Drug Use in the US Should be Fully Legalized
Debate Rounds (5)
I argue that drug use in the US should be fully legalized, legalizing all forms of drugs, not simply marijuana.
I have the burden of proof to convince voters that fully legalizing all drugs makes logical sense.
First round is acceptance, 5th round will be closing statements with no new arguments or rebuttals brought forward.
Role of Government
I believe the first thing that should be addressed when discussing full legalization, is the role of the government. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted, it gave all human beings three unalienable rights - Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These rights are based off of the social contract model by John Locke(1), where humans are free to pursue their own enlightenment, as long as it does not deny others of their natural rights.
Therefore, it is not the role of the government to interfere with the quest of the individual to substantiate the value of his existence unless his actions directly endanger others. Government was established in order protect it's citizens from others - others who wish to infringe upon their right to life or property, not to protect it's citizens from themselves. The government has no right to tell citizens what to do with their own bodies.
We are making criminals out of citizens who pose no threat to others.
War on Drugs will not work
Besides the fact that it violates the rights of American citizens, the War on Drugs has also been proven to be largely ineffective thus far, as was Prohibition when it was attempted in the 20th century. We learned during Prohibition that banning substances will not keep them out of the country and out of the hands of those who want them. In fact, alcohol consumption actually grew during Prohibition, and created new problems, such as drinking among children(2). Have we learned nothing from the "Noble Experiment"?
So exactly how successful has the War on Drugs been thus far? According to a report by Douglas McVay, the US intercepts 10-15% of heroin per year. However, they would have to intercept 75% just to hurt profits(3). That is obviously not a realistic goal. The US is fighting a losing battle and wasting billions of dollars doing so. Trying to enforce a law which is unenforceable will only serve to increase public distrust in the government.
Legalization can help fix many problems occurring in America
By banning drugs, power is given to cartels who can now monopolize on the illegal trade. Because they can't rely on protection by the police force and judicial system, these cartels stoop to extreme violence in order to protect their income source. What could be legal, taxed competition now generates money solely for these dangerous groups, with no discretion between selling to children and adults, as there would be under a legal platform.
According to a study done by the Cato Institute and Harvard University, ending the War on Drugs could generate $46.7 billion in tax revenue per year(4). There is a chance to help the economy, and we are completely ignoring it because the government wants to decide what's best for it's citizens, instead of letting the citizens decide for themselves.
Instead, we should be taking a look at Portugal, who decriminalized drugs in 2001. Back then, they had the highest rate of HIV among injecting users. Now, new cases of HIV have fallen by 17%. Drug use by teens has fallen by 4%. And they have the lowest lifetime usage of marijuana in the European Union, at 10%(5).
The reason this works is simple. By criminalizing drugs, you also criminalize treatment of drugs. People are afraid to get treatment for doing something illegal, and the negative stigma that comes along with being a "junkie" stops them from admitting they need help in the first place.
Let's stop imprisoning people who aren't a danger to others. By criminalizing drugs, drug users aren't going to come out just to be put in jail. If coming out meant getting the help they needed instead of 10-20 years behind bars, we would see a much larger decline in drug usage.
Drug legalization is a danger to humans
I do not refute this point. However, we sell a lot of dangerous things to humans. Cigarettes are dangerous, yet they're still legal. Alcohol as well (as acknowledged by the Government during the Prohibition era). If we were worried about the health of Americans, most of the processed food that we eat would also be illegal. The issue isn't whether or not drug are dangerous. The issue is whether or not the Government should be able to tell you what you can put into your own body.
By Pro's logic, the Government should be able to decide that fatty foods are dangerous to humans, and thus decide that Americans can no longer eat hamburgers and fries, or drink soda and juice. Just imagine the outcry that would occur if that were to happen. The government is in their right to tell us what is bad for us. Informing the public is part of the government's duty. However, the final decision should be left up to each citizens on whether or not they want to eat burgers, knowing the risk involved. Likewise, citizens should be able to choose what goes inside of their own bodies.
It is not the government's job to control what people are doing to their bodies. Additionally, there is no evidence to back up my opponent's claim that the deathrate will skyrocket upon legalization. In fact, the evidence points to the contrary, as I demonstrated in Round 2. I would also like to point out the fact that my opponent has yet to refute any of my earlier arguments.
Mr.Lincoln forfeited this round.
Siege forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||3||0|
Reasons for voting decision: con never fully refutes pro's points
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.