The Instigator
Wocambs
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
ABC12345
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Cannabis should be sold by government-licensed outlets to adults

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Wocambs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 717 times Debate No: 36428
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

Wocambs

Pro

Cannabis causes the greatest harm when it is illegal, and when legal, is beneficial in many ways. Furthermore, the best way to utilise the benefits of the legality of cannabis and further decrease any harm it may cause is to sell it at a low cost and provide labelling detailing the ratios of psychoactive compounds and the concentration of them, with this regulation being carried out by the government.

Crucial problems generated by illegality:
1. Production, distribution and sale is in the hands of criminal organisations which may use the profit to finance serious crimes, and in any case deprive the government of revenue
2. Little to no information is made available to the user regarding the composition and potency of the cannabis, and the cannabis may be adulterated with unexpected or harmful substances
3. Sufferers of disabling medical conditions have restricted access to cannabis, while children are able to freely purchase it.
4. It is immoral to punish someone for harmlessly exercising their autonomy, and the illegality of cannabis goes some way to justifying the cruel stigmatisation of users

The benefits of legality are mainly the opposite of the complaints above, with the exception of: it is a possibility that establishments similar to the Dutch 'coffeeshops' will reduce excessive consumption of alcohol by providing alternative entertainment.

No anarchists please. I wouldn't feel comfortable defending the legitimacy of the government - this debate is focused strictly on cannabis.
ABC12345

Con

Anyone travelling to Amsterdam on vacation will quickly realise some of the implications of selling weed legally. Several of the downtown districts are awash with ALL of the other drugs which cannabis is a gateway to and the associated problems that they bring.

Since Amsterdam is a modern, bustling city in a developed country, there is no reason to believe that any other modern city in another developed country would not end up in the same way.

The only legal drug - alcohol - is responsible for enormous financial, social and criminal strain on western society - the British government regularly release statistics related to the cost alcohol incurs on British society: $Billions each year are wasted on their national health service, alcohol related crime and social issues account for over half the total reported cases of abuse and violent crime not to mention lost days at work etc. etc..

Should we really legalise another drug???
Debate Round No. 1
Wocambs

Pro

The gateway theory is utter nonsense. Our culture, and in fact almost the whole world, perceives cannabis as the "softest" illegal drug, and it is the one which is most available [1] " these factors make it abundantly clear that cannabis will in all likelihood be the first illegal drug taken by an individual, and the fact that other drug use occurs later is nothing to do with cannabis use having occurred first. As the Institute of Medicine states: "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs". [2]

Now, you claim that the Netherlands has a drug problem, but I don"t think this is the case at all. When compared to America, the Dutch have a significantly lower prevalence of cannabis usage and the prevalence of heroin usage in the Netherlands is one third of America"s. [3] In any case, I think you can find areas of all major cities where drugs are readily available. Oh, and by the way, what exactly are the problems associated with other drugs?

It is interesting that you mention alcohol. Professor David Nutt hypothesises that bringing Dutch-style "coffeeshops" to Britain would reduce alcohol use by 25%, and I believe the reduction would come in the way of reducing excessive drinking by providing an alternative to pubs and clubs. [4] I accept that alcohol does cause a lot of problems, but nonetheless I would be willing to defend its legality, particularly on the grounds of preventing organised crime and the benefits of moderate consumption; however, more to the point, cannabis would not cause similar harm. Cannabis does not cause a hangover nor do its users typically display violent behaviour " quite the opposite, in fact. The long-term 'damage' caused by cannabis is an issue of contention, but it seems that if it does cause damage, it is negligible.

Yes, we should legalise another drug. The prohibition of alcohol was a catastrophe; the prohibition of cannabis is simply a catastrophe on a smaller scale.

[1] http://www.who.int...
[2] http://books.nap.edu...
[3] http://www.drugwarfacts.org...
[4] http://www.theguardian.com...
ABC12345

Con

ABC12345 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Wocambs

Pro

"1. Production, distribution and sale is in the hands of criminal organisations which may use the profit to finance serious crimes, and in any case deprive the government of revenue"

Cannabis is one of the main sources of wealth for the Mexican drug cartels [1], and the death toll of the Mexican drug war may stands at between 60,000 to 100,000. [2][3]

"2. Little to no information is made available to the user regarding the composition and potency of the cannabis, and the cannabis may be adulterated with unexpected or harmful substances"

Some cannabis has been found to be adulterated with lead [4] and glass [5], while hashish has been contaminated with henna, turpentine, faeces, boot polish and tranquilisers. [6] It is quite obvious that dealers may lack and / or fail to provide accurate information regarding the potency and compositon of the cannabis they are selling.

"3. Sufferers of disabling medical conditions have restricted access to cannabis, while children are able to freely purchase it."

This seems to be a very simple point. Consider an elderly woman confined to a wheelchair who needs cannabis for medicinial purposes such as to treat pain or nausea. [7][8][9] Clearly, she will find it far more difficult to purchase cannabis from the black market than a fourteen year old, as it comes as a surprise to not one person that dealers do not care about the age of their customers.

4. It is immoral to punish someone for harmlessly exercising their autonomy, and the illegality of cannabis goes some way to justifying the cruel stigmatisation of users

“[T]he sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” - J.S. Mill [10]



[1] http://www.npr.org...
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[4] http://abcnews.go.com...
[5] http://news.bbc.co.uk...
[6] http://ukcia.org...
[7] http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...
[8] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;
[9] http://books.google.co.uk...;
[10] http://www.iep.utm.edu...;
ABC12345

Con

ABC12345 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Wocambs

Pro

Well, I've posted three rounds of argument and only received one rebuttal, so I feel disinclined to continue debating an imaginary opponent.

Thank you for following this debate. I believe the case for legality is very strong indeed.
ABC12345

Con

ABC12345 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Wocambs 4 years ago
Wocambs
Well, I can't say I'm surprised.
Posted by Wocambs 4 years ago
Wocambs
Well, fine. If you want to debate the legality of absolutely every recreational drug, so be it... It's a rather cunning strategy of you, really, because as soon as I start arguing for the legality of heroin people will be ten times less likely to vote for me. I suppose it's a valid enough point though, my arguments hold true for pretty much every drug, with exception of medicinal use for some drugs - we already give the people who need morphine the morphine.
Posted by Wocambs 4 years ago
Wocambs
There's nothing wrong with being new, but please don't abandon the debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by mrsatan 4 years ago
mrsatan
WocambsABC12345Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con FFs and Pro made better arguments
Vote Placed by Mikal 4 years ago
Mikal
WocambsABC12345Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and all around just better arguments, mainly because he had more rounds to argue.