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

Drug Legalization

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,527 times Debate No: 67596
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)




I would like to debate you on the topic of Drug Legalization. The first round is just for acceptance.


I accept and look forward to a enjoyable debate. Please present your case.
Debate Round No. 1


Opening Argument

Some drugs have high potention for addiction, others can be realively safe if used properly. More dangerous drugs commonly leads to drug addiction. However, is war on drugs and decriminalizing them the best way to solve drug addiction? Also, some drugs like psychedelics are safe and can actually have positive effects if used properly. Yet, these "safe" drugs are still discriminated against.

1. War on drugs is pricy and isn't lowering drug use

We are spending more and more money on drug control spending. This year, we have spent over 40 billion dollars on war on drugs. We are crowding prisons with drug users and spending way too much money on America's war on drugs. That insane amount of money we spent on the drug war could be used for other more important issues.

Drug usage since the 1970s has stayed roughly the same, even after the increased money spend on america's war on drugs. We are spending money not to help lower drug addictions, but instead make life worse for addicts. Drug addicts would have been much safer and have more help with quitting in the past. Drug abuse treatment is a much better alternative then simply throwing every drug addict in prison. I will get more in depth into this topic on the section of my argument labelled "Heroin."


2. Heroin legalization

Heroin belongs to a class of drugs known as Opiates. Heroin is a very strong opiate and recreational users use an insane amount of Heroin to reach a high beyond what our bodies can reach through endogenous opiates AKA endorphins. I'm pretty sure you are well aware of how bad Heroin addiction can be.

However, illegal heroin hurts more than legal heroin. One reason for this is the quality and purity of the Heroin. If you find a street drug dealer and get some street heroin, chances are that the heroin usually isn't pure. There are several factors explaining this, one is that some drug dealers cut up the heroin they are selling with other drugs, chemcials or even poisons. They may typically do this to alter the high or make more money per gram of heroin. Another factor is that illegal drugs are cheaply made as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs. Illegal drugs are typically made in cheap home made labs. Pharmacuetical drugs are professionally made with high-tech equipment and the quality is regulated to be as pure as possible. If heroin were legal, addicts would be safer with clean and pure heroin as opposed to more deadly street heroin.

Heroin addicts are also in poor health not due to heroin, but due to their lifestyle. Heroin may have some bad effects and all but the main health issues of heroin addicts (and other drug addicts) is due to their unhealthy lifestyle. Many heroin addicts are homeless, they barely get to eat or even sleep, they might not take baths, ect. Getting the next hit of heroin is literally all they think about.

A good reason for heroin addicts living an unhealthy life style is due to the criminalization of heroin. Heroin addicts are at constant watch for the police and they are afraid to seek help. Instead of helping heroin addicts, we throw them in prison with very little treatment for them. A heroin addict will then come out of prison only to continue using H. A legal heroin market may solve some of the issues here, heroin will be cleaner and cheaper. Some may argue that legal heroin would mean heroin is easier to get and result in more addictions. However, illegal heroin is really easy to get thanks to the black market drug dealers. I could go on the silk road with TOR browser and buy heroin online if I wanted to.

It also seems that the main cause of heroin addiction is abuse of narcotic prescription drugs. Doctors are prescribing too much morphine (or any other narcotic) for chronic pain. Medical marijuana is a safer and more effective alternative painkiller as opposed to morphine. If doctors were to give less opiates and give more medical marijuana, heroin addiction rates may lower.

Legal heroin however is not the answer to solving heroin addiction. Ibogaine (a psychedelic drug) can help heroin addiction. After a heroin addict uses ibogaine, they will not experience any opiate withdrawal symptoms. Ibogaine is illegal in many places and if rehab centers were to use Ibogaine, heroin addicts would have an easier time getting off heroin.


Legalization of Psychedelics

The DEA's schedule of psychedelics is schedule I meaning they are in the same category as heroin. However, the DEA's scheduling of drugs was not very accurate as psychedelics are not so bad if used in moderation. Psychedelic drugs are physically harmless and not addictive at all. Have you ever seen a psychedelic addict on the streets doing illegal work just for more psychedelics? You see that with Meth, Heroin, Crack, Bath Salts, ect.

Psychedelics can expand your mind and consicousness. Users of these drugs pretty much always report that psychedeliics positively impacted their life. These people are not addicted to these drugs, but it positively changes them and expands their mind. Steve Jobs was a user of LSD and he said that LSD has made him more creative. Many other geniuses (just to name a few) such as The Beatles, Bill Gates, Eminem had all done psychedelics of some sort.

Psychedelics also are physically harmless if used properly. One downside to psychedelics is a "bad trip" which can be avoided easily if you do proper research on these drugs. Scientific research of psychedelics has been low for a while and if more research is done, we may find out just exactly how a bad trip is caused. Some people say that psychedelics can be addictive but you can get addicted to merely anything. Addiction to psychedelics is purely psychological and they normally can be used correctly. Psychedelics can expand your mind and have positive effects if someone does research and uses these drugs responsibly.

Psychedelics also do pose for some medical uses but I won't get too in depth into these medical uses for now.


Medical Marijuana

Marijuana's negative effects are highly exaggerated by anti-drug people, in fact it has a lot of medical value. For this argument, I will be talking about how hemp oil can CURE cancer. Some studies have suggested that cannabinoids from cannabis have an anti-cancer effect. Many people have also tried using hemp oil (cannabis which is cooked into an oil) to cure their cancer and it surprisingly has worked for many people. Cancer organizations get billions of dollars worth in donations which is one reason why the government may be hiding the cure for cancer. Chemotherapy is not effective for cancer at all, it might make it worse in same cases. You can google more reports of hemp oil supposedly curing cancer.




I thank Pro for his arguments. Just some quick notes:

Pro, in this debate, carries the sole burden of proof, as he must show that all drugs should be legalized by the government (the definitions of "drug" and "legalization" is [1][2]) That means that legal barriers should not exist around drugs. This entails that if I show even one drug should be kept illegal, then I have defeated the resolution and won the debate.

Since I am upholding the status quo, I do not need to present any of my own arguments, but I will anyway.

Without further ado, I will launch straight into Pro's arguments.


1. War On Drugs

While there is an indisputable cost to the War on Drugs, this cost doesn't make it inherently bad. Our military, our police forces and fire departments cost copious amounts of money to support and maintain, but this, alone, does not make them worth doing away with. While I see Pro's point, it doesn't work as a sole reason to legalize drugs.

As for Pro’s statement on drug use, none of his sources give proof of this statement. His evidence lies in a graph [3], which compares drug “addiction” to nominal dollars. This paints an inaccurate picture. For one, there is no accurate way to measure drug “addiction” as it is not clearly defined and difficult to record, and the data in the graph appears to be made up on the spot [4]. Also, the use of nominal dollars doesn’t account for inflation or population changes. A more accurate picture on this issue would compare real dollars to drug “use” which a user from reddit did:

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This shows a general downward trend for drug use as per capita spending increases. This refutes Pro’s evidence about how the drug war hasn’t decreased drug use. The non-partisan RAND institute backs up my claims that drug prohibition works, especially with cocaine, [7] and that legalization will lead to a decrease in drug costs and thus an increase in consumption. I would like to remind my opponent that he is advocating for drug legalization, not drug treatment over punishment.

2. Heroin

Pro’s arguments on making heroin legal begins in his second paragraph. While his arguments seem relatively reasonable, we must remember that legal drugs does not make heroin automatically pure. In fact, legalization could lead to making heroin even less pure.

This is, actually, an overall concern of drug legalization. By removing all legal barriers, we open the door for corporations to make the substance more addictive by adding more chemicals to it. Corporations will be incentivized to do this as it will make their market desire their product more (as they are more addicted) and they will have no negative repercussions for doing so (as their actions are completely legal). This can be seen with Big Tobacco and nicotine [6]. To quote the Huffpost article,“Researchers say that manufacturers have likely altered the design of cigarettes to make them more efficient in delivering nicotine to a smoker's lungs, thus making them more addictive.” Essentially, if we legalize drugs, we allow business to make it incredibly addictive and to make it all the more deadly. Legalization makes this situation worse.

Pro’s arguments on the lifestyle of heroin users being due to making it illegal rest on shaky grounds. For one, if heroin addicts seek treatment or someone else asks that they find treatment, they can receive it with little problem. Secondly, drug addiction can easily cause poverty by exacerbating the situation they are in [8]. Legalization, as I noted with the RAND study [7], would explode this situation, as access to heroin would be all the more available and the cost would be considerably lower.

Neither of Pro’s last two paragraphs in this section justify heroin being legalized. One talks about medical marijuana and ibogaine lowering addiction rates for heroin. This does not make a case for heroin being legalized.

3. Psychedelics

Pro’s statement that psychedelics is not that bad if used in moderation is contradictory with what he is working to prove. By removing legal barriers to drugs, people will be more able to take psychedelics in large portions. Also, psychedelics like LSD require higher tolerance with every use to achieve the same effects, which defeats the entire purpose of having it in moderation. [9]

None of Pro’s sources support the claim that, “psychedelics [pretty much always] positively impacted [drug user’s lives].” While not physically addictive, psychedelics can be quite mentally addictive. Many people use hallucinogens like LSD continually to escape reality [9]. As for Pro’s list of figures who have used LSD and have been fine, it is an appeal to authority. Simply because they took the drug, it does not justify it being legalized or prove that the authority truly weren't harmed from these drugs.

The problem with Pro’s last point is that it ignores many health effects of these drugs. One effect is flashbacks. Flashbacks are sudden, without warning, and do so within a few days or as long as a year after LSD use. Flashbacks can cause distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning. They can also impair the ability to make sensible judgments and see common dangers, which can be fatal [14]. While it would be nice if everyone could use drugs responsibly, the legalization would increase the probability that people become more addicted as usage would increase (due to greater availability) and so would a drug’s potency (due to corporate influence).

4. Medical Marijuana

While medical marijuana has some positive effects, it is not the only cure to diseases such as cancer. I found 10 different ways to treat cancer that don’t involve medical marijuana [12]. Medical marijuana legalization, according to NBER, causes,

“...a relative increase in the probability of marijuana use of 16 percent [for those 21 and older], an increase in marijuana use frequency of 12-17 percent, and an increase in the probability of marijuana abuse/dependence of 15-27 percent. For those 12-20 years old, we found a relative increase in marijuana use initiation of 5-6 percent.” [13]

While it could help, there are other cures to the disease Pro spoke about and, because it can lead to more abuse with marijuana, there is no need to legalize medical marijuana.

My Case:

Legalization Problems

I touched on this previously, but legalization would cause an increase in usage [7], crime, potency (see my point about corporations in “2. Heroin”) and cost to society [16].

The increase in usage is quite logical. If legal barriers are removed, the cost is allowed to decrease dramatically. This is due to a market being created around the drugs, which will lead to lower costs, more consumption, and more addiction. RAND notes that the legalization of marijuana in California would cause the cost to decrease by 80%. It even says that the cost could decrease more because of advertising and de-stigmatization [17]. Lower price=greater use.

The other effects will follow logically. A large amount of crimes are already committed under the influence of drugs [15]. Because more people will use drugs, this will increase the probability that the crime is committed under drugs. There will be costs to society that stem from, “ care costs, crime, and lost productivity” [16]. Illegal drugs already cost around $181 billion dollars a year in these areas; image what would happen if drugs were legalized and use increased.

Synthetic Drugs [SD]

SD’s are some of the most deadly drugs on the market and should never be legalized. They cause a large amount of devastating effects on people. I don’t have the space to list them all, but they can be found in [20]. They range from paranoia to heart attacks and even death.


Pro has failed to show that all drugs, like meth, cocaine or others, should be legalized and I have defeated his existing arguments. I showed issues with legalization and provided a drug that should not be legalized.

The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 2


I thank con for their arguments, as now I would like to present by rebuttal to debunk his arguments on why drugs should not be legalized.

A. War on drugs

The enourmous cost on America's War on Drugs is pretty bad. We are throwing too many prisnors in jail for non-violent drug crimes. Most prisnors are in jail due to drugs, and overdose deaths are at an all time high. Also, making drugs legal does not mean more people are going to use them. Many people are aware that some drugs (cocaine, meth, opiates, ect.) are bad and they won't use them even if they are legal. Illicit drugs are very easy to get thanks to dealers. Drug dealers are drug dealers due to the insane amoutn of money they get. Having something illegal does not simply cause it to decrease. If drug use has decreased over the years, it was due to education about drugs, not the legal status. Drug use in the US is higher than in any other country and USA criminalizes drugs more than any other country.

War on drugs is simply not working, people are just thrown in jail and very few actually receive drug treatment. We should not be throwing non-violent drug users in jail. Mexico has decriminalized possession of drugs, you can legally possess small-medium quantities of drugs as a Mexican citizen. Yet, drug use still remains lower in Mexico.

"I would like to remind my opponent that he is advocating for drug legalization, not drug treatment over punishment."

Legalization would mean treatment is easier and there's no punishment.


B. Heroin

While Jzonda's argument for heroin possibly going the same way as tobacco, there can be laws passed to prevent this. Laws can be passed to maintain the purity of heroin. Many heroin users are thrown in jail for non-violent drug offenses and the criminalization of heroin may scare them from finding drug treatment. Only around 15% of heroin addicts actually receive treatment, so finding treatment may not be as easy as you think.

"Neither of Pro’s last two paragraphs in this section justify heroin being legalized. One talks about medical marijuana and ibogaine lowering addiction rates for heroin. This does not make a case for heroin being legalized."

I apologize for that as I should have retitled them "A better way to prevent heroin addiction."

A junkie can easily live a normal life if they can easily get enough heroin easily to support their addiction. If a junkie can use heroin without harming anybody, why should they be criminalized?

C. Psychedelics

One of jzonda's first arguments was that psychedelics require higher doses for the same effects when tolerance builds up. This may be true, however psychedelics can still be used in moderation, just a higher hit every time. Drug tollerance only builds up with prolonged and constant usage of drugs.

Some of my sources have supported the claim that psychedelics can positively impact someone's life. 2 examples are the study that magic mushrooms can expand your mind and Steve Jobs implying that dropping acid has enhanced his creativity. I don't know but expanding your mind and enhanced creativity sounds like a positive impact on life. I have also given some sources giving first hand accounts of people who claim psychedelics positively impacted them.

Another point Con has mentioned is that some people use hallucinogens to escape reality. Computers and video games can also be used to escape reality and many people use them for a quick escape from reality. Should these drugs really be outlawed just because some people can't use them properly? Many people if not the majority of psychedelic users use it properly. Hallucinogens can be used to enhance reality aswell, not just to escape it. Many things (food, video games, computers, phones, television, partying ect.) can be abused.

Con's point that usage may increase from legalization of psychedelics, I may actually agree on this. However, there is nothing wrong with increased usage because if used properly, psychedelics can be good for you. If people are well educated about harm reduction and properly using psychedelics, then I do not personally see the issue. One way to avoid abuse is if people must be properly educated about harm reduction before being able to legally buy hallucinogenic drugs.

There are negative properties to psychedelic abuse but flashbacks are very rare. Remember that psychedelics also have many positive effects which can outweigh the flashbacks to some people.


D. Medical Marijuana

Jzonda has mentioned alternative cancer treatments without hemp oil. However, a lot of these treatments if not all are very harmful or they do much more harm then hemp oil. The 2 main cancer treatments are chemotherapy and radiation therapy which both can be severly harmful. The cancer treatments you mentioned are not effective because they target everything, not just tumour cells. Hemp has an anti-tumoral effect in which it only targets cancerous cells leaving the healthy cells alone.

Marijuana is not that harmful at all, it's safer than many legal drugs such as caffiene, alcohol or nicotine. The negative effects are commonly exaggerated by anti-drug people.

CBD (cannabidol) rich strains of cannabis reduce the negative effects of THC (tetrahydracannabinol). CBD can also halt seizures and is approved as a safe and effective medicine for childhood epilepsy.

Hemp can also be used for chronic pain management. Currently, opiates are used to kill pain. Opiate drugs have very high abuse potention and are far more dangerous than hemp, prescripion opiate painkillers are just weaker forms of heroin. Opiate abuse often leads to heroin addiction. Hemp is not only safer, but is also more effective at fighting chronic pain than opiates ever could. When pain becomes really serious, high doses of opiates can easily lead to abuse.

You can also look up other medical properties of cannabis, it has a lot of medical uses. Abuse with marijuana does exist but caffiene abuse is a much bigger issue. Caffiene is more addictive and possibly more harmful than marijuana. Just because some people abuse marijuana does not mean everybody does. Most people use marijuana responsibly and it shouldn't be outlawed just because of a few irresponsible people.


Con's Case

Legalization Problems

I have debunked most of Con's cases about drug legalization causing increase in usage, crime and potency. Drug usage is highest in US when it is most criminalized in USA as opposed to other countires such as Mexico where possesion of drugs is legal.

A lower cost of drugs from legalization can be a good thing because addicts have a better chance of living a normal life. An addict will go mad and insane if they don't have their fix and participate in violent crimes to get their next fix. However, an addict will not do that much crazy things if they have enough drugs. Cheaper drugs mean addicts can afford them without doing some crazy shiz.

Synthetic Drugs

Note that synthetic drugs just mean drugs that are produced in labs instead of found in nature. LSD and MDMA are both synthetic but many people can use them in moderation. There are some synthetic drugs that are bad, yes but we shouldn't just throw users of these drugs in jail like that. Legalization will not cause increase in use if people know it's bad for them, dealers make drugs as easy to get as something that's legal.

Other Drugs

You have also mentioned that I did not give reasons for meth, cocaine or other drugs to be legalized which I will give now. Legalization of other hard drugs can be seen the same way as my reasons with heroin legalization. A legal and cheaper drug market will mean addicts are safer.

additional sources



I thank my opponent for his final arguments.

The War on Drugs:

As I have stated beforehand, simply because something costs money doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. If drugs have a cost to society, then it is justified. I showed last round, illegal drugs cost society, in healthcare costs, crime and lost productivity $181 billion [16].This statistic goes uncontested by Pro. More prisoners may be jailed, but, if the war is stopping further societal costs and keeping inevitable usage low (which I demonstrated last round [4] [7] [16]), then it is justified.

Overdose deaths, with the exception of cocaine, are up a tad for drugs; this is true [24]. However, I will remind all that if costs are lower, then more people will be inclined to try drugs and become addicted. Overdoses will be more likely to occur in these scenarios.

Pro’s education arguments are weak. As I pointed out before, with no legal penalties and low cost, there will be more people willing to try drugs. This is backed up by the non-partisan RAND Institute [7] [17]. Not to mention that drugs can be easily advertised to be safe, or safer than they appear, by companies. A perfect example of this occurring is in the state of Colorado, where legal drug use substantially increased and remains higher than the national average [21] [22]. To quote the article from the Denver Post, “Monthly use in Colorado jumped to 12.7 percent [from 10.4%] — a 22 percent increase — in the 2012-13 data.” [23]

Pro’s statement that a decrease in drug usage is due to education, not the Drug War, is pure conjecture and unsourced. My sources [4] shows a clear correlation between drug use decreasing and spending on the drug war per capita spending increasing. Further, Pro’s final statement the drug use is most prevalent in the U.S. is blatantly false. The U.S. ranks number 8, with Iran and the U.K. being numbers 1 and 2, respectively [25]. Further, Mexico’s drug laws took effect in 2009 and, since then, they have failed drastically, and haven’t reduced use rates or crime overall [35].


Pro makes a mistake by addressing a major point on the purity of heroin. Pro states that, “...there can be laws passed to prevent this. Laws can be passed to maintain the purity of heroin.” The critical problem with this is that it is contradictory with what Pro is trying to prove. “Legalization” entails ...removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal. [2] This means that there shouldn’t be legal prohibition against using drugs, or altering them. If Pro wanted to support this law coupled with drug legalization, he has the responsibility to outline a clear resolution. However, making laws limiting what people can do with drugs directly conflicts with Pro's drug legalization.

Furthermore, the FDA is already regulating tobacco products [26]. It is still more addictive than in the past years, despite the regulation Pro asks for. Essentially, these laws Pro is advocating for conflict with what he is trying to prove and won’t work seeing as they haven’t worked with legal drugs.

Still none of Pro’s last two points justify heroin being legalized, they just talk about alternatives to heroin addiction. Pro ends this section with this question though: If a junkie can use heroin without harming anybody, why should they be criminalized?”

The simple answer to this is that while one may be able to do this without harming, an aggregate of heroin users would tell a different story, and laws are made to address the large-scale effects with drug usage. I noted the $181 billion in costs that illegal drugs bring [16] and that a legal market would lead to increased use, meaning even more costs [17]. This is exemplified in the costs the tobacco and alcohol bring to society, each one costing more than illegal drugs by billions of dollars [16]:

Since use increases, the costs would be substantially higher to all of society; hence, there is justification in making the drug illegal.


Pro’s argument on drug tolerance neglects many things. If someone requires more hits for the same effects, then they cannot refrain from moderated usage; it is conflicting.

Steve Job’s usage of drugs, and the testimonies of just a few people, doesn’t prove Pro’s case that it is a positive impact on everyone’s life. This ignores many problems with these drugs, like flashbacks, tolerance, and other, more negative, testimonies [27, 28]. While other items can be abused, there is no need to exacerbate that ongoing issue by making these drugs legal. The mental addiction inherit with the tolerance these drugs build up in someone make it an issue to use responsibility.

Pro’s last point fails as it relies on humans to be responsible with something that gives them pleasure. Many animal experiments provide interesting insight on issues with this point. When rats had unlimited access to drugs, they consumed until their eventual death. However, when they were limited, less died. This indicates that restricting the use of drugs would lead to decreased abuse [29]. This disproves Pro’s reliance on people’s responsibility justifying legalizing drugs.

Medical Marijuana:

Pro repeats numerous talking points about the healing properties of hemp oil. The American Cancer Society does not support many of the claims made by Pro [30]. To quote them:

“These claims are largely unsupportable. Relying on marijuana alone as treatment while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.”

Conventional treatments, while possibly harmful, have much more proof behind them, while reports on health benefits of marijuana do not. Dr. David Gorski sums up all of the issues with Pro’s statements [31].

Marijuana has many harms with it, such as those which affect the immune system, increase heart attack risks and chances of psychosis and schizophrenia [32, 33, 34]. Legalization can increase costs in medical care and decrease productivity, which will cost our society copious amounts of money. Pro’s arguments fail.

Legalization Problems:

Pro has failed to successfully refute my case, as I shown above. I showed the problem with his Mexico and U.S. point in The War on Drugs section.

Pro’s arguments ignore many things I have presented. If drugs were legal, more people would have the inclination to use them, thus increasing the chance that they will become addicts themselves. Having more addicts and legal drugs does increase the chance of a crime being committed, or harms occurring costing society in the end. Also, if addicts are able to use drugs more often to legalization (which Pro is okay with), while they may get their fix, they are still going to spend money fueling their addiction, abusing more drugs and degrading their health, which will come back to sting us all through health care costs and welfare.

Synthetic Drugs:

Empirical evidence [7, 17] show that people will use drugs more often, even if the harms are know. This can be seen with my Colorado example earlier [23] and my point on animal experiments [29]. Synthetic drugs will be used far more when allowed and legalized, damaging people’s livelihood and burdening costs upon society.

Pro’s last point justifying the legalization of all drugs by making addicts safer was refuted in the Legalization Problems section.


Arguments should be awarded to me as I successfully defeated all of Pro’s arguments and fully upheld my own. Pro failed to fulfil his BOP and failed to show that all drugs should be legalized.

Conduct should be awarded to me as I did not use phrases such as, “...without doing some crazy shiz.”

Sources should be awarded to me, seeing as I have used more and better sources from RAND, the ACS and the NIDA.

S&G should be awarded to me as Pro had 23 noticeable mistakes in his arguments while I had little more than 4.

The resolution has been negated.

I urge a vote for Con.

Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
Thank you for your vote as well, 16kadams! I appreciate it!
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
Thank you very much for you votes Don and RainbowDash! I really appreciate the time put into the votes!
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
RFD Part 1:

To start. Pro makes some sound cases. Among these include the cost and ineffectiveness of the Drug War. Next in line would be the medical use of marijuana. As opposed as I am to these, they stand. I don't take the contention that the negative effects of breaking a law matter when discussing if it should be law.

Pro's strongest case so far is the ineffectiveness of drug wars and the cost of conducting them.

Con brings up some valid points... The biggest being that Pro's claim on Drug Usage is flawed and wrong. Showing a chart that produces context (inflation, in this case) helped his case a lot. Con claims that cost isn't reason for legalization. This is true, IF Con can show that there is profit from that cost (in this case, lower drug usage). He does this when debunking the idea that drug usage hasn't changed.

The next thing he brings up is that marijuana is a poor substitute for cancer medicine. He also mentions that legalization leads to far higher drug usage and more dangerous drugs. These are hypothetical, so we'll see what Pro has to say.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
RFD Part 2:

Con also brings up a valid point about the issue with a sweeping legalization... The problem being that some drugs are best left illegal.

Now to the next round. Pro brings up how the cost is bad, again without explaining why. Why are costs bad? This wasn't an issue at first, but if we go by what R2 established, then I can't simply accept Pro's perspective... I must be told why spending money here is wasteful. Not that it just is. And prisoners getting thrown in jail for non-violent crimes also doesn't tell me much. This seems like a case for reform, not legalization. And Pro doesn't explain why non-violent crimes aren't prison-worthy.

I want to bring up Pro's restriction case:
"Laws can be passed to maintain the purity of heroin."

This is near concession. The debate regards full legalization... Not partial legalization. Pro's case here contradicts the point, now that we've established that there are restrictions on purity, any drug not meeting those restriction are illegal... This case simply harms his case badly.

Pro leaves the Marijuana argument with unsourced claims, and try to compare Marijuana to how bad other drugs are... That's not relevant. What is your point here?
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
RFD Part 3:

Con starts off strong. Mentioning studies that entirely disproves much of Pro's cases. Including the stat on the US having the highest drug usage, and the claim about how people won't try new drugs just because their legal.

Con brings up some logical points that Pro had dropped. Con then continues being bringing up ever issue I had... Mostly the contradictory nature of restrictions. Con then takes down much of Pro's Medical Marijuana claims (the ones with little sourcing) with the words of organizations built around the curing of Cancer. Con provides an iron case against Medical Marijuana.

Ultimately, Con left an impression that's hard to get through. Marijuana has few healing properties, the Drug War is effective, Cost isn't bad, legalization will lead to increases in drug usage... And of course the winning argument... The conceding nature of Pro's restriction plan. This argument from Pro is unintentional concession that full legalization is bad.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
RFD Conduct/Sources:

Spelling and Grammar aren't important.

Conduct was even. Despite issues with viewing one of Con's charts, Con sources most of his claims. Pro did not. And often, Con found some issues with Pro's sources that are notable.

Overall, I feel this was a win for Con.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
I want to note before I vote that I've never found the dangers of breaking a law to be relevant in whether or not that law should exist.
Posted by RainbowDash52 3 years ago

There was ambiguity to the resolution and con argued that the resolution states that all drugs should be legalized and Pro did not address this. And although pro has burden of proof, everything should be assumed that it should be legal until there is sufficient reason to believe otherwise, so drugs that were not mentioned in this debate do not necessarily bring reasonable doubt that all drugs should be legalized since most things should be legal to begin with. Unfortunately, pro did not bring up this point so drugs not mentioned can be considered reasonable doubt that all drugs should be legalized.

Pro brings up a good point that the war on drugs is a big waste of money. Con argues that our military costs lots of money but that doesn"t make it bad. Just because we waste money on military doesn"t mean we should also waste money on the war on drugs too. Pro also makes a good point that prisons are filled with drug users when there are worse criminals that should be in prison. This is sufficient reason for legalizing drugs. Although this does not address each drug individually, unless con can point out a drug that is an exception to this, the arguments supports all drugs being legalized. Con did argue that cocaine is an exception.

Tldr: Pro"s mistake was not addressing con"s point that he must show that ALL drugs should be legalized. Con"s mistake was that he was too defensive relying on Pro having BoP even though saying you should be put in prison for putting something into your body is a bold claim and needs sufficient evidence even when reasonable doubt is all that"s needed. Both sides made a mistake so arguments are tied.

Sources: Pro had sources that looked scientific. Con cited a broken image, Reddit, and sources that look more anecdotal than scientific.
Posted by jzonda415 3 years ago
Sorry about the image I posted if you can't see it. It can be viewed in my photo album, "POA", in source [4] and
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The most important part of this debate essentially came down to usage. If the drug war reduces consumption levels, the costs of illegal drugs would be lower than otherwise. This argument then has the potential to refute any economic argument which pro pushed in this debate. Con cited many empirical studies demonstrating how price is important to drug consumption, and the drug war increases drug prices. Pro cites shoddy graphs claiming drug use is unchanged, but con was able to show that the data is not sourced nor is it likely even real. Cocaine was a good example in this debate regarding the success of the drug war--especially since pro has to prove *all* drugs should be legalized. And con really demonstrated how both marijuana and cocaine use would definitively increase usage. // side note irrelevant to the debate: Italy saw an increase in drug usage after decriminalization and Portugal saw an increase in overdose and homicide rates. GG legalizers
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments.
Vote Placed by RainbowDash52 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments