The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Drug Legalization

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,559 times Debate No: 66632
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)




Many thanks to my opponent for accepting this challenge, and engaging in what I hope will be an interesting and thought provoking dialog. In this debate, I will be arguing for the legalization of so-called street drugs. These include but are not limited to substances like psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and MDMA (ecstasy) -- but let's face it, Con will likely go right for the big guns: heroin! And believe it or not, I think heroin should be legal too.

The War on Drugs has been a futile failure at best, and more realistically an immoral, expensive and tyrannical burden to society in looking at our current criminalization policy on a cost/benefit analysis. In this debate, I will explain why the government should absolutely rethink its strategy in dealing with harmful drug abuse. I will outline how criminalization has thus far not only been ineffective, but counterproductive. I will specify how it harms society on multiple levels: social, economic, moral, practical and otherwise. Finally I will solidify how legalization provides more effective alternatives to realistically and morally deal with the problematic concerns drug use presents to public health and safety.

Thank you again to Unitomic for debating, and to everyone else for taking the time to read and vote.

Con can use his first round for acceptance and to state his position. As Pro I will officially start the debate in Round 2.


I accept the Debate. I thank Pro for presenting me the debate, and I hope it will be thought-provoking as well.

For my side, I will argue against legalization of all drugs. For the sake of sportsmanship I will not heavy hand a single drug or case. I will argue of ethical and rational grounds in my first argument.

I would like to thank any voters who will read this, and ask only that they vote on the merits of the debate, rather then on which side they supported beforehand.

Debate Round No. 1


I'll use this round as an outline for my case. I will use upcoming rounds to expand where necessary and post my sources.

The Role of Government

The U.S. government has a monopoly on force. Citizens are required to obey the laws with no opportunity to opt out of the majority’s limitations. Thus, the U.S. was founded on the concept of minimizing government intrusion on the private lives of its citizens. Tyranny of the majority and other control restricts liberty and personal values. It is not the government's job to ensure that people are moral and upright, assuming proper standards could even be assessed. It is not the government's responsibility to ensure that people make smart and healthy decisions, even if there were a consensus on what constitutes as such. Instead, laws are created to resolve discrepancies in the way people act and trade - not to command people on how to treat their own bodies. It is not one's inherent obligation to contribute or be a productive and functional member of society. Laws imposing on one's body are intrusive and immoral. The government does not have this right or obligation.
Nobody should be punished unless they have infringed upon the rights (agressed against) another person.

History and the War on Drugs

Humans have sought altered forms of conscious since the dawn of man. The WOD has not been effective at preventing the widespread use of drugs. For instance, the opium trade flourished during the temperance movement. At the same time, doctors prescribed whiskey and other alcohol known as "patent medicines" much like doctors write scripts for pharmaceuticals today. Doctors had made an estimated $40 million dollars in 1928 writing prescriptions for whiskey. Criminalization does not eliminate demand. In addition to the recreational appreciation of drugs, there is also a demand for their medicinal purposes.

Prohibition has not only failed but had damaging results, as evidenced by our government’s decision to decriminalize alcohol. The criminalization of street drugs has had similar effects. Gangs and other groups like the mafia have capitalized on the government’s restrictions by facilitating the distribution of banned substances on the black market. These distributors of illegal drugs have made untaxed profits of epic proportions. This lucrative enterprise encourages the recruitment of gang members and thus breeds violent crime.

Poverty stricken Mexicans illegally seek asylum in the U.S. due to terrible conditions in Mexico for which our policy is largely responsible. Drug criminalization empowers corrupt cartels by fueling demand for their product. This burdens both the U.S. and Mexican economy, while keeping drug lords rich. It breeds criminals at all levels from high ranking distributors to low-level dealers.
Moreover, there is a plethora of irrefutable proof regarding the United States' own government involvement in trafficking illegal drugs.

Dan Russell explains, "Illegal drugs, solely because of the artificial value given them by Prohibition, have become the basis of military power anywhere they can be grown and delivered in quantity. To this day American defense contractors are the biggest drug-money launderers in the world." We use the arbitrary criminalization of certain drugs as an excuse for dangerous, unsustainable foreign policy. By the end of the 1980's, it was calculated that the illegal use of drugs in the United States now netted its controllers over $110 billion a year. There's also evidence of the drug trade funding multiple government operatives, including the CIA.

The WOD has been a failure. Still the government and other criminal agencies have been using it to manipulate the world and monopolize the market.
The U.S. government has used the criminalization of drugs to harm its own citizens, while benefiting friends of politicians in particular industries who profit from anti-drug laws (see: Prison and Military Industrial Complex).

Impact of Anti-Drug Efforts

In the past 40 years, the U.S. government has spent 3 trillion dollars in the WOD. Still, the number of illicit drug users in America has risen despite the increased incarceration rates and a crackdown on smuggling. This is a waste of taxpayer dollars that could be spent in a more significant way. At the same time, tobacco use has gone down while the product remains legal due to emphasis in education and rehabilitation. Other countries that have legalized drugs, such as Portugal and Switzerland, have noticed similar effective results at discouraging drug use.

Scholars note the WOD has resulted in the creation of a permanent underclass of people who have few educational or job opportunities. It’s a cycle: penalties for drug crimes among youth almost always involve permanent or semi-permanent removal from opportunities for education, strip them of voting rights, and later involve creation of criminal records which make employment far more difficult.

Additionally, the WOD disproportionately disadvantages minorities and the poor in particular. While blacks constitute only 13 percent of all drug users, over 35 percent of those arrested for drug possession are black, and 3/4 of those people are sent to prison. Rates of drug use or drug selling are no greater for members of minorities than for non-minorities, yet minorities are stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated at far greater rates than whites. There is a law enforcement emphasis in low-income communities, which disproportionately targets and penalizes drug users of particular demographics. This is unfair and suggests more evidence of a class war than a drug war.

The WOD is largely responsible for the Prison Industrial Complex. Not only is law enforcement distracted from preventing more dangerous crimes, it costs an exorbitant amount of money to perpetuate this failing criminal “justice” policy. We need extra police, equipment, court personnel and jailing resources to house people for the victimless "crime" of voluntary inebriation. This is a massive burden on tax payers in addition to those accused (and convicted) of said crime. It penalizes them even if they do not harm others. Especially frustrating, the black market created by criminalization is responsible for a lot of gangs and violent crime - again increasing the demand for law enforcement resources. An overly militarized, dehumanized and tense police-like State is being created as a result of the WOD.

The U.S. has the biggest, most expansive prison system in the world. Children of inmates also suffer. They are 5-7 times more likely to commit crimes than their peers, and are at a much greater risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Furthermore, the criminalization of drugs has significantly inhibited research of particular substances and how they could be used medicinally and therapeutically.

Drugs and Violence

Of all psychoactive substances, alcohol is the only one whose consumption has been shown to commonly increase aggression. Drug-related violence is not an issue prevalent because of drug use itself, but due to disputes among rival distributors. Arguments and robberies involving buyers and sellers, property crimes committed to raise drug money, and social and economic interactions between the illegal markets and the surrounding communities are the real threat to society. All major authorities agree that the vast majority of drug-related violent crime is caused by the prohibition against drugs, rather than the drugs themselves. This means that Con's position actually encourages violence and threatens safety.

Health Risks and Public Safety

Tobacco kills about 350k people a year, not including the 50k who die from second-hand smoke. Alcohol kills about 80k. All illegal drugs combined kill about 4,500 people per year - or about 1% of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal. Moreover, products like alcohol and tobacco are considered more dangerous and addictive than illegal substances such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, marijuana, etc. In a society that emphasizes the value of life, it is completely non-sensical to wage an unwinnable WOD when the repercussions of said drugs are less harmful than the drugs that are already legal. In the upcoming rounds, I will address how the dangers and harms of many illegal drugs are greatly exaggerated.

It's true that drugs altar consciousness and create inhibitions for users that can create problems for those around them. That is why we have laws that prohibit drinking and driving. There's no reason to assume we couldn't implement similar laws against driving while intoxicated or being intoxicated in public just as we have for alcohol. In a free society, we should punish people only if they aggress against others or immediately threaten other people's safety. Arresting or penalizing someone on the basis that they could hurt you is nonsensical and aggressive in and of itself.



I would like to thank Pro for her timely responce, and I will start with rebuttals, and move on to my arguments afterwords.

Counter-Case I: The Role of Government
I: "The U.S. government has a monopoly on force. Citizens are required to obey the laws with no opportunity to opt out of the majority’s limitations. Thus, the U.S. was founded on the concept of minimizing government intrusion on the private lives of its citizens.
Pro has begun the debate by presenting personal views on Government and it's roles, and expecting it to be treated as an objective view. She has spoken in a way so as to exagerate the extremety of the situation, making the Government appear to be an all controlling force against which no appeal can be made. Pro has also spoken about how the US Government was founded on a concept, and presents the straying of that concept as inherintly bad, giving only conjecture and personal views as proof, and ignoring that the Government has evoled into it's level of power over time as it finds it's miniscule power to not be sufficient to deal with the problems the citizens held.

" It is not the government's job to ensure that people are moral and upright, assuming proper standards could even be assessed.... Laws imposing on one's body are intrusive and immoral. The government does not have this right or obligation. Nobody should be punished unless they have infringed upon the rights (agressed against) another person. "
Pro has again presented a personal view as an objective. Laws are not necesarily about morality and being upright, but rather about ensuring people are not subject to suffer from the actions or intents of others, and to establish stable rules needed for a society to smoothly work and live together. {1} That is a necessity due to the fact that we live in a society where we are impacted by even the smallest aspects of others actions, and human nature tends to lead to the need for such laws. Now while some may questio
n whether some laws fit that, or not. But this isn't about the laws in general, this is about Drug Laws, and that is what we will be discussing. Pros insistance that nobody can be punished unless they are infringed the rights of another is again personal conjecture, though it doesn't do much good for her here, since many of the drugs she is arguing for have noticable second-hand affects on those around the smoker, not the least of which is failing a drug test. {2} Many would argue that Governments Role in society is morally far greater then what Pro is wanting, however this debate isn't about Governments role in society, it's about Drug Legalization, so I won't press the matter too far.


Counter-Case II: History and the War on Drugs
I: "The WOD has not been effective at preventing the widespread use of drugs. For instance, the opium trade flourished during the temperance movement. At the same time, doctors prescribed whiskey and other alcohol known as "patent medicines" much like doctors write scripts for pharmaceuticals today. Doctors had made an estimated $40 million dollars in 1928 writing prescriptions for whiskey. Criminalization does not eliminate demand."
Pro is telling us that the failure to properly perform the war is cause for removing the war altogether. The problem here though is that it makes a drastic decision, rather then first considering more reasonable decisions, such as simply reforming how we go about deal with the Drug War. She also mentions how much Doctors made off prescribing whiskey in 1928, and again says that if it didn't work, remove it, rather then reform it by presenting tighter regulation of the Prescibing of drugs (which can be regulated).

II: "Prohibition {had} not only failed but had damaging results, as evidenced by our government’s decision to decriminalize alcohol."
Now in this example, pro first failed to point out that the appearent lack of success for Prohibition was due mostly to weak enforcement (though images may mislead). Pro has also made the mistake of saying Criminalization of Alcohol Failed. In truth Cirhosis Rates showed that Alcoholism actually decreased during the prohibition, some say up decreased to about 60% of it's pre-prohibition levels, though for a while it had hit as low as possibly 30%. {3} Now we must remember that prohibition was horribly enforced, and there are stories of politicians all but giving alcohol to their constituents. Signs of bad enforcement. Had enforcement been more efficiently applied, it may very well have been a better success.

III: "Poverty stricken Mexicans illegally seek asylum in the U.S. due to terrible conditions in Mexico for which our policy is largely responsible."
Pro has told us that illegal immigrants come over due mostly to the mexican drug war. This is not quite true. They come over due to poor living conditions (in contrast to the US' high living standards), which certainly didn't start with the Drug War, and is related more to the lack of good jobs, {4} and lack of proper investment of infrastructure. {5} Pro also works on the premise that we should get rid of the illegality altogether instead of attempting better enforcement on it, in this case using better tactics in the Mexican War of Drugs.

IV: "Still the government and other criminal agencies have been using it to manipulate the world and monopolize the market. The U.S. government has used the criminalization of drugs to harm its own citizens, while benefiting friends of politicians in particular industries who profit from anti-drug laws (see: Prison and Military Industrial Complex)."
This argument and well as the Russel quote falls short in it's effort to explain why drugs should become legal. What this argument does is show that the government is corrupt. It's an argument that we must work to prevent our government from engaging in illegal activities behind our backs, but it doesn't necessarily show why the drugs being distributed should be made legal.


Counter-Case III: Drugs and Violence
I: "Of all psychoactive substances, alcohol is the only one whose consumption has been shown to commonly increase aggression"
Let's get out of the way that this is not in fact true. Meth has been shown to increase aggressiveness and abusers, {6/7} and Cocaine has shown to induce increased agression in long-term abusers {8}. Pro's argument in the rest of this section revolves around the idea that the actions of criminals should determine their products legality. They act aggressively, therefore we should make their actions legal. It is bad practice to allow the aggressive behavior of criminals to cause us to go against a law. What we should do is devise new tactics for dealing with the criminals, many of whom are likely to continue illegal activity of another sort after legalization, because onces it's legal, profits drop. We need look no further then the Mafia, who have certainly not gone legitimate after Alcohols relegalization.


Counter-Case IV: Health Risks and Public Safety
I: "Tobacco kills about 350k people a year, not including the 50k who die from second-hand smoke. Alcohol kills about 80k."
This argument, though it may seem good, in truth reason to make tobacco and alcohol illegal, not make the other drugs legal. It assumes that the legality of one incredably unhealthy thing obligates the legalization of anything less healthy. It's akin to saying your parents must let you play God of War because they let you play Mortal Kombat, which is far bloodier. Again afterwords Pro references the "unwinnable" war on Drugs. Again I point out the issues with the war is an argument not for legalization but for us to work to find a more efficient means to deal with druglords. One could point out the war on crime in general is failing, because people are still raped, murdered, and robbed, and many times the rates increase for awhile. Does an increase in those crimes or any other for that matter show that we must legalize them? No it does not. It shows we must find better means by which to combat them. Pro ends by restating that we should not arrest people if their actions doesn't impede on others freedom, which is a personal view that is not held by all people. Especially the final lines "Arresting or penalizing someone on the basis that they could hurt you is nonsensical and aggressive.." is based off personal views. Others may argue that it is very sensical thing to do.


Debate Round No. 2


The Role of Government

Indeed I have presented my opinion on the role of government - just as I expect my opponent to argue his opinion on the role of government. Con wrote, "Laws are... about ensuring people are not subject to suffer from the actions or intents of others." I would agree. If someone under the influence of drugs harms another, they should be held accountable. It will be Con's burden to prove why people should be punished even if they do not harm anyone, and take precautionary measures to not harm anyone.

33,000 people die in the U.S. each year and tens of thousands more are injured in car accidents, yet driving a car is still legal [1]. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous and illegal. If a citizen takes measures to avoid risks, such as finding a sober driver or chaperone, the laws of this country do not punish people preemptively on the basis that they could hurt someone. Negligence laws discourage risky behavior, but protecting society at large should not come at the expense of inhibiting individual rights. It makes sense to say someone should not do LSD and then operate a vehicle. It makes no sense to say someone cannot do LSD in their home.

History and the War on Drugs

Con doesn't deny the WOD has been a massive failure. He suggests this can be rectified through stronger enforcement, but does not elaborate. This oversimplified solution does not address the inherent problems with the status quo. As I explained, the demand for banned substances creates a black market for criminal enterprise. Criminalization does not decrease demand; it only creates barriers to satisfy the demand. Those barriers are expensive, ineffective and counterproductive.

The WOD has cost over 1 trillion dollars, and Con doesn't explain how a country that is already trillions of dollars in debt can sustain this policy. He insists that being more strict will somehow stop people from doing drugs. People still do drugs in jail where they are supervised 24/7 and all substances that enter and leave the building are inspected and controlled. Clearly we cannot stop drug use if we can't even stop it in prison. Speaking of prison, Con ignored my arguments regarding the Prison Industrial Complex.

Today nearly 500,000 Americans are incarcerated for drugs.The U.S. has the largest prison population on the planet primarily targeting drug users, not violent offenders. More than half of our massive prison population in the "land of the free" are being housed like caged animals for nonviolent drug charges [2]. The number of people sent to prison for drugs increased twelvefold in twelve years. While crime rates have fluctuated, the prison system quintupled [3]. How is this good for society? Private prisons are being used to generate money; not to protect American lives and rights [8].

The illegal drug trade and the associated violence, including turf wars and weapons trade, are largely the direct result of criminalization as I explained in the last round. If drugs were made legal, gangs and cartels would have to become legitimate distributors like everyone else in business subject to regulations. This encourages safety and ensures those engaging in trade are subject to the same standards (and taxes) as everybody else. Con dropped this argument.

Last year, 40 billion dollars was spent in the WOD, yet the number of people in jail for drug offenses has multiplied by 10 in the last 30 years despite increased efforts to punish users [4]. This dismantles my opponent's case. Both drug use and the prison population is skyrocketing despite increased policing. Outside of drug use, crime is at historic lows. We should have a smaller prison population instead of housing 1/4 of the world's criminals.

90% of police departments have paramilitary units, most of which are used for no-knock entries into private homes for drug warrants. The overmilitarized police have created high tension among the community given their history of excessive force, unfair targeting and harsh penalties. Con dropped my arguments noting that drug laws focus on low-income people and neighborhoods, creates a permanent underclass of unnecessary criminals (creating innumerable problems including financial burdens and a criminal record), and perpetuates stereotypes about minorities.

In Chicago, 80% of black men have been labeled felons for life. In many states, blacks make up almost 90% of the prison population (almost half in general) incarcerated for drugs, even though whites are just as likely to use drugs. Higher percentages of whites have used hallucinogens, marijuana, pain killers and stimulants like cocaine compared to blacks [5], yet minorities are far more targeted in the WOD.

Drug laws also disregard our right to privacy and put lives in danger. A handful of children and pets were killed as police forcefully entered homes that were suspected to contain drugs [6]. How many children and pets were killed by actual drug users themselves? I won't get into the rampant Constitutional rights violations; my opponent ignored my legal arguments anyway. The point of this is to note the justification for current drug laws are poor, and the repercussions of criminalization causes harm. The emphasis seems to focus on punishing particular groups for false credibility rather than actually protecting and helping citizens.

Drugs and Violence

I haven't denied that drugs may influence violent behavior; I said alcohol is the only drug to consistently be associated with violence. Con acknowledges that illegal drugs account for only 1% of the deaths tobacco and alcohol do. Moreover 40% of all violent crime involves alcohol [7], and alcohol is still by far and large the deadliest drug in the U.S. known to cause aggression at higher rates than other drugs [8]. Ergo, Con would by his own logic necessarily have to argue that we revert back to the laws of Prohibition. The government already criminalized alcohol before realizing it was a completely massive and counterproductive failure. Prohibition was overturned for the same reasons the WOD should be overturned. Con defeats his own argument in noting the mafia have not "gone straight" after Prohibition was eradicated. Instead, they turned to other markets that provided a similar criminalized substance: the illegal drug trade.

Health Risks and Public Safety

Society should remain vigilant against things like assault, robbery and rape because they are aggressive crimes that intentionally hurt other people. Violating a contract also harms others and should be punished. Drug use is victimless "crime" in which only the user is immediately affected in a meaningful way. Only when drug users agress against or immediately threaten others and their property does their behavior become relevant to society. In that case, I support laws punishing or preventing harm outside of complete exclusivity. One's personal choices are nobody's business, especially if limited to the home or another private establishment.

Proposed Alternatives

Education is a far more instrumental and moral process to curbing drug use than prohibition. Over the last few decades, informing people of the dangers of smoking has led to a significant decline in tobacco consumption despite the product still being legal. This approach allows people to make informed and free decisions about their own health. The goal is to get people to avoid drugs for legitimate reasons, not just make them hard to find - otherwise people will do drugs if and when they are available. This encourages organized crime to figure out ways to make them available, creating a plethora of problematic criminal activity in the process.

Because drugs serve legitimate medicinal purposes, restrictive laws create barriers to health care and research. There are innumerable, undeniable benefits to marijuana consumption which is illegal. Likewise other drugs can be used responsibly as-needed without prescription. Helpful information ought to be available so people can make educated and safe choices. This protects freedom and fosters knowledge.

Driving and other public activity while intoxicated is already illegal. A business or home owner has the right to remove someone for any reason including drug use if they feel uncomfortable. People can decide for themselves what they want around them. Protecting public space and activity from aggression is already accounted for.

For harmful drug addiction, instead of punishing users we should supply resources to rehabilitate them. In addition to the obvious pragmatic (economic and safety) benefits coupled with respecting individual freedom, helping users fosters their health and well being - instead of causing them hardship and suffering as Con supports.




Counter-Case I: The Role of Government
Pro desires to see burden of proof on my end, so I shall provide it later in this Counter-Case. Pro has pointed out that driving, despite deaths, is still legal, but the problem here is that Driving, unlike methamphetamine, is a very important, central aspect of our society. The United States essentially runs on it's roads.{1} Unlike certain drugs, Driving has the necessity factor to justify it's legality. In it is worth noting that those who make the road dangerous, lose the right to drive on it.{2} Pro says that the laws in this country do not punish people preemptively on the basis that they could hurt someone, however she just prior points out that drunk driving is illegal. Note that if I get pulled over while drunk, I do in fact get arrested, even if I haven't hurt anyone yet. I am arrested on the grounds that I could have hurt someone. She mentions that if everyone finds a chaperone, then all would be well, but the law doesn't work on "if everyone just did the right thing". Why then have laws? We have laws because not everyone does the right thing.


Counter-Case II: History and the War on Drugs
Pro contorts my words here, saying I support "stronger enforcement", which implies more men, money, and power. What I have suggested is better enforcement, which means better tactics, and smarter ways of dealing with things. Pro calls my responce "over-simplified" in an attempt to discredit it, however this debate is not about the minor details of fighting the drug war, it's about the legality of drugs, and 9K character count doesn't give much room to do both. She says that criminalization creates a black market, however in truth, legalization would cause the producers to move to other sources of illegal income, because when a product is taxed, it loses profitability. This won't decrease production of course as legitimite business will replace that, but it will also not decrease the black market for long. Pro points out the cost of the WOD as over a trillion dollars (actually conflicting with her earlier statement of 3 Trillion), however this is misleading, as Pro fails to point out that the US has been fighting drugs for awhile (I should point out here that drugs, like all crime, will never go away. Simply because crime will always be there, doesn't mean we should just stop fighting it), and costs a much less frightening 40 or so Billion a year,{3} of which 15 or so billion are federal, under 0.5% of our total Federal Expediture of 3.5 Trillion.{4} Her statement about the increase in drug use ignores the immense socio-economic variable which influence such a matter, including the recession. Pro has presented a massive Appeal to Emotion in her attack of the prison system. This debate is about the Drug War, not the living conditions of prison (which is an argument for fixing the prison system), and attacking prisons in general. She has also brought under attack the sheer scale of inmates, which is an argument for finding alternatives to prison (such as switching to a more fine based system of punishment). I pointed out the Mafia in the last round, and I'll again use them as an example. Illegal enterprises will not go legal. They will switch to other illegal activities, since that it where the money is. Groups such as the Mafia have shown this. To say they will go legitimate now is to ignore why they went illegal in the first place. Profits. Pro shows that the number of prison inmates has increased dramatically, but this is more a credance to the increased ability of police officers to locate and deal with criminals. Again I point out that the size of the prison system is an argument to switch to a system based on fines, with prison as a major punishment. Pro has pointed out the militarization of the police, and bad police tactics, but again, that is an entirely different debate, as police militarization was likely to happen even without drugs, and bad tactics shows a need to change those tactics, not throw in the towel. When you make one bad move in a war, you don't surrender the whole army, you change how you fight.. Pro mentions that low-income citizens are often targeted, however that is because low-income citizens are most likely to be involved in the activities where police can catch them. We shouldn't become more lenient just so it doesn't look like we are being too mean to one group.
Pro then proceeds to use the race card by pointing out that so many members of the prison system are blacks, again getting off course. Instead of showing why drugs should be legal, she is making points for why we should fix the issue of racism in the police force. Two very different matters altogether. Next Pro uses an appeal to emotion by mentioning children and our privacy, yet again a sign that we need to fix how our police go about their business, rather then why we should just give up the effort.
Pro's arguments up to this point in the round has, the opening statement about finances aside, revolved heavily around arguments that show how the police force needs to review and change it's means of going about matters, rather then why we should give up. The biggest indicator being that many her points would likely still be issues today even without drugs. Again I say many, not all.


Counter-Case III: Drugs and Violence
Pro again points out the danger of alcohol, and again I point out the issues with the idea that simply because there is something more dangerous that is legal, that we should legalize all things less dangerous. I do not support returning to prohibition, which failed, as I've pointed out, because of lack of proper enforcement. However that doesn't change the fact that, if anything, her argument better suits total prohibition rather then legalization. But with such things as guns, which one our society allows is based on which ones it feels it has rights to. We feel we have the right to alcohol. Very few people would love to see cocaine and opium freely sold. I have not defeated my argument by listing the mafia. Pro actually defeats her argument by implying that they would take a different approach this time. Rather then turn legal, they simply switched to another source of illegal profit. Why would we trust them to take a different path? We can't. They will simply switch to something else illegal (of which they have plenty of options).

Counter-Case IV: Health and Public Safety
Pro tells us that drug use is "victumless", however she only shows the last part of the system. On the side of the producers and distributers, it has quite a few victums. Every single person who is addicted to Opiates who wants to quite is a victum. Every person who has ever OD' is a victum. To allow these people to profit off of a poison that few can easily escape is simply a sign of a truely moralless society. Again Pro suggests laws that waits until a victum is had, putting everyone in danger of people who aren't
technically breaking the law. Yet. By the time police could finally act, there's already a victum. Pro points out that ones "personal" choices are no one elses business, when in fact everyones actions impact those around them. And in a world so increasingly tied together by fathomlessly vast bonds, we can't afford to wait until after others become victums.

Counter-Case V: Proposed Alternatives
Pro now tells us that we should legalize these drugs, and then tell everyone not to use them. What reasonable society would do this? If the drugs are so dangerous as to require us to try to keep people away from them, why would we let them have it? Pro then points out medicinal uses. This works, in some circumstances, for some drugs, but this doesn't justify drugs such as coccaine and herion. After this Pro proceeds to reuse earlier arguments which have been dealt with, before finishing by suggesting a reform to our we deal with drug users. I should point out, we can give court-mandated aid, in leui of prison, without legalization.

Argument: What is a drug? And how regulation defeats the Resolution
To keep it short, if we legalize "all drugs" as pro requests, we would have to legalize the sale of literally anything that can be considered a drug. I could dilute draino to the point where drinking a small cup isn't lethal, and that would have to be legal, as it is a drug (for comparison, Coccaine basically this, but with several toxic chemicals instead of one {5}). Pro could say "regulate it", however regulation would decrease the strength of some drugs. As many people tend to require stronger doses,{6} a black market would arise for stronger illegal versions of drugs. Therefore regulation would create illegal drugs, defeating the resolution.


Debate Round No. 3


Many thanks again to my opponent for engaging in this debate.

The Role of Government

Utility is subjective. Just because some people don't find value in things doesn't mean they ought to be criminalized. Candy serves no nutritional value, and in fact is harmful to the body. It's still legal and people decide what they want to consume. Likewise some find utility in drug use. In addition to medicinal and functional value, drugs including LSD, THC and psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms have been instrumental in religious and cultural rituals for centuries [1, 2]. Therefore one could even argue for legalization on the grounds of religious freedom [3].

I've agreed with drunk driving laws and laws that prohibit all driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, even if they are legal or prescribed. For instance you cannot drive after being sedated under anaesthesia. Con has not explained why drug use has to be criminalized all together, instead of just criminalizing public intoxication and driving which is what is harmful to society.

History and the War on Drugs

Con does not provide a single explanation as to how to make the WOD more effective, though he claims we can do so while using less resources. He also says he doesn't have to get into the "minor details" of how to make this an effective policy. Without an explanation, we have no reason to believe it could work considering it has been a massive failure despite decades of efforts and increased funding. He also never explains how to rectify the problematic repercussions the WOD creates. Con has repeatedly argued that we should simply "change our policies" without addressing how. Insisting that we could have a successful WOD when every single one of our efforts has failed and created problematic effects is a useless position. He never provides a description on how criminalization could be successful.

Con says "Just because crime will always exist does not mean we should stop fighting it." This is a straw man of my position. As I explained, laws against things like robbery, assault and rape ought to remain criminalized because they are intentionally aggressive and harmful. However personal drug use affects primarily the individual, and everyone is responsible for their actions while under the influence of drugs or not. If they harm another or do not take measures to avoid it, one should be punished.

I didn't argue about the living conditions in prison; I claimed that locking people up is not justifiable for non-violent drug offenders. Con is relying on fallacious misrepresentations of my arguments, and has continuously ignored statistic after statistic noting the problematic concept of jailing people for drugs, including the socioeconomic, moral and pragmatic consequences.

Con states, "She has also brought under attack the sheer scale of inmates, which is an argument for finding alternatives to prison (such as switching to a more fine based system of punishment)." This is an even worse response to drug use! It perpetuates the vast majority of my criticisms of the WOD, including the fact that it primarily and unfairly punishes low-income (minority) communities.

Poor people cannot afford to pay fines and legal penalties. This will keep them poor, and Con himself points out that socioeconomic hardship plays a role in drug consumption. Therefore his policy encourages more drug use. Offenders will have criminal records that make them felons, thus making them unable to find work. They won't be able to pay the fines, which will either land them back in jail (making this an unreasonable "solution" in the first place), or simply encourage a harder life that includes more drugs. Con's proposition is even worse than the status quo. For those who can afford to pay the fines, they won't be a problematic deterrent in the first place.

It's a complete lie that criminal enterprises cannot become legitimate, as we have seen alcohol businesses experience success after Prohibition. Restaurants and bars serving alcohol as well as liquor stores, alcohol brands and beer factories participating in the legal economy all disprove my opponent's false claim. Similarly, in U.S. states where marijuana has become legal, bakeries and other shops selling products with THC have emerged and implemented millions into the economy [4].

Con again defeats his own argument regarding the mafia. The mafia choose illegal enterprises specifically because they are illegal, meaning untaxed, therefore profitable. By making the drug trade a legal and regulated market, we can tax and enforce safety regulations. Drug users will be more informed, and money would flow in the legal economy. Apparently Con would rather criminals like the mafia profit from the sale of drugs, instead of legitimate business owners who encourage safety (like age restriction for purchase) and tax payers.

If drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those of alcohol and tobacco, they would yield almost 47 billion dollars in tax revenue per year. A Cato study says legalizing drugs would save the U.S. about $41 billion a year, while the U.N. says it is worth more than $320 billion [5]. Con will have to justify this massive expense. He will also have to explain how to fund these policies when we are already trillions in debt; he dropped this argument.

Con claims police militarization is inevitable. A June 2014 study by the ACLU found 79% of the SWAT deployments examined were search warrant executions in support of minor drug investigations. In the majority of cases, police did not face genuine threats to their safety and security
[6]. Tens of thousands of police SWAT raids over drugs take place each year, resulting in excessive damage to private property and injury and death for innocent bystanders. A recent NY Times analysis concludes drug raids drive up the demand for combat weapons and equipment [7]. In fact, the over militarization of police is directly related to the WOD.

Health and Public Safety

The U.N. estimates there are 230 million illegal drug users in the world, yet 90% of them are not classified as problematic [5]. Con claims drug addicts are victimized slaves to their impulse. Could we make the same argument for people who die from diabetes or the number one killer - heart disease? We don't criminalize junk food just because some people abuse it and become addicted to it. Studies say it is more addictive than cocaine [8]. We warn people of the dangers, and encourage healthy choices.

Avoiding driving, having sober chaperones, staying indoors and other measures to minimize impacting or even interacting with others while under the influence of drugs (or alcohol) addresses Con's public safety concerns. Everything we do could theoretically hurt another person, but we take measures to prevent harm. Riding roller coasters is not safe or useful, yet people do it for fun and we have implemented measures to avoid risk.

Proposed Alternatives

Con never discredits my alternatives. Instead he claims it doesn't make sense to legalize something harmful. That is false; tobacco is legal and consumption is declining. Tanning salons are also legal but discouraged. We can legalize drugs and entrust the public with responsible use (while discouraging unsafe practices) as opposed to eliminating something all together. We utilize the same logic for things like firearms. We allow for the legal trade and use of guns for those who want them, so long as gun control measures to protect the public are established.

Both cocaine and heroin do serve legitimate purposes. Heroin is an opiate pain killer like morphine. Stimulants are used for weight loss and focus. I know plenty of people who take a Xanax before a flight. Doctors can but don't need to write prescriptions every time an individual wants or needs to use a drug. Plenty of recreational drug users do not develop addictions.

Con says rehabilitation can be provided while drugs remain illegal. That is nonsensical, as I've already explained how criminalization creates a plethora of hardship: economic woes and a criminal record for the individual, massive costs to the tax payers, etc. Why include those penalties instead of simply rehabilitating if the goal is to make the individual and society better?

Re: Opponent's Case and Conclusion

If someone wants to dilute Draino, that's their prerogative. This argument ruins Con case because Draino is already legal. People can harm themselves with legal or illegal substances. Therefore we have to look at the effects of criminalization on a cost-benefit analysis. I have proven that criminalizing drugs costs far more than it's worth. Drug laws have not reduced drug use [4], and Con has not given us a single reason or explanation to believe they can be successful - especially with less resources. He simply theorizes that it's possible; he never proves it is or even that it's the most moral option to try.

Thank you.


First I would like to reiterate that this is not about legalizing marijuana, but the legalizing of all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and meth.

Counter-Case I: The Role of Government

Pro states that candy is bad for us and not otherwise useful, and thus drugs such as cocaine should also be acceptable. Even when excluding the overwhelming difference in addictiveness between candy and some drugs. {1/2} This is an apples to oranges comparison. The only comparison worth mention is that they are "bad for you" (a broad concept) and "serves no use". One simply can't compare candy, which is only truly dangerous in large amounts, to pure toxins such as meth. I should also point out that humans often accept a perfectly allowable thing, while denying the allowability of another, and that’s completely ok. To suddenly operate under the kind of reasoning Pro is using, every rule or decision must be made based off whether it conflicts with a prior decision, instead of the merits of it's particular situation.

Regarding religion, we can have religious exemptions, without legalizing it mainstream. I’ll point out that past cultures have allowed and disallowed many things we are against today. Including allowing slavery, rape, and, on religious grounds, human sacrifice. {3} They also disallowed female suffrage, premarital sex, and, on religious ground, worship of other Gods. {4/5} Simply because prior religions and cultures allowed something, doesn't mean we should. Other cultures were likely not aware of how bad many of these drugs were.

Pro wrongly states that I haven't argued about why drug use should be completely criminalized. Pro is trying to focus on the end part of the system, the consumer, whereas I am basing my attacks on the beginning, with the producer and distributer. The Producer of such drugs as Meth produce a toxin and sells it to those who are utterly addicted to it. To allow them to profit on such a horrible enterprise is utterly corrupt.

Counter-Case II: History and the War of Drugs

It is not my job here to detail (with such small character counts) how to improve the drug war. This debate is not about how to reform the system, it's effectively about whether or not to completely get rid of the war. Pro essentially says that allowing companies to basically enslave customers is better than reforming the system. Pro’s attempting to add more area onto my side than what was agreed upon in the Resolution.

Pro falsely calls my claims a "strawman". Much of her position on the drug war is that since we can't "win" (we can never truly eliminate crime), we should just legalize. Again I put out that my arguments are not on the side of the consumer, but the producers who sell toxins like Meth.

Pro further lies in saying she didn't argue about living conditions. She explicitly mentioned them being like "caged animals". Further she argued that I ignored her statistics, when in truth, I pointed out that her statistics hold little relevance. They are statistics that show us possible corruption and racism in the police force. She is simply trying to make the police/prisons look bad in hopes of making her side look better in comparison. Like pulling a kind of straw man against my side, since my side isn’t actually about the prison system. The statistics do not relate to if drugs are safe enough to legalize. Again I point out, this shows the need to fix the police force, not give up.

Regarding the number of low-income prisoners, If most of your drug users are low-income, that is where the punishment will be seen most often. We shouldn't decide to become lenient to the crime simply because it hurts the person who performs the crime. That is what punishment is. It is there to discourage them from the action. We also shouldn’t refuse to punish people so our class/race/ethnicity/gender ratios look nicer. The problem with the rest of her argument is that it is a slippery slope. It assumes switching to fines would lead to a horrific increase in drug use, poverty, and unemployment (even though criminal offenders often do find work.) And to say that those who can afford the fines won't be deterred is a complete lie.

Pro points out how "illegal" enterprises became legitimate after prohibition. In truth many of the businesses after prohibition were around before the prohibition and so never intended to be illegitimate, unlike the cartels of today who always intended to sell where the government couldn't regulate and tax. Many instances, such as Budweiser, had them staying fully legal, selling "near-beers" {6}. The illegal enterprises stayed illegal, and the original producers came back.

Pro never explains why illegal cartels would go legal. I have explicitly shown how the mafia has refused to go legal after their biggest profit (alcohol) went away. Instead they went to other illegal trades. They will do the same here. She is simply being idealistic against what history has shown us. Legitimate enterprises will start up, but many of the illegal enterprises will still be illegal. They will switch to a new trade. And you cannot simply make something legal just so that people are no longer breaking the law. The cartel’s will just sell something else, and the WOD’s will continue with another name. That is one thing to remember, is that it’s more a war on Cartels then it is on drugs. Legalizing drugs will NOT end the conflict at all, making much of Pro’s case mute.

Pro refers to that trillion dollar WOD, again ignoring that it's cost per year is not substantial. At little more than half a percent of government expense, the drug war isn’t nearly the expanse Pro makes it out to be {7, 8}. When you show the total cost over many years, it's going to look big. When Pro mentions her "320 billion" dollar count, she fails to point out that that is the overall profit of drug trafficking across the globe and the US cannot tax it all. The biggest problem about legalizing it for money is the implication of legalizing something just for the money. We should never decide to legalize something so dangerous as Meth just so we can make a little bit of money off of it. That is the essence of corrupt and immoral governance. Pro mentions that we could regulate it, but this defeats itself because it would create a black market for variations of drugs which are too strong to be legally sold under any rational regulations.

Pro ignores that how police militarization is used does not change why it was started. It was performed to deal with increasingly well equipped opponents (Mafia, gangs, etc…) Is it right to use militarized equipment in this way? Possibly not. But that isn't the debate. Again Pro is arguing over the wrongful actions of police, which in no why reflects on whether we should make something legal.

Counter-Case III: Health and Public Safety

Pro corrupts my argument to make it sound worse than it is. I have explained earlier how humans don't operate on this basis, and how we over time determine some things to be allowable but not others, and how comparing candy to meth is comparing apples to oranges. The problem with the study she shows it that the second group of rats were made addicted by giving them only junk food. Pro then brings up how good choices can make things better, however the fact that there are still so many drunk drivers shows that people don't always make good choices, especially when under influence. Pro finishes this case by making another troubled comparison, comparing heroin to roller coasters.

Counter-Case IV: Proposed Alternatives

Pro says I didn't discredit her alternatives. I have entirely discredited her alternatives. Her case regarding cigarettes is only more proof that cigarettes should be illegal. Tanning beds are not addictive, and many want them illegal still. {9} Guns is not a good example given the immense desire among people to make them illegal. {10} Pro mentions the use of cocaine and heroin, ignoring that these are terrible substitutes for healthier drugs, {11} and are like using a shovel for a heart transplant. Plenty of users may not develop addictions to some drugs, but many drugs have incredible addiction rates. {12}

Counter-Case V: My Argument

Regarding the Drano example… Drano is legal, but selling it as a drink is not. I am not talking about the consumer, I'm talking about the dealer. Pro claims she has proven the cost of the war is not worth the war. I have shown that it hardly costs anything in relation to the revenue of the nation. Whether 0.5 percent of government expenditure is worth the cost of the war is for the voter to decide. But I say it is well worth not allowing people from selling toxins such as Meth. Pro cannot claim drug laws have not reduced drug usage in comparison to how we would have used without it being legal, because we cannot know how much we would use if it were legal, unless we legalize it. Legalizing the selling of toxin for intake just to find out is not acceptable.

Sources Page:


Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SebUK 3 years ago
I support legalisation of all recreational drugs yet I do believe legalising them will increase demand .
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
Awe, it was a great debate and I tried to vote, but the ELO restrictions exclude me once again.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
On the Pro side, I'm left with that we could make $100 billion per year by stopping the WOD. Con says it's actually only 0.5% of the federal budget, but Con ignores lost tax revenue, and I don't think scoffing at billions of dollars merely because the total federal budget is measured in trillions is a convincing argument anyways. Pro also shows that the WOD is bad for society, resulting in too many people in prison and too many SWAT raids, which put our lives in jeopardy.

At this point, my vote is not a very difficult decision. I'm left with no reason to legislate Con's subjective morality. Con never proves that the WOD can be implemented more effectively, whereas Pro clearly shows benefits to ending the War on Drugs.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
(Part 5)

(6) Users vs. producers

Con comes very close to arguing for decriminalization. He argues essentially that drug use should be penalized only with fines, not jail time, or with court-mandated treatment. He also argues that it's inherently immoral to allow a person to sell a toxic, addictive substance to exploit people who become dependent on it, so the crux of his case is aimed at sellers. Pro doesn't really respond to the morality issue, but does say that 90% of users are non-addicts, so Pro's portrayal is not as bad as it seems. In addition, Pro also responds to the decriminalization-type arguments. Pro says that imposing a fine is either unfair, ineffective, or does not solve the problem. Since many people who do drugs are poor, they cannot afford to pay fines. Assuming they pay it, it is unfair because it ruins their lives and keeps them in a cycle of poverty. That's not good for society. If they don't pay it, presumably they would be throw in jail (for being in contempt of a court order to pay the fine). So fines are no different than the current system in many ways. Con therefore fails to show that his proposed decriminalization-esque solutions actually solve the prison industrial complex.

== Conclusion ==

At the end of the debate, I'm left with a subjective moral claim by Con that allowing people to profit from selling a toxic, addictive subject is inherently immoral. However, this is directly answered by Con's paternalism point: that we shouldn't legislate subjective moral opinions. Con claims that drug addicts are "victims" of these sellers. However, Pro points out that 90% of users are non-addicts and that food is more addictive than cocaine, so this mitigates nearly all of Con's morality argument.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
(Part 4)

(3) Education

I feel like Pro underwarranted this point. Pro shows that education campaigns for tobacco work, which I think is a strong point, except there's no explanation for why you couldn't explain health risks under a system of illegality. Supposedly non-abstinence based education could be more effective than the current programs (like DARE) which don't tell you what to do if you're already using or addicted. I'd have liked to see more explanation here if I'm expected to vote on this point.

(4) Mexican cartels/other cartels

Pro says that cartels might cease to exist if we legalized drugs. Con says they would shift into other illegal businesses rather than going legit. Pro doesn't offer the obvious answer that there are no more profitable alternative businesses that could fully support cartel operations. Without a good answer from Pro to the "shifting" argument, I don't evaluate this as a reason to vote Pro.

(5) Public safety

I think Pro wins this point by saying that we should criminalize the things that people do that harm others. Con argues that drunk driving is not inherently harmful for others, it just increases risk of harm to others. This argument is not that persuasive. Drunk driving poses *serious* risks to others, not only statistically but logically because it seriously impairs people's driving ability. In contrast, crediting the best possible warrant to Con's argument that drugs also show a correlation with more dangerous behavior, that's merely a correlation, not a causation. There is not a single person who can drive safely with a BAC of 0.30. In contrast, many people can use cocaine safely. I think Con's argument is unavailing. Pro proves we don't need to make drugs illegal to mitigate harm to others.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
(Part 3)

Pro also proves the WOD is enforced in a racist and dangerous manner. Minorities are disproportionately targeted and locked up. We have the largest prison population in the world because of the WOD. SWAT teams break down people's doors and sometimes shoot people, children, and pets. The costs here of the police state seem high.

Con counters that those are just problems with the current system, but we're really debating legality vs. illegality, and we could implement illegality in a better way. The problem with this argument is that the status quo is the best evidence of how illegality is implemented. If Con wants to show there is a "better way," Con needs to explain what that better way is. Con claims that the character limit is too small to talk about how we could improve enforcement. (1) That's a complete cop out. Con should have focused nearly his entire character space on explaining how enforcement could be better. I'm left doubting that it's possible to make it better. "Just make cops not racist" isn't a very strong argument, without proving that it's easy to do that. If it's not easy, taking away the primary tool they use to enforce their racism (drug arrests) mitigates the problem enough that is a better solution than the utopian alternative of Pro. (2) Pro wastes tons of character space in his first round by quoting his opponent at length, instead of summarizing her arguments. It's not like Pro couldn't have saved character space. I think proving that the WOD can be effective is Pro's burden once Con says the WOD is ineffective. By saying that we shouldn't debate the practical aspects of enforcement, we should debate the principle behind illegality, Con ironically focuses the debate on morality, yet completely fails to build a strong moral case against drugs.
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
(Part 2)

I don't think Con makes out a compelling case that the government should make everything illegal that is remotely harmful. He never draws a distinction between alcohol/drugs and food, which is also addictive. Because conflicting claims are made about whether food is addictive, I'm forced to look at the sources for this. Pro's study does show that food is addictive, but it's a study of rats (as Con points out). However, Con claims that Pro ignores that drugs are more addictive than food and links to two sources. NEITHER source mentions food. The first claims that marijuana is addictive and the second is about the addictiveness of cocaine. I expected at least one of the sources to mention food. I really don't like having to check sources, especially when they are listed on a separate DDO page. I only check sources when they become a major issue. Given that the only sources of Con's I checked out did not support the proposition for which they were offered, I chose to give the sources point to Pro. Again, I don't like checking sources, but am doubly annoyed when they don't support the proposition for which they were offered.

(2) The War on Drugs (WOD)

Pro makes out a good case that the WOD is extremely ineffective and implemented in a dangerous and racist manner. The WOD has failed to curtail drug use. You would think that if there is a risk that SWAT will break down your door and you could end up in prison, people would stop using drugs. But apparently they don't. It is reminiscent of Prohibition, as Pro points out. Alcohol could simply not be made illegal because it's use was too prevalent. You just can't ban things that such a wide swathe of the population wants to do, without major problems. It seems the WOD costs us about $100 billion a year, based on Pro's sources (from enforcement costs and lost tax opportunities).
Posted by bluesteel 3 years ago
== RFD == (Part 1)

(1) Morality/Role of government

Pro tells me that the role of government is to protect us from each other. Pro also says that paternalism is immoral because of the non-aggression axiom: that if we do something that harms no one but ourselves, that's our choice. The government should not regulate us for our "own good."

Pro makes passive mention of morality and the role of government to frame the debate, but Con invokes morality constantly throughout this debate. In fact, it's Con's main argument: allowing someone to profit from selling a toxic, addictive substance is inherent immoral. However, the problem here is that Con never tells me where this morality comes from. Why is it inherently immoral? As Pro points out, food companies synthesize their products to be as addictive as possible. Am I to think that McDonald's practices are immoral because high-fat, high-salt products cause the addiction center in the brain to light up? Even absent the food argument, Pro just gives me no basis for his system of morality. One-line moral assertions are inherently subjective. I could just as easily assert that it's moral to sell people what they want. Without deriving his moral claim from some set of first principles, Con's mere assertion that selling an addictive substance is inherently immoral gets him nowhere in the debate.

Ultimately, I think Pro's vision for the role of government wins out. Con's response is that we have to follow the law because "it's the law." The analogy to rape and murder is unavailing because as Pro points out, those crimes do harm other people. Con's argument is unpersuasive that if alcohol and tobacco use are harmful, we should ban those too. Without a direct answer to Pro's indictment of paternalism, I'm left feeling like Con thinks he should get to regulate my life in any way he sees fit. That his own subjective moral assertions should be legislated against me.
Posted by lannan13 3 years ago
I'll vote on this tomorrow.
Posted by Danielle 3 years ago
I agree that it was unnecessary for me to note that my opponent's round was god awful, but I said that in reference to your suggestion that his last round was strong. I found his last round to be the weakest. I don't feel the need to influence the voters outside of what is obvious in the debate; that is why I said I would prefer to move the discussion to private message. However, I would also like to be fair and give Con the opportunity to respond to my criticisms, which is why I am making these claims publicly. Perhaps the solution would be to have a 3-way PM so as to not clog the comments section with an extension of the debate or nasty comments.

You claim to have a "huge issue" with my arguments while admitting you skimmed the debate and barely read them. Con has not denied or disagreed that the WOD has been a massive, detrimental failure with horrible social, economic and political repercussions (which he could not deny). I explained that criminalization created an inherent problem that would persist, and invited my opponent to share how the WOD could *actually be successful* instead of just a counterproductive burden. He repeatedly claimed that he never had to explain how the WOD could be successful. In other words he literally advocated for perpetuating a policy that was a complete and utter problematic failure (since criminalization is the status quo) without providing a single idea so as to how it could actually be effective. Considering politicians, law enforcement, sociologists and anthropologists have not figured out how make it work, it's absurd to suggest that we should support failed (and arguably doomed) efforts because it makes some people feel good. If it doesn't make people safer or the world a better place, the policy sucks.

Don't presume to tell me what I should and should not be ashamed about.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by 16kadams 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: CON seemed to rush to dismiss PRO's role of the government. I decided to stick with CON's definition: that the government should uphold laws which keep society working. PRO offered very convincing evidence that 1) prohibitory measures will likely harm society, 2) there is racism involved in the WOD, and 3) that the effect on users is negligible. CON does cast some doubt on these points, the argumentation of PRO was far superior. The argument point was hard to give out, due to the fact that CON did refute many other issues in the debate. Overall, PRO's contention that measures to restrict drug use harms society was proven in the debate. Therefore, the WOD would actually cause society to run less efficiently, and it is the role of the government to NOT criminalize drugs. CON also never provided evidence as to *how* the WOD would actually be successful in helping society. Therefore, I give my points to PRO. Sources CON because his sources seemed to come from more reliable institutions