Alcohols use as a socially acceptbale narcotic should be banned forthwith
In this debate I propose that alcohol should be banned as a socially acceptable narcotic. To elaborate, this means no more drinking wine, beer, vodka etc.
I am not pushing for the termination of ethanol's use in research and medical related fields this is purely in the social sphere.
Narcotic: A class of substances that blunt the senses, and that in large quantities produce euphoria, stupor, or coma.
Alcohol: Ethanol (CH3CH2OH)
Banned: To make officially illegal.
Forthwith: Without delay i.e. as soon as possible.
I hope we can have a good debate. Any questions please ask in the comments.
Important: BOP is shared. This is something I say for all debates I instigate (as of 6/27/2014). It makes voters vote on what is presented and not look for a semantic reason to vote against or for someone.
Ideally, the BOP is on Pro, but its not possible to prove anything beyond doubt. So in effect if we are to apply BOP to any debate then Con automatically wins. By sharing BOP, I make the debate arguments open to a more rational non semantic vote. And I avoid the terrible "Lest I remind you BOP lies on Pro in this debate, and they have not met their BOP".
I await his round 2 arguments.
Thanks to Theunknown for taking this debate challenge. From past experience I know this will be a good challenge. Additionally, I would like to apologize for not writing in the proposition that first round is for acceptance. Thanks for letting it slide, I really appreciate it.
Help those who cant help themselves
We should strive to help people, I hope my opponent does not disagree with this. The problem is that some people are not able to help themselves. Recently, there was a study which showed that some people have risk profiles which means they will abuse alcohol if they are presented with the opportunity.(1) As such, surely as a responsible society we should help those that cannot help themselves. In fact the general conclusion of the manuscript is summed up well in the abstract where the authors say “These models were accurate and generalized to novel data, and point to life experiences, neurobiological differences and personality as important antecedents of binge drinking. ” This means some people are prone to abuse alcohol and they cannot help themselves, and the only way to help is to make it impossible to obtain alcohol.
Now, someone may argue that everyone should be able to choose how they want to live your life. But is this true when the person is not actually making the choice as this study points out. This is similar to saying a depressed patient should be allowed to commit suicide, even when clearly any depressed patient who has recovered due to intervention will tell you they are greatly pleased that they got helped.
If we follow the line of reasoning that anyone should be allowed to do anything they want in their life, then we need to accept anything. That means allowing people to make incorrect decisions when under the influence of alcohol, such as driving, committing suicide, murdering or fighting. Should we be allowing people in our society to act irresponsibly when they are not making the choice as they are genetically unable to be responsible for themselves.
Alcohol is as dangerous as Heroin or Cocaine
No one will deny the negative effects of Heroin or Cocaine use, as these drugs are known to be highly addictive and very dangerous so much so that they are classified as schedule 1 and 2 respectively.(2) However, a study published in the Lancet showed that alcohol is totally more hazardous than both Heroin and Cocaine on society and a personal level.(3) Additionally, it was shown that alcohol is more harmful on a personal level than Amphetamine, Cocaine, Anabolic steroids, Ketamine and LSD among others. This is interesting as the negative health effects of Ketamine, Anabolic steroids etc are very well documented.(4,5)
Effects of prohibition versus legalized consumption
The question will surely arise that y banning alcohol we will just be driving the market underground. Yes, this will happen probably like it happened during Prohibition. However, lets be honest drug abuse sky rockets when it is legal compared to when it is illegal as we have seen in the case of Marijuana use in Colorado “daily use was more common in Colorado: 23 percent of them reported consuming marijuana 26 to 31 times a month, compared to a national rate of 17 percent.”.(6) Remarkably, the legalization of Marijuana in Colorado has lead to a decrease in teen use. But, as they are outside the law it shows that by prohibiting drug use for teens (i.e. more effective control) the rates of abuse decrease.(7) As such, all the modern (and hence relevant) evidence shows that by limiting the availability, i.e. banning, of alcohol we will in effect be reducing its consumption.
In closing, there is another option to pursue naturally, but one that is way more ineffective and unfair in my opinion. Every person has to get screened for markers to determine abuse chances and then they get labeled either as a user or non-user. This is impractical and expensive, the best goal would be to protect everyone from the chance of abuse and stop alcohol use outright. Additionally, the risk factors pointed out are not the only possible reason for abuse and as such someone could become an abuser due to a life crises.(8) As such an alcohol abuser could still pass the genetic screening, however still end up causing damage to themselves and society at large.(9)
In this round I have shown there are very valid reasons to stop alcohol consumption as it is prone to abuse, and is in fact extremely harmful on a personal and societal level.
I now hand the debate over to my opponent for opening statements.
*Quotes from Pro are italicized and underlined*
Already in the global financial crisis, many countries have a high unemployment rate such as spain, bosnia and greece with more than a quarter (bosnia is close to a 1/2) the people unemployed.
Banning alcohol will lead to loss of the many jobs of people working with or closely with the alcohol sector. From the wine company's executive to the grape farmer whose grapes are essential for wine, all socio-economic classes will be affected from the prohibition of alcohol.
Governments will also lose tax revenue. 
Prohibition vs legalized consumption
Pro says that the US state of Colorado saw an increase in consumption of marijuana when it became legalized. How can this be measured for when it is illegal? Do people tell the researchers they are breaking the law? How can the number of users be properly measured if the substance is illegal
Freedom of Choice
If we follow the line of reasoning that anyone should be allowed to do anything they want in their life, then we need to accept anything. That means allowing people to make incorrect decisions when under the influence of alcohol, such as driving, committing suicide, murdering or fighting.
Reasonable laws worldwide state that driving under alcohol's influence is illega despite the fact that most countries do have legal alcohol.
Pro's argument is under the premise that denying people the liberty of drinking what they want to provide security from being alcoholic (which most drinkers do not become). As Benjamin Franklin said, "Any society that would give a little liberty to gain a little security, will deserve neither and lose both". This quote is true in this context.
If you plan to give the liberty to drink alcohol with the intention to gain the security from alcoholics and the risk of being subject to alcoholism yourself, you will lose both the liberty of drinking what you want and you will lose security.
Why will you lose security? My next point discusses this.
Effects of Prohibition.
Alcohol will still be made and sold during a prohibition and just like drug cartels there will be 'alcohol cartels'. Gangsters like the infamous Al Capone are a good example of what will hapen if alcohol is prohibited. The so-called war on drugs is doing terribly, we do not want a war on alcohol as well. This is not security.
To make matters worse, the illegal alcohol has no government regulation, so there is a chance that it is hazardous to health. This is not security.
Common people who love a refreshing beer will be turned into outlaws just to have the freedom to drink what they want. This is not security
"Criminal organizations will mostly profit from prohibition and, that in return, will promote other illegal activities. And that will organize criminal organizations even more."
This is defenitely not security
Those who turn out to become alcoholics moslty only affect themselves. It can be argued that Alcoholics affect the people around them, but then the people can just leave their company if they so wish. If its affecting them so badly then they can just leave. Nobody is forcing them to stay around them. As for drunk driving, you can put stricter laws on that.
Thanks to my opponent for their opening statements. In this round I plan to rebut the arguments presented as effectively as possible while asserting my position. Although the re-assertion of my position will only be done where there is overlap between our respective arguments.
My opponent has a valid and logical argument regarding job losses if the alcohol industry is shut down. To deny this is argument is absurd and so I will not contest it. However, I will point out that by placing this job loss we are effectively placing a monetary value on a life. While a person who may be unemployed for a while may suffer short term, a person incapacitated due to alcohol (alcoholism or hospital/death due to an alcohol related accident) suffers a far larger monetary loss. This monetary loss can be calculated in terms of loss of family, employment opportunities, time in jail etc which all have a negative effect on society and personally that is far greater than the loss of a job which can be replaced.
Economies change to fit the supply and demand. The fact that economies are failing is due to bad economic decisions which did not follow basic supply and demand rules. i.e. loaning money when there is no money to loan, or loaning money when a person cannot pay it back is not a good economic strategy. As such the disappearance of the alcohol market for the common good will result in a new business as there is more disposable income available to spend
As for governments losing revenue, I think thats a false argument. As most taxes from sin tax go towards partly paying for the negative health effects of said “sin”.(1,2) As such by removing the “sin” the tax is not needed as it was there to fill the gap. Also we should realize that states or government using sin tax to make up budget deficits are in fact going against the initial idea of sin tax and thereby are acting unfairly towards people that want to drink or eat donuts. By erasing this sin tax the government will effectively have to act fairly towards all its citizens.
Prohabition vs leagalized consumption
To answer Cons question. Yes, people do tell the questionnaires that they are breaking the law by participating in marijuana use. I think its important to realize this information is confidential. In the same way that you can tell your lawyer you murdered someone and they cannot report it to the police, its confidential.(3)
Freedom of choice and Effects of Prohibition
My opponent has pointed out that prohibition will likely lead to Al Capone style gangs as happened during the Prohibition years. My personal opinion is that I do not believe this is true, as the statistics show that murders due to organized crime stay the same regardless of police activity (pg 54 of source 4). As such there is no reason to believe that prohibition will create a less safe society if anything society will stay the same or get safer. I believe societies will get safer as international crime statistics are showing a general decrease with time (page 15, 16, 72 of source 5) while policing is becoming more efficient (pg 92 and chapter 6 source 5).
Regarding government control. It is important that my opponent needs to show that alcohol is in fact safe enough to be government controlled. This will be difficult when it should be noted that the lethal dosage of alcohol is more dangerous than that of heroin, cocaine, LSD or marijuana (see pg 4 of source6).
In my previous round I have provided sufficient evidence that shows that alcohol is anything but a victimless crime. In fact according to my citations its verified that alcohol has a very negative societal effect. In contrast all my opponent has done is made an assertion that alcohol is safe, this assertion I (and voters should) refuse to accept without proof.
Now I hand the debate back to my opponent to refute my arguments.
While a person who may be unemployed for a while may suffer short term
When the demand of grapes for alcohol production reduces, the grape farmers will suffer immensly and it will not be short term either.
Due to monetary issues, many farmers in Inida commit suicide, more than 290 thousand farmers have committed suicide since 1995. Who is to say that a similar situation cannot happen in a country where alcohol is prohibited, especially where wine is a popular alcoholic beverage.
As such the disappearance of the alcohol market for the common good will result in a new business as there is more disposable income available to spend
And that disposable income will be used to buy unregulated, illegal and hence, far more dangerous alcohol.
Prohabition vs leagalized consumption
Yes, people do tell the questionnaires that they are breaking the law by participating in marijuana use.
I doubt every single marijuana user would tell the truth during the time where marijuana was illegal. I would not tell the truth if I were them, neither would many people.
Freedom of choice and Effects of Prohibition
Pro says that Al Capone style gangs will not happen since the statistics show that murders due to organized crime stay the same regardless of police activity
Police activity? What does that have to do wiht anything? This needs clarification.
What Pro fails to realize is that instead of honest alcohol businessmen making money, the alcohol 'cartel' and gangesters will be the one making money in the event of a prohibition
Regarding government control. It is important that my opponent needs to show that alcohol is in fact safe enough to be government controlled.
Safe enough to be government controlled? That does not make any sense.
it should be noted that the lethal dosage of alcohol is more dangerous than that of heroin, cocaine
But how many people actually take the lethal amount of alcohol? Almost every person who drinks does not drink a lethal amount. If Alcohol is so dangerous and deadly, why then do people take it, fully educated of its deadly affects? Simple, because they prefer shorter lives of intoxicated paradise. Who are we to decide that for them?
Should we increase the education about alcohol's so called deadly affects? yes, should we ban it? no.
Why was the United States prohibiton [of alcohol] act repealed?
What we need to realize is that the United States of America did have such a prohibition of alcohol for 5 years. The fact that they chose to repeal such a prohibition itself shows that it was not such a good idea. An excerpt from a quote below by a 1925 US Journalist sufficiently summarises why the prohibition act was repealed.
"None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater."
Even people who supported the prohibition initially came to oppose it since they found the act to be detrimental more than beneficial to society
Alcohol has health benefits
Beleive it or not, alcohol has health benefits provided you take it in moderation,
a) It may reduce your chance of getting diabetes
b) it reduces your chance of stroke
c) it reduces the development of heart disease.
Infact everything edible has health benefits in moderation but health detriments in extremities. Perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem which leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes which are coincidentially the things that alcohol helps with!
In my previous round I have provided sufficient evidence that shows that alcohol is anything but a victimless crime
Yes, such as drunk driving. But then again put more stricter laws on that. As far as home abuse in concerned, the person being abused can leave the presence of the drunk abuser and go to the police
In contrast all my opponent has done is made an assertion that alcohol is safe, this assertion I (and voters should) refuse to accept without proof.
I did give proof (i will cite the source again).
Just because some people who drink alcohol become drunk drivers and abusers and at times kill people, does not mean that prohibition is the best solution.
Is banning Islam to prevent terrorism or banning christianity to prevent homophobic abuse and bombing of abortion clinics viable solutions? There are some muslims, christians and other religions who take the extreme side. This does not mean that that religion should be banned. Likewise Alcohol should not be outright banned anywhere in the world.
Thanks to my opponent for a fun debate. I do believe however, that my opponent has not proven their position as multiple assumptions are made. I would like to lay out these assumptions before I reiterate my case.
My opponent has assumed that grape farmers will commit suicide as they will suffer immensely. However, this dismisses the fact that grapes are not only used for wines, but also as table food and in dried fruit/jam. Additionally, to make this jump to the case in India is a false argument as the India case has a lot to do with over lending from dubious money lenders and the opening of markets to global competition. This comparison is a false analogy as it has nothing to do with their crops not having use, it has to do with crops not been able to be sold.
Again my opponent assumes the disposable income will be used to buy illegal alcohol. This could be valid if my opponent can refute my arguments made for a stronger more efficient police forces and dropping crime rates. In fact my opponent needs to show that police are becoming more inefficient and the crime rate is growing which would be counter to the evidence presented so far in this debate.
Regarding whether Marijuana users tell the truth. I think this makes sense as how would the statistics be gathered if they did not? My opponent has only been able to make an assumption that users will not tell the truth.
In the last round my opponent asks me to expand on the point of what do I mean by more police activity. This means a more efficient police forces which translates into a drop in crime as the statistics provided show. This also means that the correlation to Prohibition and organized crime is flawed. In the wold today as I pointed out in the previous round crime is decreasing, violent crime is decreasing and organized crime is decreasing. There is no rational reason to expect an increase in crime with the prohibition of alcohol.
Regarding the comment by my opponent that “perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem”, perhaps we can debate that at another point in the future as this is not the topic under debate at present.
Lastly, my opponent creates an analogy between extremists in Islam and Christianity as being the same as alcoholics or alcohol abusers. I do not think this analogy is justified as religion is a psychological issue and alcoholism/dependence/abuse is a genetic issue. As such this analogy fails to make its impact and I would like voters to remember that in their decision and not be swayed by an emotional plea.
While my opponent likes to draw parallels between Prohibition and organized crime/illegal alcohol as the only outcome of banning of alcohol, he has no addressed any of the arguments which I have presented in both my previous rounds. For example he has not adressed the fact that there are factors that are beyond the control of most people that drive them into alcoholism and we should protect them. This means these people are not displaying free will (free choice) as my opponent would have you believe. In fact, my opponent refuses to consider that alcohol in fact has dramatic effects not just on a personal level but a large societal impact.
This impact is important to consider when I have shown using various studies that alcohol has been shown to be more harmful than both heroin and cocaine. Additionally, I have shown that alcohols lethal dosage is lower than that for heroin, cocaine and Marijuana. My opponent just brushes this off by saying “but alcohol is good for you ….It may reduce your chance of getting diabetes …... it reduces your chance of stroke…..it reduces the development of heart disease.. ” which is fine but as I said in the opening statement this debate excludes the prohibition of alcohol in research and medical related fields. Additionally, my opponent has to preface his statement by saying alcohol “in moderation” which is a problem as I have pointed out as some people are unable to drink alcohol in moderation. Its these situations of not drinking in moderation which create the societal and personal problems I have explained.
My opponent has also dropped my argument against sin tax and equality, maybe it will get addressed in the last round.
In closing when my opponent says “Just because some people who drink alcohol become drunk drivers and abusers and at times kill people, does not mean that prohibition is the best solution. ” Then my opponent surely has to push for the legalization of any substance that people want to use even if we know said substance is extremely harmful as only “some” people will abuse it. This is absurd, as a society we are meant to care not only for society in general but also individuals.
I once again thank my opponent for a fun debate and hand the debate over for the final time.
The possibility of suicide definetely increases as grape farmers have far less income, and they will find it hard to pay any loans that they may have. Although grapes have other uses, a prohibition of alcohol will still lead to lower demand of grapes and thus, grape farmers will suffer significant losses.
Many farmers will not be able sell their produce and make their daily bread if there is lower demand.
Disposable income and illegal alcohol
my opponent assumes the disposable income will be used to buy illegal alcohol. This could be valid if my opponent can refute my arguments made for a stronger more efficient police forces and dropping crime rates. In fact my opponent needs to show that police are becoming more inefficient and the crime rate is growing
I do not see why I need to prove that the police are becomming more inefficient and that the crime rate is growing in our timeline. I am merely saying that crime will increase and disposable income of alcoholics will be used to buy illegal alcohol. All Pro says is that since the crime rate is currently dropping, this will not be a problem.
In a timeline with alcohol prohibition the crime rate will rise and disposable income will be used in illegal alcohol. This is only a matter of history repeating itself.
My opponent has only been able to make an assumption that users will not tell the truth.
And it is a very reasonable assumption, is it not? I would not tell some random people who claim to be surveyors that I break the law.
Police activity and crime
In the wold today as I pointed out in the previous round crime is decreasing, violent crime is decreasing and organized crime is decreasing. There is no rational reason to expect an increase in crime with the prohibition of alcohol.
The quality of the United States police did not drop all of a sudden when the Prohibition act was issued. Likewise, the US police quality did not rise all of a sudden when the act was repealed.
Maybe since the police forces in the modern day are more efficient, perhaps crime will be less of a problem compared to the Prohibition era in the US. But there will still be a significant rise in crime.
Fast Food - Obesity analogy
“perhaps we should ban burgers and french fries because of the growing obesity problem”, perhaps we can debate that at another point in the future as this is not the topic under debate at present.
This is completely relevant to the topic. As I am making a comparison of banning alcohol to banning burgers and french fries. I simply stated that pro's suggestion to ban alcohol to solve drunk driving is akin to banning fast food to solve obesity.
Religion- Extremism analogy
Again, this analogy is completely relevant and justified. But more interestingly Pro actually hurts his case in this rebuttal since he mentions that alcohol dependence is a genetic issue. So, isn't banning alcohol akin to torture in a way?
The alcoholic needs alcohol due to a genetic issue, it cannot be solved. It is wrong to deny the person what he/she needs. Furthermore, if it is a genetic issue, then prohibition will not solve it, but will force the alcoholic to satisfy his needs by any means necessary (alcohol gangs and cartels).
If alcoholism is a genetic and unsolvable issue, then Prohibition of alcohol will make criminalism a genetic and unsolvable issue.
Pro's case rebuttals
the fact that there are factors that are beyond the control of most people that drive them into alcoholism and we should protect them
That factor is that alcoholism is genetic as pro himself said. I discussed above that said alcoholics will satisfy their needs even if it means becoming a criminal. After all, it is in their nature.
This means these people are not displaying free will (free choice) as my opponent would have you believe.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, has free will when it comes to genetics. But satisfying the urge to drink alcohol is free will and it should not be denied to anybody.
my opponent refuses to consider that alcohol in fact has dramatic effects not just on a personal level but a large societal impact.
I did consider it and I agreed to it. However, I also said that those who do not want to deal with the alcoholic do not have to. If your spouse is an alcoholic and you really cannot tolearate life with said spouse, then get a divorce. I doubt my opponent even read my arguments properly
Additionally, my opponent has to preface his statement by saying alcohol “in moderation” which is a problem as I have pointed out as some people are unable to drink alcohol in moderation
Some people are unable to drink in moderation, logically, they are even more unable to stop drinking alcohol all together.
Prohibtion of alcohol will force such people to smuggle alcohol, fight alcohol wars similar to drug wars, join former alcohol business owners and make gangs. etc etc
Not only will the abusers continue to take illegal alcohol (which is more dangerous as disscused earlier) but the people who drink in moderation will be denied the health benefits of alcohol.
This debate is essentially history repeating itself. Pro is just like many of Americans who supported the 1920's prohibition based on the very same reasons Pro states in the debate. Once the prohibition act was passed, the majority who supported the act switched sides.
Prior to US prohibition, it may have been a good idea to ban alcohol and was a good topic of debate, just like it is now. But when it actually happens, soon enough everyone will regret it just like in the 1920's let us not repeat history's mistakes and no, a more efficient police force will not deter people with genetic issues to stop taking alcohol one way or another.
"Any society that would give a little liberty to gain a little security, will deserve neither and lose both" - Benjamin Franklin
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