Marijuana is branded as an illegal drug. Its usage is prohibited in many nations of the world with the exception of Netherlands. However, it is surprising that quiet a lot of people still use it. Given the prevalence of usage and the cost of the drug, it is debatable as to whether the drug should be legalized or not. With regard to this issue, Stifler and colleagues carried out a study aimed at looking at the potential benefits of legalization of marijuana in Colorado as recommended by amendment 64. By addressing their argument to the general public, Stifler and colleagues leave the audience pondering over the pros and cons of amendment 64. Below is a discussion of their argument.
Summary of Theoretical Argument
The Orwell’s theoretical model for effective writing applies to this response. There are five main rules making up this argument. Careful observation of these rules leads to effective writing. The first rule has it that in writing, use of common metaphors, similes, or other figures of speech should be avoided. Secondly, long words should not be used in place of shorter words. This is because the longer words end up confusing the reader or making the writer to appear arrogant and bragging. On the other hand, shorter words are effective in producing precise, accurate, and clear arguments.
The third rule as per Orwell has it that there is no need to keep up with unnecessary words. As such, words that can be cut out should always be cut out. This rule sprouts from the fact that writing is all about producing great literature. With this in mind, words that do not add meaning to the writing only make it less powerful.
The fourth rule in Orwell’s rhetorical theory has it that active voice should be given priority over passive voice. The reasoning behind this lies in the fact that active writing is shorter and more meaningful. The last rule has it that it is not necessary to use a scientific word, foreign phrase, or jargon where a normal English word can be used.
Breaking any of these rules is the easiest thing. This is mainly because though the rules appear easy, they are quiet hard to follow. It is for this reason that this essay applies this rhetorical argument. The writing is based on the Toulmin method in analyzing arguments.
Summary of Bimodal Reading
Stifler (2) argues about the benefits that Amendment 64 would have on the economy of Colorado. The amendment proposes that marijuana should be legalized in the state. This argument comes in the wake of the fact that marijuana is illegal in many states not only in the US but also in the entire world. Therefore, it would be quite controversial to legalize it in Colorado.
Despite this challenge, Stifler (3) explains why such legalization would be necessary. It is possible that it could lead to greater revenues for the country. These revenues can be used in improving the economy of the country through funding of Building of Excellent Schools Today (BEST). This program would lead to the creation of about 372 new jobs in the towns and cities of Colorado. To add icing on the cake, 217 of these jobs would be generated in the construction industry. It is arguable that creation of such jobs would give the people better living standards besides increasing the revenues collected by the government.
There are various outcomes that can be realized from such an amendment, Stifler (3) indicates that there are intermediate outcomes which include non-price effects, changes in production and distribution costs, less criminal costs, and legalization of the move by medical users. Some of the factors or estimates that can be affected include criminal cost estimates, price elasticity and demand, new prices, as well as regulatory system and excise tax. Tax evasion will be reduced, thereby boosting the tax revenue. Total outcomes would be felt in marijuana consumption and there would be a positive net effect on the budget of Colorado.
Finally, Stifler (6) argues that legalization would reduce the costs spent by the government in correctional services. This is because there would be reduced apprehension of marijuana related cases. This would reduce the pressure that is felt in the correctional department. Such money would be channeled to other beneficial programs in the country as opposed to going into the correctional services. To further assert on the importance of legalization of marijuana, Stifler (8) argues that the act will not increase the number of people who use the drug. As a matter of fact, he argues that legalization would increase the production cost. As a result, the product could be unaffordable for teens, thereby reducing its consumption. Based on these arguments, Stifler argues that Amendment 64 would have a positive impact on the economy of Colorado.
Argument Based on Toulmin Method.
In line with Toulmin’s argument, Stifler satisfies the first requirement. There is a clear statement of the topic under investigation. From the onset, the reader understands that the discussion focuses on Amendment 64 and the legalization of marijuana. Stifler (2) states the thesis where it is clear to the reader that the argument centers on proving that legalization of marijuana would have a positive effect on the economy of Colorado. However, Stifler also understands that the position he takes is quite radical. This is mainly because marijuana is considered illegal in many countries. As such, he goes ahead to support his claims.
In a bid to support his argument, Stifler (3) starts off by giving evidence on the economic impact that legalization could have on the economy of the land. To do this, he uses monetary information and calculations. First of all, he indicates that after legalization, there would be $12 million instant savings. These would be accounted for by the reduction in violations of the laws placed against marijuana. This implies that the costs of upholding the law would be greatly reduced. This is a valid point. Furthermore, he indicates that through legalization, the government would get more revenue through taxes. The revenue can be used in improving services within the state. Based on this evidence, it is arguable that Stifler satisfies the provisions of Toulmin argument. He gives evidence for his argument.
Stifler (5) does not stop at that. Rather, he goes ahead to give to support his argument. He does this through calculations on how marijuana legalization would have a positive effect on the economy. He indicates that there would be creation of new jobs in the state. He specifically cites that 372 jobs would be generated. This is a valid argument that gives credibility to Stifler’s argument. What’s more, he indicates that there would be other benefits as well. For instance, there would be $24 million new taxes in revenue coming from excise taxes on the wholesalers, $8.7 million in new stale taxes, and $14.5 million in new local sales tax revenues. This is solid justification for the fact that the legalization would have a positive impact.
Various justifications are given for his argument. The direct budgetary costs are calculated to show how the amendment can bring about a difference. Furthermore, there is a clear statistical presentation of the number of people consuming marijuana at the present, and an estimation of the average costs per ounce. In Colorado, approximately 12.9% of adults consume about 3.5 ounces per annum on average. Stifler (7) indicates that this will not increase with legalization because the cost will be high. However, additional tax revenues in form of excise tax, state tax, and local sales tax will be increased.
In accordance to Toulmin’s argument, Stifler (6) goes ahead to justify his claims. He logically argues that the BEST program in the state is aimed at improving the lives of the people. However, more funds are needed to fund the program. However, this stalemate can be solved through exploration of other means of revenue generation. By any means, it is evident that amendment 64 offers this solution. It helps in to ways. First of all, it saves on cost since the government does not have to spend much on the correctional services. Secondly, it generates more revenue. As such, it would come in handy in bringing about a change in the state. As Stifler (13) indicates, legalization of marijuana would actually give the government an extra $52 million for use in development agenda.
Lastly, Stifler (4) gives the refuting arguments. He argues that some critics of the amendment have it that legalization would lead to more consumption usage of marijuana. Furthermore, there could be instances of abusing the drug, just like with many others. However, Stifler also offers a counter-argument to this claim. He has it that the drug would be regulated just like alcohol. It would not on sale for minors and neither would individuals be allowed to drive while under the effect of the drug. Effective regulation would help to solve this problem. Furthermore, Stifler (4) argues that marijuana has been legalized for medical services. This, therefore, implies that any arguments against its legalization are baseless.
Looking at the above analysis, it is arguable that Stifler’s argument qualifies as a rhetoric one, based on Toulmin’s theoretical perspective. This is due to a number of reasons. First of all, Stifler gives a thesis for her argument. Right from the onset, it is very clear to the reader that the argument is on amendment 64 which aims at making marijuana legal in the state of Colorado. Looking at this argument, it is evident that Stifler’s argument satisfies Toulmin’s requirements. As such, it qualifies as a rhetoric argument.
Stifler, Christopher. Amendment 64 would produce $60 million in new revenue and savings for Colorado. Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Aug. 12, 2012.