The Instigator
Aric
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points
The Contender
untitled_entity
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

LSD should be legalized for recreational use.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,379 times Debate No: 8773
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (36)
Votes (12)

 

Aric

Pro

LSD refers to Lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic drug illegal in the United States of America. If you challenge me, you are in support of keeping LSD illegal, and/or increasing penalties for possessing or selling it.

LSD should be legalized for the reasons listed below.

A) LSD use is a victimless crime. If someone ingests LSD, no one is being victimized in any way, shape, or form.

B) LSD is less addictive than many legal drugs in America. (1) (2)

C) Only one person has ever died of LSD overdose. However, this man died of because of his own ignorance. He was under the impression that the LSD was speed, ergo, he ingested 320 G of LSD, which is much higher than the recommended dosage. However, more than one person has died of alcohol poisoning. (3)

D) LSD has medical uses, where as alcohol and tobacco, do not. If nothing else, this should make LSD a class B drug instead of a class A one. (4)

(1) http://farm4.static.flickr.com...

(2) http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:kWTSkNKaCgYJ:www.antiproibizionisti.it/public/docs/thelancet_20070323.pdf+development+of+a+rational+scale+to+assess+the+harm+of+drugs+of+potential+misuse.&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

(3) http://www.erowid.org...

(4) http://www.mindhacks.com...
untitled_entity

Con

I would first like to point out that my opponent failed to cite his definition. I will accept that LSD does in fact stand for lysergic acid diethylamide which is indeed an illegal hallucinogen in the United States. I will also provide a subsequent definition: a semi synthetic illicit organic compound C20H25N3O derived from ergot that induces extreme sensory distortions, altered perceptions of reality, and intense emotional states, that may also produce delusions or paranoia, and that may sometimes cause panic reactions in response to the effects experienced —called also lysergic acid diethylamide [1].

I will first present my arguments and then assess my opponent's. I negate the resolution, LSD should be legalized.

LSD should not be legalized due to its nature as a semi synthetic compound. Though LSD is derived from ergot, which is a natural fungus which plagues certain grains and grasses, its goes through a process known as semi – synthesis; the process of semi synthesis is used for several reasons. These include, cost, expedience and complexity. If, for example it would cost too much money to structurally recreate something through full synthesis, semi synthesis would be used. Semi synthesis is also used as a means of expedience – which somewhat intertwines with what I stated above with money, if it would be faster to semi synthesize something due to its organic make –up, it would be done, for the sake of expediency. Unfortunately, when we are manufacturing something that is ingested, and in turn can affect a person's internal system quality and safety should not be sacrificed for expediency and money. In addition to this, it has been noted that semi synthetic compounds can, and generally do outperform the original molecule. [2]

Second, LSD impairs judgment. By way of its sensory distortions, and altered states of reality, LSD users are seriously impaired and can make poor choices that can control not only their well – being, but the well – being of others. Despite the fact that many mechanisms of how these hallucinogenic drugs work are not clearly understood, it is believed that they work by impairing neurotransmitter reception as well as binding the receptor sites [3]. Due to the fact that it creates sensory distortions users generally do not make good decisions and therefore put the lives of others at risk. This being said, when an LSD user is "tripping" and is not in a controlled environment such as his/her home he poses a risk to other citizens, this is unsafe and irresponsible. LSD needs to remain illegal so that we don't have citizens getting into their cars under the influence of a strong hallucinogenic.

Third, and finally, LSD is a date rape drug. Though my opponent state that no one is victimized if someone ingests LSD I must illustrate that he is incorrect. Many people take LSD and put it into drinks in order to intoxicate the person and ultimately manipulate their impaired judgment and rape them, and for that reason, we cannot take the chance with allowing LSD to be legalized. LSD can also have an effect on short – term memory receptors. Therefore, once a person has been date – raped under the effects of LSD they may or may not remember them which could ultimately lead to the difficult decision of whether or not they will have/ or will want to abort the child.
I will now asses my opponent's points.

A: "LSD use is a victimless crime. If someone ingests LSD, no one is being victimized in any way, shape, or form."

I would first like to point out that my opponent provided no fact to back this claim. As I illustrated, it is possible for date rape to occur, as well as deaths from irresponsible driving etc.

B: "LSD is less addictive than many legal drugs in America"

Though my opponent is correct, LSD may be less addictive than tobacco or alcohol, it produces the tolerance effect. This means that LSD users who take the drug repeatedly will need to take progressively higher doses to ensure they receive the same high, and this, is ultimately dangerous [4]. It has been noted, that those who use copious amounts of LSD are prone to psychotic conflicts as well as recurrent hallucinations which can result in permanent desensitization to reality [5].

C: "Only one person has ever died of LSD overdose. However, this man died of because of his own ignorance. He was under the impression that the LSD was speed, ergo, he ingested 320 G of LSD, which is much higher than the recommended dosage. However, more than one person has died of alcohol poisoning. (3)"

Though my opponent is correct that users do not die from overdosing on LSD, LSD users do in fact die. They die from the hallucinogenic powers of the drug. Death can also be preempted due to the side effects of the drug such as: raised body temperature, chills, profuse perspiration etc. Death from LSD can however result from, panic reactions, hallucinations and the paranoia experienced while on LSD. [6]

D: "LSD has medical uses, where as alcohol and tobacco, do not. If nothing else, this should make LSD a class B drug instead of a class A one. (4)"

My opponent has proved one medical use for LSD – cluster headaches. In his own article, it states that the LSD works on cluster headaches due to the fact that it helps the shortage of Serotonin. However, these same results can be achieved by eating certain foods. For example, eating high carb food helps increase Serotonin levels, without the hallucinations or paranoia. [7]

Sources:
[1] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] - http://www.nida.nih.gov...
[4] - http://www.narconon.ca...
[5] - http://www.addictionsearch.com... (Scroll to the bottom)
[6] - http://www.narconon.ca...
[7] - http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Aric

Pro

Alright, round two.

I fail to see how LSD being a semi-synthetic compound makes it's legality questionable. You have given no examples to why semi-synthetic compounds are inferior or dangerous as compared to fully synthesized ones.

Yes, LSD distorts judgment. And yes, it can be dangerous However, more deaths have occurred from alcohol related incidents than LSD related incidents. Even though LSD may not be as readily available, the ratio of deaths to uses is far less. Not to mention, I can assure you, if you take LSD, driving is going to be the last thing on your mind.

Your third point is baseless conjecture. I challenge my opponent to find one case of LSD being used as a date rape drug.

While you may say that bread can cure cluster headaches, there is no research proving this. I challenge my opponent to find an alternate cure to cluster headaches, because there are certainly some people who would love to know what it is. And, further research shows that LSD can allow the color blind to see color.

http://www.erowid.org...

"Though my opponent is correct that users do not die from overdosing on LSD, LSD users do in fact die. They die from the hallucinogenic powers of the drug. Death can also be preempted due to the side effects of the drug such as: raised body temperature, chills, profuse perspiration etc. Death from LSD can however result from, panic reactions, hallucinations and the paranoia experienced while on LSD."

Find me a case where ANYONE has died from hypothermia, loss of bodily fluids, or seeing hallucinations while on LSD.

Finally, your other arguments illustrate the risks of LSD. However, I don't know if you can wrap your mind around the possibility that some people WANT to take risks. Who are you to prevent people from such an innocent joy? Yes, they may harm people if they use it incorrectly. But our legal drugs have killed so much more, not to mention, they are addictive and have no medical use. And if we tax LSD, ultimately, our government could make some money off of this.

And one more thing. LSD wasn't outlawed because it was dangerous. LSD was outlawed because Nixon hoped it would stop the anti-war riots over Vietnam.
untitled_entity

Con

I stated that semi – synthetic compounds outperform the original organism. The potency of LSD is higher due to its semi synthetic nature, in addition to its lack of stability and safety concerns. This is all due to the fact that it is semi synthetic – which is cited in the article.

Whether or not LSD is more or less dangerous than alcohol is rather obsolete as we are debating the reasons as to why or why not LSD should be legalized, Alcohol is a depressant, not a hallucinogen, sadly, many drinkers drink too much. Though I do concede that it is nearly impossible to overdose from LSD, there are an entire slew of other side effects. Despite the fact that driving may be the last thing on my mind, an LSD user's judgment, as you admitted is impaired. So, even though it may be the last thing on the users mind, they still may get behind the wheel of a car, or even step outside into the road and believe they have the power to stop traffic.

Aside from high starch foods, there are multiple other plans of treatment for cluster headaches and migraines. These include fast acting treatments such as anesthetics, triptans and other drugs. In addition, many sufferers also use Imitrex and other Prescription and OTC drugs to help treat the cluster headaches. There is no known cure, not even LSD is cited.[8] Upon reading my opponents article, the LSD only works to help the color blind see color while under the effect of the LSD. I find this a useless argument because of the fact that the user would have to take LSD for an extended period of time to see color. One could also interpret this as another aspect of a users "trip". This source also cites that this has only been seen in a "handful of cases".

When I stated that they die from the hallucinogenic powers of the drug I was speaking to the fact that when people take the drug they believe things that may not be true. People die from hypothermia and severe dehydration all the time, to believe that these instances would be different simply because they are on LSD is foolish and ignorant.

"Finally, your other arguments illustrate the risks of LSD. However, I don't know if you can wrap your mind around the possibility that some people WANT to take risks. Who are you to prevent people from such an innocent joy? Yes, they may harm people if they use it incorrectly. But our legal drugs have killed so much more, not to mention, they are addictive and have no medical use. And if we tax LSD, ultimately, our government could make some money off of this."

--> There are other ways to take risks, the adrenaline "highs" experienced by sky - divers and bungee jumpers are supposedly just as climactic as using these drugs. To be truthful, I couldn't tell you what an LSD or Acid trip is like, as I have never done it. But the fact of the matter is, it poses a threat to other people as well. You yourself admitted that it may harm people if it is used incorrectly. It doesn't have to be used incorrectly, when someone "trips" there is a serious deprivation to the receptors in their brain causing them to act irrationally.[9] (Since we're citing videos - I'd also like to note that the video doesn't work.) So despite the fact that yes, some people might want to take risks, not all people do, and not all people deserve to have their lives infringed upon if people who take LSD act in an irresponsible manner.

LSD as well as Ecstasy, PCP, GHB and Rophynol are all classified as "Date - Rape" drugs. - therefore, there must have been some reasoning for them to come about... which is noted in the source.

Sources:
[8] - http://www.mayoclinic.com...
[9] -
Debate Round No. 2
Aric

Pro

Bah, you won. You're an amazing debater, you deserve the win. I look forward to challenging you again in the future.

In conclusion, vote Con.
untitled_entity

Con

I wish my opponent wouldn't have conceded, I really enjoyed this debate. I'm not that amazing of an online debater, I'm much better at LD. I thank my opponent for this debate and hope that you vote Con. Thank - you.
Debate Round No. 3
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"if you google LSD + date rape drug it comes up that LSD is a club drug which is a date rape drug...
Health class....wonders......"

Health class? What? Your logic is ridiculous.

Can you find actual, scientific evidence showing that LSD is used as a drug to facilitate sexual assaults? It's possible, but I think LSD would be very, very low on the list of drugs likely to be used as a date rape drug. And trying to use the argument that "LSD = club drug = date rape drug" is ridiculous. Just because you can get a google search to come up with obvious propaganda websites that claim LSD is a date rape drug doesn't make it's true. Of all the things LSD is used for, facilitation of sexual assault is probably one of the LEAST likely occurrences. LSD doesn't cause amnesia, nor does it make you so stupid that you're going to comply with everything someone says. It's not a depressant either, so it doesn't cause people to sit still.

It's possible that LSD has been used to facilitate sexual assault, but it is probably one of the worst choices of drugs to use for that purpose. Alcohol, GHB, ketamine, PCP and benzodiazepines would all be far better suited to facilitating sexual assault.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
Again, every recreational drug will have dangers associated with getting intoxicated. The key is giving people accurate information about what to expect.

"here is a serious deprivation to the receptors in their brain causing them to act irrationally"

You didn't cite anything, but what you're saying doesn't make sense. Deprivation to the receptors in their brain? Deprivation of what? You clearly don't understand what you're saying.

Once again, while it's possible that someone has used LSD as a date-rape drug, it's a horrible choice as a date rape drug. I challenge you to find evidence showing that LSD has been used to facilitate sexual assault. I guarantee you that it would be at the bottom of a list for possible date-rape drugs. Whatever source is calling LSD a "date rape" drug is simply spewing misinformation.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"I stated that semi " synthetic compounds outperform the original organism. The potency of LSD is higher due to its semi synthetic nature"

Okay, this is complete and utter gibberish. The fact that LSD is semi-synthetic does NOT explain why it is such a potent hallucinogen. First of all, your argument is ridiculous. I could just as easily point out that naturally occurring ergot alkaloids "outperform" LSD as vasoconstrictors. While the structure of LSD explains it's potency, the fact that it is "semi-synthetic" does not explain it's potency. It's a meaningless assertion. What you claim is NOT cited in the article. I am a biochemist and most of the chemistry I did as an undergraduate was in synthetic organic chemisry and what you're saying is laughably ridiculous.

Yes, since we understand how structure affects function, chemists can chemically modify compounds that occur naturally in order to allow them to meet specific goals, but the fact that a particular substance is "natural" or "synthetic" doesn't explain its potency. The structure explains its potency.

"When I stated that they die from the hallucinogenic powers of the drug I was speaking to the fact that when people take the drug they believe things that may not be true."

This is VERY, VERY unusual. There has never, for example, been a case of someone taking LSD and jumping out a window thinking they could fly. Yes, it's possible to die due to doing something stupid while on LSD, but it is very, very unlikely. Genuine hallucinations are really unusual with LSD and most people retain insight (that is, they know that what they're seeing, thinking or feeling is because they've taken LSD).
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"It has been noted, that those who use copious amounts of LSD are prone to psychotic conflicts as well as recurrent hallucinations which can result in permanent desensitization to reality [5]."

Your source for this point and the previous are completely unreliable. While it is possible to have a psychotic episode on LSD, which is why it's important to understand what's going to happen when one takes the drug, LSD is not known to cause de novo psychosis. People with a family history of mental illness, especially schizophrenia, other psychotic illnesses or bipolar disorder should avoid taking LSD.

I have no idea what "permanent desensitization to reality" is even supposed to mean.

As for deaths, every drug has dangers. Part of responsible drug use involves understanding the dangers of a drug.

As for medical uses of LSD, I am skeptical than many will be developed. There is some promise in treating end of life anxiety with LSD. However, the very fact that LSD is restricted makes it almost impossible to do research on LSD. Keeping LSD restricted means that it's almost impossible to find medical uses for LSD.

LSD works on cluster headaches because of its vasoconstrictive effects.

I seriously suggest you look at scientific literature instead of sites like narconon. Again, I'd be happy to cite evidence for any claim I've made. There is an extensive body of scientific literature on LSD.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"I would first like to point out that my opponent provided no fact to back this claim."

Provided no fact? Taking LSD in and of itself does not hurt anyone. Ergo, it is a victimless crime.

"As I illustrated, it is possible for date rape to occur . . ."

Yes, but self-administering LSD and using LSD as a date rape are two totally separate acts. LSD facilitated sexual assault is a crime, but it is not equivalent to taking LSD. Of course it is possible to commit crimes with LSD. That's not in dispute. The pro is saying that someone self-administering LSD is not harming anyone.

" . . . as well as deaths from irresponsible driving etc."

Again, one does not result in the other. Not everyone who drinks alcohol drives while drunk. Drinking alcohol is not the same thing as driving drunk, just as taking LSD is not the same thing as driving while on LSD.

" This means that LSD users who take the drug repeatedly will need to take progressively higher doses to ensure they receive the same high, and this, is ultimately dangerous [4]."

You totally misunderstand how tolerance to LSD works. I would be happy to cite any claim that you can't accept. Just ask.

COMPLETE tolerance to LSD develops after 3 days of repeated dosing. After trying to use LSD for 3 days, nothing more will happen. There's no incentive for increasing one's dose because they'd be wasting LSD. So, yes, while 'theoretically' the development of tolerance to LSD could lead someone to take a huge dose of LSD which could lead to an overdose, this doesn't happen in practice.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"Many people take LSD and put it into drinks in order to intoxicate the person and ultimately manipulate their impaired judgment and rape them . . ."

Can you offer a source for this claim? LSD would absolutely be one of the WORST drugs to use as a date rape drug.

" LSD can also have an effect on short " term memory receptors. Therefore, once a person has been date " raped under the effects of LSD they may or may not remember them which could ultimately lead to the difficult decision of whether or not they will have/ or will want to abort the child."

You are totally misinformed about LSD. Yes, LSD has an effect on *SHORT TERM MEMORY.* Short term memory is NOT long term memory. It is VERY well documented that LSD users tend to have good recall of their LSD experiences. LSD does not cause amnesia.

Klock, J. C., Boerner, U., & Becker, C. E. (1974). Coma, hyperthermia and bleeding associated with massive LSD overdose: a report of eight cases. Western Journal of Medicine, 120(3), 183.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
"it has been noted that semi synthetic compounds can, and generally do outperform the original molecule." This is meaningless gibberish. "Outperform" in what sense? Yes, medicinal chemists can take a naturally occurring, "lead compound" and chemically modify it so that it suits some final purpose better than the starting compound. I don't see what that's supposed to mean in the context of this argument.

"Due to the fact that it creates sensory distortions users generally do not make good decisions and therefore put the lives of others at risk."
This is an exaggeration. Yes, LSD causes sensory distortions, but to say that "users generally do not make good decisions" is a completely unsubstantiated value statement. Saying that LSD users put the lives of others at risk due to poor judgement is ignorant and totally untrue. It is very important for anyone taking LSD to understand what might happen when they take LSD, but it is also very easy to minimize the risks associated with LSD use (and being informed about the effects of the drug is one way of minimizing risk). LSD users do not generally put the lives of others at risk. The fact that people might use LSD irresponsible and thus put others at risk does not mean that every LSD user will do so.

Making LSD legal does not mean that anyone would suggest driving while under the influence of LSD. Responsible use of LSD must involve knowing what is safe and unsafe while under the influence and that driving under the influence of LSD, like under the influence of other drugs, is illegal.

"Third, and finally, LSD is a date rape drug. "
That is absolutely false. It is VERY, VERY unusual for LSD to cause amnesia. LSD does NOT paralyze its victims. I have never heard of anyone using LSD to commit date rape. It is an absolutely ridiculous assertion.
Posted by Aniline 1 year ago
Aniline
The funny thing is that I think you're wrong about someone dying from LSD. There is a reliable report of 8 people having a massive LSD overdose but they were treated and survived (Klock et al, 1974). The erowid page you cite says "none of these deaths have been unquestionably attributable to LSD's actions."

The con argument that LSD should not be legalized because it is "semi-synthetic" is absurd. I seriously hope people don't agree with that. First of all, the fact that LSD has not been found in nature does not mean that it cannot ever be found in nature. There is absolutely no good reason to think that it is impossible for LSD to occur in nature. Secondly, the fact that it is synthesized in a laboratory tells us nothing about the substance. Natural compounds are not inherently safer than "synthetic" or "semi-synthetic" compounds.

The argument about semi-synthesis is complete and utter gibberish. Yes, ergot alkaloids are used as a starting point for synthesis of LSD because it makes most sense to use building blocks that already exist. Why on earth would anyone bother doing a "total synthesis" of LSD when they can just as reliable produce LSD from ergot alkaloids? Suggesting that the quality and purity of LSD is sacrificed because it is not synthesized "from scratch" is completely false. The fact that ergot alkaloids are used as the starting point for synthesis of LSD means that less purification is required for the final product. More synthetic steps mean more impurities ultimately need to be eliminated. Less synthetic steps mean that there are less opportunities for by-products to form. It is easier to produce very pure d-LSD by starting with ergot alkaloids than it would be with a "total synthesis." I would be happy to cite literature to this effect but it is such BASIC chemistry that I am aghast that someone would argue otherwise.
Posted by hauki20 3 years ago
hauki20
"LSD users do in fact die."

And so do those who don't use LSD. Those who've never done any drugs die. Everyone dies.

"Death from LSD can however result from, panic reactions, hallucinations and the paranoia experienced while on LSD."

Facts are inconvenient, but "According to Timothy Leary, a crisis can be a result of wrong set and setting. Leary advised that users of psychedelics be sure that they are comfortable before taking the drugs. Leary claimed that the frequency of difficult trips was highly exaggerated by anecdotes and fabrications in the popular press, *and was actually about 1 in 1,000.*" 0,1% of LSD users have a bad trip, and even fever die. So if, say, 0,01% of those taking acid die because of the drug your thesis is largely exaggerated.
Posted by leet4A1 5 years ago
leet4A1
Just do Salvia Divinorum.
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