The Instigator
Subutai
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Pitbull15
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

LSD Should Be Legal for Recreational Use

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Subutai
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,031 times Debate No: 46853
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (4)

 

Subutai

Pro

This is for the DDO Olympics government and politics bracket. If you have any questions about the debate format below, mention them before you accept this debate.

Full Resolution


LSD should be legal for recreational use.

BoP is on pro.

Definitions

LSD: "Lysergic acid diethylamide: a crystalline solid, C20H25N3O, the diethyl amide of lysergic acid, a powerful psychedelic drug that produces temporary hallucinations and a psychotic state."[1]

Legal: " In conformity with or permitted by law."[2]

Recreational use: "Any substance with pharmacologic effects that is taken voluntarily for personal pleasure or satisfaction rather than for medicinal purposes."[3]

Rules

1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
4. All arguments and sources must be visible inside this debate.
5. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument.

Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate. Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.

Debate Structure

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)

Sources

[1]: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2]: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[3]: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
Pitbull15

Con

I'd just like to make a couple of clarifications:

To all the people who are viewing this, this is a DDO Olympics Politics Preliminary debate. Just type "DDO Olympics" in the search box and you'll know what I'm talking about if you don't already know.

And I'm personally on the fence on this issue and don't have a solid opinion, but I'll do my best with the position I have.

So anyway, I accept and good luck to Subutai.
Debate Round No. 1
Subutai

Pro

I would like to thank Pitbull15 for accepting this debate.

I. The Right to Take LSD

I will begin with a quote by Jacob Hornberger:

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.

This echos the concept of utilitarianism, introduced by John Stuart Mill, who had this to say specifically about drugs and other medical concerns:

The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to attain it. Each is the guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.[1]

Along the same lines but even more important than utilitarianism is the concept of freedom, which I eluded to in my first quote. As long as you are not hurting others, what you do with yourself is your business. "The somewhat facile libertarian dictum that a man should be free to act as he wishes, provided that his actions do not interfere with the freedom of others, takes us at once to the heart of the matter."[2]

Applying this specifically to drugs, "The proviso about the effect of man's action upon others is, of course, crucial, and it is not necessary to establish a direct causal link at the individual level between the use of a good by one person and the adverse effects on others in order to persuade the good libertarian to qualify the individual's freedom to produce it or use it... However, no one has seriously claimed that the consumption of psychedelic drugs creates significant 'spillover effects', to use the economic jargon."[2]

Overall, the utilitarianism argument and the libertarian free will argument show how LSD should be legalized, as it does not pose a serious harm to others. I'm sure the majority of my opponent's arguments will be on the health and societal dangers of taking LSD, but I'll address those specifically in the rebuttal round. This argument lays the basis for my position.

II. The Medical Benefits of LSD

Now, I'm sure that this doesn't seem like a relevant argument as this debate only concerns full legalization for recreational use. However, there are problems with just allowing a drug to be able to be tested. In other words, strict drug laws that allow the drug to be legal for research purposes only restricts research because there is a blurry line of what consistutes research.

At the moment, "The possession of... psychedelics is stringently regulated. An important and unfortunate outcome of the controls placed on these and other psychoactive drugs is that they make research into their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses." Even though these drugs are legal for research, they are still so tightly controlled that there are dangers in using LSD for research purposes.[3]

Professor David Nutt, a scientist working in psychelics, had this to say, "The laws scare off funders and most scientists are scared because they think if they break the law, they might get arrested. I’m sure at some point someone’s going to arrest me. There is a sense of repression to the point that most people won’t do it." He was fired from his position because he simply published a paper showing how nicotine and alcohol are more dangerous than cannabis and LSD.[3]

In truth, even some restrictions place restrictions on research, and this slows down medical advancement.

One health benefit of LSD is in the use of psychoanalysis, especially in helping "unblock" repressed subconscious memory, which helps the person face issues and problems. Here is what one study had to say about LSD in this regard:

In December 1968, a survey was made of all 74 UK doctors who had used LSD in humans; 73 replied, 1 had moved overseas and was unavailable. The majority of UK doctors with clinical experience with LSD felt that LSD was effective and had acceptable safety:
  • 56% (41) continued with clinical use of LSD
  • 15% (11) had stopped because of retirement or other extraneous reasons
  • 12% (9) had stopped because they found LSD ineffective
  • 10% (7) had stopped for unspecified reasons
  • 7% (5) had stopped because they felt LSD was too dangerous.[4]
Along the same lines, LSD could be used to treat alcoholism. In fact, a 2012 meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials found evidence that a single dose of LSD in conjunction with various alcoholism treatment programs was associated with a decrease in alcohol abuse, lasting for several months. LSD could also be used to treat pain. Even at low (sub-psychedelic) dosages, it was found to be at least as effective as traditional opiates, while being much longer lasting in pain reduction (lasting as long as a week after peak effects had subsided).[5][6]

While again, medical research in this area is hampered because of the strict restrictions, fully legalizing LSD would open up these drugs to the public for personal use in solving these health problems.

III. Comparing LSD to Other Legal Drugs

It is well-known that both nicotine (the "drug" in cigarettes) and alcohol are both legal, but both are addictive and cause physical harm to the individual taking it. LSD, in fact, is less addictive than both these common, legal drugs, as well as causing fewer health problems, and even having some health benefits, which neither cigarettes nor alcohol possess. It only seems logical that a government that bans drugs on the basis of safety should legalize drugs that are less harmful than drugs that are already legal.

Here is a good graph showing various common drugs, plotted by their physical harm and dependence risk:



[7]

In fact, "The Imperial College professor [David Nutt] argued for a new way of classifying the harm caused by both legal and illegal drugs. 'Alcohol ranks as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone. Tobacco is ranked ninth. Cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, while harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18 respectively.'" This can be seen in the following graph, which condenses the material in the above graph into one number, and is the the statistical plot of the results of the study itself[8]:



[9]

As can be seen, LSD is less dangerous than alcohol, tobacco, and even cannabis, and is the least dangerous of any of the common drugs on the chart (with the exception of ecstasy).

In a same study, the drugs's harm was calculated by considering their harm to the users and their harm to others and differentiating them on a graph. This was the result:



[10]

Again, LSD ranks very low on the scale, below alcohol and tobacco, as well as cannabis, and if you look very closely, there are negligable effects of the drug on others. This goes back to the first argument I made, considered that if people do things that do not hurt others, than they have every right to do it. This graph shows how LSD negligably harms others in relation to other drugs, and thus should not a target in the war on drugs.

In conclusion, this argument has shown how LSD is less dangerous than the legal drugs alcohol and tobacco, as well as cannabis, a drug that is well known on the political stage, in both it's potential for physical harm to not only the users but to others as well, but also in its nature of dependence. In both of these, LSD has a smaller effect on health.

Laurence Vance, the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom had this to say: "Alcohol abuse and heavy tobacco use are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. It seems rather ludicrous to advocate the outlawing of drugs and not the outlawing of alcohol and tobacco."[11]

Conclusion

As long as what you are doing is not affecting adversely or harming the lives of others, you should be able to do that said thing, and this includes LSD. LSD is less dangerous than many of the drugs on the market, including ones that are legal or ones that are considering to be legalized. Legalizing LSD will open up research opportunities into the medical benefits of it, which are numerous, including the potential for improvement for psychological issues, alcoholism, pain, and other areas. Overall, LSD should be legalized.

Sources

[1]: http://mises.org...
[2]: http://www.psychedelic-library.org...
[3]: http://www.policymic.com...
[4]: http://www.maps.org...
[5]: http://jop.sagepub.com...
[6]: http://www.neurology.org...
[7]: http://commons.wikimedia.org...(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg
[8]: http://www.theguardian.com...
[9]: http://scienceblogs.com...
[10]: http://www.economist.com...
[11]: Vance, Laurence M. The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom.
Pitbull15

Con

I'm sorry, but I must concede. Unexpected life events are currently taking place. You may wonder why I am engaged in other discussions on the forums, but I don't have a lot of time right now to rebut and partake in such a complicated discussion. Give all seven points to subutai. I apologize and good luck in the DDO Olympics.
Debate Round No. 2
Subutai

Pro

That's fine. I hope everything's ok with you.
Pitbull15

Con

Thank you. The events are mostly over with now, I conceded because I saw I would not have time to type up and argument within 1 day.
Debate Round No. 3
Subutai

Pro

I would ask to restart the debate (I'm open to that if you are), but I don't think bsh1 will allow us to redo this debate as this would throw his schedule off.
Pitbull15

Con

For the record, I think LSD should be legalized, too. =D
Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
Well this debate made it to the home page...
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
It's pointless, but it wouldn't hurt anything.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
What's the point since this wasn't a real "debate"?
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
to get
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
Want
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
Want
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
What's the point?
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
So who's with me?
Posted by Pitbull15 3 years ago
Pitbull15
Hey we can still get this on the homepage, you know.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
We just need to keep conversing, and we'll be there by voting period.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
SubutaiPitbull15Tied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Judge Vote: Con conceded. Pro gets points for arguments and sources, for having presented both. S&G was equal enough. Props (and conduct) for Con's concession with class, for not just running down the clock. Pro didn't do anything wrong--but I believe in rewarding honorable concessions like Con's.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
SubutaiPitbull15Tied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: A very psychedelic concession.
Vote Placed by Contra 3 years ago
Contra
SubutaiPitbull15Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded. Pro's arguments were also pretty strong, both utilitarian and moral.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
SubutaiPitbull15Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession