An Analysis Of Legalize It By George Biernson's Article

774 Words 4 Pages
In her essay, “Legalize It”, Lynn Streeter attempts to refute George Biernson’s claim that marijuana is a harmful drug, which is made in his article “Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug.” Streeter focuses her essay on two of Biernson’s pieces of evidence, which are marijuana’s damage to the body and its use as a ‘gateway drug’, a drug potentially capable of causing the user to use harder drugs. Her claim can certainly be made and supported, however, her use of ethical appeals and the arrival to her conclusions based on inductive reasoning invalidate her argument. Throughout her essay, Streeter relies heavily on her opinion to back up the sources she uses to contest those of Biernson’s. In her thesis she states, “Based on my own research and my own …show more content…
She introduces herself to the reader as someone as someone who has the authority and experience to authenticate research related to marijuana. Streeter fails to state the credentials that would prove her authority. Without these credentials, the research she has conducted and her personal experiences are unreliable sources to use against Biernson. In spite of not presenting her credentials, Streeter continues to use her self-proclaimed authority to approve of other studies, surveys, and statements and put down Biernson’s claims. She does so in the second body paragraph in which she says, “I find this to be quite more compelling than an outdated and poorly executed test” (1). In this statement, Streeter is referring to an experiment, cited by Biernson, run by Dr. Robert Heath of Tulane University in 1974 to study the effects of marijuana on the brains of monkeys. She is …show more content…
This is most obvious in her second body paragraph in which she refers to surveys, statistics, and real-life examples without properly documenting them. For example, she mentions surveys conducted by the government that estimates 80 million Americans have tried marijuana, and that 20 million admit to using it recently (2). She uses these surveys to counter Biernson’s claim that marijuana is a gateway drug. Without having properly cited the surveys, the reader can only infer which government conducted the surveys, when the surveys were conducted, and can question the conclusion reached by Streeter. She does the same thing again when she gives the statistic that, “…most people who use marijuana most often quit on their own before the age of 34” (2). She uses this statistic to support her conclusion that the smaller percentage of abusers of cocaine or heroin is due to marijuana users’ ability to stop at the age of 34. The reader is left to search where this statistic came from since Streeter does not provide a proper citation. Without proper citations or a works cited page the reader can accuse Streeter of

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