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The Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay

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Victoria Eisler

on 3 September 2012

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Transcript of The Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay

To what extent do taboo themes in society limit our knowledge? Real Life Situation The government of Uruguay presented the possibility of creating a law that allows the citizens to consume and buy marijuana legally.

This law works as following: the government will cultivate marijuana and then sell it to the consumers, which are inscribed in a list. Thus, the state will be able to have a record of the consumers and will control that these are complying with the regulations set (since there is a limited amount of drug that can be bought). High taxes will be set in order to generate funds that would finance treatment for drug addicts.

However, growing marijuana asides (on your own) would continue to be illegal. Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay The best known case is the Netherlands, where the consumption and purchase of cannabis and derivatives are allowed in small amounts through the “coffee shops”.
Then we find the countries in which the consumption-to-no traffic is decriminalized or, at least, does not entail excessive legal problems. It is the situation that exists, for example, in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.
In America it gets tricky because, although consumption is penalized nationally, permissiveness levels vary by state and even the county where you are.
Finally, there are countries where smoking marijuana is a felony, with penalties ranging from loss of freedom to undergo compulsory detoxification therapies. This is the case of Argentina, Chile, Norway, Finland, Sweden and China. Legalization of Marijuana in the World Taboos in other Real Life Situations Thinking Process To what extent do taboo themes in society limit our knowledge? Knowledge Issue What is knowledge? According to Longman Dictionary:

1. A taboo subject, word, activity, etc is one that people avoid because it is extremely offensive or embarrassing (for example: rape is a taboo subject)

2. Not accepted as socially correct (for example: it’s taboo to date a man a lot younger than you)

3. Too holy or evil to be touched or used What is a taboo? How can the lack of perspective alter our knowledge? 1. According to Aristotle knowledge is a “Justified, true belief”.
Knowledge requires gathering facts, truths or principles, conducting an investigation, making observations or gaining experience

2. The etymology of the word:
-KNOW means ‘to be able’
-LEDGE means ‘action or practice’

3. Therefore, knowledge, by defintion, is an active process Parable of the 6 blind men and the elephant.
More perspectives will bring you closer to the truth.


Relativism:
Multiple perspectives which vary according to the background (class, age, sex, culture)
Relativist position: “I can despise his views but acknowledge that they are true for him” Cubist theory of truth To what extent is experience needed for the acquirement of knowledge? Areas of Knowledge involved Why is Marijuana considered a taboo? Marijuana is an illegal drug
Associated with gangsters and drug trafficking
In some cases, people who are under the influence of this drug participate in violent or illegal events (robberies, homicides, rapes)
Sometimes is related to a certain stereotype (low classes, hippies) According to the Cubist Theory of Truth the more perspectives you have the higher the degree of truthiness.
According to the definition of Taboo, it is a subject that is avoided in discussions.
This means that there is less exchange of information on this themes.
Having less perspectives on a theme means the knowledge of that theme is limited. According to the definition of knowledge, part of it is acquired by experience.
According to the definition of Taboo, it is a subject that can be avoided in action, either because it is illegal or because it is socially unaccepted.
The less experience the individuals have on this matter, the more limited is the knowledge of an issue. Human Sciences Corresponds to humanities and social sciences, but also includes aspects of psychology
We are concerned with how we gather information in our study of human behavior – which involves thinking about statistics.
Human sciences try to UNDERSTAND (purpose + meaning of actions)
Subjects that fall under the human sciences umbrella: business, politics & law, economics, geography, ITGS, civics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc. Human Sciences
To study and explain human behavior
To predict future behavior (trends for example)
To describe facts which occur
To prescribe norms (establish how we should behave, analyze VALUES) What is the role of
Human Sciences? Many people do not consider them ‘true’ sciences. The reason for this is that it relies on EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION to arrive at its findings, as opposed to the natural sciences, which are much ‘stricter’ in their use of OBSERVATION backed up by RATIONAL theorizing.
This leads us to ask the most obvious question: Are the human sciences really sciences? Beyond this, we need to consider the METHODOLOGY involved in the human sciences (quantitative and qualitative data gathering); the role of human sciences in improved society, and how the human sciences have evolved over time. Are the Human Sciences really sciences? Kant’s “Categorical Imperative”: Kant's philosophy wanted to explain why science CAN be relied on, even if experience, alone, is an inadequate base. Kant argued that some knowledge is prior (previous) to experience of the world; this knowledge is called “A-PRIORI” (Latin meaning: from what is before). However, he showed in his “Critique of Pure Reason” that reason on its own cannot produce reliable results.
Kant reasoned, however, that there is a world to which reason gives us direct access. This is the “world of morality”, which he calls PRACTICAL REASON. This is a world of freedom rather than cause. It is a world that is special to being human. The nature of being human is to be governed by reason rather than instinct.
An animal is caused to do something by its instincts. The beginning of morality in humans is saying "NO" to instinct. Our moral freedom from instinct is NOT freedom to do what we please… but freedom to act according to the laws of reason that we discover. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was a German philosopher who made a very influential synthesis of RATIONALISM and EMPIRICISM.

On the one hand empiricists argue that all our knowledge come from experience or from reflection on experience.

While on the other hand rationalists argue that empirical knowledge is uncertain and only reason can lead us to truth. If a certain topic was not considered TABOO, people would have the chance to discuss about it in a more “free-way”, consequently leading in acquirement of knowledge, information or even experience. 
If individuals are told that something is TABOO, according to KANT, they will automatically (as every human being) be governed by REASON… finally leading to lack of PERSPECTIVES because they are not provided with enough knowledge, information, etc. What would happen if everyone, categorically, did what you did? Ethics According to Longman Dictionary:

1. A taboo subject, word, activity, etc is one that people avoid because it is extremely offensive or embarrassing (for example: rape is a taboo subject)

2. Not accepted as socially correct (for example: it’s taboo to date a man a lot younger than you)

3. Too holy or evil to be touched or used Ethics are more than just rules or laws, they are established principles on which rules are based
Ethical decisions reside in our own conscience. According to the definition, Taboos are not accepted as socially correct. A topic is socially accepted according to a series of ethical codes. These are rules that control and regulate the way people should behave in society.
Questions:
But why?
Where does ethical conduct come from?
Why is it important to behave ethically? How do we arrive at an Ethical Position? Language Words have a lot of power when arriving into an ethical position. Without language, we cannot discuss any of the intricacies of ethics.
When dealing with taboo, language plays a very important role. It can be used in a persuasive manner as to convince someone to take a position for example. Emotions Our emotions can help to guide us when we are trying to work out the ‘right’ way to behave, and they do so in an instinctive way. First we consider our of self-interest, secondly we consider outcomes that will benefit other people.

Emotions can often interfere with our reason in figuring out the ‘right’ course of action, especially when we are caught up personally in a particular matter. Peer pressure can also affect us emotionally and thus blind out ethical judgment. Reason, if it is used properly, allows us to assess the outcomes of our actions, and arrive at an objective judgement about moral behaviour.

Emotions can often interfere with our reason and act as a check to our behaviour, ee need to be aware of the effect of our actions – and reason alone cannot provide us with that knowledge. Reason How can we make sure that our course of action is the correct one?

Authorities
Religion
Personal Experience
View of the Majority
Self-interest

Taboo themes are dictated by these. Ethical checks and balances History A taboo is a Polynesian word relative to its origin, the Polynesia. It has too different meanings:
Sacred, consecrated
Uncanny, dangerous, forbidden, unclean 19th century: common usage
20th century: gained more importance when introduced by Sigmund Freud Language Taboos date back in time, for example:
Profanity (secular irreverent speech)
Blasphemy (attacks on religion)
These have been proscribed by religious authorities since Biblical times. From here, the term “taboo word” or swear word to describe the dictionary of offensive emotional language.

Taboo words are sanctioned or restricted under the assumption that some harm will occur if a taboo word is spoken.

They occur frequently in everyday speech and the speaker learns when and to whom it is appropriate to use these words. More recently, in the last centuries, legal decisions created taboos on speech considering obscene or indecent speech that constitutes sexual harassment and discrimination. This is because different, new concerns arose from the modern population.

New taboo words may arise, depending on contextual variables and the different situations in the given time.

Taboo words before were less common and well-known: today, the media affects and massifyes it. A child nowadays is exposed much more to these words because of the media.

Taboo words evolve hands in hands with society. For example, nowadays sexuality is more trivial, thus more swear words using sexual terms arise. In Polynesia, where the term arose, it was strongly considered a taboo the female intercourse with male during their menstrual periods. It was described as a repulsing act during this period of time. Another taboo in the Polynesia was the “totemic food taboo”. When a crop had gone scarce, it was declared as a taboo and was prohibited its eating until the next crop. These are examples of the first and most primitive taboos. Reason As humanity started to grow culturally and in knowledge, the concerns and preoccupations started to be others. Hence, taboos started to be faced from other perspectives, such as science and religion. For example, what is science now was considered as something taboo then. Religion prevented other people to question the different theories and knowledge, thus preventing to progress.

In those times, science was a taboo. It was unacceptable to question what the Church believed.

On February 15th, 1990, the future Benedict XVI, said:
“The Church at the time of Galileo kept much more closely to reason than did Galileo himself, and she took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo's teaching too. Her verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and the revision of this verdict can be justified only on the grounds of what is politically opportune.”

He continued to say:
"It would be foolish to construct an impulsive apologetic on the basis of such views.“

In 1992, it was reported in the news that the Catholic Church had turned around towards vindicating Galileo. In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for all the mistakes committed by some Catholics in the last 2,000 years of the Catholic Church's history, including the trial of Galileo among others. In this way, we can see how something that once was a taboo is now recognized as a fact. Although at the present time of the event it was a forbidden and banned comprehension, nowadays even an apology has been issued and the information is considered as the truthful one.

Furthermore, questioning scientific theories is no longer a taboo. This is partly in fact because of the constant discoveries that are done that are able to modify the laws created and partly because of this change in conception that allows a second thought on what it is said. 1 Danielle Heaney and Nick Cameron
Danielle and Nick didn’t grow up as brother and sister. Raised in foster care, Nick Cameron met his half-sister Danielle when she was twenty and he 26. After three weeks of knowing each other they began a sexual relationship but were reported to authorities by their mother who walked in on them having sex.
Incest in their native Scotland is a felony, and Heaney and Cameron were sentenced to nine months probation where they could not have verbal or physical contact. They now live together but claim to not be sexually intimate. When they were last interviewed the pair was considering to move to France, where incest is not a crime. Other Real-Life Situation: INCEST An Incest taboo is any cultural rule or norm that prohibits practices of sexual relations between relatives. All human cultures have norms regarding who is considered a suitable or unsuitable sexual or marriage partner.
In many cultures, certain types of cousin relations are preferred as sexual and marital partners, whereas others are taboo. Parent-child and sibling-sibling unions are almost universally forbidden.
An extreme example of this principle, and an exception to the incest taboo, is found among members of the ruling class in certain ancient states, such as the Inca, Egypt, China, and Hawaii; brother–sister marriage (usually between half-siblings) as a mean of maintaining wealth and political power within one family. Incest as TABOO 2 The Andes flight disaster:
On Friday the 13th in October of 1972, the plane carrying 45 Uruguayan Rugby team members and associates on route from Montevideo to Santiago, Chile, crashed on the side of the Andes Mountains.
The pilots, not taking into account strong headwinds, thought they were further along in their route than they actually were, started their descent too soon. After clipping a few mountain peaks and causing severe damage, the plane eventually landed in a snow bank..
Of the 45 people on board, 18 died within the first week. The survivors were trapped on a freezing cold mountain, many suffering from injuries, just with few supplies and clothes not warm enough. While rescuers searched for the crash from almost the beginning, unluckily for the players their plane was white stuck on a white snowy mountainside. Other Real-Life Situation: CANNIBALISM They only had a few bars of chocolate, small snacks, and several bottles of wine. Soon they began feasting on the frozen bodies of their comrades to survive.
This went on for two months until a few of the stronger survivors hiked their bodies out of the mountains to find help for the others.
In conclusion 16 of the 45 survived, thanks to the flesh of their fallen buddies. Cannibalism, the word itself brings up horrific images. Along with incest, it's one of our great cultural taboos. 
The word cannibal has come to mean any creature that eats it's own kind but, here it means strictly humans feeding on humans.
Cannibalism by necessity is more simple to explain and document. People who find themselves in a position where they either choose to starve or eat human flesh. (for example the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Andes in 1972 and became the subject of the movie Alive) people will do what they need to survive.
Cannibalism because of mental illness is behind many of the Worlds most horrific crimes; killers that eat their victims aren't exactly common but it still happens more often than you might expect. Cannibalism as TABOO 3 Conclusion To what extent do taboo themes in society limit our knowledge? Sex talks between teenagers and their parents Sex has always been a taboo theme in our society, especially the discussion of the matter between teenagers and their parents. Some parents have admitted that they feel embarrassed to discuss sex issues with their children leading them to aviod having “the talk” at all. In a recent study on parent-child conversations about sex and sexuality, researchers found that more than 50 percent of adolescents had had intercourse before talking to their parents about safe sex, birth control or sexually transmitted diseases.

Dineo Tshokolo, 16, regretted what she dubbed her mother “ignorant” and experimented without having “the talk” with her first.

“I have always been very close to my mother and I would share everything with her, even after I had my first sexual intercourse experience, but that did not ring a bell to her. She told me to go to the clinic, but it was too late. I had already missed my periods. I had my baby at 16,” she said.

Anyone who has violated a taboo becomes a taboo himself because he possesses the dangerous quality of tempting others to follow his example: why should he be allowed to do what is forbidden to others?
Then again, a person who has not violated any taboo may yet be permanently or temporarily taboo because he is in a state which arouses the quality of arousing forbidden desires in others and of awakening a conflict of ambivalence in them
SIGMUND FREUD - BOOK: “TOTEM AND TABOO” Given the Areas of Knowledge we decided to study, we can see that taboo subjects do limit knowledge. Regardless, each theme is different and the amount of limitation varies given the theme. Also the ethical conditions applied to consider a topic as taboo change in time; something that was a taboo 50 years ago may no longer be a taboo now a days. A clear example is gay marriage, which used to be a major taboo theme but since the sixties has become less of a taboo issue and more of a topic of common discussion. Considering a certain topic taboo also depends on the place in the world you are and the culture in which it develops. For example in India, Polygamy, which means having more than one wife, is allowed, while countries in the occident consider this activity a taboo. The degree in which a taboo theme limits knowledge has many variables to consider but the overall conclusion that we arrived upon is that when a theme is categorized as taboo the discussion or experimentation is reduced and the theme is stereotyped. This means there will be less exchange of information on the subject or prejudice towards the theme, limiting the amount of knowledge on the issue. The three of us agree that Marijuana is indeed a taboo theme and because of this, the knowledge we have on this issue has a certain degree of limitation and is often biased. First of all, it is an illegal substance, meaning there is prejudice when judging its use. Because of this, it is socially rejected or considered unethical, even if people are not familiar with the effects of the drug. Sometimes society in general does not consider the fact that it can be used with medical purposes, relieving the pain in patients with cancer or chronicle diseases. When voting in favor or against the “Legalization of Marijuana” people may not have enough information on the drug or base their vote on the fact that they don’t want to fall under the stereotype that lies behind the taboo. Overall Conclusion Real Life Situation Conclusion
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