The Instigator
Thugzbunyyy
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
NJPatriot
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Legalization of Marijuana

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 928 times Debate No: 36023
Debate Rounds (4)
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Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Hello all, I will be arguing for the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in the United States (to at least a level equivalent to that of alcohol's). I will begin by presenting all my points and their subset points for legalization. I respectfully request for my opponent to refute them, then I will challenge their arguments. This is simply to establish a sense of organization, please and thank you (if you do not wish to follow the format do not accept the challenge). Also feel free to add any points you may have or to not address any of mine that you choose (if you don't however, I will assume you either acknowledge/agree with my point or cannot refute it). I do not wish to focus on other drugs besides cannabis although I intend to mention them for argumentative purposes if necessary. If you do not understand anything I say, simply ask and I will clarify, no need to be rude.

My Points

1.There will be little to no negative effects to the country/society from marijuana's legalization.

a) Marijuana is not addictive.
b) It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana.
c) Marijuana's supposed "negative" health effects, whether long term or short, are negligible, and many of which cannot credibly be declared true.
d) The logic of the gateway theory is fundamentally flawed and cannot be true.
e) Marijuana's intoxicating effects are not harmful to the users or others within itself (i.e. calmness, changes to mood or perception), and therefore responsibility is placed on the user (although it would be anyway).
f) Youth's access to marijuana will not be increased by legalization but will in fact be decreased.
g) Assuming it is true that marijuana's psychoactive potency has increased since the 1900's, it is an irrelevant fact seeing as how the negative effects remain unchanged.

2. There will be a plethora of positive effects resulting from legalization of marijuana
a) The economic imapct of marijuana's legalization will be greatly beneficial and much needed to the country.
b) The medical benefits (known and to be known) of marijuana would benefit many of its citizens, saving lives and creating a greater quality of life for many.
c) Legalization will allow regulation of cannabis and therefore a greater degree of damage control (i.e. preventing child access, reducing drugged driving).
d) Legalization will improve society by ending prosecution and punishment of responsible, contributing citizens simply for committing the victimless crime of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
e) Gang violence and crime revolving around marijuana will be greatly decreased.
f) Education will allow us to fully utilize this amazing plant and will improve our culture.

3.Marijuana prohibition is a colossal failure.
a)The whole purpose of cannabis prohibition is to prevent use nationwide, yet, cannabis use is still a very prevalent and ingrained in U.S. culture.
b)Because of point a, the adverse societal effects of marijuana (however minuscule) are in effect despite it's prohibition, ergo prohibition is purposeless.
c)marijuana prohibition is exactly the same as the 20's alcohol prohibition save for the failure to end it.

4. It is not the government's place to tell us how to live, but to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the nation.
a) Prohibiting cannabis encroaches on our civil liberties.
NJPatriot

Con

I accept and look forward to debating my opponent. I assume first round is not just acceptance, so I will begin by refuting my opponent's argument in the format provided.

1.There will be little to no negative effects to the country/society from marijuana's legalization.

a) Marijuana is not addictive.

True - but this does not mean that marijuana is not harmful, or popular to use. Regardless of an addiction level, smoking is still harmful and should be prevented as much as possible.

b) It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana.

True - but this does not mean marijuana should be legalized. One does not necessarily have to be able to overdose on a drug to make it harmful to your body.

c) Marijuana's supposed "negative" health effects, whether long term or short, are negligible, and many of which cannot credibly be declared true.

Marijuana may not have as bad effects as other drugs or even legalized drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, but that does not necessarily mean it has merely 'negligble' effects nor does it justify its legalization.
Three separate studies indicate that marijuana impairs your ability to drive.

To quote one study, "According to a review by Kelly, Darke, and Ross, laboratory studies examining the effects of marijuana on skills utilised while driving detected impairments in tracking, attention, reaction time, short-term memory, hand-eye coordination, vigilance, time and distance perception, decision making, and concentration. More recent controlled laboratory research has suggested similarly that marijuana impairs tasks of selective and divided attention, time estimation, and executive function." [1]

Additionally, a study conducted in the journal Cancer found that frequent marijuana use was linked with testicular cancer. [2]

d) The logic of the gateway theory is fundamentally flawed and cannot be true.

I acknowledge that the validity of the gateway theory is disputed. There have been studies that both support and refute the gateway theory of drug usage and marijuana. However, logically speaking, it is more appropriate to be on the side of caution should the gateway theory be true. In other words, since it is impossible to prove or disprove definitively the existence of the gateway theory, it would be illogical to believe in the side that is potentially more dangerous.

e) Marijuana's intoxicating effects are not harmful to the users or others within itself (i.e. calmness, changes to mood or perception), and therefore responsibility is placed on the user (although it would be anyway).

As stated earlier, marijuana's usage compared with driving can be potentially deadly. With marijuana legalized, its widespread usage will lead to more impaired drivers on the road.

f) Youth's access to marijuana will not be increased by legalization but will in fact be decreased.

I find no logical evidence for this contention. Presuming the legalization age would be at 21, all a youth would need to do is make a friend that is over 21. It would be much easier to meet an adult over the age of 21 than contact a drug dealer.

g) Assuming it is true that marijuana's psychoactive potency has increased since the 1900's, it is an irrelevant fact seeing as how the negative effects remain unchanged.

The negative effects are still negative effects - smoking is still bad for your lungs and impairment while operating a vehicle will still put your life in danger.

2. There will be a plethora of positive effects resulting from legalization of marijuana

a) The economic imapct of marijuana's legalization will be greatly beneficial and much needed to the country.

The government also profits from fines associated with keeping marijuana illegal. While the government can reduce costs to finding drug dealers in general, the amount of money generated from fines associated with marijuana possession are substantial. Currently the government does not profit off of the prohibition of marijuana, but changes to the system could be made (such as selling the product to countries in which it is legalized) in a way that would increase profits much higher than that of proposed taxes.

b) The medical benefits (known and to be known) of marijuana would benefit many of its citizens, saving lives and creating a greater quality of life for many.

There are side-effects to every drug. While marijuana may have positive effects, this is not enough to support its legalization. Marijuana will impair a user behind the wheel of a car and it is linked with testicular cancer.

c) Legalization will allow regulation of cannabis and therefore a greater degree of damage control (i.e. preventing child access, reducing drugged driving).

Legalization does not prevent the illegal sale of drugs regardless. Do you really think that once pot is legalized the thousands of drug dealers in this country will go to the government to get a license? Of course not - they can still grow and sell marijuana at reduced prices to youth - legalization would make it even harder to find these drug dealers and control the drugs going to the younger population.

d) Legalization will improve society by ending prosecution and punishment of responsible, contributing citizens simply for committing the victimless crime of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.

A 'victimless' crime is a crime nonetheless. This contention is merely an opinion, that drug dealers and users are responsible. I contend that to violate the law is irresponsible, regardless of one's personal feelings about whether the law should exist or not.

e) Gang violence and crime revolving around marijuana will be greatly decreased.

There is no indication of this. Gangs will still sell marijuana to the market of kids who will not be able to purchase legally, or worse, transition into a market of potentially more profitable harder drugs.

f) Education will allow us to fully utilize this amazing plant and will improve our culture.

Marijuana's education is not neccessarily a positive effect as described in Contention 2.

3.Marijuana prohibition is a colossal failure.

a)The whole purpose of cannabis prohibition is to prevent use nationwide, yet, cannabis use is still a very prevalent and ingrained in U.S. culture.

The whole purpose of the illegalization of murder is prevent the event nationwide, yet, murder is still prevelant. This is simply not a reason to legalize marijuana - just because effects to lower the use of the drug have failed does not mean marijuana use is beneficial or acceptable.

b)Because of point a, the adverse societal effects of marijuana (however minuscule) are in effect despite it's prohibition, ergo prohibition is purposeless.

I have already refuted point A, and will continue my murder analogy that, despite murder's illegality, it is still prevelant in the United States, therefore, we should legalize murder.

c)Marijuana prohibition is exactly the same as the 20's alcohol prohibition save for the failure to end it.

Just because alcohol is legalized does not mean marijuana should be legalized as well. Both have negative effects - different negative effects. The bottom line is that the legalization of marijuana will lead to more widespread usage, and if marijuana provides negative effects such as links to cancer and an increase in drugged driving, it should remain illegal.

4. It is not the government's place to tell us how to live, but to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the nation.

a) Prohibiting cannabis encroaches on our civil liberties.

There is no civil liberty found in the Constitution that gives you a right to smoke or ingest drugs.

Sources:

1: http://adai.uw.edu...
2: http://news.menshealth.com...;
Debate Round No. 1
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Thugzbunyyy forfeited this round.
NJPatriot

Con

My opponent has forfeited the last round - please extend my arguments into this round as they were unchallenged.
Debate Round No. 2
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Thugzbunyyy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Thugzbunyyy forfeited this round.
NJPatriot

Con

NJPatriot forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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