The common drug illegally used in the

The legalization of marijuana, also known as weed or pot, is one of the most controversial topics in the twenty-first century. Marijuana is the most common drug illegally used in the United States, especially amongst teens.  In 2012, “Nearly 1 in 10 teens said they smoke marijuana at least 20 or more times month” (“Report: Frequent marijuana smoking up 80 percent among teens”). The drug is composed of dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Marijuana contains a chemical known as THC, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinal, which causes the “high” feeling in individuals. This chemical, along with several other compounds, affects both the body and the brain of an individual. Symptoms of marijuana use include dizziness, increased appetite, red eyes and dilated pupils, paranoia, slow reaction, etc. However, these symptoms typically last only up to four hours and can vary from person to person. The majority of individuals prefer to smoke marijuana using a blunt, a hallowed out cigarette filled with marijuana. Although the drug can also be consumed by mixing it into food (edibles), brewing it as tea or inhaled through a vaporizer. In most cases, marijuana is legally used for medical purposes. Chemicals in the drug, known as cannabinoids, cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinal, can be effectively used to treat mental illness, reduce pain and inflammation, control epileptic seizures, etc. Contrastingly, many individuals use marijuana illegally for recreational purposes. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a yearly survey carried out by the United States federal government since 1971 on the use of legal and illegal drugs in the United States, “22.2 million people have used marijuana in the past month” (“What is the scope of marijuana use in the United States?”). As a result, many are unsure whether or not marijuana should be legalized in North America. This debate can be seen through the debate between two articles, one against the legalization of marijuana by Madi Fears and one for the legalization of marijuana by Renee Jacques.
In both articles, authors effectively use content to persuade readers whether or not marijuana should be legalized by appealing to their thoughts and emotions. In Fears article, she effectively uses pathos to cause readers to feel apprehensive and fear, especially as a woman. The consumption of marijuana can have a negative effect on an unborn child, even several years after consumption. In the article Fears states, “Marijuana causes birth defects, mental abnormalities in the fetus, and increases risks of leukemia in children” (“Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal”). As a woman, this makes one question if using marijuana is worth the risk, especially if one considers bearing a child in the future. In the article, Fears uses ethos to provide credibility to what she is talking about by referencing the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration. Fears states, “The use of marijuana as a medical drug has not been approved by the FDA”. The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting the public’s health and safety. The FDA is used to guarantee the safety, effectiveness, and security of food products, drugs and medical devices. If the FDA doesn’t approve the medical use of marijuana then it must be unsafe, providing credibility to what the author and what she is saying. Fears also uses logos to provide verification to what she is talking about. An addiction medicine specialist, known as Dr. Drew Pinsky, stated, “I’ve been treating cannabis addiction for 20 years. When people are addicted to cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol the drug they have the most difficult time giving up is the cannabis”. This goes to show that marijuana is just as, if not more, dangerous than other drugs, providing evidence to what is being mentioned in the article. However, in Jacques’ article is supportive of the legalization of marijuana. In the article, Jacques uses ethos by referencing celebrities and successful people that use marijuana. Some of the names mentioned include Morgan Freeman, Maya Angelou, Ted Turner, etc. In 2013, during an interview with Bravo, an American television network, 72-year-old Martha Stewart openly admitted to using marijuana when saying, “Of course I know how to roll a joint” (“This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere”). This provides credibility to the author and what is being said in the article. If someone as successful as Martha Stewart uses marijuana and openly admits to it, then marijuana must be safe, providing credibility to Jacques and what is being said in the article. The use of logos is displayed when the percentage of how many people become addicted to marijuana is compared to other drugs. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, reported, “Marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of adult users, cocaine hooks about twenty percent of its users and heroine gets about 25 percent of its users addicted. The worst culprit is tobacco, with 30 percent of its users becoming addicted”. The comparison of marijuana to other drugs, especially tobacco, shows that marijuana may not be as bad as people perceive it to be. Tobacco is a legal drug and 30 percent of its users become addicted compared to the 10 percent of marijuana users who become addicted, so if tobacco is legal so should marijuana. Both articles effectively use content to persuade readers whether marijuana should be legalized by appealing to their thoughts and emotions. 
Both articles use structure as effectively as possible to show readers their ideas. The article that promotes the legalization of marijuana by Jacques consistently uses compare and contrast. Throughout the article, marijuana is compared to other drugs,  how it is used, who uses it and how harmful it is to marijuana users and others. In the article Jacques states, “The combined harm to others and users of marijuana as less than the harm posed by alcohol or tobacco use” (“This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere”). This proves that the consumption of marijuana is less harmful to individuals in comparison to other drugs that have already been made legal, such as tobacco. As a result, readers question why marijuana has not also been legalized if it has been proven to be less harmful. Contrastingly, the article against the legalization of marijuana by Fears uses cause and effect to display their ideas. Throughout the article, Fears gives different examples of the negative effects of marijuana consumption, especially amongst teenagers. In the article Fears states, “Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood, and psychotic thought disorders” (“Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal”). As a result of marijuana consumption at a young age, users experience adverse effects on their mental health. This causes readers to question the safety of the drug, altering their opinion on whether marijuana should be legalized. Both authors, Jacques and Fears, effectively use structure to influence readers of whether marijuana should be legalized in North America. 
In both articles, authors Jacques and Fears, effectively use style to emphasize the information in the article and effectively persuade readers of their ideas and opinions on the legalization of marijuana in North America. In the article against the legalization of marijuana, Fears effectively uses the literary devices rhetorical questions and repetition to provide emphasis to her ideas and the information being shared. Throughout the article Fears compares the effects of other drugs, such as meth, alcohol, and tobacco, to marijuana and in many cases marijuana was more harmful. After comparing the drugs to one another Fears causes readers to question themselves saying, “But marijuana is better than meth, right? Its better than cigarettes and alcohol, right?” (“Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal”). This rhetorical question makes readers wonder if marijuana is really a “harmless drug” or even if there is such a thing. As a result, it causes readers to feel that the use of marijuana should remain illegal. In the article, Fears uses repetition by repeating the idea of what will happen if marijuana was legalized. Fears predict that the legalization of marijuana will increase the amount of “those who drive while they’re high, public indecency while high, and students showing up to school high”. Fears believes that legalizing marijuana will have a major impact on society. If marijuana is legalized many people will abuse the drug. This causes readers to question if they want marijuana to be legalized in North America. However, in Jacques article, she uses allusion to persuade readers that marijuana should be legalized. The article states, “Nearly half the country has tried pot which is more than how many Americans know who Jennifer Lawrence is” (“This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere”). Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most famous actors of the twenty-first century. In this quotation, the author is comparing the number of people who know who Jennifer Lawrence is to the number of people who have tried marijuana at some point in their life. This comparison gives a visual of a large amount of people already smoking marijuana illegally. This causes readers to think that marijuana might as well be legalized since so many people already use it. Both articles effectively use style to provide emphasis to the information in the article and persuade readers of their opinions on marijuana legalization in North America. 
In conclusion, both articles authors effectively use persuasive techniques to persuade readers whether marijuana should be made legal in North America. However, based on the information displayed in each article I believe that marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana is simply a drug that is derived from aspects of the Cannabis Sativa plant, used by individuals to develop a “high” feeling. Using marijuana allows for the individual to feel pleasant, calm, and relaxed. The use of marijuana has caused no serious damage to users or others, unlike many other drugs including tobacco. Tobacco, typically found in cigarettes, is a product made from the leaves of the tobacco plant. This product contains a stimulant known as alkaloid nicotine, which results in the addiction. Smoking tobacco can result in COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a term that describes different forms of progressive lung diseases. Several forms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer. It was found “between 2005 and 2010, an average of 130,659 Americans died of smoking-attributable lung cancer each year” (“Lung Cancer Fact Sheet”). Contrastingly, no one has ever died as a result of marijuana use. Many believe that a large amount of THC could result in death, but this is not true. The reality is since the discovery of marijuana in Asia around 500 BC “not one single account of death from overdose has been recorded” (“This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere”). When comparing the damages of marijuana to tobacco, the consequences of marijuana use is far less severe than the consequences of tobacco. So if tobacco has been legalized why not marijuana?