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The Contender
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All drugs should be legalized.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 103666
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




Debate Format (deviation from format denotes forfeiture - let's have a real debate)

Round 1: Acceptance of format and definitions

Round 2: Opening statements

Round 3: Rebuttals

Round 4: Defense of statements and closing argument


Drug: a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.

Legalize: make (something that was previously illegal) permissible by law.


Challenge accepted. I represent that all drugs SHOULDN'T be legalized.
Debate Round No. 1


There are no victimless crimes

My argument will mostly consist of practical benefits that we would experience if drugs were to be legalized, and that the prohibition of drugs does a lot more harm than good, but I also believe philosophically that the government should not be in the business of regulating our personal lives regardless of the consequences. Government exists to protect individual rights, not restrict them, and although drug use often has a negative impact on people's lives, consenting adults should be allowed to do what they please. If that means they are going to ingest harmful substances, it should certainly be discouraged, but not prohibited, as they are not infringing on anyone else's individual rights. If we accept the notion that the government can ban anything that's harmful, what about alcohol? It's a drug like any other, and a fairly addicting one that is deadly to the liver, but we allow its use anyway.

Quality Control

One of the disadvantages of legalizing drugs is that we would likely see more drug use, as the incentive to avoid them is decreased, however this issue is outweighed by the fact that drug use would be a lot safer when legally regulated. Drugs will often be riddled with dangerous additives and toxins, and already dangerous drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine can become even more deadly. Prohibition of drugs doesn't eliminate them, it just drives the market underground where it can't be regulated, and even relatively safe drugs like marijuana are often riddled with toxins that make its consumption much more dangerous.

Violence surrounding the drug industry

In the formal economy, the threat of the law generally prevents people from stealing and taking advantage of others, but you can't sue someone for selling you meth with 40% purity if that means admitting to a crime yourself, and the only way to respond to theft or gang violence is to respond with violence of your own. Drug traffickers will sometimes hire terrorist organizations to protect themselves, or directly attack competitors. It's an extremely primitive world, but we could drastically reduce, if not eliminate drug violence if we allowed this industry into the formal, regulated economy.

Economic Advantages

Formally taxing the drug industry would produce a substantial increase in tax revenue, and the government would save a lot of money if it didn't have to spend so much on the war on drugs. This in itself would obviously be a good thing, but it would also allow us to increase spending on drug education and rehabilitation if we decided to do so. When Portugal legalized drugs did implemented these sorts of policies, drug overdoses were dramatically reduced (1).

Drugs aren't always bad, and we do not properly educate on them.

The prohibition of cannabinoids and opiates causes a problem when people need them for medical reasons, and the dangers of many other drugs are completely overblown. Our culture is so eager to vilify and alienate drugs (even though the use of alcohol, which is just as much of a drug as cocaine, is completely acceptable) that it's gotten to the point where education on drugs consists of nothing more than propaganda and abstinence, when we should be primarily focusing on hard science and harm reduction. Many people are going to do drugs, often extremely harmful drugs, and we won't help them in any way if we keep repeating ourselves about how bad they are instead of teaching harm reduction, and on top of this, a lot of what we're teaching about drugs is completely false. A health teacher once taught me that LSD is an extremely addictive substance, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Until we legalize these drugs, we won't be able to reform our education system on this topic.



Alcohol addiction

Yes, alcohol is legal and yes there are limits. But that doesn't mean there are still problems with alcohol use and that's what could happen if all drugs are permitted.
Approximately 14 million adults in the US have an alcohol consumption addiction.
There's also underage drinking problems that aren't addressed.
7.7 million between the age of 12-20 consume alcohol. There's an age limit for a reason. Look at the drinking consumption that's ruined 1 and 13 of every adult in the US!

I'm not saying every single drug shouldn't be allowed. But there are some drugs that no one should use that are used anyway. Like heroine.
I know you addressed that if more people were given the chance to learn about drug use that we could help. But kids who are in homes with parents that have addictions won't learn that. Or even if they don't live with them. Since alcohol is legal and adults drink it in their home, some kids are tempted to try it. Do you realize the same thing could happen with drugs? Especially with drugs that have no use whatsoever even for medical reasons.
Another point is even if the rate for the danger of some drugs goes down, some people will overdose by accident on things like heroine.
Drugs being legalized can also raise the bar for dangerous. If people are able to produce their own drugs, who knows what could happen. If it's that easy to get away which it, then anything could happen.

I know that some people won't be able to get the education on drug use but if a child were to consume a drug, the responsibility is all in the hands of the parents so the child wouldn't go to jail, by the age of 18, they should be aware of drug use and it's consequences. I'm 13 and already aware of them. But if I were in a household with drug use, maybe I wouldn't.

Another thing is quality over quantity. We aren't teaching our kids about race and religion and gender and human rights in general. If we can't teach people about simple hguman rights, maybe we should just die from drug overdoses. People won't be even focused on giving the education to cover drug use because we should be focusing on keeping the lives of kids safe from things like racism and sexism and anti Semitic stuff. No one is going to care about drug use if we all start back where we were because of our president.
Debate Round No. 2


You brought up the fact that many teens are drinking alcohol, but didn't explain why this supports his case, or offer any solution. Alcohol is restricted already from anyone under the age of 21 (in the US), but teens still drink it. If anything, that point supports my case that people will use restricted drugs regardless of whether or not it is legal to do so. Simply stating that there is a problem with drug abuse does not necessarily justify the prohibition of drugs. My argument is not that there is no problem with drug addiction/abuse, but that restricting them does more harm than good. When we banned alcohol in the US in 1920, it created more problems than it solved, which is why we lifted the ban 13 years later.

You mentioned that many drugs have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse, such as heroin. I absolutely agree, but prohibiting these drugs doesn't solve any problems, it just costs more money for policing and drives the market underground. People will do heroin and overdose on it regardless of whether or not it's banned, but if we legalize it, we'll be able to put the money that would have been used on policing into rehab programs and education. Also, people would know they're actually buying pure heroin with no additives that could potentially be even more harmful.

Your point that many children in drug ridden households won't be able to get a proper education on these substances, but this doesn't really support your case as the prohibition on drugs is unlikely to stop them in an environment like that. What could potentially stop them is, as you said, being educated on them. Assuming they're going to school, they should be educated on the effects of these drugs.

I'm not really sure what to make of your last point about how we should be spending time educating people on things like racism and sexism instead of drug use. We would be able to put more government funds into all of those things if we didn't put so much money into organizations like the DEA. And again, the prohibition of drugs does not stop people from making, selling, and doing them, it just makes the drugs that are being marketed less safe and pure. As I said before, Portugal has one of the lowest overdose rates and they decriminalized all drugs. We can't completely end the abuse of drugs, but we can ensure than people who do use drugs are using safer drugs. LSD, which contrary to popular belief is usually relatively harmless when consumed in a safe environment, is often laced with meth and other dangerous additives. I would rather make LSD safe than ban it and still have people doing it.

And I have no idea why you mentioned Trump. He's vehemently against all drugs, including marijuana.


I want to start off by saying I DID explain why alcohol is a problem and why it supports my case. Alcohol is still a problem to this day which is why legalizing every drug ever would be a problem.

You also said I didn't have a better solution. As being on the con side, I don't have to have a planned out solution. I just have to prove that yours won't work. But regardless, I can easily say I have a solution. Your side is just saying that all drugs should be legalized. Every single made. I don't have to say every drug should be banned, I just have to offer something different from that which is almost every drug should be legal. We both agreed that useless drugs like heroin have nothing to do. I can simply say every dangerous but also useless drug ever made could be banned and I'd be done. I have offered a better solution that useless drugs dont have to be allowed but others that do can. I mean, we have things like gun laws for a reason. We can do the same thing with things like heroin.

Also really quick I mentioned Trump as an example of why we need to teach kids about freedom because Trump obviously doesn't care about that.

Legalizing things like heroin even though they have no use would make no sense. Putting labels on things like heroin won't do anything because people can still accidentally overdose. If we strengthen the education on dangerous and pretty uselesss drugs, people will be more aware of how dangerous they are. I know your point was to educate people on this but I'm just saying talking about the useless drugs that wouldn't be legal.
Debate Round No. 3


Your argument on alcohol doesn't stand up at all. When we made alcohol illegal, adulterants went up, violence went up, and abuse didn't go down at all. Making it legal again improved everything. Simply stating we have a problem with a drug doesn't support your case. I agree that alcohol abuse is a problem, and I agree that any drug abuse or overdose is a problem. I'm not arguing against that. I'm arguing that making them illegal does more harm than good, which was clearly the case in 1920.

Again, your statement about Trump and freedom is irrelevant (and ironic, seeing as you want to limit freedom by prohibiting some drugs).

Heroin overdoses happen and will continue to happen regardless of whether the drug is legal or illegal. Heroin use was decriminalized in Portugal and ODs went down. You seem to believe that the only thing keeping people from using heroin I'd the law, but most people are aware of its extremely harmful effects and would not use it even if it was legal, as shown by Portugal. Regardless, I have stated many positive effects that would come from legalizing this drug and others. Less violent crime, better education, safer use of drugs, tax revenue, and even if more abuse took place when these drugs entered the formal economy, which I believe would not happen, the good that would come of it far outweighs the bad.

The government should not be prohibiting everything that is bad or immoral, especially when that means invading people's personal lives. While we like to believe we can solve any problem with more legislation, government invasion into people's lives generally makes the problem worse. It's not nice to make fun of someone for being overweight, but if we prohibited it, that would be a violation of free speech. Drug laws are also a violation of our freedom, and we should embrace the principles of liberty this country was founded on.

I'm typing this on a bus, so I apologize for potential typos.


I want to say that I had made a counterplan that you did not bother to address.

I simply said useless drugs like heroin can be the only drugs illegal. Making them legal will give people the opportunity to abuse the drug. People can commit suicide purposely overdosing on a drug. If it were to be legal, people would be aware of the strength of each drug.

I agreed that most drugs should be legalized. I just said certain should not. Certain have no use in being legalized. If heroin was legalized and it were in the home of parents with children, children would think what they're doing was okay and they can easily get ahold of the drug that they were not yet educated on and abuse it. There are a lot of things we do without knowing the meaning or danger of it. Again, a kid being in a household with dangerous drugs is risky.

I agree in the face of not being allowed to have something makes you want to have it more. BUt there are just some drugs that don't have to be brought into the picture. It's mostly about the children not knowing anything about it at all and just using it. If we kept at least things like heroin illegal, we can educate children on why it is.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by John_C_1812 6 months ago
How we really say some things can matter. All Drugs should be legalized is just asking to legislate immunity from legal forms of group, or single person separation. Stable Laws are built on general principle and legal precedent, then are shaped to provide for the common defense and general welfare of a society. Punishment is not a prediction or threat it is where a series of separation takes a person.

Such things as Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and narcotics all have standards of precedent which effect how we create laws, laws written to govern them, and their uses publicly for many reasons. Narcotics have a more complicated Precedent as they are associated with Patent protection laws. Marijuana has a hidden precedent set by state influence with legislated chemical additives from Tabaco, both having religious significance as well. Alcohol sets a precedent of method of production and raw materials used in any fermentation process, along with religious meaning. Opium, hashish, and alcohol had been a part of society"s more problematic issues to regulate. Opium, and hashish somewhat more illiberally used in some Arabic Nations.

You are simple ignoring, "Drugs are legal." It is how they are used publicly that is regulated under a governing process. This concept is the same used with fire-arms, and is simply just a naive way of asking the public to take part in a crime foolishly. The end result levees the public baffled often as they may wonder why a separation process based on basic principle can fail them.

Economically drugs serve no added income in an economy as money would be need to be printed, or at this point in history plagiarized to create the additional income. However the area that money travels in an economy would change shape.
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