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“Why Congress Should Legalize Pot” Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 17th, 2020


The article written by Jeffrey Miron presents a persuasive argument in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Miron successfully employs logical appeals and style to convince his readers that marijuana should be legalized. The style and appeals, which he uses, are consistent with the context of the article.


Jeffrey Miron, the author of the analyzed article, is a director of undergraduate studies and senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at Harvard University and a member of the Cato Institute. His research interests include the economy of libertarianism, and his views are libertarian: for instance, he advocates allowing banks to go bankrupt.

His article represents one of the sides in the ongoing ardent debate about the legalization of marijuana in the United States. The debate has been going on for several decades among politicians, scientists, medics, press, and other thinkers. Jeffrey Miron is a supporter of the legalization of marijuana.

Despite the presence of statistical data and references to medical issues, the article is intended for a wide audience, and for a clear understanding of the point of the author, no special knowledge is required. The purpose of Miron’s work is to persuade a reader that legalizing marijuana would be a reasonable, rational decision, which would be consistent with the principles of liberty and will bring benefits, and a lot of countries have already made such a decision while the USA still keep doubting.


Jeffrey Miron does not use his own credibility as an economist and a scholar to prove his point true. In fact, he does not employ economic evidence to support his point at all. The article mostly relies on logical appeals. Miron uses statistical data to demonstrate that a high number of Americans are supportive of the legalization of marijuana. Even when facts seem to contradict his point, Miron manages to explain it in the right way.

For example, it is known that the medical marijuana law has failed to pass in Florida. Miron presents the fact in a different light using additional information: because of a constitutional amendment, 60% support is needed to pass the law, so the law failed; but 58% voted in favor, which means that the majority supported this decision (par. 1).

Miron does not overuse pathetic appeals. He refers to the principles of liberty once and allows himself to address the emotions of his readers in the final paragraph, claimed that keeping marijuana out of law has already caused “tragic repercussions and unintended consequences,” and this “terrible policy” should be reviewed (par. 21).


The style employed by Miron is clear, understandable, and vivid. The article is not overloaded with legal, medical, or scientific expressions and terminology, so the language is not academic. Miron avoids another extreme: the language is not completely informal, offensive or too sarcastic, unlike what often happens to articles devoted to the problems of drugs. The tone of the article is calm and neutral but seems more positive than negative.

Metaphors are definitely not a strong point of this article: the single one used here is “following the liberal footsteps of Colorado and Washington” (par. 1).

Miron makes a wise decision to avoid a direct statement that a wide popular support will surely lead to the legalization of marijuana. Instead, he indicates a probability: “Do these developments mean that full legalization is inevitable? Not necessarily, but one would hope so” (par. 3-4), which makes his argument look more realistic.

The author is not afraid to mention an argument of opposition and refute it. More importantly, he also refutes one argument by the advocates of legalization (par. 7).

Finally, instead of merely criticizing the Congress for its inability to legalize marijuana, Miron offers a cautious way of legalization (par. 15-18).


Jeffrey Miron has successfully employed style and appeals to achieve the purpose of his work. References to medical facts related to the effect of marijuana, the use of statistical data, especially polls, the knowledge of legal issues connected with legalization process can persuade a reader that the author holds truth.

The lack of emotional statements makes a good impression: the author looks professional and unbiased. The fact that Miron criticizes not only the arguments of the opposition but also of his fellow legalization supporters makes this impression even stronger. Calm and neutral tone serve this purpose as well.

Miron has made a reasonable decision to choose the particular appeals and style for this situation. The debate has been going for a really long period, and, of course, multiple arguments have already been drawn and repeated numerous times. Additionally, the opponents often go wild and overload their writings with rhetorical questions, negative emotions, and mutual accusations. A calm presentation of one’s evidence is a good choice in such a situation, and an author, who would use it, would look wiser and more qualified compared to others.


In his article, Jeffrey Miron supports the full legalization of marijuana. The work is persuasive due to the appeals and style. The style and appeals are consistent with the situation.

Works Cited

Miron, Jeffrey. “Why Congress Should Legalize Pot.” CNN, 19 November 2014. CNN. Web.

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