Essay The Ethical Issues of Legalizing Marijuana

749 WordsJun 24, 20133 Pages
Did you know that almost half of the population in the United States belongs in jail, according to the law on marijuana? It’s true. In 2008 Time Magazine reported that researchers had found more than 42% of people surveyed in the United States had tried marijuana at least once (Lynch, 2008). So if marijuana use is so common in the United States, why should it not be legalized? In this paper I will discuss both the supporting and opposing positions on the legalization of marijuana. I will also explore the moral and ethical views for legalizing marijuana. Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions (Shaw & Barry, 62).…show more content…
A Time Magazine article reported that a new study found 44,000 U.S. drivers involved in a fatal single-vehicle car crash between 1998 and 2009. Of those 44,000 drivers, 25% tested positive for drug use; the most common drugs being marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines (Melnick, 2011). This means on average (between 1998 and 2009) there were approximately 1,000 U.S. drivers that tested positive for drug use who were involved in single-vehicle car crashes. Ethical relativism says that right and wrong are only a function of what a particular society takes to be right and wrong (Shaw & Barry, 11). Just based off of the information reported in this paragraph, I would say that alcohol should be a banned substance before marijuana To explore the economic benefits of marijuana legalization we must first look at the amount of marijuana that is purchased by users. The White House Office of National Drug Policy reported that between 1988 and 1995, Americans spent about 7 billion dollars on the illegal substance, averaging about a billion dollars a year (Prislac, 2009). This means that annually there is a billion dollars out there that is subject to no sales tax. The national average for sales tax is 5%, so if you calculate the billion dollars being spent on marijuana, this means there is approximately 50 million dollars in sales tax that our government never gets
Open Document