The Instigator
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
acer
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Consuming mind-altering drugs recreationally should be a crime.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,539 times Debate No: 9215
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

wjmelements

Con

This debate concerns the actual consumption of mind altering drugs, not any crimes potentially committed thereafter, which individuals should still be liable for.

Contention:
1. Actions that do not infringe on the individual freedoms of others should not be illegal.
When an individual chooses to consume mind-altering drugs, they are knowingly governing their own behaviour. Their taking of such drugs is not an act of coercion, and therefore, such an act cannot justify jailtime.
acer

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting this debate.

"Actions that do not infringe on the individual freedoms of others should not be illegal.
When an individual chooses to consume mind-altering drugs, they are knowingly governing their own behaviour. "
That may be true, but these are drugs. Once your hooked, you are probably going to be hooked for a while. Another reason this argument doesn't work is because of drunk driving. People who are drinking and driving, are knowingly drinking and then driving. Much like this is legal , the taking of mind-altering drugs should be a crime as well. Though my opponent has stated that this debate is not about the crimes committed after, the taking of these drugs puts the person at a higher risk of committing these crimes. Like driving drunk increases the chance for an accident, taking mind-altering drugs increases the chance for a crime. They both follow the same logic, and should therefore either be legal or illegal. Since drunk driving is illegal , the taking of such drugs should be illegal as well.

"Their taking of such drugs is not an act of coercion, and therefore, such an act cannot justify jail time."
Then a serial murderer would not be jailed either. His act is not of coercion, and following my opponents logic, he should not be reprimanded for his actions. This of course is not true, therefore my opponents arguments are not true.

Mind-altering drugs are mild, but still are drugs. Though these may be legal, it will nevertheless lead people to other drugs that are illegal. Much like any other drugs, people develop a dependence on them and may act violently to obtain such drugs.
http://www.emedicinehealth.com...

http://www.newscientist.com...
And as seen in this article, mind altering drugs have a tremendous impact on a persons ability to think. If someone were to not follow the instructions and take this drug alone, he puts himself at a higher risk of doing something very stupid. Increasing the risk for injury or crime so high should be made illegal.

-Mind-altering drugs should be illegal for the same reasons drunk driving is.
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank acer for accepting this challenge.
===Answering my opponent's first objection===
"Once your [sic] hooked, you are probably going to be hooked for a while."
The human body is "hooked" on many other substances that aren't drugs, like food and water, except to a much larger degree. To advocate for mind-altering drugs to be illegal on this premise should include an advocation for food and water to be illegal as well.

===The Flaw in My Opponent's Crime Definition Premise===
My opponent's case relies solely on the premise that something making one more likely to commit crimes should be illegal.

Given this, we can derive that sororities should also be illegal. This is because their existence increases the chance of sexual assault[1]. Parties and celebrations should also be illegal because they also increase the chances of rape[1].
School uniforms also increase the chance of rape[2] and should therefore be illegal under my opponent's case.

Given that these things are now illegal, the government must seek out ways to decrease the chance of these actions being taken as well and eliminate them, according to my opponent's premise. If people have the freedom to gather in one place, they are more likely to celebrate or party, and therefore such an action should also be illegal.

Given that when we follow my opponent's premise, gathering together should be illegal, religion must be illegal as well, because religious groups are more likely to gather on a regular basis than nonreligious groups.

It should be obvious that in the United States of America, we should not base our laws on my opponent's premise, because it would lead to Unconstitutional restrictions in the name of fighting crime.

Therefore, the slippery-slope crime premise is invalid.

===Why My Crime Defintion Premise is Valid===

The purpose of government is to protect its people's rights to govern their life and property[3]. Under this premise, crime is an act of coercion, denying another their rights to govern life and property. Such acts of coercion would be theft and rape.

When government seeks to decrease the chances of such crimes occuring, they themselves commit a crime, by infringing on one's right to govern their life and property according to their own pursuit of happiness.

Therefore, such an act of government as Drug Criminalization is an unwarranted and coercive abuse of government authority.

I will now allow my opponent to respond.

[1] http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov...
[2] http://www.klue.com.my...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
acer

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for responding so quickly.

"The human body is "hooked" on many other substances that aren't drugs, like food and water, except to a much larger degree. To advocate for mind-altering drugs to be illegal on this premise should include an advocation for food and water to be illegal as well."
There is a big difference between food and drugs. Food is necessary for survival, is natural, and doesn't really cause the person eating to hallucinate and do bad stuff. Drugs, on the other hand, put that person at a very high risk for doing bad stuff, is not natural, and is not necessary for survival.

"My opponent's case relies solely on the premise that something making one more likely to commit crimes should be illegal."
I said something that increases the risk of crime so high should be illegal, not just anything. I would like to point out that my opponent never said anything about drinking and driving. He did not respond because their is no way to counter that argument. Drinking and driving is illegal because it puts people at a very high risk of injury, just as drugs do.

"The purpose of government is to protect its people's rights to govern their life and property"
That is true. But another purpose of government is to protect people. For example, not being able to murder someone without serious consequences is against a persons right. Following my opponents flawed logic, murder would be legal.

"Therefore, such an act of government as Drug Criminalization is an unwarranted and coercive abuse of government authority."
My opponent pointed that theft and rape are crimes justifiable against his premise. If Drugs were to be made legal, they would inevitable cause a large amount of theft and rape. It would cause unwanted violence through drug wars. http://www.google.com...

Therefore, drug criminalization is a valid government program. It may infringe on a persons rights, but as my opponent points out, acts of coercion, like theft and rape, are still crimes. The taking of drugs drastically increases the chance of such crimes and therefore should be inhibited as well. This is very similar to the way drunk driving is prohibited.

I wish my opponent luck in his last round.
Debate Round No. 2
wjmelements

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

==Addiction==
My opponent contends that food and water do not cause people to commit crimes. This is not the case. Man's addiction to food and water can cause him to commit theft and murder. Following my opponent's logic, the solution is to make food and water illegal.
Unlike food and water, drugs are not necessary for the individual to survive, and the individual can quit such drugs without dying, so the criminal effect is much less.

There are a few important things to note:
-Making drugs illegal has not stopped their use.

-The effect of making drugs illegal increases crime rate. Making drugs illegal increases the cost of drugs[1], which means that a poor man addicted to coke must pay more for it. The result is an increased desperation, leading to crime.

-My opponent's source claiming that drugs make people violent is actually ironic. The violence is due to the Mexican government's crackdown on drugs. So, it is making drugs illegal that causes murder and drug violence, according to my opponent's source[2].

-Making drugs illegal increases the profits for drug dealers[1], encouraging the sale of drugs.

==My Opponent's Crime Proposal==
I avoided the drinking and driving argument because there exists a high level of bias towards the issue. If my opponent wants to harp on this issue, then I will point out drunk driving facts.
2007:
-503 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, which was 40 percent of the 1,249 total crash fatalities.[3]
-More than 49,600 DUI arrests were recorded by the Secretary of State's office.[3]

-Fifty to 75 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.[4]
-Between 2002 and 1997, the number of drunk driving trips INCREASED[5], in face of laws attempting to decrease them.
-A first time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested[6].

From these statistics, we can conlcude two things:
-The criminalization of drunk driving has not decreased or discouraged it.
-Someone in a drunk driving crash has on average driven drunk 8700 times prior to causing death.
And so, drunk driving laws do little to prevent death, contrary to popular belief, while doing much to ruin lives.

But that's all besides the point. My opponent is advocating the criminalization of drugs, which I have shown to only make matters worse while punishing innocent civilians.

My opponent's crime definition premise is invalid and impractical for the reasons stated last round.

==My Crime Definition Proposal==
"Following my opponents flawed logic, murder would be legal."
No, murder would not be legal for the same reason that rape would be illegal: it is coercion. It is a crime because it infringes on another's ability to govern their ability to govern their life and property. By making this illegal, government is protecting the individual's life and liberty.

Seeing as that was my opponent's only objection to my proposal, it stands.

==Misc.==
My opponent objects to drugs because they cause violence, but as I have shown, making them illegal only increases this violence.
My opponent has only warranted his statement that drug use increases crime with a source about how a government drug crackdown killed 33 people, which only further proves my case.

==CONCLUSION==
Not only do drug laws do more harm than good, they are an infringement of liberty and the coercive authority of government.
Thank you, and vote CON.

[1] Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations, Book I, Chapter X
[2] http://www.google.com...
[3] http://www.chicagocaraccidentlawyersblog.com...
[4] http://www.madd.org...
[5] http://www.madd.org...
[6] http://www.madd.org...
acer

Pro

acer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SirAntonyP 8 years ago
SirAntonyP
Also crime wont drop just because drugs are banned, it will rise.

Even if no one took drugs, there would still be crime there is no sense in the theory of banning them, you need to help people not victimize them for having an addiction problem, drugs will always find a way into peoples hands even if they are banned.
Posted by SirAntonyP 8 years ago
SirAntonyP
Fact is, only reason cannabis is illegal is the lumber companies with the help of governments went on a slander and hate campaign and still are doing so to make profits, they don't care about peoples health whatsoever.

Even if you gave everyone the death penalty for taking drugs you wont stop them, all it is doing is ruining peoples likes by labeling them as criminals and ruining chances of work and rehabilitation, i do agree harder drugs need to be sorted out but not by putting people in prison, it is well known prisons are just criminal schools, were drugs are widely available.

Fix societies problems the corruption of leaders and big companies then you will see less people needing to take so many harder drugs to get over the poverty and problems that can be fixed so easy if they wasn't big drain by corruption, and militaristic governments on tax money.
Posted by Mr_smith 8 years ago
Mr_smith
Legalizing marijuana is probably a good idea (it's probably less dangerous than alcohol and it will seriously reduce the profit margins of drug cartels), but drugs like cocaine and meth (assuming that they are 'mind-altering') are considerably more dangerous. Crack has been linked to massive increases in crime, most notably the 'Crack Epidemic' of the 80's.

http://en.wikipedia.org...(United_States)
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I'm impatient and running out of time. Maybe sometime later.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
LOL. I agree, that is more suited.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
No, something more along the lines of
http://www.reactionface.com...
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
http://www.reactionface.com...

Is that what you're looking for John? XD
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
>Implying that GodSands has friends
>reactionface.png
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
This isn't putting aside Jesus. It's just a debate about a nonreligious topic.

I'm sure when you're talking with your friends, you talk about things other than religion.
Posted by GodSands 8 years ago
GodSands
Never do I put aside Jesus with a conscious which is clear. Just to let you know.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by comoncents 8 years ago
comoncents
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jurist24
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mongeese
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Vote Placed by acer 8 years ago
acer
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
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