Category Archives: RS 2

Research Summary #2

Fuchs, Erin. “Why It’s Crazy To Try To Set DUI Limits For Marijuana.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 19 Dec. 2013. Web. 19 July 2015.

Erin Fuchs is the senior editor at the “Business insider” website and is the author of this current article. In the article published on Business on December 19, of 2013. She proclaims that having a law that restricts the amount of weed in you while behind the wheel is unnecessary. She specifically states that the amount of THC in your blood that is recommended for the legal limit is too low.

According to Ms Fuchs, Colorado passed a law saying that presumes that you’re too high to drive if you have 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood, even though there is insufficient evidence to tie that level of THC to impaired driving. When it came to marijuana, the policy has never been driven by science in the country. So there has never been a presumption that a certain level of THC in your blood means your high, Fuchs Expresses. She then exclaims that now that this law is in effect, people are goanna be more afraid to drive because even though they may have not even smoked, then could still be considered high because their THC levers are above the legal limit. Even if you took it a while ago, it is possible to still have the marijuana in your system depending on how long it takes you to metabolize it.

Fuchs then reports that several states have several DUI laws concerning driving while intoxicated from drugs, and some states like Arizona and Oklahoma have a zero tolerance laws, which means if you’re caught driving under the influence than you’ll be arrested on the spot. Yet, marijuana advocates say there simply isn’t enough evidence to link certain THC levels to impaired driving.

However, Fuchs reports that, there is some evidence that it’s not a good idea to drive while high. According to an interview with Dr Marilyn Huestis, when people smoke marijuana they lose some of their peripheral vision and can also affect your perception of time. This in turn can affect your ability to make decisions, multitask, and driver’s ability to hold the vehicle in the middle of the road. Ms. Fuchs also reports that experiments where run by the Washington TV station in which people volunteer to get high on pot and then drive on a course with a safety instructor. The results; one drove too slowly, while another almost hit the stations photographer. Despite these sign that driving high might be bad, even the federal government says there’s a lack of evidence that ties a certain level THC with a certain degree of impairment, according Ms. Fuchs.

So when it comes to figuring out how much is an appropriate amount of THC levels, Erin Fuchs still believes that it’s unnecessary to have such a limit. She proclaims that some people will be able to drive perfectly at a certain level of THC intoxication, while others may be impaired – so It’s inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.


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Does marijuana bring social inequality? RS.2

Atkinson, Korri. “States spend $3.6 b8illion on racially biased marijuana arrests.” New York Amsterdam News, 20  June 2013. Web. 18 July, 2015

Atkinson Khorri a journalist and author for the New York Amsterdam Newspaper, writes on a report from the American Civil Liberties Union named “The War on Marijuana in Black and White” highlighting the U.S. biases arrests on marijuana. Khorri juxtaposes the enormous amount of arrests of African Americans compared to those of whites. He also indicates  that there is a huge amount of money being spent to regulate marijuana laws and for incarcerating convicts when the U.S could be making profit from marijuana if it was to be legalized. Khorri emphasizes with the ACUL call for marijuana legalization to eliminate racial biases.

Based on the report between 2001 and 2010 there were more than seven million arrests for marijuana possession in the U.S. with more than 800,000 arrests in 2010 alone. According to the director of ACLU Criminal Law Report Project, state and local governments have aggressively enforced the marijuana law selectively against black people and communities. The report demonstrates that Iowa has the greatest racial disparity arrest, although African Americans make up only 3.1 percent of the population, black Iowans are 8.3 times more likely to be arrested. For this reason the ACLU believes that police officers are being bias towards the whites and unfairly arresting more blacks than whites when it is obvious that African Americans don’t make up most of the population. To back up his argument Atkinson uses the analyses from the New York Civil Liberties Union, in which according to the analyses “Brooklyn and Manhattan have the highest ratio disparities in arrests in New York State, where Black New Yorkers are nine times more likely to be arrested.” As pointed out by the NY CLU, blacks are being handled unfairly compared to the whites, whatever happened to equality?

The author describes the useless amount of money being wasted on marijuana laws when legalizing marijuana can “…Save millions of dollars that are being used to enforce marijuana laws.” He indicates New York has spent more than $600 million enforcing marijuana with Black New Yorkers 4.5 times most likely to be arrested. The report suggest a regulation and a tax on marijuana to eradicate the unfair, specifically on racially targeted enforcement laws. In other words, the Union wants legalize marijuana to make profit and not waste millions of dollars on enforcing laws. Not only will it remove the racial bias that is present all over the U.S. including in large and small counties, cities, and rural areas and in high and low income communities, but it will help the economy grow. To support their argument the ACLU concludes that states will spend $200 billion dollars enforcing laws over the next six years if bans on marijuana continue.

The information obtained by the author can be useful to those supporting the legalization of marijuana. According to a survey 52 percent of Americans support the legalization while 45 percent oppose it.  The data obtained by the ACLU is useful to demonstrate the controversies linked with marijuana such as crime and racism.


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RS 2

Schatz, Bryan. “LIFE FOR 2 BAGS OF WEED.” Mother Jones July/August 2015. ProQuest. Web. 19 July 2015

Bryan Schatz is a magazine editor, journalist, and a former teacher. He covers social issues, foreign affairs, and subcultures for various news publications. In his article, Schatz argues against the cruel sentences given to the many who are charged with minor marijuana offenses. Schatz begins his argument by stating how there are Americans that are smoking freely, but there are still those who are rotting in jail because of a little pot. Schatz goes on to describe the situation of a man named Fate Vincent Winslow.

Winslow is a homeless man who is staying in the poor part of Shreveport, Louisiana when he is approached by a guy and he asks him what he’s looking for, Schatz describes. That guy, an undercover cop, says he wants “two dimes” and promises a five dollar commission. For Winslow, five dollars means a good meal so he brings the guy two bags of marijuana, worth $10 each, and finds himself in the backseat of a squad car. Three months later, Winslow is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole, Schatz concludes.

According to Schatz, hearing about Winslow’s punishment-to die behind bars for a transaction involving a miniscule amount of pot is very hard to believe, but not unique. Schatz argues that every year, more people are arrested for pot possession than violent crimes and around 40,000 people are currently serving time for offenses involving a drug that has been decriminalized or legalized in twenty-seven states and Washington, DC. Even as Americans’ attitudes toward marijuana have mellowed, in Schatz’s words, “the law has yet to catch up, leaving pot offenders subject to draconian sentences from the war on drugs.” Schatz points out that despite the fact that society has become more accepting of marijuana usage, the government and criminal justice system has yet to do something about the lives that are wasting in jail. He acknowledges this claim by referencing a quote from a criminal defense attorney that admits that although the world has changed, there are still people sitting in prison for such minor offenses.

Schatz claims that most pot offenders are casualties of drug laws that may treat marijuana like hard drugs, as well as “three strikes” laws that do not distinguish between armed robbery and selling a dime bag. Schatz argues that some federal prisoner serving time for crack cocaine offenses can have their offenses shortened because of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, but there is no such reform for marijuana sentences. For now, Schatz concludes, that his sole hope for marijuana lifers is clemency. However, Schatz writes that clemency granted by the president or a governor is rare.

I found this source useful because it provides a viewpoint that gives various reasons as to why minor marijuana offenses are an issue when it comes to sentencing in the criminal justice system. It made a lot of sense and was very insightful. I believe this source could be valuable to anyone who is not sure what happens to those who are charged with marijuana possession. It can lead to a life sentence just for having a drug that is even legal in other states.

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Legal marijuana: Should you be very afraid?

Anonymous. “Legal Marijuana: Should you be very Afraid?”. Northwest Asian Weekly, 29 March 2014, 19 July 2015.

The legalization of marijuana has its good and bad qualities, at least that’s what an anonymous writer, has to say about it. This anonymous writer from The Northwest Asian Weekly, who I will be referring to as AW, states that the biggest concerns for the legalization of marijuana is the “gateway theory”, fear of it being addictive, and health hazards which can be traced back to the person instead of the actual plant.

AW express that marijuana is only a gateway drug, because people acquire it illegally. Drug dealers, more than half of the time, have more dangerous drugs with them, as AW describes “The local, legal pot store clerk’s product will not only be regulated, without mystery ingredients, he won’t be trying to upgrade you to his cocaine special the next shelf over”. AW argues that if you remove the criminal involvement with marijuana there will be a less chance person will move on to harder drugs compared to buying marijuana at your local store clerk, where there will be no heroine, meth, and other illegal drugs. Overall, AW is basically stating drug dealers hold a big factor for a marijuana user moving on to more dangerous and addictive drugs.

According to AW, the addiction risk for marijuana use is less than caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and so on. AW states that research from science boards have calculated the addiction rate to nine percent from people who’ve tried it and twenty to thirty percent from people who smoke it on a regular basis. AW points out people who become addictive to marijuana are already prone to become an addict when AW claims “Ultimately, pot will most likely carry the highest risk of addiction for people who become addicted to things anyway because they are simply addictive people”. In general, AW is describing that the addictive risk for marijuana, is not the plant itself, but is depended on the people who smoke it.

The health issue for marijuana use is not as dangerous as other substances as AW asserts “Health-wise, it’s only logical to assume that inhaling smoke is detrimental, especially if followed by the ingestion of an entire bag of Cheetos”. Compared to the side effects tobacco and drinking can have on the body, marijuana is not as dangerous especially how AW compares a person who is stoned to one who is drunk. AW gives an example of a person who is drunk and driving over seventy miles an hour with aggressive behavior, compared to a person, who is stoned and calm driving, about twenty miles per hour making the difference in behavior drastic. AW is trying to make a statement that it’s up to the person to be responsible, because alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, but it’s still a legal substance. AW declares “Just because something is bad for you doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Tobacco, alcohol, unprotected sex, potato chips, soda, touching dead birds, mining for coal, driving cars, and licking frozen flagpoles are all bad for you, but perfectly legal”, meaning marijuana does have it’s minor side effects, but it does not mean it’s a dangerous item to one’s health or choices as AW describes it.

This anonymous writer reports that marijuana is not as dangerous as most claim it is, and the side effects to smoking it, is depended on the person. I found this article helpful, because it helps with my point of view on marijuana. The side effects and aftermath of marijuana is depended on the person, because like AW states, marijuana is for the most part, harmless. This article summarizes the conspiracies surrounding marijuana and points out the actual reality of it.

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The Marijuana Gateway Myth

Nogueira, Felipe. “Where Drug Myths Die: An Interview with Carl Hart.” EBSCOhost, 01 June 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.

The article I found online is an interview between Felipe Nogueira & Carl Hart: an associate professor of Psychiatry & Psychology at Columbia University. He works in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute as a research scientist & is a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Dr. Hart believes that drug users actually have rational behavior & are able to choose which drugs appeal to them. He is posed with many questions & provides his feedback on some of marijuana’s most controversial aspects. He says that marijuana is not a gateway drug, but however many cocaine & heroin users did start off smoking marijuana. His research has shown that the majority of marijuana users don’t go on to smoke other drugs and uses the example of “The last 3 presidents smoked marijuana before taking office, therefore marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House” to show the irrational silly myth of marijuana being a “gateway”. With that statement he is saying that just because that they may have been involved with marijuana in the past, doesn’t mean that it is the drug itself that influences the mindset, but the behavior and mentality of the user. He says those who use harder drugs have been affiliated with petty crimes in the past & those have a slight influence on their drug behavior.

Dr. Hart says that “drug addiction is behavior that disrupts your physiological functions, your job, your family life, and these behavioral disruptions have to occur on multiple occasions”. He backs up his claim by saying that just because you have 1 disruption in the important aspects of your life, doesn’t make one an addict. Addiction takes time & most statements regarding “marijuana addiction” is just simple hyperbole being shout out by the Ignorant.

When it comes to statistics, marijuana actually has the lowest addiction rate of any mind-altering drug with 10% of users being addicted. This is a way better stat than those who consume cigarettes: 33%, heroin: 25%, cocaine: 20%, and alcohol: 15%. Although the alcohol addiction rate is quite low, he says it’s the most harmful when it comes to being addicted because there have been cases where many have died from alcohol withdrawal, where a withdrawal for marijuana doesn’t even exist. He says that the “killing of the brain cells” myth may be true, but it rarely happens as it requires the user to consume 20-50 times the “normal” amount a human would use.

Overall this resource is very valuable into the debate about marijuana usage on the brain & whether it’s a gateway or not. It’s always more relieving when a doctor provides his insight based on research & studies he has been conducting in the past. This provides a more sophisticated & less bias perspective on the myths. Other people in the class might find this interview helpful because the doctor is affiliated with many drug-based groups & sees the evidence first hand through his experiments. This interview should serve as an insight about what the answers are over the most popular myths regarding marijuana.

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Ammerman, Seth. “Should Medical Marijuana Be Prescribed to Children?” U.S. News Digital Weekly 28 Dec. 2012. Web. 07 Jul. 2015

Seth Ammerman is a clinical professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and medical director of the Adolescent Health Van. He argues that marijuana is not benign for adolescents.  He affirms that even if marijuana is being used as a medicine, it can have side effects. Including that without the research background, we really don’t know if it will work or not and it makes it difficult to recommend marijuana under those circumstances.

Ammerman states that us humans produce “endocannabinoids” which are marijuana-like substances. From limited research cannabinoids and cannabidiol have some benefits however, as Ammerman says, “finding the proper dosage for maximum therapeutic benefit and least risk of side effects is problematic.”  Due to different levels of these compound plants dosing wouldn’t be as accurate.  If he would propose a few cannabinoids then he wouldn’t be able to prescribe a particular dose, how much to use or how frequently because they “make accurate dosing difficult.”

He then continues to explain how some marijuana products don’t have the information for the right dosage of cannabinoid because they are not tested.  Declaring that ” patients often need to try different preparations and doses to find one that will help with the symptoms being treated.” Ammerman believes there are other, better standard pain medications or maybe even nonmedical treatments for pain that should be considered first. As well as that everyone is different, “successful treatment for a specific problem in a particular individual do not necessarily project to a broader population. Patients may respond differently to and experience different side effects from the same medication.”

The maturation of the brain doesn’t fully develop until the early mid-20’s and Ammerman states that ” the developing brain of a child is often more vulnerable to exposure to compounds than that of an adult.” Meaning that substance use can alter an adolescent’s brain because it is still in the process of development. The younger they start using marijuana the worse the effect of it is on their brain’s pattern which shifts.  Ammerman describes the using of medical marijuana in pediatric and adolescent populations as being ” completely trial and error.”

Essentially,  this article contends that chidden should not use marijuana because even if it may have benefits there are still some weaknesses. It made me understand that it is some what risky to prescribe medical marijuana to adolescents due to the fact that we don’t know the outcome of it.

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