Jan 12, 2018 in Law

Persuasive Speech: Why Medical Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized

General Purpose: to persuade

Specific purpose: By the end of this speech, the audience will agree that medicinal marijuana should not be legalized.

Proposition: Medicinal marijuana should not be legalized.


Attention getter: Did you know that cannabis use (even legal) increases the risks of car crashes by 92% and the risks of fatal crashes – by 110% (Villarica)?  

I.Nevertheless, in the United States, pro-marijuana communities and groups advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana.

II. In certain conditions, including cancer, marijuana can become an indispensable element of the basic treatment strategies.

III. The state should not legalize medical marijuana for three reasons: it increases the use and abuse of marijuana; it negatively influences adolescents; and claims that marijuana has medicinal benefits are unsubstantiated.

Transition sentence: Now we need to focus on the arguments against legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.


I. Logos: Medicinal marijuana should not be legalized, since it was proved to increase the rates of marijuana use and abuse in the community.

A. According to Cerda, Wall, Keyes, Galea and Hasin, in the states where medicinal marijuana is legalized, the rates of marijuana use are 1.92 times higher than in the states where it is officially illegal (6). States that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes also display higher rates of marijuana abuse and dependence, compared to the territories, where the drug is still illegal (Cerda et al. 6).

B. Pathos: In the states with medical marijuana laws, the incidence of marijuana-related disorders is much higher (Cerda et al. 6). Cerda et al. suggest that community members who approve legalization for medical purposes also accept marijuana use as normal and even desirable (6).

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C. Ethos: Legalization makes marijuana more available to most community members, and they may want to change their position on marijuana use, even if they have never tasted it.

Transition sentence: The most terrible thing is that these changes also impact youth.

II. Ethos: Medical marijuana should not be legalized, because it negatively influences adolescents.

A. "Although efforts to legalize marijuana are focused solely on adults, any change in its legal status could nonetheless have an effect on adolescents" (Joffe & Yancy e634). It is not difficult to imagine that adolescents, whose parents use marijuana for medicinal purposes, will be greatly seduced to try it at home.

B. The past experiences with tobacco and alcohol advertising have proved that implementing restrictions on advertising is close to impossible. The sale of such products is also difficult to control (Joffe & Yancy e635).

Transition sentence: Meanwhile, the majority of those who use marijuana solely for medical purposes will not perceive any positive health effects.

III. Ethos: The claim that marijuana has medical benefits is unsubstantiated.

A. The Food Drug Administration does not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes, simply because no sound scientific findings support it (Harris). Recently, the Supreme Court has decided that the police can arrest anyone using marijuana, even if it is used for medical purposes only (Harris).

B. The FDA's statement contradicts the results of a broad research review conducted by the Institute of Medicine, U.S.'s most reliable and reputable scientific agency (Harris). However, even if some evidence of marijuana's beneficial effects can be found, it is still too scarce to legalize a substance as dangerous and abusive as marijuana.

Transition sentence: This evidence implies that marijuana has potential benefits for individual health.

V. Pathos: No one says that marijuana cannot benefit the patient, especially when he/she is terminally ill.

A. Pathos: Cancer is associated with serious physical sufferings. For years, oncologic patients were prescribed Marinol, a synthetic form of marijuana containing psychoactive ingredients (Clark 43). However, it was too expensive, while smoked marijuana was found to be more cost-effective and affordable to patients (Clark 44).

B. Unfortunately, the risks of marijuana use easily offset its potential benefits. Ethos: First, even the most professional oncologists can never determine the most appropriate dose of smoked marijuana for the patient (Clark 44). Logos: Second, marijuana was found to put the human immune system at risk; therefore, it threatens the lives and wellbeing of patients with AIDS (Clark 44). Third, it is never possible to release marijuana from fungi and microorganisms (Clark 44). As a result, smoked marijuana raises the risks of pulmonary infections (Clark 44). Therefore, medical marijuana should not be legalized.


I. In conclusion,

II. Logos: I have shared with you the reasons why medicinal marijuana should not be legalized.

III. Now I am asking you not to vote for marijuana legalization in your state and organize groups against such legalization in your community.

IV. Pathos: Otherwise, when your children grow up, you will have to spend thousands of dollars and the rest of your life saving them from the consequences of their marijuana dependence. 

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