The Instigator
cloppbeast
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
tnf38118
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

Drug Prohibition

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,198 times Debate No: 846
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

cloppbeast

Con

Drug Prohibition has been an utter failure. It has many unintended consequences, while not even achieving its intended goal of deterring drug use. A cost-benefit analysis would clearly favor ending drug prohibition. Surely, supporters of drug prohibition have good intentions, but good intentions doesn't mean good policy. Sure, drug prohibition is supposed to minimize drug use, but it doesn't. Considering it doesn't even succeed in it's goal, the costs greatly outweigh the benefits.

To start with, an adult should have full control what goes into his/her body. Control over one's body is the most basic human right. Nobody has the authority to tell another adult what they can or can't put into their body. If a government can control what person does with his/her body, there is no end to what authority a government can obtain. Are we are becoming a bunch of children that the government needs to care for? Does the government own your body? I would like to think that if there is anything that the government does not have jurisdiction over, it would be a person's body.

The illegal market for drugs is causing more problems for society than the drugs themselves could. There are rules that must be obeyed in a legal, regulated market. For instance, lying is regulated and is not allowed in companies' advertisements. Cigarette and Alcohol companies are not allowed to produce advertisements directed towards children. Seeing that drug dealers are participating in an black market, their are no advertising regulations making it extremely easy for him to lie in order to attract the weakest, most impressionable, and innocent citizens: Children.

Secondly, The black market for drugs creates crime and anarchy. A drug user or dealer can not notify authorities if he is not paid for his services or his merchandise is stolen; there is also no law to enforce a contract. In order for drug users and dealers to protect themselves and there property, they must arm themselves and take matters into their own hands; thus creating anarchy.

Thirdly, The black market for drugs creates an illegal economy in poor communities that advocates and promotes laziness, dishonesty, and discourages youths from getting an education. In poor communities drug dealer is often considered successful entrepreneur. Kids start to think, "why should I go get a job or go to college when I can make easy money dealing drugs?" A superior court judge in California, James Grey said, "We are recruiting children [to be drug dealers]in barrios all over the county because of drug money... The money to be made from the sale of illegal drugs is a bigger problem than the drugs themselves."

Lastly, It is infuriating that a government can draft a citizen and force him to unwillingly risk his life, but that same person can't do drugs because it might harm his body.
tnf38118

Pro

First let me thank you for the opportunity to debate this important issue.

*Drug Prohibition has been an utter failure. It has many unintended consequences, while not even achieving its intended goal of deterring drug use*

At a glance, this may appear to be the case, statistics however do not support your argument. The United States has seen a drop in the rate of drug abuse over the past 20 years of more than a third. The current overall rate of abuse is roughly five percent of the population.

*A cost-benefit analysis would clearly favor ending drug prohibition......Considering it doesn't even succeed in it's goal, the costs greatly outweigh the benefits.*

In 2000, the federal drug control budget was around $11.5 billion, in 2002, the federal government spent less than $19 billion on drug control. When speaking of federal dollars those are miniscule amounts. Your argument assumes that once legalized, the government would no longer be spending those dollars on drug control. Simply not true. Those amounts represent the drug control budget in its entirety. Not simply enforcement, but treatment, education, and prevention as well.

The cost to the American taxpayer would inrease exponentially if drugs were legalized. Let us disregard enforcement for the moment and focus on education, treatment, and prevention. The cost of those three alone would no doubt be enormous. The New England Journal of Medicine has estimated a 10 fold increase in the number of cocaine addicts were it to be legalized. This has actually been demonstrated in communities where the use of marijuana has been decriminilized. Those communities witnessed an increase in frequent marijuana use of at least 600 percent. Obviously, cocaine and other illegal drugs are much more addictive than marijuana which would result in even greater rates of addiction. The treatment for which you, I, and every other American taxpayer would have to fund. The increased rate of abuse and addiction would then necessitate an increase in spending on prevention and education.

Now to address enforcement. The cost of that too would increase greatly.

*Secondly, The black market for drugs creates crime and anarchy. A drug user or dealer can not notify authorities if he is not paid for his services or his merchandise is stolen; there is also no law to enforce a contract. In order for drug users and dealers to protect themselves and there property, they must arm themselves and take matters into their own hands; thus creating anarchy.

Thirdly, The black market for drugs creates an illegal economy in poor communities that advocates and promotes laziness, dishonesty, and discourages youths from getting an education. In poor communities drug dealer is often considered successful entrepreneur. Kids start to think, "why should I go get a job or go to college when I can make easy money dealing drugs?" A superior court judge in California, James Grey said, "We are recruiting children [to be drug dealers]in barrios all over the county because of drug money... The money to be made from the sale of illegal drugs is a bigger problem than the drugs themselves."*

Your argument assumes the elimination of the black market. Currently, one of the drug pushers primary targets is children. Obviously any legalization of drugs would carry age restrictions. I think it would be safe to assume the legal age to purchase drugs would be 21. Unless you are suggesting that there be NO age restriction you are still leaving open the drug cartels' key demographic; youths aged 12-20. To compound that, you would also likely be combating a much more aggresive black market since they would want to make up as much as possible the business they were losing on those 21 and over.

A Justice Department study found that those under the influence of drugs comitted murder at 6 times the rate of those simply looking for a way to get drugs. By legalizing drugs you would not only be creating more addicts but it highly likely you would see a significant increase in the murder rate. By legalizing mood altering drugs you would most definitely see a DRAMATIC increase in domestic violence, assault, rape, etc. One need only watch an episode of COPS to see how overburdened our police officers are already just dealing with run of the mill drunks. Adding legalized drugs to the mix would create an ENORMOUS need for more and more officers, jailers, etc. The anarchy you seem to think would suddenly disappear would not. It would increase.

*Lastly, It is infuriating that a government can draft a citizen and force him to unwillingly risk his life, but that same person can't do drugs because it might harm his body.*

On this point, I would submit that the criminilization of drugs is not because it might harm YOUR body but the overall harm to and burden upon society.
Debate Round No. 1
cloppbeast

Con

You are welcome for the invitation, and I would also like to thank you for accepting the challenge.

//The United States has seen a drop in the rate of drug abuse over the past 20 years of more than a third. The current overall rate of abuse is roughly five percent of the population.//

The problem with this argument is that it is a lie, and doesn't even prove your point that drug laws reduce drug abuse. Assuming it was true, it is not controlled experiment proving drug prohibition reduces drug use. It is an observation that drug use has declined, but there is no evidence that this is due to stricter laws. There could be any of number of reasons that drug use has declined, including the devastating affects of drug use. Everyone assumes that people don't use drugs because of the law, but never even consider that people could just be smart enough to avoid drugs because of their devastating effect on their lives.

http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov...

In 2001 52.8% of people ages 18-21 had admitted to using an illegal drug, which seems to prove your stats wrong. If that high of a percentage has used drugs, despite the law, I would say that proves the laws aren't working.

16% of people in the same age group admitted to using marijuana in the past month, while only 1.9% admitted to using cocaine in the past month. This disparity did not occur because cocaine is more illegal than marijuana, it occurred because cocaine is a devastating drug, while marijuana is a harmless drug; proving that the drugs themselves prevent use rather than laws. One could argue that this disparity occurred because of the decriminalization of marijuana in recent years, but that doesn't explain why, in 1979, when marijuana punishments were the same as cocaine, the same disparity existed.

Bottom line: drug laws could not logically prevent drug use. First of all, if drugs are as bad as you and everyone else suggests, then there is no need for them to be illegal in the first place. If the consequences drug use, which includes addiction, brain damage, lung cancer, and even death, can't prevent a person from doing drugs, a drug law will certainly not succeed either.

//In 2000, the federal drug control budget was around $11.5 billion, in 2002, the federal government spent less than $19 billion on drug control. When speaking of federal dollars those are miniscule amounts.//

I would first point out that the cost drugs I was speaking of was not necessarily the cost to the tax payer. The costs of drug prohibition include any consequence. That being said, the federal government drug prohibition spending is only about half of the total amount of overall government spending; after adding State and local government spending, the amount is $40 billion. These numbers do not include the amount of money tax payers spend on the almost half million non violent drug users kept in prison each year.

//The New England Journal of Medicine has estimated a 10 fold increase in the number of cocaine addicts were it to be legalized. This has actually been demonstrated in communities where the use of marijuana has been decriminalized. Those communities witnessed an increase in frequent marijuana use of at least 600 percent.//

http://www.drugwarfacts.org...

The New England Journal of Medicine can predict what it wants, but predictions aren't facts. The facts are that since marijuana has been legal, the Netherlands have not seen a dramatic increase of marijuana use, and have, in fact, actually seen a decrease in the amount of children using marijuana. The amount of marijuana users in the Netherlands is much lower than in the U.S., despite its decriminalization.

//A Justice Department study found that those under the influence of drugs comitted murder at 6 times the rate of those simply looking for a way to get drugs.//

This study doesn't provide any insight to why these murders occur. There are many hypothesizes explaining why people under the influence of drugs are more likely to be convicted of other such as murder. One hypothesis is that a criminal under the influence is much more likely to get caught and convicted the offense. Another hypothesis is that the murders tend to be drug users. Therefore, just because a murderer uses drugs, doesn't mean that drug users are murders. As I've already stated in my first argument, these drug users could be committing crimes because they are enforcing their property rights.

//One need only watch an episode of COPS to see how overburdened our police officers are already just dealing with run of the mill drunks. Adding legalized drugs to the mix would create an ENORMOUS need for more and more officers, jailers, etc. The anarchy you seem to think would suddenly disappear would not. It would increase. //

There is no reason to believe that they wouldn't be as overburdened if alcohol was illegal. Society may be overburdened by the use of alcohol, but the prohibition of alcohol only made the burden worse, hence its repeal. Obviously, the overburden of police is much milder after the repeal of Alcohol prohibition; otherwise alcohol would still be illegal.

Bottom line: The illegal trade of drugs creates much more crime that the drugs themselves could ever create. This has been proven by alcohol prohibition and drug decriminalization in various other countries such as the Netherlands. Your prediction that the amount of crime will increase if drugs are legal is not supported by history, science, logic, or criminologists. Most criminologists agree that crime would decrease if drug prohibition was repealed.

//On this point, I would submit that the criminilization of drugs is not because it might harm YOUR body but the overall harm to and burden upon society.//

Just because a government says drugs are bad for society doesn't give it the right to prevent a person from using them. For instance, teen pregnancy and single motherhood are both extremely bad for society. Does that give the government the right to prohibit a person from having sex out of wedlock? Of course not; because restricting a person's sexuality is an infringement on personal liberty. Personal liberty can never be infringed because somebody else says it is bad for society.
tnf38118

Pro

tnf38118 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
cloppbeast

Con

I would first like to wish you a happy new year.

I stated the reason people use marijuana more than crack is because marijuana is basically harmless, while crack is deadly; having nothing to do with the laws. A possible argument to this statement is that marijuana is used more than crack because marijuana is more readily available than crack. But, this statement is false. Supply relies on demand much more than vise-versa. The demand of a particular drug dictates the supply, which would explain why marijuana is more readily available than crack.

// Unless you are suggesting that there be NO age restriction you are still leaving open the drug cartels' key demographic; youths aged 12-20//

There is and age restriction on cigarettes and alcohol, which is sometimes violated, but there is no underground black market created by these age restrictions. Drug lords and terrorists are not profiting from the underage sales of either of these drugs. I would also add that these age restriction make it harder for youths to obtain these drugs. Several surveys have drawn the conclusion that alcohol and cigarettes are harder for youths to purchase than illegal drugs. http://www.narcononcenter.com...

//Your argument assumes that once legalized, the government would no longer be spending those dollars on drug control. Simply not true. Those amounts represent the drug control budget in its entirety. Not simply enforcement, but treatment, education, and prevention as well.//

If drugs were legal, the government would not only save $40 billion a year, it would make additional revenue from sales taxes on drugs. This additional revenue and the $40 billion per year saved from drug enforcement would more than make up for the additional costs of treatment and education.

In summary, the war on drugs simply isn't worth it, assuming that it does deter drug use (which it probably doesn't). The illegal sale of drugs creates more crime and social problems than the drugs themselves could possibly cause.
tnf38118

Pro

tnf38118 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
Thanks for the Vote. This tie was infuriating me.
Posted by Rob1Billion 9 years ago
Rob1Billion
you know, you can vote for yourself!
Posted by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
I would like to know who voted for tnf38118.
Posted by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
It is inbelievable that I'm losing this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 11 months ago
U.n
cloppbeasttnf38118Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by slammin 8 years ago
slammin
cloppbeasttnf38118Tied
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Vote Placed by libertyforall 9 years ago
libertyforall
cloppbeasttnf38118Tied
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Vote Placed by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
cloppbeasttnf38118Tied
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Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
cloppbeasttnf38118Tied
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