I need a 500-700 word rebutal for each of these papers below. It does not have to be done in essay form. Just a plain ol rebutal that is due by 11 pm Arizona time.
Paper # 1 Against marijuana—Marijuana has become increasingly popular, especially among adolescents and college age individuals. The average age for a first time marijuana user is 17 (Price, McQueeny, Shollenbarger, Browning, Wieser, & Lisdahl. 2015). When surveying a sample of adolescents, most perceived marijuana as having more benefits than risks and they endorse it as a no risk substance (Burnett. 2016). However, there are risks and negative effects that are associated with acute and chronic marijuana use. The acute effects include conjunctival injection, increased appetite, dry mouth, tachycardia, and a sense of euphoria. These effects can take place within two hours after use. Chronic effects of marijuana use target the brain. The respiratory system is also a target of effects if marijuana is inhaled through smoking. Long-term use can cause short-term memory impairment, decreased concentration and attention span, and altered problem solving capabilities. Smoking marijuana for a long period of time can cause irritation, swelling, and secretions in the respiratory airways that can, in turn, cause infections, asthma, coughing, and chronic bronchitis. Further, users can also develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease later in life from prolonged marijuana use (Burnett. 2016). Even though marijuana is endorsed for those with anxiety and depression, about 20% to 30% of users experience increased panic attacks and anxiety after use. Additionally, marijuana can increase psychosis in those with schizophrenia and cause an imbalance of sex hormones, which can lead to reproductive issues (Burnett. 2016).
As stated, one of the major concerns with marijuana use is its effect on brain development, especially since most users are adolescents or young adults. During adolescence and early adulthood, the brain is still maturing and some areas are not fully developed. Chronic use of marijuana can affect this development and cause deficits in attention, processing speed, executive abilities, and learning and memory (Price, McQueeny, Shollenbarger, et al. 2015). These effects on the development on the brain can be quite alarming since, as shown previously, most adolescents do not perceive any risks from marijuana use. Since the effects on the brain seem to be subtle, most users may not even notice the cognitive deficits occuring until it is too late.
In one study, it was shown that there may be a social development theory explanation to identify who is most at risk to use marijuana. The results showed that those who experienced child maltreatment, and had lower levels of parental attachment, were more likely to have involvement with peers who use marijuana. This, in turn, resulted in that individual using marijuana as well (Mason, Russo, Chmelka, Herrenkohl, & Herrenkohl. 2017). In this sense, marijuana use could be associated with depression, traumatic past experiences, and even low self-esteem as a result of troubled childhoods. This could make marijuana dependence develop as the user perceives themselves as “fitting in” and “feeling good” during their use, and they are able to forget about the traumatic experiences while they are on the marijuana high. Association with that sense of euphoria could keep the user coming back for more “hits”. On that same note, the three common substances used by adolescents are alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana due to their accessibility. So alcohol and marijuana use can be combined, with sometimes deadly results such as driving under the influence. While only 20% to 30% of traffic crashes are caused by just marijuana use alone, this percentage dramatically increases with the introduction of alcohol in the system (Rogeberg & Elvik. 2016). However, the ability to test for marijuana in the system of a driver is not as easy as testing for alcohol use. With the legalization of marijuana, measures to test levels of THC in the system will need to be developed, as well as laws surrounding driving while under the influence of marijuana.
Recreational and medical marijuana use is becoming increasingly popular and some states have even legalized marijuana use. However, there are very few guidelines on how to safely use marijuana that are based on scientific evidence (Pearson, Liese, & Dvorak. 2017). Before legalization continues further, it is important that more studies be conducted to create guidelines, educational material, and treatment programs for the use, and possible abuse, of marijuana. Even studies conducted on the medical uses of marijuana are few. It seems that most of the endorsement for marijuana use may be on the limited studies that have been conducted and the increasing perception that there is no risk in using marijuana. More research and education on the effects of marijuana and the pros and cons of use need to be addressed before the legalization of marijuana becomes national.
Mason, W. A., Russo, M. J., Chmelka, M. B., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Herrenkohl, T. I. (2017). Parent and peer pathways linking childhood experiences of abuse with marijuana use in adolescence and adulthood. Addictive Behaviors, 6670-75. Retrieved from:
Price, J. S., McQueeny, T., Shollenbarger, S., Browning, E. L., Wieser, J., & Lisdahl, K. M. (2015). Effects of marijuana use on prefrontal and parietal volumes and cognition in emerging adults. Psychopharmacology, 232(16), 2939-2950. Retrieved from:
Paper #2- For recreational legalization
The legalization of marijuana, both medically and recreationally, has been a heavily debated topic amongst the medical community, law enforcement, religious groups, and all kinds of people within the United States. Arguments that can be made for the legalization of marijuana range from improvement on crime rates to having a positive impacts on physical and emotional health. Even many of the fears that came with legalizing marijuana have been shown to have benefits. While much more research is needed, so far the legalization of marijuana has had plenty of positive effects and should continue in the progressive direction.
One of the biggest crisis in the United States today is the opioid epidemic. Opioids may be effective for chronic pain, but they often lead to addiction and abuse. Some people abuse their own prescriptions while others turn to street opioids. Marijuana is also approved for management of chronic pain. Having another drug that can replace opioids as a long-term treatment has shown potential for cutting back the rate of opioid abuse (Lake & Kerr, 2016).
Not only does marijuana relieve pain, but it is known to relieve other ailments ranging from seizures to nausea and vomiting. On the medical marijuana front it would seem more obvious as to why legalization is beneficial to general health. On the recreational front it is a little more difficult to understand why people being able to “self-medicate” could have any benefits. One good example is considering the use and abuse of benzodiazepines. Many people choose to self-medicate for anxiety and associated symptoms by using marijuana. Benzodiazepines are very physically and psychologically addicting and have detoxification effects and side effects that are much more significant than marijuana.
One unexpected effect of marijuana legalization is a decrease in marijuana consumption in areas with Medical Marijuana Laws (MMLs). It was originally feared that more access to marijuana would lead to an increase in marijuana consumption. Instead, areas that have MMLs have shown to have no significant change or a decrease in consumption (Pacula, Powell, Heaton & Sevigny, 2014). The only way that I can make sense of this is perhaps this has functioned as some kind of economic supply and demand where an increase in supply eventually lead to a decrease in consumption due to the fact the resource is no longer scarce. An increase in quantity readily available decreases the scarcity of the resource.
In states where recreational marijuana is not yet legal, for example Pennsylvania, possession and delivery charges are as a schedule one substance just like cocaine or heroin. When a drug is given this status, the crime surrounding it is just as high level. Very recently, in a Pennsylvania area close to me, a teenager was murdered over drug dealing having to do with marijuana. Evidence gathered from western states where marijuana has been legalized shows an actual decrease in rates of violent crimes (Shepard & Blackley, 2016). Whenever the people selling marijuana are no longer “drug dealers”, the crime aspects of selling and purchasing the substance are decreased or even eliminated.
One last point in regards to the legal system is the amount of money and resources spent in pursuit of marijuana dealings. When there are methamphetamines, crack, heroin and other drugs with much higher impact on society in circulation it does not make sense to be in pursuit of marijuana. We have young adults starting their lives off with first-degree felonies for selling ounces of marijuana because they think nothing of it. A man who is selling much harder drugs receives the same exact felony.
From a health standpoint, marijuana’s ability to combat addictions and curb the need for substances like opioids and benzodiazepines far outweighs the false notion that marijuana use leads to other drug use. The legalization of marijuana has shown to follow a pattern of decreased demand therefore reducing the consumption in areas where it is available. Resources can now be properly directed toward more important tasks, and less people will receive heavy repercussions associated with such a low-level substance. Marijuana is finally being recognized for its beneficial properties and treated as a medicine rather than just a substance producing a “high”.
Lake, S., & Kerr, T. (2016). The Challenges of Projecting the Public Health Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Canada Comment on “Legalizing and Regulating Marijuana in Canada: Review of Potential Economic, Social, and Health Impacts”.International Journal Of Health Policy And Management, 6(5), 285-287. http://dx.doi.org/10.15171/ijhpm.2016.124
Pacula, R., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. (2014). Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana Use: The Devil is in the Details. Journal Of Policy Analysis And Management, 34(1), 7-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pam.21804
Shepard, E., & Blackley, P. (2016). Medical Marijuana and Crime. Journal Of Drug Issues, 46(2), 122-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022042615623983