• Jude Joanis
    5
    Is the use of marijuana, even in a legal market, ethical?

    Some US states have fledgling marijuana markets. However, most marijuana in the US still comes from cartels in Mexico, Central and South America. The organizations responsible for bringing marijuana into the United States are largely the same organizations that traffic in cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc and engage in mass murder, rape, extortion, and human trafficking. Doesn't this make the use of marijuana from these sources unethical?

    The first objection I see is that drugs should be legalized to allow a legal path for these drugs to be produced. However, any legal market for drugs in the US would be regulated. Regulation increases the end production cost. Cartels, who already have the trafficking routes into the US would not be subject to these regulations. Only a few unscrupulous farms or wholesalers would be necessary to blend the trafficked drugs with legal domestic drugs.

    Noting that even in a legal market some portion of marijuana would be from criminal cartels that practice violence, is it ethical to use marijuana?
  • Wallows
    9k


    I'm not sure if what you're saying is factually correct. The majority of marijuana in legalized states is produced locally, as far as I know. The marijuana grown in Mexico or South America is of poor quality.

    Noting that even in a legal market some portion of marijuana would be from criminal cartels that practice violence, is it ethical to use marijuana?Jude Joanis

    Well, this doesn't follow if the cartels aren't profiting from it, yes?
  • DingoJones
    1.2k


    I think your question is muddled. You arent asking about the ethics of legal marijuana, you are asking about whether it is ethical to use marijuana if that marijuana is produced through bloodshed and horror.
    Is that you Tim Wood?
    Most legal marijuana is grown locally, as someone pointed out you have your facts wrong. No legal weed is cartel weed. Do you think that legal pot distributors are getting their weed from cartels? No. It is tightly regulated, and where the pot comes from is traceable and must be a legal, government approved source (depending on where you are talking about, Im talking about here in Canada where it is legal across the country.)
  • tim wood
    3.2k
    Is that you Tim Wood?DingoJones

    Lol. No. When I saw this I immediately broke out in hives. To the OP: if you look back not too far you will find a long and contentious thread on exactly this topic - "Is it immoral to do Illegal Drugs?"

    Well, maybe not exactly the same. But imo you serve yourself best by perusing there.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Some drugs are illegal to use for a reason: cannabis, cocaine, opioids, meth, LSD, etc. are substances that involve various risks (great and small) to the users. Tobacco and alcohol pose at least as much risk, and should be as illegal as cocaine or opioids, if we were to be consistent.

    Illicit drug users who comprise the market draw to our shores suppliers who are much less benign than the Jolly Green Giant. Drug pushers help create the market in the first place.

    Most pharmaceutical drugs are controlled because their unregulated use would either result in negative consequences for the person taking them improperly or would result in their loss of effectiveness, as when antibiotics are not used properly.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.5k


    How many people buy moonshine now? That's about the same percentage that would buy illegal weed if it were legalized.
  • Jude Joanis
    5
    Couldn't wholesalers mix illegal marijuana with that of their local supply chain? Also no one answered my question about illegal marijuana. In states where marijuana is still illegal, is it ethical to use marijuana knowing that it comes from cartels?
  • Jude Joanis
    5
    Is the pricing structure and production cost for moonshine and now alcohol analogous to weed?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.5k


    There's no demand for moonshine because alcohol is legal.

    The same would be the case for weed.
  • DingoJones
    1.2k
    Couldn't wholesalers mix illegal marijuana with that of their local supply chain?Jude Joanis

    Not legally, no. Obviously. As to use of illegal pot, not all illegal weed is from cartels, someone concerned about the ethics would have to be discerning.
  • Coben
    971
    The first objection I see is that drugs should be legalized to allow a legal path for these drugs to be produced. However, any legal market for drugs in the US would be regulated. Regulation increases the end production cost. Cartels, who already have the trafficking routes into the US would not be subject to these regulations. Only a few unscrupulous farms or wholesalers would be necessary to blend the trafficked drugs with legal domestic drugs.Jude Joanis
    I assume the prices would drop radically once the risk of growing and selling was radically reduced. It is in the interests of the cartels that the drugs are illegal. They'd be driven out of the market. Which raises the issue of whether it is moral to pursue the drug war.
  • Jude Joanis
    5
    I find it highly unlikely that prices would drop enough to eliminate cartels from the market. Cartels have a comparative advantage over legal producers because they don't have to comply with regulation.
  • Coben
    971
    I find it highly unlikely that prices would drop enough to eliminate cartels from the market. Cartels have a comparative advantage over legal producers because they don't have to comply with regulation.Jude Joanis
    But then they have to smuggle the drugs which risks prison and more. They have to hire criminals to sell the drugs and monitor that whole process. There might be some small black market, like there is with alcohol since it was relegalized. And they'd be competing with third world growers who did follow regulations and who also had lower costs. As others have pointed out, we just don't see a lot of people producing unregulated beer and spirits. And the laws will also reflect financial and prison punishments to make it not worth their while. The cartels also need to pay for weapons and defend themselves all the time from violent competitors. Though actually they would probably shift to more human trafficking or other drugs that are still illegal.
  • Jude Joanis
    5
    Your argument is persuasive. The real concern I have is that cartels use the same routes for cocaine and heroin, meaning they don't need to find routes specifically for marijuana. But I do acknowledge that human trafficking would probably be more profitable at that point.
  • Coben
    971
    Your argument is persuasive.Jude Joanis

    Great.. It is so rare that anyone ever says anything like this - when originally they had a different opinion - it's a little discussion treasure.
  • uncanni
    275
    It is ethical to use home grown Cannabis. Not only is it infinitely superior to anything you can buy elsewhere, but it is also immensely rewarding to go through the entire process from germination to harvesting and curing it to perfection.
  • Drazjan
    39
    I think what is unethical is to pretend cannabis use has no negative side affects, socially or for the individual, just because you like to get high.
  • Fine Doubter
    97
    Jude Joannis and Uncanni, some people are allergic to cannabis therefore it is NEVER ethical for anyone to use cannabis that becomes airborne. It should be injected or swallowed, only.
  • uncanni
    275
    Deception or self-deception is unethical, I agree. I'm primarily interested in the medicinal research that's being done with more freedom and funding these days. And as some medicines are indeed poison to some users, everyone is responsible for finding the meds that work best for them.

    Cannabis does have negative effects on some people in some circumstances, but I'm not about to make a sweeping generalization about it based on that fact. In that sense your statment seems a bit irrational. Also, I don't understand what the problem is with people who like to get high. Please don't make another sweeping generalization, or I won't take you seriously.

    I cultivate Cannabis and I make tinctures for various people, including a biology professor whose anxiety is markedly decreased and a few clients with ADHD whose focus is much better with Cannabis than with ritalin, and without the latter's side effects.
  • Drazjan
    39
    ↪Drazjan Deception or self-deception is unethical, I agree. I'm primarily interested in the medicinal research that's being done with more freedom and funding these days. And as some medicines are indeed poison to some users, everyone is responsible for finding the meds that work best for them.

    Cannabis does have negative effects on some people in some circumstances, but I'm not about to make a sweeping generalization about it based on that fact. In that sense your statment seems a bit irrational. Also, I don't understand what the problem is with people who like to get high. Please don't make another sweeping generalization, or I won't take you seriously.

    I cultivate Cannabis and I make tinctures for various people, including a biology professor whose anxiety is markedly decreased and a few clients with ADHD whose focus is much better with Cannabis than with ritalin, and without the latter's side effects.
    uncanni

    You agree, but then accuse me of making a sweeping statement that is irrational. My previous post is not theory, it is made from experience, which should be the basis of any worthwhile philosophy. As for condescending to take me seriously in the future, don't bother yourself. I am not interested in your pompous approval.
  • uncanni
    275
    I didn't mean to sound pompous: sorry if I offended you. My point was that Cannabis is a very helpful medicine to lots of people. If your personal experience tells you to stay away, that's good enough.
  • Fine Doubter
    97
    Uncanni, as airborne cannabis doesn't give others the opportunity to abstain because it causes them illness and emergency, what you are recommending is unethical.

    Your philosophical contributions so far are in line with the letters page of a local paper. You don't sound like a teacher of 66 but one of the well-known campaigners.

    What I heartily recommend by contrast is pork, cheese and tea.

    As for growing things, lettuce is a narcotic and when airborne, doesn't poison passers-by.
  • Congau
    35
    The original question didn’t deal with the morality of marijuana as such, so it could in principle be asked about any product. If product x, apple pie or baby powder or whatever, is produced and distributed in a somewhat unethical fashion, is ethical to buy and consume it?

    Well, we rarely know exactly where a product comes from and even those we feel safe about may have a murky source unknown to us. In the world of business and money making, it’s a safe bet to assume that few procedures are 100 percent clean. Should we therefore doubt everything and stop buying or should we only abstain from the obvious cases?

    I would say that this is not the responsibility of the individual consumer. A single consumer would not make a difference anyway. The common objection is of course that if everyone follows your example such campaigns may be successful. It’s just that there’s not the slightest reason to believe that your private boycott would have any effect on other people’s behavior. Unless you are a celebrity no one cares what you do. You would just be fighting windmills, and in the process you would be making it uncomfortable for yourself.

    By all means, if you have a direct choice between a quantum of marijuana (or any other product) that is ethically produced and one that isn’t, choose the “ethical” one, otherwise, don’t strain yourself.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.