The Instigator
debatability
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
rings48
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

AAN: Marijuana should be legalized recreationally.

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Post Voting Period
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after 5 votes the winner is...
debatability
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,943 times Debate No: 59304
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

debatability

Pro

This debate is for the Adopt a Noob Tournament. My opponent is Rings48. My opponent and I would like to clarify before this debate begins: there will be no semantics. Good luck, Rings 48. I am looking forward to a great debate. Also, thanks in advance to the voters.
rings48

Con

*rings48 turn on rocky theme starts, starts to jog around to random places, punches a wall, remembers why he doesn't do boxing*

Thank you very much Debatability. I also want to thank our judges for voting on this debate. I wish luck to Debatability as she starts the debate.

*rings48 ices his hand before round 2 starts, smokes a joint, quickly snuffs it out as he realizes he remembers he is Con, has a stupid smile because of the bad joke*
Debate Round No. 1
debatability

Pro

Introduction
The goal of the government should be to benefit the common good, while preserving the free will of its citizens. My goal will be to prove that marijuana prohibition works against the common good and takes away free will from citizens, thus, it should be legalized.

C1) Marijuana's impact on user and those around user:
A) User's Mental Health
Marijuana can help rather than harm mental health. Cannabidiol (a substance found in cannabis) is known to contain anti-psychotic properties (1). Many people use marijuana to help with anxiety, as it has a calming effect. Depression is also known to be decreased among those who use cannabis. Jeremy Spiegel M.D. (from Psychology Today) explains, “In a medical journal Addictive Behaviours, researchers compiled data from over four thousand questionnaires of depressed patients and marijuana users, and determined that those who smoked daily or even less often, also reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non users (2).” There have been some studies that note a correlation between marijuana smokers and depression/anxiety. However, it is important to remember that correlation is not causation. If my con wishes to use this point, he must explain exactly how Marijuana results in depression/anxiety. Another common myth is that marijuana kills brain cells. WebMD explains, “Long-term and even daily marijuana use doesn't appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers.” My source continues, “scores on thinking tests were similar to those who don't smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies (3).” Through this evidence, I have shown that marijuana does not impair mental health and actually has the chance of positively impacting it.
B) User's Health
It has been proven that smoking marijuana is not as harmful to the lungs as smoking cigarettes, in some cases, smoking marijuana has increased lung capacity (4). Although, I will concede that cannabis isn’t exactly “good” for one’s lungs, the effects are much less severe than one would expect. The way that marijuana legalization can positively impact physical health is rather simple. Cannabidiol (mentioned earlier) aids smokers who wish to stop smoking. An experiment was done, and smokers who were given inhalers with cannabidiol decreased smoking by 40% by the end of the experiment (5). If marijuana was legalized, those addicted to cigarettes would be given a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.
C) Effects on Bystanders
One thing observed after the legalization in denver was that, as Time explains, "researchers found that fatal car wrecks dropped by 9% in states that legalized medical use — which was largely attributable to a decline in drunk driving (6)." This is because, "Driving under the influence of marijuana seems to be less risky because people who are high tend to be aware that they are impaired and compensate, while alcohol tends to increase recklessness and create false confidence." The idea is that people will start using marijuana instead of alcohol due to the legalization. While driving when one is stoned is certainly not advisable, it is preferable to driving while drunk. This 9% isn’t just talking about any crash, but fatal crashes. What this means is that due to this 9% decrease, three thousand lives are saved every year.

C2) Unnecessary arrests:
As I have proved above, the effects of marijuana not harmful to the consumer and those around the consumer. Yet, arrest for the possession of the drug is extremely high. In 2007, over 750,000 people were arrested for the possession of marijuana. It is completely unnecessary to permanently impact someone's life by arresting them for the possession of a drug that has little harmful effects on the user. We can see from the chart below that arrests for marijuana have clearly gotten out of hand (7).

The Medical Marijuana Magazine explains, In "lenient" California someone arrested in their home can lose their driver's license, which can obviously mean the loss of a job. In other places people can lose custody of their children. If a person is charged with cultivation of just one plant, the consequences can be even more dire. People can and do lose their homes, farms, etc. to "civil forfeiture (8).” So essentially, people’s lives can be ruined for the act of possession/growing of cannabis. The worst part is that California is one of the more lenient states. In places like Alabama or Texas, the consequences clearly are more serious.

C3) Money and the economy:
Firstly, we have to look at the current amount of money that is being lost by keeping cannabis illegal. NORML notes, “American taxpayers spend more than $1 billion a year incarcerating citizens for using pot (9).” Most of these crimes are for simple possession. So, not only is keeping weed illegal unfair to consumers, but it is unfair to the taxpayers. It is a waste of the government’s money as well as a waste of the people’s money. Secondly, look at the large amount of tax revenue that will come from the legalization of marijuana. Colorado, saw 10.8 million dollars in the first four months of legalization. It is estimated that 1 billion dollars will be raised altogether by the end of 2014. 40 million dollars of this will go towards bettering the schools in Colorado (10). So not only does legalization of cannabis earn money, but it saves money, resulting in funds that can be used for various positive causes. Moreover, the marijuana industry generates jobs and boosts the economy in other ways. The governor of Colorado explains, “Gov. Hickenlooper compared Colorado’s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, “While the rest of the country’s economy is slowly picking back up, we’re thriving here in Colorado.

C4) Safer cannabis:
When obtaining marijuana from a drug dealer, one can never be sure of what they will get. There is always a possibility that marijuana can be laced with a substance such as PCP, cocaine, crack, or even embalming fluid. These things are obviously highly dangerous; with federal regulation, this problem will go away since marijuana will be sold through reliable sources. Some companies in Colorado have begun testing marijuana for contamination, but if the drug was legalized federally, it would have to be tested in order to be sold.

Conclusion
Let’s assume marijuana is a harmful substance for a minute. I have shown in numerous ways that keeping it illegal hurts works against the common good. It contributes to prison overcrowding and takes money away from taxpayers. It gives drug dealers money, but ultimately hurts the consumer (who will smoke the substance regardless of it’s legal status). What really makes the argument against legalization fall is the fact that marijuana isn’t a relatively safe drug drug. One cannot die from it, or overdose on it. When it is legalized, people have a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and alcohol. Prohibition of cannabis works against the common good and takes away the free will of citizens.

For these reasons, I am pro.

(1) http://tinyurl.com...
(2) http://tinyurl.com...
(3) http://tinyurl.com...
(4) National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Heart Lung Blood Institute
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
(6) http://healthland.time.com...
(7) http://www.bjs.gov...
(8) http://www.drugsense.org...
(9) US Bureau of Justice Statistics
(10) http://www.thedailychronic.net...

rings48

Con


Before I begin on SHOULD the government keep marijuana illegal, I will start with CAN marijuana be illegal.



The Commerce Clause:


Congress has the power to: “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States” [1]


And part of the government’s responsibility is to “promote the general Welfare” [1]


As we can see the government has the right to regulate commerce between states and promote the welfare of the people. We all know how almost everything eventually comes up in court, just as interstate commerce eventually did. To establish what will become known as the Commerce Clause, in 1824 in Gibbons v. Ogden the Supreme Court ruled that the government had the ability to regulate interstate commerce. [2] In 1940, the “substantial effects” test was established by a unanimous vote in court in favor of the government’s ability to regulate commerce that had a substantial effect on interstate commerce. [3] Finally the Court established the government’s ability to establish regulations that limit and control trade in Wickard v. Filburn. [4]



The FDA:


Next is the FDA, established in 1906 by the Food and Drug Act. [5] The FDA’s purpose was to regulate goods to be properly listed, not misbranded, and to hold a certain quality of goods. However the law did not extend to false claims of false therapeutic effects. The act was extended by the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that largely extended the FDA’s ability to ensure drugs are safe and effective. [5] The FDA was largely protected by the commerce clause and was for the welfare of the people.



Laertrile:


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”


“The first wave was the legalization by 27 states of laetrile in the late 1970s. This drug was used as a treatment for cancer, but scientific studies both before and after this legislative trend found it to be ineffective. Federal law enforcement prevented interstate shipment, making the drug infeasible to manufacture and sell. Further studies based on a Mexican formulation also showed no effectiveness in treating cancer, but did find that some patients experienced symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Though the political movement died out in the 1980s, FDA enforcement actions against laetrile purveyors continued into the 2000s.” [5]


Many believed that the drug Laetrile should have been sold openly because of its supposed ability to fight cancer and have a number of other positive effects. [6] It garnered support throughout the 1960s and 1970s until finally dying out in the 1980s. Repeated attempt to legalize it at the federal level failed. [6] It was shown that the drug was ineffective in a number of studies and was not considered “effective”. Eventually there was a court case supporting the control of Laetrile by the federal government though states had made it legal. [7]


Many compare Laertile to marijuana in the legalization of it by the states till the federal government eventually took contorl again. Precedent leads for marijuana to have a similar journey.



Tobacco, Lucky for a Little:


Tobacco got out lucky at first. Tobacco was originally exempt from the FDA and purposely excluded from the law. Though regulations over time were imposed, court cases eventually ruled in favor of the tobacco companies, stating they were exempt from the regulations imposed by the FDA. [8] Eventually tobacco’s luck ran out and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed in 2009 approved the FDA for regulating tobacco and tobacco products. [9]



Marijuana:


We finally reach the stuff of this debate. Marijuana is a drug, and listed by the FDA as a medicine. [10] It has been shown to relieve pain and nausea while being an irritant to the lungs. [10] Connecting marijuana increased rate of lung cancer have been hard because most marijuana smokers have also smoked tobacco or a tobacco like product (hooka) at some point. [10] Marijuana is not addictive but does have negative effects on life style. [10] Marijuana has recently been shown to alter the structure of the brain even in casual use.[11]



Making Marijuana Legal:


Before marijuana can be legal for consumers it must be shown to be a “safe and effective” drug because marijuana use is often confounded by other drugs or studies. [12] As far as I could find, marijuana has not been approved to be “safe” for consumers. Its effectiveness in medical applications is questioned and it includes a number of the same chemicals and tars leading to cancer found in tobacco. [13]



P1: Drugs must be “safe and effective” to be sold.


P2: Marijuana is a drug.


P3: Marijuana has not been proven effective for its possible risks.


P4: Marijuana research has not shown it to be safe.


C1: Marijuana has not been proven “safe and effective” and should not be legalized for sale.



*To read up on what the FDA regulates and how they regulate, source 14.




[1] Constitution: http://www.archives.gov...


[2] Gibbon v. Ogden: http://www.streetlaw.org...


[3] US v. Darby: http://www.oyez.org...


[4] Wickard v Filburn: http://www.law.cornell.edu...


[5] Wikipedia Article on the history of the FDA and links to all the Acts connected to it: http://en.wikipedia.org...


[6] Laertile: http://www.quackwatch.com...


[7] Laertile Court Case: http://www.law.cornell.edu...


[8] First Tobacco Court Case: http://www.law.cornell.edu...


[9] Regulating Tobacco: http://en.wikipedia.org...


[10] Marijuana Info: http://www.drugabuse.gov...


[11] Marijuana effects on the brain: http://www.sfn.org...


[12] Drug Approval: http://www.fda.gov...


[13] Cancer Chemicals: http://www.lung.org...


[14] FDA: http://www.fda.gov...



Debate Round No. 2
debatability

Pro

For this round, I'll go ahead and rebut each of my opponent's claims.

The Commerce Clause:
Here my opponent basically explains that marijuana can be illegal, and that states have a right to prohibit the use of cannabis (and other drugs). It is important to remember that just because a state can do something, doesn't mean they should. Throughout my constructive, I have shown that keeping marijuana illegal works against the common good and takes away from freedom of the people. Though my opponent's point may be correct, this is not what we are debating today. I aim to prove that prohibition of cannabis is wrong on both a pragmatic and moral level and whether or not marijuana can be illegal has no effect on that.

The FDA:
I think what my opponent is trying to say with this point is that marijuana is not going to be legalized under the status quo because marijuana will not ever be found as "safe and effective." The first thing to realize is that this point is clearly talking about medical marijuana. That is not what this debate is over. Never once in my constructive did I list marijuana as a "cure" to some diseases. Rather, I explained that marijuana is less harmful than cigarettes and alcohol, therefore it can be seen as a less harmful alternative to currently legal (and more dangerous) drugs. Now, if the FDA has approved tobacco and alcohol for recreational use, why should they not approve marijuana? Even if the FDA would keep marijuana illegal, within this argument, my opponent assumes that the legitimacy of the status quo to attempt to keep cannabis away from the public. If this indeed is the status quo, it works against the common good (as I have shown in my case).

Laetrile:
For this point, my opponent talks about a drug known as "Laetrile," explaining that Laetrile was advertised as a potential cure for cancer, but ended up being completely ineffective. My opponent then goes on to explain that the Laetrile situation is similar to Marijuana situation. This simply is not true. NPR notes, "nnobody argues that marijuana is the new laetrile. For one thing, nobody's claiming it cures any fatal diseases. But it is a departure from the usual rules of evidence for drugs (1)." If marijuana indeed is the new Laetrile as my opponent claims, evidence must be provided that shows similar properties between the two drugs. Moreover, this debate is not over medical marijuana, rather it is over recreational marijuana; I'm not trying to argue that marijuana should be legalized for medical use in this given debate so so my opponent's point ultimately proves nothing.

Tobacco:
My opponent proceeds to explain how the FDA used to exclude tobacco from the law, and later on began to regulate it. This point has absolutely nothing to do with the given debate. One cannot compare two drugs with almost no similar properties. I'll get more into the tobacco point in my next rebuttal.

Marijuana and Making it legal:
My opponent's last two points are definitely the main argument he is making in this case. He explains that, "Bbefore marijuana can be legal for consumers it must be shown to be a “safe and effective” drug because marijuana use is often confounded by other drugs or studies." Looking at the sources supporting this contention, it is quite obvious that this argument pertains to medical marijuana; obviously recreational drugs are not meant to be "effective" in any way. Even if this argument did pertain to recreational marijuana, I have proven in my constructive that marijuana is not a harmful drug, especially in comparison to alcohol and tobacco. If the FDA approves both alcohol and tobacco, why not marijuana (as I noted above)? Even if my opponent is correct and it is within the status quo to keep marijuana illegal, my opponent has provided no evidence that suggest marijuana should be kept illegal.

Conclusion
My opponent's arguments pertaining to the actual negative health impacts of marijuana are very weak. I have shown in my constructive that marijuana does not harm mental health, physical health, or the well being of non smokers, and in some cases actually positively impacts it. Marijuana positively impacts the economy, and the drug will ultimately become less dangerous when bought from a reliable source. The problem with my opponent's case is that he includes no facts that actually prove society would be better of by keeping cannabis illegal.
On the other hand I have shown how car accidents go down by nine percent through the legalization of marijuana, how the tax revenue will benifit the people in any area that legalizes marijuana, how cannabis legalization positively impacts the economy, and how in the end over 750,000 unneccessary arrests can be prevented.

Therefore, I am pro. On to con...

(1) http://www.npr.org...

rings48

Con


I am not really supposed to reply to Pro’s rebuttals this round but I would like to begin by saying I don’t think Pro understood my argument. The reason I went to great depth to explain the legal history of drug control is because marijuana (recreational or medical) is a drug and as all, drugs need to be proven “safe and effective” before it can be sold in any form to the public. My rationalized argument is at the end. The whole first half are facts to establish my argument.



Moving on I would like to point out the flaws in Pro’s sources and argument.


C1) Marijuana's impact on users and those around them:


Source 1 and 2 – Marijuana and psychotic symptoms:


The trial groups were: “Men and women age 18–50 years who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizophreniform psychosis according to the DSM-IV criteria were eligible for the study.” [1] The second source is titled “Medical Marijuana for Psychiatric Disorders” also focuses on those with psychiatric disorders. So medical marijuana helps those with schizophrenia and other disorders…. Our conversation is on recreational marijuana, as you pointed out.


Source 3 - Marijuana and mental degradation:


I would like to point out that the source is over 10 years old and references 15 studies not linked to the article. Studies more recently have shown differences in brain development though it has not impact on the performance of the brain has not been proven. Referring to my source, linked as [9], the brain development changes were found in the reward system of the brain. I will also link my previous sources showed that rats have been shown to have increased cell loss due to the chemicals in marijuana.


Marijuana effects on the brain are disputed and its positive effects are for a small part of the population with mental disorders.


Source 4 – Never Linked


Source 5 – Marijuana instead of tobacco:


First, not proven is marijuana smoke is better than tobacco smoke. They contain similar tars and cancer causing chemicals. (Refer to my argument).


Without having shown that marijuana smoke is less harmful than tobacco smoke, switching has no positive benefit. Also it is only preliminary findings with a very small sample size of 12 in each group. Even with the small sample size, it was only shown that smokers smoked less after one week when being exposed to cannabis smoke instead of a placebo. This source has very little data and a small sample size.


This source is unreliable and switching smokes has not been shown to have any benefits.


Source 6 – Effects on Bystanders:


I find this source interesting because it does show odd benefit of marijuana legalization. However I would like to quote the source “Research on stoned driving is inconsistent, with some studies finding impairment and others not”. [5]


Unnecessary arrest:


This portion is irrelevant and only appeals to pathos. “Unnecessary arrests” is actually a false statement. Marijuana is illegal, and proving people are being arrested for drugs and being charged according to the possession of drugs does not support drug legalization. The laws are not “injustice” and have been approved by the legislative of the people and the Supreme Court.


Money and the Economy


This point (people always use it) shows a lack of understanding of the economy and the Constitution. Disposable income will be spent either through one means or another. Colorado has seen a massive increase in tourism, which helps its economy [6]. Anyways it economic growth is similar to other states like Texas, showing no performance increase due to marijuana [7] [8]. Source 9 implies that instead of sending people to jail we can tax them. Avoiding a Slippery Slope fallacy, legalizing actions so they can be taxed is morally wrong and would be unconstitutional because the legalized actions are not for the benefit of the people even if the government generates tax revenue.


Safer Cannabis:


Thank you for supporting my argument. As with every drug, once marijuana was possibly approved by the FDA after medical researching that showed it was “safe and effective” it would be regulated to be not contaminated. Also like every drug, marijuana needs to be shown to be “safe and effective” before being sold to the public. So it should not be sold.



Conclusion:


Marijuana has not been shown to be a “safe and effective” drug to be sold to the public either recreationally or medically. Any study showing its safe has another study saying it is unsafe. Until medical research proves that it has no negative effects, it should not be sold to the public.



Pro’s quotes I quoted:


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com...


[3] http://www.webmd.com...


[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


[5] http://healthland.time.com...


New quotes by me:


[6] http://www.denverpost.com...


[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[9] http://www.sfn.org...



Debate Round No. 3
debatability

Pro

Introduction
My opponent believes I have misunderstand his first argument. This is not the case. The idea of making sure a drug is "safe and effective" in order to legalize it clearly pertains to medical marijuana. The FDA has allowed both alcohol and cigarettes which are less safe in comparison to marijuana (and certainly not effective in anyway). Even if this idea of safety and effectiveness does include recreational marijuana, my opponent's argument basically states that we can't make cannabis legal because under the status quo of the FDA, meaning it should stay illegal. This argument is flawed because my opponent has assumed the status quo of the FDA is legitimate. Moreover, throughout my constructive, I have shown that marijuana is a less harmful drug when compared to currently legal drugs.
I will now look at each of my opponent's attacks on my constructive case...

C1) Marijuana's impact on users and those around them:
Psychotic Symptoms: My opponent begins by attacking my argument in which people diagnosed with schizophrenia were positively impacted by medical marijuana by saying that this debate (as I confirmed) is over recreational marijuana. This is true; however, cannabis used for recreational purpose can still have medical benefits. The two are not exclusive. I was mainly using that point to debunk the common misconception that marijuana worsens mental conditions.
Mental Degradation: For this point, I had made a claim that explained the use of cannabis does not result in the loss of brain cells. My opponent attacks my source by explaining that it is outdated and the studies are not linked. The truth is, that it is difficult to find studies on marijuana / brain cell count because many regular users are unwilling to participate for fear of being caught. This point doesn't carry much weight in this debate, but I'll go ahead and address my opponents claims that state rats have lost brain cells from marijuana. The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (a documentary) explains that in such tests, animals are given an abnormal amount of marijuana; more than any human could possibly consume in such a short period of time. As with such a dose of most things, a test subject would be expected to lose brain cells (1).
Marijuana as a Tobacco Substitute: For starters, I will note that the sample size for the study that proved marijuana as an effective substitute for tobacco was small. However, this does not prove the experiment to be invalid. As I have said earlier (on both sides of the argument) there is going to be an inevitable lack of evidence simply because marijuana is studied significantly less than one would expect. My opponent essentially explains that unless I can show that marijuana is less harmful than tobacco smoke, switching has no positive impact. The thing is, I have shown this through my constructive. As my fourth source has shown, smoking marijuana can increase lung capacity. Lets take another quick look at how marijuana compares to tobacco: USCF notes, "Air flow rate increased rather than decreased with increased exposure to marijuana up to a certain level (2)." As I've said before, smoking weed is not exactly *good* for one's lungs. However, it is preferable to smoking tobacco. Take a look at source two for more.
Effect on Bystanders: This point was basically dropped. All my opponent did here is call out a quote from my source: "However I would like to quote the source “Research on stoned driving is inconsistent, with some studies finding impairment and others not." Now, obviously there is some degree of impairment when individuals drive while high. The argument is that the degree of impairment is significantly less to that of a drunk driver. Remember, with legalization lives are saved through this odd benefit. In Colorado alone, we see that there are 3,000 less car crash fatalities each year.

C2) Unnecessary Arrest
My opponent explains that from *his* stand point, this position is irrelevant. This actually isn't quite the case. My opponent has provided no actual evidence that proved that keeping marijuana illegal is beneficial. All he has done is argue that by the standards of the FDA, it should be kept illegal. Since my opponent has provided zero evidence as to why keeping marijuana illegal is beneficial to society, there is no reason that this shouldn't be considered. I am not arguing that the state doesn't have a legal right to make such arrests; obviously, they do. This argument is more of a moral one. It is against the common good to ruin someone's life through an arrest for a victimless "crime." Also, (I'll get more into this on the money point) taxpayers pay a huge amount of money to keep these prisoners in jail.

C3) Money and the Economy
My first point went dropped by my opponent. This is definitely my most important point in this category. American taxpayers are paying around 1 billion every year to keep cannabis prisoners in jail. As I explained, the prohibition of pot has now become unfair to not only the consumer, but to the taxpayer as well. In reality, the only person that benefits when it comes to money is the drug dealers. In the words of my adversary, "Legalizing actions so they can be taxed is morally wrong." That is, of course, not the main motivation behind legalizing marijuana. There are many practical reasons to legalize cannabis and that is just one of them. He continues, "the legalized actions are not for the benefit of the people." The problem with that statement is, my opponent has done nothing to prove that legalizing cannabis hurts the common good. All he has argued is that it is within the status quo of the FDA to keep marijuana illegal. This point ultimately stands because through legalization, taxpayers won't pay for unnecessary arrests, tax revenue will benefit the states, and the economy will boom due to the new jobs.

C4) Safer Cannabis
My opponent has basically conceded to this point. Through legalization of marijuana, we will ultimately obtain safer cannabis. The thing we disagree on, is (a) whether or not marijuana is safe and (b) FDA's process of approving drugs. Note that alcohol and tobacco are regulated (and also more harmful than cannabis).

Conclusion
I have proved throughout the debate that marijuana should be legalized for a variety of reasons. As I said earlier on, even if it were harmful, that does not change the fact that though the legalization of marijuana:
1. Taxpayers will stop having to pay for unnecessary arrests for victimless "crimes."
2. Tax revenue will work toward the benefit of society.
3. The economy will thrive.
4. Cannabis will be safer.
The thing is, marijuana isn't a very harmful drug. In fact (health wise) it works toward the common good.
1. People use it as an alternative to tobacco (which helps the lungs).
2. People use it as an alternative to alcohol (which prevents car accidents).

Therefore, I firmly believe we should legalize cannabis. Thanks to con for such an interesting debate.
Vote Pro!!

(1) The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (Movie Website: http://www.theunionmovie.com...)
(2) http://www.ucsf.edu...

rings48

Con

Pro has dropped my argument:

I am going to start this final round by a quote from my initial argument. The premises still stand.

"P1: Drugs must be "safe and effective" to be sold.
P2: Marijuana is a drug.
P3: Marijuana has not been proven effective for its possible risks.
P4: Marijuana research has not proven it to be safe.
C1: Marijuana has not been proven "safe and effective" and should not be legalized for sale."

Pro says "This argument is flawed because my opponent has assumed the status quo of the FDA is legitimate" and I am just going to point to my R2 argument that was never rebuttaled.


Rebuttals to Con's Argument:

Marijuana compared to Tobacco and Alcohol - I am just going to rebuttal any reference to them here. I started my argument the way I did for a reason and information on this can be found at my sources in the first argument.

Tobacco and alcohol due to their history before the FDA have largely been exempted from laws about drugs. Tobacco has only just recently come under scrutiny of the FDA in the last few years. *Jumps up and down pointing at R2*
If you would like to associate marijuana to substances that are not controlled, it allows me to associate substances that definitely should be controlled like heroin and 'shrooms. Tobacco and alcohol are not a justification for marijuana because its premise would allow me to justify it being illegal by other drugs.

C1) Marijuana's impact on users and those around them:

Pro's contention is primarily based on arguments that are generally used by those against drug legalization. To this point, Pro has still not shown definitive research on marijuana being safe for the AVERAGE (not schizophrenic) consumer. By law, a drug must be proved safe and not the other way around.

Effects on Bystanders - Kind of weird that Pro says I dropped a point but quoted me on it... "However I would like to quote the source "Research on stoned driving is inconsistent, with some studies finding impairment and others not." Now, obviously there is some degree of impairment when individuals drive while high." I rest my case.


"This is true; however, cannabis used for recreational purpose can still have medical benefits. The two are not exclusive." - Pro just affirmed my argument by pointing to the fact that though marijuana has recreational uses, it is still a drug. And well drugs need to be".. *feeling like a broken record* "safe and effective".

Marijuana vs Tobacco - "the typical exposure to marijuana is much lower than for tobacco" [1] Again quoting from Pro's source for the reason marijuana and tobacco affects the lunges differently.

C2 and C3) Is Marijuana Beneficial for Society:
These points have basically become compressed to whether marijuana is beneficial for the society so to make this final round a little shorter.


I have already rebuttaled whether marijuana benefits the economy [R3] and my opponent failed to arguing against my rebuttal.

"This point ultimately stands because through legalization, taxpayers won't pay for unnecessary arrests, tax revenue will benefit the states, and the economy will boom due to the new jobs."

The reason to regulate drugs is to protect ourselves (society) from disinformation on drugs and to limit the possible negative effects a drug might have on our bodies. We have agreed as a country by making laws to allow the FDA to regulate the drugs and to make them illegal unless the drug is safe for our bodies and to be effective in its labeled benefits. We created laws that put people in jail for the sale of illegal drugs and agreed to foot the bill to put people in jail. The arrests are not "unnecessary" and "unfair to the taxpayer".

C4) Safer Cannabis - "The thing we disagree on, is (a) whether or not marijuana is safe and (b) FDA's process of approving drugs." No contention.


Conclusion:

"1. Taxpayers will stop having to pay for unnecessary arrests for victimless "crimes."
*Rebuttaled*
2. Tax revenue will work toward the benefit of society.
*Rebuttaled *
3. The economy will thrive.
*Rebuttaled *
4. Cannabis will be safer.
*Agreed as irrelevant*
The thing is, marijuana isn't a very harmful drug. In fact (health wise) it works toward the common good.
1. People use it as an alternative to tobacco (which helps the lungs).
*Rebuttaled *
2. People use it as an alternative to alcohol (which prevents car accidents)."
*Rebuttaled, from the same source"*

I shall continue to stand on:

P1: Drugs must be "safe and effective" to be sold.
P2: Marijuana is a drug.
P3: Marijuana has not been proven effective for its possible risks.
P4: Marijuana research has not proven it to be safe.
C1: Marijuana has not been proven "safe and effective" and should not be legalized for sale.


*the bell rings, and I start screaming "Adrian" and walking around aimlessly in the middle of the ring*
Thanks for the great debate-bility!


[1] http://www.ucsf.edu...
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/2:

I'm surprised at how short my RFD is, but as Pro's case was for the legalization of *recreational* marijuana and from a "should" perspective, I found some of the arguments presented by both sides to be irrelevant. Improvement of mental health does not necessarily justify recreational use. On the flip side, Con spent a lot of time answering whether marijuana COULD be regulated by the FDA, and almost no time on whether it SHOULD be regulated as a drug, as opposed to (as Pro noted) alcohol and tobacco, which ALSO have drug effects on the body. Con gave us some historical perspective, but Pro gave us some pretty good reasons that Cannabis was on par with, and possibly better than, alcohol and tobacco. Con stood firm on the notion that the FDA requires drugs to be "safe and effective", ignoring that the "medical" aspect was irrelevant to this debate.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/2:

The FDA does not require tobacco to be "safe and effective" in the manner Con is advocating--even though it had nicotine in it. The FDA does not require alcohol to be "safe and effective" in the manner Con is advocating--even though it has ETOH in it.

Con, remember that this was about the *recreational* use of marijuana, *not* the medical use of marijuana. And it was about the *normative* claim as to whether it "should" be legalized.

This was, though, to me a close debate, just becuase Pro had BoP and I think she barely squeaked by on it--but I think that may have largely had to do with the manner Con attempted rebuttal.

Con said he would "continue to stand on" his syllogism--but I did not find his syllogism compelling, because it did not address the normative claims--it addressed how things are under the law, not how things *should* be. For a failure to address the normative issue, Con's case fails. As Pro had some case that did not fail (the general safety and/or equivalency with tobacco and alcohol, the safety inherent in taking it from the black market to the "normal" channels).

Pro, just as an observation, I think your case would have done better had you focused more on why it should be legal--Con's rebuttals really were largely about how the system actually works, and whether there is an ability to regulate, as opposed to the normative issue at hand; I think you could have been shorter on the response to his case, and done more to shore up your own, so that it wasn't quite the narrow victory that I think it was.

All other categories seemed equal enough, so the only points I'm awarding are for arguments.

As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
i think most of them accepted; i just asked one of them to go ahead and vote
Posted by rings48 2 years ago
rings48
I can't see from my side but how many judges accepted?

Or do we just have to wait and see?
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
Nevermind :) I found it
http://www.psychologytoday.com...
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
Hmm that's odd. I tried google searching the quote as well and it looks like the page doesn't exist... You can either take my word for that quote or call me out on it. My apologies.
Posted by rings48 2 years ago
rings48
Hey debatability, your second source link is broken. Can you please repost it.
Posted by Adam_Godzilla 2 years ago
Adam_Godzilla
Well formulated arguments and an interesting rebuttal by Con. Il'l be coming back for more. Also just wanted to say I am against anything that produces smoke and dares to irritate my lungs. *cough* But I am totally for cannabis brownies though.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Good luck.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
romanii, it totally agree with the exception of tournaments :)
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
debatabilityrings48Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, S&G, Sources - Tie. Both were pretty equal in regards to all three categories. Arguments - Pro. Pro built a strong case using moral and economic grounds as the mechanisms to uphold her position in this debate. In regards to the moral position, Pro was able to show how making marijuana legal for recreational purposes would be beneficial. This was done by showing the stress-relieving properties of marijuana as well as the fact that it is better in comparison to tobacco and alcohol, which effectively beat Cons FDA arguments. This is in addition to her arguments about regulation providing the means for developing safer marijuana. Economically, Pro was able to show that legalizing marijuana would lessen the burden on taxpayers and allow victim-less crimes to be more appropriately handled. Con focused to much on "what was and is" vs. "what should be" with the latter being the nature of this debate. For these reasons, Pro wins Arguments.
Vote Placed by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
debatabilityrings48Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: The debate is about recreational use, so it doesn't have to be medically beneficial to be legal. In comparison to alcohol and tobacco there seems no social/health argument for why it should be illegal. Driving accidents would happen significantly less because of it and its better for the lungs than tobacco. Moreover, with marijuana regulated, it would be a safer product. Pro did a good job defending the relevancy of her economy and unnecessary arrests arguments. I didn't find Con's case compelling and Pro successfully defending her contentions for the most part.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
debatabilityrings48Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
debatabilityrings48Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty cut and clear, pro was able to outline and establish a case as to why pot should be legalized for recreational use. Con makes point such as it must be safe, which pro just nails to a cross by showing there are way more harmful products than pot that are legalized. She was able to effectively refute every one of cons contention while maintaining and leaving most of hers up. I feel this is evident and clear, but i will break this down argument per argument upon request. I am pretty sure con realizes he lost though
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
debatabilityrings48Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO correctly points out that just because government can regulate pot doesn't mean that it should. The only reason CON said that pot should be illegal is because it is bad in several ways, and PRO showed that those are not sufficient reasons to make it illegal. PRO wins, because in addition to overpowering CON's harms, she showed more relative benefits to making pot legal than otherwise. CON spent too much time on stuff that was beyond the scope of the debate.