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drugs - Alex Ortega Prof Stoehr A Student's Take on Drugs...

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Alex Ortega 11/23/10 Prof. Stoehr A Student’s Take on Drugs The United States of America was founded on the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To what extent do these principles apply? Is it the government’s duty to protect the people from using drugs even if it is their wish to use them? The use of drugs is an example where ethics collide. In other words, the two sides of the argument of whether the usage of drugs should be legal or illegal both have ethical backing to their arguments but they also refutation against their opposition. Problems arise when people prevent other people from doing what they want. The question is who is right and who is wrong? The complication of this matter is beyond a clear cut answer. There are grey areas to this dilemma. Drugs can have medical uses and can be very helpful. On the other hand, if used improperly, these same drugs can kill people. So is the self-proclaimed obligation of the government to dictate the actions of people justified by their claim of the attempt to protect those people? Is it the right of the people to make their own choices and not have a legislative hand in their personal life? Perhaps a closer look at the issue can help to clear up the dust and illuminate a more rational ethical conclusion. When boiled down to its most simple form, drugs can either hurt or help people. Drugs are something that need to be monitored by the government for a number of reasons which include protecting people from themselves and also helping those people who need drugs to live. An important argument is the one of the endangerment of one’s self and others. People who advocate drug usage argue that there are much more dangerous things out there that are allowed other than narcotics. Thomas Szasz brings up an interesting point in his essay “The 1
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Ethics of Addiction: An Argument in Favor of Letting Americans Take Any Drug They Want” when he says, “there are many things, from dynamite to guns, that are much more dangerous than narcotics (especially to others) but are not prohibited.” (Szasz 518) Deaths attributed to guns is a legitimate concern in the United States but to rationalize legalizing drugs by comparing
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