The Instigator
meinperpetualmotion
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

End the War on Drugs...

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Kleptin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,039 times Debate No: 7461
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (6)

 

meinperpetualmotion

Pro

Resolved: The United States ought to end the War on Drugs, and fully legalize all illegal substances.

I will affirm the resolution.

Definitions:
Ought: expressing a moral imperative
Illegal substances: drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc.
Legalize: make legal

Plan: End the failed "War on Drugs" policy, strike down all anti-drug legislation, and legalize all currently illegal substances.

Advantage 1: Maximize Individual Liberty
Individuals are sovereign over their own bodies. Thus, an individual ought to have the right to do what they wish with their own body. An act only becomes wrong when it infringes upon the rights or individual sovereignty of another human being. Using illegal substances in no way infringes upon the rights of others, and cannot be said to be immoral.

Advantage 2: Make Drugs Safer
Sub-point 1: Because drugs are illegal, the drug trade is carried out in the black market, rather than out in the open, where it can be appropriately regulated. During the 1920's alcohol prohibition, unsafe, poorly made alcoholic drinks such as bathtub gin caused huge health problems for users. Today, illegal substances are laced with dangerous chemicals in order to minimize the money spent on their creation, and increase profits. These side-effects of the illegal drug trade make drugs more dangerous than they have to be. With proper regulation, these practices would disappear, and illegal substances could become as safe as alcohol is today.
Sub-point 2: Organized crime is dangerous to everyone, and the illegality of drugs is their main source of power. Because drugs are illegal, they are a major black market commodity, and are sold in huge quantities by gangs and mafias. Were these substances part of a legal industry, they would not be profitable on the black market, and organized crime would take a huge financial blow.
Sub-point 3: Drug cartels in third-world countries such as Mexico destabilize the society far more than drug use itself. These massive illegal organizations, spawned from the profitability of black market drugs, oppress the peoples of their countries, engage in turf wars with the local governments, and destroy their environments, both socially and ecologically.

Advantage 3: Save the Government's Money and Effort for More Useful Policies
Sub-point 1: Our tax dollars that are spent on the War on Drugs could be used for more important and less destructive policies, such as education and infrastructure spending.
Sub-point 2: Our prisons contain over 1% of our total population. The United States has one of the highest prison populations in the world. If drugs were legalized, the majority of America's prison population would be freed. This would save the government a huge amount of money and effort, and help to repair the social fabric of our society.
Sub-point 3: Legal sales of popular drugs such as marijuana would bring in huge amounts of revenue through sales taxes, which can also be devoted to more important and useful government policies.

To summarize, drug legalization would increase individual liberty, make both drug use and drug trade (which are inevitable, and have not been curbed by anti-drug legislation) safer for producers, consumers, and the society at large, and it would allow the United States government to devote its resources (which the legal drug trade would increase) to more important and useful policies.

Please vote Pro.
Kleptin

Con

I will argue that the United States as a moral imperative to do some, but not all the things my opponent has set forth.

Let us examine my opponent's points, which are elegant and well crafted, in a simpler light

1. Drugs may be harmful, but that is a person's choice, as drug use does not harm anyone but the user.
2a. Drugs are dangerous solely because they are not pure or regulated.
2b. Organized crime is funded by illegal, unregulated drug use.
2c. Drug Cartels destabilize society
3a. Legalizing drugs ends the war on drugs, saving money
3b. Legality of drugs would diminish arrests, saving imprisonment costs.
3c. Taxes on drugs would bring in revenue.

As part of my argument, I will give a short summary of what I am about to go over, so that the audience can clearly see how my argument is going to proceed.

1. Most illegal drugs have no medical benefit and lead to psychological and physical dependency.
2. Even in their purified and controlled form, these drugs retain those characteristics
3. Those characteristics on the individual, greatly impact society in general in terms of insurance costs.
4. Thus, full legalization of all drugs would be immoral because all society would be paying massive amounts of money for widespread recreation and irresponsibility.

I will first start out by stating that marijuana is already legal and controlled. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in Marijuana is marketed in a pure isomer form under trade name "Marinol". For the purposes of this debate, we shall ignore Marijuana.

As a Pharmacy student, I shall be going over the chemical facts and some rudimentary mechanisms of action involving the drugs my opponent has brought up, and will limit my discussion to the purified forms, not the street forms.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Benzoylmethyl ecgonine, otherwise known as "Cocaine" is a neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitor that chemically allows neurotransmitters to spew into the brain for excessive amounts of time. This is what makes it a stimulant. In addition, this is also what makes it a highly addictive drug, physically and psychologically. The medical benefits of this drug are obsolete as its medicinal purposes have been isolated from the addictive purposes long ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Meaning, the only use of this drug at all, is for recreation. The price to pay is complete and total addiction along with severe health detriments. This is an inarguable point.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Diacetylmorphine, otherwise known as "Heroin", is a synthetically modified opiate. As with Cocaine, this drug acts on the brain, this time, on opioid receptors that are linked with a variety of physiological functions. Dependency and overuse of these receptors in the body will lead to all the symptoms of Heroin withdrawal: Intense pain, anxiety, muscle spasms, etc. Essentially, these are all symptoms that are twice as bad as the benefits they give as a medication. Opioid drugs in the same family as Heroin exist and lessen the side effects while still providing some medicinal purpose.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Meaning we conclude the same thing as above. Heroin, like Cocaine, can only be used for recreational purposes at the cost of good health.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, aka "Ecstasy" is a synthetic, methamphetamine derivative. I'm sure you can all see the pattern by now. Like its two cohorts, the medical benefits of Ecstasy have been removed and synthesized into other drugs. Leaving Ecstasy to be (as with the other two drugs) purely recreational at the massive expense of health.

**********
The conclusion we have at this point is the following: The drugs my opponent wants to FULLY legalize are extremely, EXTREMELY dangerous to personal health, regardless of control, and will definitely lead to addiction both physical and psychological, with absolutely no medical benefit in the slightest.
**********

Now, the principle of insurance.

We all pay health insurance fees that allow us to bring down the costs of medication. Plenty of Americans forego other benefits and even a higher salary purely for a good health plan. Insurance runs under the principle of cost sharing: The healthy pay for the sick, and costs are shared at least semi-equally. When more and more people get sick, the pool of shared money is strained, and everyone has to pay more and more money.

In the universe my opponent is setting up, recreational drug use will be as common as alcohol consumption. You now have a massive proportion of the population in dire health because of their addiction and the naturally toxic nature of these substances. All these people are covered by insurance, and now, insurance rates skyrocket.

Prices for these drugs become heavily inflated. On top of all that, the government taxes them. Hospitals and doctor's offices are flooded, making insurance rates rise even further. Now, insurance is ineffective because the rates are just as high as the price for the drug. The only alternative? Get your fix without all the red tape.

And we're back where we started. Non-purified substances for cheap. No insurance needed, just support all the evil things that my opponent is trying to avoid. Only now, you're sharing drug cartel money with doctors and Big Pharma, and the entire population is trying to recover from what they thought was a legal and healthy recreational habit.

To conclude, my opponent's ignorance of the Health Insurance system has virtually bankrupted America, in terms of both health and wealth.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 1
meinperpetualmotion

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my challenge, and I look forward to what I hope will be a fun and interesting debate. I will now address my opponent's points.

"Let us examine my opponent's points, which are elegant and well crafted, in a simpler light

1. Drugs may be harmful, but that is a person's choice, as drug use does not harm anyone but the user.
2a. Drugs are dangerous solely because they are not pure or regulated.
2b. Organized crime is funded by illegal, unregulated drug use.
2c. Drug Cartels destabilize society
3a. Legalizing drugs ends the war on drugs, saving money
3b. Legality of drugs would diminish arrests, saving imprisonment costs.
3c. Taxes on drugs would bring in revenue."

Here my opponent commits a strawman fallacy, misrepresenting my position. I never denied the intrinsic danger in drug use, I simply postulated that unregulated black market trafficking of these substances greatly adds to the danger, unnecessarily. Other than that, I reluctantly accept this summary, though I believe it is an oversimplification.

"As part of my argument, I will give a short summary of what I am about to go over, so that the audience can clearly see how my argument is going to proceed.

1. Most illegal drugs have no medical benefit and lead to psychological and physical dependency.
2. Even in their purified and controlled form, these drugs retain those characteristics
3. Those characteristics on the individual, greatly impact society in general in terms of insurance costs.
4. Thus, full legalization of all drugs would be immoral because all society would be paying massive amounts of money for widespread recreation and irresponsibility."

My opponent only addresses my point about drugs only affecting the user, ignoring all of the other benefits to legalization.

"I will first start out by stating that marijuana is already legal and controlled. Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in Marijuana is marketed in a pure isomer form under trade name "Marinol". For the purposes of this debate, we shall ignore Marijuana."

This is completely irrelevant. If I try to grow and sell marijuana, I will be arrested. Thus, marijuana is illegal. Besides, even if this point were valid, it would do no damage to my argument.

"The conclusion we have at this point is the following: The drugs my opponent wants to FULLY legalize are extremely, EXTREMELY dangerous to personal health, regardless of control, and will definitely lead to addiction both physical and psychological, with absolutely no medical benefit in the slightest."

Fair enough. Drug use is dangerous. However, I do not personally endorse the use of hard drugs. I merely argue with the welfare of society in mind. I believe our government has a moral imperative to end the war on drugs because it is ultimately more damaging to society than drug use itself could be.

In this respect, my opponent offers his only other argument:

"Now, the principle of insurance.

We all pay health insurance fees that allow us to bring down the costs of medication. Plenty of Americans forego other benefits and even a higher salary purely for a good health plan. Insurance runs under the principle of cost sharing: The healthy pay for the sick, and costs are shared at least semi-equally. When more and more people get sick, the pool of shared money is strained, and everyone has to pay more and more money.

In the universe my opponent is setting up, recreational drug use will be as common as alcohol consumption."

I think that assertion is unfounded, but let's move on.

"You now have a massive proportion of the population in dire health because of their addiction and the naturally toxic nature of these substances. All these people are covered by insurance, and now, insurance rates skyrocket."

I have several responses to this argument. First, what about all of the illegal drug users right now who have health insurance? They are covered, and yet society is not falling apart. If anything, legalization will help with this issue, because when drugs become less dangerous, people will consume less insurance. Second, alcohol and tobacco are legal in the United States. Users of these two very dangerous drugs are covered by health insurance, and yet the system is not falling apart. What about people who abuse legal narcotics, such as oxycontin? My opponent assumes too much, and his argument simply does not hold water when we consider the facts.

"Prices for these drugs become heavily inflated. On top of all that, the government taxes them. Hospitals and doctor's offices are flooded, making insurance rates rise even further. Now, insurance is ineffective because the rates are just as high as the price for the drug. The only alternative? Get your fix without all the red tape.

And we're back where we started. Non-purified substances for cheap. No insurance needed, just support all the evil things that my opponent is trying to avoid. Only now, you're sharing drug cartel money with doctors and Big Pharma, and the entire population is trying to recover from what they thought was a legal and healthy recreational habit."

Countries with high alcohol and tobacco taxes do not suffer from this problem. People choose to buy within the legal market because a legal industry is always safer and more preferable. Home brewing of alcohol, along with the black market for it, disappeared for the most part after prohibition ended. When other drugs become legalized, regulated, and taxed, it is not likely that they will cause this problem. Once again, my opponent's unfounded assumptions don't hold water.
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for his response and will respond to his points. But first, a statement: My opponent has commented that he wishes an alcohol/cigarette style limitation on these drugs. And I shall debate accordingly.

"Here my opponent commits a strawman fallacy, misrepresenting my position."

I apologize for the mistake but must correct my opponent. A strawman fallacy was not made because I did not deliberately attack a misrepresented point, nor did I base an argument on that misrepresentation. Hence, it cannot be aptly named "strawman fallacy".

"My opponent only addresses my point about drugs only affecting the user, ignoring all of the other benefits to legalization."

I do not deny that there are all those other benefits should the legalization of all drugs go exactly according to your plan. However, my argument is that because we are in a managed care system of health care, none of those benefits will be realized as you set forth in your argument.

"Fair enough. Drug use is dangerous."

Then my opponent concedes that the drugs he wishes to legalize and make freely available to the public will, to the person, cause great injury for no medicinal purpose.

We now go to my opponent's rebuttal of my main argument.

"First, what about all of the illegal drug users right now who have health insurance? They are covered, and yet society is not falling apart. If anything, legalization will help with this issue, because when drugs become less dangerous, people will consume less insurance."

The illegal drug users now are limited because there are few of them. Legalizing all illicit drugs will absolutely cause the number of addicts to skyrocket. More users means more addicts, these illegal drugs are addictive by their very nature and in order to even be effective recreationally, an amount that causes dependence and addiction needs to be taken. This means that every recreational drug user will 100% become a burden on the health care system. In addition, the legalization of these drugs would lead to a substantial number of potentially fatal drug-drug interactions between regular prescription drugs. One does not even have to be an addict, only on a certain medication or dietary supplement to receive health problems.

"Second, alcohol and tobacco are legal in the United States. Users of these two very dangerous drugs are covered by health insurance, and yet the system is not falling apart."

To already classify alcohol and tobacco as "very dangerous" would leave few applicable descriptions for the three drugs my opponent wishes to legalize. Compared to alcohol and tobacco, the drugs cocaine, heroine, and ecstasy are far, FAR more deadly. The quantities in which alcohol and nicotine would cause fatality is astronomical in comparison to that of the three illegal drugs, there is absolutely no comparison. Users of alcohol and nicotine can be relatively healthy for decades and decades, but those who use cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy will begin suffering intensely in less than a year.

"What about people who abuse legal narcotics, such as oxycontin? My opponent assumes too much, and his argument simply does not hold water when we consider the facts."

The number of people who abuse prescription medications is few. Pharmacists are trained to detect drug-seeking behavior and the fact that a prescription is needed in order to obtain this medication makes it very easy to catch those who are drug abusers. The DEA is also heavily invested in catching overuse of these medications and they are very, VERY tightly regulated. Much more so than tobacco or alcohol. Oxycodone is essentially a substantially safer version of Heroin, with less addictive nature, much less side effects, and better medical use. The facts are not on my opponent's side for this point.

"Countries with high alcohol and tobacco taxes do not suffer from this problem."

There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy alcohol and tobacco, but for those three drugs I mentioned? The recreational aspect is necessarily linked with all the properties that are destructive to health. In addition, those who drink casually or smoke casually do not necessarily get addicted. To make cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy use anything remotely definable as a "habit" is suicide.

****
There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of chemical substances available for medical use that would kill a person in seconds if ingested, in a dose that you can barely fit on your fingernail. Thankfully, there are rules and regulations that protect people from having these drugs readily available. In addition, for any drug that one can become addicted to, there are series of rules and regulations preventing abuse and further addiction. Not only that, but there are drugs which can easily react with not only other prescription medications, but also over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, or even food. Luckily, pharmacies can keep track of those and warn people about the dangers of potentially fatal interactions.

The sleeping pill "Ambien", generic name Zolpidem, is a controlled substance because it is habit forming. One cannot get this medication without a prescription.

My opponent has clarified that the regulations for these drugs should be the same as tobacco and alcohol. My opponent is suggesting that we take the world's deadliest, most addictive drugs, substances with absolutely no medical usage, and make it available to everyone with a 21 license, in whatever quantity they wish, so long as they have the money, making them more available than Ambien.

But let's set aside the absurdity of this proposal. Let's go back to Health Insurance. My opponent thinks that because alcohol and cigarettes are fine, then so must these drugs. He is very, very poorly informed. My opponent's comparison of Cocaine, Heroin, and Ecstasy with tobacco and alcohol is completely unfounded. The addictive nature of these drugs as well as the inherent danger to one's health simply cannot be compared to that of tobacco or alcohol. The very thought of such a comparison is ludicrous. What my opponent does not understand is that there is absolutely no safe way to take these three drugs recreationally. To make it available for recreational use is, for all intents and purposes, to turn them into addicts and destroy their health. Normally, that would be okay with my opponent because of his stance on personal liberty.

Health insurance is hideously expensive already. The more meds people take, the more sick they get, the more hospital visits, the more expensive for everyone. With all of these addicts popping up, regular people who think legal = safe, people who ignorantly think as my opponent does: That the deadliest, most addictive drugs in the world are like sipping a wine cooler or a smoking a newport, do you really want to pay the hospital bills for people this irresponsible?
Debate Round No. 2
meinperpetualmotion

Pro

This will be my final rebuttal. I would like to thank my opponent once more for what has been a very enjoyable debate. I accept my opponent's apology for his misunderstanding, and withdraw my accusation.

"Then my opponent concedes that the drugs he wishes to legalize and make freely available to the public will, to the person, cause great injury for no medicinal purpose."

Just like alcohol and tobacco. Other drugs are more dangerous, yes, but just like cocaine and heroin, alcohol and tobacco are purely recreational substances which cause damage and addiction. Neither have any medicinal benefits that cannot be provided in safer ways. I find this double standard to be intellectually dishonest.

"The illegal drug users now are limited because there are few of them. Legalizing all illicit drugs will absolutely cause the number of addicts to skyrocket. More users means more addicts, these illegal drugs are addictive by their very nature and in order to even be effective recreationally, an amount that causes dependence and addiction needs to be taken. This means that every recreational drug user will 100% become a burden on the health care system."

More unsubstantiated claims and unfounded assertions. My opponent is hell-bent on portraying the legalization of drugs as a doomsday scenario, in which people who have never touched drugs before in their lives will become hard drug users en masse. Certainly, numbers would increase, but a few more drug addicts is a fair price to pay for the eradication of the social problems caused by the failed War on Drugs. My opponent has still failed to address these benefits. Furthermore, illegality makes these substances more profitable, and thus more prolific.

"In addition, the legalization of these drugs would lead to a substantial number of potentially fatal drug-drug interactions between regular prescription drugs. One does not even have to be an addict, only on a certain medication or dietary supplement to receive health problems."

Alcohol and sleeping pills, anyone? You certainly don't need cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy to encounter this sort of problem.

"To already classify alcohol and tobacco as "very dangerous" would leave few applicable descriptions for the three drugs my opponent wishes to legalize. Compared to alcohol and tobacco, the drugs cocaine, heroine, and ecstasy are far, FAR more deadly. The quantities in which alcohol and nicotine would cause fatality is astronomical in comparison to that of the three illegal drugs, there is absolutely no comparison. Users of alcohol and nicotine can be relatively healthy for decades and decades, but those who use cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy will begin suffering intensely in less than a year."

I don't see why you keep pushing this spiel about the health problems that illegal drugs cause. Nobody here is trying to
argue that drugs are good for you.

"There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy alcohol and tobacco, but for those three drugs I mentioned? The recreational aspect is necessarily linked with all the properties that are destructive to health. In addition, those who drink casually or smoke casually do not necessarily get addicted. To make cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy use anything remotely definable as a "habit" is suicide."

My previous statement, which you are responding to ("Countries with high alcohol and tobacco taxes do not suffer from this problem.") had nothing to do with the addictive properties of the substances, only with your assumption that high taxes would make users buy on the black market, which I proved incorrect. Even if there are high taxes, people will still buy legally, because:

1) Black market drugs will always be more expensive.
2) Legal markets are safer.

"There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of chemical substances available for medical use that would kill a person in seconds if ingested, in a dose that you can barely fit on your fingernail. Thankfully, there are rules and regulations that protect people from having these drugs readily available. In addition, for any drug that one can become addicted to, there are series of rules and regulations preventing abuse and further addiction."

Anyone who makes an informed choice, and chooses an option which will cause them that much harm, deserves the consequences. Personal responsibility, along with personal liberty and individual sovereignty, is a principle upon which this country was founded.

"Let's go back to Health Insurance. My opponent thinks that because alcohol and cigarettes are fine, then so must these drugs. He is very, very poorly informed. My opponent's comparison of Cocaine, Heroin, and Ecstasy with tobacco and alcohol is completely unfounded. The addictive nature of these drugs as well as the inherent danger to one's health simply cannot be compared to that of tobacco or alcohol. The very thought of such a comparison is ludicrous. What my opponent does not understand is that there is absolutely no safe way to take these three drugs recreationally. To make it available for recreational use is, for all intents and purposes, to turn them into addicts and destroy their health. Normally, that would be okay with my opponent because of his stance on personal liberty.

Health insurance is hideously expensive already. The more meds people take, the more sick they get, the more hospital visits, the more expensive for everyone.

With all of these addicts popping up, regular people who think legal = safe, people who ignorantly think as my opponent does: That the deadliest, most addictive drugs in the world are like sipping a wine cooler or a smoking a newport, do you really want to pay the hospital bills for people this irresponsible?"

I fully understand that the drugs I propose to legalize are more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, but I don't think you can rule out a comparison between these drugs. I have already noted the fundamental similarities in their nature, namely their physical dangers, their ability to cause serious addictions, their purely recreational use, and their lack of medical benefits.

CONCLUSION:
In the process of debating health issues, my opponent has forgotten my argument. I never endorsed drug use. I never said it was not dangerous. My goal in ending the War on Drugs has been the eradication of several pressing social problems, and the discontinuation of a useless and destructive government policy which, to this date, has FAILED to adequately restrict the the proliferation of dangerous drugs.

ALL of my original points and subpoints remain standing.

I have already shown his two main arguments on health care and taxation to be the product of fallacious logic. They rely on two unsupported assertions:
1) That legalization will cause drug use and addiction to "skyrocket".
2) That high taxes will cause drug users to buy from the black market.

In closing, I would like voters to consider the following:
1) Increased personal use of recreational substances will likely not cause the breakdown of society.
2) Organized crime, drug cartels (which are currently in danger of spilling into the US), and terrorist groups, all of which profit off of the illegality of drugs, have a FAR higher probability of doing serious damage.
3) The United States government has a moral obligation to protect its society from danger as best as it can. Which of the above alternatives seem more dangerous to you?
4) The War on Drugs has been a government policy for at least 20 years, and it has utterly failed in its purpose. All it is right now is a waste of money and effort.

Because the greater welfare of society is the goal, the US government ought to end the War on Drugs. The resolution is affirmed.

Vote Pro.
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate and will conclude as well with my final series of comments.

"Other drugs are more dangerous, yes, but just like cocaine and heroin, alcohol and tobacco are purely recreational substances which cause damage and addiction. Neither have any medicinal benefits that cannot be provided in safer ways. I find this double standard to be intellectually dishonest."

"I fully understand that the drugs I propose to legalize are more dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, but I don't think you can rule out a comparison between these drugs. I have already noted the fundamental similarities in their nature, namely their physical dangers, their ability to cause serious addictions, their purely recreational use, and their lack of medical benefits."

"I don't see why you keep pushing this spiel about the health problems that illegal drugs cause. Nobody here is trying to
argue that drugs are good for you."

These three responses by my opponent all fall under the same flaw: My opponent assumes that because alcohol and cigarrettes bear SOME similarity to illegal drugs, they should be restricted with the same leniency.

My opponent's argument is completely and totally nonsensical. The fact that knives and firearms both kill people does not mean that firearms should be restricted as leniently as knives are.

Firearms, if widespread, have the potential to cause massive social problems, much more so than knives. This is why the government regulates firearms more strictly than they do knives.

Similarly, my opponent has conceded the fact that our illegal drugs are far more dangerous and deadly than current recreational drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. It logically follows that stricter regulation should be applied.

"Alcohol and sleeping pills, anyone? You certainly don't need cocaine, heroin, or ecstasy to encounter this sort of problem."

My opponent here is arguing against my concern that the widespread and poorly regulated use of illicit drugs will substantially raise the number of drug-drug interactions. However, my opponent's flaw is that he greatly underestimates the potential for abuse. It takes a substantial amount of unregulated sleeping medication (about a full bottle) to cause danger to the person taking it. So much so, that it is a sign of suicide. Potentially fatal interactions with illicit drugs will occur even at the recreational level, where death is not intended. This is where my opponent's rebuttal fails.

And now, the core of the debate:

***********************************

"My opponent is hell-bent on portraying the legalization of drugs as a doomsday scenario, in which people who have never touched drugs before in their lives will become hard drug users en masse."

"Anyone who makes an informed choice, and chooses an option which will cause them that much harm, deserves the consequences. Personal responsibility, along with personal liberty and individual sovereignty, is a principle upon which this country was founded."

Though my opponent greatly exaggerates my point, the sad part is that it does not need to be a "doomsday" scenario for there to be a severe and devestating impact on the American economy. I have decided to put together some crude numbers since my opponent has claimed I am overreacting.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Federal government spent $204 BILLION for medicaid in 2008 alone. But wait, that's not the worst part. The Federal government only ponies up half the amount, the state gives the rest. This means that in one year, the health costs for people on medicaid ring up to about $400 BILLION. Now, let's take a look at the stats for illegal drug use:

Illegal drug use, estimated in 2001 to be 17% of the population. To be fair, half of these drug users did not use the much more dangerous illicit drugs I am arguing about, so we will count that number as 8% of Americans as chronic drug abusers.

http://www.policyalmanac.org...

It is not unreasonable to say that once these drugs are made legal, four things will happen:

1. Those who are addicted will stay addicted.
2. Those who only refrain from drug abuse because of illegality will then proceed to become addicts.
3. Those who are limited in their drug habits because of regulation will then become complete addicts.
4. A substantial number of people, led either by curiosity, peer pressure, or the ideas of social rite of passage will engage in drug addiction.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the 8% already fully addicted to dangerous, illicit drugs will rise to at least double (16%) given all the factors I listed. What does Medicaid have to do with drug addicts? The population of people currently on Medicaid, costing us over $400 BILLION, is equal the the conservative estimate of people who will require massive medical aid for drug addiction given the poorly regulated situation my opponent is proposing.

Keep in mind that this population will require MUCH more intensive care and resources than medicaid recipients, even though their frequency of use may be smaller. They would break even in terms of costs to health care. However, this does not factor in the loss of productivity in terms of labor due to health problems, the regulatory procedures that will have to be undergone for this ridiculous proposal, escalated costs to provide more health care facilities for addicts, etc. This cost, which might go up to over a trillion, given that the construction and maintenance of facilities is very expensive, will have to be shared by EVERYONE. In the form of taxes, as well as private insurance fees.

Meanwhile, the money spent on the war on drugs? A mere 11 Billion.

http://www.drugsense.org...

***************************************

As I have said earlier, my opponent's argument has failed from the very start because he neglected one thing: Individual responsibility is inevitably tied to societal well-being by the Health Insurance mechanism. as I have proven with some raw number crunching that anyone at home can do.

Legalizing drugs and having them heavily restricted would avoid many, MANY of these problems. For example, one good restriction would be to have them available by prescription only, so a doctor can regulate how much of these dangerous, life threatening substances are available. This would be a reasonable and acceptable proposal.

However, my opponent INSISTS on keeping only as much regulation on these socially destructive drugs as are on cigarettes and alcohol, and *that*, ladies and gentlemen, is what will lead to enormous, ENORMOUS costs for each and every single one of us.

My numbers, already conservative, calculate my opponent's plan to throw over $400 billion away. And for what? Personal liberties? talk about selfish. Societal good? I've already shown how it does way more harm than good. Brings down terrorists and drug lords? They'll just sell to other countries while our country goes into another economic crisis.

My opponent simply has not thought his proposal all the way through, because he did not take into account the impact that it would have on society. Health care costs are not visible. They are shared by the entire country. My opponent has conceded both that drug use will almost certainly lead to addiction, and that addicts will suffer immense health problems that require massive amounts of care to correct and prevent.

If he concedes it for one person, he MUST concede it for 50 million people, because we are all responsible for their health care, whether we like to believe it or not.

$11 billion a year thrown away, or over $400 billion a year thrown away?

It's your choice. Make the obvious one.

Thank you, and Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SensibleLiberties 4 years ago
SensibleLiberties
One more thing, it is fundamentally against American values, to oppose an individuals rights to choose what is best for them to live there life so long as they are not hurting others, I don't recommend people getting tatoo's and piercings, they propose a health risk, but i'm not going stop them from doing what they want to do to make themselves happy. Let's get out from under the debate and push for proper law!
Posted by SensibleLiberties 4 years ago
SensibleLiberties
Correction, by the debate format, con put together a more well put together argument, but this is not a debate anymore, if we all do our research conclusively there can be a disparity between schools of thought on the philosophy of the impact of the latter, however, it is a dangerous war on American soil that kills millions when if you absolutely calculate and crunch the data in full, it is hard to dispute that the millions of people that die, and millions that become addicts, the millions that get murdered by cartels, and all of our American people who suffer from the illegal pockets in our society funded by cartels, wouldn't under policy similar to that of which we handle alcohol. We sit and have our intellectual stimulation, our drug, while we selfishly ignore that it is our responsibility to free our fellow Americans afflicted by this war.
Posted by SensibleLiberties 4 years ago
SensibleLiberties
Pro wins by a landslide, con did not address the major factors contributing to the greater benefits we all receive as drug policy is repealed. the bottom line is when you break down the scientific and empirical evidence that supports that regulated markets for these substances wouldn't substantially improve the problems we face relating to problems caused by ILLEGAL drugs, non regulated, you are just ignoring the facts, and seriously offending the millions of Americans that get brutally killed and die from addictions, and it is irresponsible. I will explain further...
Posted by NotyouraverageJoe 5 years ago
NotyouraverageJoe
Oops! Too late. I just found this site looking for government imperative for morality laws. So Klepto, er, I mean Kleptin stole the votes. Gosh, people, no wonder the United States is in such a mess. You have no idea what inalienable rights are.
Posted by NotyouraverageJoe 5 years ago
NotyouraverageJoe
If anyone believes that the government has the legitimate constitutional power to stop adult individuals from the complete ownership and use of their bodies where such ownership and use does not violate the rights of others, then those people (a) haven't read or understood the constitution or (b) believe in tyranny. There is no legitimate constitutional imperative for the government to stop adults from using drugs. Drug use is a moral issue, akin to religious beliefs. The government is not supposed to pass religious laws, but that is what the anti-drug laws are. Study your history. If the government did have such a moral imperative, then the drugs alcohol and tobacco should be at the top of the list as those two drugs cause far more harm to individuals and society than all the illegal drugs put together, even though they are illegal. Alcohol is the drug (and a true narcotic drug also) that is most likely to cause violent behavior. The violent behavior attributed to the presently illegal drugs (which, in 1900 were perfectly legal without any criminal justice problems associated with their use) is cause solely by the religious/personal moral laws prohibiting their manufacture, sales, and use. I have written extensively about this issue at http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com.... My thesis is that, any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or is an immediate and direct threat to same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, is the inalienable right of every person. If you are really interested in the meaning of true personal liberty and individual freedom, not government imposed morality laws, please go to the above URL and read what I have written.
Posted by meinperpetualmotion 8 years ago
meinperpetualmotion
I made a huge mistake in citing no sources for this debate. I agree. The debate goes to Kleptin 100%.
Posted by zippo12321 8 years ago
zippo12321
I am personally convinced that the War on Drugs has been nothing but a tragedy, but this debate goes to kleptin for citing much stronger points for Con.
Posted by letsfreeamerica 8 years ago
letsfreeamerica
i am new here, and have very little time, but this issue is my top priority, the war on drugs is the most terrible thing to every afflick the american population. our government throws untold billions of dollars away trying to fight a fight they will never win. against a drug they have classified as a "controlled substance" yet that is a very lie itself. sure it is controlled, by drug cartels that kill whomever to make the profit. if this war on drugs was no longer, then instead of us wasting untold billion on fighting it, that money could be spent on trying to save the people addicted to them. it would take the power away from the drug cartels. people will get them one way or the other. simple to make it legal but then you have to see a doctor to get say cocaine. making mary jane legal should be no problem. it is estimated that 4 out of every 10 people smaoke it. and out of the other 6 half of them (at least) do not see anything against it being legal.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
A good debate.

The burden of proof was upon Pro to establish that there would be no substantial public harm from legalization of all drugs. Pro only asserted that would be the case, while Con gave good reasons why it would not be. The burden being upon Pro, Con wins. Tie conduct and S&G. Con better references.

In terms of public harm, Con might have cited drug use for date-rape and also that Amsterdam has rescinded its broad drug legalization due to public harm. Pro could have done better by limiting the resolution to marijuana legalization.
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
C: Both debaters conducted themselves well. They were both respectful in settling disputes and addressed the audience properly. Tie.

S&G: No noticeable difference in Spelling and Grammar quality between the two. Tie.

A: Both debaters debated well. However, I felt that Con made the better arguments. Pro accused Con of making unfounded arguments, but Con was the only one to use effective sources to prove his points. In addition, Pro's argument really relied on only one argument: That the individual does not harm the whole. He did not properly defend that and Con ended up winning because he kept biting at that one point. Points go to Con.

S: Con was the only one of the two to provide sources. Con even provided the figure for the cost of the "war on drugs", which should have been a core figure on Pro's side. Points go to Con.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by ronmorgan 8 years ago
ronmorgan
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Vote Placed by Its-you-or-me 8 years ago
Its-you-or-me
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by Seerss 8 years ago
Seerss
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by trendem 8 years ago
trendem
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
meinperpetualmotionKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05