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Manigault Conflicting Viewpoints Essay

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Peter Elbow’s introduction to “The Believing Game” and “The Doubting Game” is undeniably the easiest way for anyone to acclimate themselves into the art and the concept of critical thinking. Some of us are already predisposed to unconsciously operate in some of the principles explained by Mr. Elbow and use it daily. While others of us had no idea critical thinking could be so fun, challenging, and rewarding. The Believing and The Doubting game are principles, mindsets if you will, the invoke one to think outside of the box. To step into a realm of possibility that one’s way of thinking may not be absolutely correct or incorrect. It forces an individual to think objectively and find ways to be discredit a particular belief or idea believed in and support a belief or idea that one doesn’t believe in or agree with. In The Believing Game, Peter Elbow presents to the reader all of the reasons why we should see things objectively. Mainly because an objective mind can make better decisions and an idea or belief is stronger when all possibilities have been exhausted.

In addition, The Doubting Game likewise, it strengthens one’s position when the idea or belief has been examined from every angle. Though I believe The Doubting Game is a little more difficult than The Believing Game, I believe both bring an aspect to critical thinking that incites great conversation and problem solving. This conflicting viewpoint essay will be written regarding the issue of medicinal marijuana and the legalization of the drug across the nation. I personally have no real attachment to marijuana in general however having used it recreationally and witnessed the actual effects of it on a close friend I believe it should be legalized for use in the medical field. I have not preference on whether or not it is legalized in the recreational sense however for the sake of this essay I will be an advocate for the legalization of recreational marijuana use also.

The strongest points that I believe make a case for the use of and legalization of marijuana are: 1. The evidence that suggest that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain for cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS patients. 2. Criminal prosecution of patients’ prescribed medicinal marijuana should be banned. Medical practitioners and their patients shouldn’t be penalized for medicinal use of the drug. 3. The evidence shows that marijuana is safe in its natural state and the effects are immediate for patients seeking real help. The strongest points that make a case against the use of and legalization of marijuana are: 1. “Marijuana is listed as a schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule” (US Food and Drug Administration, 2006), 2. Legalizing marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational use creates a bigger problem for those using it as a source of income thus making the possibility of harder more dangerous drugs manufactured and placed on the streets.

The plant contains hundreds of unknown components that have not met FDA standards of safety and efficacy. There are many great points to the “cons” of medicinal marijuana that help me in applying The Believing Game to my position. Marijuana being a highly restrictive drug is understood because studies have proven that marijuana is often times the first drug that people with substance abuse and addiction have started with and that the drug lead users to chase a high better than the one achieved with marijuana. Legalizing marijuana could in fact introduce harder drugs into our environment if the opportunity for drug dealers to make money off of the illegal sale of marijuana is removed. I also complete agree with the position that there are several different chemicals that have yet to be evaluated by the FDA and that there hasn’t been enough studies conducted to provide us with the adverse reactions to prolonged use of marijuana as a drug. The last position makes me ask the questions are there other ways the plant can be used that doesn’t involve smoking?

How can these properties be extracted without doing further or long term damage to the patient? Just as there are great points that oppose my belief in medicinal marijuana there are also fallacies and inconsistencies in my position and the points I’ve chosen that help me to implement The Doubting Game. While there have been known cases of medicinal marijuana there are also side effects of long term use of medicinal marijuana such as “impaired attention and decreased motor skills” (Collins, Underground Health Reporter). Criminal persecution of patients with medicinal marijuana may not need to be banned to prevent patients from abusing the privilege of obtaining a prescription. Thus deterring unnecessary and larger amounts purchased.

The problem with legalizing it is that like most other substances that are legal and prescribed by a physician, people often times get dependent and harm themselves. I do not believe there is a right or wrong answer to this question since both sides could be argued accurately with statistical data backing either claim. I do think there needs to be an honest look into what the many benefits are to real patients that are helped with the drug as well as the adverse reactions to prolonged use. We need to be more educated on the matter and look into studies that are objective regarding its use. Whatever one’s position I believe that marijuana, whether legal or recreational, will not be going away any time soon.


Collins, Underground Health Reporter. (2011). Holy Basil An Alternative to Medical Marijuana : Underground Health Reporter. Retrieved from http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/holy-basil-an-alternative-to-medical-marijuana-treatmen/#axzz3Gcc1UcJe Jerry S Mandel, PhD. (1998). Providing Medical Marijuana: The Importance of Cannabis. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Joycelyn Elders, MD. (2004). Myths About Medical Marijuana. Providence Journal. Kevin Sabet, PhD. (2011, October 21). California Medical Association’s Decision Not Based on Public Health. Huffington Post. Michael Bloomberg, MBA. (2013, May 31). The John Gambling Show With Mayor Mike [Radio]. Ralph Nader, LLB (2004, October 8). Drug War Chronicle.

US Food and Drug Administration. (2006, April 20). Inter-Agency Advisory. Retrieved from http://www.fda/gov

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