Legalizing Marijuana Essay

1685 words - 7 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Fabrics made of at least one-half hemp block the sun's UV rays more effectively than other fabrics (Small and Marcus, 2010). When it comes to the potential for hemp paper production, one acre of hemp could produce four times more paper than one acre of trees; in turn, producing several different paper products and saving our trees ( Rutherford, 1995). The growth of hemp requires no herbicides or pesticides. 50% of all pesticides used in the U.S. are used on cotton while hemp practically does not need any which can alleviate irritants (Rutherford, 1995). Hemp is also strong enough to serve as a substitute for wood and other building materials. It can be manufactured less inexpensively as we continue to spare our vegetation. Unlike many crops, hemp can be grown in any and all 50 states because it puts little to no stain on the soil, requiring small amounts of fertilization. Less fertilizer creates less water pollution by reducing run- off into water-ways and groundwater (Rutherford, 1995). The seeds of hemp are high in protein oils that can be used for human and animal consumption as well. They can be processed similar to the way soy beans are processed for highly nutritious foods. Some examples included tofu, butter, milk and cheese. The oils can even be used to make products such as paint, ink, varnish and even plastic substitutes. Products made from hemp are mostly non-toxic, biodegradable and renewable. Most importantly, the fuel derived from hemp is carbon neutral and would not contribute to global warming. “Biomass produced by hemp can be converted to fuel in the form of clean- burning alcohol, or no-sulfur man- made coal”(Rutherford, 1995). This means that hemp has more potential to be a natural source of energy than any other crop and could very- well supply the nation with 100% of all U.S. energy if widely grown.
Cannabis has also been a part of medicine for as long as history has been recorded. The Egyptians, dating back to 2000 BC, used cannabis to treat sore eyes (Nahas, 1997). The Mediterranean’s used it as a balm for pain associated with giving birth (Nahas, 1997). Today, modern research suggests cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of pain. The University of California, Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, conducted studies to assess smoked marijuana’s ability to alleviate neuropathic pain; a difficult to treat type of nerve pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and spinal cord injury. Each of the trials found that cannabis consistently reduced patients' pain levels to a degree that was as good as or better than currently available medication. Marijuana can stimulate a HIV patient’s appetite. For a cancer patient, marijuana can help relieve the pain caused by the disease and relieve nausea caused by chemo- therapy. The drug can even relieve pressure on the eyes of the elderly due to glaucoma or other diseases that inflict the eye. Other diseases that have adequately responded to using...

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