Professor V. P. Rose –White, MSW,LSSW,CSW
20 November 2008
Deviance and Social Control:
Could or should marihuana be legalized?
“The issue of drug abuse illustrates how sociological theories of deviance can be used to conceptualize social problems in ways that might help solve them. Drug abuse remains one of America’s most important domestic- and foreign-policy issues. However, many misconceptions still surround this issue-misconceptions that can cloud the policies that are meant to solve the problem.” (Introduction to sociology 175-76) On the one hand we have those who agree that marihuana should be legalized, as has been in other regions of the world. Then there are those who are in complete opposition. The difficulty lies in deciding which opinion to agree with and which “experts” seem the most credible. Proponents from the medical field argue that marihuana has healing properties and is no more harmful than tobacco or alcohol, while representatives from law enforcement argue that it is addictive and increases deviant behavior.
Those that do smoke marihuana and patients who benefit from its properties believe that its their individual right to decide where when and how to smoke, yet they don’t consider what kind of impact this can have on society as a whole. Protecting individual rights is the cornerstone of the founding principle of the United States, yet one can argue that the state must, and does, curb individual rights, and in what areas the state should get involved, is a never –ending constantly shifting debate that gets played out in the media and in politics.
Most people in the United States, at least today, believe that to legalize the use of marihuana would be to invite national tragedy. Among them are those whose attitudes toward the use of this intoxicant are so emotionally overdetermined that they would remain unpersuaded by any amount of evidence of its relative harmlessness or... [continues]
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