In the article Marijuana devastated Colorado, Jeff Hunt shares his reasons for not allowing Marijuana to be legalized nationally. He uses Colorado as a reference because Marijuana has been legalized in that state. The Marijuana Justice Act is the first action, taken by Senator Cory Booker, to legalize marijuana across the nation and Jeff provided extensive facts that negates the expectations Senator Booker had planned. He states that in Colorado the number of “traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits” have increased since marijuana was legalized. The fact that marijuana has only contributed “1.18%” of the state’s total tax revenue is another factor that supports Jeff’s claim to not nationally legalize marijuana. Senator Booker also stated that his goal for legalizing marijuana is to decrease the incarceration rates of individuals in low-income communities, and for minorities in those communities. Jeff combats this clam with a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Safety that claims the percentage of black and Latino youth who have been arrested for marijuana possession has “increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization”. The performance of college students who have access to cannabis showed to have a negative impact on their grades and fail classes at a higher rate. Jeff concludes his article with a request for Senator Booker to not legalize marijuana nationally and for him to reflect on his reasons before making a decision that could ultimately be catastrophic for future generations.
My opinion on the issue discussed in the article Marijuana devastated Colorado is that I understand the concerns that Jeff has to prohibit the national legalization of marijuana, however the article demonstrated a powerful negative narrative on marijuana that seemed to not be geared towards me as the reader. The article demonstrated important events about marijuana that circumscribe individuals in my community on a daily basis and the facts used made me more curious on the issues mentioned in Colorado. It made me want to find more information about the legalization of marijuana to see what my future community will look life for years to come. I feel that the reading was relatively easy to follow, because it was concise and went straight to the point. The constant use of facts that influenced students and the youth is a cliche method used by politicians to make a point in change that must be made in a community. While effective, the constant use of statistics made towards children distracts me from the points that Jeff was trying to make about prohibiting the legalization of marijuana. The overall message of marijuana does not interest me because I do not use it, however the impact that it has had on my community is what sparks my interest and this article has given me more to consider. I would recommend this article to anyone who is ignorant to the effects that marijuana has had on our communities.
As I moved through the reading I paused after each paragraph and thought about the people around me who could be affected by the events that are taking place in Colorado. This method of thinking guided me in my answers for the second passage. My friends who do use marijuana were the first people who I thought about because those are the people who I see use it the most. My family were the second people who I thought about, because the article highlighted decisions that were being made for people in their community. An example is how Senator Booker wanted to decrease the incarceration rates in minority communities, which is an area where my family live.For the first passage I picked interesting points made by the author that I felt were influential in my life and that sparked a chain of questions in my mind. If a portion of the article can make me pause and critically think, then it deserves to be mentioned in a summary. The facts throughout the article were key points that stood out to me as I read, because they are facts made by people who took the time to calculate the numbers necessary to further understand the situation. The article was insightful and allowed me to obtain a greater understanding of laws being contemplated towards marijuana.