Article Reviews

Legalizing Marijuana Essay

Posted on

December 3, 2012 The topic of marijuana has been a big topic for the past few years. The United States considers marijuana as a drug, in some other countries they say it is a natural herb that is grown from the ground. The issue at hand is “should marijuana be legalized? ” the congress of the US stay in a constant debate on this subject. Why is the subject of marijuana such in high demand, if the US already considers it a drug? There are many facts that need to be looked at before a final decision can ever be made.

In contrast since the past two weeks the state of Colorado became the second state in the US to legalize marijuana. Obviously it is possible for marijuana to be accepted into society, obviously there are as much pros as there are cons. The correct name for marijuana is “cannabis. ” Cannabis comes from the cannabis sativa plant. This plant is mainly grown in China, Africa, and some parts of the Caribbean and South America. In China the plant’s original usage was the strong hemp fiber that came from it, it was good for making fishing nets, and clothes, you can still find hemp fiber being used in ropes.

Also many ancient civilizations soon discovered the hallucinogenic power the plant had when inhaled into the body, many Chinese, even the Indians began to smoke cannabis because in their minds it allowed them to connect one on one to their god. In years to come the Chinese began to use cannabis for medical usage. Cannabis has always been looked to for medicinal values. It was actually first introduced by a British doctor in the year of 1839, he found that marijuana was actually very helpful for those that suffered from things like; epilepsy, rabies, and tetanus just to name a few.

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that marijuana would be looked upon as the new drug. Since then the usage of smoking cannabis has become rather popular across the globe. Instead of it being looked at as an herb from the ground, it is now being looked at as the most popular drug there is around the world, which causes relaxation in the body. It is also referred as pot, ganja, mary jane, weed, and marijuana. Marijuana is now illegal in the United States, so there is now a dispute going on Capitol Hill, as to the legalization of marijuana.

As of the recent election of 2012 two states have legalize the usage of marijuana. It is also a well profited drug in the UN and the US, but because it has been labeled as a drug, those profits cannot be considered as honest money. There are many views to look at from both sides of the table. But the topic of legalizing marijuana is a long time discussion that we will never have a right or wrong answer to. There are two sides to this argument, which one is that marijuana should not be legalized, it is a drug. My concern with that one statement is, it is considered a drug to whom?

Not everyone sees marijuana as a drug, some see it as medication, and some see it as apart of their religious beliefs. Let’s look at the theory of relativism, what one person or group may see as wrong, may not be wrong to another person or group. Marijuana may be wrong to the government in the United States, but it is accepted as a spiritual healer in the Indian culture. Everyone has their own preference, we all have the right to agree to disagree. Who are they to point the finger, but they do. In their eyes these medical marijuana clinic are being used in the wrong manner. Some medical marijuana clinics have been taken over by illegal for- profit businesses that sell recreational marijuana to healthy young adults and attract crime,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said last September(2012, Duke). Marijuana clinics are being looked at in the wrong manner, they are pointing finger to the drug itself rather than the people that uses marijuana, in their eyes these clinics bring criminals to decent neighborhoods. There are so many different controversies surrounding marijuana. Some would even say that those who are using marijuana as a medicine, that they are doing so illegally. Cannabis classified as a Schedule I drug, belongs to the most restrictive of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) five categories for psychoactive drugs. Drugs categorized as Schedule I must meet three criteria; the drug has a high potential for abuse, the drug has no therapeutic value, and the drub is not safe for medicinal use. The federal government defends this classification, citing concerns about the validity of research showing the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the impact on society of legalizing its’ usage. –Therapeutic Cannabis, Mathre- Legislators continually fight against accepting marijuana as just a therapeutic drug, though their own research have concluded that by them attempting to remove marijuana from society would come with a drastic price. Advocates that are for the legalization are now even arguing that marijuana should not be considered as a Schedule I drug because of its therapeutic affect it has on cancer and AIDS patients. Another point that has been brought up with the legislature is that marijuana is just another stepping stone for more powerful drugs like; meth, heroine, and crack cocaine.

They were basically attempting to say that after using marijuana so much, people will get addicted, and of course they would get tired of getting a regular high and want to move into the big lead. Another factor that has been looked at is the crime rate. Marijuana has some side effects as any other drug would. Are the side effects of marijuana that harsh that it could actually cause harm? The answer may be yes, marijuana has been known to slow the brain down, causing memory loss, and delayed movement. In which this brings a bigger problem, driving and operating machinery while under the influence of marijuana would cause major problems.

One very important point that I do agree with in the fight against marijuana, is that with the wide spread of marijuana usage, many children are now being expose to it, which is all bad for society. With children getting their hands on marijuana it would open the door to more money and problems for society. An important point that I would like to make concerning marijuana and children is that children are not equipped enough to handle the onset of what marijuana may do to them, so on this argument I feel the government has all rights to with hold marijuana usage.

To those that are pro-marijuana, it is considered as a soft drug, it doesn’t have the same effect as cocaine or even alcohol. But advocates that are voting against the legalization clearly see it differently. “It is not uncommon for drugs with large illegal markets to be controlled by cartels despite attempts to roll them into the normal medical control scheme. For instance, cocaine has a medical purpose and can be prescribed by doctors as Erythroxylum coca, yet its true production and distribution are controlled by drug cartels and organized crime.

As competition from growers and dispensaries authorized by the RCTCA cuts further into the Mexican DTO’s business, Californians will face a real possibility of bloodshed on their own soil as the cartels’ profit-protection measures turn from defensive to offensive. ” –Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No, Charles “Cully” Stimson- Advocates have all rights for fighting against marijuana if it will bring more harm than good to our country. “For the first time in America two states, Colorado and Washington, voted for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use on the 6th of November 2012.

The independent states that “personal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana would be legal for anyone over 21 years of age. ” I personally found those limitations realistic and achievable. But isn’t it too late to be able to smoke marijuana legally? It looks to be a good idea as people will be mature enough to consume it but I think it will create the same problem as with alcohol. As you may know, alcohol in the US is legally forbidden under the age of 21. They can go under serious problem if they are seen consuming alcohol. –Legalization of Marijuana, Onlinethics- As we now know, there are many organizations that are pushing forth for the legalization of marijuana. Those that are for the legalization of marijuana are usually made up of libertarians, and they are debating for the full legalization of marijuana. One of their greatest arguments is that the United States have wasted too much time on fighting against the cartels or basically fighting a non winning drug war. A war in which millions of dollars are being wasted on.

For the pro-marijuana fighters, they feel that if the government should legalize marijuana, then they can regulate it as they have done with alcohol. It would put a hold on some of the crimes that are being committed behind marijuana. In my own opinion this argument would not be considered as valid. There is no way for the government to say or even put their trust in the fact of, by legalizing marijuana that it would slow the crime rate down, or even get rid of certain drug cartels. But if we look at the argument of using marijuana for therapeutic reasons, that argument is much stronger.

As I have shared before marijuana was for medical usage in years before, it helped with pain. It is now very popular with AIDS and cancer patients to help with their pain. It also helps to build up their appetite, due to something in the cannabis plant. After twenty years of research it was found that and ingredient that is originally derived from marijuana, helps to stop cell growth in certain aggressive cancers. Patients out of Time is one of the organizations that are speaking on behalf of legalizing marijuana, they’re main aim is to bring awareness and education about the help that cannabis can do for many sickly people.

Another group that is all for marijuana is Law Enforcement against Prohibition, their main focus behind their vote for marijuana is point out the wrong doings of many drug policies in the United States. In their opinion if the government would educate themselves as well as the public, and if they come up with a strong system that would regulate marijuana, and control it, then it can benefit the whole country. Other reasons that have been discussed in the pass are taxation of the drug. Because of the strong pouring of persons smoking, drinking, even cooking marijuana. It would help to bring in revenues to the states.

So if legalized then the government has all rights to tax it. This is one way the United States would be able to fix their budget deficit. As we now know two states have recently legalized marijuana, those states are Washington D. C and Colorado. These state decided to legalize marijuana, in order to control the distribution and usage of marijuana. Obviously they are willing to take a chance with allowing marijuana to be a part of their society hoping that they made the right decision. Of course they did legalize it with stipulations that applies to the amount that a person should have in their possession, and the person must be over 21.

Will this method actually work, we have yet to see. Aristotle was the original founder of the ethical theory of virtue ethics. Virtue ethics theory does not emphasize so much on rules, or consequences, it doesn’t even focus so much on the particular act. Virtue ethics look in my opinion the best theory to fit this argument would be Aristotle’s ethics of virtue theory. The reason why I say this is because the theory of virtue ethics is not based solely on action, as a matter of fact his ethical theory is the only theory that is actually not action-based. While other theories seem to ask the question of “what would I do in this situation? , or “what should I do in a situation? ” Aristotle’s theory is asking “what kind of person would I be” or “how does this situation affect me? ”. The virtue of ethics theory clearly is a character based theory that is the main reason we must look at the whole blame game when we speak about legalizing marijuana. “The origin of action, its efficient, not its final cause, is choice and that choice is desire and reasoning with a view to the end (goal). This is why choice cannot exist either without reason and intellect or without moral state. For good action and its opposite cannot exist without a combination of intellect and character.

Intellect itself, however, moves nothing, but only the intellect which aims at an end {i. e. aims at a consequence and a good consequence KB} and is practical (with a view to a choice between opposite actions KB); for this rules the productive intellect as well, since everyone who makes, makes something for an end(goal or consequence). and that which is made is not an end in the unqualified sense (but only an end in a particular relation and the end of a particular operation), only that which is done is that; for good action is an end and desire aims at this.

Hence choice is either desiderative reason or ratiocinative desire and such an origin of action is a man. ” –Commentary on Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics, Mallinson, Jeffrey- Virtue ethics theory point at the person or persons which are committing the act. It doesn’t focus is the act which is being committed is wrong, or if it is more important. The main point of virtue ethics is to look at the person behind the act. It looks at the fact of is that person morally or ethically thinking. It is based on a person’s character trait, because lets faced a person can have a good, bad, or even a confused character trait.

Everyone that uses marijuana does not have bad intents. Not everyone the uses it do so just for their hobby or to pass time by. Some people need marijuana to survive. It has nothing to do with marijuana itself, it has to do solely on those that use it. Let’s assume what Aristotle would actually say about the legalization of marijuana, from his own point of view. His argument would most likely look at this argument as the mere function of a human is the use of reasoning and understanding, as humans we have to have an understanding of virtue.

If anything takes away or prohibits us from achieving those capabilities, then we have a moral virtue to avoid that action. This does not show that one should never smoke pot, nor does it on its own answer the question regarding the legalization of marijuana, but it does show that there is a moral reason to avoid smoking pot that gets lost in the debates about the legalization of marijuana use (Austin, 2010). Aristotle is not either against or for smoking marijuana, he only is attempting to show the argument from each point of view. There will always be two sides to this argument no matter how we look at it.

Both arguments have some valid points that they are making. Each is entitled to their own views, but the ironic part to this is that both parties are arguing for the same thing “marijuana”. Yes they both make very good points, that are very agreeable, but their arguments still have hole in them. Anti-marijuana advocates claim that marijuana is one of the causes behind crime, if we look marijuana is a soft drug compared to cocaine and heroin, and it is not the drug itself that makes the person commit the crime, the person has already had thoughts of ommitting the crime, the drug doesn’t enhance or pushes them to do the crime. Pro-marijuana advocates think that with the regulation of marijuana that it may cut down crime, but how sure are they? Marijuana is originally an herb that is grown from the ground. When it was first discovered that it can be used, the usage of it was for medication, out of innocence in my opinion. So it should always be seen as such. It is not marijuana itself that is the problem, it is the person that is using it and their intent. References and Citations Barnes, R. E. Refer Madness: Legal & Moral Issues Surrounding The Medical Prescription of Marijuana. Jan. 2000, Vol. 14 Iss 1, 26p. Charles “Cully” Stimson. Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No. September 13, 2010. http://www. heritage. org/research/reports/2010/09/legalizing-marijuana-why-citizens-should-just-say-no. html Duke, A. , 2 states legalize pot, but don’t breakout the Cheetos’ yet. CNN Politics. November 8, 2012. http://www. cnn. com/2012/11/07/polotics/marijuana-legalization/index. html Ethan A. Nadelmann. Drug Prohibition in the United States: Costs, Consequences, Alternatives.

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science, New Series, Vol. 245, No. 4921 (Sep. 1, 1989), pp. 939-947 Ingersoli, J. E. , The Effect of Legalizing Marijuana & Heroin. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, U. S Department of Justice Delivered before the Annual Conference of the Maryland Chief of Police, Ocean City, Maryland, and September 19, 1972. Mallison, Jeffrey. Commentary of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics. Renaissance Quarterly, spring 2007, Vol. 60, Iss 1, p. 208-209. 2p Mary Lynn Mathre, MSN, RN, CARN. Therapeutic Cannabis, Policy Perspectives. April 2001, Vol. 101, No. 4