Why Legalize Marijuana

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Legalizing Marijuana
Marcie Helms
Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
SOC120
Craig Allen
11/12/12 

Everyone has a different sense of what is moral and what is ethical. The key to resolving these moral and ethical differences is coming to an agreement on what is beneficial for our society as a whole. Legalizing marijuana raises a number of ethical concerns. Some people feel that legalizing marijuana will lead to an increase of recreational use. Some also believe that it would increase the number of heavy marijuana users. Since the price of marijuana would be less, people would probably purchase more of it. According to Beau Kilmer, “the pretax price for high-potency, indoor-grown marijuana could drop more than 80 percent (Kilmer, 2012).” Furthermore, a joint could cost less than dollars, maybe even a few pennies if producers were to switch to larger, more effective way of production, such as, greenhouses or outdoor farming (Kilmer, 2012). There is also a major concern regarding marijuana and the “gateway effect”. According to Time Magazine, the “gateway effect” is defined as, “the notion that while marijuana itself may not be especially dangerous, and it ineluctably leads to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine (Szalavitz, 2010).” “Studies have found a strong correlation between marijuana and other drug use, although, correlation does not mean causation” (Salavitz, 2010). Utilitarianism can be defined as, “A doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically: a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number (Merriam-Webster).” Marijuana has many medicinal purposes, for example, it can serve as an anti-nauseant or an appetite stimulant. This could benefit people who suffer from anorexia, cancer, AIDS/HIV and weight loss due to hepatitis...
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