According to a theory of utilitarianism developed by John Stuart Mill, the actions of people are categorized as good or bad based on their consequences on the person and society.
An individual will always decide to take an action that will give him maximum happiness in terms of the benefits he will derive from the action.
His/her main objective in making the choice is the maximum exploitation of the available chances to get the best possible pleasure he/she can get from the specific action.
This may be done with the interest of the society at heart where, the person wants to improve the well being of everyone else in the community (Bentham, 1987).
An example is someone who takes the initiative to build a public utility like a road, church or school. The project is exclusively undertaken for the benefit of every child who is born in that society regardless of the time of birth or place of bath, so long as he/she can access the school.
The benefit in this case is unlimited to everyone but the efforts where from someone who took the decision alone.
In the case of marijuana legalization; this theory may consider it as wrong, due to the challenges and bad consequences that it may bring to society like increasing insanity among most users and destroying families.
In the egoism perspective, the individual’s actions are always decided based on personal interest in the subject matter. As a result, the person will only make a choice depending on how much he/she will benefit from the action without caring for the interest of the other people.
In this case, the self interest of a single individual may be pursued even at the expense of the society. From this perspective, the legalization of Marijuana smoking is justified as the society does not matter (Bentham, 1987).
On the other hand, the use of natural law theory advocates for the taking of action by someone based on his natural human reasoning. The decision on a certain aspect in life will be taken based in the logic behind the action, which is assumed to be the natural course of action by the person.
In this case, the individual makes his choices depending on what he/she thinks is best for him, the concept considers the freedom of the person to choose so long as she/he has achieved the age of majority.
According to this theory, an adult person is assumed to be capable of reasoning and considering all the positive and negative aspects of an action before making his choice.
The ethical theory that best represents my opinion is the application of natural law. From this perspective, we look at the benefits of the subject in question; legalizing marijuana use.
It should never be legalized because logically, if we consider the disadvantages of its use to the individual and the society. There are many disadvantages based on the consequences that may come with its use such as the influence it may have on the youths in schools and at home.
The society should not risk allowing individuals to have a few hours of being high, which will badly influence the whole society whether directly or indirectly for a long time. I think it is better if marijuana is not legalized (Virtue, 2006).
Bentham, J. (1987). Utilitarianism and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mill, S. J. (2002). Utilitarianism. Cambridge: Hacket Publishing Company Inc.
Virtue, D. (2006). Divine Magic. London. Hay House Inc.