Marijuana Use: An Ethical Examination Essay

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Works Cited Missing Instead of addressing the tiresome argument about whether or not marijuana should be legalized in the United States, I would like to examine a much more fundamental question: whether or not it is right to use the drug. This problem is strictly an ethical one. If we are to examine only the moral implications of the action then we must discard governmental laws from the equation, for this decision could be made anywhere, at any time, under any sort of governmental regime, under any set of laws, which after all are only that particular government’s best guess at morality and who’s to say their judgment is any better than yours? Knowing that this decision is a rather daunting one, I’ve enlisted the help of three…show more content…
Aristotle says in his first sentence concerning the goal of men, “Every expertise and method of investigation, and likewise every action and choice, seem to aim at some good; hence the good has been well described as that at which all things aim” (Bostock 8). Where all of this comes into play concerning our situation is when we begin to wonder how it is we achieve this eudaimonia. Will using marijuana help or hinder our quest for eudaimonia?

Aristotle’s answer to this is clear, but precisely what the answer means is unclear. His answer is that we should act in accordance with what he calls the mean, or the golden mean. In each situation in which we are called on to make practical decisions, like the one at hand, we can distinguish two extremes and a mean between them. We must hit the mean to act virtuously (Holmes 41). For example, if you eat too much, that is an extreme, while if you eat too little that is the other extreme. Eating the right amount would be the mean. For our particular situation, the two extremes would be abstaining from marijuana and smoking a lot. Aristotle addresses the role of “bodily pleasures” in life, under which marijuana would certainly fall. Aristotle says, “the bodily pleasures of food and drink and sex are good only ‘up to a point’. For this kind of pleasure can be indulged to excess, and this is the mark of a bad man” (Bostock 145).

It should be noted that the mean is often
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