500 words with references APA format
Marijuana has been seen as a harmful drug to society. It not only effects those who are using it but it can also affect others around as well. This film displays marijuana use as harmful, however, marijuana is not necessarily as harmful as this film portrays it to be. ‘People who are high on marijuana are committing violent crimes’ was one of the claims this film makes. There have been numerous articles written and data presented show that marijuana use and violence do not correlate. In an article done by Hall, W., & Lynskey, M. (2016), evidence shows that crime data in the city of Denver, Colorado illustrates that violent crimes have actually declined during the first three months of the year 2014, when marijuana was legalized compared with the same time period from that previous year 2013. This film does shine light on the different scare tactics used by the media to deter marijuana use. When looking at marijuana use on its own it does not have much of an effect on harmful activity such as violent crimes. However, it can contribute to violent behavior when linking it with another illicit drug use.
A drug can be defined as a medicine or other substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body. When thinking about drugs and their effects on society we must consider the two sociological views in which drug use is portrayed. One portrayal of drug use is through an essentialistic or “objectivistic” view. This view helps to establish an agreement about what issues are the most important within the community. The other view is a constructionist or “subjective” which examines the development of understandings about the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. It is important to know these two views because they are relevant to a sociological consideration of drug use. Both of these views have effects on the opinions and where members of society stand in regard to drug use.
Drug use is continued to be socially constructed in our society. The article, The Social Construct of Drug Use. (2017, June 27), goes into depth to help better understand what it means for society to socially construct drug use. According to this article, drug use as a social construct, is driven by a bias produced by a cultural dependency rather than the use of drugs itself (The Social Construct of Drug Use. (2017, June 27)). It can be argued that as a whole, society will socially construct “the criminal” by selectively deciding which crimes to prosecute and which criminals to punish (The Social Construct of Drug Use. (2017, June 27)). An example of this would be the criminalizing status addiction. Addiction can be seen as a disease and often people will undergo treatment for it. However, if it is to be considered a disease, why is treatment for it viewed differently than treatments for other diseases? Treatments that are given to those who have an addiction are not treated the same morally, as someone with cancer or another type of physical illness. With this example, we can see that society tends to socially constructs actions and circumstances based on what is moral. Following this idea, recent efforts to redefine marijuana as a “medicine” fit this pattern of social construction because marijuana is an illegal substance. Therefore, society will socially construct it as immoral. An attempt to redefine marijuana as “medicine” goes against the morals of society and will ultimately cause controversy. Which as we see today as present.
Pharmaceutical medicines can be far more dangerous than many “illegal” drugs. The question can be raised as to why these “legal” drugs are socially acceptable and illicit drugs are not. These legal drugs are socially acceptable for various reasons. One reason being that they are distributed through prescription uses. Along with this, rules and regulations are followed to distribute the proper amounts of these drugs from them to be taken within moderation. Although these drugs can be more dangerous and can lead to overdose if taken in excess similarly to illicit drugs. The intention of distribution of these drugs is for a medical use, not for recreational purposes. The medical usage of these drugs has the intention to help those in need whether to temporarily treat or cure illnesses. I do not feel as though this idea is changing in any way. Pharmaceutical drugs are never going to be deemed as illicit, although some illicit drugs may eventually be redefined as pharmaceuticals.
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