Using the perspective of emotivism, what are the issues with legalizing marijuana?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the standpoint of emotivism, laws outlawing marijuana are based on a conviction that is itself the product of a feeling, not really an assertion of fact. Emotivism tends as a result to be pretty relativistic about moral restrictions, which are viewed as an attempt to persuade someone to share the feeling that, in this case, marijuana is bad, and should not be legal. These laws could be interpreted as reflective of a need to have everyone conform to one group's standards. But on the other hand, one could just as easily register an emotivist critique of defenses of marijuana's legality, or attempts to downplay its negative effects. Generally, though, the kinds of moral anxieties that often underpin prohibitions of drugs like marijuana are regarded with a great deal of suspicion by emotivists.