The Instigator
jborgen
Pro (for)
Winning
49 Points
The Contender
emmons
Con (against)
Losing
23 Points

Cannabis Legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,325 times Debate No: 11831
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (13)

 

jborgen

Pro

Should a plant that has been placed on this earth be illegal? This is the Ethics question that many face with the issue of cannabis legalization. I will represent the pro side of this argument and review it through three main points.
My first point is concerning economics. With a cannabis tax, this would provide funds to either the federal or state government.
My second point concerns health. Evidence provided by ukcia.org, Cannabis provides less harmful effects to people over the age of 21 than smoking, and it is also even more healthy then cigarettes for pregnant women.
My third and final point is that cannabis is not addictive. Of the few chemicals in cannabis, none are addictive, what would make cannabis addictive is a mixture of illicit substances, such as cocaine.
I have used the following definitions:
Cannabis: A plant that belongs to the scientific class Cannabis, including Marijuana.
Addictive: causing or characterized by addiction; "addictive drugs"; "addictive behavior" (princeton.edu)
In my case I have reviewed the true reasoning as to why legalization is in the United States' best interest.
emmons

Con

Thank you for this debate opportunity.

Over the course of modern history marijuana has been stigmatized, associated with negative connotations and been blamed as the gateway to stronger more addictive drugs. Marijuana, also known as cannabis may not be the worst drug known to man, but it is known as a gateway drug. Meaning it leads to stronger, more powerful drugs. I will have two reasons as to why cannabis must stay illegal to maintain a safe society.

I value American education. American educations is; the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process, such as schooling. 50% of American teenagers try cannabis before their high school graduation. 2% of those trying cannabis do not graduate from high school. Legalizing cannabis will only effect teenagers and everyone who tries this drug in a detrimental way. Valuing American education will educate, and prevent the use of cannabis in school systems.

Definitions:
Cannabis: Any of the preparations (as marijuana or hashish) or chemicals (as THC) that are derived from the hemp and are psychoactive (Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary)
I accept my opponent's definition of addictive. Now onto my case.

Contention 1: Smoking, or use of cannabis may lead to serious illnesses. According to a recent Lancent study, marijuana use can increase the risk of developing a psychotic illness by 40%, and the risk of developing schizophrenia by 100%. Also, the same study shows smoking one cannabis joint does the same amount of damage to your lungs as five tobacco cigarettes. Saying an average person smoking this drug smokes one joint a day equals one thousand, eight hundred, twenty five cigarettes in a single year.

Contention 2: Cannabis selling companies will manipulate to sell the drug.

Sub-point A:The industrialization of cannabis, will bring about a heartless, faceless, lifeless, machine. In the same fashion as the tobacco industry, the marijuana industry will work to mass produce a product and increase profitability at any cost. That means manipulating the high quality green the people will smoke, into a cheaper, lower quality, more addictive, product that they need to smoke.

Sub-point B:America is infamous for exploiting weaker cultures, countries, and markets, in order to turn a profit. Industries turn a machine like cheek to morality, and do what it takes to one up the competition. The point is, weed, can be manipulated into a drug used for social deterioration. The same way alcohol cripples pieces of Eastern Europe, and even American communities, and the same way amphetamines plague destitute America, weed will find its place in social deterioration. Ultimately, how can a culture conquer the quest for the American dream, when they're on drugs being sold to them by the gate-keepers of that very dream?

Now onto my opponents case.

Contention 1: My opponent claims that cannabis may fund the government. I agree, it will fund the government if a tax is put onto the substance. To get away from the financial side, lets move to the moral side. Is it right to make money off of something that is harming that person, who may be unaware of this harm? No, it is not. Lives are more important than all the finances in the world.

Contention 2: My opponent says cannabis has less harmful effects than cigarettes, which I have shown that it is equal to smoking five cigarettes for every joint smoked. According to a very recent Lancet study. So it harms people much more than smoking a regular cigarette.

Contention 3: Cannabis is addictive, even though it is not as addictive as nicotine, people say it is like being dependant on caffeine. It is not just the addiction that hurts a person either, marijuana and other cannabis drugs are gateway drugs. Meaning they lead to other, more powerful drugs.

For these reasons I strongly urge a negative vote, thank you for visiting this debate.

Sources:
thegooddrug.com
Lancent studies (Harvard University)
drugwatch.org
newcannabisclub.net
Debate Round No. 1
jborgen

Pro

I will start my rebuttal by reviewing my opponents case and from there, make clarifications on my points.
First, I will accept my opponents definition of Cannabis.
I will start my rebuttal my reviewing the lack of proper evidence my opponent has en stiled, they have used sites such as "thegooddrug.com" and "newcannabisclub.net" in my mind, these sources are unreliable so I will dismiss this point from my opponent for lack of proper evidence.
My opponents Second point (Sub point A) states: "The industrialization of cannabis, will bring about a heartless, faceless, lifeless, machine." Tobacco is legal to persons over the age of 18, my opponent goes on to state that this action has already happened to tobacco. If tobacco (a more harmful substance then cannabis) is legal, then why can't Cannabis? My opponent's second sub-point goes on to state how the united states exploits weaker cultures and markets for a profit, however, this ties into this debate in no way whatsoever, so it is pointless to attack it.
My opponent attacked my first point by going into morale's, and goes onto state " Is it right to make money off of something that is harming that person" when in reality, Cannabis is a non-addictive drug (as proven by multiple medical studies) and is less harmless to pregnant women, some of the most fragile people of all, aside from the elderly, infants, and physically disabled. My opponent has again failed to recognize the positive affects of cannabis and instead has decided to use falsified evidence in an attempt to re-butte my case.
On my opponents attack on my second point, they have lacked proper evidence to support their theory that cannabis is worse for your health then cigarettes. However, I can provide evidence (from The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs, Series 2, (c) 1998) that states the following:
" It is quite clear from survey data that most people do not
become physically dependent on marijuana. The majority use
it as others use alcohol - to relax occasionally and to
indulge a festive mood. How can a mild intoxicant, taken
less than once a day by most users, be seen as a public
threat?"
I have provided evidence that Cannabis is NOT addictive, rather, other illegal substances in it (such as cocaine) are what may cause it to become addictive. It's not the cannabis itself.

As for the Evidence to back my first point, Adams, Leon; "Marijuana". Encyclopedia International. Vol
11. pp. 365-347. Lexicon Publications. Philippines, 1979:
"The federal budget would benefit in two ways, Federal
revenues would increase, because marijuana cigarettes would
be taxed at the point of sale. The companies that make the
cigarettes would also pay income taxes, adding to the
federal coffers. Seconds, there would be a reduction in the
amount spent on law enforcement efforts to apprehend and
prosecute users and sellers of marijuana. The drug
enforcement authorities might reduce their budget requests,
or, more likely, focus more intensely on hard drugs and
violent crimes. The courts would be relieved of hearing
some drug cases, as well. The most important gain would be
in the quality of government. The sorts of temptations and
opportunities that lead to corruption would be
significantly minimized. The illogical pattern of law
enforcement, which now considers marijuana as being more
dangerous than alcohol, would end. It would set more
achievable goals for law enforcement, and this would lend
strength and credibility to the government."

So, I have reviewed all evidence and come to the conclusion that cannabis legalization is truly in the United States' best interest.
So fourth, I strongly urge a pro ballot.
emmons

Con

For my final rebuttal I will go over attacks on my case, go over my opponents case, and move onto some key voting issues in this round.
My opponent states I used in his mind "unreliable sources" and even though he says this, he fails to mention why it is wrong, why my point of smoking or using cannabis may lead to serious illnesses. I will end this point by saying him not even addressing my tag line of my first contention surely must mean he cannot defend himself or refute the point.
My opponent simply goes over my first sub-point with a question, "If tobacco is legal, then why can't cannabis?" I will answer this by going over previous evidence. From the Harvard University it says cannabis, or any variety of cannabis is FIVE TIMES WORSE THAN SMOKING ONE CIGGARETTE. That is why cannabis is not legal, it is a much more harmful substance.
My opponent than states my sub-point B is pointless to attack which is very incorrect. We are debating cannabis legalization, this is a reason why cannabis has not been legalized. It is immoral to many other countries, harming many people who already have been harmed from the United States in the past.
My opponent states about his first point that cannabis is non-addictive from multiple medical studies, but which ones? These could be from some bodies backyard that say they are a doctor. They name no specific study saying that cannabis is non-addictive while I have proved from Harvard University that it is an addictive drug.
My opponent states about his second point from The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Drugs, Series 2, (c) 1998 " It is quite clear from survey data that most people do not
become physically dependent on marijuana. The majority use
it as others use alcohol - to relax occasionally and to
indulge a festive mood. How can a mild intoxicant, taken
less than once a day by most users, be seen as a public
threat?"
To start off on my attack I would like to point out a publishing date, 1998. It is now 2010, twelve years ago this encyclopedia was published. This information can very well be out of date and incorrect. With all of the new medical studies around the world now anybody could have found out it is an addictive drug, such as Harvard University. Cannabis is an addictive drug.

Sources:
thegooddrug.com
Lancent studies (Harvard University)
drugwatch.org
newcannabisclub.net
drugs.homeoffice.gov
plants.usda.gov
clinicaltrials.gov

Thank you for this debate opportunity and thank you for visiting this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by workingman 6 years ago
workingman
Having anything not legal based on it's ability to be addictive is pretty ridiculous. What action or substance known to man that may possess a desired effect, isn't addictive. Driving automobiles, is addictive. Some people don't have to use them....but they do. Very addictive. Watching TV is Addictive. Tap water can make you sick. Very addictive. These three things alone are addictive. Physically and psychologically. Though they are still legal.
I personally remember getting off of work one time...I was so sore, I was like jelly and could barely move. Somehow I was able to actually smoke cannabis...almost instantly I felt better. My back did not ache. My mind no longer weary. My best friend and I watched a movie and enjoyed our evening.
I graduated high school. I didn't smoke cannabis one time ever while in high school. I smoked cannabis before ever smoking tobacco. I have never done cocaine, to my knowledge. I do not want to do cocaine. If I do, I don't want to know about it.
I work harder than almost anyone I have ever met, in my life. I work to the point of near death, and physical frailty. I personally see to it, that multiple couples share an amount of success in my actions. I can not be everywhere at once. Guaranteed, if those companies need me, I am there for them. I smoke cannabis.
I have known people in my days, to actually use other drugs, that are dangerous. I have mediated their actions, in an attempt to help them better their lives, be safe, and be healthy. I smoke cannabis.
I do not condone acts of rape, murder, or theft. I believe in working hard for things that I want or need. I love my father. I love my mother. I smoke cannabis.
I visit wooded areas. I see the trees and the wild animals that venture in...I appreciate that these things are there. I smoke cannabis.
I am a musician. I am one of the greatest musicians many people have ever known to be.

Ten years now I have smoked cannabis. Without it. I would be dead
Posted by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
I never thought I would ever vote for somebody with the elephant as there symbol...
Posted by Sam_Lowry 7 years ago
Sam_Lowry
The statistic of one joint equaling 4-5 cigarettes is a blatant lie, and I can't believe that people still perpetuate that myth. That particular study ONLY shows that a given amount of marijuana has the same 'carcinogenic content' as 4-5 cigarettes. The study does NOT prove a relationship between marijuana use and damage to lungs. Equating the amount of carcinogens directly to lung damage is bad science, as proven by virtually every study of marijuana usage on the effect of health. Studies that follow the actual effects of marijuana usage, when separated from tobacco and other drug usage, consistently show that there is no correlation or a negative correlation with cancer. Smoked Marijuana can cause health issues such a bronchitis and lung infections, but but there is no convincing evidence showing that marijuana users are susceptible to cancer. In fact, a number of studies have shown that THC has a protective effect against, brain, neck, mouth, and lung cancer. Trying to compare marijuana and cigarettes in that respect is like comparing apples to thermonuclear weapons.
Posted by JacobPearson 7 years ago
JacobPearson
Cannabis may come with a whole host of mental problems (never mind that cigarettes and alcohol are more dangerous), but remember that I own my body, and if I choose to destroy it then that is my will. I do not belong to the government so therefore they have no right to dictate what I can and cannot put into my body. Also, legalisation comes with many economic benefits.
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by kumbalola 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Shtookah 6 years ago
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