For this assignment, you will again follow the suggestion to “look at
justice through… frameworks that permit careful analysis and evaluation
of competing views” (Dreisbach, 2013, Section 2.1). Again, you will
apply his framework for analyzing how the concept of justice varies when
viewed from the different perspectives of family, community, state, and
nation. In this assignment, you will apply this framework to analyze
justice issues arising from recent successful efforts to legalize
recreational marijuana use in two states and medical marijuana in
several other states. Before responding, carefully read the assignment
By the end of 2012, 18 states and the District of Columbia had legalized
medical marijuana use, under various circumstances, and two states had
legalized recreational marijuana use. Legalization proposals are pending
in other states.
At the same time, the federal government’s Controlled Substances Act
(CSA) bans the possession, production, sale, or distribution of
marijuana, even when such activity is technically in compliance with
state law. Moreover, the Supreme Court has affirmed the
constitutionality of federal enforcement of the CSA against individuals
who were in possession of or were growing marijuana for medical use in
compliance with California law.
- Choose three out of the five scenarios and analyze the
retributive, commutative and distributive justice of this complex
- A recreational pot smoker who lives in a state that recently
legalized growing, possessing, selling, and distributing, through
state-regulated dispensaries, limited amounts of marijuana for medical
- A parent living in the same state, concerned that her
12-year-old will be exposed to new and significant risks of addiction to
pot that will be readily available in their community.
- An HIV patient, also living in this state, whose doctor
advises that smoking small amounts of marijuana will probably relieve
some of his pain.
- The Chief of Police of the city where these people live, who
has urged the City Council to enact new local zoning and other
regulations that will make it virtually impossible for medical marijuana
dispensaries to operate in the city.
- The state’s new Medical Marijuana Board, which is empowered
to permit and regulate dispensaries but is without the power to withhold
permits, merely because of local opposition in a particular community.
- The President and Attorney General of the United States who
are responsible for enforcing the CSA as well as upholding the nation’s
obligations to implement anti-drug treaties that it has ratified.
- Within your analysis, explore the way that moral character may
inform the actions or choices of each central actor. Refer to relevant
ethical perspectives, as appropriate.
- From your analysis of these various perspectives, draw a
conclusion about how to achieve the most just resolution to issues
involving the availability of marijuana in American society.
The paper must be four to six pages in length (excluding the title and
reference pages) and formatted according to APA style. You must use at
least three scholarly resources (at least one of which can be found in
the Ashford University Library) other than the textbook to support your
claims. Start your research by reviewing the PDF document, Recommended Resources for the Week Two Assignment
. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page