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Ethics Final Draft

Ethics Final Draft - Tackie Albert Tackie PHIL 103.002 Dr...

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Tackie Albert Tackie PHIL 103.002 Dr. Shaw 12-13-07 Laissez-Faire, as Applied to Narcotics What would your reaction be, if someone asked you if you do drugs? It is probable that you’d smile, maybe even laugh, and consider the question largely absurd to the point that it borders on nothing more than crazy small talk. Why is that? Is it because you consider drug users to be desperate, or perverted human beings, and implying that you’re one of them is insanity? In Thomas Szasz essay, The Ethics of Addiction , the author presents an argument as to why our current stance on drugs and their illegal selling and buying is flawed, and how he thinks our laws regarding them should change. He puts forth that we are denied a right to govern ourselves, and that people fail to recognize the problem for the moral issue it is. In this essay, I’m going to back up his opinion by including my own take on the subject. I will try to show that given how we treat similar subjects in our lives, it is sensible to include the right to do drugs. The end goal will be to prove that drugs use and organized distribution should be legalized, because it is argued against by avoiding the real issue altogether, it is a natural human right, and because it is currently doing our society a great disservice. To begin with, I will expand upon Szasz’s four primary ideas that he lists in his essay in the defense of drugs. The concepts he brings up are: We unjustly stereotype drug users as evil and that is not always true, we have the right to govern our own bodies, we should allow free trade of drugs, and lastly, we mistake this topic as a medical issue when it is really a moral one. 1
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Tackie When someone talks of drug users, most of us already have a general picture of what kind of person that would be, maybe even what the look like, and how they’d act. Generally, some form of a scary, desperate, and dangerous addict. Sadly, this is actually not a particularly uncommon perception of drug users. The problem here is that it is not the only kind of user that exists. As Szasz points out in his essay, perfectly normally behaving and dressing people can in fact be users. “A woman aged 81 and still alert mentally, had taken 3 grains of morphine daily for 65 years. [The usual therapeutic dose is one-quarter grain, three to four grains being fatal for the non-addict.] She gave birth to and raised six children, and managed her household with more than average efficiency (pg. 501).” Since we already think we know who and what drug users are, we judge them more harshly and before they are given the chance to defend themselves, we subject them to all kinds of labels and stereotypes that are by no means necessarily accurate. That is not to say all “druggies” are shining stars. They most certainly can fail out just like the rest of us. At the end of the day however, users have proven themselves to be more than capable, (even if not always willing) of maintaining regular jobs and performing to non- user standards.
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Ethics Final Draft - Tackie Albert Tackie PHIL 103.002 Dr...

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