Legalizing Marijuana

Legalizing Marijuana

Legalizing Marijuana: A Utilitarian Perspective
Whitney T. Hall
SOC120: Ethic and Social Responsibility
Tim Carter
May 7, 2012

Legalizing Marijuana: A Utilitarian Perspective
The legalization of marijuana in the United States remains a major issue and has caused much controversy due to opposing views. With the economy being in the state that it is, we need to utilize all available resources and set aside personal emotion regarding “smoking weed”.   While some support decriminalization, there are many reasons why other individuals, including the government, do not. From a utilitarian point view, legalizing marijuana will produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people affected by the choice (Mosser, 2010, sect. 1.7) Misleading perception and harmful effects influence the decision of marijuana remaining illegal. But, the best way to control its use is to legalize it for its positive effects on the environment, medical uses, and revenue it generates for the government; therefore, producing the best results for the greatest number of people.  
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America following alcohol and tobacco. It is most commonly smoked out of a pipe, or rolled like a cigarette. The active ingredient in marijuana that causes the “high” followed by smoking it is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short. This is the most common perception of individuals who encounter the drug but what is failed to be considered are its environmental advantages. Like marijuana, hemp is another form of the Cannabis plant. It is often confused with marijuana because of its similar leaf shape but contains miniscule amounts of THC. Hemp could play an important role in solutions considering concerns for our eco-system. Hemp can be used in the industrial sense for food, fibers, paper, textiles, etc. Hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent, and more mildew resistant than cotton (Smalls and Marcus, 2010). Fabrics made of at least...

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