Legalization Of Marihuana For The Public Use University Essay Example

Marihuana is considered an unlawful substance in many parts of the world despite its increased usage among young people. The debate on whether it should be legalized ought to be approached firstly by considering the reasons why it is such an attraction despite being illegal. It has been scientifically proven that this drug is an effective anti-depressant, pain killer, and appetite booster, among other health benefits.

This fi, findings have been supported by individuals who are recovering from addiction, indicating that these are the factors that drove them to the drug and encouraged them to delve deeper into the habit.

The problem being faced is a result of the substance being considered illegal, meaning there are no laws regulating its production, distribution, and consumption (Goode, 2012). The end product supplied to the market has no standard quality and is, therefore, harmful to human health as evident from the negative effects being experienced by the users.

In my opinion, legalizing Marihuana will give the authorities a chance to regulate its usage, hence preventing misuse. It will also enable them to deal with cartels which control such illegal businesses and which, in most cases, are usually criminal groups. These people have a lot of money since they determine the prices of these commodities while addicted youths are willing to buy at whatever cost to satisfy their cravings.

The result thereof is that the business attracts more young people, especially students who are in dire need of money, but not willing to work for it through legal means (Newton, 2013). Legalizing this drug will make it easier for the authorities to reduce cases of juvenile delinquency since the business will not be such a huge boom.

Marihuana should not only be legalized for medical use, but for everyone who needs to use it just like in the case of alcohol and cigarettes, which are also stimulants, addictive, and life-threatening. These effects have, however, been reduced by having laws, regulations, and standards governing their production, distribution, and consumption.

If the same measures are employed for Marihuana, it will not only be used as a substitute in the medical field, but also as a source of revenue to the government. Such products, referred to as Giffen goods in economic terms, are a good source of revenue since their prices do not affect demand. People continue to consume despite the increase in price and most governments’ bank on such increase their revenue collection.

Therefore legalizing marihuana for public use will mean that the government will have another source of high income. Besides this, it will also raise employment levels in many ways. Firstly, farmers will begin to cultivate the crop without feeling restricted, hence diversifying their output.

Secondly, industries will be established to process the raw material into a consumable product. Finally, distributors and retailers will gain more business from this product. The result will be a boost in economic growth and development, which translates to growth in many other sectors of the economy.

In conclusion, many people regard marihuana as a very harmful substance, but the same goes to anything that is consumed without regulations. Overuse of this substance has in the past caused negative effects, such as psychiatric disorders and in worse cases, death. This is why government agencies are on the run to ensure it is legalized after trying for many years to stop their use without success.

This could be a solution since its consumption will be regulated by subjecting it to high rates of taxation while, at the same time, medical practitioners will be able to use it for its medicinal value (Caulkins, 2012).

References

Caulkins, J. P. (2012). Marijuana legalization: What everyone needs to know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Goode, E. (2012). Drugs in American society. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Newton, D. E. (2013). Marijuana: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Children Labor In Sweatshops

Introduction

Contemporary discussions on global labor practices often feature sweatshops and child workforce. Opponents advocate for stricter regulations against the use of child labor in sweatshops (factories) run by multinational firms or outsourced to subcontractors in developing economies.

On the other hand, economists contend that sweatshops help developing nations expand their economies through exports. While it can be argued that the responsibility of restricting the use of minors as sweatshop workforce rests with the multinationals, some ‘deviant’ companies insist that their actions do not contravene the local labor laws and cultures.

Nevertheless, sweatshops face much criticism because they provide oppressive work conditions to workers. Children in sweatshops work for long hours, under poor workplace conditions, and earn a meager pay. Despite the violation of children’s rights, sweatshops continue to thrive as more big firms seek cheap labor overseas.

This begs the question, who should be held responsible for child abuse in sweatshops? While proponents support sweatshops as a way of improving the economic status of people in poor countries, the use of child labor is unethical, exploitative, and violates the minor’s basic rights. Multinationals reap huge profits from the sweatshops run by overseas suppliers. In this view, multinationals should play a central role in discouraging child labor in sweatshops.

Corporate Responsibility

Multinationals, by virtue of the fact that they benefit from the sweatshops, should pro-actively restrict child labor use in those factories. In general, child labor is considered an immoral form of exploitation. Multinationals, such as Nike, have initiated strict codes of conduct to restrict child labor in the manufacture of garments and sports apparels (Winstanley, Clark, and Leeson 211).

On the other hand, other firms refuse to take responsibility, claiming that they cannot regulate the operations of their overseas suppliers. However, driven by the desire for profits, overseas firms may not stop hiring children as a cheap source of labor. According to Winstanley, Clark, and Leeson, in some Asian and Latin American nations, parents take older children to go to school with the hope that they will come to “educate the younger siblings who are currently working” (215).

Parents believe that children can gain practical skills by working. This shows that multinationals cannot rely on local policies and governments to abolish child labor. On the contrary, they have a social responsibility of prohibiting child labor in their sweatshops, as local policies and laws may not abolish this problem.

Boycotts involving factory operators and consumers have also been cited as a possible way of forcing the multinationals to adopt positive labor practices. Boycotts, however, only offer a temporary reprieve as some companies can relocate to countries that have less stringent laws against child labor or seek new markets.

By boycotting products from sweatshops that hire minors, consumers can compel the companies to adhere to international labor standards. Research shows that up to 80 percent of American consumers are willing to part with “an extra $1 on a 20$ garment” made in factories other than in sweatshops employing minors (Pollin, Burns, and Heintz 156).

This shows that consumers prefer to shop in stores that adhere to fair treatment standards. Despite the growing awareness of fair treatment among American consumers, it is often difficult to determine the products that are fashioned according to such standards. Thus, consumers may unwittingly buy cheap products fashioned in sweatshops that use child labor.

Critics also propose the banning of imports from countries that do not adhere to fair labor standards. Human rights activists advise developed countries to ban all products made by child workers. They advocate for regular on-site inspections by international bodies to ensure that multinationals comply with fair treatment standards (Martin and Maskus 324). They also encourage industrialized nations to impose higher tariffs on exports from countries that condone child labor.

In contrast, proponents of sweatshops argue that industrialized nations may use such tariffs and import bans to protect local industries. Though the World Trade Organization outlaws the employment of anyone below 18 years, it cannot do much in countries with laws that condone child labor (Martin and Maskus 324). Thus, only multinationals can regulate employment practices in their overseas factories in order to end child labor.

An argument advanced by economists in favor of sweatshops is that jobs given to children are better than other available choices in developing countries. Thus, ending child labor will leave minors poorer and vulnerable. Moreover, since most of the children have no parents or guardians, they are at a greater risk of engaging in criminal activities to earn a living (Varley 11). However, child labor in sweatshops is not subject to free market forces.

This means that the employment contract does not favor the interests of the minors. In addition, no measures are implemented to protect children from occupational health risks. Normally, an employment agreement is voluntary because of both the adult worker and the employer consent to the terms and conditions of work.

However, minors cannot make rational decisions and therefore, contractual agreements may not favor them. Moreover, in developing countries, big firms often circumvent free market conditions and continue to use children as cheap labor in their factories (Varley 15).

In this regard, multinational companies should improve their labor practices to promote free labor markets. Children consent to work under poor conditions in sweatshops because they lack any other means of generating income (Varley 17). Free markets will lead to competitive wages for workers and thus, attract skilled adult labor in sweatshops and other factories.

A campaign featuring human rights activists, child welfare organizations, and other groups seeks to legislate against the importation of products made in factories believed to employ children workers (Hartman, Arnold, and Wokutch 44).

In addition to import bans, the coalition seeks to pressure governments to disclose multinationals running sweatshops and encourage consumers to boycott their products. Although such actions can help end child labor, freer markets can attract adult labor and prevent the hiring of minors in sweatshops.

Multinationals should take corporate responsibility for the labor abuses in sweatshops and implement initiatives to end them. Such initiatives include monitoring the working conditions and the ages of the workers employed by the suppliers. A case in point is Nike. After facing protracted criticism from the media, Nike decided to increase the minimum age of its “footwear factory and light-manufacturing to 18 and 16 respectively” to redeem its image (Hartman, Arnold, and Wokutch 47).

Besides, corporate social responsibility programs can also reduce the number of minors employed in sweatshops. These can be in the form of grants or loans given to poor households in developing countries, such as Indonesia and Thailand, to start small enterprises. Multinationals can also invest in worker education programs to educate children who cannot attend school.

Conclusion

Sweatshops represent a failure of labor practices and thus, should be abolished. They exploit children by paying them meager wages and providing poor working conditions. Nevertheless, economists contend that sweatshops present a better income-generating opportunity for minors compared to other available options.

Moreover, they make competitive products at low labor costs. Given their economic benefits, developing economies may not abolish child labor in these factories. On the other hand, consumer boycotts and import bans will only hurt developing economies. Thus, to end child labor in sweatshops, multinationals must monitor hiring practices and working conditions to ensure that they meet international standards and increase awareness about this issue.

Works Cited

Hartman, Laura, Denis Arnold, and Richard Wokutch. Rising Above Sweatshops: Innovative Management Approaches to Global Labor Practices. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. Print.

Martin, William and Keith Maskus. “The Economics of Core Labor Standards: Implications for Global Trade Policy.” Review of International Economics 9 (2001): 317-328. Print.

Pollin, Robert, Justine Burns, and James Heintz. “Global Apparel Production and Sweatshop Labour: Can Raising Retails Prices Finance Living Wages?” Cambridge Journal of Economics (2004): 153-171. Print.

Varley, Pamela. The Sweatshop Quandary: Corporate Responsibility on the Global Frontier. New York: Investor Responsibility Research Center, 1998. Print.

Winstanley, Diana, Joanna Clark, and Helena Leeson. “Approaches to Child Labour in the Supply Chain.” Business Ethics: A European Review 11 (2002): 210-223. Print.

Common Law: Freedom Of Expression

Freedom of expression is one of the basic tenets of human rights across the globe. It comprises of the freedom to express oneself without the fear of being intimidated, free delivery of the speech, liberated press, freedom to disseminate and receive information and the right to silence as well as free sharing of opinions (Temperman 2011, p.736).

Freedom of expression or speech is valued across the world even though there have been, relentless attempts to curtail this provision by some illiberal and autocratic states.

It is also prudent to mention that other sub-elements of human rights such as the right to take part in elections and the freedoms of association and thought are under the umbrella of freedoms of speech and expression. Also, the social rights of an individual are directly impacted by the freedom of expression rights. Governments should control freedom of speech since it has been abused.

Proponents of freedom of expression argue that the concept has not been comprehended or interpreted correctly for a long time. They assert that freedom of expression has its limits. For instance, the rights of other people must be put into consideration before exercising the freedom to offer an opinion.

It is necessary for governments and specialized agencies to understand that freedom of speech does not imply breaking the law with impunity. It is a basic right that facilitates the sharing of opinions and offers objective solutions to problems which face society.

The implementation of freedom of expression often brings about good results because pertinent issues that affect society are addressed. However, this democratic practice has been tainted by a few isolated individuals who become self-centered after attaining the anticipated gains.

Truth can only be discovered when there are competing ideologies and arguments. Open discussions to issues affecting humanity may assist the process of searching for the truth. These benefits cannot be realized in the absence of freedom of expression.

A final and conclusive verdict can only be given after diverse ideas and viewpoints have been heard. Several countries that allow freedom of expression do so to gather vital information that can be used to enhance socio-economic and political development (Hamilton & Pors 2003, p.408).

The freedom of expression also lays the best foundation for self-fulfillment and autonomy in society. Apart from the fact that it assists in finding the truth, freedom of expression tends to fulfill the inner desire to express oneself whenever confronted by challenging situations.

Unless freedom of expression is properly enshrined in our constitution, art and literature may equally suffer because they largely depend on the available platforms of freedom of speech to flourish.

Democratic governments may be rendered non-functional in the absence of effective communication. In other words, communication is a core operating pillar in governments that boast of democracy (Haskins 1996, p.85). This implies that information should be allowed to flow freely to enhance the democratization of global regimes.

The gains that have been made in the administration of contemporary societies are directly linked to the freedoms of expression and speech. Some social and political theorists even argue that the freedom of expression acts as a safety valve in the political governance of state affairs (Haskins 1996, p.85). Checks and balances are only possible when the freedom of expression is fully guaranteed.

For instance, it can be recalled that the emergence of totalitarian regimes and illiberal governments have been worsened by the absence or inadequate application of the freedom of speech. Some of these governments have opted to gag the press so that abuse of power and corruption cannot be brought into the limelight.

On the other hand, freedom of expression has not brought along all the expected benefits as argued out by some proponents of the practice. For example, it is greatly assumed that all arguments that originate from the freedom of speech are accurate. Most individuals and groups hardly take the time to listen to opposing viewpoints (Sturges 2005, p.302). As a result, they can easily sway the opinion of many people at the expense of society.

There are also myriads of instances when the freedom of speech has been used as a scapegoat to commit wrongs in society. In spite of the benefits derived from the freedom of speech, justifying wrong actions through the practice has weakened some values. Eruptions of violence and civil wars, especially in failed and weak states have been largely attributed to abuse of the freedom of expression.

Typical examples include the war-torn countries such as Southern Sudan and Somalia. The current political crises in Syria and Ukraine have also been fuelled by the poor use of the freedom of expression. Other negative implications of the freedom of expression include separatism and infiltration of pornographic and other indecent materials into society (de Zayas & Martín 2012, p.430).

From the above arguments, it can be concluded that the freedom of expression should be limited by respective regimes across the world to avoid the possibility of negative outcomes. The benefits associated with the freedom of expression can be easily overshadowed if regulatory measures are not put in place.

References

de Zayas, A. & Martín, A.R. 2012, “Freedom of Opinion and Freedom of Expression: Some Reflections on General Comment No. 34 of the UN Human Rights Committee”, Netherlands International Law Review, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 425-454.

Hamilton, S. & Pors, N.O. 2003, “Freedom of access to information and freedom of expression: The Internet as a tool for global social inclusion”, Library Management, vol. 24, no. 8, pp. 407-416.

Haskins, W.A. 1996, “Freedom of speech: Construct for creating a culture which empowers organizational members”, The Journal of Business Communication, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 85-86.

Sturges, P. 2005, “Understanding cultures, and IFLA’s Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) core activity”, Journal of Documentation, vol. 61, no. 2, pp. 296-305.

Temperman, J. 2011, “Freedom of Expression and Religious Sensitivities in Pluralist Societies: Facing the Challenge of Extreme Speech”, Brigham Young University Law Review, vol. 2011, no. 3, pp. 729-757.

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