The Instigator
ejphoenix
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
DoctorFight
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

All Scheduled Drugs Should be Legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 214 times Debate No: 89567
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

ejphoenix

Pro

I would like to debate about the efficacy and usefulness of making all schedule drugs legal in America. I will be arguing the "Pro" side of this argument.
For the sake of this argument, I would like to keep the debate limited to talking about scheduled drugs that qualify for a prison sentence.

The current legal status of scheduled drugs is much more harmful to our culture and lifestyle than beneficial. This is a large argument, but there are ____ main points that have brought me to this conclusion:

1. Personal Harm: In our current society, in which scheduled drugs provide a prison sentence, a person addicted to these drugs doesn't receive any help. Drug addiction has always been considered a medical dilemma, and should be treated like one. Imprisoning drug addicts does nothing to curb their addictions, and often times, provides a place to continue drug activity.

2. Economic Harm: Following the first point, the imprisonment of drug addicts is very harmful to our economy. A large portion of our taxes go towards keeping prisons running. Ergo, that tax money is being used to foster an environment where drug addicts continue to do drugs. Additionally, the amount of people incarcerated for drug crimes take up so much space in most prisons, that they are often released early to make room for other criminals, which means that the tax dollars spent on putting them in prison was wasted.

3. Social Harm: For whatever reason, people have a tendency to engage in activities that are considered "taboo", or in this case, illegal. With that said, the current legal status of scheduled drugs only creates demand. Without that draw, less people would feel the need to engage with scheduled drugs.

I am very eager to hear the other side of this debate, so if you are interested, don't hesitate.
DoctorFight

Con

1. Personal Harm: I'm going to have to throw out your argument on this one - punishment vs. rehabilitation for drug abusers is it's own argument; if I'm going to be arguing against drug legalization, that doesn't mean I'm in favor of incarceration for addicts, nor does it become an argument about the rehabilitative qualities of the penal system.

2. Economic Harm: Based on the social harm, the argument may be levied that these expenditures are worth it. FURTHERMORE, this straight reading ignores the economic benefits of the prison-industrial complex, which is in fact arguably BENEFICIAL for the economy as a whole. For starters, private prisons are subject to economies of scale - the more prisoners in the prison, the CHEAPER the prison becomes to upkeep (1), to say nothing of the surplus free labour that prisoners provide. Businesses of all sizes which cater to the needs of the prison also thrive - food, communication, transportation, construction, medical, textile, all many of tradesmen, etc.

The ethics of the prison-industrial complex is a matter to itself entire.

3. Social Harm: This is simply fallacious logic. In Colorado alone, since legalization, use statistics have risen significantly, DUI of marijuana has risen drastically. Drug-related expulsions have increased by 32%, and there has been a 57% increase in marijuana-related ER visits. Perhaps the statistic with the most damning conclusions: in 2013, 48.4% of adult arrestees in Denver tested positive for marijuana, compared to 16% in 2008. (2)

(1) http://www.nij.gov...

(2) http://www.rmhidta.org...
Debate Round No. 1
ejphoenix

Pro

ejphoenix forfeited this round.
DoctorFight

Con

Aight, we were having a good fight, I'ma give you the opportunity for rebuttal the next round if you haven't just left the site.
Debate Round No. 2
ejphoenix

Pro

1. To your point, punishment vs. rehabilitation for drug users is it's own argument. With that said, there are additional aspects of personal harm that have been neglected. Due to the sheer amount of people that have been incarcerated for drug use, prisons are largely overcrowded. When a prison operates over-capacity, it can be incredibly dangerous to prisoners and prison staff. The markets that cater to the need of prisons may not be readily available to all of the prisoners. In December of 2014, the Bureau of Prisons, which mostly houses drug offenders, was found to be operating at 128% over-capacity (1). If scheduled drugs were legalized, there would be far less prisoners, lessening the amount of prison overcrowding.

2. Prisons are certainly operate as economies of scale, but even with the large amount of overcrowding that prisons are subject to, the total cost of a single prisoner is still a great fiscal burden on tax payers. According to a study staged by the Vera Institute of Justice, of 40 participating states, "the aggregate cost of prisons in 2010...was $39 billion...[and] the annual average taxpayer cost in these states was $31,286 per inmate" (2). Considering this, if a prisoner is released from incarceration due to the overcrowding above, that $31,286 is completely wasted.
Secondly, in states like Colorado, the legalization of marijuana has been a huge benefit to the economy. The taxes acquired from marijuana sales are used to subsidize the quality of public education. In January of this year, alone, the state of Colorado raised $97,741,988 in tax revenue from marijuana sales and licensing taxes (3).

3. In regard to social harm, that very same report that you quoted also noted that traffic fatalities in Colorado have decreased for by 14.8% from 2007 to 2012 (4). The U.S. isn't the only country that can be observed to have positive social affects of legalizing scheduled drugs. Portugal, for example, is one of the first nations to actually decriminalize scheduled drugs. Since they have done so, they have seen increases in people receiving medical treatment, and decreases in incidents of HIV/AIDS, drug induced deaths, social costs, and problematic and adolescent drug use (5). There is evidence to support the idea that changing the legality of a drug does change the amount of demand.

(1). http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(2). http://www.nytimes.com...
(3). https://www.colorado.gov...
(4). http://www.rmhidta.org...
(5). https://www.drugpolicy.org...
DoctorFight

Con

DoctorFight forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ejphoenix

Pro

ejphoenix forfeited this round.
DoctorFight

Con

DoctorFight forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by DoctorFight 10 months ago
DoctorFight
F*ck, now it's my bad - back in my hometown for the Seder, gonna be p afk for a while
Posted by ejphoenix 10 months ago
ejphoenix
I apologize about the lack of response in Round 2. For some reason, I was only alerted to your response at the same time that my response was forfeited.
No votes have been placed for this debate.