Social-political assignment

(The beginnings of) An Assignment for Social-Political Philosophy: Marijuana Legalization

One of the best ways of gaining a more thorough understanding of key competing social-political theories is to see how they would play out in relation to contemporary debates. With this in mind, each student must do the following, over the course of four weeks:

Project weeks 1-4

  1.  Find articles—both academic and popular media sources—that make the case either for and against the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. Post the three that you think best articulate arguments that can be indentified (even roughly) as utilitarian, libertarian, social conservative, and/or liberal (of a Rawlsian sort). As you post the articles for your classmates, highlight specific arguments and identify which theory is being used. Each article will probably make use of elements from more than one of the competing theories, so please be careful to identify and label specific arguments (e.g., one or a few paragraphs) in the articles.
  2. Review what your classmates have posted and pick two (each should be from a different student) and say whether and why you agree that the arguments highlighted are labeled correctly.
  3. Develop and post your own analysis of the facts and arguments given in one of the articles. In short, should marijuana be legalized or not? In doing this, base your position as clearly as you can on analyses of the above listed social-political theories. Draw on your class readings and the postings from all students. Limit your posts to the equivalent of two single-spaced, typed pages.
  4. Respond to at least one of your classmates positions, identifying its strengths and weakness. Limit your posts to the equivalence of two single-spaced, typed pages.

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