Thursday, May 1, 2014

Final Writing Assignment #1

What was the assignment?
This assignment was the first editorial of journalism class. It was especially important because we submitted it to the New York Times.
Why did you choose this piece over the others we have done?
I choose this piece because it was the most I have ever tried on a solidary piece, and it is well written.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the piece?
The strengths of the piece are good vocabulary and research, the weakness is that I need to state my opinion earlier since it's an editorial.

Should Cannabis be Legal?
                                                             By BEN MACMILLAN

  In recent years a new hot button issue has risen through the ranks and is now becoming a very prominent discussion topic. Not only in America, but across the globe, policymakers and government officials are mulling over the aspects of legalizing cannabis. Should cannabis be legal for medical patients? How about legalized for recreational use? Can it boost the economy? Many different opinions and facts are being brought up on this argument, and I hope to clear up some misconceptions commonly thrown into the discussions and prove that cannabis should be legal, even if only for medicinal reasons.
          Recently I was reading an article by Michael Gonchar from the New York Times about the discussion on legalizing marijuana; the interesting part I found myself intrigued in was the comment section of the article. There were many misconceptions I spotted. It seemed that there was a lot of confusion about how marijuana whether medical or recreational would affect the economy. I would first like to start off by saying; yes marijuana is being taxed by the state governments who have legalized it for medicinal and recreational purposes. In a statement released from the Colorado Department of Revenue, it says that marijuana is being taxed at a rate of 25%, this is sales tax and state taxes combined. In another article released by the CDR Colorado alone raked in two million dollars in sales tax, on recreational marijuana alone.
Another misconception is that marijuana is bad for you, I will not try and argue that there are no bad effects that come from smoking it, but do remember it is less harmful then cigarettes and alcohol of which both are legal. "You can die binge-drinking five minutes after you've been exposed to alcohol. That isn't going to happen with marijuana," said Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
If slowly killing your liver by consuming alcohol or giving yourself lung cancer is legal, why can’t smoking a joint to ease the stress of a long day, or even smoking a bowl to help an insomniac sleep be legal. On the contrary of friends I discuss this topic with, I do accept the fact that cannabis can and may only be legalized on the medical scale, and I believe that is a righteous and good hearted path for the substance. If we can prove that it can save people pain and hassle in their lives, and that it can really be a helpful tactic finding ways to ease people lives: why not.
In the end I am hoping that the facts are brought into consideration more than people’s opinions. If the companies or government can find a way to test the effects of marijuana we can see if it would be worth legalizing, but the problem is with all the anti-cannabis protesters spreading falsities and their own personal opinion instead of facts which confuse the majority of the population. Open your own eyes and see or experience for yourself instead of taking all your facts from a secondary source that may have political or personal obligations and objections against a certain topic.


  1. I agree with all your opinions, especially on the tax facts. It seems like you did a lot of work/research for this piece and that you're very enthusiastic about the topic. Very well done Ben.

  2. This is a very good piece and enjoyed reading it. Your opinion was strong through out but it was also informative and you didn't come out and attack people you just used facts to support your side of the argument. A masterwork

  3. I really like this I just want to keep reading it and I wish there was more good job Ben well done

  4. Really well written. Good job