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Drug Use Should Be Legalised

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/9/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 415 times Debate No: 73180
Debate Rounds (5)
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We live in a world where people are willing to do horrible things to other people.
We feel this is morally unacceptable so we have devised a system to punish those who we deem to have done something that requires action to reprimand them; yet in the year of 2015 the vast majority of the countries around the world are happy to punish drug users/producers as much, if not more, than murderers and rapists.

Why is this?
Why are people legally allowed to go to the shop and purchase bleach, drink it, and survive, but not consume mind-altering chemicals that they use on their own body?
And why is it that we morally accept some of the most harmful drugs that are commonly used, such as tobacco and alcohol, but socially condemn those who use (potentially) less harmful chemicals as escapism?

My debate is asking you this:
Why should we, as a society, be allowed to control what people solely decide what they want to consume, chemically? Why are specific molecules banned, with vast amounts of money being used to incarcerate people who are committing victim-less crimes - wasting huge amounts of police time and inevitably criminalising people; restricting their job opportunities for life because they were caught using a drug that they wanted to use? Why are our governments pandering to the organised crime in the countries by ensuring that all drug production is done illegally, driving up prices and increasing the risk to the users exponentially? Why are our governments ignoring the fact that there are no economical, social or legal benefits from prohibition of these specific molecules?

These are simple facts:
If something is made illegal - people will do said illegal action for the fun of it. There are no proven benefits in the reduction of drug use through the legal system. People are going to use drugs forever - regardless of the legal implications it will have on them. We see this even in countries like Syria, where ISIS executes people who are drug users, and yet they still continue to use these molecules.

Drug prohibition exponentially raises the risk - Organised crime 'gangs' aren't prepared to cultivate or synthesise drugs in the safest way - they care about profit; they'll achieve this through producing these drugs the most efficient way, regardless of the health implications that the synthesis of these drugs may carry. Legalisation, taxation and safe distribution of these drugs is beneficial in almost every way possible: the government makes revenue from it, the quality/safety checks needed to synthesise these drugs by the pharmaceutical companies would ensure all users would have safe, clean drugs (which would save a publicly-run health service like the NHS, vast quantities of money by not having to treat diseases like HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis through the use of dirty needles), and the distribution would ensure that youngsters (who can now buy cannabis and MDMA more easily than alcohol/cigarettes) aren't able to get the drugs as easily.

So my challenge, to you, is for you to successfully debate with me what the benefits of prohibition are, and why these molecules should not be legalised.


Indeed, the criminalization of drugs has had many negative side effects- thrill-seekers, desperate addicts, and money-mongers have taken hold of entire economies. Nevertheless, the illegality of dangerous drugs like Cocaine, Heroine, Krokodil, Ecstasy, LSD, Meth, and illegal meds have all been prohibited for a multitude of reasons. Also, drugs like Marijuana, which is typically not harmful in small doses, can lead to depression or other mental instabilities when overused or when genetically altered to contain greater amounts of THC.

Bleach is not regarded as a drug because it is not classified as a narcotic. It does not offer a high or state of euphoria- it will simply give you chemical burns and destroy your body from the inside out. People who drink bleach need both physical and mental help, just like anyone who does dangerous drugs, but it is not the same.

The legality of Alcohol and Tobacco, two of the world's most dangerous drugs, is due to their centuries of popularity. Their strong connection to society, as well as their sheer profitability, have made them difficult to prohibit. However, articles from BBC, the CDC, and Time magazine have noted that illicit drug use in young adults, drinking in college students, and smoking in adults has been falling since the early 2000's, offering a hopeful view for future drug laws.

While I can agree with you over the regretfully poor handling of cases involving drugs in regards to more violent cases, it would be far more immoral to legalize the more dangerous drugs. Drugs, illegal or not, have the capacity to devastate individuals and communities alike. Dangerous drugs like meth, heroin, crack, cocaine, krokodil, lsd, and ecstasy are by no accounts "victimless". Meth, cocaine, heroin, and desomorphine completely destroy a person's body and mind. They engage in an activity, often without knowing the full extent of the damage that it can bring them. Overuse of LSD and ecstasy can also cause permanent brain, nervous, and circulatory damage. Some drugs can kill people on the first try. Strong drug education has been proven to reduce drug usage rates (Look at Sweden, for instance), because people just don't know how dangerous these drugs are. Many people also fail to account for just how much control these drugs can hold over them. Addiction is a powerful thing.

There are a multitude of benefits from banning drugs:
People who are uninformed do not have easy access to drugs. People who do not do drugs are less likely to be in contact with dangerous drugs, and drugs which are often used for negative purposes (Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, i.e. date-rape drugs). People who have limited knowledge of drugs have a lesser chance of becoming addicted. People who would under different circumstances are often dissuaded by the punishments for being associated with or getting caught with drugs in their possession.

Of course, prohibition has a bad history. It is hard to put it into successful practice, despite its suppression of illicit drugs. Nevertheless, prohibition is more favorable than a laissez-faire attitude towards drugs. Anti-drug laws have saved thousands of lives and protected many more from physical and/or emotional damage.
Debate Round No. 1


Morally, I just don't understand how you can sit there and attempt to tell me that anti-drug laws have saved thousands of lives.
Anti-drug laws have endangered thousands of lives! What about all of the people have have become dependent on these drugs, but too afraid to go to a health-care provider because of fear of repercussions to them legally?
These are people's lives we are talking about here! What about all of the re-use of needles causing widespread STI's like AIDS/HIV? Is that saving thousands of lives? Or how about the unregulated production of drugs which is the precise cause of the death upon first use anyway! How can you try and tell me that when people are buying drugs which have unknown quantities of the actual molecule mixed with unknown quantities of items to 'cut' it - and you're trying to state that this saves lives?
Drug laws (ie prohibition) never have, and never will save lives.

Let's take some real world examples, shall we?
In the early 2000's Portugal legalised every single drug that there is available - everything. Moreover, addiction is treated as a health condition as opposed to a legal issue.
What have we observed since then?
Addiction has HALVED
Drug use is BELOW the European average
Rates of continuation of drug use (i.e. the proportion of the population that have ever used an illicit drug and continue to do so) have decreased

And I quote
"Overall, this suggests that removing criminal penalties for personal drug possession did not cause an increase in levels of drug use. This tallies with a significant body of evidence from around the world that shows the enforcement of criminal drug laws has, at best, a marginal impact in deterring people from using drugs.17 18 19 There is essentially no relationship between the punitiveness of a country"s drug laws and its rates of drug use. Instead, drug use tends to rise and fall in line with broader cultural, social or economic trends."


Might I also add that you stated that "x in small amounts is not harmful, but when genetically modified can increase the chances of x, x and x"
There's some major flaws with this statement; I'll just list them:
As we know everything in excess amounts is bad for us - water, oxygen, cannabis, food... the list goes on and on, forever... Stating that cannabis in excess purportedly is "more" bad for you than anything else in excess is ludicrous - genuinely.
Cannabis has been scientifically proven NOT to cause these highly specific psychological disorders; it has been shown that there is a correlation (nothing definitive, and correlation is NOT causation) that people who may well be genetically predisposed to these disorders MAY have an increased likelihood in developing with heavy, regular use (oh which we've already ascertained that excess of anything is never good, hence the word 'excess' ie, too much)
Secondly, cannabis is not 'genetically modified' - people will breed two specific strains in order to achieve a higher concentration of THCa (the acid of tetrahydrocannabinol which isn't psychoactive until decarboxylated)
Lest we not forget the medical benefits of these drugs? Drugs that are already in use today in the medical industry? Cocaine - Used for eye surgery as a local anaesthetic
Diacetylmorphine/Morphine - Used as a common (and very often critical drug in palliative care) as a pain relieving opioid
Amphetamines - Used in people with ADHD and (rarely) weight loss.
Benzodiazepines - Used in people with manic depression, insomniacs, anxiety disorders, epilepsy and others
MDMA - A drug known to be exceptionally useful in psychology

I'd also like to address a few more tidbits of misinformation you posted:
Krokodil is desomorphine, however, due to the exact thing we're debating about (drug prohibition) the manufacturers add things like blood thinners (eg, warfarin - a rat poison) to the drug because they believe it gives a 'high'. Krokodil just wouldn't be around if drug prohibition wasn't a thing.
Here's a quote from the wikipedia page:
"Krokodil is made from codeine mixed with other substances. The codeine is retrieved from over-the-counter medicine and is then mixed with ethanol, gasoline, red phosphorus, iodine, hydrochloric acid and paint thinner.[7] Toxic nitrogen oxides fumes emerge from the drug when heated."
Is this what you want people to be using over clean, safe drugs? I would be ashamed to think there are people who prefer this over SAFE use of drugs.

I also read that you believe that alcohol and tobacco are rooted in our history; well, so is everything else (except the newly synthesised drugs, obviously). Opium has been smoked for many hundreds of years - and yet it's banned?

You also go on to state that drugs have the ability to devastate lives - if that's the case, then why is it that we are preventing people from getting the help they need by making them fearful of legal repercussions? How is anyone in a drug cycle able to get out of it when almost all their career opportunities are almost immediately shredded if they're caught? How is this moral, but allowing people to get the help they need without living in fear immoral?

"People who are uninformed do not have easy access to drugs. " - This is just completely false. A quick google search with provide you with all the evidence to suggest this. It's also a bit of an oxymoron for you to state earlier in your argument that people die with some drugs on the first attempt, and then you proceed to make the aforementioned claim.

"...Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine" - Trust me, if people want these drugs, chances are that they don't care about the law. People will do whatever they want to do, regardless of the law. I'm also not stating that drug use on others should be legalised - absolutely not. But to try and insinuate that people who want to drug and rape people are stopped because of the legality or availability of the drugs is just completely false. Like, in every way.

"People who have limited knowledge of drugs have a lesser chance of becoming addicted." - Do you genuinely think that there are people out there who think you can't get addicted to heroin? Please, playing ignorant on behalf of someone else isn't a valid argument whatsoever.

"Of course, prohibition has a bad history. It is hard to put it into successful practice, despite its suppression of illicit drugs. " - Absolutely correct. As I have said, prohibition never has and never will work.
I hoped we'd have learnt something from the prohibition of alcohol in the 30's in America. You know... the bit where moonshine men are causing deaths from the alcohol they produce; there's a massive black market; people disregarded the law and used the drug anyway? Evidently we didn't; the exact same is happening to this day.

"Nevertheless, prohibition is more favorable than a laissez-faire attitude towards drugs."
How so? You've actually failed to give me a valid reason (statistically) why it is better.


annabanda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


HyperionNyx forfeited this round.


annabanda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


HyperionNyx forfeited this round.


annabanda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


HyperionNyx forfeited this round.


annabanda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by HyperionNyx 1 year ago
How so?
You've failed to actually explain anything, with any reasoning.
And countries will always have issues; that's life...
Posted by GoOrDin 1 year ago
Fawk that.

no drugt use should eb legalized.

Drug use should not be considered for legalization unitl the country has no other issues or conflicts socially or politically.

Duh. fawk.
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