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Legalization Of Marijuana: Justifications From Both Sides Of Debate

1260 words - 5 pages

One of the most controversial debates is the legalization of marijuana. Either you are for or against it, both viewpoints present good arguments. Many conservatives and right-wing individuals believe that marijuana should remain illegal. On the other hand, many liberal individuals and younger generations want marijuana to be legalized for a handful of reasons as well. I am against legalization, however my paper will only have the first paragraph to defend my point of view, and the next three paragraphs will be the opposite view's arguments. The controversy of legalization arises because of the difference of opinions, but one should not choose a side based on emotional reasons. It is crucial to put aside emotions, and be open to other positions on the issue. Asking the Right Questions advises that one should "try to avoid letting emotional involvement cut you off from the reasoning of those whom you initially disagree. A successful active learner is one who is willing to change his mind" (Browne 9).The position against the legalization of marijuana presents many case arguments. The Gateway Theory is an example, which says that the use of soft drugs (such as marijuana) will eventually lead to the use of hard drugs. This is a generalization that can be disproved using individual case studies that show "hard drug" abusers who previously never used soft drugs before their addictions. Another argument is that legalizing drugs will send a message to children that drug use is acceptable. This is a possibility if a child's parents do not teach them otherwise. In addition, they say drug use is dangerous not only to the user, but to other people as well because of the subsequent rise of health care costs, violence associated with drugs, and the neglect of children by drug-addicted parents. They also say that the addictiveness of drugs can "rob" the user of free will, because drugs affect one's abilities to make rational and informed decisions, eliminating their sense of logic and critical thinking skills. Opponents of legalization also argue that the easy availability of drugs will create new consumers rather than rescuing current ones. The final argument deals with the State. The State cannot be involved with the distribution of substances considered "immoral" by the majority of the population. A substance considered unhealthy cannot be produced and distributed with the help of the state, because the goal of the state is to protect citizens' health and not to expose them to risk, and marijuana is an example of this kind of risk.Proponents who believe that marijuana should be legalized are mainly making the case for freedom. They believe that the prohibition of marijuana reflects the loss of personal freedom because nations have a responsibility to respect free will and the right of self-determination. They also believe that the "immorality" of marijuana is only based on one set of beliefs. For example, it is discriminatory to claim that Judeo-Christian...

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