The Instigator
RebornPatriot
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Beginner
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Drug Legalization

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Beginner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,936 times Debate No: 26079
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

RebornPatriot

Pro

I would like to dedicate this round as an acceptance round
Beginner

Con

Accepted. State your case.
Debate Round No. 1
RebornPatriot

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I will now state my case.

C1: The War on Drugs is pointless.

There is no logic in keeping drugs illegal, why should we care about what substances people put into there own bodies. With that logic attempted suicide should be illegal as well. People who take drugs are only hurting themselves and should not be criminalized. What I find ironic is that these illegal drugs are less harmful than legal ones. For example marijuana has killed no people while alcohol abuse kills 75,000 people each and every year (1).

C2: The War on Drugs costs too much and money can be made if illegal drugs are legalized.

We spend billions of dollars on the war on drugs each and every year. We are at a time where the global economy is slowing and the federal and state governments are having high deficits. At a time as hard as this why would we as a country further hold our country back by keeping drugs illegal. If drugs were legalized the government would save $41.3 billion dollars on government spending, 25 billion of that would go to state and local governments and $15 billion to the federal government (2). We would save even more money in revenue. A report estimates that if we tax illegal drugs at the same rate we tax alcohol and tobacco the government would make $46.7 billion dollars in new revenue each year (2).

C3: The War on Drugs increases crime and overflows prisons.

The war on drugs has indeed increased crime, the drug cartels have penetrated our borders and now operate in over 1,000 cities in the U.S. (3). Over half of our federal prisoners are in jail for drug violations (1). By making drugs illegal we as a country are guaranteeing criminals to profit from selling illegal drugs if drugs were legalized the free market will sell drugs and the drug cartels will take the biggest hit. But since many drugs are illegal gangs and organized crime are now fighting over control of these drugs in cities such as Chicago (3). If drug were legalized our prisons could be opened up, police will be able to solve more important cases of crime such as murder and rape, and will deal a big hit to the drug cartels.

Conclusion:

The War on Drugs has caused more harm than good. The war is pointless and criminalizes innocent people. The war has holded back economic progress, billions of dollars can be made and even close some deficits in some states and create thousands of new jobs. The War on Drugs has gave more power to organized crime and overflowed our prisons. These are the reasons why the War on Drugs needs to end.


Sources:
  1. http://www.esquire.com...
  2. http://www.drugwarfacts.org...
  3. http://www.theblaze.com...


Thank you, I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal

Beginner

Con

Not all drugs are illegal (like tobacco). Drugs that ARE illegal retain this condition of illegality for a reason. Illegal drugs are harmful to society as a whole. If drugs were to be legalized, multimillion corporations, which would no doubt be established, would be free to launch mass advertising campaigns promoting these drugs to the entire nation.
A staggering number people allow themselves to be put under the influence of legal drugs. Not all of these people are addicts, but the drugs that my opponent believes should be legalized are highly addictive. Imagine the sheer number of people who are very productive citizens becoming encumbered and debilitated by drugs that we currently consider illegal. My opponent argues economic benefits, but I will argue otherwise. With millions under the influence of such drugs that generally cause physical and mental impairment, the nation loses an immense number of potential workforce. Potential doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs would be crippled by use and abuse. Addiction is not a condition that people chose to have.

Legalizing illegal drugs would provide an even larger base of drug for the teen consumers. Many of these children, in youthful stupidity or curiosity, have tried legal drugs. A good number of the experimenting teens become ensnared in it these harmful products. Illegal drugs, which are even more harmful and addictive, would give rise to this same problem at a much larger scale.

Are the few tens of billions of potential profits worth the hundreds of billions lost from potential output of productive people? Drugs destroy productivity and therefore limit the economic output of potentially productive citizens. Here are some other drug related economic and statistical data:

"Every year, tobacco companies spend billions of dollars on advertising and promotion, and tobacco use costs the United States billions of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity. . .
During 2000"2004, cigarette smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the United States (nearly $96 billion in direct medical costs and an additional $97 billion in lost productivity)." [1]

There actually is a cite-able case example of the influence of these drugs that harm not only its user, but the entire nation as an economic Unit. One of the most powerful and prominent nation in the world, 14th-18th century China was a nation of renown. Traders from all over Eurasia traveled te Silk Roads to glimpse China's unmatched products. As China flourished, it amassed considerable wealth and status among the Eurasian nations and maintained this status for a few centuries. Then, near the beginning of the 18th century, Opium (a drug) was introduced to China via Portuguese vessels[2]. Within one and a half century, this drug will have permeated and deteriorated nearly all levels of Chinese society, destroying its productive workforce and corrupting its government. One and a half century after Opium's introduction, China's economy will have been utterly pulverized.

The cost to China was enormous. The drug weakened a large percentage of the population (some estimate that 10 percent of the population regularly used opium by the late nineteenth century), and silver began to flow out of the country to pay for the opium. Many of the economic problems China faced later were either directly or indirectly traced to the opium trade. [3]

How profound an effect did Opium have? When Japan first launched its attack on China, the international world, expecting China to easily crush this assault attempt, were shocked: Japan won. China had fallen behind economically, politically and technologically. innumerable times the people revolted, its millennium old political system was uprooted and China fell into deep poverty. China went through several revolutions, (Boxer Rebellion, The Great Proletarian). Its infrastructure was thoroughly ravaged. China is currently climbing a dangerous peak by enacting horrible economic policies (such as never cutting back production). A catastrophic fall is mounting. (Must I also mention its bad social conditions?) An effective recovery never happened.
What does this portend?
In legalizing all currently illegal drugs, we inadvertently taking a horrible risk.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov...
[2] http://www.druglibrary.org...
[3] http://afe.easia.columbia.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
RebornPatriot

Pro

Rebuttals

If drugs were to be legalized, multimillion corporations, which would no doubt be established, would be free to launch mass advertising campaigns promoting these drugs to the entire nation.

What is wrong with business and corporations being established. In fact we should be happy, business and corporations drive our economy and drugs will no longer be monopolized by cartels.

A staggering number people allow themselves to be put under the influence of legal drugs. Not all of these people are addicts, but the drugs that my opponent believes should be legalized are highly addictive. Imagine the sheer number of people who are very productive citizens becoming encumbered and debilitated by drugs that we currently consider illegal.

My opponent statement is based on a fallacy that legalizing drugs will cause more people to take drugs. This fallacy has been proven false. In Portugal they simply decriminalized not even legalized drugs and drug abuse is down 50% (1) and Portugal has the lowest rate of marijuana use in the EU which is 10% what is it in America, 40% (2).

With millions under the influence of such drugs that generally cause physical and mental impairment, the nation loses an immense number of potential workforce. Potential doctors, lawyers or entrepreneurs would be crippled by use and abuse. Addiction is not a condition that people chose to have.

Keeping drugs illegal would make no difference, people will take drugs no matter what the law says. Despite massive amounts of government spending fighting drugs in America drug addiction has stayed the same (3)

Are the few tens of billions of potential profits worth the hundreds of billions lost from potential output of productive people? Drugs destroy productivity and therefore limit the economic output of potentially productive citizens.

People will take drugs no matter what the law says the people who have been addicted always been unproductive, if drugs are illegal we are just adding to the cost by enforcing prohibition.

During 2000"2004, cigarette smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the United States (nearly $96 billion in direct medical costs and an additional $97 billion in lost productivity)."

My opponent brings up economic costs. There is still an economic benefit, the economic costs my opponent talks about have always been there. Look drugs are always going to be in our society because of that we need to tackle this issue in a different manner; instead of imprisoning and spending billions on prohibition the government can take a much cheaper approach and pay for rehab and drug education that is a much sensible way of dealing with drugs.

Opium Argument

I find quite ironic that my opponent is bringing this up because the effects my opponent were talking about is after China made Opium an illegal drug (4)

Legalizing illegal drugs would provide an even larger base of drug for the teen consumers. Many of these children, in youthful stupidity or curiosity, have tried legal drugs. A good number of the experimenting teens become ensnared in it these harmful products. Illegal drugs, which are even more harmful and addictive, would give rise to this same problem at a much larger scale.

This statement has no substance and is false lets take a look at the facts. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug among America’s youth. Among kids age 14-16, 7.2 percent of 14-15 year olds use marijuana, and 15.6 percent of 16-17 year olds use marijuana (5). This will tell you about teen drug use in the Netherlands compared to the U.S. (6). The numbers speak for themselves.

Sources:

(1)- http://www.globalpost.com...

(2)- http://www.time.com...

(3)-http://reason.com...

(4)- http://www.2020site.org...

(5)- http://www.theantidrug.com...

(6)- http://www.ukcia.org...



Beginner

Con

I will refute my opponent's refutations in the order he has posted them.
Me:
If drugs were to be legalized, multimillion corporations, which would no doubt be established, would be free to launch mass advertising campaigns promoting these drugs to the entire nation.
Pro: What is wrong with business and corporations being established. In fact we should be happy, business and corporations drive our economy and drugs will no longer be monopolized by cartels.


What's wrong?? As I have already establised quite explicitly, business and corporations will launch huge campaigns, promoting the drugs at an incredible scale. This will without a doubt increase the number of users of these drugs.

Me: A staggering number people allow themselves to be put under the influence of legal drugs. Not all of these people are addicts, but the drugs that my opponent believes should be legalized are highly addictive. Imagine the sheer number of people who are very productive citizens becoming encumbered and debilitated by drugs that we currently consider illegal.
Pro: Keeping drugs illegal would make no difference, people will take drugs no matter what the law says. Despite massive amounts of government spending fighting drugs in America drug addiction has stayed the same (3)

My opponent completely digresses from my point. I said that a sheer increase in the number of drug users/addicts will occur. My opponent, in a non-refuting statement, says that people will take drugs no matter what the law says. I did not say that the law stops all drug use. I am merely saying that the numbers will increase dramatically. That drug addiction has remained the same under government control has nothing to do with the massive number of people who will be subjected to addiction or abuse and knocked out of the workforce.

Me: A staggering number people allow themselves to be put under the influence of legal drugs. Not all of these people are addicts, but the drugs that my opponent believes should be legalized are highly addictive. Imagine the sheer number of people who are very productive citizens becoming encumbered and debilitated by drugs that we currently consider illegal
.

Pro: My opponent statement is based on a fallacy that legalizing drugs will cause more people to take drugs. This fallacy has been proven false. In Portugal they simply decriminalized not even legalized drugs and drug abuse is down 50% (1) and Portugal has the lowest rate of marijuana use in the EU which is 10% what is it in America, 40% (2).

Note that my opponent says the Portuguese have decriminalized drug substances. This points to nothing. Upon careful analysis of my opponent's source, I find it imperative to explain Portugal drug policy. Decriminalization =/= legalization. Here's an excerpt from my opponent's source:

"First, some clarification. Portugal's move to decriminalize does not mean people can carry around, use, and sell drugs free from police interference. That would be legalization. Rather, all drugs are "decriminalized," meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offense, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender's unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the US)" (1)

My opponent tries to promote decriminalization as legalization, using a a true statistic that falsely relates to his premise. I find decriminalization to be a good idea, maybe we should enforce that policy, but I digress...moving on.

Pro: Keeping drugs illegal would make no difference, people will take drugs no matter what the law says. Despite massive amounts of government spending fighting drugs in America drug addiction has stayed the same (3)

Again, my opponent makes a pointless refutation that does not address my point about the increase in numbers of drug users. Of course legalization makes a difference. The difference between use of a legal and illegal drug is huge.
Here are some statistics for marijuana, the MOST used illegal drug in the USA:
  • About 10% of males use marijuana compared to 6% of females
  • About 10% of users will go on to daily users
  • Almost 7% - 10% of regular users become dependent
  • 14.6 million Americans report using marijuana in the last month
  • 100,000 people per year are treated for marijuana addiction
http://www.healthyplace.com...

Here are tobacco statistics:

1. In 2009, nearly 70 million Americans age 12 and older had used a tobacco product at least once in the month prior to being surveyed (3)
2. It is estimated that there are more than 43 million adults who currently smoke in the United States (2)
3. Tobacco also costs our nation more than $100,000,000,000 each year in medical expenses and lost productivity in the workplace. (3)


Marijuana is the most abused illegal drug. All other illegal drugs have much lower numbers, but are massively more addictive (cocaine, heroine, etc.) If corporations were to advertise these drugs at the same scale that tobacco is being advertised (tobacco industries spend $6,000,000,000 a year advertising their product), their numbers would soar above and beyond that of tobacco if only due to their highly addictive nature. Must I also mention that many illegal drugs are not only much more addicting, but also much more harmful? Notice the loss of workplace production in tobacco alone.


Pro: My opponent brings up economic costs. There is still an economic benefit, the economic costs my opponent talks about have always been there. Look drugs are always going to be in our society because of that we need to tackle this issue in a different manner; instead of imprisoning and spending billions on prohibition the government can take a much cheaper approach and pay for rehab and drug education that is a much sensible way of dealing with drugs.

I've already effectively refuted the 'economic benefits' of legalization. Economic costs will always be there. That is correct. I have shown that economic costs outweigh economic benefits. Legalization will only raise economic costs and amass more money for the drug corporation. The economic benefits provided do not cover the costs. I agree that rehab is a good approach, but rehabilitation institutions can be implemented without legalization. This is basically recriminalization. As established earlier, recriminalization =/= legalization.

Pro: I find quite ironic that my opponent is bringing this up because the effects my opponent were talking about is after China made Opium an illegal drug (4)

Let me explain. China illegalized Opium watching it drain its resources. China made the fatal error of allowing opium to run for a few years, subtracting from its nation's economic reserves and destroying the workforce. the effects were already there before opium was made illegal. This refutation is completely insignificant and does not refute my historical argument.

(Short-circuiting my round due to lack of character space)

My opponent's premises have been proven erroneous. His main argument, economic benefits, has been successfully refuted. My premises stand above my opponent's tangential refutations. Illegal drugs should retain their illegal status. Con wins.

(1)http://www.globalpost.com...
(2) http://www.stopsmokingbible.com...
(3) http://www.drugabuse.gov...

Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Beginner 4 years ago
Beginner
I need to learn to slow down and check my grammar... :|
I'm spotting my errors here and there. . .
Posted by Beginner 4 years ago
Beginner
Rebuttals in round 3! :)
Posted by Beginner 4 years ago
Beginner
'I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it'
~Evelyn Beatrice Hall on Voltaire
I think this embodies the driving force behind non-pleasure-drug-using drug defenders
Posted by Beginner 4 years ago
Beginner
That is what the pro-drug people might argue. My personal opinion?: I'm against using drugs for personal pleasure, if only for my own humanitarian senses. Doing drugs is a form of self-harm that I do not wish upon anyone.
Posted by Beginner 4 years ago
Beginner
Second of all, doing drugs is a person's right. Drugs are like alcohol. They usually harm only the people who do it. Let's say I like to do drugs, but I know it will harm my body. If I am willing to sacrifice my health to take the pleasure, who is to stop me? It's my right. You have no right to tell me what to do or not to do. I don't like when you play video games or watch TV. I don't like when you eat junk food, but it's your right to do it. Who am I to tell you not to eat junk food or watch TV? Similarly, you have no right to tell me not to do drugs.
Posted by thetallest1 4 years ago
thetallest1
Ok first of all think about it drugs harm your body and your mind.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
RebornPatriotBeginnerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I think this a close debate. I'm giving the nod to Con based upon Pro failing to meet the burden of proof. Pro needed better numbers to support benefits outweighing costs. The Portugal case was compelling for Pro -- until Con discovered that users all had to receive treatment. That might be cheaper, but it isn't obvious. Pro focused on marijuana and had a good case for that only; Con might have made something from arguing against meth.