The Instigator
Commondebator
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Raistlin
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Current illegal drugs (besides marihuana) should not be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Commondebator
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 554 times Debate No: 65615
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Commondebator

Pro

Lets get straight into the argument.

Federal and economic standpoint

I. Will cause decline in econmy. (As shown by New Hampshire and Vermont)
Vermont and New Hampshire has one of the Highest Illict drug problems in the U.S.Yet, its not suprising that they have one of the Lowest GSP. Now, I am not implying that illict drug use is the sole cause for a decrease of GSP. But, rather it is more than a mere coincdidence. From a logical (as well as statistical) standpoint, it is safe to assume an increased drug rate will lead to an unstable society which the risk alone is not worth taking. Also, drug legalization advocates claimed that the money used to legalize drugs can be used for the good. Here is the DEA's response “Ask legalization proponents if the alleged profits from drug legalization would be enough to pay for the increased fetal defects, loss of workplace productivity, increased traffic fatalities and industrial accidents, increased domestic violence and the myriad other problems that would not only be high-cost items but extremely expensive in terms of social decay."


II. Drugs tied to terrisom
During the aftermath, of 9/11, the DEA, performed research through drug trafficking. Regarding the train boming in madrid, according to the DEA, "The bombers swapped hashish and ecstasy for the 440 pounds of dynamite used in the blasts, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,400 others. Money from the drugs also paid for an apartment hideout, a car, and the cell phones used to detonate the bombs".

III. Drugs and crime
There is no doubt that drugs relate to crime. Drug crimes often involve murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, serious motor vehicle offenses with dangerous consequences, arson and hate crimes. We need to break the chain between drug and crime, not make it stronger.

80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol.
Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.
Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest.

We have one of the higest incaraction rates, and

60 - 80% of drug abusers commit a new crime (typically a drug-driven crime) after release from prison.
Approximately 95% return to drug abuse after release from prison.

IV. Jobs that require drug tests
Many jobs do not require drug tests, but that is a big exception when it comes to federal and transportation jobs. However, one out of five employees were reported for drug tests in Colorado. It is not very shocking that many buisness owners prefere a drug free envirment. It is not unlikly to get fired if you are caught getting drugs in the workplace.


This is all for my Federal standpoint. I will do rebuttals in the next round, and include morality in my Bop

http://www.whitehouse.gov......
http://www.businessinsider.com......
http://en.wikipedia.org......
https://ncadd.org......
http://www.nolo.com......
http://www.denverpost.com......


Raistlin

Con

I would like to thank pro for initiating what promises to be a very interesting debate. I would like to address a few quick points before I dive in to the arguments made by pro and make some of my own. Firstly, GSP is not an economic measurement. I assume pro was referring to GDP. Secondly, I would like to address an interesting point: data collection. As illegal drugs are obviously illegal, it is impossible to take a representative sample of drug users. Because of this, drug data tends to be skewed towards those caught, who are often involved in some other crime. Thirdly, an association between two factors doesn't imply one caused the other. [1] Finally, pro's use of sources is extremely confusing. I would encourage him to always indicate where each source is used as I am doing by using numbers. Pro only cites home pages, not specific information. This can be verified by clicking on any of his links. Therefore, as he fails to actually cite relevant information, his entire argument must be considered baseless, with no factual backing whatsoever. With these issues in mind, let's take a critical look at pro's case.

Pro claims that "an increased drug rate will lead to an unstable society". He provides no evidence for this. Increased drinking may lead to an unstable society, but I don't see anyone trying to reinstate prohibition. He plagiarizes the DEA without linking a source. In addition, he provides no evidence either that the DEA actually said that or that it is true.

It is preposterous to think that banning drugs could stop terrorism. The hijackers seem to have gotten away from drug enforcement just fine. Also, banning the drugs because of terrorists is unfair to peaceful drug users, just as banning Islam because of terrorists is unfair to Muslims.

Drugs are related to crime. Why? Because it is illegal to use them. The fact that so much violent crime is occurring despite criminal enforcement of drug laws is a testament to their failure, not success.

Next, pro makes one of my own arguments for me. Because of drug laws, we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. [2] Legalizing drugs would allow thousands of peaceful, nonviolent drug users their freedom back and allow them to reintegrate into society as a productive member.

If businesses want to test their employees for drugs, I am perfectly fine with that. This is not a legitimate argument against drug legalization because it involves private, voluntary action rather than the coercion of the state.

Now, let's look at the ethics surrounding this issue. It is morally wrong to arrest a nonviolent person who wasn't hurting anyone else. Trying to protect people from themselves violates their personal liberties and gives the government complete power over someone's life. It is immoral to ruin someone's life because they did something that harmed absolutely nobody. If someone commits a crime whilst under the influence of drugs, we have laws for that. But ultimately, just like with prohibition, the way to take away the violence and gang wars that come with drugs is to legalize them. The legalization of alcohol stopped organized crime from taking control of the illegal alcohol business. [3] It's time to end our second unsuccessful episode with prohibition.

Good luck to pro in future rounds.

Sources

1- http://www.princeton.edu...
2- http://www.prb.org...
3- http://www.albany.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Commondebator

Pro

To start things off, I apologize of my broad source, as I was not aware that the URL led to the home page. Here are my sources to my previous round.


1.http://www.policechiefmagazine.org...

2. https://ncadd.org...

3.http://www.denverpost.com...

4.http://en.wikipedia.org...

5.http://www.businessinsider.com...

6.http://www.dhhs.nh.gov...


Hopefully these sources will clear up any confusion due to broad URL. I will keep in mind of that in the following rounds.


"He provides no evidence for this. Increased drinking may lead to an unstable society, but I don't see anyone trying to reinstate prohibition"


I have provided my evidence to my previous round (" it is safe to assume an increased drug rate will lead to an unstable society which the risk alone is not worth taking.") By quoting the DEA and providing the source (1). Also, I have also provided the the state's GDP (or GSP) of vermont and New Hampshire, showing that they have one of the lowest GDP (or GSP). Notice, those states also have a hgh use of drug problem? Again, I am not applying that the decline of GDP (or GSP) is the sole cause of a high drug problem, but rather it is important to look at and it may be more than just a mere coincidence. Regarding the DEA, the reply to drug advocates is-


"Ask legalization proponents if the alleged profits from drug legalization would be enough to pay for the increased fetal defects, loss of workplace productivity, increased traffic fatalities and industrial accidents, increased domestic violence and the myriad other problems that would not only be high-cost items but extremely expensive in terms of social decay". (1, under paragraph titled "economy issues")


So my point is, the risk is not worth taking in regards to the DEA and the GDP (or GSP) of those to states.


"He plagiarizes the DEA without linking a source. In addition, he provides no evidence either that the DEA actually said that or that it is true."


Con then accuses me of plagiarism, when I have quoted the DEA. Con is accusing me of plagiarism because of my source not directly taking to the webpage. I have no objection to that, however I have posted my source again, hopefully to resolve the conflict.


"It is preposterous to think that banning drugs could stop terrorism"


No, banning drugs would not stop terrorism. However, the drugs were TIED to terrorism. Yes, most likely the train bombing would have occurred without the use of drugs, however it is possible it might have taken a longer time to collect the money. Keep in mind that this is NOT the main reason to not legalize drugs.


"Drugs are related to crime. Why? Because it is illegal to use them."


It appears as if con did not fully read my argument. No, I am not referring that that drugs are illegal therefore, they are related to crime. I am referring that if you look at the inmates,


  1. 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol.

  2. Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.

  3. Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest.

  4. 60 - 80% of drug abusers commit a new crime (typically a drug-driven crime) after release from prison.

  5. Approximately 95% return to drug abuse after release from prison.


My points are referring that the Drugs make you commit crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, serious motor vehicle offenses with dangerous consequences, arson and hate crimes


It is quite clear that my opponent did not read my argument and assumed that I was referring that “drugs are illegal therefore, they are related to crime”


“Now, let's look at the ethics surrounding this issue. It is morally wrong to arrest a nonviolent person who wasn't hurting anyone else”


Well, that would be false if my opponent ignored my previous statement of how 95% inmates return to drug abuse, 60 - 80% of drug abusers commit a new crime (typically a drug-driven crime) after release from prison, and how 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol. Of course not all drug users are criminals, but if we legalize all drugs, we would see skyrocketing rates in crime and lost productivity.


Keep in mind that this is a case about legalizing drugs, not about current drug laws.


“it is immoral to ruin someone's life because they did something that harmed absolutely nobody.”


Again, this is a case about legalizing drugs or not, it is not about if current drug laws should be that harsh or not.


“just like with prohibition, the way to take away the violence and gang wars that come with drugs is to legalize them”


Well, again. . .Drugs lead to violent crimes. We need to break the chain of drugs and crime, not make it stronger.


Here is my moral point of view:


I am not going to address my views in points, but I will address them in paragraph form.


Drugs do lead to violent crime, thus ruining the victim's life regardless of the law. Now, the offender’s life is also ruined because of the law.


Regarding the drug testing of jobs that I mentioned earlier, if more people are available to drug use, it is likely more people will lose jobs. Another reason why legalizing drugs may lead to a downfall in our economy. (3)


Now, I will move on to Con’s sources. Con’s first source clearly states at the top “Do not cite”, yet he does so. Con accuses me of my sources, yet his source are not meant to be used. Seems a bit hypocritical. Also, looking through all of his sources, I find no mention of drug use. Please do correct me con. Yes, his first source may imply the use of drugs, but again, it states “Do not cite”.


Con’s summary:


Con fails to read all of my argument, and provides sources that were not meant to be cited. His sources had no mention of drugs, although I request to con to correct me.


Raistlin

Con

Let's get straight to the arguments.

Firstly, it is crime itself, not always drugs, that is associated with lower GDP. As using drugs is currently a crime, we would expect more of these lawbreakers in poorer states. [1]. Remember that association doesn't imply causation, and that because drugs are illegal it is impossible to obtain truly accurate data on their effects, as I explained last round. Note that pro failed to answer this point.

Secondly, I am glad pro posted his sources. However, there is a significant problem with his argument that drugs cause crime. It is not morally right to ban something because it is associated with real crime. For example, black men are more likely to commit a crime, but we don't lock them all up because of that. [2] My opponent has failed to answer the charge that it is immoral to use force and lock up a nonviolent drug user. Don't harm the responsible drug users and throw the baby out with the bath water.

All of my sources prove the point intended. Please check if you don't believe me.

Sources
Debate Round No. 2
Commondebator

Pro

Thanks for the reply con! A very worthy opponent indeed.

This part of my argument will be purely rebuttals.

"Firstly, it is crime itself, not always drugs, that is associated with lower GDP. As using drugs is currently a crime, we would expect more of these lawbreakers in poorer states. "

Con has brought up an intersting argument, that I will have to agree. However, legalizing drugs would not do much good either. As I have shown earlier, drugs are related to crime such as ape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, serious motor vehicle offenses with dangerous consequences, arson and hate crimes. So, if we do legalize drugs, there will be a far increase crime due to drugs than not legalizing it.

"Remember that association doesn't imply causation, and that because drugs are illegal it is impossible to obtain truly accurate data on their effects, as I explained last round"

Since con has not posted his sources on this round, I am assuming he meant that was towards his previous round. Looking at con's source, (1) I could not find direct usage of drugs. However, lets assume for now that "association doesn't imply causation" implies drugs as well.

"drugs are illegal it is impossible to obtain truly accurate data on their effects"

I fail to see what my opponent was referring to. I ask my opponent to explain in the following rounds if he was referring to my drugs and crime statement? We can still use drugs for testing in the medical environment.

" It is not morally right to ban something because it is associated with real crime."

Again, this debate is not about current drug laws.

Over to you con.


Raistlin

Con

During this debate so far, I have mostly stuck to answering my opponent's claims. During this round, I shall provide both hard facts and an ethical analysis on why drugs should be legalized. Firstly, however, I shall take a brief look at some of pro's claims and rebut them.

My source was intended to ensure that the general principle "association doesn't imply causation" was universally agreed upon, though it did not specifically deal with drugs. This principle is simple and applies to most data gathered in observational studies, as opposed to experiments. Whilst it is definitively possible to test for medical effects of drugs on people, that was not the point I was trying to make when I stated "because drugs are illegal, it is impossible to obtain truly accurate data on their effects." I am referring to economic, criminal, and demographic data. It isn't possible to accurately determine the effect drugs have on income or productivity unless it is possible to get a representative sample, an important concept in statistics. If the only drug users we can study are those in jail, we are sure to find a high correlation between drugs and crime, but this is only because it is impossible to find a sample of drug users not imprisoned because they are illegal. Therefore, we can expect drug data to be skewed towards low income earners, minorities, and criminals, because these populations are disproportionately observed in any study involving drugs. Next, con makes what Bill Nye would call "a remarkable claim." He states this debate is not about current drug laws. This is ridiculous! The stated resolution of the debate is "Current (sic) illegal drugs (besides marihuana (sic)) should not be legalized." This debate is about whether we should repeal the laws that make drugs illegal. That's what legalize means. [1] Pro is defending the current state of illegality of drugs, whilst I am attacking it. Pro failed to answer my point about morality. My point was "It is not morally right to ban something because it is associated with real crime." I backed this up with logical examples. Pro has dropped this argument.

Now, let's move on to some serious stuff. The war on drugs costs America $15 Billion annually. [2] Making drugs legal would eliminate this drain on resources and could potentially raise billions of dollars in revenue from taxes.

Also, decriminalizing drugs would break the link between drugs and gang violence, cartels, and unsafe practices. [3] By banning drugs, the government has created a black market that is not subject to the law, creating the link between drugs and violence. Because the demand for drugs is inelastic with respect to price, drug dealing has become a very profitable business. If we break this chain, drug companies will offer cheap drugs and will be held accountable to the law. Organized crime related to drugs would lose its source of profit.

Another important benefit of legalizing drugs would be the lowered incarceration rate. Right now, there are over 300,000 people in jail because of drug possession, trafficking, or other nonviolent drug crimes. [4] These people were hurting no one and exercising their own rights to put into their bodies whatever they like, yet were still imprisoned. It is monstrously immoral to try to exercise control over a decision that doesn't harm you. Nobody has a right to limit the liberties of anybody else, so long as that person respects others' rights equally.

This brings us to our final point. There is no clause in the Constitution allowing the federal government to outlaw drugs. In fact, because the Prohibition has been repealed, there is a strong Constitutional argument against the War on Drugs. The Constitution specifically outlines what Congress can do, and nowhere is there any hint of banning drugs. Therefore, the War on Drugs is unconstitutional.

Sources

1- http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
2- http://www.drugsense.org...
3- http://www.forbes.com...
4- http://www.drugwarfacts.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Commondebator

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating with me for such an interesting debate. Good luck in the voting period con.

I thank my opponent for clarifying a little deeper on what he meant on "association doesn't imply causation". I agree it is impossible to get a truly accurate data, however in my previous arguments it was interesting to see the states with lower GDP had a high drug problem. Of coarse, the illicit drug use is not the sole cause of the low GDP. As my opponent stated earlier, being in jail is also associated with the low GDP. However, to further backup my argument I had quoted the DEA's response about the impacts on society. My opponent's rebuttal to that was "association doesn't imply causation"

When looking at Con's source, it clearly states "Do not site" because it is taken from the Wikipedia page, and may not be up to date. However, when looking at the wikipedia article, the article has received multiple criticisms.Such as the article needs additional citations for verification, and the article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states the Wikipedia editor's particular feelings about a topic, rather than the opinions of experts. Perhaps, the source that Con has chosen would not work due to the multiple criticisms. I had stated the "Do not site" problem, however con had ignored me

->"If the only drug users we can study are those in jail, we are sure to find a high correlation between drugs and crime, but this is only because it is impossible to find a sample of drug users not imprisoned because they are illegal. Therefore, we can expect drug data to be skewed towards low income earners, minorities, and criminals"

Recall that when I brought up the prison statistics, 60-80% commit a new crime after released from prison, and 95% return to drug abuse. Now, regarding con's previous arguments "Firstly, it is crime itself, not always drugs, that is associated with lower GDP". (1)

It is expected to see a higher crime rate when drugs are legalized, and as stated by my opponent, it is crime itself that is related to lower GDP.

->"It is not morally right to ban something because it is associated with real crime."

Ok, hopefully in the next round con would give sources that prove "Association does not imply causation". When con had stated Association does not imply causation, it is referring when there are completely random variables. When it comes increased drug rate and lower GDP as well as higher criminal activities, the argument for "Association does not imply causation" cannot be fully implied. Those two variables are NOT completely unrelated, and from a logical standpoint it makes sense of how increased drug use will lead to loss of productivity and increased criminal activity.

->"Making drugs legal would eliminate this drain on resources and could potentially raise billions of dollars in revenue from taxes."

Drug advocates often claim that if we used the money for drug war for other use, it would be financial windfall for the American Economy. However, here is the DEA's response. (That I had stated earlier) (2)

"Ask legalization proponents if the alleged profits from drug legalization would be enough to pay for the increased fetal defects, loss of workplace productivity, increased traffic fatalities and industrial accidents, increased domestic violence and the myriad other problems that would not only be high-cost items but extremely expensive in terms of social decay"
-DEA

->"By banning drugs, the government has created a black market that is not subject to the law, creating the link between drugs and violence."

And by making drugs legal, you have created increased violence in the public as shown by the statistics of the inmates. Remember my opponent's argument, "Association does not imply causation"? Apparently, according to my opponent's logic, it can be applied to both sides.

->"There is no clause in the Constitution allowing the federal government to outlaw drugs"

Hmmm. . .

"The Congress shall have Power To ...make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof" (3)

-ARTICLE I, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 18

My opponent's last argument falls for there is a law that enables the congress to pass such law. The "necessary and proper" clause is made due to unimaginable circumstances foreseen by our founding fathers. Such as drug laws. So, yes, the congress does have the power to make such law.

1. https://ncadd.org...
2.http://www.policechiefmagazine.org......
3.http://www.heritage.org...

Thank you con, for such an interesting debate.
Raistlin

Con

Raistlin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Commondebator 1 year ago
Commondebator
Correct source (I had posted that before)

http://www.policechiefmagazine.org...
Posted by Gabe1e 2 years ago
Gabe1e
Interesting. Leaning towards Pro as of now.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Gabe1e 1 year ago
Gabe1e
CommondebatorRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for forfeiture at the end of the last round. Arguments to Pro because Con just stated how using drugs are moral and didn't provide ANY facts or hard evidence of what it actually does. He also stated stuff about drug laws, which isn't involved in this topic, whatsoever, so I have no idea why he posted it.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
bsh1
CommondebatorRaistlinTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff