Paula J. Telisczak
March 4, 2012
Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
Safiyyah- Al Amin
The subject of legalizing marijuana or keeping illegal has been an ongoing debate for some 40 years. America is getting closer to having the ban on the “devil weed” lifted, with approximately eight states now allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes. While the use of marijuana has been connected to a rise in criminal activity in some communities, marijuana is not the harmful drug everyone thinks it is. It has been found to be a myth that marijuana is a gateway drug, or a stepping-stone to harder more dangerous drugs. The war on drugs is really a war on marijuana.
In my opinion, the legalization of marijuana falls under the ethical theory of virtue ethics, which is described as the ethical theory that evaluates the morality of a person doing a certain act. Smoking marijuana is considered by many to be just plain wrong. There are arguments for both sides. Some say, those that smoke pot are doing so under informed consent, those are aware of the possible legal ramifications if they were to be caught. Others say that smoking pot will, without a doubt lead to the use of harder dangerous substance abuse.
Marijuana laws are based on falsehoods, misinformation and just plain fear. Pot was domesticated more than 6,000 years ago, it has always been a part of human culture. Used for medicine, food, fuel, fiber and just for fun. Pot is our genetic and cultural heritage. (Bruce D. Marsh-New Jersey Sentinel -2-2-12) The prohibition of marijuana is a crime against humanity and a remnant of Jim Crow laws, because minorities are more associated with its usage. Are people so afraid of Willie Nelson, The Beatles or the entire cast of SNL for the last 20 years. Not to mention the last three presidents of the United States and several other Politian’s admitted to smoking pot as teenagers.
The active molecules are identical to what our bodies produce and needs. That’s why it works, and does no harm. The California Medical Association voted unanimously for the legalization for everyone, not just patients. The laws against marijuana are based on falsehoods, which continue today. Nonsmokers are said to not have the moral right to put smokers in a government cage, seize their property and in many other ways ruin the lives of those doing something that has been a normal and natural part of human life throughout history. Several people that are pro-legalization say legalize it, tax it and use that money for social security or one of the many other social programs whose funding is being cut. Legalizing marijuana and taxing it could actually financially help the United States
The United States war on drugs places a great emphasis on arresting people for smoking pot. Since 1990, around 5.9 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges. Most of the arrests and incarcerations were for simple possession. Recent FBI statistics state that one pot smoker is arrested every 45 seconds in America. The total number of arrests are greater than the combined arrests for violent crimes. (Ethan Nadelmann, July 2004. The National Review)
People that smoke marijuana also pay taxes, have families and love and support those families, they work hard to make a better life for their families. So one day they are arrested for smoking a joint. They are jailed, and treated like a violent criminal just because of the way they choose to relax. Other agencies step in and deem the pot smoker an unfit parent, declare the children “in danger” and separate the family. These actions by the authorities, cause great pain, and financial hardship. This also causes distrust and disrespect for the law, which is supposed to protect us. Not to mention disrespect for the criminal justice system as a whole.
Responsible smokers pose no danger or threat to America. There is no reason to treat them as...