The Instigator
stealthylog
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DarthVitiosus
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

All drugs should be legalized (or decriminalized)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
DarthVitiosus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 631 times Debate No: 66415
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

stealthylog

Pro

I, as a more radically minded individual, believe that all drugs should be legal. My argument is almost certainly in the vast minority, however, I think I can justify my position.
Let us begin with the ever growing issue of marijuana legalization. Ever since CO, as the experiment state, legalized marijuana for recreational use, crime rates have since gone down, drugged driving has gone down, and overall consumption of the drug has gone down. I recently read an article where cartels in Mexico have recently stopped ordering farmers to grow marijuana because it is not profitable anymore due to widespread legalization (both medically and recreational) and decriminalization. Everything opponents of legalization feared when CO first legalized pot have turned out to be non issues. Like I said, opponents claimed crime would skyrocket, along with unemployment and drugged driving (It is hard to statistically back up the claim of less drugged driving because Marijuana stays in the blood and urine for about two weeks. Drivers who are drug tested may have not smoked pot in over a week and be completely sober, however since they would fail a drug test, it is counted as drugged driving. But, since less people who are pulled over are failing drug tests, there are less drugged drivers, and this also means that marijuana use as a whole has indeed gone down). Unemployment in CO is actually well under the national average causing the state to have one of the 15 lowest rates in the country. Marijuana, in my eyes and my generation's eyes, should absolutely be federally legal.
Now onto the harder side of the debate, the rest of the drugs. I know I am in about a 10% minority on this one, but I believe legalizing all drugs is the way to go. If drugs weren't seen as "badass" and such a taboo topic in our society, they would be irrelevant, worthless issues. To create that type of atmosphere, legalization is necessary. In the United States, we currently have over 2 million people in prison. Take a moment to digest that outrageous number. That population is larger than the population of 15 states and DC. Over a quarter of all of those individuals are in prison for non-violent, drug-related crimes. By making all drugs legal, the government is no longer creating crime, therefore causing crime rate to significantly drop. I do not see the logic in locking up a college student for selling cocaine or amphetamines at a rave or a party. By criminalizing drugs, lives of individuals are ruined. Locking up individuals for dictating the management of their own bodies or for taking advantage of the law of supply and demand. It is ridiculous that the government is so desperate to have something as a scapegoat for all the crime in the country.
The argument of morality cannot be ignored in this topic. I would like to argue that the current system is immoral, not legalizing the substances. As I previously mentioned, our country and its legal system are literally ruining the lives of "criminals" sometimes as young as kids. Should a 17 year-old who has a couple gs of pot on him with scale really be facing extreme charges? I fail to see how the current system of dictating individual freedoms and eliminating all aspects of free will is considered moral. Why can the government dictate what I do to myself? I am a huge individualist, and I believe in the right to dictate self. I am not hurting anyone by smoking a bowl or snorting a line (hypothetically speaking of course, I swear I am not a raging drug addict. I have never partaken in any substance other than marijuana and alcohol, and neither of them can be classified as frequent use by any loose sense of the word). It just drives me crazy that our freedoms are limited to an extremity, yet our leaders claim we live in the country with the most freedom. We can't marry who we want to marry, do what we want to do to our bodies, and everything we do is watched, monitored, and noted. We live in a land of hypocrisy, not freedom. I'm gonna go ahead and finish my round because I'll end up just ranting even more if I go further. I welcome anyone to a respectful debate, free of immaturity, with anyone who can intelligently debate with me. Thank you.
DarthVitiosus

Con

I as Con will simply be arguing the status quo. All drugs should not be legalized. I would also argue in fact some legal drugs should be made illegal. I will explain this in my "Arguments" section #3.

DEFINITIONS & ASSOCIATIONS:
Drug:
"A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body[1]"

[1]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...


Legal:"Of, based on, or concerned with the law[2]"

[2]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Illegal:"Contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law[3]"

[3]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

INTRODUCTION & PREMISES:

I would agree with many things my opponent is stating. I think we disagree upon the proper way to go about doing things. My opponent seems to believe it would be wise to decriminalize or legalize drugs. I do share many of his conerns about many non-violent drug users being in prison[4]. But let us remember, first time offenders are not punished severely. In many cases, first time drug offenders are left off wth a warning depending on what drug they were using. I reconcile the appropriate way for the law to deal with non-violent drug offenders in section #4. Drug offenders should be treated as if they are going through a negative phase in life. This phase in a person's life should not be punished because their potential job future is killed by their sentencing. The phase should be rehabilitated.

[4]http://www.drugwarfacts.org...

ARGUMENTS:
#1 The Effects of Illegal Drugs Are Unhealthy:

People who are interested in radical drug reform should observe the effects of drugs before jumping the gun to stating they should be decriminalized an/or legalized. I will refrain from offering opinion to show what some of the hazardous effects of illegal drugs are.There is a reason why many are illegal.


1A. Cannabis(Marijuana): "Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another.........Studies in Australia in 2008 linked years of heavy marijuana use to brain abnormalities. [5]."

[5]http://www.drugfreeworld.org...


1B. Cocaine: "Cocaine causes a short-lived, intense high that is immediately followed by the opposite—intense depression, edginess and a craving for more of the drug.....Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain.....Liver, kidney and lung damage[6]."

[6]http://www.drugfreeworld.org...

1C. Phencyclidine(PCP):" The use of PCP as an approved anesthetic in humans was discontinued in 1965 because patients often became agitated, delusional, and irrational while recovering from its anesthetic effects....Symptoms that mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking....People who have abused PCP for long periods of time have reported memory loss[7]."

[7]http://www.drugabuse.gov...


1D. Heroin:"After the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours; mental function is clouded; heart function slows; and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage[8]."


1E. Methadone:"The use of methadone with other drugs that suppress respiration such as alcohol can also be dangerous or fatal....After a while on methadone and after developing a tolerance to the drug, the abuser will not get high any more but will continue to feel drugged[9]."

[9]http://www.narconon.org...

#2 Why Drugs Should Be Discouraged:
2A. Drug Users can Potentially Kill Non-Drug Users
Drug users are problematic when their drug usage effects others. A good comparison would be how non-smokers suffer from the effects of second hand smoke. Drug users can potentially suffer lung cancer as a result of the behavior of others[10]. Another comparison would be how some alcohol abusers jump in a car in a drunken trance and get into car accidents that hurt and/or kill other people[11].

[10]http://www.cancer.gov...

[11]http://www.cdc.gov...

As I have shown above in the effects of drugs section, drugs will affect the brain for the worse. Legalizing drugs can put others in potential danger just as the same way people suffer lung cancer from second hand smoke and how people die of drunk driving.


2B. Drug Users Can Become Aggressive

I will use PCP as the best examples of how someone can become a danger to themselves as well as others[13]. I would argue the number of incidents is inconsequential but when the incidents do take place they are well worht noting. How often are car doors ripped off their hinges? Illegal drugs are no exceptions to aggression because alcohol may induce some of this behavior as well.Let us not forget the stories of how drunken husbands have came home to beat their wives and sometimes their children in their drunken states[14][15].

[13]http://www2.siena.edu...

[14]http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

[15]http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...


2C. Drug Users Will Be Costly

Drug users have to pay for their fix constantly if they are addicted to a drug.

2D. Drug Usage Will Be Addictive

Many drug users suffer from symptoms which pressure them into getting more drugs. These drugs include PCP, heroin, and cocaine. This can be burdensome for the users as well as their relatives.

#3 Punishments for drug users:

I would agree with my opponent's skepticism for the drug users who are sent to prison. However, that does not make the case for legalization. When someone attempts to commit suicide, do the police send them to prison? No, the person who attempted to commit suicide is sent to rehabilation[16]. Drug users should be rehabilitated back into society through rehabilatation. There are reasons why people do drugs, there are reasons why people abuse alcohol, and there are reasons why people smoke cigarettes. It is not approprate to just ignore most of these people since they effect everyone else around them[-]. There needs to be proper outlets where these people can relieve their stress safely without harming anyone else. I would highly recommend psychiatrists or clinical psychologists to be used rather than abusing a substance. A person would be allowed to talk about their problems without using a substance or drug that may be unhealthy for them. This also should apply to legal drugs people are addicted to if it becomes burdensome on other people. Drugs should remain illegal but dealt with differently. They should be sent to a rehabilitation camp of sorts rather than a prison. Ignoring a problem is not fixing it.

[16]http://www.brown.edu...

[17]See section 2.

Debate Round No. 1
stealthylog

Pro

I would like to agree with my opponent on the issues that drug use can cause, however with the experiment and results that CO has offered us so far, many of those concerns have proven to be irrelevant. Almost every argument used discussing discouraging drug use is either taken to the radical extremity or filled with hypothetical "what-if" scenarios that represent statistical outliers. Violence and drug use are associated together because of gang related violence on most occasions. Let's also not pretend that making drugs illegal reduces the number of users. Drug users are going to use drugs regardless of the law, and legalizing them can only help. We all know a drug habit is addictive and costly. Making the drugs legal makes the purchase legal and taxable which would put more revenue into our government. Colorado has taken in about $23 million in recreational and medical marijuana sales in 2014. On a much larger scale, the revenue would obviously be considerably larger due to the population and the increased number of substances. The addictions are not up to the government to decide. Why on Earth can the government decide how I harm my body? I fully believe in the ownership of self, and by restricting my habits and decisions my rights are violated. Drugs are only dangerous when they are made dangerous. Propaganda is fully responsible for how drugs are viewed in our society, seen as next to the devil when the war on drugs was originally declared.
When discussing the health effects of drug use, I would again like to emphasize individual rights. If health effects are the main and only relevant arguments nowadays, then anything and everything that damages health should be illegal. On marijuana, yes the carcinogens are greater (1 joint is the same as 5 cigarettes is considered the accepted ratio). However, generally speaking I would have to smoke 4-5 full joints a day in order to equal the carcinogens of the average cigarette smoker. The health effects are harmful overall, though, and I will agree that drug addictions are harmful to the health of the individual. However, the government should not be able to dictate my health. Speaking from a Darwinist outlook, the deaths that result from drug use can be justified. Those who do not survive are not fit to survive.
Dealing with drug use is much more difficult than mandatory counseling or rehab. If someone does not want help, forced rehab will do absolutely nothing. To get help, the user has to want help. If rehab is the punishment, sobriety can be seen as something undesirable. Problems can only be dealt with if the person is willing.
DarthVitiosus

Con

ARGUMENTS:
"however with the experiment and results that CO has offered us so far, many of those concerns have proven to be irrelevant."
A weak analogy fallacy and a hasty generalization[1][2]. The comparison is poor and Colorado is not even an accurate example of the average American state in terms of marijuana users. When did Colorado legalize marijuana? It was 2012[3]. How is two years an accurate sample of the drug policies effects? Colorado is also an inaccurate example because the results of the policies can't be realized n such a short period of time. Was cocaine and heroin legalized as well? No, they were not legalized. Therefore, Colorado is not a substantial example for this debate in any form.

[1]http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...
[2]http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...
[3]http://www.drugpolicy.org...

"Let's also not pretend that making drugs illegal reduces the number of users. "
It does, it is simply a matter of the execution of the drug laws and society's will to absolve itself of drugs.

"We all know a drug habit is addictive and costly."
No, not all drug habits, this is simply not true. This is a sweeping generalization fallacy[4].

[4]http://www.logicalfallacies.info...

"Drug users are going to use drugs regardless of the law, and legalizing them can only help."
No, it has to do with society's drive to stop drug abuse. In Singapore, the drug policies work. Why? The consequences of selling drugs is nothing short of the death penalty[1]. If someone has drugs sold in their house they are punished. Drug users are given two chances in a drug rehabilitation center before being sent to prison on their third strike[2]. Clearly, the drug laws work in Singapore, it is not up for debate when these are undeniable facts. If a society wants to deal with the problem of drugs, it can. If they will it, so shall it be.

[5]http://goseasia.about.com...
[6]http://www.theguardian.com...

"Colorado has taken in about $23 million in recreational and medical marijuana sales in 2014. On a much larger scale, the revenue would obviously be considerably larger due to the population and the increased number of substances. "

And let us look at this from a true economic standpoint. Let us look at two countries with clearly opposite drug policies, Singapore and Portugal. Portugal has 10.6 million people and Singapore has 5.3 million people[7][8]. Portugal has decriminalized all drugs and Singapore has some of the world's strictest drug laws[9][6]. Portugal has 252 USD Billion GDP. Singapore has 297.94 USD Billion GDP[11]. Who is more productive? Singapore or Portugal? That would be Singapore hands down with more GDP and about less than half the population of Portugal.

[7]http://worldpopulationreview.com...
[8]http://www.singstat.gov.sg...
[9]http://www.spiegel.de...
[10]http://www.tradingeconomics.com...
[11]http://www.tradingeconomics.com...

"The addictions are not up to the government to decide. "
Yes, it is. It is the government's job to regulate commerce. Pharmacies would be the providers if the No, pharmacist would disregard their oath and still be able to practice pharmaceutical work. A pharmacist must follow their own code of ethics as well as the law. It is against their oath to give someone something that will only have harmful effects[12]. Selling all drugs would be against a pharmacist's oath.

[12]http://pharmacy.rutgers.edu...

"Why on Earth can the government decide how I harm my body? I fully believe in the ownership of self, and by restricting my habits and decisions my rights are violated. "

This is too incredulous to believe my opponent would believe the statement he just wrote. Simply put, it is the government's business. I will have to explain how the economy functions and how the government reacts to it now in detail. It is the government's responsibility to regulate trade. Illegal drug transactions are a form of trade. When someone decides to purchase drugs, he/she has bought drugs from another person. Therefore, it is not only about your body. You are buying from someone who makes a profit.

When someone chooses to do drugs and harms someone else, it is the government's business. That is why many states don't allow smoking in restaurants or in public buildings anymore because other people can die from second hand smoke.

"Drugs are only dangerous when they are made dangerous."
No, my opponent has clearly just disregarded the entire point of drug usage, legal and illegal. What does my opponent think the point of using drugs is? Drugs are used to alter the state of the human anatomy. Many people just happen to ignore the side effects of drugs as well. Many drugs have hazardous effects be it directly or a side effect. I will use legal drugs to show the hazardous effects. The influenza vaccine given every year, not so uncommonly causes people to contract influenza. Adderall which many college students to sports players use can cause high blood pressure and an extremely high heart rate. Many drugs are inherently dangerous.

"Propaganda is fully responsible for how drugs are viewed in our society, seen as next to the devil when the war on drugs was originally declared."
Yes, I agree, propaganda is why most in society who use illegal drugs tend to use it for recreational purposes. Drugs are not made for recreational purposes.

"When discussing the health effects of drug use, I would again like to emphasize individual rights. If health effects are the main and only relevant arguments nowadays, then anything and everything that damages health should be illegal."
Another sweeping generalization fallacy[4]. My opponent does not realize that in order for something to become illegal, they had to previously had to be legal. Cocaine and heroin were made illegal due to the mass amount of deaths surrounding them initially. If a drug has been reported to kill so many people, they will be made illegal. Drugs are meant for medical purposes not recreational purposes. If the harms outweigh the benefits, a drug more than likely will be made illegal.

"The health effects are harmful overall, though, and I will agree that drug addictions are harmful to the health of the individual. However, the government should not be able to dictate my health. "
The government should be able to dictate your health because the government must regulate the health industry. Every new drug that is developed must be approved by the FDA[13]. For example, a drug's intent may be to slow one's heart rate while in combat sports or in a war but may have the side effect of stopping one's heart when they go to sleep. This drug would not be approved by the FDA. Or another example would be how a drug a few years ago was meant to maintain a male erection but had a side effect of causing most of the users to urinate blood during the experiments. This drug was not approved by the FDA thankfully.

[13]http://www.fda.gov...

"Speaking from a Darwinist outlook, the deaths that result from drug use can be justified. Those who do not survive are not fit to survive."
That sounds very malevolent of my opponent to make the above statement. I will take the side that I want all people to succeed in a sane pursuit of happiness and to live healthy lives with their loved ones.

"Dealing with drug use is much more difficult than mandatory counseling or rehab. If someone does not want help, forced rehab will do absolutely nothing. To get help, the user has to want help. If rehab is the punishment, sobriety can be seen as something undesirable. Problems can only be dealt with if the person is willing."
Pure opinion and speculation on the part of my opponent which has been to be debunked far too many times[6].

Coercion has and will always work when one actually puts effort in utilizing coercion. Do you like paying taxes? I am more than sure most people pay taxes even if they don't like paying taxes.
Debate Round No. 2
stealthylog

Pro

stealthylog forfeited this round.
DarthVitiosus

Con

Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
stealthylog

Pro

stealthylog forfeited this round.
DarthVitiosus

Con

Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
stealthylog

Pro

stealthylog forfeited this round.
DarthVitiosus

Con

Extend all arguments. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
darth....... And what government program has prevented any of this from happening?The only one that had effected it is law and the consequences of it.. You are so mis-informed about human behavior is your problem.Government intrusion outside of rule of moral law ALWAYS makes the problems more intense. That is the nature of government.And you are duped into thinking they are the fix-all entity.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
@stealthylog, stay out of the comment section. I am talking to cheyennebodie.

@cheyennebodie , Do you not read? What did I say? Clearly you didn't respond to it.

"You may not chose to drink and drive; that doesn't mean you won't be killed by people who do drink and drive. You may not chose to smoke, that doesn't mean you can't die from second hand smoke."

You can be killed by other people's behavior or their principals as you wish to call it. You may not drive recklessly, that doesn't mean you won't be killed by someone who chooses to do so. You have faith that other people won't harm you. Key word is faith. You are inherently putting you and your families' bodies in someone else's hands. I guess you believe they have the right to kill you as well because it was their lifestyle choice to drink and drive. Is that not right? It was their choice to drink and drive, was it not?

I am not commenting any further until the debate is over.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
darth..........It is encouraging bad behavior by simply coddling people. It took very strict drunk driving laws to bring down drunk driving deaths. Not some stupid government " treatment."That just enables more bad behavior. I do not drink, nor smoke nor do drugs, legal or illegal. That is my choice. If a person chooses to ignore sound living principles, then the burden of responsibility should rest only on their shoulders or anyone who freely chooses to help.And there are millions of people out there that will really help. Not just coddle bad behavior. I know one minister that will council people just three times. If they are not willing to do what has been decided would fix the problem, then they can go where people just want to air out their bad experiences.And not fix them.
Posted by stealthylog 2 years ago
stealthylog
I would definitely have to disagree with that. Again just because something is illegal doesn't meant people won't do it. As the laws currently stand, however, public smoking is not legal in CO nor drinking and driving obviously. Public intoxication is illegal, as well. The community isn't preserved by making all this stuff illegal and forcing everyone to pay to fix it. The community is shoving "morals" down the throats of its members when morality varies. Self preservation is up to the person. Forcing a lifestyle is not giving freedom at all.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
Just as I said irresponsible and you clearly are encouraging a hazardous environment. Their lifestyle will inevitably effect other people whether they like it or not.

You may not chose to drink and drive; that doesn't mean you won't be killed by people who do drink and drive. You may not chose to smoke, that doesn't mean you can't die from second hand smoke.

It is not a matter of paying for other people when it is self preservation and community preservation that is danger because of their personal choices.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
What is irresponsible is forcing people to pay for others lifestyles.You can pay for other peoples choices if you want to. You can even empty your bank account. But you are not justified emptiing any one elses.Free will charities did a good job taking care of the poor. Then government got involved and they have successfully created a large freeloader class of Americans.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
@cheyennebodie

That has to be one of the most irresponsible things I have read on this website.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
A agree. In fact get rid of all government intrusion. Close down all the meth clinics and government subsidized rehabs.Therapies and any other government sponsored
fixes" for something that is an individual choice.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
Well, you will learn as time goes on. Learning is good.
Posted by stealthylog 2 years ago
stealthylog
Well I am pretty new so I hope I did everything (or at least mostly everything) right :D
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
stealthylogDarthVitiosusTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture