Ethical Issues with Legalization of Marijuana Essay

1350 Words Jul 1st, 2011 6 Pages
Donna Lowe
SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics &Social Responsibility
Prof. Donna Falloon
May 16, 2011

Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America behind only alcohol and tobacco, and is estimated that nearly 80 million Americans use it at least one occasion. According to government surveys, some 20 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 11 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Being used for medicinal purposes or simply for recreational, there are not only laws to consider when the topic of legalization comes up but also ethical concerns as well. For this paper I will outline some of the uses for this drug and some of the benefits of its use. I will apply the
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While the debate on the damage that use of marijuana may cause, it would medically be useful to those in need so we are still being unethical from a utilitarian standpoint regardless of the fact that the drug is currently considered illegal.

“Relativism is the idea that one's beliefs and values are understood in terms of one's society, culture, or even one's own individual values” (Moser, 2010). In our society today the use of marijuana for either recreation or medical is frowned upon. There are issues about the harmfulness of the drug and what long term effects the drug could create in addition to the argument that it leads to other more harmful drug use. We are constantly told that drugs are bad and we need to “just say no”. Our children participate in drug prevention at early stages of their education. They are taught to be afraid and to be friends with those who participate in illegal drugs. There is no evidence that addiction to drugs is favorably regarded in any society or culture, but the status accorded the addict varies markedly. In the United States he has been defined as a criminal and stereotyped as a “dope fiend.” In much of Europe, on the other hand, the addict is regarded as an unfortunate person whose problem is primarily psychological and medical. Having stated that great differences exist in cultural orientations to specific drugs or drug effects, we are, however, far from being

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