# Analyzing Reasoning on both sides

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## Analyzing Reasoning on Both Sides

This final writing assignment allows you to present an analysis of the best reasoning on each side of your issue. In the process, you will get to demonstrate some of the key skills you have learned during this course. In particular, you will demonstrate the ability to create high-quality arguments on both sides of an issue, to support your reasoning with scholarly sources, and to provide a fair analysis of the strength of the reasoning on each side. For an example of how to complete this paper, take a look at the paper.

Your paper must include the following sections, clearly labeled:

• Introduction
• Introduce readers to your topic; include a brief preview of what you will accomplish in this paper. (approximately 150 words)
• First Argument
• Present the best argument on one side of the issue. (approximately 150 words)
• Express your argument in standard form, with the premises listed one by one above the conclusion.
• Defense for First Argument
• Support the first argument as well as you can, using academic sources to demonstrate the truth of key premises. You may also choose to clarify the meaning of key premises and to explain how your reasoning supports the conclusion (approximately 250 words).
• Opposing Argument
• Present the best argument on the other side of the issue (approximately 150 words).
• Express your argument in standard form.
• Defense of Opposing Argument
• Support the opposing argument as well as you can, using academic sources to demonstrate the truth of key premises. You are welcome as well to clarify the meaning of premises and/or to explain the reasoning further (approximately 250 words).
• Analysis of the Reasoning (approximately 350 words)
• Evaluate the quality of each argument, addressing whether key premises are true and whether the conclusion logically follows from them.
• Analyze arguments for any fallacies committed or for any biases that may influence either side. Do you feel that one argument makes a much stronger case than the other and why? (There is no need to “take sides,” only to assess the quality of the arguments.)
• Support your analysis with scholarly sources.
• Conclusion (approximately 150 words)
• Provide a brief conclusion and summary of your issue and how it can best be addressed by critical thinkers.

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The Analyzing Reasoning on Both Sides paper

Running head: IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? Is Marijuana Use Safe? Dr. Christopher Foster PHI103 Informal Logic Ashford University Modeled example for the final paper assignment 1 IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 2 In recent years, many states have voted to legalize marijuana, both for medical and recreational uses, with other states possibly following suit in the future (Sanders, 2018). However, federal law still prohibits the use or sale of marijuana in the United States. With the recent decision by the Justice department to crack down on marijuana distribution in states with legalized marijuana (Johnson, 2018), the question returns of whether those federal laws have real medical science on their side, or whether they are relics of the politics of a bygone era (Ripley, 2017). This paper will begin to explore the specific question of whether marijuana use is harmful to health. It will present a strong argument that marijuana is relatively safe and a strong argument that it is unacceptably dangerous. This will be followed by an analysis of the merits of reasoning and support provided by each. Argument that Marijuana Use is Safe Premise 1: Many studies have been done on the safety of marijuana use, and pooling their data creates a large and reliable data set from which to determine the effects of marijuana usage (Grant, Gonzales, Carey, Natarajan, & Wolfson, 2003). Premise 2: Pooling the data from studies on the effects of marijuana usage shows no significant cognitive impairment in reaction time, attention, language, executive function, perceptual function, and motor skills in marijuana users (2003). Premise 3: Meta-data showed minor cognitive impairment from long term marijuana only in the areas of learning and memory, but these were minor and can be minimized (e.g., in a medical context) (2003). Premise 4: Marijuana has beneficial uses that outweigh its minor harms (Wetterau, 2015). IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 3 Premise 5: If a substance has beneficial uses that outweigh its harms then its use is acceptably safe. Conclusion: Marijuana use is acceptably safe. Support for the Argument that Marijuana is Safe A giant meta-study pooled data from many research studies of the effects of marijuana use and determined that marijuana use did not result in significant change in performance in six of eight cognitive areas (Grant et al., 2003). Because the study considered all relevant research studies and had a large data pool, these results can be considered reliable. Thus, there is substantial support for the first two premises of the argument. The two areas in which there was a decrease in function, learning and memory, showed relatively minor effects, which could be mitigated, for example, in medical contexts. For example, the declines were the result of long term and/or recent use of marijuana. Casual users or medical users may not experience even those minor declines in performance (Grant et al., 2003). There are many documented medical benefits from marijuana use, including for nausea, AIDS, chemotherapy, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, MS, and Huntington’s disease. The risks of harm from the use of a potentially addictive drug can be mitigated with proper precautions from a physician (Wetterau, 2015). The fifth premise is difficult to prove specifically because of different possible interpretations of what it means for something to be ‘acceptably’ safe. However, various academic articles support the idea that marijuana’s level of risk is within acceptable limits. Some argue, for example, that it is safer than alcohol and even some foods (Americans for Safe Access, IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 4 2018), so if those substances are considered safe enough to be legal, then perhaps marijuana should be too. Furthermore, one can weigh the harms of its use against the harms of its criminalization. One author, for example, reasons, “Given that marijuana's harms appear to be relatively small, though, advocates argue that, even if legalization leads to more pot use, it's worth the benefit of reducing incarceration and crippling violent drug cartels financed in part by revenue from illicit weed sales” (Lopez, 2018). Therefore, one can reason, its use is safe relative to the harms of its prohibition, and therefore that constitutes an acceptable level of risk. Argument that Marijuana Use is Unsafe Premise 1: Marijuana is an addictive substance (Volkow, Baler, Compton, & Weiss, 2014). Premise 2: Marijuana use causes long term negative effects on physical and mental health (Feeney & Kampman, 2016). Premise 3: Marijuana use causes elevated driving risks (Neavyn, Blohm, Babu, & Bird, 2014). Premise 4: Marijuana use among adolescents is correlated with lower academic achievement, job performance, and social functioning (Palamar et al., 2014). Premise 5: It is unsafe to use substances that are addictive and that have many negative effects. Conclusion: It is unsafe to use Marijuana. IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 5 Support for the Argument that Marijuana is Unsafe The first four premises of the argument are supported by studies indicating each of the effects in question. The degree to which these effects depend upon the quantity and duration of use, along with the age of the user and recentness of use is still an open question. However, the multiple studies cited do seem to support strongly the idea that the use of this substance can cause lasting harm. The fifth premise links the facts given in the first four premises to the language of the conclusion. It shows that any substance that has the properties demonstrated in the first premises will qualify as unsafe, thus demonstrating the truth of the conclusion. Furthermore, the fifth premise makes a substantial point that weighs against even medical uses of the product. Though the consequences of strictly medical uses may be relatively minor, if a product is addictive and has harmful consequences, then users are likely to continue to use it beyond its medicinal value, resulting in long term harms (Wetterau, 2015). The fact that there have been demonstrated risks associated with the use of marijuana indicates that researchers should caution against the legalization of the product, especially since its legalization could to lead to greater social acceptability and more widespread use, especially among teens. Seen in this light, these harms become quite significant and suggestion strong caution against the legalization and use of the substance. Analysis of the Reasoning on Both Sides As noted, both arguments have premises that are supported by substantial scholarly research. Both arguments additionally provide strong support for the truth of their conclusions. Each even includes a premise that links the factual claims made in the previous premises to the IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 6 specific judgment made by the conclusion, resulting in powerful support for the truth of each conclusion. However, their conclusions make opposite points, resulting in an apparent contradiction. There is a good question, therefore, of how to determine which of these conclusions is most likely to be true. There are several factors that can be used to explain this strong evidence for opposite conclusions. One is that authors, even authors of scholarly meta-studies, are frequently going to put more focus on studies whose results tend to support the conclusions that they personally support. Furthermore, each study will focus on factors that strengthen the case for its preferred side. For example, a scholar whose research supports the use of marijuana might focus on mitigating factors such as the fact that dosages can be carefully controlled in a medical setting. Researchers on the side of the opposition, on the other hand, may emphasize that addicted users are likely to use the substance in doses well beyond those recommended by physicians. Given the fact that even scholars can approach such issues from biased points of view, it is difficult to arrive at one and only one ‘objective fact’ about whether marijuana use is acceptably safe or unacceptably dangerous. However, study of scholarly sources on both sides of this issue allows critical thinkers to be more aware of the types of risks and benefits and to be able to weigh the concerns for and against the use of the substance as objectively as one can. Use of non-scholarly sources, by contrast, can lead one to partisan advocacy in which one is not as objectively aware of the substantive considerations on both sides of the question. Having studies both sides of this question, my own evaluation of the research indicates that long term marijuana use, or use at a young age, can have deleterious health consequences. However, use by adults in the limited context of medical application can have benefits that render the risks acceptable (Grant et al., 2003). Furthermore, in a medical setting, the use is IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 7 typically controlled, temporary, and supervised by a physician. Therefore, the level of risks in these contexts, especially when contrasted with those of many other legal prescription drugs, may fall within an acceptable range. Conclusion It is common for people to be wedded to a position and to seek evidence only to support their side. However, in pursuit of truth, critical thinkers make a point of understanding the best arguments on all sides of important questions. This allows them to be more informed and also more fair-minded, open to changing their views to whichever position most aligns with the best evidence. Having researched the topic of marijuana use, I have found strong support for contrasting positions. On the one hand, there appears to be strong evidence for some potential harms associated with long term use of the substance. On the other hand, when it comes to medical applications, which tend to be short term and in which there are real medical benefits, these risks may fall within acceptable limits. IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 8 References Americans for Safe Access (2018). Cannabis safety. Retrieved from http://www.safeaccessnow.org/cannabis_safety Feeney, K. E., & Kampman, K. M. (2016). Adverse effects of marijuana use. The Linacre Quarterly, 83(2), 174-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/00243639.2016.1175707 Grant, I., Gonzales, R., Carey, C. L., Natarajan, L., & Wolfson, T. (2003). Non-acute (residual) neurocognitive effects of cannabis use: A meta-analytic study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 9(5), 679-689. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617703950016 Lopez, G. (2018). Marijuana is a relatively safe drug—with some risks. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/cards/marijuana-legalization/health-effects-marijuana Neavyn, M. J., Blohm, E., Babu, K. M., & Bird, S. B. (2014). Medical marijuana and driving: A review. Journal of Medical Toxicology 10(3), 269-279. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13181014-0393-4 Palamar, J. J., Fenstermaker, M., Kamboukos, D., Ompad, D. C., Cleland, C. M., & Weitzman, M. (2014). Adverse psychosocial outcomes associated with drug use among US high school seniors: A comparison of alcohol and marijuana. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 40(6), 438-446. https://doi.org/10.3109/00952990.2014.943371 Ripley, E. (2017, December 20). Why is marijuana illegal? A look at the history of MJ in America. Retrieved from https://news.medicalmarijuanainc.com/the-road-to-prohibitionwhy-did-america-make-marijuana-illegal-in-the-first-place/ IS MARIJUANA USE SAFE? 9 Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. B. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370, 2219-2227. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1402309 Wetterau, N. (2015). Medical marijuana—Can we do no harm? Family Doctor: A Journal of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians, 3(3), 16-20. Retrieved from http://www.nysafp.org/News/Family-Doctor-A-Journal-for-the-NYSAFP

## Tutor Answer

Perfectsolutions
School: UIUC

find the attached completed paper. Please leave a good review. If you have another one please invite me to bid. Thanks

Running head: MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

Marijuana Legalization
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation

1

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

2

Marijuana Legalization
Introduction
Whether marijuana should be legalized or not has never been a clear issue but rather, it
has always been an issue surrounded by controversy as well as wide range of differing opinions.
Even though the United States classifies the drug as Class I controlled substance, which makes it
an illegal substance under the federal law, not everyone agrees with this status of the issue.
Various groups have brought forward their opinions backed by scientific, constitutional, medical
records and all sorts of evidence to try to convince the government why the drug should be
legalized. On the other hand, others have brought evidence in abundance to show the same
government how its decision of not allowing marijuana has benefited the country and why
nothing should be changed. This paper seeks to analyze the reasoning on both sides of the debate
surrounding use of marijuana in order to attempt concluding the side that has a stronger
argument.
Argument That Marijuana Should Remain Illegal
Premise 1: marijuana is exceptionally addictive to a subset of individuals, a condition that
is not exhibited in other legalized drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Overcoming this addiction
in the affected individuals is so hard to overcome (Mandelbaum & Suzanne, 2017).
Premise 2: marijuana deteriorates the user’s mental health as it causes a serious
annihilation of the IQ. Various studies have found that marijuana leads to abnormal structure of
the brain along with poor memory.
Premise 3: marijuana is bad for the physical health of its users whereby it may reduce
their life expectation substantially. Among the conditions that marijuana greatly increases the

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

3

chances of one suffering from include lung cancer, sterility and birth defects (Volkow et al.
2014).
Premise 3: marijuana is a burden that is so unnecessary. The country is already losing
enough lives a...

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