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Lillian Ritz

Rhetorical situation:

Writer:​ Me, I live in the US and the legalization of marijuana will influence a lot more than just

the people who use it. This is a big topic now because in some states its legal and in others it’s

on its way to legalization.

The writer’s goal/argument:​ Persuade people to be more on board with the idea of legalizing

recreational marijuana at the federal level and get rid of the idea that marijuana is bad. Also, to

have people even vote in elections for people who will fight to make it legal.

The intended audience: ​US voters who disagree or are on the fence about legalizing


​Peripheral/secondary audiences: ​members of congress and people within the government

Extra background info + context: ​Marijuana is legal in some states (mostly the west coast)

there is a debate on whether marijuana should be legalized at the federal level.

Model Op-Ed: ​Rep. Tim Ryan: Marijuana should be legal in all 50 states

Venue:​ Federal Times

Marijuana: The Problem Solver for America

You could probably name at least 5 problems off the top of your head that are going on in

America right now (unemployment, education funding, overcrowded jails, etc.) and from the title

you’re probably wondering how marijuana could possibly solve those problems. Well, marijuana
itself might not be able to fight all these problems but the legalization of it can. For example,

marijuana itself won't solve the failing education system in America (I don't suggest giving weed

to children), ​but ​the legalization of it could bring more money into the education system. Weed

being legalized doesn't just affect the people who use it; it affects the government, businesses,

people who work in the medical field, researchers, farmers, and everyone in between. There’s a

reason​ ​62%​ of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana.

People are always complaining, whether it be about potholes in the road or the education

system failing, but with the legalization of marijuana comes along marijuana taxes, bringing

more money to the government, which they hopefully will use wisely.​ ​Colorado's​ marijuana tax

money goes towards education along with other important things. The money could also go

towards helping solve the opioid epidemic by setting up more ​supervised injection sites​.

Speaking of the opioid epidemic, a lot of people think marijuana will only lead to the use of

opioids, but ​studies​ have actually showed the opposite; marijuana can be used to ease opioid

withdrawal symptoms.

Juuling is also becoming a large concern for health especially because it's hitting teens the

hardest. Recently there has been a big concern about the ​deaths ​from juuling. Juuling is very

addictive because of the nicotine. People can also become​ ​addicted​ to marijuana, but it is not

nearly as severe as nicotine. Also, it is easier to stop a marijuana addiction than a nicotine

addiction. Some nicotine addicts use marijuana to help them quit.

Alcohol goes along with this issue. Alcohol is legal even though it has shown to be more harmful

and​ ​addictive​ than marijuana. Here is a whole article on marijuana vs. alcohol.

The Great Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana

The main point I want to make from this is that people don’t ​die from marijuana​ and so many

people die every year from alcohol and tobacco but yet they’re still legal when weed isn’t.

People really only die from weed when it's laced, and when marijuana is legalized, it’s

regulated— making it safer and people know what they're getting.

Marijuana itself even ​helps​ people and has ​health​ benefits. It can help people focus, relax, and

sleep. It can also relieve pain so people can use marijuana instead of strong painkillers that lead

to opioid addiction.

Something that I recently came across is that some ​runners​ actually use marijuana to help them

run long distances. As an athlete, I don't think anyone would want to use marijuana before

playing in a game anyways, but maybe for conditioning it could help. Weed can also help ease

pain for athletes. Currently marijuana is against the NCAA, but it is also against federal law so

perhaps when it becomes legal at the federal level rules will change with the NCAA.

Also, for safety reasons, legalizing marijuana would allow people to feel more comfortable

talking to a doctor about marijuana. The more legal it becomes the more informed doctors are

going to be and the more research will be done which in return will lead to making marijuana

safer. For example research was recently done on​ ​driving high​.

Marijuana legal or illegal, people will continue to use it, so might as well make it legal so people

don't get arrested for it because…

Lots of jails are overcrowded. Legalizing marijuana would get a lot of people out of jail making

more room. Also, people's lives won't be ruined for the possession of marijuana and the sooner

marijuana is legalized the sooner people can get their lives back. This would also save money
for prisons because they wouldn't have to house as many people. ​Studies​ have shown that

more time is spent on serious crimes when cannabis is legalized.

Unemployment is another big issue. The legalization of marijuana will create several new ​jobs

and businesses. People are needed to grow, research, and distribute it. For example, many jobs

were created​ ​in​ ​Colorado​, where weed is legal. Also, more businesses can be made, and the

economy will grow. Another huge pro to legalization is less people would lose their jobs for

possession of marijuana as well.

Obviously, there would be laws put in place if marijuana is legalized. Rules like, not being able

to buy over a certain amount at a time and no driving under the influence. In​ ​California​ it is

illegal to use it in any public place and you have to be 21 or older to buy or use it.

The reason marijuana needs to be legalized at the ​federal level ​is because even if it is legal in a

state dispensaries and growers can still get in trouble with the​ ​federal law​. Also, legalization at

the federal level would get rid of criminal records for past convictions.

Works cited

Awad, Ann Marie. “Where Does All The Marijuana Money Go? Colorado's Pot Taxes,

Explained.” ​Colorado Public Radio,​ Colorado Public Radio, 22 Oct. 2018,


Awad, Ann Marie. “Where Does All The Marijuana Money Go? Colorado's Pot Taxes,

Explained.” ​Colorado Public Radio,​ Colorado Public Radio, 22 Oct. 2018,


Doyle, Alison. “Check Out These Jobs in the Legal Marijuana Industry.” ​The Balance

Careers​, The Balance Careers, 23 May 2019,​.

Harrar, Sari. “Driving After Taking Any Form of Marijuana Is Unsafe.” ​AARP​, 3 Sept. 2019,​.

Ingraham, Christopher. “The Marijuana Industry Created More than 18,000 New Jobs in

Colorado Last Year.” ​The Washington Post,​ WP Company, 29 Apr. 2019,


Kelly, Erin. “Why More Athletes Are Turning to Weed.” ​Greatist,​ Greatist, 31 May 2019,​.

Steiner, Monica. “Medical Marijuana and Federal Law.” ​​,

Nolo, 17 Apr. 2013,