Persuasive Essay on Recreational Marijuana

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Persuasive essays are any essay where you are trying to convince the reader that
your view of the subject is valid. Note that you are not trying to convince the reader that your
view or position is the ONLY way to see the subject, nor are you necessarily trying to convince
the reader that your position is the best way to see the subject.
The key is to think defensively: you are trying to explain why YOU see the subject this way.
More importantly, you want to base your argument on solid evidence. This is NOT a personal
experience essay, even though your personal experiences will probably influence your
viewpoint. EVERY point that you make needs to be supported with evidence. Your entire
argument should be based on evidence from reliable sources.
In general, evidence that proves that your views are known or shared with a wide variety of other
people will help validate your claim; that is one of the primary reasons for using sources – to
provide that outside validation that you are not the only one who feels this way. However,
remember that your position should be the focus of the paper. You should not just be blindly
repeating your sources’ arguments — we want to know YOUR unique set of evidence and how it
adds up to support your claims.
Thus, the key to doing an argumentative essay is to begin with a subject, but do not lock yourself
into a viewpoint yet. Keep an open mind. Try to find as wide a variety of sources as possible and
learn as much about the subject as you can. After you have done the research, reading, and
thinking about the subject, then you are ready to share your viewpoint with the audience.
Remember that the focus should be on how YOU are putting the evidence and ideas together, not
on how your sources have interpreted this information. Make sure that you cite all evidence from
your sources. Give credit where credit is due.
To produce an acceptable persuasive essay, the writer should:
— Use grammatically appropriate sentence structures
— Organize the essay in a format appropriate to the assignment
— Use appropriate paragraph breaks to control the flow of information
— Use transitions both within and between the paragraphs
— Develop and explain the essay content completely
— Communicate a clear and specific purpose to an audience
— Incorporate information from outside sources ethically, effectively, and appropriately
using the MLA citation style
Option 1: Traditional
Pick a subject from current events and give your viewpoint on the issue. The subject should
either be controversial or at least a subject where there are multiple sides or viewpoints being
presented. Make sure that you do the proper research for this paper. Try to get a variety of
sources in terms of timeframe and perspectives. If all of your sources are from the same week,
there probably will not be much variety. If all of your sources are liberal in perspective, you also
will not get much variety.
Option 2: Career Focused
Review the literature for your career field. For example, for business you would look at Fortune,
Forbes, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, or their websites. For education, you
would look at Education Digest, NEA, AFT, ERIC, or other education resources. See what
issues they are discussing. Review the materials on the subject.
After determining what professionals in the field are saying, go to general interest magazines,
especially magazines with editorial/opinion writing like National Review, New Republic,
Commentary, the Progressive, The American Spectator, etc. or their websites to see what nonprofessionals are saying about the subject.
Option 3: Fun
Pick a subject that you want to know more about, or that you are already somewhat of an expert
about. Research that subject to determine what other people need to know about it. Explain what
the major issues or controversies are in the area, and take a stand on that issue. For example, if
you are a football fan, you could research team relocations and write a paper indicating whether
you think it is good or bad for the sport.
The writer of a persuasive essay should keep the following elements in mind:
Purpose:
Remember that you are writing this essay to explain YOUR viewpoint on the issue, not just to
repeat your sources’ views. You cannot just tell us that something is true. You cannot just say:
“Smoking is unhealthy.” You need to have sources that back that up. You need to explain to us
WHY it’s unhealthy. Remember that you are DEFENDING your view, not just telling the
audience what to believe
Audience:
Try to remember that your audience does not know as much as you do. Even if they know more
facts about the subject, they do not know YOUR understanding as well as you do. Your job is to
explain to the reader how YOU interpret the information and how YOU see things fitting
together. Also, as indicated above, remember that you are not telling the audience members that
their views are wrong or stupid. You are defending/explaining your views, not attacking theirs.
Organization:
The organization of an argument is always open to interpretation. You will probably find
yourself using parts of other types of essays like personal narrative, compare/contrast,
classification, etc. to do different parts of the argument. Remember that each part of the
argument needs to be connected to the main thesis at some point so that the reader sees how the
overall argument builds to the conclusion.
Argumentation:
Remember the basic body paragraph formula for an argument:
· thesis,
· evidence supporting the thesis,
· explanation of HOW the evidence supports the thesis and how the paragraph’s point fits into
the overall argument.
Make sure that your argument includes the three facets of a convincing argument: logos, ethos,
and pathos.
Logos: is it logical? Is it based on solid evidence clearly connected together into a strong
argument?
Ethos: The traditional element of ethos deals with the character of the writer. How trustworthy
are you? What are your credentials? How believable is your argument? Does any bias show
through, and if so, does it harm their argument’s “truth?” Most student writers already feel
uncertain about their credentials, which is one reason why outside sources are often used. The
ethos argument then needs to be applied to THOSE sources as well.
Pathos: Have you given the issue a human face? Have you used specific examples to show the
reader how this issue affects real people, not just theoretical abstracts?
ESSAY 3 GRADING RUBRIC
?
Final Draft Essay 3: 30% (300 points)
100: Length: Draft, 1500 words. Final, 2000 words/6 pages (+Works Cited)
50: Proper MLA format throughout
50: Proper use and documentation of AT LEAST 6 credible sources
15: Properly formatted Works Cited page with proper citations
15: Arguable THESIS
30: Three supporting reasons
20: Counterarguments addressed
20: Grammar
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Chris Attiq
Professor Hankinson
English 120
18 November 2017
LEGALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
Topic: Benefits of recreational marijuana legalization
General Purpose: To Inform
Specific Purpose: The specific purpose of this essay is to inform the audience that recreational
marijuana is harmless to the society and actually provides benefits for us in many ways.
Thesis: Marijuana has many benefits which need to be addressed and can only be utilized if it
becomes legal.
Legalization of recreational marijuana reduces crime
A. Legalization of recreational marijuana creates a legal market
1. Legalization of recreational marijuana diverts “marijuana production and sale from
the black market to legal venues” (Dills, Goffard and Miron 2016).
2. Legal market offers more safety and superior product quality that reduces the “risk of
being victimized while buying, the risk of being sanctioned, search costs (especially
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for first-time buyers), as well as the psychological unease possibly related to
purchasing an illegal product” (Dragone et al. 12).
B. Legalization of recreational marijuana generates a reallocation of police efforts and
increased efficiency within law enforcement
1. Legalization of recreational marijuana leads to a significant reduction in “the rates of
homicide and assault” (Morris et al. 2014).
2. Legalization of recreational marijuana reduces the burden on law enforcement to
patrol for drug offences, hence freeing budgets and human resources to tackle severe
crimes (Dills, Goffard and Miron 2016).
3. Legalization leads to a lower rate of drug-related crimes, and this allows the law
enforcement authority to divert resources toward preventing non-marijuana related
crimes (Dragone et al. 13).
4. Legalization of recreational marijuana reduces drug-related organized crime because
it reduces the amount of money used to support organized crimes.
I.
Legalization of recreational marijuana increases tax revenues and economic opportunities
A. Legalization of recreational marijuana increases tax revenue because it serves as a new
source of tax revenue and also increases sales (Dills, Goffard and Miron 2016).
1. Legalization eliminates the huge black market currently present for illegal marijuana
sales, and this creates a new source of tax revenue because profits from black markets
are redirected to government spending (Dills, Goffard and Miron 2016).
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2. Legalization increases the sale of marijuana and thereby, generating more revenue.
B. Legalization of recreational marijuana leads to job creation and increase in incomes as a
result of marijuana nurseries and dispensaries that are established.
1. Legalization of recreational marijuana saves annual government spending on
enforcement on agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug
Enforcement Agency and local police departments (Dills, Goffard and Miron 2016).
2. Legalization boosts economic growth for communities
III. Legalization of recreational marijuana leads to better substance control
A. Legalization of recreational marijuana leads to a reduction in the use of other drugs such
as cocaine, amphetamine and heroin.
B. Legalization of recreational marijuana increases marijuana consumption and thereby
reducing the consumption of alcohol, especially among young people.
C. Legalization of recreational marijuana reduces illegal street-drug sales and use, which are
often fatal, and thus reduces the number of deaths resulting from the use of such drugs or
overdose (Hall and Lynskey 2016).
IV. Legalization facilitates wider access to medical use of marijuana
A. Medical marijuana has important effects on patients suffering from chronic pain, nerve
damage and trauma.
B. Legalization increases wider access to medical use of marijuana in the treatment of
cancer patients during chemotherapy (Hall and Lynskey 2016).
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V. Conclusion
A. Legalization of recreational marijuana leads to a reduction in the rates of crime.
B. Legalization of recreational marijuana increases tax revenues and creates more economic
opportunities such as employment for communities.
C. Legalization of recreational marijuana reduces the use of other drugs such as cocaine,
amphetamine and heroin and alcohol use.
D. Legalization facilitates wider access to medical marijuana use to treat diseases such as
cancer and relieves pain.
Work Cited
Dills, Angela, Sietse Goffard, and Jeffrey Miron. “Dose of Reality: The Effect of State
Marijuana Legalizations.” (2016).
Dragone, Davide, et al. “Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana.” (2017).
Hall, Wayne, and Michael Lynskey. “Evaluating the public health impacts of legalizing
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recreational cannabis use in the United States.” Addiction 111.10 (2016): 1764-1773.
Morris, Robert G., et al. “The effect of medical marijuana laws on crime: evidence from state
panel data, 1990-2006.” PloS one 9.3 (2014): e92816.
Attiq1
Chris Attiq
Professor Hankinson
English 120
19 November 2017
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Dills, Angela, Sietse Goffard, and Jeffrey Miron. “Dose of Reality: The Effect of State
Marijuana Legalizations.” (2016).
The authors, researchers from CATO institute, use various data from national surveys to
assess the effect to date of recreational marijuana legalization and associated policies in
Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon. They find that state marijuana legalizations
have had minimal effect on marijuana use and related outcomes. In their analysis, the
authors compare the pre- and post-policy-shift directions of recreational marijuana use,
marijuana policies, other drug or alcohol use, crime, traffic accidents, tax revenues,
economic outcomes, teen educational outcomes, criminal justice expenditure and public
health. In their evaluations, the authors illustrate whether the outcomes depict clear
changes in patterns during the period when policy changes on recreational marijuana
were undertaken. The authors find that the most critical effect of recreational marijuana
legalization is on use of other drug or alcohol use and the use of marijuana. For example,
in Colorado, recreational marijuana use rates were rising gradually for many years before
2009, and this pattern continued upward through legalization in 2012. The authors find
that post-legalization use rates depart from this general pattern, nonetheless only to a
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negligible extent. They conclude that the data do not indicate substantial changes in use
rates equivalent to recreational marijuana legalization. Also, cocaine displays a minor
downward pattern over the same duration but indicates no substantial changes after
recreational marijuana policy changes. In contrast, a subsequent study by Dragone et al.
cited below shows a significant increase in marijuana use and reduced consumption of
other drugs.
Dragone, Davide, et al. “Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana.” (2017).
The authors, researchers from IZA Institute of Labor Economics use spatial regression
discontinuity designs to test their hypothesis that legalization of recreational marijuana
across US States reduces crime and the use of other drugs or alcohol. They find that the
legalization of recreational marijuana has led to a substantial decrease in some rape and
theft on the Washington side of the border in 2013-2014 comparative to the Oregon side
and relative to 2010-2012-pre-legalization years. They illustrate that recreational
marijuana use influences various psychoactive effects, that comprises a state of relaxation
and euphoria, and as a result, an increase in recreational marijuana use may reduce the
likelihood of engaging in violent activities. They demonstrate that this argument is
particularly true where recreational marijuana is a substitute for violence-inducing drugs
such as heroin, alcohol, cocaine and amphetamines. Furthermore, legalization of
recreational marijuana leads to a reduction in other violent crimes such as homicides,
robberies and aggravated assault. The authors maintain find that the reduction in the rates
of these crimes is predominantly as a result of a decrease in drug-law and juvenile-gang
related homicides. Also, they find that legalization of recreational marijuana also changes
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market structure. The entry of new legal dealers or vendors who offer better quality
products that illegal rivals may drive illegal dealers out of the market.
Hall, Wayne, and Michael Lynskey. “Evaluating the public health impacts of legalizing
recreational cannabis use in the United States.” Addiction 111.10 (2016): 1764-1773.
The authors, researchers from Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, The
University of Queensland, and Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, use
literature review on drug policy to assess the plausible effects of legalizing adult
recreational marijuana consumption on marijuana price and availability, and the factors
that increase or limits these factors. The authors also use drug policy literature to identify
pointers from research on the effects of legalizing medical marijuana consumption, and
the indicators of marijuana use and marijuana-related damage that can be observed to
evaluate the impacts of related policy changes. They find their hypothesis supported by
drug policy literature that the legalization of recreational marijuana consumption will
potentially increase consumption in the long term, however, the degree and timing of any
increase are indeterminate. The authors find that it will be important to observe the use of
recreational marijuana in the household and high school surveys, recreational marijuana
sales, the number of marijuana plants lawfully produced, and the tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC) content of marijuana. The authors further recommend that indicators of
recreational marijuana-related damage that should be damage comprise: motor crash
fatalities and injuries; emergency department presentations; presentations to addiction
treatment services; and the prevalence of regular recreational marijuana consumption
among youths in mental health services and the criminal justice system.
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Morris, Robert G., et al. “The effect of medical marijuana laws on crime: evidence from
statepanel data, 1990-2006.” PloS one 9.3 (2014): e92816.
The authors, researchers from the National Health Institute, use data from the United
States state panel to analyze the relationship between recreational marijuana legalization
and state crime rates for all Part I offences collected by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI). They find that the results do not show an aggravating crime effect of
medical marijuana legalization on any of the Part I offences. They further find that state
recreational marijuana legalization may be correlated with a decrease in the rates of
homicide and assault, net of other covariates. Using different fixed effects regression
analyses, the authors find that the effect of recreational marijuana legalization on crime is
negative or not statistically substantial in only a single model, indicating the passage of
recreational marijuana legalization may have a diminishing impact on certain crimes. The
authors find that their results are run counter to opinions suggesting the legalization of
cannabis for medical or recreational goals poses a threat to public health about exposure
to violent crime and property crimes. The authors explain that the study did not show that
medical marijuana laws have an aggravating crime impact on any of the seven crime
types examined. However, marijuana legalization precedes a drop-in homicide and
assault. For example, the rates of robbery and burglary were not impacted by medicinal
marijuana legislation, which contradicts the claim that dispensaries and grow houses
increase victimization because of the opportunity structures related to the number of
drugs and cash that are available.

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