The Instigator
nw91
Pro (for)
Winning
75 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

Legal Recreational Marijuana Revisited

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/1/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,930 times Debate No: 4876
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (23)

 

nw91

Pro

NOTE: Because it has already been established in many other debates, we know that marijuana is harmful to one's health. Unfortunately, so is alcohol, tobacco and...gasp...even the hamburgers we get from our favorite fast food chains so please don't waste your time proving that aspect.

Recreational marijuana use should be legalized. Just like any other legal drug, it comes with it's own set of responsibilities and restrictions. Sure, it is unhealthy, but no worse than many other legal drugs. I feel like every other legal prescription commercial I see, has warnings about possible side effects, even "death." I am not a professional debater, and certainly not an experienced one on any level, so I know this may be unorthodox, but PLEASE list your problems with my statement with your arguments and it'd make me happy to answer/refute each one of them. :)
CiRrO

Con

I negate: Legal Recreational Marijuana Revisited

[Contentions]

Contention I: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug.

According to the Surgeon General (Year 2007) Marijuana is a gateway drug. This means that once a given high is established the user would seek a larger high from more harmful drugs. This includes Cocaine (the most common step drug from marijuana), LSD, and Heroine. Marijuana creates a high different from substances like Alcohol, which increases the urge for a greater high that can only be achieved through more harmful drugs. With marijuana more readily available, teens would more likely be hooked on it now, and thus make them want harder substances.

Contention II: Increased Criminal Activity

Since we have established that marijuana is a gateway drug we will now look to one major disadvantage to society, Criminal Behavior. Since marijuana would increase the urge for harder substances, which are illegal, then people would resort to crimes to obtain them. The addiction for drugs is so great that people addicted would go to great lengths to get these substances. Allowing marijuana in society would increase the want for harder substances which in turn would lead to higher crime rates. Furthermore, higher crime rates could lead to more violent activity.

For these reasons I negate.

[Rebuttal]

"Recreational marijuana use should be legalized. Just like any other legal drug, it comes with it's own set of responsibilities and restrictions. Sure, it is unhealthy, but no worse than many other legal drugs. I feel like every other legal prescription commercial I see, has warnings about possible side effects, even "death."

My Response: Ok, universalize your action. By allowing marijuana we should then allow any other harder substance. Yes, it may come with it's own set of responsibility but that doesn't mean that government should bend down and condone it. Furthermore, legal prescrpiton drugs have medical benefits. One reason for the illegilzation of drugs is for these 2 reasons:

1) Has no major medical benefits
2) The cons outweigh the pros

Therefore, marijuana used for recreational purposes rather then medical should not be allowed for the public. Drop my opponents argument.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 1
nw91

Pro

The Gateway Drug Theory:

The truth is the idea you have brought up is simply a theory. Tobacco and alcohol have also been accused of being gateway drugs. I understand marijuana and alcohol are different kinds of drugs but nothing about marijuana has been proven to qualify it as a 100% surefire "gateway drug." Numerous tests and data have shown inconclusive evidence of the gateway drug theory. In 2007 the surgeon general said that marijuana was in fact a gateway drug. He, however, did not prove this himself, and was instead, stating a probable (but not true) side effect to marijuana use based on inconclusive research to help raise awareness about the negative effects. Two studies from University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy show inconclusive evidence to support this theory. So has the U.S. National Institute of medicine and RAND, who works for the U.S. government and military. All of these are reliable resources. Lastly, the assumption that marijuana would be legal for teens is false. Because marijuana is not legal, we don't know what legal using age will be put into place. Avoiding selling to teens is a very valid point that I agree with.

Criminal Activity:

There is no way to tell how society will react, especially because we don't know whether the gateway drug theory is correct or not. Because of the this unpredictability factor, we have to rely on history for answers. I could list and list events, but I don't want to waste your time so I'm going to concentrate on one significant, closely related one: Prohibition. As you know, Prohibition was when alcohol was illegal in the United States throughout the 1920's. It was proven that as soon as this drug was deemed illicit, crime (organized crime especially) skyrocketed as well as the smuggling of alcohol into the States. This all goes back to the fact that people in the past have increased criminal activity due to the act that made another so-called "gateway drug," alcohol, illegal, the opposite of what you proposed. Alcoholics have a chance to do harder drugs, just like any other type of user, and if your theory was correct then the harder drugs should have become as much of a problem as alcohol in the 1920's...but they didn't.

I think we can agree that, heroin, for example, is much more addictive and harmful than marijuana. The difference is so significant, that it makes the assumption that "we should allow other harder substances," false. There are specific reasons marijuana should be legalized versus other drugs. By no means is the government supporting usage by legalizing it. Tobacco is legal yet you don't see the President of the United States endorsing it. The decision is up to the citizen and they have the right to be informed before using. Your two reasons of opposition (the numbered ones) are more of personal reasons why you would not use. The act of legalizing marijuana simply reduces the amount of crime in that drug deals connected to violence will be eliminated, providing users with a (lets just say) safe pharmacy where they can get marijuana. This is legalization to reduce criminal activity not discuss usage benefits/disadvantages. Just like alcohol or tobacco, marijuana use is a personal decision that has to be made. Advertisement bans, behind-the-wheel rules, etc. can all be made to ensure the safety of the public to help regulate this drug in a safer way so that people can use in the peace of their own home, without getting tangled up in crime.

This is why recreational marijuana should, in fact, be legalized.
CiRrO

Con

"The truth is the idea you have brought up is simply a theory. Tobacco and alcohol have also been accused of being gateway drugs. I understand marijuana and alcohol are different kinds of drugs but nothing about marijuana has been proven to qualify it as a 100% surefire "gateway drug." Numerous tests and data have shown inconclusive evidence of the gateway drug theory. In 2007 the surgeon general said that marijuana was in fact a gateway drug. He, however, did not prove this himself, and was instead, stating a probable (but not true) side effect to marijuana use based on inconclusive research to help raise awareness about the negative effects. Two studies from University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy show inconclusive evidence to support this theory. So has the U.S. National Institute of medicine and RAND, who works for the U.S. government and military. All of these are reliable resources. Lastly, the assumption that marijuana would be legal for teens is false. Because marijuana is not legal, we don't know what legal using age will be put into place. Avoiding selling to teens is a very valid point that I agree with."

My Response: It may be just a theory, yes. However, this theory holds water. You have conceded that marijuana and alcohol are different kids of drugs. Moving from there, you state it isn't 100% true. I say, it isn't 100% untrue. Society would be much better off if we keep it illegal, and hinder the possibility of loads of people getting hooked on it, then moving to harder substances. You then say that the Surgeon General was only looking at negative side effects. It's because of these mild highs that people get that make them want more. It just keeps building. Once the mild high cannot satisfy them, they look for a larger high. This leads them to try, Cocaine, LSD, etc. Furthermore, you agree that it is bad for teens to acquire them. Making it legal would make it so much easier for teens to acquire it. Look at the rampant underage drinking problem we have. It is legal and teens make older people get it for them or they get fake licenses. Making marijuana legal only makes it that much easier for teens to get it. In conclusion, the gateway theory must hold to help protect society from very likely negative consequences.

"There is no way to tell how society will react, especially because we don't know whether the gateway drug theory is correct or not. Because of the this unpredictability factor, we have to rely on history for answers. I could list and list events, but I don't want to waste your time so I'm going to concentrate on one significant, closely related one: Prohibition. As you know, Prohibition was when alcohol was illegal in the United States throughout the 1920's. It was proven that as soon as this drug was deemed illicit, crime (organized crime especially) skyrocketed as well as the smuggling of alcohol into the States. This all goes back to the fact that people in the past have increased criminal activity due to the act that made another so-called "gateway drug," alcohol, illegal, the opposite of what you proposed. Alcoholics have a chance to do harder drugs, just like any other type of user, and if your theory was correct then the harder drugs should have become as much of a problem as alcohol in the 1920's...but they didn't."

My Response: Ok, I have 3 responses

1) We have already concluded that marijuana is a different drug then alcohol and creates a different and better high. Therefore, alcholo was not really a gateway drug.
2) Since it is very likely that marijuana is a gateway drug, people would be more likely to resort to crime to get harder substances. This is plain logic.
3) Legalizing marijuana would just increase the incentive for harder drugs. Once the government gives into legalizing marijuana, people will look for all legalized narcotics. When that doesn't happen they will resort to crime.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 2
nw91

Pro

Gateway:

The "mild highs that make them want more," is an assumption you make about all marijuana users. You also previously stated that Cocaine was "the most common step drug from marijuana." This humors me in that 1 in every 100 marijuana users have tried Cocaine. No matter how that ratio is scaled, it remains that 1% of marijuana users use the most common harder drugs, hardly enough evidence to hold the gateway drug theory legitimate. Perhaps one crucial factor that we have overlooked is that marijuana currently circulates not through pharmacies and such, but through the black market where other harder drugs are widely available. I say that it is extremely likely that marijuana users resort to harder drugs because of their exposure to them, in these unsafe environments where marijuana is being sold. By selling marijuana legally at certain places, it eliminates the user to have to get the drug illegally. (Why would any user risk the illegal black market over a safe legal place? Better quality? I don't think so. Drug dealers are notorious for giving mixtures of rat poison and bleach, saying that it was the substance they were seeking to buy)
Lastly you say that marijuana produces "a better high," than alcohol. While they produce separate effects, it is quite a logical fallacy to say that someone who has had ten shots of hard liquor is no less intoxicated than one who has been smoking a joint. As to whether these two different impairments have the gateway effect, there is nothing currently that proves it. Again, that makes your theory an assumption and because the hard data behind all the studies are inconclusive, your statements, unfortunately, become invalid. Am I supposed to take your word for it over experienced scientists?

Marijuana = More Legal Narcotics?:
Marijuana would be legalized because it is different than the harder drugs and not as potent. The difference between marijuana and harder drugs would be made known to the public.

Legalizing marijuana will work however it is not a simple process. Restrictions and law enforcement would be put in place to keep everything in check. After the first few months of regulating everything I am confident that legalizing marijuana will reduce crime. As proven above, the assumption that marijuana is a gateway drug obviously does not "hold water" and therefore eliminates a lot of problems presented to me. It has been shown in studies that something that is scarce or forbidden, is psychologically more appealing. When legalized, the consumption of it will rise at first then lower, because of this fact. But, don't take my word for it, look at Europe, where alcohol is more legal and more widely available to younger adults, and alcohol related car crashes occur much less.

Because marijuana is not a gateway drug, and because it could be regulated closely under watch, I propose that legalizing marijuana could work.
CiRrO

Con

Contention I: Gateway Drug

My opponent throughout this debate has yet to actually refute this point. He hasn't disproved the theory. I believe that since it cannot be proven or disproven, then we must look to what will protect society. Keeping it illegal would. We can't risk the gateway drug theory for it could increase drug addictions throughout the country. As, I have pointed out. The gateway drug theory is very likely to be true. Extend this point.

Contention II: Criminal Activity

My opponent has also not adequately refuted this point. I am using logic. From contention I, we can assume that people would then resort to crime to get harder substances.

[Voting Issues]

1)My contention I has not been adequately refuted. Same for contention II. So, extend these.
2) My opponent has not made a case explaining why we should legalize them. He just tries to undermine why we shouldn't make them illegal. He has the burden of proof and he has not fulfilled that burden.

For these reasons I urge a negation.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DragonKiller 8 years ago
DragonKiller
I'm disappointed Cirro. This wasn't your best debate. I actually voted against you this time. =( I hope to see you debate like all your the debates.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
they even.

I should either change the batteries in the keyboard or quit typing.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Zerosmelt: You ought to see the trouble I run into on recess duty. It's all "you got the goods" and "man, I'm jonesin' bad, just one tootsie roll. Itz all I need, just one, man, come on."

And don't get me started on the monkey bars. Man they are totally hooked on those things. I've tried to get them to to quit, but the next thing you know, the just move on to the swings.

What our world is coming to.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Can you [site] evidence that marijuana is a "step-drug" to cocaine?"

Can't beat me.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
"This means that once a given high is established the user would seek a larger high from more harmful drugs. This includes Cocaine (the most common step drug from marijuana), LSD, and Heroin."

according to this logic we should ban
amusement parks
sports
exercise
sugar
caffeine
Sex

etc.. etc..

as they all produce highs.

i mean.
everyone knows that a children's playground is nothing more than drug factor.... right? lol.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
The first "enjoyed" was a typo. lol, srry. However, I think most of you people should realize that.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Hmm, its currently tied. I enjoyed very much enjoyed this debate. It wasn't one of my best since I was somewhat rushed to get my arguments finished. However, all in all, good debate. I look forward to debating you again nw91.
Posted by DarkMike 8 years ago
DarkMike
I voted Con for this one. Pro didn't prove the resolution true. He never upheld his burden. He may have explained why the resolution may not be true, but he never said why it was true. That was an automatic Con for me.
Posted by Katie01 8 years ago
Katie01
Sorry Rezzealaux, I didn't read it thoroughly enough.
You're clearly a "beter" man than me.

Can you site evidence that marijuana is a "step-drug" to cocaine?
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Rezzealaux
Heroin = drug
Heroine = female hero"

Katie01:
I am not a dumbass.
I am quite aware that Heroine means female hero.
I am quite aware that Heroin means an opiate drug.
I was making fun of CON's R1, which CON clearly understood.
And you didn't.
[Ever get that "Not so Boss" feeling?]
Have an even beter day.
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