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Lecture

Illicit Drugs (NOT LEGALIZED)

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 120W
Professor
Sam Black
Semester
Fall

Description
th October 29 , 2012 – Illicit Drugs 1 Summary on issue  page 431-434 Wilson  drugs shouldn’t be legalized  page 434 Block  drugs should be legalized  page 440 Historical Events  As far back as 5000 BC  Samarians using opium  3500 BC  earliest historical record of production of alcohol  10000 BC  Neolithic fermented beverages to get high  2500 BC  lake dwellers of Switzerland eating poppy seeds  1493 BC  use of tobacco introduced by Columbus after he discovered indigenous people using it  50 BC  indigenous smoking tobacco MAJOR THEMES (Incorporate into paper) Costs and Benefits  Utilitarian considerations often used with arguments for/against drugs o Utilitarianism is about consequences of actions  Weighing costs and benefits COSTS (Criminalizing Drugs) Money, prison space, court time Consistency  Are all of these drugs the same? Subjective element with what type of people use them  Should laws be consistent in relation to the type of drug?  The “soft” drugs such as nicotine and alcohol cause more harm  Prescription pills Autonomy  making decisions for yourself in your full capacity  make drugs illegal because when people take drugs, they lose their autonomy Liberty (freedom) – how we conceive freedom is going to determine how we view the use of drugs  Mill – freedom – discussed The Harm Principle in On Liberty  A politician basically said “my freedom to swing my fist ends where your face begins”  The only reason that I can’t do something is that it would harm someone  Government doesn’t have a right to interfere with our lives unless it harms someone  Even if I harm myself through my actions, this is not sufficient grounds for government intervention. “So therefore I can take drugs without being intervened.”  Mill doesn’t really define harm (he somewhat focuses on psychological and physical harm)  Paternalism – we control what people on the grounds that you know what is in their best interest. Mill thinks there are two cases of paternalism with the government: o Mentally ill th October 29 , 2012 – Illicit Drugs 2 o Chi
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