The Instigator
Deathbeforedishonour
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points

Drug Legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,064 times Debate No: 18689
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (7)

 

Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

Resolved: The United States should legalize all drugs.

I propose that we debate drug legalization. The first round is just for acceptance of the challange, and its definintions.

Drugs: A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often addiction [1].

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
thett3

Con

I accept the challenge. Legalization shall be defined as "the act of making lawful".

Debate Round No. 1
Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. :)


Self-ownership

Every man, woman, boy, and girl have full rights to their own body, unless it harms the people around them. Therefore, since people have the rights to whatever goes into their body; recreational drugs should be legalized. All people as owners of their mind, body, and property should have the rights to use it or abuse it. The State has no rights to the individuals body or mind, and that means drugs should be legalized.


Are drugs really all that bad?

Drugs are not as dangerious or harmful to us people as everyone thinks. Most of the drug users are perfectly healthly people who just have a drug problem; just like people who are have formed habbits off of legalized drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, and caffine; and they are able to fuction properly in ordinary society as good citizens. Then there is also the fact that there are absolutely no recorded deaths from marijuana, 400 deaths per 100,000 from heroin, and 20 per 100,000 from cocaine; these statistics are compared to the legalized drugs and they are 150 deaths per 100,000 from alcohol and 650 per 100,000 from tobbacco or nicotine. Also, if you take the fact that all the illegal ones were most likely in poor quality do to the fact of faster profit, then if we legalized them the death tole would drop. Therefore, legalizing drugs will not hurt public health [1].


It will lower crime rates.

When one thinks of drugs they think about the drug cartels in Central and South America. However if we were to legalize these drugs that they are producing and saling, and killing over, then we would see the rise of giant corporations that will quickly put these gangs and druglords out of business, and further destroy any reasons from the drug cartels to kill inncocent people over it.


The cost is to much.

In the United States our government spends an estimated $1,716.77 that is spent by our government each and every second of every day. From this estimate the U.S. governemnt will spend at least $23.44 billion on the War on Drugs in 2011. This is money that the tax payers pay to the government so that the government ca fuction properly; not so it can be spent on a failed war on drugs. This is money that can be used to recover us from our growing amount of debt to foreign countries [2].


The failure of prohibition.

I will now give my final reason of my opening argument, and I would like to some up the point like this: PROHIBITION OF DRUGS IS A COMPLETE FAILURE. Our country is not stranger to prohibition, in the early 1900's the U.S. brought forth it's first drug prohibition. It was a prohibition on alocohol, and it ended with failure. Thousands of people were killed daily by mafia members and low quality alcohol and no matter how many arrests the FBI or local police made alcohol use was climbing. Just as prohibition was a failure back then it is now. We have thousands of people dying dayly in this country and others so that the drug flow can keep flowing and the fact that that there is a lower quality of drugs that continue to poison people, the half of the people in our jails are in there due to drug related affenses which is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars each year. It would be very wise to cut our losses and legalize drugs before we cause anymore damage to our nation and it's economy [3].


Conclusion

I think it is fare to say that after all these reasons, the U.S. should legalize all drugs.

Vote Pro!

[1] http://www.cato.org...
[2] http://actionamerica.org...
[3] http://cocktails.about.com...


thett3

Con

In this round, I'll write my arguments. In the next I will refute my opponents claims.



C1. Drugs cause crime

Drugs cause us to make irrational decisions; this is even conceded to in my opponents definition. Crime is, generally, an irrational decision. Since the substance causes crime, than the government is justified in criminalizing it, in fact if the government did not try to suppress this than they it's failing in the governmental obligation to defend its citizens.

Of course, I'm not going to just make baseless claims. The correlation between crime and drugs is something firmly established. The National Institute for Victims of Crimes reports[1]:

"In the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correction Facilities, 32% of State prisoners and 26% of Federal prisoners said they had committed their current offense while under the influence of drugs. Among State prisoners, drug offenders (44%) and property offenders (39%) reported the highest incidence of drug use at the time of the offense. Among Federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes. "

I would remind the audience that this is in no way implying that drugs are the sole causes of crime. I gladly concede to the fact that other factors also affect crime, however; my argument is not a correleation-causation fallacy because logic indicates that the causation exists. Irrationality indeed is linked to crime; as indicated in Psychologist Richard Herrnsteins famous (and controversial) book "The Bell Curve". Herrnstein reports that the "cognitively disadvantaged" are far more likely to commit crime than the rest of society. Since drugs decrease our rationality, than they surely increase crime.

James R. Mcdonough, the director of the Florida office for Drug Control[2] writes:

"Law-enforcement officers routinely report that the majority (i.e., between 60 and 80 percent) of crime stems from a relationship to substance abuse, a view that the bulk of crimes are committed by people who are high, seeking ways to obtain money to get high or both. These observations are supported by the data. The national Arrests and Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program reports on drugs present in arrestees at the time of their arrest in various urban areas around the country. In 2000, more than 70 percent of people arrested in Atlanta had drugs in their system; 80 percent in New York City; 75 percent in Chicago; and so on. For all cities measured, the median was 64.2 percent. The results are equally disturbing for cocaine use alone, according to Department of Justice statistics for 2000. In Atlanta, 49 percent of those arrested tested positive for cocaine; in New York City, 49 percent; in Chicago, 37 percent. Moreover, more than one-fifth of all arrestees reviewed in 35 cities around the nation had more than one drug in their bodies at the time of their arrest, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse"

Thus, you can see that drugs cause crime so you must negate. It may be objected that the crime caused due to the "drug war" outweighs this. While this claim has serious flaws, it's flawed even further in the fact that it fails to address the actual resolution. It's not necessarily my burden to argue for the status quo, but rather to justify the criminalization of drugs.

C2. Drugs are dehumanizing

The most significant difference between Humans and other animals is that Humans have the ability to rationalize. A vegetarian might accuse me of speciesism, but mainstream society clearly values Humans over other animals. What then, defines what is truly human? After all, most people support Capital Puishment in extreme cases[3], and many who dont object to it on practical grounds. This shows us that humanity is not something that can be societally defined simply on physical grounds, but that there must be some underlying aspect that all humans have that is all-encompassing and defining. So what, other than an ability for rationality, can bes define human? I contend that no such trait exists, and that intelligence is what distinguishes humans from animals. Thus, since drugs destroy this rationality, than they ought to be banned because they violate the most sacred value of society, which is the value of human life itself. Legalizing drugs destroys the social stigma behind them. Destroying the social stigma behind something inherently bad, like drugs, is most unjust, and creates a soeciety where Humans can begin to be treated as a means to an end, rather than beings of intrinsic value. Two primary objections against this can be made, both of which I will address.

The first objection to my position is that it creates a situation where intelligent people are viewed as inherently more valuable than the unintelligent. This objection falls however because in all Human societies that I've heard of, people are judged by their decisions, and since intelligence leads to better decisions, it can clearly be seen that the objection can't be used against my position because a societal bias for intelligence is natural (further evidence for this can be seen in how college grauduates generally make far more money than the undereducated). Therefore any society that does not value intelligence is contrary to human nature, and therefore unjust. Furthermore, humans are distinguished by their intrinsic ability to rationalize, something that all humans have. The degree of this rationality varies, but that's irrelevant to the key issue that reason is a defining characteristic of Humans, a characteristic that drugs destroy.

The second objection I see would be that my position dismisses those with mental disabilites as sub-human. There are three principle issues with this:

A) The mentally handicapped, in all but the most extreme of cases, have some ability to rationalize. Recall that its the intrinsic ability to reason that defines human, which these people still have.

B) This objection ignores the advance of science and culture in curing these mental problems. While modern science cannot fully cure these things, they certainly can treat them. The patients occasionally cure themselves as well, as can be seen in the people who overcome autism. Under my position, dismissing a mentally handicapped person as worthless would be similar to someone dismissing a broken ring as worthless. The metal in the ring still has intrinsic value, and a goldsmith can fix it. Similarly, the degree of rationality the handicapped people still have has intrinsic value, and a scientist/psychologist can fix the broken mentality of a handicapped person (in theory at least).

C) This is judging something by an exception to the rule. That would be comparable to judging utilitarianism (in the kill 1 to save 1000 scenario) from the perspective of the one person killed, rather than from the perspective of society as a whole.

So I urge you to vote Con.

1. http://www.ncvc.org...
2. Mcdonough, James R. "Liberalizing Drug Policies Would Increase Crime and Violence"
3. http://www.angus-reid.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

Rebuttels

1. I thank my opponent for his response.

My opponent makes a good point. However, the solution to this problem is the same method that is currently being used to stop smoking and drinking. It is that we effectively regulate, tax, and to use media campaines to discourage kids from using them. This method is currently being used aagainst tobbacco use in New York [1]. New York has been experiencing record lows in smoking do to a fierce campain against it. The same technique can easily be used to attack drug use after legalizing, and can effectively decrease drug abuse and crime related to drug abuse.

2. While I would concied that drugs are not a good thing, and they do take away the humans ability to act human. There is no good reason to keep them illegal on these grounds. Choice and self-ownership are rights that all people have. If people want to do that to themselves who are you to say they can't? If people smoke weed, drink, snort cocaine, etc in the privacy of their homes, it is not hurting anyone else,; so then people should be allowed to do so at their own risk.

Also, if we regulate drugs, there will be a decrease of their use, just like smoking.

Therefore, I would urge the voters to vote pro.

[1] http://www.tobaccofreekids.org...




thett3

Con

In this round I will refute everything my Opponent has said.

Self Ownership

Pro argues that " Every man, woman, boy, and girl have full rights to their own body, unless it harms the people around them." I will address both parts of this claim seperately.

First of all, Pro has shown niether legal nor moral reasoning for this. No doubt that people have intrinsic self autonomy, however part of living in a society means that you have to give up some rights in exhcange for the benefits society brings. Unless my opponent is arguing that we ought to abandon society (a very tall order) than he must explain why drugs are covered under self autonomy in the United State, or else this argument lacks a warrant and must be dropped.

The second problem with Pro's claim is that governments have an obligation to protect their citizens. Drugs are harmful and so they fall under the governments power to prohibit. It may bee objected that many things (such as junk food or television) are harmful, so the government would have to ban literally EVERYTHING! This objection falls very quickly however, because drugs are things that are intrinsically harmful and ought to be banned because of the extreme damage they do to people.

The second claim falls because drugs DO harm others, quite a lot. My first contention shows that drugs cause crime, and my second argues that they harm ALL of society by dehumanization.

Are drugs really all that bad?

The short answer: Yes, they are just as bad or worse than most people think. However my opponent is using this for his side, so as he's the one making a positive claim if I disprove his statements than this argument can be deemed irrelevant.

The first half of this lacks literally everything that makes an argument compelling and valid (that is, it lacks an impact, warrant, and evidence) and as such I won't waste my time adressing it. My Opponent brings up a few statistics of merit. There are, however, a few problems. For one thing he claims that there is a 650 per 100,000 death rate for cigarettes (obviously attempting to show that since legal drugs supposdely cause mor deaths that illicit drugs should be legalized) however we all know that cigarettes are HIGHLY dangerous, so the 200 per 100,000 death rate from heroine is still highly significant. Furthermore, cigarettes are used far more often than most illicit drugs (explaining the higher mortality rate attributed to them, as well as supporting the Con side that use would increase after legalization). It can be argued even further that since cigarettes were considered safe until th 1960's.

I looked at pros source and could not find these statistics. That is not an accusation, rather an acknowedgement of my limited time. Anyhow, since these statistics are from the liberal think-tank CATO the methodology is very likely flawed. So I ask my opponent, how were these statistics found? I highly doubt that they accounted the criminal affects of drugs in these stats.

Crime rates?

Pro argues that cartels would go away if drugs were legalized. First off, this is highly illogical. It makes far more sense that drug cartels would simply move on to other (and more damaging) crimes such as robbery of human trafficking. Further, my mcdonough card has pre-empted this. He writes:

"Looking only at crime and drugs, it is apparent that drugs drive crime. While it is true that no traffickers, dealers or manufacturers of drugs would be arrested if all drugs were legal, the same could be said of drunk drivers if drunken driving were legalized. Indeed, we could bring prison population down to zero if there were no laws at all. But we do have laws, and for good reason. When we look beyond the crime driven by drugs and factor in the lost human potential, the family tragedies, massive health costs, business losses and neighborhood blights instigated by drug use, it is clear that the greater harm is in the drugs themselves, not in the laws that curtail their use." [Emphasis mine]

Cost

Ah yes, 23.44 billion, also known as .0017% of our GDP.* Besides, it's well worth the money to enforce laws.

Prohibition

Prohibition and drug criminalization may be comparable in a very broad sense, but something about comparing today to things that happened 80 years ago seems a bit off. Besides, even if you view this point as compelling, it just shows that we need to re-form our methodology (for instance, decriminalize instead of legalize).

===My Case===

He's essentially dropped it all.

C1. Crime

My Opponent drops the logic that drug use causes crime, therefore conceding to it. You can vote Con. This concession absolutely justifies the crimialization of drugs, and any downsides to drug criminalization prove that our methods need to be reformed, not the entire law. My Opponent brings up a weak counterplan, but this falls because an aggressive campaign against drugs is ALREADY HAPPENING. We've all seen the "above the influence" commercials, so Pros advantage cannot be applied (because his counterplan is already in effect, and is not enough.)

C2. Dehumanization

Again my opponent concedes. Drugs destroy what makes us human and he admits to that. His objection that " Choice and self-ownership are rights that all people have. " falls because if we lose our humanity, than rights (a uniquely human idea) cannot apply! Besides, absolute liberty leads to the destruction of society; the social contract specifies that we need to give up some rights to allow soceiety to function.

Thus, you negate.




* found using a GDP of 14 trillion dollars, so the actual percentage is slightly smaller
Debate Round No. 3
Deathbeforedishonour

Pro

Deathbeforedishonour forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

What the hell? He's been online.

Ok. Dehumanization is bad. Vote Con
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Tweka 2 years ago
Tweka
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
logicrules
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used the circular reasoning fallacy for almost his entire position. Crime is bad, drugs cause Crime, Drugs are bad. Pro made good points using reason and principles, specifically re own body argument. Fact, Law and Moral operants hold that one's body belongs to one, heck the US outlawed the alternative years ago.
Vote Placed by bozotheclown 5 years ago
bozotheclown
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Besides the forfeit... Pro ended his round 2 argument stating that prohibition was a failure, suggesting that it would be again in the case of drugs. His first argument in round three completely contradicts his point. Since his round 3 point two argument was also refuted by Con, Pro had nothing left going into round 4. No wonder he forfeited. Since the honorable thing to do would have been to concede the debate, I guess Pro is dead. Update: from 4 points to 7 as a counter to E.BurnumIII.
Vote Placed by E.BurnumIII 5 years ago
E.BurnumIII
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument couldn't beat Pro's argument of natural human rights
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped just about everything in R3, then forfeited.
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 5 years ago
jm_notguilty
Deathbeforedishonourthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO loses conduct on forfeit, can't comment on arguments yet.