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Comparative Essay on Medical Marijuana to Inspire Your Writing

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6 pages, 6 sources

There are three things one can watch over three things: fire, water, and how people debate about using cannabis in medicine. Below you can find an extended medical marijuana essay example, in which the author compares the articles by supporters of each view. It might be quite helpful if you're preparing your own piece on cannabinoids. However, remember that this topic is still in the borderland of human perception. Writing even a short essay about medical marijuana, not to mention a research paper or thesis, can cause fierce discussions. In case you have doubts about your ability to put together a paper on such a controversial topic, let us help. Our experienced authors can compose a unique medical marijuana essay sample that considers all main viewpoints. Thus, it could be effectively used as a model to follow while you develop your own work, saving you hours of time and tons of effort.

Strict Regulation of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Pro et Contra

The debate about the regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries goes in constant tension between opposing parties. The vivid example here is made by Tristan Scott and Brian Doherty. The former argues that medical marijuana dispensaries need more regulation, while the latter states that excessive regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries is discriminatory. In his article, Tristan addresses the audience by establishing credibility, while Brian's approach is showing respect to his audience. The two weigh in the continuing discussion about the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Brian Doherty articulates his argument regarding the topic better than Scott due to his deep knowledge about the same.

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In his article, Tristan argues that medical marijuana laws should be reformed in a bid to counter issues such as preventing exploitation and fraud (Tristan, 2011). He rhetorically insisted on having a hard look at licensing medicinal marijuana. Through these reforms, there would be a realization of benefits such as improving accountability, developing systems that ensure that those who are allowed to purchase marijuana have medical proof, and also regulating the market growth of marijuana. In his article, he incorporates the opinions of Tom Dubert, who is the president of Patients and Families United and who was at the forefront of crafting the Medical Marijuana Act of 2004. He also reaches out to one attorney of Missoula County, Fred Van Valkenburg, as well as Alison Holcomb, a drug policy director, and Derek Deese, a caregiver.

Brian Doherty explores both sides of the argument in his article. He points out that marijuana is as much hated as it is loved. He borrows ideas from people who oppose it and demonstrates how they can be persuaded to embrace the use of marijuana for medical purposes. He interviews random people who support the use of marijuana and also involves Michael Larsen, who does not support it. His article uses up-to-date information and gives better insights into the matter since he used expert views to make his argument. His approach of respect to his audience makes it easier for him to acquire the trust of people who have experience in the use of marijuana, whom he interviews to gain more knowledge. This is what puts his article in a better spot than Scott, who does not show deep familiarity with the opposing side of the argument.

Scott argues that the Montana reforms would play a large in limiting the growth of the industry. The marijuana industry was bound to grow beyond control. This was since the Obama administration had pledged not to interfere with the marijuana market. As such, marijuana had become an item of trade, and the business was booming. The rate at which marijuana was being sold to people was worrying. This meant that there was a need to control it to remain within limits (Haerens & Zott, 2013). This would be done by regulating the number of patients a caregiver would sell marijuana to in a day. It was noted that the caregivers assumed that the laws allowed them to sell marijuana to an unlimited number of people. Thus, they became just like the other products retailers, which was not the initial intention of the Medical Marijuana Act.

Scott also reviews the requirements and responsibilities of licensed caregivers. Caregivers were to obtain licenses to make them recognized by the marijuana sellers. Their main responsibility was to help patients who could not be able to cultivate the plant without needing a hand (Illgen, 2013). The most vulnerable patients were the only ones allowed to have licensed caregivers. The caregivers, however, shifted from their initial responsibilities, which were exclusively saving those who rhetorically are at throes of death, and became a business model. Most of them took advantage of their licenses, and the clinics allowed them to purchase marijuana even without serious body complications. Also, many more people applied for the license, which indicated that the rules regarding caregiving were being taken lightly. This, therefore, called for more tough legislation.

The above two concerns were also raised by Doherty in his article, only that he weighed in both the positive and negative impacts of increasing the number of caregivers as well as limiting the growth of the industry. He based his judgment on the polls that people had participated in taking (Doherty, 2010). He noted that 81% of Americans supported the idea that people whose medical condition would be improved by taking marijuana should be allowed to access it. Likewise, in Los Angeles, through the Marijuana Policy Project, 77% of the population supported having the marijuana dispensaries regulated, and another 14% felt that they should be closed down altogether. The minority, however, was the noisiest as it consisted of highly ranked members of the society, such as police, lawyers affiliated to the government, and other political institutions. These people were very vocal in resisting the normalization of the weed. Doherty referred to some of the towns he toured as "aging but remaining distinct and dignified due to the marijuana trade" (Doherty, 2010). On the matter of caregiving, he raised a concern about caregivers ganging up with patients to obtain legal licenses for business-oriented intentions, other than the intended responsibilities (Chang & Jacobson, 2011).

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Despite the support for reforms on the regulations, Doherty evaluated how the regulations imposed discriminatory responses. He strongly believed that the regulations were discriminatory. He toured the Wild West of Weed, an alliteration kind of naming, to further his research. He observed that despite the state ballot that had been conducted in 1996, the city officials were still reluctant about treating marijuana like any other kind of medicine which acted as a pain reliever. The city council's attitude regarding medicinal marijuana portrayed it as a medicine and a menace at the same time. This can be supported by some of the regulations that were imposed on marijuana dispensaries. They had to be a distance away from each other in such a way that they do not impose competition. The regulations also demanded that patients were only allowed to pick their marijuana treatment strictly from one drugstore. Doherty went ahead to engage some activists and politicians on why the marijuana market needed to be regulated, but they could not provide objective answers. Most of those he interviewed were only afraid of the spillover effects of marijuana. He also noticed that the same city-county workers who viewed medicinal marijuana as disguised drug dealing could not publicly admit to being against the medical access of marijuana.

Doherty extended his research into the possibility of having marijuana fully legalized. This would be driven by some of the regulations that were to be enforced. Some dispensary operators argued that they operate their businesses for the right reasons. The medicalization of marijuana made it easier for people to access it. Through this argument, buying marijuana would not be considered as usual trade but a contribution to the collective. In this case, marijuana would be taxed, unlike the other pharmaceutical products. With such lenience executed, there would be high chances of legalizing and normalizing marijuana. In turn, Scott did not foresee the possibility of marijuana legalization had the reforms been enforced. He noted that the legalization would be impossible had stringent measures been affected.

Scott argues that there are ideas that can be borrowed from California's mistakes. This is one of the states that reinforced their systems on matters of issuing licenses to marijuana dispensaries and following up on their operations (Kyle, 2019). Derek Deese, whose name denotes alliteration rhetoric, insisted that many operators were only after profits and not fulfilling the government's intentions, making it difficult for the genuine operators. There were also several people who hid behind the licensed marijuana trade, performing what could rhetorically be described as covert drug dealing. This, therefore, meant that there was a need for more strict regulations. Doherty lays his research in Los Angeles and argues that the debate on full legalization for California should end should it be that Los Angeles has safe access to medicinal marijuana.

Throughout his article, Doherty remains objective of the regulations made by the medical marijuana market. This is shown in how he cites authoritative research results. He uses evidence to support his arguments and does not leave out any contrary views regarding the same. This makes his article more thought out and clear than his colleague, Scott.


  1. Chang, T., & Jacobson, M. (2011). Going to Pot: The Impact of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on Crime.
  2. Doherty, B. (2010). LA's Pot Revolution. Reason.
  3. Haerens, M., & Zott, L. (2013). Medical marijuana. Greenhaven Press.
  4. Ilgen, M. A., Bohnert, K., Kleinberg, F., Jannausch, M., Bohnert, A. S., Walton, M., & Blow, F. C. (2013). Characteristics of adults seeking medical marijuana certification. Drug and alcohol dependence, 132(3), 654-659.
  5. Kyle, D. (2019). From reefer madness to regulation: Analyzing Canada's strategies to evaluate the public health impacts of recreational cannabis legalization (Doctoral dissertation, Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology).
  6. Scott, T. (2011) More Regulations in the Works for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. The Missoulian.
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