Definition of the problem - Legalization of Marijuana

Marijuana, a well-known recreational drug, has been listed as the third most regularly used drug in the United States, after only alcohol and cigarettes. According to various organizations' special reports, at least 80% of US citizens consume marijuana. According to government statistics, about 20 million persons have used marijuana in recent years, with approximately 11 million now using it (Kilmer et al., 2010). Notwithstanding the strict restrictions and policies that control it. Marijuana has been prominently featured for ages. It has been widely utilized as a medicinal and stimulant by many people. Marijuana has been used for spiritual purposes as well. Nevertheless, for many years the united states of America have classified the drug as among the most abusive and thus placing it on the list enlisting Controlled Substance Act. Both moral and ethical issues have since then surrounded the legalization of the drug. Despite the fact that the drug has been classified as one of the abuse and thus the need for its regulation, marijuana has faced different political and ethical debts reading its liberalization (Kilmer et al., 2010). Many states in the US like Colorado have already legalized it and termed is a recreational drug. Other countries such as Canada and the Netherlands have also decriminalized the drugs and thus its usage without restrictions.

Definition of concept

Different terms and consist are involved in the topic of the study. Some of are described below. The term moral refers to the virtue of comprehending the difference between right and wrong. It is usually applied and used when asses the suitability of an action by an individual to the society. Ethics refers to the moral principles which govern an individual’s behavior. The term is applied when the actions of an individual or an outcome have either negative or positive effects on the society. Legalization is the entire process of lifting a ban on a certain product or action. Additionally, it may refer to the authenticating removal of the legal prohibition against an activity or behavior that is currently not legal. Another concept that will be used includes the CSA which denotes the Controlled Substances Act.

Possible Solution

One of the best solutions to the ethical problem identified above includes performing extensive research on the current topic about the benefits of marijuana and special conditions under which it should be palliative. Secondly, proper legislation which can ensure that benefits such as medical value is regulated to avoid misuse like being used to fund illegal activities. Thirdly, there should be a punishment to those who are misusing the recreational drug to pave way for those who are for instance sick and want to use the drug.

Assumptions and Points of View

Supporters of marijuana being legalized advocates that they are not obliged to anything and thus have a right to use the drug. The basic reasoning has associated with its ability to cure their diseases Hurley & Mazor, 2013). Additionally, the drug has is believed to pose some palliative effects to the users. For instance, patients have been reported to have been healed of cancer and blood conditions after using marijuana. Conversely, the opponents believe that marijuana is illegal and definitely a gateway to other drugs. Consequently, they believe that continual use and legitimizing it to pave way for medicinal use will lead to the illegal use of the drug. Studies have exposed that legalizing any drug that is being abused will lead to an “entry into” other drugs being abused. Besides, drug abuse is directly linked to moral erosion and thus by legalizing marijuana, it means that social moral will be affected negatively (Clark, 2000).

Gather information

Boosts Revenue: the legitimization of marijuana has a long way to go in boosting economic revenue, which from the biggest source of state funds. Recent studies have shown that by legalizing marijuana, the US has the capacity of obtaining more than $46.7 billion in income through taxation and licensing (Clark, 2000). Additionally, further studies have exposed that in Colorado alone, the sales tax from marijuana is over 121 million while the entire state benefiting from 8.4 billion in revenues (Clark, 2000). Consequently, it is important to capitalize on the impact of legalizing the drug on the economy and decriminalize it. For example, by allowing people to use openly without restriction is likely to save government expenditure by over $ 41.3 billion (Clark, 2000). The savings would be realized as less money will be spent on prohibition, rehabilitation centers, incarceration and even the cost incurred in prosecuting the victims.

Reduced organized crimes funding: Evidentially, it is clear crystal that despite marijuana being prohibited in many countries, its usage has continued to increase. Consequently, the money realized from its sale and consumption are at the disposal of extremist groups to use in funding organized atrocity. Studies have shown that majority of the crime committed by terror groups are funded through drug trafficking and smuggling which include marihuana (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). Subsequently, by legalizing the stimulant, the imminent effects will be a reduction in the funds used to fund terror activities including organized crimes that has in recent past jeopardize many cities globally. The imperfections in abnormal profits realized because of marijuana being prohibited are used to fund their activities and entrench their doctrines across the world and hence if the drug is left to be available to all without restrictions which reduce its supply, individuals will directly buy it from recognized dealers and thus reduce their purchases from terror groups. Consequently, this will mean they have less money to run their ill-defined actions and thus reducing crime rates (Clark, 2000). Moreover, its legalization will axiomatically lead to the institution of approved dealers who can trade the drug in different regions. As a consequence, persons who are already dealing with the drugs illegally will have the opportunity of being licensed and recognized. Therefore, many dealers will secure job openings; and thus reduce the unemployment gap in many countries.

Enhanced Safety and consumption Control: Currently, with the criminalization of marijuana, it becomes very impractical to put in place regulating the commonly known recreational stimulants. As a result, overconsumption of the drugs has been reported as well as transmitting the effects to other indoor uses within a working office space (Hurley & Mazor, 2013). Reports published by WHO indicate that prohibition of any drug will make it difficult for any state to monitor its usage in terms of cultivation, harvesting, transportation, and consumption. Therefore, legalization will ensure that the stimulants are consumed within the agreed upon standards; and thus controlling it through genuine dealers becomes more operational than having a blanket ban on it. As this will eventually still result in high consumption rates. In view of Unitarian, it ethical to regulate drug which has maximum benefit to the society through different regulations. Consequently, by legalizing marijuana there is a possibility that the states will be in a position to control the production and distribution of the drugs through legal means and channels (Hurley & Mazor, 2013).

Medical value: Different drugs like marijuana have been clinically approved of having medical value. For example, it has been established its usage can cure diseases like cancer and Glaucoma. Thus, by making its free from legal restrictions, many who have these conditions can have an easy access to it and cure their illnesses and different health conditions. Base on the theoretical model that has been applied to this issue, it will be unethical to not legalize marijuana on and instead subject that individual who could use it to cure some diseases using the drug to further pain. Consequently, based on the Unitarian school of thought, the society should legalize marijuana owing to the benefits it presents to the community like disease treatment (Choo et al., 2014). Contrary, the opponents of marijuana legalization have a different perspective. Their views are briefly discussed below. Increased substance abuse: Despite the fact that marijuana is unartful, it has been commonly said that its legalization will be “gateway to drugs” (Joffe & Yancy, 2004).

Leads to addiction: Marijuana is addictive in nature and thus will cause many of those who are using the weed to be habituated. Frequently, it becomes very difficult for those individuals who are using the drug to quit. As a result, they tend to develop a recurrent behavior of getting used to marijuana and becoming part of their lives. Many other persons will eventually find it easy to test and use it and thus instated of reducing and stabilizing its usage; it is likely to increase the number of new users who are certainly to abuse other drugs (Joffe & Yancy, 2004).

Increased social crime: Systematically, drug abuse has been associated with the deterioration and corrosion of the social moral and upsurge in crime. There has been no substantial research conducted to assure that marijuana legalization would reduce crime rates. Nevertheless, the universal assumptions remain to relate that drugs are highly linked to evil in the community (Monte, Zane & Heard, 2015).

Cripple the economy: Despite the fact that the legalization of marijuana is associated with some benefits such as huge tax revenues; studies carried out by different scholars have exposed that the money collected is used to repair the damaged caused the addicts. For example, statistics show that for every $1 collected from taxes on marijuana, nearly $14 was utilized in repairing community structures (Hurley & Mazor, 2013).

Theoretical perspective: utilitarian theory view

One of the ethical theories that will be reviewed to shade light ion the ethical consideration in regard the to the legalization of marijuana is the Unitarian theory. The theory asserts that the society should endeavor to promote actions which promotes the highest level of gratification among the people. In essence, as long as an act delivers the desired satisfaction among the public, then automatically the action has to be accepted owing to its designated benefits (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). Consequently, according to utilitarian perspective, the moral and ethical concerns about legalizing marijuana and its legitimacy can confidently and adequately be grounded on the maximization of pleasure individual pleasure while conversely minimizing pain. Based on the theory, there are two common viewpoints: Act-utilitarian who are likely to view the legalization of marijuana from an individual perspective and secondly the Rule-utilitarianism who attend to the issue from the societal perspective (Cohen, 2010).

From the utilitarian standpoint, marijuana legalization is an ethical move that is meant to offer great help to thousands of individual in the society. Subsequently, this is based on the benefits accrued. For instance, marijuana is supposed to be used to bring relief to those who are suffering from different conditions which are treated using it (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). Additionally, since those who use it are likely to attain maximum happiness and gratification then its legalization is ethically supported (Cohen, 2010). Conversely, by being illegal many people are denied the chance of attaining happiness and other benefits which they obtain from using the drug. The model views it unreasonable to criminalize marijuana when there are no reasonable policies in place to regulate the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. Moreover, by criminalizing it, the society is simply denying a majority of people the joy, subjecting them to pain and making them not to enjoy pleasure derived from its usage (Hurley & Mazor, 2013).

Moral Reasoning

Different reports have been published internationally linking marijuana use and improved health (Cohen, 2010). Legal issues are exacerbated when confusion and ambiguity surround the entire process of cultivating and providing marijuana for medical use or it is being farmed to be used in the illegal market for use. There has been a sense of failure in legalizing marijuana and fully recognizing it as a medical drug since there is no prescription for it (Clark, Capuzzi & Fick, 2011). Another legal issue surrounding its legalization relates to countries laws and regulations governing illegal drugs. Countries that are likely to allow or have already permitted the use of marijuana as a medical drug are essentially recognizing individual jurisdiction on how to control and regulate its consumption. While commercial licenses or legal permits are likely to be used in different countries or cities as in the United States, there exists no apparent regulation governing the different sources where marijuana is obtained. Subsequently, the absence of policies governing the sources from where marijuana is obtained has resulted in acute litigation between those who regulate, dispense, producers and the patients involved (Cohen, 2010).

Reflecting back to the utilitarian theory which was introduced earlier in this paper, the ethical lawfulness of marijuana should be based on the value obtained through maximization of pleasure and minimization of pain. Accordingly, Act-utilitarianism will base their argument on an individual level while Rule-utilitarianism would definitely base their propositions from a societal perspective. According to their viewpoint, medical marijuana should be used to relieve pain and help people within the society to live a healthy life. It should be allowed and the individual should not be bound by any legal law in using the drug for medical purposes. The drug can help to reduce the danger facing persons with terminal conditions (Cohen, 2010).

Nevertheless, based on the current state where it is illegal, there is an alarming concern which related to drug trafficking as well as cartels being involved in the unauthorized distribution of the drug. Because there are no established legal structures and systems which can help in monitoring the movement and consumption of the drug, from its source, there is no sufficient ground upon which the drug should be controlled for medicinal purposes. Moreover, there are no well-defined channels which have been put in place to regulate the movement of the drugs from one place to another. eventually; despite the fact that it is being regarded as illegal, it finds a place in the streets for misuse by many people (Joffe & Yancy, 2004).

Furthermore, marijuana has been prescribed to be beneficial in terms of health. nonetheless, there are no legal channels or platform over which the drug should be sold to those who need it. As a result, this will definitely undermine the usefulness of the drug as areal medicine for different illness. Basing on other curative drugs, prescription usually given to avoid any form of misuse as well as delineating any form of illegal trade (Frezza, 2012).

My personal perspective is that marijuana ought to be legalized as one of the straightforward and ethical moves” it beheld. Presently, there are different sources and studies which have been conducted to illuminate light on the several benefits that marijuana has compared to its negative impacts. There is a need to shift the paradigm on how marijuana is viewed and what medicine has proved to benefit (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). The scenario in which a given drug can help to cure and heal a disease is something to cause all stakeholders to change their views regarding the drug.

Axiomatically, life is scared. Therefore, any drug that can help in saving a life should and must be made available. Centrally, imposing restrictions and illegalizing marijuana would be unethical and morally eroded to establish that many lives that could have been saved have been lost owing to antagonizing opinions on the benefits of the drug when it has been clinically proved to be effective (Cohen, 2010). The major concern which needs to be addressed relates to the legal issues surrounding it. The main stakeholders and interest groups are to come up with a “fair” approach and solution to the moral issues facing marijuana. In doing so, proper and well-researched facts have to be implemented. Besides, there is need to legalize marijuana and consequently develop a legal platform over which the drug will be traded and consumed. Just like any other medical drug of health value to patients, “legal and social” prescription is necessary to aboard the misuse of the medicine (Joffe & Yancy, 2004). Authorized dealers should be engaged and used so that the evil associated with marijuana is eliminated and significantly mitigated (Linn, Yager & Leake, 1989).


The main consequences include medical marijuana being accessible and available to those who need it for different conditions. Secondly, it will be easy for different countries to come up with appropriate policies which will ensure that marijuana is monitored from the source to the market. Thirdly, it will be easy to regulate and control the consumption of marijuana since prescription will be established. Fourthly, there would be reduced funding for illegal activities since by legalizing marijuana means everyone can access it through legal means. Consequently, this will reduce funds available to fund illegal activities like terrorism. lastly, many countries will incur fewer costs in developing and enforcing the use of the drug which can be used to develop other sectors of the economy.


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