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Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Addressing this ethical question from both sides.

Kat Watson

on 21 April 2011

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Transcript of Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Yes No Marijuana Should Be Legalized. Questions? Economic Benefits Medical Benefits Penal System Relief Affects Working Abilities Gateway Drug Would be regulated for safety Yes. It Should. Linked to Schizophrenia Link to schizophrenia is questionable. Since the increase in marijuana use from the 1940s and '50s from scarely at all to roughly 70% by the 2000s, the rate of schizophrenia in the United States has remained consistant if it hasn't declined (TIME). A 2007 report states that trying marijuana only once increases one's risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders by 40% Miniscule Addiction Rate In a 1999 study from the Institue of Medicine of the National Academies it was found that of those who tried the substances, only 9% became dependent on marijuana, compared to the 15% with alcohol and 32% with tobacco. Constitutional Rights Police Efficiency In a TIME magazine article, Dr. Scott Haig speculated that "the cheif dangers of marijuana seem to spring from only one of its features: it's illegal." According to CNNMoney, "the amount of debt subject to the cap hit $14.001 trillion at the close of the trade," at the end of 2010. An American Medical Association report found that "test subjects who smoked marijuana gained an average of 6.6 lbs. during the trial, compared with 2.4 lbs. for the group taking the placebo." Would Result in Increased Usage Has Harmful Effects In recent studies at the University of Leicester, scientists have found that the marijuana smoke inhaled can damage DNA in the lungs. Some DNA damage can result in cancer. In an analysis by the Research Triangle Institute, researchers found that in households in which the respondent used marijuana at least twenty days out of the month, the average income was 27.9 % less than other households. According to the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, "Adolescents who smoke pot [are] 85 times more likely to use cocaine than their non-pot smoking peers." Utilitarians Would Approve Would Kant Approve? Sure, you can say that a categorical imperative could be "it is always wrong to smoke marijuana," but keeping pot illegal could also be seen as using people as a means to the end of "keeping society clean." Does this law not impede the autonomy behind the choice of substances one can put into their body? Could you not change the categorical imperative to "it is always wrong to smoke marijuana in cases in which others might be harmed?" What are your opinions on this point? If marijuana were to be legalized, the government would be responsible for regulation. It would be safer overall to have an administrative panel responsible for looking after the quality of the drug and the conditions under which it is used than to have drug cartels out there pushing it on the streets. Would decrease the "rebellious" motives of teens Could be under same constraints as alcohol Alcohol impares judgement and capabilities just as much as, if not more so, than marijuana and yet, alcohol is still legal. Prohibition was a disaster for alcohol in the early 1900s and it has been a disaster for marijuana since the late 1970s. Utilitarians believe that casual use of marijuana is not a bad thing and should be left to people's own decision, not government prohibition. They affirm that the legalization of marijuana would promote the most overall happiness for society and therefore it is the morally right thing to do. What are some virtues that could be argued for and against pot users? What are some of the more or less effective arguments you found in the presentation? Is Pot was legal, would you make use of it? Why or Why not?
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