Differing Methods Of Approaching The Marijuana Debate

1374 words - 5 pages

There are many different uses for marijuana and reasons it should be legalized, or remain illegal. The main argument that always comes about is the possibility of the economic gains that could be brought forth through legalization. The article “Drug Markets: A Classroom Experiment” by Gwendolyn Alexander Tedeschi, Published in The American Economist, takes a look at the economics of illegal drug markets. In the work Tedeschi presents the findings of a classroom experiment on said markets, and gives the necessary information for other economic educators to replicate the experiment. However, Tedeschi takes no specific stance on marijuana; she simply aims to prove you can apply economic logic to controversial issues such as drug markets. Conversely, in “The Patriots Guide to Legalization” by Kevin Drum, Published in Mother Jones magazine, Drum takes a definitive stance on the legalization of marijuana. Drum makes an effort to sway his reader’s opinion on marijuana prohibition by using outside quotes and sources, but fails to cite any of them. Drum also employs a catchy title and an illustration to draw his readers in, and keep their attention. To quite the contrary, Tedeschi uses none of these tactics in her writing, therefore leading me to believe “Drug Markets: A Classroom Experiment” is academic while Drum’s “A Patriots Guide to Legalization” on the other hand is clearly non-academic.
The first comparison contrasts the use of opinion and strong stance Drum chose to take with that of Tedeschi’s piece, which remained neutral on the subject. For instance In “A Patriots Guide to Legalization” Drum takes a definitive pro-marijuana stance on the topic. Drum’s opinion on the matter shines through in various spots throughout the piece. This particular instance on the first page is a great example of that, Drum states “The junkie who breaks into your house and steals your Blu-ray player isn’t doing it so he can score a couple of spliffs.” (Drum, 49). Drum in fact seems to be insinuating that marijuana is generally harmless compared to other illicit drugs, such as heroin. Similarly on the last page of the piece, Drum’s opinion on the matter shines through when he states “The evidence suggests pretty clearly that we ought to significantly soften our laws on marijuana. Too many lives have been ruined and too much money spent for a social benefit that, if not zero, certainly isn’t very high.” (Drum, 52). As a result Drum is showing his pro-marijuana stance once again, with that statement. Drum is trying to convey that the cost of the war on marijuana is simply not worth the gains, if any that are made from marijuana’s prohibition. On the other hand, Tedeschi comes to no definitive conclusion as to whether or not she is pro-marijuana in her piece. The only thing Tedeschi is interested in proving is that you can use the drug trade, or any other controversial issue, as a tool to teach economic principal. This is evident from a statement Tedeschi makes in...

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