The Instigator
SoSilly
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Chrysippus
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Cannabis should be legalised

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,892 times Debate No: 13889
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

SoSilly

Pro

I believe Cannabis should be legalised.

Con can make any argument against this they like.
Chrysippus

Con

I congratulate my opponent on knowing his own beliefs. It remains to be seen whether he can back them up.

I represent the status quo in this debate. Pro argues for a change and he must justify it. He must show that cannabis should (not could or will, but morally ought to) be legalized. I await his opening arguments.

First, though, by way of clarification, let me make it clear that I will assume unless corrected that he means "Cannabis (marijuana) should be made legal to possess, grow, sell, use, and transport in the United States."

To my opponent, then; best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
SoSilly

Pro

P1;

It seems that 'prohibition' of Cannabis has little effect on it's usage. This would suggest that legalisation wouldn't affect that factor at all. [1]

P2;

The drugs in Cannabis that give that 'high' are also extremely low in toxicity making it impossible to overdose. So that leads us to the long term effects.

P3;

There's not real evidence for the long term effects. This is because of the illegality of the drug. A lot of the tests done have been proven to be inaccurate and having very bad methods, and a lot of them could have been bias.

P4;

There is also the argument of personal choice. It's not like you're putting anyone else's life in danger. You could mention 'driving high' but sleep deprivation or just mere reckless driving is a lot more likely to 'cause accidents. Like I mentioned in my earlier point though, it is unlikely to increase usage much if at all. All 'prohibition' does is victimise users and waste police time and money better spent elsewhere. [2]

P5;

The United States Government, itself, filed for and was awarded a patent (#6,630,507) on cannabinoids as neuroprotectants, useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including stroke, trauma, auto-immune disorder, HIV dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimers.

P6;

Making it illegal means there's a black market for it, meaning it fuels crime, I don't need to point out how that's bad.

P7;

You can also tax it which would bring in more money for governments.

P8;

You can also use the hemp from Cannabis for many products including paper. It is a lot more renewable than cutting down the rainforest.

I'll leave it at that for now. :)

1. http://healthland.time.com...

2. http://news.bbc.co.uk...
Chrysippus

Con

My opponent apparently believes in the shotgun approach to debating, where one throws at one's opponent as many arguments as possible in the hopes he will miss one, giving a technical victory by forfeit. It is more respectful and productive to make one or two arguments and flesh them out, giving sources, clear reasoning, and persuasive arguments for your position.

I will address each of my opponent's points in order; I apologize if this is a little rushed, as I did not have the time to properly attend to this until today, and only just barely even now.

-------

1. Reducing the amount of cannabis (which for time sake I will after this be referring to as MJ) used is dependent on compliance with the law and enforcement of the law. Making it illegal does not automatically reduce the number of users; however, it does give law enforcement the authority they need to reduce the usage.

By my opponent's own source, though, the same experts expect a dramatic drop in the price for MJ upon legalization. it is only natural to assume that the people who could not afford, could not find, or were afraid to try MJ (for fear of legal consequences), no longer having these obstacles, will try the drug. Contrary to what my opponent states, then, there is a good probability that the number of users will skyrocket upon legalization.

Point 1 is therefore relevant, but wrong.

2. My opponent gives no source for this, and I refuse to accept his bare assertion. His point is too vague/unsupported to be useful.

3. Again, no source. I expect my opponent realizes that his word is not proof of anything here; one must back up assertions of fact with reliable unbiased sources, such as this one: http://drugabuse.gov...

Notice that here we have the effects of MJ: "distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problemsolving, and problems with learning and memory." Long term effects include "anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia," "marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke,"and "marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug." Heart attacks, lung cancers, and their resulting death or debilitation are certainly long-term effects worth considering.

4. My opponent tries to wave aside the dangers of MJ use, but they are very real. MJ causes "distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problemsolving, and problems with learning and memory," all of which puts other people at risk when MJ users drive or operate machinery. Parallels exist with our current laws against driving drunk, but with a twist: the dulling effects of MJ can last for days or weeks after the acute effects wear off. [1]

Clearly, the risks posed by MJ users to the rest of the population are a reason for concern.

5. This point is irrelevant. "Cannaboids" are chemicals found in tiny quantities in MJ; MJ is not, by itself, necessarily helpful in any of those diseases. Indeed, the lung irritation, increased risk of heart attack, heavy concentration of carcinogens, and tar deposits associated with smoking MJ more than offset any dubious possible benefits for any reasonable user.

6. Making it legal puts innocent lives at risk. I don't need to point out why that's bad.

More than that, this is a case of sloppy thinking. Making something illegal to sell automatically makes any selling of it a crime. That's completely obvious. Why point out that making something popular illegal will increase crime?

If it needs to be illegal to protect the lives of the law-abiding, those that choose to become criminals despite that risk deserve what they get.

7. Utterly irrelevant. We can make nuclear bombs or graffiti legal and tax their use; this does not make them any less dangerous or obnoxious.

8. Partially true, but irrelevant. We can also grow fast-growing renewable plants, such as white pine or certain bamboos, that have the same benefits without the dangers.

-----
Conclusion: My opponent has given no good reason to legalize MJ. He has not refuted the dangers of MJ use, short or long term, and he has shown no greater societal good that would come from legalization. The resolution is negated.

I return this debate to my opponent; good luck!

C.

All quotations and references are from http://drugabuse.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
SoSilly

Pro

SoSilly forfeited this round.
Chrysippus

Con

Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
SoSilly

Pro

SoSilly forfeited this round.
Chrysippus

Con

"SoSilly forfeited this round."

A powerful argument, indeed. Pithy, succinct, direct, and to the point.

With this forfeit, my opponent has admitted that he does not care about this debate, and cannot be bothered to defend his position.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
SoSilly

Pro

SoSilly forfeited this round.
Chrysippus

Con

Tiresome. I was hoping to have this big controversial argument, where I take the unpopular side and defend it against all odds, losing bravely to a worthy opponent and incurring the scorn of all the cool kids on the block. They would take their strange-smelling cigarettes out of their mouths just long enough to boo me as I pass on my way to execution; I would smile wanly, my courage sustained only by the thought that I would soon join my dear sainted aunt, who perished chainsaw in hand trying to cut timber in the woodlands devoted to the holy Spotted Owl.

Instead, not only do I survive to win the debate (against all reasonable expectations), but to add insult to injury it gets buried by forfeits on the back pages. This is beyond bearing.

My aunt will have to wait a while yet, I'm afraid, as my opponent failed to even show up for half the debate. It should have been an easy win for him, considering the fact that almost everyone on this site agrees with him; all he had to do was disagree with me.

I don't know, he still may win. Votebomers, and all that.

I'm just rambling now; this debate was in truth rather a disappointment to me, as I expected to have to fight for the win. I wish my opponent better fortune and more time in his future debates.

C.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
Did you even look at my source? That information that you object to comes directly from that site. Excuse me for being skeptical, but I see no reason to trust you personal opinion (which is, as you admit, highly biased and one-sided) over published and established facts.
Posted by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
I won't lie, I am very biased on this topic. Pro did in fact forfeit the debate after round one, and maybe there should be a better voting system that can kind of judge that. However I don't feel like con successfully countered pro's brief yet numerous points.

"Parallels exist with our current laws against driving drunk, but with a twist: the dulling effects of MJ can last for days or weeks after the acute effects wear off."

Haha not really...

"marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke,"

Absolutely not..

"all of which puts other people at risk when MJ users drive or operate machinery."

That is a common myth but I can promise you that's not the case.

"Making it legal puts innocent lives at risk. I don't need to point out why that's bad."

HOW
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
Yeah, probably. I may be going inactive for a while here, as I'm coming up on a very busy time; so we'll see after that. I don't want to start any debates right now, because I might not be able to finish them in time.

At least you didn't start the debate and immediately leave the site; there have been a lot of people who do just that, and I was rather concerned that you had just left.
Posted by SoSilly 6 years ago
SoSilly
Oh yeah sorry, should we do this another time when I know I have free time to do this? :P
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
I have no idea whether anyone will ever see this debate again, or even if my opponent is coming back. By any fair analysis my opponent forfeits the conduct point, at least; that I give to myself. Everything else I leave up to any random voter that happens on this debate, should anyone accidentally find it.
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
Do you mean you forfeited on purpose, or that you forgot about the remaining rounds?
Posted by SoSilly 6 years ago
SoSilly
I've been gone like a week, I thought this finished... lol
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
What happened?
Posted by SoSilly 6 years ago
SoSilly
Yesss.
Posted by smileydodge 6 years ago
smileydodge
So basically cannabis is marijuana?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Haasenfeffor 6 years ago
Haasenfeffor
SoSillyChrysippusTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Uh, SoSilly kind of made a mockery of the proceedings. If he does win, then he obviously does not deserve it. He stated contentions, yes, but never once did he back them up. After seeing con's case, I would've ran too.
Vote Placed by Shtookah 6 years ago
Shtookah
SoSillyChrysippusTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
SoSillyChrysippusTied
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Total points awarded:01