Anti and Pro Legalization of Marijuana Ads

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Josh Shelton
Audrey Peters
Composition I
31 March 2011

Research Paper

Legalizing marijuana is an issue that has been thrown around in the United States for many of years. Marijuana has many names, such as weed, ganja, hemp, cannabis, Mary Jane, and grass. Marijuana is widely used in the United States and over one hundred million people have admitted to smoking marijuana. Yet, the drug is considered a schedule one drug and is illegal according to federal laws. Some people believe that marijuana should be legal for medical uses. Others think the drug should never be made legal and the idea should never be brought up. Many researches have been made to indicate that marijuana can be used for medical purposes. The drug was first made illegal in the United States during the 1930’s. However, many states such as California, Oregon, and North Dakota have been decriminalizing marijuana and even legalizing marijuana for medical purposes only. Decriminalizing marijuana would mean that small amounts of marijuana, anything under seven grams, would be considered legal. Possession and use of the drug is still punishable by federal laws but in these certain states the state drug laws are taken less serious. Pros and cons of marijuana

are thrown around every day, whether marijuana should be legal is up to the United States government.
The first ad is by the Rigo Design Studio. The ad has James Franco, a famous actor from the Spiderman trill logy, pretending to hit a marijuana joint. The purpose of the ad is to show people that marijuana did not ruin Franco’s career and the overall goal is to get marijuana legalized. The ad says that legalizing marijuana would help the economy and that jails would not be as crowded. In 2009 the government arrested over eight hundred thousand people for marijuana related crimes. ( People have estimated ten billion dollars of tax payers’ money is used to jail these marijuana users and to enforce marijuana prohibition. ( The ad uses a movie star to glorify marijuana and to basically say James Franco is smoking marijuana why not everyone else. This ad is not as effective as the ad could have been because the ad is telling kids if they smoke marijuana then they could become famous. Also, Franco does a lot more than just acting, such as writing short stories, poems, painting, and art shows on both coasts, this shows that he does not have much time for smoking marijuana. ( Overall, the ad gives good information about the advantages of legalizing marijuana, but is not that effective because the ad does not tell people how hard Franco worked to become a famous actor. The second ad is by NORML.ORG and has a picture of President Obama that covers most of the advertisement. The ad has a green tint that appeals to marijuana users. The overall purpose of the ad is to get marijuana legalize. The ad uses Obamas’

catchy line Yes we can with nabis at the end making the can into cannabis, which is another name for marijuana. NORML had no reason to put President Obama on the ad because Obama’s drug policies never suggested that he would legalize marijuana. However, in a speech given in 2004 President Obama stated, “I think the war on drugs has been a failure, and I think we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws.” He also said that he does not believe in the legalization of marijuana. After the video of the speech was released the Obama campaign made a complete U-turn and stated that he does not support eliminating penalties for possession and use of marijuana. ( The main reason people thought he would legalize or decriminalize marijuana is because of the simple fact that he is black and had admitted to smoking marijuana as a kid. Overall, this ad does not do an outstanding job in promoting marijuana because the only people the ad appeals to are the people that already use marijuana. The third advertisement, also by, has the text Honk...
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