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ENGLISH 102 RESEARCH PAPER ROUGH DRAFT (Will Our Roads be Safe With Legal Weed?)


This is the indroduction paragraph and my first support paragraph of my research essay. Hoping for some feedback on my sentence structure, content, and citations. I realize this is very incomplete. I did not have the best time management skills when looking forward to my assignments. Thank you for your consideration and help.

Legalizing marijuana has been on the forefront of political campaigns and legislation debate over the last 3-5 years. In particular, legalizing marijuana did not pass the state ballot in Arizona in in the 2016 general election. Many things play a part of people's decision making process whether to vote yes or no, but one major concern is the ramifications legalizing marijuana will have on the safety of our roads. It is common knowledge that impairment by alcohol is an offense, punishable up to a felony, if someone is caught drinking and driving. There are slogans developed the help people remember to be safe in this regard. There are entire companies created on the basis of safe driving and making sure to keep drunks from behind the wheel. The idea that marijuana, specifically cannabis, the most potent ingredient in the drug, also causes impairment, creates great debate among people proponent for legalization and those who are against it. Despite being illegal, cannabis is one of the most wildly used intoxicants. In a survey provided to 18 year olds in the USA, it was found that almost half had tired weed once and about 10% of that age group were regular users (Iverson, 2003). The fact that marijuana has become so prevalent, leads us to consider safety when we mix this type of impairment and driving. The active ingredient of marijuana, THC, has obvious effects of the psychomotor functions of the body, and we can relate these functions to those we use when we drive. Are we creating unsafe roads by legalizing marijuana?

Being high on marijuana can take many forms and its metabolism in the body a very complex system of variables. We must look at the parts of the human brain effected by the active ingredients in marijuana. Research in the past has been done with human test subjects, but an overall theme in current studies, say that the old information should be considered invalid because of the inconsistencies in the research studies. It must be hard to obtain consent from a person to be involved in a research study involving illegal drugs, so most marijuana research currently is being done on other mammals such as rats. Though studies with human participants to becoming increasingly popular over time, as the future of marijuana in the legal system becomes an ever present idea. In "The Pharmacokinetics of Cannabinoids, " it is found that THC-9 is the main psychoactive component to be studied (Bondallaz 2016). Looking into the brain anatomy and the neuron receptors of THC, we can address how the brain functions high. There are parts of the brain that have these receptors and are more sensitive to the THC chemical. These portions would be the hippocampus, amygdala, cerebral cortex and cerebellum. The cerebellum in particular, receives information from the senses and directs motor function to the body. If the THC receptors are over activated in this portion of the brain, it will block the other neurons which are used to control psychomotor control, such as tracking a moving light or balance (Iverson 2003). When related to driving, a person must be able to watch the road, pay attention to many lights, especially in the dark, and be able to balance by sitting up and being able to shift their foot from gas to break. Impairment that hinders these skills, could have obvious detrimental impacts on a person's ability to safely drive a vehicle. Another aspect of marijuana and how it effects the brain function is in the short term memory deficit while high. " Many studies have shown significant effects on short-term memory, particularly when tests were used that depend heavily on attention (Iverson 2013)." This study showed that there are negative impact on short-term memory while high on marijuana. Driving a car, and managing a roadway, requires the driver to be able to remember to turn left or turn right and remember to stop on read and go on green. These simple tasks that could cause severe issues on the road, if a person was behind the wheel, high on marijuana, and ended up forgetting a simple direction or had trouble processing a simple task such as pressing the gas pedal.

Works Cited.

Bondallaz, Percy, et. al. "Cannabis and Its Effects on Driving Skills." Forensic Science
International 268. Nov 2016 92-102. Science Direct. (16 SEP 2016). Web.

Iversen, Leslie. "Cannabis and the Brain." Brain: A Journal of Neurology (2003): 1252-270.
Oxford University Press. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

Dec 11, 2016   #2
Hi Ally, try not to present an actual information as part of your thesis statement. This paragraph is supposed to be meant as an overview presentation of the topics for discussion within your research paper. Therefore, you are encouraged to present more abstract ideas in this part and none of the information. That information should be placed somewhere in the body of the paragraph instead. The thesis statement, is good only for posing questions and relaying the opinion you may have regarding the topic which you will be discussing in greater detail within the paper. So for the introduction part, take out the in-text citation that you currently have.

Your second paragraph contains so much information that you can actually split it into 2 paragraphs if you wish. 3 if you are creative enough. One question though, were the study results that you mentioned done on rats or humans? Since you said most experiments are done on rats but that humans are also being tested already, it would be best if your clarified the basis of the results as either being of the rodent or human kind.

As far as the first 2 paragraphs are concerned, you are on the right track towards creating a strong discussion regarding road safety based on Marijuana use of the drivers. Keep it up. I hope to read more of the essay in the coming days. I am sure it will be worth editing on both our parts.


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