The Instigator
abard124
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
tkubok
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Drugs should be decriminalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
tkubok
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,335 times Debate No: 12663
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (9)

 

abard124

Pro

Drugs are bad. I am very proud to say that I have never so much as tried any recreational drugs. I see no compelling reason as to why I should try any recreational drugs. I care too much about my health.

Alcohol is bad. I am very proud to say that I have never dome more than take a few sips of alcohol. I see no compelling reason as to why I should drink alcohol. I care too much about my health.

They tried outlawing alcohol once. It didn't work very well. People made their own alcohol and it caused huge amounts of crime. In fact, prohibition was so unsuccessful and counterproductive that it was repealed just 13 years later. Prohibition was clearly a mistake. That's fine. Mistakes help us move forward. Or do they?

We've now been fighting a "war on drugs" for decades. People still do drugs. As of 2004, nearly 20% of American prisoners are in prison on drug charges [1]. This tells us a few things, which include the fact that the war on drugs has hardly been successful. It also tells us that 20% of our prison population is not in prison for harming someone or their property.

We happen to be in an economic downturn. If we were to allow drugs to be sold, it would certainly help the economy. And remember that big deficit that the US has? And you know those income taxes that we all hate? Well, we wouldn't have to increase income tax as much if we legalized and taxed drugs.

Why stay in the US? If drugs were legalized in Mexico, it would virtually end the drug war. Why would anybody support the drug cartels who kill you when you can get drugs for cheaper and without getting shot or losing fingers? It's really the same way inside the US, though on a much smaller scale. If drugs were legalized, there would be fewer gangs since it would be easier, cheaper, and safer to buy drugs at a store.

There are two groups of people who would be hurt by drug legalization: Drug dealers and police officers. The former is obviously a group of people who we want to be hurt, and the latter we actually also want to be hurt. We don't want them to be hurt because we have a deep-seated hatred for police officers, but we want them to hurt because police officers get cut when there are too many, so when police officers get cut, it means that our crime rate is going down, which is a good thing.

I fear that I may have already said too much for an introduction, but if anybody is still willing to join my poorly organized debate, I welcome it!

1. http://www.albany.edu...
tkubok

Con

I suppose ill take up this debate, as my last debate was a bust.

First, i will like to thank my opponent for making this debate. I will address his points first, and then move onto my own.

"We've now been fighting a "war on drugs" for decades. People still do drugs."

Sure, people still do drugs. Just like people still murder other people. I mean, has there been a single criminalization of anything, which completely deterred people from doing the said thing? I cant think of any.

"It also tells us that 20% of our prison population is not in prison for harming someone or their property."

I fail to see the logic in this argument, either. If the criterion for jail was simply harming someone else or their property, where would the drunk drivers go? Illegal Gun possession? These are all things that do not necessarily harm other people or their property, just like Drugs. Should we let these guys go as well?

"If we were to allow drugs to be sold, it would certainly help the economy."

Of course it would! Just like lowering the drinking age to 12, would also boost the economy, increase tax revenue. Imagine if kids didn't need to go out and get a fake ID, and could just walk into any liquor store and buy drinks. It would be great for the economy. Why don't we do it? Because, we have standards, and one of those standards is to decrease the possible number of accidents and mishaps. And one way to do this is to place restrictions. Currently, we have drugs that are available to the public if properly prescribed, such as Vicodin(an Opiate), Marijuana, MDMA(A.K.A Ecstasy, currently being used to treat disorders like PTSD)(1). But, much like alcohol, there are restrictions in place, to prevent just anyone going out and buying these.

"Why would anybody support the drug cartels who kill you when you can get drugs for cheaper and without getting shot or losing fingers?"

First of all, why would the drug cartels kill you for no reason? It would make more sense to keep you alive, especially if you were a customer.

Secondly, here's the problem with your argument. Suppose that the Government produces specific factories to produce Drugs. What would the Government have to pay them? The standard minimum salary, of course. What do Drug Cartels have to pay their lowest employees? Whatever they want to, including below-minimum pay. They probably will, as all they care about is money. However, now we have a conundrum. We have the government-made Drugs, that cost hundreds of dollars(Just take a look at the US Drug market.)(2) And, we have the cheap-labor prices of the drug cartels. Now, if you were a Drug addict who spent most of your money on the safer, store-sold drugs, what would you do?

"There are two groups of people who would be hurt by drug legalization: Drug dealers and police officers."

This is possibly the most absurd argument that my opponent has made yet.

Drug dealers will not be as hurt as you may think. Guns, which are legal, are a great example. Are gun-runners being hurt by the fact that there are legal Guns out there? Or has their business stayed the same, because it is more tedious and cost more to buy them legally?(3)

As for officers, not at all. I will explain more later.

Now, onto my own arguments.

1. My opponent has brought up Alcohol and prohibition as a parallel to this situation. I think it's a very poor example, and here's why.

Alcohol, in moderation, has very little effect on the body. As with any substance, including Nutmeg, taking too much can be detrimental. However, small doses of Alcohol merely lightens moods and warms the body. Can the same be said of most illegal drugs?

Here's a good question to ask. How many social drinkers are there? I would estimate that at least 90% of people who drink, are not Alcoholics or otherwise dependent on alcohol. Now, how many social Cocaine users are there? Clearly much less, to the point that i would guess 10% of people who use Cocaine are not addicted or dependent on it. This is, of course, because Cocaine is much, much, much more addictive than your average beer, and much harder to shave off. Its the reason why AA meetings are just that, meetings, while Drug rehabilitation clinics requires an entire building. Clearly Alcohol is a poor example, as it does not even come close to the detrimental effects of Drugs.

2. Many drugs, are prescription drugs for a reason. The main reasons, are:
-Drug Conflicts. If you are taking two or more drugs, unless you are a doctor, you do not know how these drugs interact. Which is why, many prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor who knows your family history and medical history. These drugs are in fact dangerous in the right combination.
-Reduce addiction. As said above, there are many drugs that are highly addictive. To reduce this risk, the drugs are prescribed to people who actually need them, and in specific quantities so that there is no abuse of the drugs. Each time the patient wants a new bottle of said drugs, they require a new prescription, and this is usually given only after the Doctor re-examines the patient so that he can confirm the patient is still in pain or still requires the drug.
-Previous history. LSD, is a great example, as it can trigger a schizophrenic episode in someone who never knew he had schizophrenia. Other examples include things like Low or High blood sugar, heart/lung/liver problems, etc etc. The list goes on.

3. This is by far the most important point I am going to make.

Currently, the death toll and Alcohol-related accidents are so high, for reason. That is, Alcohol is readily available at almost any city block. Now, I've never tried drugs before, mainly because I have no idea where I would get my hands on them. Imagine if Drugs were sold as frequently as Alcohol? Wouldn't anyone agree that this would drastically increase the Drug-related accidents and deaths?

Now, my opponent has previously mentioned that drug legalization would decrease the number of police officers. I said this was absurd, and here's why. The abundance of readily available drugs, might decrease the number of drug busts, but at a cost. It will also increase the number of drug-related accidents. Clearly we would still need as many police officers, to deal with these occurrences. Whether or not this means less, or more police officers, is up to speculation, but it is safe to say that the number will not change drastically, or at least as drastically as my opponent would hope.

4. This is possibly the most dangerous aspect of my opponents argument. If all drugs were legalized, this would mean the end of Prescription drugs. Drug companies would go wild. There are specific steps, processes, that a drug company must go through in order to have a drug accepted by the FDA(Food and Drug administration). This includes a strict regulation of drugs in order to see whether or not the drug will have adverse effects when mixed with other drugs. Now, it is not an understatement to say that on average, a drug company will spend a couple hundred million on drug research, clinical trials, testing, and approval from the FDA. Without this process, drug companies will go the cheaper, more profitable route of skipping that and going straight to clinical trials. No one can stop them, cause all drugs are legal!

5. I would like to ask my opponent a question. If we were to legalize all drugs, what would the restrictions be? Clearly we must put limits as to who can buy them.

Sources:
1. http://www.mdma.net...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.answerbag.com...
Debate Round No. 1
abard124

Pro

Thank you for your most excellent response!

"I suppose ill take up this debate, as my last debate was a bust."
Tell me about it... That happens to me a lot... So I'm holding you to this :-)

"Sure, people still do drugs. Just like people still murder other people. I mean, has there been a single criminalization of anything, which completely deterred people from doing the said thing? I cant think of any."
The specter of punishment does deter people from stealing whatever they want and shooting anyone they don't like. That's why we have laws. They don't exist so that people who do it can still do it and only be punished after they do it, they exist to scare people into not doing things. Obviously it won't stop everybody (although it is illegal to whistle underwater in Portland, and I don't think anyone is breaking that law), but any effective law will carry a punishment that is sufficient to keep people from doing the crime (though it is thankfully limited by the cruel and unusual punishment clause). There comes the issue with drugs. You probably won't get caught doing drugs, or if you do, you are probably already addicted, so no punishment would really be a very successful deterrent, short of something that would absolutely be cruel and unusual. It was the same way with prohibition. I know you said it was different, and I will cover that later, but in that neither are particularly enforceable, they are very similar.

"These are all things that do not necessarily harm other people or their property, just like Drugs. Should we let these guys go as well?"
Why is drunk driving illegal? Because it's really dangerous and it puts others at a higher risk. I know you will say that drugs do too, but notice that drunk driving is illegal, and drinking is not.

"Why don't we do it? Because, we have standards, and one of those standards is to decrease the possible number of accidents and mishaps."
Well, there are a lot of laws that restrict the behavior of children. Why the drinking age isn't 18 is beyond me, but children are different. But we're talking about adults here. The same adults who can smoke and drink.

"But, much like alcohol, there are restrictions in place, to prevent just anyone going out and buying these."
But these have to have a prescription from a doctor. To drink alcohol, you just have to be 21.

"First of all, why would the drug cartels kill you for no reason? It would make more sense to keep you alive, especially if you were a customer."
Okay, I'm sorry that I don't know the ins and outs of drug dealing. Shall I go do field research before I finish this debate? And the truth is that drug cartels are dangerous. You don't have to pay too much attention to know what's going on in Mexico right now. You can twist my point however you want, but I know I wouldn't want to do business with these people if I had another option...

"Suppose that the Government produces specific factories to produce Drugs."
We have a really really big deficit right now. How much do we care about profitability? So we can pay the workers at the factories more than minimum wage, but we don't have to make a profit selling the drugs. Alternatively, we could give it to private businesses and regulate it without tax until the bad guys have lost most of their business, and then we can move in and make money off of this. There are strategic ways of doing things.

"Or has their business stayed the same, because it is more tedious and cost more to buy them legally?"
This is a very good point. But drugs don't work the same as guns. Because guns are used to potentially kill people, it's necessary to run background checks and get licenses and stuff. But the illegal cigarette and alcohol business is not doing as well, and that's how the illegal drug business would be.

"Can the same be said of most illegal drugs?"
This is a moot point. I was comparing prohibition to this in that the law is clearly not doing a particularly good job of fulfilling the cause that it exists for. The government doesn't exist to stop our bad habits, so it doesn't really matter how bad it is for you.

"Now, how many social Cocaine users are there? Clearly much less, to the point that i would guess 10% of people who use Cocaine are not addicted or dependent on it."
This is a very good use of a circumstantial point. Yes, most alcohol drinkers are probably very responsible, social alcohol drinkers. Now, tell me, how many cigarette smokers are social smokers who are not addicted? Now, I know that doesn't fall under prohibition, but as I said, I was referring to the lack of success with prohibition, and not so much about the specific nitty gritty.

"Which is why, many prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor who knows your family history and medical history. These drugs are in fact dangerous in the right combination."
This is a very good point. Still, how many people already die of accidental (or, perhaps, not accidental) overdoses? This is really not very different. And the great thing about drug packaging is that it gives us the technology to explain what it is not mixable with. And this wouldn't eliminate doctors, so it would still be possible to talk to them. Not to mention, it would be easier to talk to them. Even though the doctor's office is a confidential area, you still might not be comfortable telling the doctor that you've been taking illegal drugs, so they wouldn't know that when they prescribe you something that doesn't sit well with cocaine. If it were legal, then it would be quite a bit easier to tell the doctor.

"To reduce this risk, the drugs are prescribed to people who actually need them, and in specific quantities so that there is no abuse of the drugs."
Again, as I said, it's not the government's job to monitor my behavior. They let me get addicted to nicotine (though I choose not to), but they won't let me get addicted to marijuana (which, if I remember correctly, is actually much less addictive than cigarettes) or morphine? Why just one?

"LSD, is a great example, as it can trigger a schizophrenic episode in someone who never knew he had schizophrenia. Other examples include things like Low or High blood sugar, heart/lung/liver problems, etc etc. The list goes on."
Again again, that's not the government's problem. It is proven that a diet high in saturated fat and LDL cholesterol will put you at a much higher risk for heart attacks, but that's completely legal. It's proven that smoking puts you at a higher risk for lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, etc., but it's legal.

"Wouldn't anyone agree that this would drastically increase the Drug-related accidents and deaths?"
Yes directly, but not indirectly. Right now drug dealers sell drugs for a lot of money, and addicts will do a lot to obtain said money. They wouldn't need to do that at the scale they do if you could buy them at a reasonable price from a store.

"Now, my opponent has previously mentioned that drug legalization would decrease the number of police officers."
Yes I did. That was probably my least important point.

"it is safe to say that the number will not change drastically, or at least as drastically as my opponent would hope."
Fair enough... How does this negate the resolution?

"Without this process, drug companies will go the cheaper, more profitable route of skipping that and going straight to clinical trials."
We can still make them go through rigorous safety testing. We can legalize anything with restrictions and regulations. Point completely negated.

"If we were to legalize all drugs, what would the restrictions be?"
Only adults can buy them. They have to be tested and approved. Similar to current alcohol and cigarette laws (though I would prefer if they all were switched to food safety laws).

I would write more, but, alas, 8,000 characters only allows me so much space. I am excited to see your response!
tkubok

Con

"You probably won't get caught doing drugs"

Here's the problem. First of all, thanks to the popularization of crime shows like CSI, it's getting harder and harder for police to catch criminals, granted that the criminals are not idiots. Its the same for Drugs. If you work hard not to get caught, chances are, you won't. But, like murder, if you openly do drugs in the middle of the mall, chances are, you will be caught. In this sense, EVERY crime is the same. For those who think it through, trying not to get caught, chances are they won't.

However, this is the part that i do not quite understand about my opponents arguments. My opponent has claimed that
"no punishment would really be a very successful deterrent". Yet, the punishment for Drugs, is fairly similar to that of most other crimes. You pay fines and go to jail. Clearly this, as my opponent has stated, is a deterrent to prevent people from stealing, Murdering, and anything else. If you don't care about going to jail, i suppose this would not be a deterrent. But isn't this the same for any other crime? If you don't care about going to jail, how is jail-time a deterrent for Murder? Not all drugs are addictive, and not all drugs are addictive to the same degree, either.

Id also like to ask my opponent what he means exactly by "neither are Particularly enforceable". I don't understand that either, as the drug laws have been enforced, which is obvious when we look at the statistics of how many people have been caught and placed in jail.

"I know you will say that drugs do too, but notice that drunk driving is illegal, and drinking is not."

Ive had a bottle of beer once, and drove, was stopped at a checkpoint, talked to the officer, told him i had one beer, and was left off. Clearly i had been drinking, and now i was driving. Now, why was I let off?

The answer is simple. Because, in small quantities, the effects of alcohol are extremely benign. The officer knew this, and I knew this. I can have a drink or two and be completely level-headed. Can the same be said of other Drugs? If a single hit of LSD causes me to hallucinate and become paranoid, is LSD as benign as alcohol? Can i drive?

This is the main difference between Alcohol and Drugs. There are benign drugs, sure. Some anti-depressants are a more milder form of Ecstasy, for example, and are not illegal at all. But harder drugs, drugs that cause hallucination and paranoia, drugs that are TAKEN for that very effect, are dangerous. And these drugs are not benign in small quantities.

"But we're talking about adults here. The same adults who can smoke and drink."

This comment I made was in direct response to your previous comment on how it would boost the economy and help with taxes, if we legalize drugs. Clearly you've missed the point. Whether we use the sale of Fully automatic firearms as an example, is irrespective of the point I was trying to make. There are many things which are restricted, Child and adult alike. The reason why we restrict them is because the potential harms, overwhelming outweigh the benefits. We don't let adults buy and sell nuclear weapons, because there couldn't possibly be a benefit for such a thing to occur, regardless of whether it will boost our economy. What possible benefit is there, for someone who becomes addicted to Cocaine?

"But these have to have a prescription from a doctor. To drink alcohol, you just have to be 21."

Already explained the difference between Drugs and Alcohol, but here's the short version. Many prescription drugs are affected by different body chemistry, including high and low blood sugar, previous heart problems, etc. The dosage changes with height, weight, age. These things could only be known by your family doctor. Alcohol, on the other hand, will not change its effect regardless of whatever previous condition you might have. There only about 1300-1400 deaths directly attributed to alcohol poisoning(1), yet there are a whopping 20,000 people die from prescription drug overdoses alone.(2)

"Shall I go do field research before I finish this debate?"

It seems like common sense to me. I mean, I can't find a reason why a drug cartel would kill their loyal customers who are addicted to their drugs, unless the customer is refusing to pay. I didn't twist anything. You made a nonsensical point, and i called you out on it. If you are also unaware of what's happening and who is getting killed in Mexico by the drug wars, i suggest you refrain from making absurd claims like "Why would anybody support the drug cartels who kill you".

"How much do we care about profitability?"

You're kidding me, right?

"Alternatively, we could give it to private businesses "

How would the outcome differ? If anything, private businesses would care MORE about profitability, and therefore increase their prices BEYOND that of what the government would sell. I think your point has failed here.

"it's necessary to run background checks and get licenses and stuff"

This argument fails when you consider how easy it is to get, for example, long guns and handguns. In some states such as Alabama, Long guns require no background checks, and no licenses if you are not carrying the weapon around.

"The government doesn't exist to stop our bad habits, so it doesn't really matter how bad it is for you."

Actually, yes, the government does exist to stop us from causing potential harm to ourselves. Its why the FDA exists. Why do you think the FDA forces drug companies to prove that their product is SAFE, before placing them on shelves?

"Now, tell me, how many cigarette smokers are social smokers who are not addicted?"

Great. Now i get to tell you the difference between Cigarettes and Cocaine.

Can you overdose on cigarettes? Plain and simple.

And BTW, it was the government who pushed the bill, requiring ALL cigarette packages to label their product as potentially causing cancer.

"Still, how many people already die of accidental (or, perhaps, not accidental) overdoses? This is really not very different."

Boy, will your face be red when you read my arguments...

"It's proven that smoking puts you at a higher risk for lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, etc., but it's legal."

Again, this is the difference. You could never overdose on fatty foods, nor eating fatty foods all your life does not necessarily mean you will die of heart attacks. The same doesn't go for Drugs. You could overdose very VERY easily on drugs, yet you could eat and eat mcdonalds until your stomach is about to burst and STILL not die of a heart attack.(3)

"How does this negate the resolution?"

It negates your point about police officers.

"We can legalize anything with restrictions and regulations. Point completely negated."

This is what we currently have, though. What do you think prescription drugs are? What do you think Vicodin, Morphine, Oxycontin, LSD, Diazepam, and Ketamine, are? These are ALL drugs that HAVE restrictions AND are regulated. These are what we CALL PRESCRIPTION drugs. This isn't at all what you are trying to advocate. What you are trying to advocate, is essentially ONE restriction, ONE regulation, which is nicely summed up in the next sentence:

"Only adults can buy them. They have to be tested and approved."

Tested and approved for what, exactly?

In the end, it comes down to two criterions:
-The potential to abuse the substance
-The potential harm of the substance

For aclohol, both criterions are fairly low. For cigs, one is high but the other is low. For Drugs, BOTH are high.

Sources
1. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov...
2. http://www.cdc.gov...
3. http://news.injuryboard.com...
Debate Round No. 2
abard124

Pro

Thank you for your response!

"For those who think it through, trying not to get caught, chances are they won't."
Sadly, this is the case. So we go and fill up our jails with moral criminals like drug users instead of property criminals. That's not right. As I mentioned, the police are wasting considerable force on moral criminals instead of property criminals.

"Yet, the punishment for Drugs, is fairly similar to that of most other crimes."
But if you're addicted to a substance, you tend to care less, and your judgment tends to be impaired. The first time, they might just say that they'll just do it once, but then maybe once more, then maybe once more, and then they're an addict. Capital punishment or life imprisonment would probably be a fairly successful deterrent for that first time, but that's cruel and unusual punishment.

"I don't understand that either, as the drug laws have been enforced, which is obvious when we look at the statistics of how many people have been caught and placed in jail."
Then they come out of jail and back to their drugs. Even rehab programs are only reasonably successful.

"I can have a drink or two and be completely level-headed. Can the same be said of other Drugs?"
The short answer is a very irrelevant no. Now, here's why it's irrelevant. In the state of Oregon, it is illegal to drive when your blood alcohol concentration is above .08% or you fail a field sobriety test. So, for some people, that is indeed one beer. For some people, that's 5 beers. It's the same way with drugs. Sure, it is probably shifted significantly towards the former. As long as it's illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, then it is a moot point.

"Clearly you've missed the point."
No, you misunderstood mine, but I'm not about to get into a spat. I meant to extend my points from the first argument and justify them with the points I made in the more recent one. I'm sorry if I was confusing.

"What possible benefit is there, for someone who becomes addicted to Cocaine?"
The high? But I disagree with the principle of the whole point. Nukes and guns harm other people. I see no benefit in smoking cigarettes, but clearly some people do. And clearly some people see a benefit is doing cocaine, since they do it.

"Alcohol, on the other hand, will not change its effect regardless of whatever previous condition you might have."
What on earth are you talking about? What if you had a liver problem? What if you are a small woman? Alcohol affects many people very differently.

"yet there are a whopping 20,000 people die from prescription drug overdoses alone."
I fail to see the point you're trying to make here. These are statistics for prescription drugs, which are legal already.

"I mean, I can't find a reason why a drug cartel would kill their loyal customers who are addicted to their drugs, unless the customer is refusing to pay."
I think you answered your own question there, so I don't have to.

"If you are also unaware of what's happening and who is getting killed in Mexico by the drug wars, i suggest you refrain from making absurd claims like 'Why would anybody support the drug cartels who kill you'"
I don't understand what you're saying. I know that people are being killed in the drug wars, and I know that the drug cartels are killing people. That's all I need to know for my argument, and that's all I'm saying with my argument.

"If anything, private businesses would care MORE about profitability, and therefore increase their prices BEYOND that of what the government would sell."
Yes, your point is correct, but do you understand how high the prices are currently from drug dealers? They drive the prices way up, since, as you said, "all [drug cartels] care about is money." They usually put a bunch of junk in with the drug and sell it way above its true value [1].

"In some states such as Alabama, Long guns require no background checks, and no licenses if you are not carrying the weapon around."
Well, I could get in a whole new debate with you on that one... But in other states, it does require a background check and license, and it would make logical sense to assume that the illegal gun commerce is mostly in those states.

"Why do you think the FDA forces drug companies to prove that their product is SAFE, before placing them on shelves?"
Because they serve a medical purpose and the government is making sure that drug companies aren't harming you. It has nothing to do with you harming yourself, which is what the drug laws try to prevent. I'll go back to the cigarette example with this. I think that the FDA regulates cigarettes, but they are certainly harmful.

"Can you overdose on cigarettes?"
Yes. [2]

"it was the government who pushed the bill, requiring ALL cigarette packages to label their product as potentially causing cancer."
Yes. That is a good thing. Label drugs too. I'm all for truth in marketing. Cigarettes are still legal, though.

"You could overdose very VERY easily on drugs, yet you could eat and eat mcdonalds until your stomach is about to burst and STILL not die of a heart attack."
If you take a whole bottle of Aspirin, you will experience an Aspirin overdose. You could very likely die. Aspirin is legal, is it not?

"Only adults can buy them. They have to be tested and approved."
Sure. I'm good with that...

"Tested and approved for what, exactly?"
Relative safety (I know no drugs are safe. But they're even less safe if you put rat poison in them, so they would be tested against a completely pure sample of that drug).

"In the end, it comes down to two criterions:
-The potential to abuse the substance
-The potential harm of the substance"
I am not sure where you came up with those criteria, but I do not agree. That is not the government's job.

Look. I hate drugs. I think that they're a weak way out, and I think that they really mess people up. I would never smoke or drink either. McDonald's disgusts me. But, just because I don't personally understand why people would do such things to themselves, does not mean that I should let my beliefs cloud over the fact that other people are different. If they want to do bad things to their body, then they can go ahead and do that. It reminds me of my favorite movie, "Blazing Saddles." Bart finds out that the man later identified as Jim is a heavy drinker and doesn't eat, and he says, "A man drink like that and he don't eat, he is going to die!"
Jim responds with a very frank, "When?"
Now, it might be slightly silly to quote bad comedy movies from the 70's in a very serious debate, but first of all, I love that movie, and second of all, it makes a good point. Some people really don't care about themselves, and they turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort. I think that is sad, but it is what they do, and it's not the government's job to tell them they can't do that. As it happens, decriminalizing drugs will reduce the crime rate, and not just because drug charges wouldn't exist anymore. It would also lower the rate of violent and other property crime, since people wouldn't have to steal money to get overly priced drugs. It would also reduce organized crime, since gangs are often associated with the sale of drugs. If done correctly, it could even help the economy and make our country a few bucks. With that, I would like to thank my opponent for his extremely impassioned and insightful arguments. As wonderful as CON's arguments were; however, I feel as though there is no choice but to vote PRO on this one. Thank you.

1. http://www.sethson.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
tkubok

Con

Thank you for an interesting debate.

"the police are wasting considerable force on moral criminals instead of property criminals."

Wow. You make it sound as if Police are spending more time busting into peoples houses just to search for drugs.

Oh wait, police can't do that, cause of a little thing called probable cause. Yes, that is correct. Most Drug raids and busts, are either on people who are ACTUALLY MANUFACTURING/SELLING the drugs, or people who have committed OTHER crimes and drugs were merely an added offense. The former is illegal, even if Drugs become legalized, and the latter is more than simple "Moral criminals" who probably have committed property crimes. So yeah, my opponents argument is a bust.

"But if you're addicted to a substance, you tend to care less, and your judgment tends to be impaired."

As mentioned above, rarely is anyone arrested SIMPLY for doing drugs. Its also why, for example, some sentences are NOT prison sentences but Rehab sentences. And yes, rehab centers do help in staving off addiction.

But i find this argument laughable. First off, your judgment doesn't stay impaired after you've stopped using drugs. Secondly, maybe if you are a complete loner, you wouldn't care if you went to jail, but most people aren't. Thirdly, being in a prison where drugs are scarce, would make you care more, and I would like to think this is common sense. Especially if you were more addicted, you would have a harder time in jail. My opponents arguments just don't follow through.

"Then they come out of jail and back to their drugs."

There are always repeaters. This is the same for ANY crime, including Theft, assault, and even murder. I believe my opponent has failed his argument in showing how the punishment is any more effective in deterring people, than any other crime.

"So, for some people, that is indeed one beer. For some people, that's 5 beers. It's the same way with drugs."

Sorry, but no.

If i have no drugs on me, but I've taken some Cocaine, and am still completely sober and lucid, I won't get arrested. There is no test for drug use beyond examination in a lab. The reason why the level of Alcohol is set at .08%, is because that is the determined limit of alcohol in a person's body to which he is lucid and sober enough to drive safely. If youve taken drugs and are completely lucid, there ARE no grounds to arrest you. But here's where the similarity ends.

Most social drinkers do not require enough drinks to become so drunk that they cannot stand anymore. With Drugs, the psychological effect, the need to achieve the same high as before, exists much, much more strongly than with alcohol. It's why, as I said before, there are AA meetings and Drug Rehab clinics. This is the vital difference between drugs and alcohol. This is what my opponent fails to understand.

"And clearly some people see a benefit is doing cocaine, since they do it."

Did you not read my argument, carefully? I clearly stated that we weigh the potential harm, with the benefits. The potential harm of Cigs, isn't as high as other drugs. If you've missed this part in your History Class, here's a recap. The reason why Russia and the U.S.A never started a nuclear third world war, is because BOTH had nukes and BOTH were afraid of M.A.D. That is, mutually assured destruction. These are benefits that outweigh the harm. The benefit o Cocaine is the high, but that is also the harm, because of the addictive and tolerance potential. The more you use Cocaine, the more you need to use in order to get the same high. This is hardly comparable to cigarettes. I used to be a casual smoker for 4 years, never needing to increase the number of puffs per day. And one day, I just quit, cold turkey. I could never say the same for Cocaine.

"Alcohol affects many people very differently."

You are confusing affect with effect. Someone with a bad liver, or smaller people, will have a harder time breaking down alcohol, and therefore they will become drunk faster, and longer. But the sole effect is sobriety, with a difference in time. If only prescription drugs were this simple, your argument would hold some water. Prescription drugs, will AFFECT the body with DIFFERENT EFFECTS to different people. This is the Vital difference that you are failing to grasp regarding prescription drugs.

"These are statistics for prescription drugs, which are legal already."-You

The point is, alcohol is something you can buy at any corner store in almost every city. Prescription drugs are not. Yet, even with such a STRICT restriction on prescription drugs, there are still MUCH more people who die from Presc. Drug overdoses than Alcohol overdoses. Clearly it is much simpler to overdose on Drugs than Alcohol, yes? This is, of course, after doctors TELL their patients how many to take in one day. Now, think if these prescription drugs made it onto the shelves, as easy to buy as alcohol?

If you still cannot see the point, then you are beyond hope.

"I know that people are being killed in the drug wars, and I know that the drug cartels are killing people."

But you have no idea who's getting killed, or why. If you don't know this, then clearly your previous statement is FALSE.

"do you understand how high the prices are currently from drug dealers?"

Sure, and unless these drug dealers are complete morons, if drugs become legal, they won't keep selling them for the current prices. And that's my point. Drug dealers, cartels, are capable of selling their product at LOWER PRICES than that of the government or private businesses. Cartels have already refined their process for purifying drugs, so no cost goes to R&D. Cartels don't need to hire people for minimum wages, cause the minimum wage is whatever the cartel wants it to be. This is my point.

"the government is making sure that drug companies aren't harming you. It has nothing to do with you harming yourself"

Actually, they're the same thing, and here's why.

No one is forcing you to take drugs. You can, and people do, refuse to take medicine, vaccines, prescription drugs. Every drug has a label that LISTS ALL the possible harms and side-effects. These are risks. And the FDA exists to MINIMIZE these risks. By doing so, they minimize the possible HARM that you are doing to yourself. As stated above, it is YOUR decision to take the drugs. You can AVOID potentially harming yourself by refusing the drugs.

Whether or not you are doing more harm to yourself by taking prescription drugs, is what the FDA is trying to limit. So yes, the FDA is there to limit you from harming yourself.

"Aspirin is legal, is it not?"

Acute aspirin overdose has a death rate of 2%. Very rarely is aspirin overdose lethal.

"Relative safety"

Again, my opponent has advocated only a single restriction, that is, age. One of the main reasons why prescription drugs require a doctor, is because the doctor EXPLAINS which drug is best, and what NOT to mix the drugs with.

My opponent seems to prescribe to "It's their body, i don't care". I suppose, if you don't care about someone who his stabbing himself in the leg, and have the audacity to simply walk past them without a second glance, then people doing drugs and overdosing, people with high blood pressure, taking a drug that had the side-effect of increased blood pressure but wasn't notified because the drug that used to be prescription is now free to sell at any convenience store, wouldn't bother him at all.

But it bothers me. I actually do care if people are doing harm to themselves. And quite a few people agree with me, or they wouldn't bother dispatching police, a government organization, to talk down people who are about to commit suicide. My opponent is wrong. The government does care if we do harm to ourselves, or they wouldn't have forced Cigarette companies to label their product as harmful. And so do I. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by tkubok 6 years ago
tkubok
Sure, but its harder to get addicted to Advil than it is to get addicted to Vicodin or Percoset.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Hey, people can even abuse over the counter drugs like Advil and Tylonol.
Posted by tkubok 6 years ago
tkubok
No no, i made it very clear when i included the prescription drugs in my debate. If my opponent had said "No no, im not talking abotu prescription drugs", then i wouldve happily withdrawn my arguments. But he didnt say anything, and, infact, started to openly claim that even Prescription drugs should infact be completely legal and as easy to get as alcohol in stores.
Posted by tnsarah08 6 years ago
tnsarah08
The problem with these debates is..drugs is such an abstract term. You cant group all drugs into one category.
Posted by InsertNameHere 6 years ago
InsertNameHere
Interesting debate. I also have never tried any kind of recreational drug nor do I plan to as I have seen the harmful effects they can have on people.
Posted by wmpeebles 6 years ago
wmpeebles
Con made extremely good points in the first round. Also, if people were stabbing themselves in the leg because they were mentally impaired at the time, wouldn't they be able to cause harm to other people, like stabbing other people, or staging a demolition derby on a busy road and crashing into other people and killing people? Vote Con, his arguments are powerful.
Posted by awesomeAlan 6 years ago
awesomeAlan
I love this debate and I completely agree with the points that pro made. Well said.
Posted by wpfairbanks 6 years ago
wpfairbanks
Good points. I do think alcohol is lovely though
Posted by lovelife 6 years ago
lovelife
I agree with your position and I don't think I could have said it any differently.
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