The Instigator
dlw7505
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
DucoNihilum
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points

All drugs should be legal to sell, produce, distribute, and to be consumed by consenting adults.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,004 times Debate No: 3128
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (12)

 

dlw7505

Con

This is a topic that was started by DucoNihilum in a previous debate but then completely dropped by the con. I would like to take this opportunity to pick this debate back up and keep it going.

For my opening statement I would like to reiterate that I am against Full Drug Legalization. I also believe that a change of the status quo should be supported by benefits and or a NEED for change.
DucoNihilum

Pro

Liberty is a very important part of the founding of our nation and our nation altogether. A very important part of this Liberty is the idea of negative liberty. The notion that a man is free to do as he pleases unless he is harming somebody else. Another important necessity in America is the notion of private property rights. Private property is essential for a free and productive society. The most absolute ownership you can have is ownership over yourself. In order to own yourself, you must be able to do what you please to your own body. Be that use drugs, or kill yourself, ownership of your life is very important for the liberty of a free state.

Your justification for a ban on all drugs might be that they are harmful to the users of the drugs. People are often involved in many possibly harmful activities. Some people enjoy skydiving, some people enjoy eating, some people enjoy smoking cigarettes and some people enjoy drinking alcohol. Would you suggest we ban skydiving, computers, alcohol, cigarettes, eating unhealthy foods, and other things that might be harmful to others simply because you disagree with their lifestyle? Should people not have control over their lives and not have to ask permission from you or the government to do something that you or the government might consider risky? Do you personally engage in any behavior besides what might go on in your typical day? Sure, drugs can be harmful to the people who use them- but so can many other things. The key to this is that people own their lives, and thusly must make decision for themselves- 'is skydiving worse the risk?', 'Is smoking worth the risk', or 'Is eating this pizza worth the risk?'- and that these decisions are not the governments to make.

You might argue that drugs are harmful to other people. Drugs are not harmful to other people, drugs do not cause crime- people do. People who commit crimes on drugs do not do them so much because they are on drugs, but because they are criminally minded people. Furthermore, even if they are doing it largely due to drug motivations (such as meth, for example, which some people might commit crimes for meth money) it is STILL the person committing the crime. It is their actions that cause the crime to be committed, not the drugs. Crime is often surrounded by poverty- poor people tend to commit more violent crime than rich people, so does that mean we should arrest all poor people so that they have no chance of committing crime, arrest them for thoughtcrime.... or should we let them make their own choices? Should we let them decide for themselves if they will actually commit the crime, and then punish them if they commit the crime- or should we punish them regardless, blanketly?

Not all drugs are even harmful. For example, cannabis is a drug which has very few negative side effects, is hardly associated with crime and simply alters some of your perception. Many people have tried it, in fact the majority of adult Americans have tried it at some point in their lives. They are not killing people, they're generally normal people. While there may be some social issues with some users, that can again come with absolutely any love or hobby. Saying that cannabis might be a gateway drug is confusing cause and effect, sure people who did hard drugs might have done cannabis, but that does not mean cannabis use causes the use of hard drugs. Using that argument, you could argue that water, oxygen, or the color red are all causes of the use of hard drugs. The argument is simply fallacious.

All drugs should be legalized in the name of Liberty, in order to stand by our principles of Negative Liberty and private property rights required for any capitalist (productive, free) society. You may argue that drugs are harmful to the people who take them, however the drugs are only harmful to the people who take them because they make their own choices on the matter. In fact, not all drugs are harmful- cannabis is less harmful than many legal drugs today, like Alcohol or Tobacco. You could make the argument that drugs cause harm to others, however that would be incorrect as well- as people make their own choices on whether or not to harm others. It is hypocritical to throw drug users in jail while not throwing other, perhaps just as risky people in jail, such as mountain climbers, computer users, the poor, the black, or skydivers.
Debate Round No. 1
dlw7505

Con

Negative liberty refers to, freedom from interference by other people. In order to truly accept this concept we would have to truly accept anarchy. This being said, remember that the right to liberty is expressed in the Declaration of Independence, one of the founding documents of the United States of America

Thomas Hobbes, a 17th centry philosopher, argued that a strong authority was needed to curb men's intrinsically wild, savage, and corrupt impulses. Only a powerful authority can keep at bay the permanent and always looming threat of anarchy.

If Negative liberty leads to anarchy and anarchy can be prevented by authority, why whould we believe that the liberty highlighted in the declaration of independence was refering to negative liberty.

Rather, the liberty I believe that was implied, was the freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. This is also why we have our constitution that shows that our liberty is not absolute.

Your concept of private property leaves a lot to the imagination. With your theory, because my car is my property, I should be able to do as I please to it. So if I busted out my headlights, removed all of my seatbelts, spray painted over the license plate, and took off all of my mirrors, I should not be punished for driving down the road.

My intention is not to ban all drugs, rather to keep most drugs from becoming legal. I have no reason to justify this by stating the harm to the individual, rather just the harm to others caused by the individual.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that cocaine use is linked to high rates of homicide in New York City and that "homicide victims may have provoked violence through irritability, paranoid thinking or verbal and physical aggression which are known to be pharmacological effects of cocaine."
The violent behavior caused by drugs won't magically stop because the drugs are legal. Legal PCP isn't going to make a person less violent than illegally purchased PCP.

Although the crime was committed by a person, that person was influenced by pharmacological effects of the drug, altering the person's normal behavior. We call this being high. While some drugs do influence a more peaceful behavior, most do not.

As far as your argument of poor people tend to commit more violent crime. The state of being poor cannot always be the person's desire. However the state of being high is. These are two completely different parameters.

I completely agree with you that not all drugs are harmful, but because of the ones that are we cannot have FULL drug legalization. There is no country where there is FULL drug legalization. Many countries have very relaxed drug policies, however none have full drug legalization.

With your version of liberty you might have well just started your last argument with, All drugs should be legalized in the name of anarchy. You have also yet to show any reason for full legalization. All you have accomplished is showing reasons that some drugs should not be illegal. There is still no benefit from changing the status quo, only harms.
DucoNihilum

Pro

Negative liberty does not lead to anarchy. Negative Liberty requires some governmental force to protect peoples liberties. Liberties do not exist if there is no protection of these liberties. The government has the duty to protect the Lives, Liberty, and Property of all of its citizens. I would also accept some very mild interference so long as it benefits all people (roads). In fact, the idea of negative liberty, as far as I interpret it does include exactly what you speak of. Freedom from arbitrary restraints on liberty. Our constitution supports the idea of liberty though the philosophy of negative liberty.

Your rights of private property stop when those rights interfere with the rights of others. Your right to have a gun is absolute until you use that gun to harm somebody else. Taking seat belts out of a car hurts nobody, however no headlights arguably causes a danger to other people.

I agree that violent behavior will not suddenly stop if drugs were legalized. However, some crime might drop. There is a lot of crime around drug use, gangs, etc- just as crime was involved in the production of alcohol (the mob). This crime will essentially disappear if drugs were legalized. Drugs would be created by corporations rather than the gang leader. There will still be people who take drugs, and while on those drugs harm somebody while under the influence of them.

I have no issue with the statistic that people who are on drugs commit crimes. I agree, people who are on some drugs may be more susceptible to crime than those who are not on them. There are at least two major issues that should be taken into consideration here regarding whether or not they (the drugs) should be made illegal.

The first being that while these drugs may make some people more violent, is this true for absolutely every case? If not, you are harming somebody for the simple possibility of crime. These people chose to take the drugs and are responsible for every bad thing that comes out of this. This is true for other vises or even other drugs you do not wish to be made illegal. Alcohol can cause you to behave violently, that is why you must use alcohol responsibly in order to avoid arrest (arrest for murder, or some such.) Many people can use alcohol responsibly. If you can not, and end up hurting somebody that is your fault for using the drug, not the drugs fault for existing. Every action you take has the possibility of causing harm to another individual. Spending your money frivolously can cause you to wish to rob, but that is not illegal.

The second being The people who commit crimes while high tend to be naturally violent, or have tendencies of violence. Correlation does not mean causation. perhaps the people high on drugs are already people with weak mental states that would have otherwise committed some violence later, while not on drugs, regardless of their ingestion of drugs.

I believe my poor situation still stands. The idea of yours is preventing liberties of other people simply for the POSSIBILITY of committing actual crime in the future. Both are generally avoidable, drug use and being poor. Sure, poor people do not want to be poor- but they do tend to commit more crime. Should we allow these dangerous poor people to live? Well of course, because not all poor people commit crime and we can not make the vast assumption that they are all going to harm us- because they won't.

You bring up the fact that you would like to prevent these from being illegal, but not make things already legal illegal? Why? Is it because that would take away from a precious need we all have- liberty? A very key point to the philosophy of Liberty I brought up earlier is the concept of self ownership. You own your body, and you can do what you want with your body so long as that does not harm somebody else. Drug use does not necessarily harm anybody else, however murder necessarily does. The benefit from changing this status quo is Liberty. The benefit of simple liberty is far above the 'benefits' you might receive from not allowing people to excersize this liberty.
Debate Round No. 2
dlw7505

Con

dlw7505 forfeited this round.
DucoNihilum

Pro

My opponent concedes that he does not want other drugs, like alcohol or tobacco to be made illegal. Alcohol kills many people every year. While some hard drugs may in fact sometimes cause violence, alcohol causes many accidental deaths- especially when driving. It is hypocritical of him to say that alcohol should be legalized but other drugs that cause less death shouldn't. People should be responsible for their actions when they commit a crime, if a person on drugs commits violence they have actually harmed somebody else and should be punished. However, arresting people for the potential to commit crime is not just, be it the potential to commit crimes while on drugs, or simply the potential for committing crimes for having a certian race, or class.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
DucoNihilum
I was hoping for more comments
Posted by dlw7505 8 years ago
dlw7505
good debate man, sorry for round 3
Posted by dlw7505 8 years ago
dlw7505
aaaaaaa my internet went down as i was typing a responce and is just now back up.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
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