Coming Clean Essay
This paper is about two articles written by different authors pertaining to similar issue on why marijuana should be decriminalized in United States. The first article is written by Chris Selley on June 14, in the Canadian National Post. In his argument the author gives examples where of sates and countries that have either successfully or unsuccessfully decriminalized the drug. Also, the author also, agues that it would be wrong if legislators refused to pass the bill of decriminalizing marijuana in united states on the pretext of being conservative while disregarding the national interests. He further gives details on the various implications of passing the bill as well as the economic, legal and financial benefits to the country. The other author is Armentano who writes also about the issue of decriminalizing marijuana in United States. He also gives the benefits that individuals are affected by the bill will gain from it especially regarding to reduction of revenues used in fighting the vice as well as those involved in court cases.
After reading the Armentano and the Selley articles regarding legalization of marijuana in United States; I support Selleys’s points of argument pertaining to the implications that will result from passing of the bill on decriminalizing marijuana in United States. For instance Selley in his article clearly points out the benefits and economic advantages that will be derived if the current legislation regarding marijuana is amended to reduce the penalty for non violent drug offenses to fines. The author by stating that the bill was passed by 90-57 he ménages to put his point of argument into perceptive that it was indeed inevitable that the bill needed to be passed for the common good of the citizens of the state.
In addition to that, Selley also mentions about the near success to decriminalization of marijuana in Canada in the recent past serve to strengthen his point that even states outside United States saw the idea was worth trying and therefore United States is of no exception. The author criticizes the attempts by the conservative legislators to stop passing the legislation of decriminalization and instead impose mandatory sentences for small scale growers an action he terms as being ‘unnecessary and not conservative at all’.
Selley article is effectively written in that it argues the issues surrounding decriminalizing in a comprehensive manner( names individual e.g. conservative legislators, drug growers, citizens ,places e.g. Canada, and figures that contribute to the issue) such that the reader gets the fine detail why he thinks its necessary to decriminalize marijuana in United states. He goes further to state that given the fact that the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana had imposed no prison term or criminal record for first time possession of small amount for personal consumption, it implies that it had considered a jurisdiction regarding decriminalizing of marijuana.
Moreover, Selley article argues the issue very factually by giving a lot of information derived from research and survey. For example by giving details like 41% of US landmass being under decriminalized zone covering 35% of Americans suggests that his point of reference is proven scientifically and is not based on speculation . This is not true for the Armentano article whose content appears to be opinionated (based on personal thinking and feelings) and more of a personal statements rather than a scientific one which relies on research data like the Selley’s article to make point of decriminalizing across to its audience.
It’s also evident that the author of the Selley article is more interested in giving a chance to his readers to make their own judgments regarding the issue and he ménages to do so by providing adequate background and valid information on the issue coupled with his personal point of view .This strategy makes the reader to appreciate the fact, then consider the writers opinion before making a decision. Regarding the Armentano article, it heavily relies on other peoples opinions to put an argument through and this is not convincing as opinions from other people is subject to bias. For instance the Armentano says that public opinion strongly favors the reprioritization process of the law enforcement and this appears like the writer has no facts to back up his argument.
The author of Selley article is very effective in putting his point across when he gives detailed information on the possible monetary benefits that that the state will save when it decriminalizes marijuana. He gives figures and facts that tempt the reader to relate with such benefits. For example the writer puts down the monetary value that will be obtained from marijuana prohibition, taxation, law enforcement, increased fine and general revenues. To reinforce his factual evidence he also states that those opposed to decriminalization of marijuana i.e. cannabis paranoiacs and conservatives have not yet considered such possibilities thus implying that its fair for the reader if he appreciate his point of argument and this makes his writing very effective.
Finally, the Selleys article is very effective in that it considers the topic of interest i.e. decriminalizing marijuana in all aspects ranging from the economic benefits it gives the state, to other benefits like increased regulation and more effective control of the current menace through heavy and frequent taxation. This is contrary to the Armentano article which gives a narrow argument based on personal benefits that individual will get from decriminalization process and the reduced burden on the justice system, this narrow evaluation of the topic make the article ineffective in convincing the write to join in the writers cause. Considering the above analysis of the two arguments on decriminalization of marijuana I support the Selley arguments as it comprehensively tackles the subject matter in all possible perspectives.