Written for pre-teens, Marne Ventura’s book, The Debate About Legalizing Marijuana, present the pros and cons on the subject. The author begins with a short history of marijuana use and legalization, and then explains in more detain 3 arguments for the legalization and 3 arguments against legalization. The pro arguments are marijuana’s medical value, the use of tax revenues generated from marijuana sales to benefit the public, and the possibility that law enforcement would focus on violent crimes rather than those involving marijuana use. The con arguments are: negative mental and physical effects of marijuana on minors, dangers of driving while under the influence of marijuana and the role of marijuana in more harmful drug abuse.
This book is part of a series that focuses on opposing sides of nationally debated issues and has a format that demands three arguments on each side. This puts pressure on an author to squeeze and expand the main points so as to fit into the format, not necessarily a bad thing. This problem is evident in this book so that actually many more pros and cons of the issue are discussed under a single rubric.
The text is written in a simple style and and presents the material in a readable and straightforward manner. Insets enhance the text with information on such topics as the role of the FDA, marijuana arrests in the US over time, and US Federal penalties for marijuana related crimes. An end section sums up the points on both sides of the issue and is probably the clearest presentation of the debate. Although the matter is actually a complex one, this book can serve as a good introduction to the topic and get young people thinking about some of the issues involved so they can make informed decisions in the future.
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