Alcohol should be banned, and marijuana should be legalized.
Debate Rounds (3)
I'd first like to point out that in order to win this debate, Pro will have to defend her arguments for both alcohol prohibition and marijuana legalization. That being said, I will concede the marijuana legalization part of the resolution.
(A) Value- Number of deaths.
One of the values which Pro uses in his argument is the relative amount of deaths caused by the respective substances. Because marijuana causes no deaths from overdose while alcohol causes "hundreds/thousands" (no source), marijuana should be legalized while alcohol prohibited. The problem with this point though is that there's no reason why my opponent's value in arriving at the point is valid. For instance, 34,485 people die per year (roughly) in the U.S. from traffic accidents but no one says to ban cars. Moreover, making sure that people can recognize signs of alcoholism or the dangers of over-drinking through education are good methods of lowering alcohol-related deaths. Just outright prohibition is not a sound plan (as I will show later on) and doesn't actually deal with the underlying causes which kill people. Alcohol is a catalyst, not a cause in itself. Treating addiction and educating people on the dangers involved would prove more fruitful to solving this issue then prohibition.
(B) Value- Lack of benefits.
A second argument forwarded by Pro is concerning what benefits one could derive from consuming alcohol. Because no benefits are actually derived, my opponent argues, there is no reason to have it legal. Now besides the fact that the claim of no benefits is simply wrong. Alcohol actually does contain some health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease, lower risk of diabetes, may prevent dementia, and may prevent silent strokes. So first off the claim by my opponent is simply false. But even notwithstanding the health benefits of moderate drinking of alcohol, no substantiation was ever provided by Pro as to why something had to have a government recognized benefit in order to make it okay to be legal. Consider running around in a circle, flailing one's arms, and singing the tunes to Rocky Horror Picture Show. There is obviously no tangible benefit in doing this but the fact is that no one is being hurt in the process, so it is none of the government's business whether someone does so.
(C) Drama and Adolescence.
On the drama which alcohol creates, this is not a unique trait in alcohol. Marijuana also can cause "drama" in people's lives when employers find out about an employee's casual use or when someone gets too intoxicated and makes a stupid decision. Since my opponent is defending the legalization of marijuana in this debate, on pain of contradiction he must concede this point. On adolescent use, Pro has not given sufficient reason to show why prohibition is the solution to the problem. As with the addiction and death point, a better option would be to provide better and more accurate education on alcohol abuse and addiction. Not only would this deal with the underlying cause of the bad effects of alcohol (rather then simply punishing users), but it would not fall victim to the empowerment of criminal gangs which formed under prohibition (and currently exist within the context of the War on Drugs) in order to supply the product.
Not only does Pro's case rely on contradictory points to support the resolution (such as creating drama), but he has included blatantly false claims (alcohol serving no benefit) and his plan of action fails to take into account what actually causes the problems associated with alcohol. This combined with the fact that my own counter plan of education would remove those causes while not creating a black market for criminal gangs to capitalize on sufficiently refutes the resolution. Vote Con.
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