herself, and speaking for many parents whom she believes that also carry the same worry, “are in quandary about how much to reveal to their kids about their past or present use to educate, fearing honest admissions might open the door to their teen’s experimentation.” However, “there is no easy, simple answers”, the approach to teens about the use of marijuana and other drugs is important as she concludes.

I have found this article very useful for my research due to my wonder and personal experience of not being a marijuana user. Pondering questions of teenage consumption, this article provided factual insight on the topic. The author held a very similar viewpoint that I hold, and allowed me to broaden her findings and theory into an understandable prospective. The effect of marijuana legalization on teenagers is not a topic often discussed, but I believe it is one that must not go unnoticed due to its potential to possibly create escalation in teenage use.


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Research Summary 1

“Is marijuana a gateway drug?” The economist, 26 March 2015.

The author of this article argues with Chris Cristie’s, governor of New Jersey, view of marijuana as a gateway drug to other drugs. The author goes on to reason with Cristie’s gateway theory but states his position that marijuana is not a drug in that category.

The Economist writer begins the article talking about how marijuana is so common that it is no wonder if “any abuser of hard drugs is likely to have encountered it along the way.” He also states that “heroin addicts [have] previously tried chocolate” while also explaining that chocolate did not make them heroin abusers. According to the author, establishing a casual link between marijuana users and hard drug abusers is a tricky bit considering marijuana users “in America [have] steadily increased” while cocaine users have decreased in numbers since 2007.

The author continues to reason with the governor’s theory by saying that it was true that heroin use ” has been going up, but the gateway drug there seems to be prescription painkillers.” The only reason the author believes that there might be a link between marijuana and hard drug usage is because of the supplier. He continues by explaining that most marijuana suppliers often give samples of new drugs to their customers. He goes on saying how this practice of buying marijuana off the streets “gets youngsters in with the wrong crowd.”

The journalist agrees that “exposing more people to marijuana could prime more brains to enjoy other substances” and he also suggests that the factors would be the same with people who have been exposed to prescription medication, alcohol, and even tobacco. Alcohol and nicotine, according to the author, have the same “cross-sesitising” effect that marijuana does and therefore marijuana should not be blamed for people’s interest in furthering their drug use. The anonymous author of this article insists that Governor Chistie’s worries, about marijuana being a gateway drug, are misplaced.

I found this article useful because it does make a valid point that drug abusers, although exposed to marijuana once in their life, have also been exposed to other factors that could have contributed to their problem. The information found in this article shows that marijuana is what users make of it. Coming from a town sitting on the Mexican border, I can tell you that the information that the author states, about drug suppliers introducing their customers to harder substances, is valid. That being said, it is quite evident that marijuana may not necessarily be considered a gateway drug.

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