Monday, October 12, 2015

A Situation of Legalization

The legalization of marijuana would be beneficial to Americans nationwide. These benefits extend to tax deductions and extensive medical uses. The fact that it is illegal is baffling due to there being no deaths from over dosage compared to the 2.5 million deaths a year caused by alcohol. Also, it is proven to have less harmful side effects than tobacco and alcohol, which unlike marijuana are highly addictive. 

By legalizing it, the 7.7 million dollars in tax payer money that previously went towards enforcing marijuana laws and prohibition could go to a more urgent cause. This includes food stamps and tax deductions. In addition to the 7.7 million, a tax would most likely be placed on purchasing marijuana in legal dispensaries, which would add up to around 6.2 billion annually if taxed liked tobacco. Since dispensaries would be open, people would refrain from illegally purchasing it, and therefore it would become unprofitable for the people who were previously selling it. As a result, the substance would be taken off the street, making it hard for kids to purchase it. 

In addition to tax deductions, marijuana has been proven to alleviate a lot of medical ailments. The largest being cancer. The effects of chemotherapy can be debilitating, due to the various side-effects such as vomiting and nausea. Marijuana greatly reduces these effects, making it possible for the people suffering from this disease to lead as normal of a life as possible. Recent studies even show that the THC found in cannabis can assist in terminating the cancer. These studies show that cannabis can play a role in slowing the growth of cancerous cells, and even killing some of these cells. By allowing patients suffering from cancer to use cannabis, their quality of life will improve significantly.

The medical uses of cannabis also helps with a variety of other diseases and disorders. Some of these include epilepsy, anxiety, Alzheimer's, PTSD and many more. The drug that is currently used to help control epileptic seizures has many side effects, including nausea and headaches. By allowing these patients to use cannabis, seizures can be prevented with a lessened amount of side effects. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses, affecting 18.1% of people above 18 years old, and most of these people have more than one disorder linked to anxiety. A very low dosage of marijuana would be required to reduce anxiety and heighten the users mood, so it wouldn't have a prominent long term effect. In places where medial marijuana is legal, such as New Mexico, PTSD is the number one reason people are able to get a license. This is due to the fact that marijuana plays a part in assisting the veterans and victims of horrible crimes with this disorder. This particular disorder doesn't have many drugs to help it and cannot be cured. Currently psychotherapy is the primary treatment, but this is expensive and not everyone can afford it. Overall, the low cost of marijuana combined with its medical benefits assists people with debilitating medical problems, making a strong argument for its legalization.

Read about more medical benefits here:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Copy Cat Infamy

Last week, 26 year old, Harper Mercer shot 9 people and injured several more at a community college in Oregon. The killer walked into school armed with several guns and ammunition, then proceeded to shoot people who said they were Christian. Mercer eventually met his fate in a shootout with the police. After investigating into Mercer's personal life, a blog he had written was discovered and it said that he longed for "the attention given to Vester Lee Flanagan after he shot a television reporter and cameraman". This shows that the sole reason for this shooting was for the couple days of fame where everyone would know his name.

        I believe that the shooters name should never be broadcasted to the public. I feel as though this will prevent more tragedies like this one from occurring. By showing the killers name and allowing them to become famous for it, the media could possibly cause another person to commit a horrible act to achieve the same fame. In addition, by showing Mercers name, his family will be alienated in their small community, as they were outed for owning guns and raising a killer. In the future, the perpetrator in devastating events should solely be identified by their first name or as "the killer". 

       Rather than talking about the killer and the horrible act they committed, I feel as though the heroes, victims, and survivors lives should be highlighted. For example; An army veteran named Chris Mintz charged at the shooter in an attempt to protect other students. As a result he was shot 7 times and has recently gone into surgery. An 18 year old victim named Anastasia, also had an incredibly brave story. After being shot in th back by Mercer she proceeded to play dead even after the shooter called out to her. This shows incredible bravery and intelligence, as she was able to remain calm during an awful situation and save herself from becoming a victim.  

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Media Malpractice

On August 1st, Blackhawks star, Patrick Kane, invited two women along with one other male friend to his house for a party. One of the women claimed that Kane followed her into a room and raped her. shortly after this alleged attack took place the women left kanes house and she had a rape kit performed on her at a nearby hospital. The way this was reported harmed the victim as well as the case. 

When this case was reported, the alleged victim's name was used. As a result "victim bashing" occurred. Victim bashing occurs when the public and or media challenges the integrity of the victim by questioning the authenticity of their accusations. Some believe that the victim purposely put herself In a precarious position on a premeditation basis with the intention of obtaining financial gain. This is at a very escalated scale for this women due to Patrick Kane's fame. This bad reporting has compromised the safety of the women and even the case. 

The rape kit that was performed on the women was anonymously delivered to her mother's house ripped and opened. Because of this the results of the rape kit were deemed contaminated and therefore unusable as evidence against Kane. I believe that the reason for this is because of how much attention the case got. Many people worked on this case as it included a famous person and this increased the risk of tampering and contamination. One of the police or medical examiners must have purposely did this to the rape kit either to make sure Kane wasn't convicted or to hide evidence that could have gotten him convicted.

These events lead me to believe that in crimes involving celebrities, reporting should be minimal and the victim's name should not be released.