One Green or the Other – And It Might Be a Medicine Too: A Rhetorical Analysis

One Green or the Other – And It Might Be a Medicine Too: A Rhetorical Analysis

A Story by Bryant James

Rhetorical Analysis on a position paper of Marijuana Legalization.


One Green or the Other " And It Might Be a Medicine Too:

A Rhetorical Analysis of “A Medical Crusade”

                Sometimes stating the facts just is not enough and this is especially true in “A Medical Crusade”; which was written for Mr. Nero’s English class last year to inform of the current legal stance of marijuana and valid reasons to be legalized, taxed, and regulated. The writer uses facts and financial figures to develop their essay, while using quotes to reassure these claims. The writer seems to remain altogether neutral on the legal position of marijuana, but does not ultimately establish his voice in this paper. While not relating on a personal level whatsoever, this paper hopes to inform that “legalizing marijuana would and increase in adolescence users, and fear the negative health effects, others believe that marijuana is a medicine that hold the key to our country’s financial stability” " which is a long shot because the basic grammar errors and bad sentence structure make it really hard to read.

                Fear is a reoccurring emotion the author entices; the fear of leading to harder drugs, the fear of bad health, and the fear of your children having easier access. The paper states that “marijuana is considered a “gateway drug”, meaning that it can lead to the use [of] other, more harmful drugs”, and “smoking marijuana can be associated with some negative health effects like lung problems, chronic cough and it increases your risks of lung infections”(note the grammatical errors). Immediately the audience is meant to fear for their health, while wondering if using marijuana as a medicine could leave them with a craving much harder drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. It further advises that the use of marijuana as a drug may have an effect on the heart, such as slowing or speeding up the heart rate. As if fearing for our health wasn’t enough, the author also leaves the audience worrying that legalizing marijuana would cause growers and drug dealers to sell the drug at a cheaper price, making it readily available to children. It may be inevitable, but this paper echoes the fear of legalization.

                Although the author truly never expresses their personal stance on the matter, they do provide a valid collection of references and articles to encourage the audience’s trust. Financial figures, health studies, political issues, and DEA policies are all referenced to imply a general knowledge of the issue. The writer also states “even members of the marijuana community in northern California are not for legalization because they fear (again with the fear) that legalization will lower the prices and cause economic hurt in some areas”, and by doing so, relates to the wide variety of voters who oppose this idea. Although the author stated the financial gain possible from taxation, no references were made as to the positive effects of the medicinal use of marijuana; which would have strengthened the paper altogether.

                As they help to establish good character, these references and articles also help to provide logical reason to the argument; which only goes so far when you exclude relevant medical information. The author targets everyone with his reasoning - the grower, the distributor, the doctor, the parent, and even the businessmen. Here we see the use of bandwagon, as the paper states “following California’s example fourteen states have now decimalized”.  The main strategy for appealing to a sensible decision is to put a financial value on the issue at hand. By telling the audience that “legalizing marijuana could save $7.7 billion per year in government spending on the enforcement of prohibition” and “legalization could give the United States tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually” the writer needs not even mention the actual medical benefits of marijuana.

                I cannot help but wonder why such strong financial incentives must be offered in this essay if the rationalization for legalization is a medicine that our country needs. While the author does seem to have his facts down, he would achieve greater approval if his argument was based around medical benefits. As the paper states “medical patients strongly believe that given the opportunity marijuana could be legalized taxed and regulated by the government to bring substantial amounts of revenue annually”, but between the grammatical errors and the large financial figure, I think medical patients were the only demographic not targeted.

Bryant James

Baton Rouge


© 2011 Bryant James

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Added on March 7, 2011
Last Updated on March 7, 2011
Tags: Rhetorical Analysis, Marijuana, Legalization, Medical, Bryant, James


Bryant James
Bryant James

Baton Rouge, LA

Undergraduate Student. Late Bloomer. Journalism. Life. Expression. more..