Cannabis has been celebrated for thousands of years and is a gift from God.
Cannabis has been celebrated for thousands of years and is a gift from God. Only within the last century has it been demonized by man, probably beginning in America. With new research and revelations becoming available to us (and rather painstakingly), can we now realize this. I will offer evidence and sources that study this issue. I'd like to keep this debate based on facts rather than opinions. So please offer your research that contradicts this statement.
Hello dearest opponent! It is a fantastic topic of debate you have come up with and one that only the bravest of debaters would dare ever defend. I hope you all the best on your journey into the world of drugs and perhaps if your soul finds there to be fault with it at some point then you will make a new debate where you, God forbid, defend the outlawing of marijuana! ;)
What I will be covering this round
In my round one debate, I shall be addressing the three points that Pro raised in the debate title. The first claim Pro made is that cannabis has been celebrated for thousands of years, the second is that cannabis is a gift and the third is that this gift is from God.
I shall systematically disprove each of the three claims with their own mini-debate dedicated to them (within this entire round one debate).
First Claim to Disprove: Cannabis has been celebrated for thousands of years
Cannabis, as a medicine, is known to have been used since 2900-2727 B.C.  but this was only known to have records by then, indicating that it was, in actual fact, used back in the 3rd Millennium B.C. A medicine, in its simplest form is defined as something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease. Therefore, if it simple considered a means of treatment, prevention or alleviation then it would hardly be celebrated any more than we celebrate the existence of paracetamol.
The seeds of the marijuana plant were used in China from 6000 B.C. and the leaf and plant themselves were used for hemp in textiles since 4000 B.C. but I have never heard, or read, of any remote sign of appreciation, let alone celebration, of Cannabis in any use other than its medicinal or recreational benefits (I challenge my opponent to prove that the cannabis seed or the use of hemp in textiles has ever been celebrated at all in history).
The first ever record of recreational use of Cannabis is by the Scythians back in 430 B.C; it was merely used as an enhancement for celebrations, or smoked as a ritualistic habit but the celebrations and rituals were never about the drug itself.
On a final note, It is important to understand the difference between celebration and appreciation. Celebration is most commonly defined as a joyful occasion for special festivities to mark some happy event.; appreciation is commonly defined as recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things. Whilst it was likely that it was appreciated for its benefits, it was hardly ever celebrated, if at all, by anyone other than the Rastafari movement, which has only been around since the 1930s (and therefore is only around 80 years prior to this debate).
In summary, Cannabis has indeed been around for thousands of years but the celebration of it has only been present since the 1930s with the origination of the Rastafari movement (which is only around 80 years prior to 2013, when this debate is taking place). Therefore, one can conclude that Cannabis has not been celebrated for thousands of years.
Second Claim to Disprove: Cannabis is a gift
According to Oxford dictionaries, a gift is defined as a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present. Cannabis is only ever known in society to be distributed for either financial gain or to a friend in exchange for them returning the favour later on. Thus, by this definition cannabis is not a gift.
Even if one were to take the abstract view that it's a gift from mother nature to us, this is entirely untrue, to grow and maintain cannabis as a plant requires expensive equipment and lots of time and effort to grow (even outdoors, affording the land in itself is expensive).
If my opponent has a different definition of gift or a defense as to why this definition is true, I'd be happy to hear it.
Third Claim to Disprove: Cannabis, if it is a gift, is from God
There is simply no proof of such a thing. God may have made the seed for the cannabis plant and the environmental conditions, in the Caribbean, necessary for cultivating the plant but to suggest that he gifted us such a plant is truly ridiculous.
Until my friend can prove that there even is a God, or that this God would approve of all the side effects his 'gift' has to offer then they must concede that this suggestion is utter nonsense and is not debatable altogether since we will never truly know or understand the abstract concept that is God.
 (2003) History of Marijuana as Medicine - 2900 BC to Present Available: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 Drug Enforcement Administration. (2008). Short History of Cannabis Available: http://www.deamuseum.org... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 Martin Booth (2003) Cannabis: A History. Transworld. p. 36 ISBN 978-1-4090-8489-1
 Dictionary (2013) Definition of Medicine Available: https://tinyurl.com... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 Dictionary (2013) Definition of Celebration Available: https://tinyurl.com... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 The American Heritage (2009) Definition of Appreciation Available: http://www.thefreedictionary.com... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 Tim Hall (2007) Rastafarianism: Origins and beliefs. Available: http://www.telegraph.co.uk... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 History of marijuana & cannabis use and abuse Available: http://www.narconon.org.... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 Oxford Dictionaries Definition of Gift Available: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com... Last accessed: 11th Dec 2013
 The Cannabis Geek. A Simple Guide To Growing Cannabis. Available: http://thecannabisgeek.com... Last accessed: 12th Dec 2013.
I admire my opponents spunk (nice mug shot) and enthusiasm in his opening statements, and his willingness to take on such an interpretative concept to begin with, which of course will be difficult if not impossible to disprove. I hope my opponents wishes for engaging in such a debate are all in good fun, but carry meaning as well. One of my missions in several debates at debates.org is to dispell the myths and societal stigmas associated with cannabis. As cannabis research becomes more prevalent, many will have scientific research that will prove the greater harms by far to society are drugs already legal and being used today for medicine and recreational use. For this debate I want to emphasize this simple notion: If God Himself provided the plant for us, than we are we demonizing it? From the Bible, it reads: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
Let me also begin by stating that I don't intend to prove or disprove God in this debate, nor do I believe that is what is expected from my opponent. After all, that would be a whopper of a debate in itself. I believe as gentlemen and in fairness, we are or should only be debating if cannabis is indeed God’s gifts, or whether we can consider the plant cannabis one of God’s creations from the Jewish or Christian’s perspective (since the those of these faiths believe all of creation (earth, heavens) is a gift from Him). That said, it satisfies the meaning of “gifts” since man did not create cannabis, nor any other plant, or living organism. If my opponent believed the debate was to combine the societal stigma of cannabis AND debate the existence of God, I apologize for the misunderstanding in my opening argument. But again, I do not see how a topic of apologetics could be interpreted by my offering and in this limited format and time limitations.
By “celebrated,” I do not mean anything other than what is defined by Webster's dictionary, “admired and talked about.”
Let’s also establish that the Bible is an historically accurate text of ancient times, if not the MOST historically accurate known , and serves well as providing historically accurate information of ancient Jewish culture.
There is no question that the plant has a holy source, God himself, and is thus mentioned for several ritualistic and sabbath purposes in the Old Testament. Cannabis is an aspect of Jewish law and tradition. Some Biblical references include Book of Numbers 17:12-13, where Aaron the High Priest, no pun intended, probably burned marijuana as an incense offering during a time of turmoil. They made the wick in candles from cannabis, cotton and flax for Shabbat.
Other passages include God’s instructions to Moses to “take for yourself herbs b’samim” — herbs of medicinal quality — and instructions in Exodus to “take spices of the finest sort, pure myrrh, five hundred shekels, fragrant cinnamon, and ‘keneh bosem,’” which literally means “sweet cane,” but possibly refers to cannabis. “Keneh bosem” is also mentioned in the Song of Songs 4:14, Isaiah 43:24, Jeremiah 6:20 and Ezekiel 27:19. Another pronunciation is the Aramaic “kene busma,” which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is also the name of a modern reggae musician.
So, if we are to admit the Bible as historical fact, and since it provides that cannabis was used for medicine and ritualistic and spiritual purposes, it no doubt was admired and talked about because of it’s prevalent use in worship, medicine and fabrics over the milleniums.
 The Holy Bible
 Deuteronomy 7:6: http://www.biblegateway.com...
NarcissisticOverthinker forfeited this round.
Other evidence that supports use of cannabis for spiritual and religious reasons in ancient times come from India and Nepal from the Atharva Veda, a sacred text of Hinduism, and one of the four Vedas, often called the "fourth Veda". The Atharva Veda is estimated to have been written sometime around 2000–1400 BC, which mentions cannabis as one of the "five sacred plants". This is one of the earliest mentions of the plant for sacred uses.
NarcissisticOverthinker forfeited this round.