Legalization of Marijuana: The Right Thing To Do?
by vcanapa on February 5, 2014 - 10:21pm
While many North-Americans think of this as a subject which is taboo, it’s getting more and more attention from politicians and the people. Indeed, the debate on the legalization of marijuana is starting to evolve in a way where the society is educated about this plant, getting to know its advantages and disadvantages, instead of frightened. The article ‘‘Herb mentality; 39%of Canadians have used marijuana and many more are disposed to legalization. Can legal pot be far behind?’’ posted in the National Post demonstrate really well both side of the debate and clearly shows that both sides are starting to come to the same agreement. Therefore, while the Liberal’s leader Justin Trudeau, in support of the legalization of cannabis, say that it’s ‘‘in hope of putting the gangsters out of business and keeping the pot away from kids’’, Stephen Harper, while he is against the idea of legalizing this plant and saying that Trudeau is trying to ‘‘promote marijuana use for children’’, he stills states that the current approach against it is a failure. After Washington and Colorado went for legalization recently, marijuana’s legalization is now a topic that is gaining more interest from the population. Indeed, many people start to see it differently, whether they are users or not, since they have access to more diverse information about the subject, supporting both side of the debate, letting them forge their own opinion about it.
Facing the fact that the current war against drug isn’t working out, they realize it’s time to bring a change to improve this situation in one way or another. The values from the side in support of the legalization are numerous, just as the values for the opposite side. However, one main value of the side in support of legalizing cannabis would be the individual freedom. Indeed, the moral claim ‘‘always act in your own best interests’’ demonstrate really well how this value is linked to this situation. The fact that everybody has their individual freedom gives them the right to smoke the herb, even if other people disagree with them. It’s not because it’s not in their own best interest that it wouldn’t be the opposite for the users. Therefore, if someone wants to smoke weed while being educated about the subject, it’s his right to do so, since it will not harm anyone else. On the opposite, the main value on the side against legalization would be the collective responsibility. Therefore, legalizing marijuana would demonstrate a bad example for the youth, since they would understand that it’s accepted by society to smoke it. It’s the community’s role to show the example to future generations, and not legalizing marijuana is obviously a way to do it. However, wouldn’t the fact that everybody could smoke cannabis if they want, since they can act in their own interest, would also mean that they could rob if it was in their own interest or that they could to other drugs that are way more dangerous, like cocaine. On the other side, would that be logic that if marijuana was illegal in order to prevent the youth to smoke it since it’s ‘harmful’, cigarettes should be too?
To conclude, I think we will come to a point where we will not have the choice anymore to at least decriminalize the use and possession of cannabis. Indeed, as it’s written in Chris Selley’s article, there’s way too much arrest linked to this drug, going up to 42% of all arrests of 2012, which is legal in many states of the United States of America and way too many people smoking it in Canada, going up to 39% of the Canadians. I am pretty sure society will come to a point where they will realize that, whether they use marijuana or not, the war on this plant is a war that will never be conclude, except if the leader of this war stop it themselves. While we have access to so much diverse information compared to previous generations, I think people will change their view toward cannabis, realizing that the government is placing way too much money in order to fight marijuana while it’s illegal, that it’s not as harmful as people think it is and that it’s the right of anyone to smoke what they want if they want to, since it won’t hurt anyone else. However, the question that remains is how long will it take before it happens?
Selley, Chris. ‘‘Herb mentality; 39%of Canadians have used marijuana and many more are disposed to legalization. Can legal pot be far behind?’’, National Post (31 august 2013), A.6. ProQuest. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.