A Moral Case For Marijuana
A lot of talk has been going around about marijuana and whether it should be legal, illegal, or just heavily regulated. There has been even more talk about the DEA’s questionable medical marijuana dispensary raid in Denver. The only moral solution to the problem of marijuana I see is to legalize it. Smoking marijuana is a victimless crime that for some reason has become criminalized. As I see it, the government is making mountains out of molehills with this issue.
Normally, moral arguments are made against drugs, but are doing drugs really immoral? Those against marijuana say it is harmful to your health, but even if that is the case, should the government step in to save us from our own choices? Are we really that ignorant and in need of the government and other authoritarians to tell us how to live our lives? Is food immoral because people can become morbidly obese from it? Should the government ban all through drive-throughs to save us from our bad decisions? Or should we be expected to think for ourselves and to be capable of making the right choice on our own? Marijuana isn’t totally harmless as nothing is, but it is much safer than alcohol and tobacco**.
Smoking marijuana is a life choice, just like religion. Believing in a certain God, just like smoking marijuana, is a victimless crime and an individual’s choice. The words “drug use” have a negative connotation because we have grown up learning that “drugs are bad”. But are all drugs the same? There is a misconception about drugs when a relatively harmless drug like marijuana is grouped into the same category as a harmful drug like methamphetamine.
Keeping marijuana illegal is in fact immoral. When the government makes something illegal they give you two choices, obey us or we will initiate violence against you. The government holds a gun to the temple of the public forcing them to do something that they do not want to, or in this case, forcing them to stop doing something they want to do. How is forcing someone to give up a portion of their life for smoking marijuana moral? The only immoral act here is the government’s initiation of violence against you. Ayn Rand said, “Force and mind are opposite, morality ends where a gun begins”. In this case, morality ends when victimless crime laws begin.
*There’s been more public discussion of late than ever before. There’s more medical research into marijuana than any other substance in the world. We know the effect it has on the lungs and we know the effect it has on the brain. The only area where there’s still some uncertainty is the effect it has on a young person’s developing brain. There’s no conclusive evidence that it could be harmful. It could be, but we do know it doesn’t have long-term effects on the adult brain or lungs.