Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational Use|
Introduction to Ethics: Theory and Application|
Assignment # 4 |
Legalization of Marijuana for Recreational Use
On a cold January afternoon in a small community, a police officer is called to a residence for suspected domestic issue. As he arrives, he can hear shouting coming from the house. He knocks on the door and a boy of about five years old, who is dressed in nothing but shorts, comes to the door. He stands with the door open, a slice of bread in his dirty hand, smiling at the officer. He has seen the officer at the home a few times in the past. The child has also been over to the officer’s house to play with his children. The officer’s wife and the boy’s mother work together at the local grocery store and the boy’s father looks after him while his mother is at work. After the officer talks to the parents about their issues, which always seem to be basic domestic issues, he heads for the door. The boy follows him, hugs his leg, looks up and says, “Can I come with you?” The officer responds, “Sorry buddy, not today.” Two weeks later, on a bitter cold afternoon, the mother comes home from work to discover the child is gone. The same police officer searches along with the majority of the community. The boy is found an hour later on a rural country road. He is taken to the emergency room and treated for hypothermia. He is then taken in by Child Protective Services. The father is charged with possession of marijuana, his 2nd offense, along with intent to deliver. The mother has had enough and has turned the father in for growing a few plants in the basement and selling it to his buddies. After 7 days, the child is returned to his mother. He had been under the care of the police officer and his wife. Marijuana is the most widely used, illegal drug in the world. “It is estimated that 119 million to 224 million people used cannabis in 2011,” reports, Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. and Vice President of clinical innovation at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Marijuana is considered a depressant, stimulant and hallucinogen. It has recently been legalized, as a recreational drug in two out of 50 states, Colorado and Washington. In these states, those who are 21 and older can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, it will be sold and taxed in state-licensed stores, much the same way alcohol is sold. In the state of Colorado, cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per person is allowed. Both states prohibit public use. Is it morally acceptable for marijuana to be legalized as a recreational drug? After exploring my own experiences, the possible pros and cons of legalization, and the social contract, utilitarian, and the ethics of care theories, I do not think it is morally acceptable.
My personal opinion about the legalization of marijuana is that it should not be legal. While I have seen both negative and positive effects of marijuana use, it has affected me and my family in a negative way. I am aware that it can be used recreationally and have no affects. I also know that it can be addictive and have negative effects, both physically and mentally, when used on a regular basis. It is my personal opinion that the negative effects associated with marijuana outweigh the positives. I believe that if something has the potential to do harm to those who chose not to partake, it shouldn’t be legalized. I don’t believe that we should take the stand that because it is less harmful than alcohol, it should be legal. I believe that marijuana is dangerous, especially to today’s youth who use marijuana without considering the consequences. It is my fear that legalization could send the message to youth that it is acceptable to use marijuana as a coping mechanism. I do not want my children to be tempted to use a drug as a crutch, to relax or temporarily solve their problems.
There are several reasonable arguments for legalization of...