Analysis Of George Bierson's Marijuana, The Deceptive Drug

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In 2000, George Bierson’s "Marijuana, the Deceptive Drug", was published by the Massachusetts News. Bierson concludes that marijuana is harmful in many ways, including brain damage, damage to the reproductive system, and weakening of the immune system. He also attempts to convince the reader that marijuana is a "gateway drug" that leads the users to venture into much harder drugs. I believe that research to support anything can be found if one is looking hard enough, but that the fallacy of
Bierson’s conclusion is due to his research seeking facts to support an already-assumed conclusion. Based on my research and my own personal experience, I have found that several of his points, when looked at logically, do not reach his conclusion.
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If we stop the marijuana, we will stop the rest of drug abuse". I have several issues with this statement: first, the simple fact that many heroin and cocaine users used marijuana first does not conclude that the latter is the result of the first. Correlation is not causality. Bierson’s vehement argument against marijuana alone become suspect, as most of these heroin and cocaine abusers had also previously used alcohol and tobacco. According to government surveys, a conservative estimate of 80 million American have tried marijuana in their life, and 20 million admit to using it recently; if marijuana were truly a gateway drug, we would see a higher percentage of regular users. Instead we are seeing an even smaller percentage of abusers of cocaine or heroin. In fact, most people who use marijuana most often quit on their own before the age of 34. If anybody is still compelled to buy into the
"gateway" theory, a real-life example is available for all to see: In Holland, marijuana has been partially decriminalized since the 1970's. Reports show that the use of cocaine and heroin has significantly decreased, thus contradicting the hypothesis of marijuana as
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Streeter 3
While I do feel that Bierson has failed to present conclusive evidence of the harmfulness of marijuana through the points made, it is not a proper statement to claim that marijuana is "harmless" either. Even though the properties of marijuana have shown not to be physically addictive, one can become psychologically addicted. However, this is true of just about anything that can give one pleasure, such as chocolate, gambling, or shopping. No substance will be safe for everybody, under all circumstances, or when used in excessive amounts. For example, over-the-counter medications can be deadly for those who are allergic or who overdose. On the other hand, marijuana overdose has never been a sole reported cause of death: the amount of cannabinoids required to have a lethal effect are more than 40,000 times the necessary dosage for intoxication, making it highly unlikely that a person would be able to or could be able to achieve such a concentrated amount in their bloodstream. This is a severe contrast to alcohol, where one can very easily bring about one's demise, and at only a mere four times the legal

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