The Instigator
cjet79
Pro (for)
Losing
31 Points
The Contender
dlw7505
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Full Drug Legalization

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  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,029 times Debate No: 369
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (20)

 

cjet79

Pro

Drug prohibition has been a horrible failure, just like its historic counterpart alcohol prohibition. The war on drugs has increased crime, stressed our justice system to the breaking system, filled up our prisons with nonviolent criminals, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and done nothing to impact the availability of drugs.
dlw7505

Con

Are you kidding me on "Full Drug Legalization?" This cant be serious can it. Tens of Thousands of people die, every year. This is a very limited number due to the current laws. To get "Full Drug Legalization" would more than likely quadruple that number. You know what is more important than costing tax payers money, costing them their lives by doing something so ignorant. As far as our justice system filling our prisons with non violent criminal, apparently you have never witnessed someone wet on PCP or on a bad acid trip. Drugs can cause violence. Have you never thought of the violence most drug dealers cause just in sales alone. Protect our children and America from the ignorance of "Full Drug Legalization."
Debate Round No. 1
cjet79

Pro

I am very serious when i say that drug prohibition is one of the most harmful domestic government policies.

Alcohol related deaths skyrocketed during prohibition, because bootleggers had an incentive to carry very high concentrations of alcohol. The same economic incentives exist today. The Toxicity and potency of nearly all drugs has gone up, as drug dealers find it no reason to water down or thin out their material. In nations that have moved towards partial legalization (switzerland has special clinics that literally hand out cocaine) dosage levels of drugs remain more stable making them safer. When you are unaware of the potency of a drug it is very easy to overdose.

Millions of people are thrown in jail over the drugs...and millions die of alcohol and tobacco poisoning. The number of illegal drug related deaths is very small.

There is nothing wrong with throwing someone in jail who has committed a violent offense against others, but if you are going to throw people in jail just because they have the potential to cause crimes then you can throw just about anyone in jail.

The violence caused by drug dealers ONLY exists because drugs are illegal. The harder Police crack down on drugs the more violent the drug dealers will become, because the less violent dealers will be in jail. If drugs were legalized then the industry could be monitored by police and with no need to use violence to settle disputes violent drug dealers would be a thing of the past, just as the prohibition era gangsters and bootleggers disappeared after the repeal of prohibition.

Because of the Drug War teens are more afraid of cops then they are of marijuana, cocaine, acid, PCP, or crack. I know people who would rather risk an experimental go at cocaine then get caught with it.

But hey dont take my word for it, I am nearly voicing the same arguments of former LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS. LEAP website: http://www.leap.cc...
dlw7505

Con

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that cocaine use is linked to high rates of homicide in New York City and that "homicide victims may have provoked violence through irritability, paranoid thinking or verbal and physical aggression which are known to be pharmacological effects of cocaine."
The violent behavior caused by drugs won't magically stop because the drugs are legal. Legal PCP isn't going to make a person less violent than illegally purchased PCP. So, crimes committed because of drugs will increase as the number of drug users increase with the legalization of drugs. The psychopathic behavior that drugs cause will not somehow magically stop because drugs are legal. Legalization proponents ignore the fact that the people committing violent crimes are career criminals who will not stop their illegal activities once drugs are legalized; they will instead seek new sources of illicit revenue.

Illegal drugs are illegal because they are harmful. Illegal drugs are not illegal just because. If you look at the example countries you gave, they don't even have Full Drug Legalization. They only have partial, so that does not help your case at all.

You claim that we have wasted billions of dollars in this anti-drug efforts. But for those kids saved from drug addiction, this is hardly wasted dollars. Moreover, our fight against drug abuse and addiction is an ongoing struggle that should be treated like any other social problem. Would we give up on education or poverty simply because we haven't eliminated all problems? Compared to the social costs of drug abuse and addiction—whether in taxpayer dollars or in pain and suffering—government spending on drug control is minimal.

Lets look at history. Legalization has been tried before—and failed miserably. Alaska's experiment with Legalization in the 1970s led to the state's teens using marijuana at more than twice the rate of other youths nationally. This led Alaska's residents to vote to re-criminalize marijuana in 1990.

The truth is, only about 5 percent of inmates in federal prison are there because of simple possession. Most drug criminals are in jail—even on possession charges—because they have plea-bargained down from major trafficking offences or more violent drug crimes.

But hey dont take my word for it, I am nearly voicing the same arguments as the Drug Enforcement Administration. (No more bias than your source)
http://www.usdoj.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
cjet79

Pro

Homicide rates in New York city from cocaine use could just as easily be from the violent nature of the underground drug business. With no other way to settle disputes drug dealers and users MUST resort to violence. And again compare these illegal drugs to the legal and harmful drug of alcohol. Alcohol is known to induce violence in some users, yet the vast majority of adults have learned how to use this safely and responsibly. You act as if adults are children incapable of any responsible behavior. The violence related to drug trafficking WILL magically stop over night (just as it did at the end of alcohol prohibition), and that is where the majority of the violence originates, not from the drugs themselves.

Legalization proponents such as myself are not interested in insuring that a career criminal has a steady stream of revenue. If you are so worried about criminals keeping a steady illegal revenue then why even bother throwing them in jail?

If you are basing a substance's illegality based off of how harmful it is then American Drug policy has absolutely No consitency. Alcohol and tobacco...by far the most harmful drugs in america are completely legal, while marijuana a substance that is impossible to OD on carries the same penalties for possession as cocaine.

Saved from drug addiction? What are you talking about? I live around these kids you are trying to save, and your definition of "saving" them is throwing them in jail and ruining their entire lives. If you want to prevent drug addiction then education is a far more effective method then incarceration.

The social costs of half our prison system being filled up with non-violent offenders are just as heavy as a couple of addicts.

And a survey from MTF showed evidence that cocaine use among kids/teens only went up from 1991 to 1997. Drug prohibition has done nothing to slow down the actual usage rates. It has only thrown millions in jail.

Merely selling a drug is far less harmful then actually using it. And what you are proudly stating is that "we only throw people in jail for selling things we dont like...not just using or having those things".

Well i do find it very interesting that you would use the DEA, since part of the Drug Czar's job description is to lie to the public if lying helps continue the drug war. http://blogs.salon.com...

I personally find the statements of former law enforcement agents who are admitting that most of their life's work was a waste, to the rather self serving interests of a government agency that is mandated to oppose all drug legalization efforts by any means necessary.

This issue transcends the arguments of practicality. The government has claimed the unconstitutional power to dictate what you put in your body. If you admit that the government has this power and should use it to "save" people from harmful drugs then you are inconsistent unless you are for making alcohol and tobacco completely illegal.

I do not believe I have the right to tell someone else what they can smoke, drink, inhale, or inject into their own bodies. What they do with that body is still their responsibility at all times, but it is time to end the nanny state mentality that we somehow know what is best for others.
dlw7505

Con

The key thing in your first statement is that it does not address the proven pharmacological effects of cocaine provoking violence through irritability, paranoid thinking or verbal and physical aggression. Even if drug dealers are not violent, cocaine is proven to provoke violence.

I also like how you prove the harmful effects of legal drugs like alcohol (which I have shown no support for in this debate) yet suggest that we should legalize other harmful drugs, some being less harmful and some being much much more. Wow what a horrible idea. Nothing like adding coal to the fire. I guess your argument is that we are already killing our selves with minimal amounts of drugs; we might as well open the flood gates and legalize all drugs.

I presented a harm to the action that you are suggesting and you have yet to disprove it. That one harm alone is enough to reject the idea of full drug legalization.

Also where did I proudly state "we only throw people in jail for selling things we dont like...not just using or having those things".

You also contend my source by1.making up arguments that cannot be proven, and 2. By introducing evidence from a blog who references something that plays no part in its claim. If you look at that blog, they make the same reference you do. However when you look at where they got their information, their source does not even support their claim. Not connected at all. So until you can prove that argument it is null.

This is also an unanswered argument
"Lets look at history. Legalization has been tried before—and failed miserably. Alaska's experiment with Legalization in the 1970s led to the state's teens using marijuana at more than twice the rate of other youths nationally. This led Alaska's residents to vote to re-criminalize marijuana in 1990."

You also have not touched the fact that your example countries have only partially legalized drugs. You have no ground to stand on when it comes to this topic.
Debate Round No. 3
cjet79

Pro

I dont find it necessary to prove the safety of cocaine any more then i find it necessary to prove the safety of alcohol. They are both dangerous. I would advise against taking both, but were do you or anyone get the authority to say that a person cannot make that decision on their own?

No my argument about illegal and legal drugs was in reference to your statement "Illegal drugs are illegal because they are harmful. Illegal drugs are not illegal just because." I was simply pointing out the inconsistency of our laws in allowing for some very harmful drugs to be legal yet make others illegal. Then make less harmful drugs (marijuana) illegal. Our drug policy has no consistency, because there is no real underlying principle behind it. Our drug policy was merely created to please a growing evangelical political movement in America.

It is impossible to disprove or prove anything about the effects of full drug legalization because there is no example in the world. You are correct to point that out and i never disputed it. Yet whenever a country has made moves towards legalization positive things have come out of it.
The example you gave in Alaska is hardly fool proof for either side. The courts have effectively legalized small possession amounts by citing a case in the 1970's. And five seperate studies (two of them from the government itself) negate the DEA pamphlet that you c/p from that stated: "Alaska's experiment with Legalization in the 1970s led to the state's teens using marijuana at more than twice the rate of other youths nationally."

And if one harm alone is sufficient to reject legalization then the same should be true for the war on drugs, but its not, because people supporting drug criminalization start out with a personal disapproval of drugs then go about building a case to make them illegal. The DEA is merely trying to hold onto its job...of course they are against legalization it literally puts them out of work.

My whole argument isn't negated by one flaw...even if the one you had pointed out was flawed. I should have explained the context of that blog better. It was made after the drug czar claimed that there was absolutely no medical uses for marijuana. The government didnt bother going into an investigation about whether or not he had lied because he was just following his job description. The job description tells him that he me use any means necessary to oppose drug legalization (which does not exclude lying).

I am standing on quite a solid foundation for my argument. One that i presented at the beginning and you have not addressed a single time. That is the former drug prohibition that this country went through during the 1930's. The former alcohol prohibition and current drug prohibition share many frightening correlations. Homicide rates increased during both periods (offsetting general decreases during other time periods). Deaths from substance overdose increased (both the result of no required labeling of the dosage for both substances). Deaths from contaminated illegal substance increased (the result of no industry oversight). Organized crime skyrocketed and benefited greatly from the constant high revenue source of substance trafficking.

All of those problems were largely eliminated or at the least greatly reduced by the simple act of legalizing alcohol. It seems only logical that if drug prohibition has followed the same trends of alcohol prohibition that ending drug prohibition would also solve the same problems that ending alcohol prohibition solved.

Then there is a constitutional argument that we never addressed...you'll notice that an amendment was passed when they made alcohol illegal...no such amendment was ever passed for drugs. Putting drug criminalization on very shaky constitutional grounds here in the US.

Last of all there is the moral argument. I still dont know where you or anyone else gets the authority to criminalize something just because they dont like it. If people think drugs are wrong and should not be consumed then they have a very simple course of action: do not take drugs and offer knowledge to others of the dangers of drugs. I find it very hypocritical that you think any amount of money is worth "saving the children", but yet thousands of these children and other people have ruined lives because of the tough enforcement of the drug war.

At the very least politicians should be debating the merits of this issue, and not throwing more cash at it and pushing it under the rug.
dlw7505

Con

Let's say we do realistically legalize all drugs
Realistically
Instead of a "Street Tax" that people pay now it will include a "Sales Tax"
The Tax on the drugs (just like with alcohol and tobacco) will always be subject to legislative increases. (This would make the cost even higher)
This would drive people to purchasing illegal versions to avoid the taxes also seen with things like moon shine
Government moves to regulate drugs to remain consistent with alcohol laws
We put the same restrictions on it as alcohol.
This means no one under a certain age is allowed to consume
This means there is a consumption limit
This means that consumption in certain places or during certain activities (driving) will be restricted
This also means we will still have the same problems with drugs as alcohol.
Minor in Consumption
Minor in Possession
Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
The Open container version for drugs (so people are still getting arrested for non violent crimes)
The FDA will more than likely be involved in the process of "watering down" most of these drugs (taking away the major reason people would buy them.)
This would drive people to buy illegal versions of the drugs still, just cycling the current problems we face with drugs today.

Also as you agreed with, causing at least the same number of problems we would see with alcohol and cigarettes.

The bottom line is regardless what steps you make to try to safeguard these drugs, people will always try to find the next biggest high.
If you honestly believe the legalization of these drugs will decrease the use of them, you are a fool. I showed you what happened in Alaska, and usage just increased.
If you believe that the violence associated with these drugs will go away with no drug dealers, once again, fool. I showed you how it is the drugs themselves that cause violent behavior.

As for your prohibition argument-
I don't know where you got your information or if you made it up from personal reflections but, Prohibition did work. Alcohol consumption was reduced by almost 60% and incidents of liver cirrhosis and deaths from this disease dropped dramatically (Scientific American, 1996, by David Musto). Today, alcohol consumption is over three times greater than during the Prohibition years. Alcohol use is legal, except for kids under 21, and it causes major problems, especially in drunk driving accidents.

As for your argument that no one has the right to tell us what we can consume, I think you would have been better off starting a debate about getting rid of the FDA.

Change for the sake of Change is never good. There is no reason to Fully Legalize Drugs
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheSloth 9 years ago
TheSloth
You show a fundamental misunderstanding of what it would mean to legalize drugs. Part of the reason I think drugs should be legalized is that it would PREVENT the criminal element from profiting. There's a reason you don't see drive-by shootings over restaurants altering their beer menu. Studies have shown that the vast majority of drug-related deaths aren't from people using drugs but from the fact that when there is no legal route to settle disputes, violence is one of few possible outcomes. I challenge you to back up your statement regarding terrorists. Also, the number one reason people overdose on drugs is because of uncertain purity that only exists because of the nature of the uncertain supply in the black market. Part of the reason I want drugs legalized is because it would prevent people from overdosing. In other words IT WOULD SAVE LIVES. Finally, regardless of your experience, when I was in high school two years ago it was FAR easier for kids to get ahold of drugs than alcohol. I didn't hang out with drug users/dealers and never bought drugs but I knew of several sources where I could purchase drugs. To get ahold of alcohol one has to find an adult who is willing to buy it for you, with drugs, however, there is no need for that since there is no incentive for dealers to refuse to sell to minors.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
the sloth , actually I did go to HS in America and believe it or not there are actually some kids out there that will not do anything that breaks the law, however hey lets just legalize it and they can have drugs... Thats a good idea. Who cares that the illegal narcotics are produced by terrorists and drug lords inn most cases , hey lets let them profit legally. Who cares that kids are overdosing every day?
Posted by iloveher666 9 years ago
iloveher666
i dont know who to vote for. they both make sense
Posted by Ashbash 9 years ago
Ashbash
IamMe90- Im currious as to how con is losing this debate. He cited evidence from multiple sources that can be verified. pro only cited a source that didnt even say what they claimed it said. Most of the arguments were purely opinionated.
Posted by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
//The Tax on the drugs (just like with alcohol and tobacco) will always be subject to legislative increases. (This would make the cost even higher)
This would drive people to purchasing illegal versions to avoid the taxes also seen with things like moon shine//

Really? Wow, this explains why people are buying cigarettes and alcohol on the black market.
Posted by IamMe90 9 years ago
IamMe90
I can't believe con is winning this debate... people are clearing voting on their personal views, because pro did a far better job arguing. But whatevs, that happens with a lot of debates on this site.
Posted by TheSloth 9 years ago
TheSloth
Make that "absolutely no incentive for drug dealers to NOT sell to minors"
Posted by TheSloth 9 years ago
TheSloth
Kels, did you not go to high school in America? It is way easier for kids to get ahold of illegal drugs than alcohol. There is absolutely no incentive for drug dealers to sell to minors, whereas there are huge incentives for alcohol vendors to avoid doing so.
Posted by cloppbeast 9 years ago
cloppbeast
Being that drug dealer's clients are constantly being arrested and dying, drug dealers are forced to continually find new customers. Who do you think drug dealers are attempting to target with their advertising strategies? Children, of course. If drugs were legal, the government could regulate companies' advertising strategies in order to protect children. Cigarette companies, for instance, have their adds extremely regulated and the result has been a dramatic decline in the number of children and teenagers who smoke.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
cloppbeast , so lets make them legal and then kids can get them easily and try them for fun , oh wait then they will likely become addicted and their lives will be destroyed. Can kids get drugs now, yes , however alot of kids don't have a dealer they know and are too afraid of getting caught and that stops them from trying it .. maybe some do .. but some just cant be bothered or don't want to break laws .If you make it legal then it is no longer illegal (so no more fear of that) and easy as can be for them to get it. Do you know the harms drugs can have on a person? The problem we have right now with young people hooked on OCs? The problems families go through because of drug addiction???
20 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 kohai 6 years ago
kohai
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by coolman 9 years ago
coolman
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by silentrigger1285 9 years ago
silentrigger1285
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by wheelhouse3 9 years ago
wheelhouse3
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Boulder_Boy101 9 years ago
Boulder_Boy101
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by killa_connor 9 years ago
killa_connor
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Ineffablesquirrel 9 years ago
Ineffablesquirrel
cjet79dlw7505Tied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03