The Instigator
Horizonsonfire98
Pro (for)
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The Contender
dylwal92
Con (against)
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All drugs should be decriminalized.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,280 times Debate No: 26888
Debate Rounds (3)
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Horizonsonfire98

Pro

Drug warriors often contend that drug use would skyrocket if we were to legalize or decriminalize drugs in the United States. Fortunately, we have a real-world example of the actual effects of ending the violent, expensive War on Drugs and replacing it with a system of treatment for problem users and addicts. About a decade ago, Portugal decriminalized the use and possession of all illicit substances. Removing the retributions of having prison as a possible punishment, to an administrative one "if the amount possessed was no more than ten days' supply of that substance."

Why should we not install this rather liberal drug policy in America's system? Statistics show that drug abuse has been reduced by one-half. Most would expect that it would sky-rocket. But once this drug policy was passed, it only went up a little bit. You must realize, if a person wants to do drugs. Chances are, he won't care if it is illegal or not.

As we look back in time to the prohibition of Alcohol, it is self-evident that generally, prohibition does NOT work. It wastes money, it creates crime, it puts plenty of citizens in prisons that do not belong there, etc. The list goes on.

(Sources)
http://www.emcdda.europa.eu...

Hughes, Caitlin; Stevens, Alex (December 2007), "The Effects of Decriminalization of Drug Use in Portugal" , Briefing Paper 14, Oxford: Beckley Foundation

EMCDDA, 2000. http://www.emcdda.europa.eu...

http://www.forbes.com...
dylwal92

Con

Your first point on the decriminalization of drugs is in reference to Portugal. This is an excellent reference to the decriminalization of drugs; however some clarification needs to be made. "All drugs are 'decriminalized,' meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offense, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender's unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the U.S.)" [1]. In the same article, it is seen in the 10 years after the decriminalization that the number of addicts decreased by nearly half the original number in 2001. This is undeniable. However, the implication that the same would happen in America is in many ways fallacious.

To further this point, I agree that "if a person wants to do drugs. Chances are, he won't care if it is illegal or not," but based on your argument, that statement is inconsistent. You are using ignoratio elenchi on this premise and as mentioned earlier, your statement on Portugal and the reason "why should we not install this... drug policy in America's system" is irrelevant, for the comparison that the same will occur here in America is illogical. There is no way to determine that the same effects the decriminalization of drugs will prevail in America. Even if it were to positively effect America, it may be in a different manner than that of Portugal.

The same manner goes into effect for the prohibition of alcohol. The effects of prohibition were horrendous to America and are being analyzed to find the psychological inevitability that could be produced if drugs America are decriminalized or even legalized [2].

The decriminalizing of drugs in America and its effects go indecisive - more or less - as there are many ongoing studies that show the possibility of such would neither provoke the increase, nor the decrease of drug use would occur [3]. Therefore, it is logical to say that drug use would remain the same as it has in the last 16 years [4].

My take is that there is no inevitability of any sort, nor are there any statistics that support the increase or decrease of drugs will occur, for the scale is unbalanced from year to year [4]. To decriminalize drugs may or may not benefit the well-being of America.

[1]http://www.businessinsider.com...
[2]http://psycnet.apa.org...
[3]http://norml.org...
[4]http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
Horizonsonfire98

Pro

Horizonsonfire98 forfeited this round.
dylwal92

Con

As my opponent has forfeited R2, I have no view that has been placed by Pro in order to further this debate. Due to this I will simply place my same points until my opponent is able to produce further argument.


Your first point on the decriminalization of drugs is in reference to Portugal. This is an excellent reference to the decriminalization of drugs; however some clarification needs to be made. "All drugs are 'decriminalized,' meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offense, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender's unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the U.S.)" [1]. In the same article, it is seen in the 10 years after the decriminalization that the number of addicts decreased by nearly half the original number in 2001. This is undeniable. However, the implication that the same would happen in America is in many ways fallacious.

To further this point, I agree that "if a person wants to do drugs. Chances are, he won't care if it is illegal or not," but based on your argument, that statement is inconsistent. You are using ignoratio elenchi on this premise and as mentioned earlier, your statement on Portugal and the reason "why should we not install this... drug policy in America's system" is irrelevant, for the comparison that the same will occur here in America is illogical. There is no way to determine that the same effects the decriminalization of drugs will prevail in America. Even if it were to positively effect America, it may be in a different manner than that of Portugal.

The same manner goes into effect for the prohibition of alcohol. The effects of prohibition were horrendous to America and are being analyzed to find the psychological inevitability that could be produced if drugs America are decriminalized or even legalized [2].

The decriminalizing of drugs in America and its effects go indecisive - more or less - as there are many ongoing studies that show the possibility of such would neither provoke the increase, nor the decrease of drug use would occur [3]. Therefore, it is logical to say that drug use would remain the same as it has in the last 16 years [4].

My take is that there is no inevitability of any sort, nor are there any statistics that support the increase or decrease of drugs will occur, for the scale is unbalanced from year to year [4]. To decriminalize drugs may or may not benefit the well-being of America.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com......
[2] http://psycnet.apa.org......
[3] http://norml.org......
[4] http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov......
Debate Round No. 2
Horizonsonfire98

Pro

Horizonsonfire98 forfeited this round.
dylwal92

Con

As my opponent has left me with nothing to continue this argument, I have no other arguments other than what has already been stated. Because of this, I say thank you to Pro for at least creating this debate and allowing me to show why drugs should not be decriminalized.
Debate Round No. 3
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