Category Archives: RS 2

What Should Parents Do?

Knopf, Alison. “The Power Of Advertising — Teach Your Children To Be Informed Consumers: A Guide For Parents.” Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter 31.(2015): 1-2. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 July 2015.

Alison Knopf is a member of the Association of Health Care journalists. She has written about other topics such as cyber bullying and alcohol and substance abuse. She argues that with the new laws passed in a number of states legalizing marijuana that it is imperative for parents to make an effort in educating their child on the drug. Her claims are that advertising plays a powerful role in consumption of things like tobacco and alcohol and it will play a major role in the consumption of marijuana. Advertising works, which is why parents must educate themselves and their children.

Advertising is powerful. We see and hear commercials for a number of products. Billboards are brought up with the intent to persuade and sell. This is why fast food restaurants like McDonalds and alcohol distributors like Coors are successful. Knopf writes that advertising is what might decide whether your child uses marijuana or not. However, she doesn’t bash on the plant. Instead she argues that there is still action that a parent can take. While there is a mixed message on the use of marijuana, a parent can’t just “[spout] lectures about reefer madness or just say no.” So as a parent you can’t sound like someone who is trying to con them when you speak about the bad surrounding marijuana.

In addition, Knopf can’t dismiss the arguments and claims from the side that is for recreational and medical use of marijuana.  As Knopf mentions a few of the arguments she states “[not to] argue that these aren’t facts, because they are, and you’ll lose your teen’s respect on your side.” Instead it is better to use science to show them more of the facts of marijuana use. There is a downside to smoking pot. While it can be medicinal, there isn’t an exact way to prescribe it. It also damages your lungs like cigarettes, “marijuana smoke contains more carcinogenic smoke than tobacco,” Knopf states according to the American Lung association. While there has been claims that it’s better than tobacco, it is actually just as bad if not worse. Knopf also quotes that teen use of marijuana once a week can result in neurocognitive damage. So pot isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Lastly, the role of parents is as powerful as advertising. Parents get to raise their children in any way they want. If they don’t want them to use the drug, Knopf argues that it is smart to have them write a report or do a science fair project. Something that allows them to do the research for themselves instead of hearing it from someone with a different interests. This will let teenagers become educated and smart consumers. The more research they do, the more they will learn and make better decisions.

In conclusion, I found this source useful because it addresses what parents will have to do when it comes to educating their kids about marijuana. Others might find it useful for the same reason and can supplement it into their paper. There is no bias but Knopf takes a stance that is either against the legalization as it sends the wrong message or simply wants people to be smart about what they see on television and consume.


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Research Summary 2

Levin, Rick. “Growing Pains” Eugene Weekly. Alt-Press Watch. 19 March 2015. 19 July 2015

Rick Levin is a writer for Eugene Weekly. In his article “Growing Pains,” Levin discusses how the government and big businesses can capitalize on the production and distribution of marijuana, however, he argues that the legalization of marijuana will not put an end to the black market.

According to Levin, legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes creates a lot of questions regarding the economy, ethics, and the legal system. Legalizing marijuana would seem easy since people are going to smoke it whether it is legal or not, however in reality it is more complex.

Levin argues that the purpose of capitalism is to keep money flowing. The black market does not hinder the flow of money and has it’s own “system of supply and demand.” Previously before marijuana was made legal for medical and recreational purposes, growers were able to sell a pound for $4,800. Now a pound cost about $1,400, in other words, the value has been depreciating. With the legalization of marijuana does not mean an end to the black market, Levin states, “it may evolve and morph into something slightly different.” Legalizing marijuana is suppose to help reduce the amount of illegal activity and violence associated with it. It is not the drugs that is the problem but the people who are growing and distributing them.

Levin points out that the legalization of marijuana will give not only the government but big businesses the opportunity to exploit and monopolize on the industry. On the other hand, Levi describes the legalization of marijuana “necessary to create jobs, generate revenue and to establish rules and regulations for public safety.” Marijuana can become a booming industry providing jobs to thousands of people and bringing in revenue for the government. It has been shown that legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes can generate millions of dollars. Such earnings can be used towards things such as schools and other beneficial public programs.

Overall Levin’s article “Growing Pains,” argues that although legalizing marijuana would be beneficial by providing jobs and an increase in revenue for the government, it doesn’t address the major issue at hand. It may reduce the supply and demand of illegal drugs but it doesn’t fix the problem. There’s still going to be a black market and that results in continuous violence. This article provides a different point of view from what I have previously read and makes for a great debate. This article will be beneficial to my peers by providing insight on the legalization of marijuana on the economy and its complexity.


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Gateway Drug Myth

Nogueria, Felipe. “Where Drug Myths Die: An Interview with Carl Hart.” EBSOHOST. Skeptic. 2015. Web. 18 July 2015.

Within this article Author Felipe Nogueira provides an Interview between himself and Carl Hart, an Associate Professor in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. As a research scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Hart argues his reasoning when asked about marijuana, which is perceived by many as a gateway drug.

Nogueria deems Dr. Hart as the myth buster of drugs due to his highly credited background before asking for response to the first posed question upon skeptics, which is “Many people believe marijuana is a gateway drug. Is it?” Dr. Hart simply states that marijuana is not a gateway drug although he adds that “it is true that people who use heroin and cocaine used marijuana before these drugs.” He explains this reasoning by suggesting to look at the facts. The vast majority of marijuana users don’t continue to move to those harder drugs, therefore it is not a gateway drug as he puts it. Adding an example to this illogical sort of stamen, Dr. Hart says “It would be like saying that “the last three presidents of the United States used marijuana before they became president. Therefore, Marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House”.” Ultimately debunking, in a joking matter, the theory generally speaking.

When asked about addiction, which holds a relation to the gateway theory, Dr. Hart provides the definition of drug addiction: “Is behavior that disrupts your psychosocial functions, your job, your family life, and these behavioral disruptions have to occur on multiple occasions.” Arguing that addiction requires “work”. In order to become addicted such behavioral disruptions must happen on multiple occasions. Anything taken once does not cause anyone to become addicted. Thus, by definition it is not addiction.

Answering more questions relating to other drug abuse usage Hart is asked about how many believe marijuana or cocaine kills nerve cells. Dr. Hart responds that any drug taken in large doses could have the ability do kill brain cells. He continues stating that such doses are 20-80 times larger than what people usually take. Also, Dr. Hart argues that the rate of addiction of marijuana is very low at 10% at I in 3 people compared to the 33% of people who will become addicted to tobacco and 15% to alcohol.

This interview has given valuable and credible insight on the question of marijuana being a gateway drug. Having a source as such provides a better understanding of where I personally stand on the issue and further enhances my viewpoint. Dr. Hart clearly states his own opinion based on the science of it all, which is more reliable and closer to the truth. Overall, this interview should ultimately clear perhaps not all but some myths surrounding marijuana and its use as a gateway drug.


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Roberts, Chris. “Bad Medicine: Why marijuana advocates oppose an initiative legalizing pot.” S.F. Weekly ,ProQuest 19 May. 2010. Web. 19 July. 2015

Chris Roberts is an investigative journalist and writer from San Francisco, California and the author of  Bad Medicine: Why marijuana advocates oppose an initiative legalizing pot. In the article, published by New Times Media LLC in May of 2010, Roberts reported that the cops and medical marijuana activists has met eye to eye about what the effects of legalizing marijuana would have on  tax. According to the medical pot advocates, he emphasizes how cops don’t favor the issue because it deals with dope and how it would create new criminal penalties for marijuana use.

Roberts claims that California has recently crafted a law that treats marijuana as a more or less equal to alcohol while increasing tax revenue  to 1 billion dollars. Roberts mentions how the Tax Cannabis 2010 would make it a crime to use medical marijuana in front of a minor by penalizing the user with fines and incarceration. The punishments are strict in order to encourage those to stray away from marijuana use. The fines are up to $1,000 with a 6-month county jail confinement in addition to the 3 to 7 years of state prison sentence.  This illustrates the debate of the legalization of marijuana among the cops and marijuana medical advocates.

Although Roberts mention the costly affect of marijuana legalization, he also mention how 700,000 individuals question the legalization of marijuana while signing  a petition that goes against the legalization of marijuana. He especially mentions Dennis Peron to give a point a view of a person who has prior experience with the laws involving marijuana. He coined the name “Kevin Reed of San Francisco’s Green Cross” to specify a individual who signed a petition, giving credibility upon the subject of matter that had the majority of the population questioning the topic of legalization of marijuana.

Roberts included a researcher named “Jeff Jones” and a “University called Oaksterdam University’s Richard Lee” to show what results they concluded from the over-reactor on the topic. They discovered from the cops and marijuana medical advocates, who are against the legalization of marijuana, that they believed the legalization is meant to remove the felonies instead creating more felons in the process. The people Roberts  included in his article believed that the mandatory minimums provided by the law now would help the law enforcement officers  shift focus away from the marijuana issue.


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Hazy Laws

Conan, Neal. “Doctor Says Medical Marijuana Law Hurts Teens.” Alt-PressWatch. 10 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 July 2015. <>.

This article is an interview between Neal Conan, an American radio journalist who host the National Public Radio talk show Talk of the Nation, and Dr. Christian Thurstone who is a psychiatrist in Denver who specializes in adolescent substance abuse. He argues that the medical marijuana laws are a mess he also goes on about the effects it has on kids and how anyone can get their hands on medicinal marijuana.
images (1)  He states that he constantly hears how marijuana is not as bad as alcohol or not    as bad as tobacco, but he thinks that for adolescents, marijuana can be very harmful. “Adolescence have a developing brain…the brain is really developing quickly during adolescent years, and so, using a toxic substance during those years can be quite damaging and produce possibly permanent deficits in memory, as well as how the brain is – ends up being structured.” He mentions how kids show up and how easily they get marijuana from their relatives and from their friends. They then tell him how they could get medicinal marijuana, with increased potency, off the streets. His patients would inform him how marijuana was their preferred medicine, because it would help them with their anger and other problems such as stress and anxiety.

Dr. Thurstone patients have their medical marijuana license, and  they describe the process of getting the marijuana as going to the doctor, which they can easily look up in line or in the newspaper, and then visit for about 15-minute. They then pay about $300, and they complain, the doctor then asks them if it helps them feel better, and come out with a medical marijuana recommendation. The problem he sees is that the doctor who proscribed the medicinal marijuana is that one they did not call him or insist on a psychiatric consultation, and two being the doctors did not have an ongoing relationship with any of his patients. The problem for him is the proscription mill. He shares how in Denver “physicians can practice within a medical marijuana dispensary, so you can go directly to the dispensary. It’s really one-stop shopping. You go to the dispensary, you meet with the physician briefly, and then you can go over to the dispensary and get your medical marijuana, and then out you go.” He thinks that people do not take the drug as seriously as they should.images (2)

Dr. Thurstone argument is on how the laws on medicinal marijuana are very lose in terms of who should and should not be allowed to proscribe marijuana. He believes that only those who really need it should have licenses, due to marijuana ending up in the wrong hands. He does not like how adolescents can be affected by it and not being able to reach their full growth potential. This article would be beneficial to those who are looking for incite about how adolescents are affected with the legalization of marijuana.


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Leniency, Please!

Slodysko, Brian. “Law Enforcement Stance on Pot Starts to Shift in Louisiana.” The Louisiana Weekly, 18 May 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.

Brian Slodysko, a thirty-two-year-old who received his degree in journalism and contained experience in writing about crimes and courts, wrote the article titled “Law Enforcement Stance on Pot Starts to Shift in Louisiana,” on May 2015. Slodysko speaks on the strict marijuana policies in Louisiana and the effect these policies hold on citizens’ prison sentences and, ultimately, their lives. He pinpoints that despite the unchanging policies, citizens seem to hold a “change of heart” when it comes to lightning marijuana charges on small possession amounts.

Recently, the state of Louisiana agrees they should lighten “sentences for people with multiple marijuana possession convictions” because they enforce too harsh of sentences on everyday citizens (par. 6). Slodysko argues that common citizens go to prison for long amounts of time simply because they possess a small amount of marijuana, which is very drastic. One could serve “up to 20 years in prison on your third arrest” for possession of marijuana (par. 2). Slodysko points this out to reiterate the harshness of Louisiana’s marijuana laws and wishes that Louisiana reconsider these laws to create a fair sentencing system for all. He also points out how ineffective these strict policies are by quoting Sen. J.P. Morrell, the response from politicians used to be “We are really tough on marijuana – and it is working,” but currently it’s, “Now we are having conversations about marijuana that were not even possible five years ago,” Slodysko knows these strict policies will evolve into  more lenient ones, with due time, and used Senator J.P. Morrell’s quote to highlight the contrast between what politicians said then compared to what they say now and he also uses an example, “Bernard W. Noble, a New Orleans father of seven, who was sentenced to over 13 years after he was arrested on his way to work for having two joints. Noble’s court battle came to an end last year after losing his last appeal,” to display the effect of these strict marijuana policies in Louisiana (par. 7,8, and 9). Using the example above, Slodysko knows that these marijuana policies got to the point that people’s lives and freedom are threatened by the mere possession of this drug and things have gotten out of hand and further goes on to compare this man’s sentence with a criminal who used drugs with bad intentions’ sentencing, which shows his point even more so this way.

There are benefits to creating more lenient marijuana policies, argues Slodysko, “The cash-strapped state – where one in 14 arrests is for marijuana possession – could also benefit, saving an estimated $23 million a year by reducing felony marijuana possession to a misdemeanor, according to Louisianans for Responsible Reform,” he presents an economic standpoint to even further back his claim that Louisiana should lower their strict laws (par. 16). Although, the citizens of Louisiana seem to want change, Slodysko states that change will not come so soon, “Measures to decriminalize marijuana, or mimic California’s permissive medical marijuana law, appear to be nonstarters,” and the harsh enforcement of marijuana laws in this state continues on (par. 18). Louisiana will be one of the last states to catch up to the decriminalization of marijuana, if that occurs, and the way Louisiana enforces their marijuana laws will continue on for a long time, Slodysko predicts.

Overall Slodysko states marijuana laws in Louisiana should consider lightening their laws to reduce citizens’ sentences, lower state costs regarding this law, and reduce the fear of losing your freedom, if caught with marijuana, within the community. I found this article useful, because Slodysko emphasized key points that I just now became aware of, such as common day citizens getting theft-level charges and the economic benefits of lightning marijuana possession charges, that pushes my personal viewpoint. Americans should not fear that they will go to jail for the rest of their lives, even if the amount of marijuana they got caught with was small, on any marijuana possession charge. Other politicians, in states with strict marijuana possession policies, would benefit from this article, because they could realize the negative effect those laws place on everyday citizens in their state and how restricting these laws are in relation to citizens’ freedoms. Instilling fear in people to get the result you want is not the way to go and should not be an option that someone uses to get what they want, this is also known as manipulation and this should not be acceptable.


– RS2 written by Ashley Bedford


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