Debate Rounds (4)
Second round--opening arguments
Progress from there....
C1. Drugs are unhealthy, legalizing will increase drug use
When it comes down to it, my opponent is asking the government to officially sanction something which can cause direct irreparable harm to the human body. Let's take a look at one drug my opponent wants to legalize Heroin. Heroine has both short term and long-term effects. In the short-term it suppresses the central nervous system causing "cloudy" mental function. Users breathe at a slower rate which can sometimes lead to respiratory failure. Long-term use can lead to the infection of the heart lining and valves, liver disease, kidney disease, pulmonary complications, skin infections, physical and mental dependency, and even death (1). The United States cannot tolerate the use of drugs, such as heroin, which cause this much damage to the human body. Furthermore, in the 1970s, Alaska and Oregon decriminalized the use of marijuana, in these states the use of marijuana doubled almost overnight (2). Drug use will go up if the United States legalizes all illegal drugs.
Marijuana is an extremely potent drug. According to Microbiologist Tom Klein of the University of South Florida, "it's [marijuana smoke] so toxic, you just get it near the immune system and [the immune system] dies." (2) The killing off of one's immune system is never good. It opens a person up to disease and other harmful side effects. A study in the "American Review of Respiratory Diseases found that marijuana smoke is as irritating as tobacco smoke"…furthermore…"mothers who smoke contribute to low birth weight and developmental problems for their children and increase the risk of abnormalities similar to those caused by fetal alcohol syndrome by as much as 500 percent." (2) The facts show marijuana is bad. Since "the 1970s there have been more than 10,500 scientific studies which demonstrate the adverse consequences of marijuana use" (2). Marijuana has tremendous adverse side effects. Why should the government sanction such a drug? In fact, according to drug czar Lee Brown drugs are more potent today than they were in the 1990s (2). There is more potential for danger.
Legalizing will increase drug use. Between 1979 and 1992, drug use was dropping exponentially. When Bill Clinton was elected president he slashed to office of Drug Control Policy by 80%, dropped the war on drugs from 3rd priority to 29th out of 29, and cut the number of ships and aircraft responsible for drug interdiction 50%. Then, drug use by children ages 12-17 increased 106% as a direct result. My opponent mentions the prohibition as a complete failure, but, as a public health standard it was a success. During the prohibition alcohol use declined 30-50%, deaths from cirrhosis fell, between 1911 and 1929, from 29.5 deaths per 100,000 to 10.7 deaths per 100,000, alcohol psychosis fell from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 per 100,000, suicides decreased 50%, and alcohol related arrests DROPPED 50%. Prohibition was an ACHIEVEMENT when it comes to the field of public health.
C3. Legalizing will increase crime
If drugs were to be legalized naturally the government would regulate and tax the creation and selling of these drugs. This means the price would increase substantially. Remember a 10% increase in the price of heroin correlates with "an increase of 3.1 percent total property crimes in poor nonwhite neighborhoods." Armed robbery jumped 6.4 percent and simple assault by 5.6 percent throughout the city." (3) If the price increases crime increases, and the price will increase if the government is allowed to regulate and tax drugs. Even all the empirical evidence points to this conclusion: in 1976, California decriminalized the use of marijuana, arrests for DUIs rose 46% for adults and 71.4% for minors (2). Patrick Murphy, a court appointed lawyer for 31,000 abused children in Chicago states "more than 80 percent of the cases of physical and sexual abuse of children now involve drugs. There is no evidence that legalizing drugs will reduce these crimes, and there is evidence that suggests it would worsen the problem" (2). The United States government should not legalize something which could cause more abuse to children. Furthermore, "Even if drugs were legalized some restrictions still would be necessary. For example, restricting the sale of legalized drugs to minors, pregnant women, police, military, pilots and prisoners would be necessary but would still provide a black market niche. Pro-legalizers contend that government could tax drugs, thus off-setting the social costs of abuse. But history proves that efforts to tax imported drugs like opium created a black market. Earlier this century Chinese syndicates smuggled legal opium into this country to avoid tariffs." (2) Drugs will not reduce crime but, will in fact increase crime. You will have a black market no matter what you do.
C4. Legalizing Drugs violates international law
In 1961, the United States was present at the Single Convention on Narcotics. This was an international treaty to PROHIBIT the production and supply of drugs. The United States signed this treaty along with 180 other countries. (4) Later, the United States signed another treaty known as the Convention on Psychotropic Substances; this prohibits the production of drugs such as LSD and Ecstasy. (5) The United States cannot simply legalize drugs because doing so violates several treaties with foreign powers. The United States cannot simply violate any treaty it feels like. Should the United States violate international law for nothing but detrimental effects? No.
Contention 5. Prison population
According to "Princeton University Professor John Dilulio […] only 2 percent of those in federal prisons were convicted of pure drug possession. They generally committed other and violent crimes to earn a sentence." Furthermore, "70 percent of current inmates were on illegal drugs when arrested and, if drugs become cheaper, violent crime could reasonably be expected to increase" (2). So you want to INCREASE prison populations. How can this be a good thing? There already is a severe problem with prison overcrowding in the United States. My opponent proposes to increase these already crowded prisons.
C6. Would not end illegal trafficking or any violence
The United States would regulate drugs and make it more difficult and more expensive for people to obtain them. Those excluded will turn to the black market. The United States will not destroy the black market, rather the United States would force the black market to change its "focus group". Instead of selling and trying to get college students to buy drugs maybe they change and attempt to sell mainly to younger children. Even if you accept the argument that it would destroy the black market let's think of it another way why not legalize robbery? Then robbers do not have to sneak around and maybe harm someone because they are scared. This would reduce deaths. This is ridiculous.
SANTORUM2012 forfeited this round.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.