The Instigator
Liberals
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Drug Legalization.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 757 times Debate No: 71957
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Liberals

Pro

First round is acceptance. By drug legalization I mean the complete legalization of all drugs. I wish good luck to my opponent.
16kadams

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Liberals

Pro

First off, reaserch shows that eliminating the war on drugs could save us a lot of money. 50.1% of inmates in United states prions are incarcerated for drug offenses. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com...] so of you do the math, if there are 332,000 people in US prisons, divide that by two, that makes 166,000, multiply that by $30,000, which is how much it is to take care of inmates per year [http://thelawdictionary.org...], and that makes 4,980,000,000. So we could save almost 5 billion dollars every year if we legalized drugs, which can go to things more important like education, hospitals, programs warning kids not to use hard drugs, and many other things.

If anything, we should use that funding for rehab centers for hard drug addicts. Jail will probably help them get off the drug, however chances are it won't really change they're mentality, which is by far the best way to keep someone off drugs. Jail is just unnecessary punishment for something people pretty much just fell in love with for lack of a better phrase, mostly not really something they really actively chose to do like Rape, Murder, Theft, Robbery, etc. Plus, it's only hurting themselves, not other people. And another great idea would be to make more blunt, straight-to-the point campaigns like the meth project to deter people from hard drugs.

You can find a list of hard and soft drugs on my profile, and how hard drugs actually really harm people compared to soft drugs.

And here are the definitions of drugs:

Hard drugs are drugs that lead to physical addiction. Many countries do not allow people to make, sell or use some of them, other than for medical purposes. Examples of such drugs are heroin, methamphetamine (meth), cocaine, alcohol and nicotine. If it is legal to sell them, like with alcohol or nicotine, there are often taxes that need to be paid for them.

Soft drugs are not thought to cause physical addiction. Examples of soft drugs are cannabis, mescaline, psilocybin, LSD, and DMT. While they do not cause physical addiction, some of them may still lead to psychological dependence.
Some drugs cannot be classified that way, as they have characteristics of both hard and soft drugs. Examples for such drugs are MDMA (known as Ecstasy), ketamine, synthetic cannabis (known as Spice) and caffeine.

[http://simple.m.wikipedia.org...]
16kadams

Con


I thank my opponent for instigating.


My opponent claims the drug war costs a lot of money by citing statistics claiming that a large percentage of people in jail are there because of drug use. This is a perfect example how statistics have been either purposely (or accidentally) used in order to convince people—good people—like my opponent to support a certain viewpoint.


If you look at the actual data, the majority of drug users in jail (83%) have a past criminal record—which is often violent—which tells us most drug users in jail are not the passive marijuana smokers the drug lobby paints them out to be. Two thirds of those 83% also have had multiple past convictions indicating they have long lists of past crimes. Marijuana accounted for only 13% of arrested drug offenders. Indeed, first time offenders held in prison *only* for marijuana possession is 0.3% of the inmate population. A study on Federal Prisons finds the vast majority of people in jail for ‘drug related’ crimes were there because of trafficking, not use. Only 2.3% were in prison only for drug possession. The vast majority of people in prison for drug offenses are not because they are users, but because they traffic drugs or are caught with drugs after committing a violent crime [1. http://www.dea.gov...].


Even assuming my opponent’s numbers are true, 5 billion dollars for the entire country is extremely small. The budget from combatting drugs is about 11.5 billion dollars per year including enforcement costs which my opponent’s analysis does not include. But this is actually insignificant. The budget for welfare is 0.5 trillion dollars. In fact, drug spending does not even show up on the list of major contributors to the entire budget, which by the way is 6.2 trillion dollars per year [2. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com...]. When you really break it down, protection (which would include the drug war costs) prisons only cost 81.3 billion dollars—which dwarfs in comparison to 6.2 trillion dollars. Protection in total (which has prisons, policing, and a lot more) is only 4% of the entire budget [3. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com...]. As noted drug war spending is only about 11.5 billion dollars per year. That means the drug war is only 0.18% of the entire budget this year—hardly a debt reducing tactic by legalization.


It should be noted legalization may increase many costs due to the fact drug use will increase. Criminologist James Q. Wilson argues drug legalization will decrease costs of the drug, leading to an “increase the number of users; this increase will be permanent… and many aspects of society will be profoundly impacted by the drug-incapacitated persons [including more welfare, broken families, and traffic deaths].” [4. http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu...] Thus, it is very possible that the costs will actually incase if we legalize drugs as we will have to pay for the increased drug use as a result of legalization.


It really does make sense that legalization would lead to more use. Legalization would cause prices to fall as there would be less of a cost (e.g. avoiding the police) when transporting drugs, and many legal ways to obtain drugs will sprout up around the country. The RAND institute argues, “Legalized cocaine would cost no more than about three percent of today's black market price, and consumption would surely increase dramatically.” [5. http://www.rand.org...]


The National Bureau of Economic Research has found in its research on medical marijuana legalization, “legalization increased both marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence in people 21 or older … People 12 to 20 years old were 5 to 6 percent more likely to try marijuana for the first time when medical use was legalized.” [6. http://www.nber.org...] NBER also has found, “higher fines and longer jail times were consistently associated with reduced cannabis prevalence.” [7. http://www.nber.org...]


My opponent states, “If anything, we should use that funding for rehab centers for hard drug addicts.”


I agree. But this does not mean we should legalize drugs. Legalization would lead to a dramatic spike in drug use and harm society—but the current prohibitory regime does focus too much on the user. The RAND institute also argues, “rather from creative combinations of enforcement and treatment efforts, targeting police efforts to the sellers and markets that do the most social damage, and expanding the use of new enforcement tactics that have proven their efficiency.” [5] So I actually agree that we should lessen punishments for users and provide treatment but continue enforcement against the distributors in order to reduce use. This argument does not mean we should legalize drugs, but rather that we should mend the system.




Debate Round No. 2
Liberals

Pro

I didn't know that most of the people in prison were actually there for smuggling drugs rather than using them. But, that makes me happy.

I agree that drugs like meth and cocaine do harm communities because of they're addictiveness and health effects. So, how about we come to an agreement that all users of hard drugs (as specified with photos on my profile) will be sent to a rehab facility. However. All soft drugs will be legalized.
16kadams

Con

My opponent now is merely defending soft drug legalization, something I would still oppose.

Really, it doesn't make sense to only legalize soft drugs because they often go hand-in-hand. Marijuana is found in 60% of criminals systems when they are caught for their crime, according to the RAND institute. And this number holds true in the US, Australia, and the UK. Long-term marijuana use actually causes irritability, although it causes short-term calmness. In Los Angeles "police report that areas surrounding cannabis clubs have experienced a 200 percent increase in robberies, a 52.2 percent increase in burglaries, a 57.1 percent increase in aggravated assault, and a 130.8 percent increase in burglaries from automobiles." [1]

Further, Marijuana and cocaine prices are closely linked and the two drugs substitute each other. Legalization would lead to a 10% decline in marijuana prices, which would increase marijuana use. Not only this, but it would lead to a decline in cocaine prices by about 4.4%, meaning there would also be an increase in cocaine use [2].

So any legalization scheme would have to legalize hard drugs in order to cope with the damages caused by soft-drug use--they are linked to hard drugs. So any "moderate" legalization leads to hard drug prices falling and more use. Legalization advocates claim if we just legalize all drugs the government would be able to control all of the drugs, regulate it, etc. But on Portugal, this led to an increase in both use and homicide [3].

- Legalizing soft drugs increases use
- Legalizing soft drugs increases hard-drug use
- Legalizing all drugs increases use and homicide

1. http://www.heritage.org...
2. http://www.rand.org...
3. https://www.econ.berkeley.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
Liberals

Pro

Cannabis clubs are just like bars. Bars have more crime surrounding them because when people leave them, they are more than likely impaired by a certain substance and therefore more likely to do something stupid, so it should be implied.

Legalization of soft drugs would lower the price of hard drugs because there would be less of a demand for hard drugs BECAUSE of the legalization of soft drugs. It's all in supply and demand. So yes, legalization of soft drugs would increase use (of soft drugs), but it would more than likely deter people from using hard drugs because the legalized soft drugs would be easier to get ahold of.

Using a similar slogan to the NRA's "Guns don't kill people, people kill people", I will respond to my opponents claim by saying: "Soft Drug Use doesn't kill people, violent ruthless drug cartels kill people." So we need to eliminate drug cartels and open up buissnesses like here that I see in Colorado (and shops on other places like California, Oregon, etc.) that don't kill people.
16kadams

Con

Pro drops nearly all of my R2 evidence, and that is enough to make me the victor

- Bars
-> admits that marijuana actually causes violence.
-> more use = more violence
-> opponent dropped use argument (concedes it as true)
-> marihuana legalization = more violence

- Hard drug prices
-> this doesn't even make sense due to the fact marijuana is a gateway drug (1).
-> any fall in demand would be temporary
--> what would the mechanism to decrease demand even be? People using crack would be the same and increase--due to prices falling--and as noted marijuana users would eventually shift to hard drugs. And their shift would be easier because of soft drug legalization
-> RAND study argued the links are not due to demand changes but due to legalized markets making it easier to transport drugs, so any legalization is bad. That conclusion should be preferred by voters because I provide actual evidence. Pro only has assertions.

- Violence
-> new argument last round = discard
-> logic can't hold up. It assumes legalization lowers violence and cartel criminals will become law abiding after. Probably incorrect. Models showing that cartel members stay criminals at some level suggest crime will increase (2).
-> drug cartels have multiple sources of income and will still terror the people after legalization. Of drug income, soft drugs aren't even that huge. So legalization of soft drugs won't help (3).

Why to vote con
(1) PRO drops all of the use arguments, enough for him to lose the debate
(2) He drops the cost arguments
(3) he made new arguments last round
(4) I always offer proof, he never did. My arguments can be favored based on that alone
(5) Drops the prison analysis
(6) drops rehab analysis
-> drug legalization has only cons, all of pros arguments have been demolished or dropped by him. Thus, a clear con vote is in order.

1. http://www.drugabuse.gov...
2. http://www.nytimes.com...
3. http://www.sarnia.com...
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
Best to keep final statements inside the debate.
Posted by Liberals 1 year ago
Liberals
Okay, here is my final statement: if your hyped up on pretty much any substance, it distorts the part of your brain that makes rational decisions, so you cannot avoid people doing something stupid if they are high/drunk enough. People are going to do drugs even if it stays illegal and pretty much no matter what the penalty is. So there's no point in really keeping it legal. I thank 16kadams for debating me on this.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
Liberals16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had adequate conduct throughout the debate. S&G - Tie. Both had proper spelling and grammar throughout. Arguments - Con. Pro dropped a few of Con's arguments, which should never be done as Pro since they've got the main BOP. Essentially, Con was able to effectively rebut each point raised by Pro whereas Pro seemed to selectively respond to Con's arguments. In the end, Pro left several arguments from Con unchallenged, whereas Con did no such thing. Thus, Con wins arguments. Sources - Con. Con had nearly every point backed up by sources, which served to strengthen his arguments overall. While Pro did utilize sources himself, they were not nearly as good as Con's in both quality and quantity. This is a clear win for Con.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
Liberals16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did a better job refuting Pro's arguments. It seems Con was more prepared on the research aspect.
Vote Placed by YoshiBoy13 1 year ago
YoshiBoy13
Liberals16kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Con: Pro contradicted himself, saying legalize all drugs, then just soft drugs in round 3 // Sources to Con: used .gov and .edu sites, Pro used *WIKIPEDIA*[7]