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Cannabis Legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,229 times Debate No: 35470
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Hello all, I will be arguing for the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in the United States (to at least a level equivalent to that of alcohol's). I will begin by presenting all my points and their subset points for legalization. I respectfully request for my opponent to refute them, then I will challenge their arguments. This is simply to establish a sense of organization, please and thank you. Also feel free to add any points you may have or to not address any of mine that you choose (if you don't however, I will assume you either acknowledge/agree with my point or cannot refute it). I do not wish to focus on other drugs besides cannabis although I intend to mention them for argumentative purposes if necessary. If you do not understand anything I say, simply ask and I will clarify, no need to be rude. If you do not wish to follow my provided format do not accept the challenge.

My Points
1.There will be little to no negative effects to the country/society from marijuana's legalization.
a) Marijuana is not addictive.
b) It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana
c) Marijuana's supposed "negative" effects, whether long term or short, are negligible, and many of which cannot credibly be declared true.
d) The logic of the gateway theory is fundamentally flawed and therefore it cannot be true
e) Marijuana's intoxicating effects are not harmful to the users or others within itself (i.e. calmness, changes to mood or perception), and therefore responsibility is placed on the user (although it would be anyway).
f) Youth's access to marijuana will not be increased by legalization but will in fact be decreased
g) Assuming it is true that marijuana's psychoactive potency has increased since the 1900's, it is an irrelevant fact seeing as how the negative effects remain unchanged.

2. There will be a plethora of positive effects resulting from marijuana's legalization.
a) The revenue saved and made from marijuana's legalization will be substantial and much needed to the country
b)The medical benefits (known and to be known) of marijuana would benefit many of its citizens, saving lives and creating a greater quality of life for many
c) Legalization will allow regulation of cannabis and therefore a greater degree of damage control. (i.e. preventing child access, reducing drugged driving)
d) Legalization will improve society by ending prosecution and punishment of responsible, contributing citizens simply for committing the victimless crime of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
e) Gang violence and crime revolving around marijuana will be greatly decreased.
f) Legalization's resulting industry would create jobs and generally benefit the national economy.
g) Marijuana education would be healthy for both youth and adults (because now the only education is lies unless you dig deeper).

3.Marijuana Prohibition altogether is a colossal failure.
a)The whole purpose of cannabis prohibition is to prevent use nationwide, yet, cannabis use is still very prevalent.
b)Because of point a, the adverse societal effects of marijuana (however minuscule) are in effect despite it's prohibition, ergo prohibition is purposeless.
c)marijuana prohibition is exactly the same as the 20's alcohol prohibition save for the failure to end it.

4. It is not the governments place to tell us how to live, but to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the nation.
a) Proof of the government's failure to do this is how a constitutional amendment was needed to sign alcohol prohibition into law (and is now being used to prohibit marijuana). This means that the views/values this nation was built on differ from those that allow/support prohibition.


First of all a part of me didn't want to accept this debate for a variety of reasons which are irrelevant for the purpose of this argument, but alas i did. Anyway here it goes:

a) There are two forms of addiction, physical and psychological. Physical, by the virtue of its chemical contents marijuana may not be addictive however Con argues that psychologicaly marijuana is addictive. If for example Person A takes marijuana to overcome his social anxiety gradually if he continues taking marijuana to "overcome his social anxiety", it will naturally follow that he will rely on the use of marijuana when encountered with similar social settings which give rise to his anxiety. As such it can be said that marijuana is addictive (infact certain studies show that up to 10% of marijuana users will become addicts, citation provided below)

Pro could argue that the majority of users do not become addicted as marijuana contains no chemical substance that triggers the addiction, however such a point would be irrelevant as the point stated is "Marijuana is not addictive" which is an absolute remark

b) Con does not dispute this point

c) The use of marijuana especially heavy use of it has a social impact on the youth in particular. Studies show that the use of Marijuana affects ones capacity to learn as attention is lowered and so is ones memory and these effects can last for days. Furthermore frequent users of marijuana tend to have lower grades and drop out of school
Are we not by condoning the use of marijuana essentially creating a culture where complacency is celebrated. As a capitalist nation we ought to strive to instill a culture which nurtures ambition and a drive to succeed. As such we must ensure that our youth are allowed to excel in academics (i will provide further elaboration if necessary)

d) Elaborate

e) Refer to my argument in point c) upon your counter i will elaborate and add more effects

f) Is this merely an opinion or factual, provide a source because if its just an opinion i could also argue that youth access could increase. If marijuana were legalized would it not therefore follow that more mainstream movies would potray actors smoking marijuana and more public figures endorsing its usage as adolescents tend to be easily influenced it would logically follow that they would be more inclined to use marijuana as a recreational drug..

g)Con does not wish to counter this point as it does not seem very relevant. Elaborate


a)Again this sounds like an unfounded statement, provide some form of evidence or at the very least provide some form of explanation and reasoning behind your assertion. However in the event that you do have some evidence backing your assertion Con argues that since marijuana affects one's attention, if legalized marijuana could have the potential of slowing worker's production rate, therefore reduction productivity. Furthermore oone would have to account for the increased marijuana use and provide more education on drugs and the dangers associated with drugs and set up a frame work for drug dispenseries to operate. These costs far outweigh the potential economic benefits Pro speaks of

b) Which medical benefits?

"Smoking marijuana regularly (a joint a day) can damage the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decrease the ability of the immune cells in the lungs to fight off fungi, bacteria, and tumor cells. For patients with already weakened immune systems, this means an increase in the possibility of dangerous pulmonary infections, including pneumonia, which often proves fatal in AIDS patients.

Studies further suggest that marijuana is a general "immunosuppressant" whose degenerative influence extends beyond the respiratory system. Regular smoking has been shown to materially affect the overall ability of the smokerA533;s body to defend itself against infection by weakening various natural immune mechanisms, including macrophages (a.k.a. "killer cells") and the all-important T-cells"

c) How so? elaborate

d) How will ending prosecution "improve society" what benefits will be derived from allowing drug users and possibly drug dealers to walk in the streets amongst society?
The oxford dictionary defines improve as make or beocme better, which implies that some benefit which wasn't there before the legalization must occur, please elaborate on the benefit Pro alleges will occur

e) Vague opinion, not factual, elaborate. If it is an opinion provide a basis for our opinion (substantiate on your claim logically or facty)

f)again elaborate

g)elaborate, you claim the education is lies, that is a very bold statement please substantiate


a The mere fact that a law is not adhered to by all is not enough to repeal the law and legalize such activity. The mere fact that people rape doesn't mean that rape shouldn't be illegal. If we are to judge a law by its effectiveness very few laws would exist. You might argue that rape is different from smoking marijuana, but the essence of it remains the same, both are not legal regardless of your personal opinion on either

b) The adverse effects may be in effect however laws are made for a reason, we cannot allow our state to fall into a state of anarchy simply because a law appears not observed by all. Furthermore legalization would make marijuana more accessible and this would more likely than not increase the usage of marijuana and its negative effects

c) Refer to paragraph a & b


a)The purpose of a government is to protect its citizens from conflict and to provide law and order
Government may also be referred to as the legislature as it enacts laws which serve to protect not only its citizens but the state (which includes the government itself, the judiciary and the executive). Such laws may seemingly infringe on an individuals personal liberties. There in order to maintain peace and order the government needs to tell people how to live in certain instances, if they did not, then it wouldn't trully be an orderly nation. If the government let people run amock doing whatever they pleased how exactly would the government be serving the role it was created to serve.

Infact this nation was founded on the constitution, which on its own is a document which to some extent tells us how to live, for example the right to human dignity and equality tells us to recognise people as equals and not to harm them in any manner that is undeserving
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Con for accepting and following the format. All of my arguments will be supported by either logic or fact, the first round is merely me presenting my points for legalization and con presenting their opening arguments against them. The videos to the right are my sources (7), (12), and (13) respectively.

a) Besides the fact that your specific example sounds more like someone with a condition treating it's symptoms, there is a simple reason your argument is invalid. As you pointed out, marijuana is not addictive in the physical sense; therefore, the issue is psychological addiction, as you also pointed out. However, anything that is in some way interpreted by the brain has the ability to be addictive psychologically (internet, sex, candy). Does it then follow that everything that is in some way interpreted by the brain should be deemed illegal and dangerous? If not, I fail to see the relevance of marijuana's psychological addiction potential with regards to legalization.

b) Good.

c) As my source supports, there simply is no reliable or conclusive evidence supporting cons claims of marijuana causing complacency (1). As it follows, con's arguments on the matter are cognate with the fallacy of confusing association with causation (2).

d) Simply put, the gateway theory claims that because and only because one has smoked marijuana they will move on to other drugs. However, because there is no evidence that marijuana itself CAUSES a user to move on to other drugs, this exact logic is parallel with a fallacy (the same fallacy mentioned in the previous point) (2).

e) I have addressed your response to point 1c. However, I must point out that point 1c is referring to the health effects of marijuana while 1e refers to the general effects of intoxication (munchies, mellowness, and giggles).

f) It most certainly is factual. It is clearly easier for youth to obtain marijuana now because all they have to do is call a dealer (which isn't hard to find) and have the necessary funds. However, once legal, it would be taken out the hands of street dealers and be regulated; both similarly to alcohol (refer to point 2f to argue this statement). Then the only access would be in stores that enforce the age restriction and require identification, which naturally makes it much harder to obtain (also similar to alcohol). In addition, we already have an example of the success of more sensible cannabis policies with regards to use youth in the Netherlands (3). Also, your argument is faulty as alcohol and tobacco have been portrayed in movies for years. And despite this, because of education and regulation, we do not have an epidemic of adolescents using the drugs just because they see them in movies.

g) Any argument against legalization is relevant to this debate, and this is one of the latest. Many prohibitionist claim that the potency of marijuana is stronger than in the past and therefore the drug is more dangerous. However, should you choose to argue this as well, I point you to my source (myth 3) (4).

a) Firstly, your source on the matter is weak and unreliable. This is for two reasons. One, the writer of the article does nothing more than provide unsupported conjecture. Two, the article's author is a former DEA head (as stated in the article) and that itself give us reason to doubt. The author comes from the DEA, an amoral government agency that profits from the illegal drug trade and would lose billions upon marijuana (and other drug) legalization. "With taxed and regulated marijuana, federal and state governments would suddenly free up $26 billion spent annually on the failed drug war" (5). They destroy lives and harm innocents (even children) to combat the growing support and acceptance of integrated marijuana and keep it illegal (source (5) second paragraph). They support marijuana remaining a schedule 1 drug although marijuana is the exact opposite, and opposes any legitimate research (6). Furthermore the head of the agency refuses to answer simple questions regarding the topic and provides incredible inconsistencies in her comical responses (7). Are the articles, sources, and claims of such an agency (and those associated) even credible? Secondly, my claim is most certainly based on fact (read the executive summary page) (8). Since this does not take into account all the expenditures of prohibition and the potential revenue from taxation or the hemp industry, I would consider the potential gain to be quite substantial.

b) As for your question of what benefits I point you to my source (9). As for your quotes regarding the immune system, they are unfounded (10) (11). For source (11) simply skip to the myth "Marijuana Damages the Immune System" if you wish.

c) Basically, with legalization, regulation necessarily follows. Following regulation, you have understanding and societal integration. And, just like with alcohol, we can adapt to any adverse effects (although there probably won"t be any significant ones) marijuana may have on society. For instance, there are no reliable/practical methods of determining if a driver is DUI of weed. However, if legalized, it could be better studied and an effective method of DUI's could be developed. It would then follow that law enforcement could more effectively enforce such policies (this is one of many examples).

d) First off, drug dealers and users already "walk amongst society" and always will. Second, I ask what it is about a responsible adult smoking at home after a hard day's work deserves prosecution. What about someone using marijuana to treat their symptoms is criminal (12)? Criminalizing contributing (or past contributing) members of society for a victimless crime and robbing them of the ability to contribute for using a medicinal herb, for whatever reason, is detrimental to society.

e) Basically, once legalized, prices for cannabis in legal stores would be improved, as would quality, product options and security, purchasing environment, and accessibility (for responsible adults of course). Therefore, it follows that underground dealers would lose customers and consequently have much less to fight over with regards to the underground weed market (just like alcohol). My source explain this much better (13).

f) You merely need some basic hemp knowledge to understand what I mean (14).

g) No government or anti-drug sources provide an accurate portrayal of marijuana and its effects. And, unfortunately, those looking to be educated are likely to find (and believe) these sources and be miseducated.

a) The main difference between rape and marijuana is that rape is an act and marijuana is a good. As my source (13) supports, any illicit good with demand is increased by prohibition because of demand and despite enforcement. While an act has no demand, therefore, it necessarily goes down following prohibition, due to enforcement.

b) There was no anarchy after the repeal of alcohol prohibition. What reason do we have to believe your claim? Also, we have no reason to believe use would increase from legalization. Even if it did, so what, the negative affects you suggest are still being debated.

c) I don't see how those responses refute my point. Plus, I've already addressed them.

a) Regardless of the technical definition, our particular government has the responsibility to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all as stated in the declaration of independence (political weight irrelevant). When the government tells us how to live, it SHOULD extend only as far as our impact on other people which protects life (such as your ending statement supports). Otherwise, it is a disregard of the right of freedom. Since smoking weed is a victimless crime, the government is infringing on our right of freedom by prohibiting it.



Does it then follow that everything that is in some way interpreted by the brain should be deemed illegal and dangerous?

Marijuana is a mind altering (psychoactive) drug with side effects such as distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, impairment of judgment and loss of co-ordination which are seriously detrimental to one's driving abilities. High doses have also been associated with an increased risk of depression

Pro makes the mistake of comparing a drug to the internet sex and candy, these are harmless hobbies whereas the use of marijuana is not

there simply is no reliable or conclusive evidence supporting cons claims of marijuana causing complacency
"Long term chronic marijuana use is associated with Amotivational Syndrome, characterized by apathy, impairment of judgment, memory and concentration, and loss of motivation, ambition and interest in the pursuit of personal goals"

"Earlier initiates were more likely than later initiates to exhibit problem-related marijuana use, hard drug use, polydrug use, poor grades, and low academic intentions at grade 10. Across ages, initiation was predicted by smoking, frequency of marijuana offers, and poor grades"

Note that this is a medical study

there is no evidence that marijuana itself CAUSES a user to move on to other drugs
"The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia (CASA) released a study Oct. 27 showing that children (12 to 17 years old) who use gateway drugs--tobacco, alcohol and marijuana--are up to 266 times--and adults who use such drugs are up to 323 times--more likely to use cocaine than those who don't use any gateway drugs. Compared with people who used only one gateway drug, children who used all three are 77 times--and adults are 104 times--more likely to use cocaine"

clearly the statement that NO EVIDENCE exists is misleading and entirely false

However, I must point out that point 1c is referring to the health effects of marijuana while 1e refers to the general effects of intoxication
Marijuana intoxication often leads to certain undesirable side effects such as impaired perception and motor skills. More serious side effects include acute psychosis, panic and paranoia

note once again that this was taken from a MEDICAL JOURNAL (emphasis added). The importance of this will be highlighted in forthcoming paragraphs

It most certainly is factual
It is fact that since marijuana is regarded as illegal in most states it is often sold by marijuana/drug dealers. It is fact that the marijuana/drug dealer (let's call him Pete) is committing a crime by selling marijuana, it is fact that Pete is therefore by definition a criminal. It is fact that society frowns upon criminals associating themselves with teens. It is fact that parents especially feel uneasy about such a relationship. As a result of such pressures it is also fact that a lot of teens would not want to associate with criminals. If marijuana was legalized it would no longer be sold by criminals. That barrier against purchasing marijuana will be torn apart. Infact it would be easier for teens to buy marijuana as the intimidation of approaching a dodgy criminal to buy an illegal susbstance will be gone, as so will the social stigma attached to using marijuana (in theory).

Pro argues that the sale of marijuana would be regulated and stires would enforce age restriction and require identification. Alcohol is supposedly a good example. Or is it.70% of teens beloew 18 have had atleast one drink,
clearly faking an i.d, asking an adult friend, a friend who looks old enough or in certain places (in which the owners are more worried about making profits not chasing away potential customers) isn't a very hard task.

Con supported by the REPUTABLE (emphasis added) evidence cited concludes that legalizing marijuana would infact make it easier for teens to buy it

Firstly, your source on the matter is weak and unreliable
This is a very interesting remark, made by my opponent, let's look at the sources my opponent listed to support his argument:
With taxed and regulated marijuana, federal and state governments would suddenly free up $26 billion
This is an article written by Carl Gibson, a sensationalist journalist who happens to write a lot of conspiracy theory articles
Is this really a REPUTABLE, "reliable" source with an UNBIAS objective perspective

They support marijuana remaining a schedule 1 drug although marijuana is the exact opposite, and opposes any legitimate research
This is a personal blog of a person who seems to specialise more on writting books about gourmet shaving. What exactly are his credentials in such a matter
Should we also consult Jamie Oliver for his EXPERT opinion on the use of marijuana?

As for your quotes regarding the immune system, they are unfounded
He we have conflicting sources, it is up to the voter to make his/her mind on which source is more reputable. Arguing such a topic from a non-expert perspective would be pointless. I assume neither of us are experts with the requisite knowledge to argue such off the top of our heads

if legalized, it could be better studied
A lot of studies regarding the use of marijuana have already been carried out and i mean a lot, what do you base this assertion on?

what it is about a responsible adult smoking at home after a hard day's work deserves prosecution
It is against the law, laws are made to regulate against certain behaviour, which at the moment includes smoking marijuana, if we allow sch blatant abuse of the law and the function of the legislature where exactly would we draw the line, what about the legal convictions of the community, which also play a role in determiniig whether an act is a criminal conduct or not. The legal convictions of the community at large stipulate the marijuana be considered as a drug and anyone found in large possession of it be prosecuted (and anyone smoking it, although on a more lenient scale)

An analogy cited on the CNBC website legalizing marijuana would be that of gambling. When gambling was leglaized there was a view that illegal gambling would be tried, however the opposite occured
"Legalized gambling has not reduced illegal gambling in the United States; rather, it has increased it. This is particularly evident in sports gambling, most of which is illegal. Legal gambling is taxed and regulated and illegal gambling is not. Legal gambling sets the stage for illegal gambling just the way legal marijuana would set the stage for illegal marijuana trafficking.
The gambling precedent suggests strongly that illegal drug suppliers would thrive by selling more potent marijuana products outside of the legal channels that would be taxed and otherwise restricted. If marijuana were legalized, the only way to eliminate its illegal trade, which is modest in comparison to that of cocaine, would be to sell marijuana untaxed and unregulated to any willing buyer.

f)running out of characters, will address next round
g) hearsay, no factual basis

3 Smoking marijuana is an ACT
anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance: a heroic act.

Debate Round No. 2


The videos to the right are my sources (11) an (15) respectively.

a) First, I have already brought into question any DEA based sources.
Association (as you said) does not place marijuana as the causative factor of
depression, assuming it does is committing the fallacy of confusing association
with causation (4). My source elaborates on this (1). There simply is no
evidence that marijuana causes one to be depressed. I also point you to the
following sources for your comment on driving abilities (2), (3). Given these
refutations, I must ask, what is the difference between neglecting life to get
high and neglecting life for the internet? What about someone damaging their
health and getting diabetes from a candy addiction? What difference does the
fact that it is a drug make?

c) Again, it should be recognized that the DEA is not a truly reliable source
for anything drug related they have special interest on the subject, as pointed
out in the preceding round. Besides this, my opponent and his source (as seen
in his quote) again confuse association with causation (4). They (and all other
related studies) fail to provide evidence proving marijuana as a causative
factor to the amotivational syndrome (5). His second quote on the subject makes
this same mistake with all the adversities they associate with weed. Is it not
logical that a personality type that would have poor grades, be lazy, and
"low academic intentions," would also be the type that smokes weed?

d) Again, con and his sources fail to provide a causative link between cannabis
and other drugs which confuses association with causation (4). As a result, my
claim that there is NO evidence proving a CAUSUAL link stands. My source
supports this (I can provide millions more if needed) (6).

e) Firstly, impaired perception and motor skills is a known and accepted side
effect of getting intoxicated and I have addressed its effect on accidents. How
do these affects adversely impact a responsible user? The paranoia is mild and
often is limited to whether or not the user will be caught (make it legal to
fix that). Cannabis does not make one paranoid about aliens or other such
unreasonable things as prohibitionist would have you believe. My source
comments on the rare occurrence of psychosis; "Cannabis psychosis is
self-limiting, disappearing in a few days with or without medical treatment.
Toxic psychosis probably occurs more commonly in individuals with preexisting
psychiatric disorders (7)." Panic is often caused by a user consuming more than they can handle,
which is easily avoidable and responsibility of which falls onto the user.
Refer to my source for support (it is the first myth) (8).

f) Your whole fact paragraph is nothing but unsupported conjecture that we have
no reason to believe, you even acknowledge that it is theoretical at end. Even
still, I must point out that the major flaw with your argument is that many
youth are recruited by drug dealers to sell to their friends. The majority of
youth purchases are between youth. Also, the age restriction prevents youth
from easily purchasing from stores as you suggest.

Your alcohol argument is laughable at best. Your source provides that 70% of
teens below 18 have had at least one drink in their lifetime, alcohol being a
perfectly legal substance. However, with marijuana, “Marijuana is the most
commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with nearly 17 million
Americans age 12 and older reporting pastR08;month use” (9). About 17 million
users a month, the two are not comparable with regards to prevalence. Once
again I point con to my source on the matter for further support (10).

a) You do not address the topic in your response so I assume you cannot address
it. However, all of your attacks on my sources are weak and invalid. This is
for two reasons. First, my opponent does not provide reason to doubt my
sources, he only attacks their irrelevant past actions and affiliations that
have nothing to do with the topic, and therefore, commits the fallacy of Ad
hominem (4). Second, my sources do not present arguments; they present facts as
they stand (unlike your DEA sources). Regardless of one’s credential or
credibility, facts are constant. My attacks on con’s DEA sourcesare based
on facts that provide reason to doubt the motives/intentions of the agency and
the credibility of their claims.

b) Agreed, however I would like to point out for the voters that my past round
sources specifically counter my opponent’s sources on the matter.

c) A majority of studies are of the government or some anti-weed group trying
to find something wrong with cannabis. Very few studies truly help us understand
and utilize this amazing plant and all its unbelievable potential, its illegal
practically everywhere anyway. Take the example I gave last round for instance.
Or, the fact that cannabis naturally kills cancer cells, which I'm sure you
didn't know (give the video only 10 minutes of your time please) (11). Were it
better studied, we would have fully utilized this amazing ability and all would
be aware of it.

d) The question was not is weed illegal, the question was what about a
responsible adult using weed in their homes or in another accepted location
(pot clubs or whatever) is criminal. Rather, what about those actions deserves
for it to be illegal. Also, legalizing weed would not somehow condone illegal activity;
we have no reason to believe this. And, your claim of majority favoring
prohibition is false (12). Even if it wasn't false, my opponent would be committing
the fallacy of argumentum ad populum (13).

e) Finally, your connection to gambling is unfounded. Why would cannabis have the
same effect as gambling? We have no reason to believe such an absurd
comparison. Cannabis legalization would more than likely mimic the
re-legalization of alcohol because both are intoxicating substances, while
gambling is an act dealing with money. Besides we have much more
sensible reason to believe the opposite as my source provides (15).

g) This is the first Google result from "weed facts" (14). All of the
negative information is misleading, much of it I have addressed in this debate,
and there is no mention of its many amazing benefits.

Smoking is an act, but marijuana itself is a good. Putting salt on your food is
an act, but salt itself is a good. It is a good, long before it is an act, and
has effect on society as such. A good has demand, while an act ITSELF does not.

(7) Lynn Zimmer, PhD, late Professor Emeritus at the Queens College, noted in
her 1997 book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts:


1)does not place marijuana as the causativefactor of....
On this note Con seeks to introduce a new angle in the presentation of the argument . Although the use of marijuana is not explicitly mentioned as a causative factor of depression and other negative health implications Pro purports to disregard it is important to notethe use of Marijuana has been, according to a medical research, linked with an increased risk in the development of symptoms of schizophrenia

Ofcourse one could argue that tobacco is also harmful, possibly (but debatably) more harmful than marijuana yet it is legal. That is true, however legalizing something potentially harmful just because there are other things that are legally available in the marke that are harmful does not make any legal sense

What about someone damaging their health and getting diabetes from a candy addiction?
Con also seeks to look at the law itself and how its very foundation favours Con's position
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"

The underlined words imply that every American, the government included (i use this term loosely to refer solely to the U.S.A) has a duty to give protection to everyone in need. Such a duty places an obgligation on the Government protect its citizens against potentially the abuse of potentially harmful substances such as marijuana and to protect the children of America against the abuse of such substances.

"In 1997 police reported that 33% of homicide victims and 47% of accused persons had consumed alcohol and/or DRUGS at the time of the offence consistent with patterns since 1991"
Furthermore one in ten homicides reported where drug related

Pro seeks to trivialize the use of marijuana into something as harmless and playful as candy

What about someone damaging their health and getting diabetes from a candy addiction?
Similarly to all the statistical and factual evidence Con provided in past responses i expect Pro to argue that there is no evidence that Marijuana is the actualf this crime as other factors have to be taken into consideration. However the statistics speak for themselves, these are indicative of the fact that drugs such as Marijuana play a part in the commission of criminal activities.
For further clarity please refer to :

Pro fails to understand that there can never be direct evidence linking the use of marijuana to factors such as crime, laziness and complacency. However statistics offer strong evidence supporting Con's remark. We live in a statistical world, and on a balance of probabilities we must rule in favour of Con's assertion

How do these affects adversely impact a responsible user?
The "responsible user" argument is irrelevant, we cannot establish for starters who the average marijuana user is. For all we know the "responsible user" could be an exception as opposed to the rule.

Cannabis psychosis is self-limiting, disappearing in a few days with or without medical treatment.
"Cannabis use can cause drug-induced psychosis, trigger the first episode of a psychotic illness, or make a pre-existing psychotic illness worse"

"Epidemiological studies have shown that as the frequency of cannabis abuse increases, so does the risk for a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia"
Again this is purely a battle of factual sources at is at the discretion of the voter to choose which sources are more reliable, factual and persuasive

Your whole fact paragraph is nothing but unsupported conjecture
This is rather ironic because your paragraph is unsupported and merely an opinion whereas my argument provided a rational calculation.

Your alcohol argument is laughable at best...alcohol being a perfectly legal substance
Pro finds something as serious as a law laughable and failed to understand Con's point of argument, consuming alcohol under the age of 18 is not "perfectly legal". Furthermore the point of the argument is that the use of alcohol is supposedly regulated (with regards to people under the age of 21), however) 70% have found a way to circumvent this regulation, this serves as evidence to prove that any attempt to regulate the use of marijuana, as Pro argues in argument 2 part 2c "basically, with legalization, regulation necessarily follows", would be futile

You do not address the topic in your response so I assume you cannot address it.
Con will not address a topic backed by evidence which is not credible. The fact that the source is not credible renders the evidence used in support of Pro's argument to be inadmissible for the purposes of this argument.. One's past actions defines one present. As such "irrelevant" past actions and affiliations of Pro's sources serve to define the lack of credibility one sh on the purpoted knowledge these sources are supposed to possess. We back our arguments up with sources in order to make our arguments more factual based (not opinion based, let alone the opinions of non-professionals). "facts are constant" Which is very ironic, because we both have presented certain facts, yet they differ immensely. Furthermore "supposed facts" from a non credible source should be taken with a pinch of salt

Very few studies truly help us understand and utilize this amazing plant and all its unbelievable potential
Did Pro ever consider the fact that very few studies do so, because this so called amazing plant, does not have unbelievable potential.We liv a capilastic world, where people are always looking for an opportunity to make the next big breakthrough, for the purposes of this argument we will refer to the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Had marijuana really had the potential Pro asserts it to have, there would not be "very few" studies. Legal or not, profits are the order of the day and pharmaceuticals would have been working day and night to end prohibiting legislation against marijuana by providing tonnes of research on the chemical contents within it, which could be benefitial. Or is this Pro inadvertently acknowledging that the plant isn't truly amazing as Pro purports?

the question was what about a responsible adult using weed in their homes or in another accepted location
That was not the question this is:
Hello all, I will be arguing for the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in the United States
As you can see, there is no mention of a responsible adult, furthermore how do you propose we legalize the use of marijuana specifically for a "responsible" adult using weed in "their homes", should legislation be phrased in that manner, what exactly would constitute a "reasonable adult"
Furthermore the illegality of it is relevant, because in order for your argument to prevail you must prove that there is something inherentlyg with its illegality.
Furthermore, the constitution places an obligation on the state to protect its citizens liberties and to maintain law and order. As cited in prior paragraphs, the use of marijuana is linked with higher crime.

Why would cannabis have the same effect as gambling?- as stated in the source listed government tax would push weed prices up and in turn fuel a blackmarket of cheap unregulated marijuana much like the gambling scenario

Sadly i may not be able to post my final round, as there is a high possibility that i will not have access to wifi where i am going over the next few days, feel free to post your rebuttals. I enjoyed this argument and hope you did too
Debate Round No. 3


The videos to my right are my sources (8) and (10) respectively.

a) Con now acknowledges that weed has not been linked as a causative factor for the adversities he associated with it. I will address his claim on schizophrenia/psychosis in point 1e.

In response to your tobacco point, this debate in its entirety will decide whether or not marijuana is potentially harmful to society and if its potential benefits are worth legalization regardless of tobacco's legal status.

There are two things wrong your first candy response. The first is that you assume that cannabis is a "potentially harmful substance" and that that's why it should be illegal, yet you fail to demonstrate how this is as I have addressed all your points on the matter. Second, is that you ignore the question. I asked what the difference was between someone damaging their health from a candy addiction and someone damaging their health (although unlikely) from a weed addiction. Yet, you begin to carry on about how it should be illegal because it's "potentially harmful."

For your crime rate statistic, I will address it in point 2e.

Your second candy response is also invalid. You acknowledge that there is no evidence of a causal link between weed and the adversities many associate with it, yet you still attempt to criminalize it as such. Weed can easily be placed as the causative factor of say relaxation, so why can't it be placed the same for crime or laziness? Because it is not a causative factor for these adversities. The problem with your statistical world claim is that it ignores the fact that other factors play apart in the adversities cannabis users may experience. In all your studies and claims weed is merely associated with adversities. Why criminalize something that is merely associated when focus should be on what causes the problems? It is ignorant and wasteful to focus on something associated with a problem rather than that which causes it.

e) Weed ONLY affects those with a strong predisposition towards psychosis/schizophrenia. Since the majority of cannabis users do not experience psychosis, those who do were already predisposed. How then is the occurrence of psychosis difference than the occurrence of allergic reactions? Both require predispositions, yet no substance is banned for its potential for causing allergic reactions. The reason for this is the second most active compound in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), and it is proven to have antipsychotic properties. This counteracts the potential psychosis/schizophrenia inducing properties of THC. Furthermore, "as marijuana use has increased dramatically in the population, schizophrenia rates have stayed the same." Clearly, there is no adverse effect on society, so why ban the drug? All preceding claims are supported by my source (1). This source further refutes con's claims of psychosis/schizophrenia (2).

When I said responsible user, I meant the majority, rather, society as a whole. In the previous round I explained why all the "negative effects" you mentioned would ultimately be negligible to society with regards to legalization.

f) Rational calculations? All of your claims in that paragraph are subjective, abstract, statements. None of which are supported by fact. It is not possible to provide evidence for my previous claims so I will stick to the facts. How is it logical to believe your conjecture over the facts that my source provides (6)?

What about a law (especially one as erroneous as drug prohibition) is so serious that it cannot be found humurous? And when I said perfectly legal, I was referring to alcohol's legal status in the U.S. How, does the fact that 70% of youth have had at least one drink prove futility of cannabis regulation? My source (6) shows that use will go down following regulation. It should be obvious that there will be those who find a way around regulation and that is what matters; to assume that any policy will completely eradicate use youth of anything is foolish.

a) The topic was that "The revenue saved and made from marijuana's legalization will be substantial and much needed to the country." It was supported by source (7) (read the executive summary page), how is this source not credible? Surprisingly, you ignore the fact that your attacks on my sources are fallacies (as stated in the previous round) and continue to try and pass your attacks as legitimate. I ask that you read the source I gave so that you can understand why attacking things like past affiliations is fallacious. Furthermore, what reason do we have to doubt the facts provided by my sources besides your fallacious arguments?

c) I know it is long but watch this video to understand why marijuana is so amazing (8). Also refer to round 2's source (9). How is it not amazing? The government and other ignorant anti-weed groups have prevented the truth about marijuana from being known by spreading ignorance. In addition, the government classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. Because of this, obtaining marijuana to grow and study is extremely difficult. In addition, my source explains why your conjecture regarding pharmaceutical companies is erroneous (9).

d) I was merely giving an example and asking why Con favors that such a person is prosecuted and put in jail. I could also ask what about somebody smoking after a long day's work to relax deserves prosecution? The original point after all, was that it is detrimental to society to imprison non-violent citizens. I propose that legislation be identical to that of alcohol, obvious differences accounted for. This debate in its entirety addresses what is inherently wrong with prohibition. I address your crime claim in the following point.

e) With regards to marijuana, testing for use is FAR from conclusive. Testing positive for cannabis only proves that the user had used it within a certain amount of time, varying time frames existing for the different methods. Only blood testing has the potential to detect active THC metabolites, the time frame of which is about 5 hours (3). However, at the time of the study (1997) blood testing was not efficient enough to determine intoxication, "it was concluded that presence of cannabinoids in urine or blood is not unequivocal proof of active cannabis smoking" (4). Since it cannot be determined that all of the subjects in the "studies" were intoxicated at the time of the crime (due to the inefficient and non-conclusive testing methods), it follows that it cannot be determined that the provided statistics are reliable or accurate. This is because many such studies erroneously consider the presence of THC metabolites alone (those not active) evidence of intoxication (similarly to the unjust drug testing that plague our nation). Even still, given that there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana is a causative factor in criminal activity, assuming that it does is logic parallel with the logical fallacy "confusing association with causation" (5). Finally, Those statistics were from ALL drugs and cannot portray an accurate picture of the effect of marijuana legalization in the U.S. Con, fails to connect marijuana to crime and show how marijuana is so dangerous.

Again, your gambling claim is invalid. It is much more logical to look at legalization of alcohol and tobacco as examples. What evidence do you have that taxes would be raised so high that the black market would remain in power? And again, I point you to my source for support of the opposite of your claim (10).


These are but a few of the harms attributed to the use of marijuana I have listed. I am confused when Pro argues that Con has failed to demonstrate why marijuana is a potentially harmful substance. Con will not restate the harms already mentioned and argued extensively in previous rounds as this would be repetitive

At no point did Con acknowledge that there Is no evidence of a causal link. Con merely stated that "although the use of marijuana is not explicitly mentioned as a causative factor" The operative word being explicitly, Pro has misquoted Con's argument. The statistics provided aide in Con's argument

"Other factors"- "ignorant and wasteful"- Pro throws big words, which other factors is Con referring to. HIV does not it itself kill people, no one dies from HIV, people die from diseases associated with HIV , diseases which come as a result of one having HIV, the point is when something tends to be associated with negativity reason tells us to assume that that "something" is infact the source

How many allergic reactions have you heard of that result in psychosis? don't mistaken side effect with allergic reaction

f) Everything is subjective, which is why even our evidences contradict, does that mean we should disregard them?

The alcohol example sufficiently answers your question. We should be more conservative in our approach in such matters and take a more preventive role, especially where no clear evidence points towards the direction that regulation would actually work

2a) A court of law epitomizes justice, only credible expert evidence especially in such complex matters is permitted as it is closer to the truth. In this day and age anyone can write a blog without any expert knowledge, it is important therefore to note the writers credibility before considering the source to be valid and credible

"The government and other anti-weed groups have prevented the truth" Now that sounds like a fallacy, a conspiracy based fallacy, suddenly everyone who is against the legalization of marijuana is "hiding the truth" very strong statements. It is beginning to sound more like an emotional argument, which is something we should not be doing (arguing with our emotions)

Someone smoking marijuana after a long day's work isn't likely to be arrested in the first place, At most it would be a fine and be considered a misdemeanor, I fail to see how this aides Pro's argument

"Con fails to connect marijuana to crime" Marijuana is a drug and is included along with all other illegal drugs in the studies, Furthermore marijuana is the most commonly used drug is it not logical to assume that a spike in crime can be attributed to the use of the most commonly used drug where research shows that drug use= higher crime rates?

Pro fails to point why the gambling argument is invalid and merely seeks to impute his opinion. "what evidence do you have that taxes would be raised"? the source provided is sufficient enough to deal with that question
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Thugzbunyyy 3 years ago
Sure thing man. You are the only one that actually made me really try on the topic.
Posted by Emmo 3 years ago
have to say this is one of the most interesting debates i've ever had, whichever way it goes we should debate again on a different subject
No votes have been placed for this debate.