RCL #5

Smart Approaches to Marijuana or SAM or is advocacy group that is opposed to the legalization and commercialization of marijuana.

I’d first like to state that their website is actually formatted quite well and easy to navigate. After navigating through their website their overall stance is relatively clear. They do not support to legalization, commercialization, or promotion of it’s use but do support some support to decriminalizing it. Another thing that I will give them credit for is that they had provided a source for every claim that they made.

Unfortunately for SAM I found a few issues with their arguments and claims. Many of the studies that they cited were at 10 years old or even older, which could possibly mean that the findings or outdated or are less relevant in 2018. Another issue was their use of fallacies in their arguments. The biggest one I came across was the belief that correlation equals causation, which to anyone who has conducted studies would know is false. Another fallacy that was used weak analogy, making an argument by comparing weed with opioids, two very different substances. The Strawman argument was another fallacy used as they made the claim that marijuana advocates believe that marijuana makes people better drivers. I’ve never heard this argument in my life. False cause was also used when they claimed that adolescent girls who use marijuana have an increased risk of depression and anxiety. As a psychology major this seems like a difficult conclusion to draw as many people who suffer from anxiety and depression to begin with use marijuana to cope or ease their symptoms. Appeal to ignorance was also used as they tried to fight the claim that “marijuana does not cause lung cancer” by forming an argument that essentially says “well we’re not sure yet it might”.

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