A. Perhaps, begin with factual story of the 19 year old mother who was arrested in June 2012 for placing her infant in her car seat on top of her car and driving because she was high on Marijuana. Thankfully, the child was not physically injured; however, the mother was put in jail and she lost her child to CPS.
B. THESIS Example: Marijuana is a very dangerous and addictive substance; despite assurances from varied sources, Marijuana impairs memory, affects psychotransmitters and destroys lives.
II. Body Paragraph 1: In an Argumentative Essay, the first Body Paragraph must acknowledge the other side of your argument—so that you/the writer can debunk and rebut these arguments
in the rest of your essay.
A. Three reasons to acknowledge the opposite side of the argument: Marijuana has been shown to help the elderly who suffer from Glaucoma; Marijuana has been shown to lessen the harsh impacts and pain of Chemotherapy; Marijuana has been proven to assist people with chronic pain.
TRANSITION TO ARGUMENT: While many people believe that Marijuana is non-addictive, recreational and not a “gateway” drug, nevertheless, studies have shown otherwise.
III. Body Paragraph 2: Your second Body Paragraph should present myriad and numerous researched FACTS to substantiate or prove your argument:
A. 60 Cannabinoids which are psychoactive compounds are present in Marijuana. B. The main chemical in Marijuana is THC; in the brain, THC binds with cannabinoid neural receptors which control memory, thought, sensory/pleasure, perception and concentration. C. THC also affects the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Seratonin levels and GABA levels (which are linked to insomnia and stress). D. In some individuals, Marijuana can produce anxiety, panic and even paranoia. E. Marijuana reduces physical coordination in tests with non-smoking subjects.
IV. Body Paragraph 3: Your third Body Paragraph should persuade your readers/audience over to your side of the argument; BP 3 should also counteract/undermine the opposite arguments from BP1.
A. Marijuana addicts often turn to crime to support their drug habit, especially when one considers the fact that Marijuana costs $100 or more per ounce of the drug. B. Marijuana users often feel less inhibited because of the effects of THC on the pleasure/sensory sections of our brains. Sometimes, violence or harm is caused because the Marijuana user was less rational and reasonable than in his/her usual unaltered state. C. THC is far more powerful now than it was in the 1960’s-early 1980’s. Currently, Marijuana is 40 times more powerful and addictive. Bioengineering botanists have deliberately increased the effects of THC to provide more pleasure; therefore, the drug is far more addictive. D. Marijuana adversely affects the user’s lungs and breathing, and smoking Marijuana can be dangerous—even fatal—to an individual who is an undiagnosed Asthmatic. E. Marijuana can be “laced” (old term: “dusted”) with other drugs, like: “Angel Dust” (Crystal Meth), Cocaine, Crank, LSD/Acid, Heroin, etc. F. “Blunt Wrap” (or papers) is constructed from promethazine, a chemical substance which is a strong sedative, can antagonize seizures, and has been used as an anti-psychotic medicine in the past. G. Surprise required urine tests can cause the user to be fired from her/his job; THC stays in the system for weeks after use. H. Scientists and Physicians suggest that in individuals pre-disposed to mental illness, Marijuana users face a higher risk of developing the illness fully, especially in cases of Schizophrenia.
V. The Conclusion: The conclusion should (1) sum up your most effective and persuasive points (2) perhaps, include anecdotal/true story of personal experience WITHOUT digressing from the topic (3) re-state your Thesis Statement in a fresh and innovative way (4) And, since the last sentence is your final comment to your reader—it must be powerful and persuasive!
Recent News Item written by Suzette Laboy of the Associated Press entitled
“Tests Find Only Marijuana in Face-Chewer’s System” on June 27, 2012:
MIAMI (AP) — “Lab tests detected only marijuana in the system of a Florida man shot while chewing on another man’s face, the medical examiner said Wednesday, ruling out other street drugs including the components typically found in the stimulants known as “bath salts.”
There has been much speculation about what drugs, if any, would lead to the bizarre behavior that authorities said Rudy Eugene exhibited before and during the gruesome attack that left the other man horribly disfigured. A Miami police union official had suggested that Eugene, who was shot and killed by an officer, was probably under the influence of bath salts.
The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said in a news release that the toxicology detected marijuana, but it didn’t find any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs. Eugene also tested negative for adulterants commonly mixed with street drugs.
The department ruled out the most common components found in so-called bath salts, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine and have been associated with bizarre crimes in recent months. An outside forensic toxicology lab, which took a second look at the results, also confirmed the absence of bath salts, synthetic marijuana and LSD.
An expert on toxicology testing said that marijuana alone wasn’t likely to cause behavior as strange as Eugene’s.
An addiction expert said she wouldn’t rule out marijuana causing the agitation. “It could have been the strain of marijuana that increases the dopamine in the brain, such as sativa,” said Dr. Patricia Junquera, assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. There are two strains of marijuana called sativa and indica. The sativa increases dopamine and gives you energy while decreasing pain threshold. Indica is a “sleepy high,” she explained.
“People don’t really know what the amount of either is in each little packet of marijuana,” she explained. “And we can’t differentiate between the two in the blood, much less in a dead person.”
She also suggested that if Eugene had a mental disorder, “the marijuana could have increased even further the dopamine levels and aggravated the situation. So that can’t be ruled out.”
It’s not clear what led to the May 26 attack on Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man who remains hospitalized. Eugene’s friends and family have said he was religious, not violent and that he didn’t drink or do drugs harder than marijuana.”