The Instigator
Orieles
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Guidestone
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Legalization of marijuana

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Orieles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,079 times Debate No: 42198
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (1)

 

Orieles

Pro

The topic of today is weed. Whether or not it should be legal shall be discussed in the following rounds:

First round is for acceptance
Second round is for arguments
Third round is for arguments/ rebuttal
Fourth round is for rebuttal
Fifth round is for rebuttal and conclusion

No new arguments are to be made after the third round. Rounds four and five are for debating merit and deficiencies made in two and three.



Conditions of victory for pro/con:


Pro: Must provide sound arguments for legalization of marijuana and successfully undermine con's arguments for prohibition with factual information.

Con: Must provide sound arguments against legalization of marijuana and successfully undermine pros arguments for legalization with factual information.



I wish you luck con. This will be a good one.
Guidestone

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate, and I hope it will be a good one too.

I accept all your terms and conditions.
Debate Round No. 1
Orieles

Pro






I'm very excited to debate this topic with you con. Marijuana has been a very interesting subject to me for a long time now. I always find it's effects being misrepresented and I can't really help but feel like I should try to clear the air. I'll be fighting for legalization of all forms of cannibis; consisting of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use of the drug. I'll begin by going over some commonly known myths and why they are more or less disingenuis.

Marijuana is not a comfirmed gateway drug


This is an often told myth stated as fact in arguments against cannibis and it's many products. The group using evidence behind supporting this claim are rather presumptiuous of an experiments results however. In several studies, numbers have been known to show that individuals who use marijuana are likely to move on to harder drugs later in their life. This does not conclude that marijuana is the root though. Even with a higher rate among marijuana users, Cannibis is not known to contain any chemicals that would involve the increased devotion to finding and using harder drugs. All the way back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote against the gateway theory saying:

"because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs."(1)

On top of that, the World Health Organization suggested that the gateway effect may come from prohibition rather than cannibis influence because "exposure to other drugs when purchasing cannabis on the black-market, increases the opportunity to use other illicit drugs."(2). This does not negate the effects found during cannibis studies, but it does warn that propositions that state evidence as proof of a gateway theory are likely drawing from a case that expects correlation to mean causation.

Marijuana is not wholly harmful

Cannibis is often mistakenly linked to several ailments that are often overestimated or incorrectly represented. To save space on charecters for further arguements, i'll make a listing of positive and negative affects and list their information accordingly:

Negative

















          • Short term effects: Increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, distorted perception, loss of coordination, and short term memory loss. They are all often felt after marijuana is smoked. The heart pumps at accelerated rates above the normal rate, but it is not harmful for those who do not have some degree of coronary artery or cerebrovascular disease. The same goes for blood pressure. (3) Distorted perception and loss of coordination are both dependent on the dosage and usually remains for one to two hours after initial use. (4) Short term memory loss is often has a lasting impression and remains for as long as the person continues to smoke. The degree at which it affects the person is dependent on the dosage. Most individuals who show signs will eventually return to normal within 28 days of last use. (5)

























          • Long term effects: cancer and lower immune system. These would be felt well into chronic use of marijuana. Cancer has been denounced by a number of studies. In a recent study done on frequent users of marijuana, both heavy and long term use, showed that there was no strong enough trends to be evidenced by a detectable margin. (7) Lowered immune systems have also been disputed by several reports about the legitimacy of the claims. Clinical studies have been known to use incredibly high concentrations of the drug to pruduce immunosupression. Under normal conditions, the sample sizes are relatively small. (8)

























          • Addiction: It is often misrepresented, but marijuana is potentially addictive. When using the drug, it retains it's rewarding feeling by heavily stimulating the cannabinoid receptor system and Opioid receptors in the brain. While it does effectively do the same sort of stimulation as several hard drugs, it is not of the same danger as more potent drugs on a chemical level. (9)

























          • Withdrawal: Attempting to drop the drug after lengthy use actaully has it's own set of issues. Common symptoms can be Anxiety, reduced appetite, irritability, and sleep difficulties. The length of time that withdrawal is felt for cannibis is fairly small in comparisan to other drugs. The period can be as short as one to two weeks before the desire to smoke dwindles. The process is not life threatening, but experiences will differ in length and intensity from person to person. (10)

















Positive

















          • Treats Migraines: THC just so happens to be a very potent pain reducer. With marijuana, patients can releive uncomfortably harsh migraines with the pain reducing and anti-inflammatory actions inside their bodies. (11)

























          • Slows Alzheimers: THC comes in handy when reducing the speed of amyloid plaque formation in the body. THC inhibits the plaques ability to interfere with the peripheral amionic site of AChE, keeping the areas involved in amyloidgenisis buffered from aggression and accomplishes it for a lower cost that what is currently available. (12)

























          • Prevents blindness from glaucoma: Due to increased fluid pressure, the optic nerve takes progressive damage until the vision to the eye is eventually lost. Marijuana has the ability to reduce pressure and could be capable of being an effective glaucoma treatment. Their is however, better medicine on the market that is more capable than it's cannibis counterpart. Further investigation would be needed to test if it could have potential advantages above other treatments. (13)

























          • Treats inflammatory bowel diseases: By activating the cannabinoid receptors, marijuana can generate drastic changes within the body that target intestinal permeability. It can decrease inflammation, gastric acid, secretion, emesis, and intestinal mobility. (14)

















Availability does not increase use in children

While it may seem like something that would obviously enlarge when you create a legal system to buy the product, there is actaully no study proving that having the drug legal would increase teen or adolescent use. Many theories of increased use come from the same kind of arguement in my first point. Number of teen use in states where marijuana aresomewhat higher, but they have not been proven to increase. On the topic, the statistics website procon.org made a note of this under one of its graph on teen montly use:

"The lack of an increase in teen marijuana use in states that legalized medical marijuana appears to disprove the argument that legalizing medical marijuana would lead to increased teen use of marijuana for recreational purposes. The cause of the decrease in teen use, however, cannot be determined without additional information and statistical analysis."

This will illustrate, for at least the information regarding teen use, may not accurately tell that it's example represents a full fledged trend. (15)


I'll ellaborate more on economic effects of marijuana on my next list of arguements. Sorry to hold it up for so long.

Sources:
(1) http://healthland.time.com...
(2) http://www.mpp.org...
(3) http://healthland.time.com...
(4) http://www.nhtsa.gov...
(5) http://www.bostonmagazine.com...
(6)
(7) http://cebp.aacrjournals.org...
(8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
(9) http://www.psychologytoday.com...
(10) http://adai.uw.edu...
(11) http://www.psychologytoday.com...
(12) http://pubs.acs.org...
(13) http://www.nei.nih.gov...
(14) http://jpet.aspetjournals.org...
(15) http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...


Guidestone

Con

I thank my opponent for giving good opening arguments. I will now give my opening arguments.

1. Marijuana is a Gateway
According to a study by the Yale University School of Medicine marijuana is linked with an increased likelihood of prescription drug abuse. [1] The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also have written that "Among lifetime marijuana users reporting their onset after age 20, an estimated 1.1 percent used heroin, 16.4 percent used cocaine, and 20.6 percent used any psychotherapeutics nonmedically in their lifetime. Among persons who had never used marijuana, less than 1 percent had ever used cocaine or heroin, but 5.1 percent had used psychotherapeutics nonmedically." [2] "One study found that youth (12 to 17 years old) who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than kids who do not use pot, and that 60% of the kids who smoke pot before the age of 15 move on to cocaine." [3] This shows there is a strong correlation between marijuana use and harder drugs, but this doesn't mean causation; however, "Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to more potent drugs to rid himself of the unwanted conditions that caused him to take marijuana in the first place." [3] This does prove causation; therefore, marijuana is a gateway to other drugs and should remain illegal.

2. Marijuana has bad health effects
Some of the short term effects include distorted perception, loss of coordination, trouble with thinking and problem-solving, and increased heart rate. [4] Some of these effects like distorted perception, and loss of coordination will lead to increased accidents harming more citizens. "A study by the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research published in theBritish Medical Journal found that seven percent of drivers involved in a fatal highway crash used marijuana. The researchers estimated that at least 2.5 percent of the 10,748 fatal crashes studied were directly caused by the use of marijuana." [5] "In Australia, a study found that cannabis intoxication was responsible for 4.3% of driver fatalities." [6] The government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. [7] The government also protects its citizens with immunization mandates, fluoridation of water, iodization of salt, pollution restrictions, and banning of hard drugs. The long term effects include lung problems, Cancer, weak immune system, birth problems. "Smoking marijuana, even infrequently, can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, and cause heavy coughing. Scientists have found that regular marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers do" [4] Also, "Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract." [8] Second, it can cause cancer "Because marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50 percent more carcinogens, it would seem logical to deduce that there is an increased risk of lung cancer for marijuana smokers. However, researchers have not been able to definitively prove such a link because their studies have not been able to adjust for tobacco smoking and other factors that might also increase the risk." [4] "Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another." [8] Further, it effects the immune system "Research indicates that THC impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. One study found that marijuana actually inhibited the disease-preventing actions of key immune cells. Another study found that THC increased the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumors." [4] Finally, it causes birth problems "Several studies have found that children born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development." [4]

3. Use of Marijuana is Immoral
Under the two major schools of ethics, Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, both consider it immoral. Utilitarianism is "The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people." [9] As a Utilitarian would say "paternalistic intervention may preserve worthwhile lives." [10] Kant uses what he called the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative is "In the ethical system of Immanuel Kant, an unconditional moral law that applies to all rational beings and is independent of any personal motive or desire." [11] In Kantian ethics you must think if everyone had to do this action all the time. Smoking of marijuana would impair normal functioning and every had to smoke marijuana then the world would be a world in which no one would want to live; therefore, it is immoral and should not be legalized. It could also be said by a person who follows kant ethics "when people act irrationally, they are not acting autonomously." [10]

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
Developing brains and bodies can be dealt serious blows by the use of marijuana. [12] Anytime you make something legal, you increase the accessibility to children. When something is legalized more people consume it, and when more people have it, it increase the likelihood of children getting it simply because there is more of it. All too often kids and teenagers get their hands on alcohol or cigarettes. [13] We shouldn't let the same thing happen with marijuana. How many kids can get access to cigarette or alcohol, a lot more than can get access to marijuana. So, legalization would only give kids more access to it not less like some claim.

5. Drug related arrest benefit society
Someone who illegally buys/sell/uses marijuana has already established themselves as someone who does not follow the law, and could lead to more crimes in the future; however, if they are in jail on drug charges they cannot commit more crimes. Also, they would get a lighter sentence than others crimes. [14]"Marijuana is the drug most often linked to crime in the United States" [15] "In a study of 10,441 secondary students in New South Wales, Australia, students who were frequent cannabis users were two times more likely to participate in assault and malicious damage of property than students who did not use cannabis." [16] We can focus on rehabilitation on why they turned to drugs instead waiting for them to do more crimes, and incarcerating them for longer times. By addressing the source of the problems we can make a better society or we could legalize marijuana and pretend the problems don't exist.

6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs

Many arguments made for the legalization of marijuana can be used to argue the legalization of harder drugs like heroin. As an example, many say marijuana should be legal because it is less harmful than alcohol; however, so are many other drugs including crack, meth, and heroin. [17] Also, saying things like "it is my choice" which could be said about any drug.


I look forward to my opponent's response.

Sources
[1] http://www.ctpost.com...
[2] http://www.samhsa.gov...
[3] http://www.drugfreeworld.org...
[4] http://alcoholism.about.com...
[5] http://alcoholism.about.com...
[6] http://www.drugfreeworld.org...
[7] http://www.justice.gov...
[8] http://www.drugfreeworld.org...
[9] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[10] http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk...
[11] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[12] http://www.csam-asam.org...
[13] http://www.centurycouncil.org...
[14] http://norml.org...
[15] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...
[16] http://www.nber.org...
[17] http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...


Debate Round No. 2
Orieles

Pro






Sorry for once again, taking a damnable amount of time to complete these arguements. I'm terribly busy around now and in a difficult position with researching. My information might be a tad bit lacking, but it may be necessary to make these points now so that I can add to them later. Here we go.

Regulated marijuana would greatly improve federal and state funded programs:
The amazing thing about marijuana that makes it like any other commodity is that it can be regulated and taxed by the government so as to enrich the lives of those who wish to stop smoking the product. Just like how both taxes from tobacco and alcohol sales go towards educating and helping those addicted; cannibis would do the same. The income would go right back into helping those who wish to quit by providing them with supportive programs for abstinence. The current bag and tag, forced treatment system we use now is not working in the slightest. With the supply and the demand rising, the problem is not going away with prohibition. The least they can do is use a working system like regulation to help subside the problem financially and educationally.

Cannibis based products would be legal to produce in the U.S.

The law that banned the growing of marijuana also included the banned growth of the non toxic and versatile product hemp. Hemp contains very little THC as a result of breeding and can not be smoked to the same extent as normal cannibis sativa. It's uses trump any other plant, being capable of being refined into many consumer products such as paper, clothing, fuel, rope, resin, wax, hemp oil, plastics, and even types of food.(1) It grows faster than most commercial plants, resists disease and pests without pesticides, and even stops the spread of weeds without herbisides.(1) Consuming or useing the plant does not inhibit you like marijuana(1) and it's a far better alternative than several present consumer products that have many negative affects on the environment and people while in production.

How does this relate back to the THC rich drug of marijuana you might ask? Well... It's mostly in how it's presented. It was originally falsely depicted as a harmful drug along with it's cousin; marijuana. The law condemned both without proof and it threw an ecconomic advantage down the drain as a result. This adds to the number of reasons why the law should be repealed and have the cannibis sativa species legal for growth and use in the united states.

Notes
I will prepare my rebuttals to con's points next round due to my time constraint. Con is free to either present more points or present a rebutttal to my points.


Sources
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Guidestone

Con

Regulated marijuana would greatly improve federal and state funded programs:
Excise taxes are not good for raising revenue. In 2012 the tobacco tax, the most revenue raising excise tax, raised about 17 billion dollars [1] and the federal budget was 3.5 Trillion [2], so that tax is about 0.5% of the federal budget. As I have shown legalization would increase crime, and has a mass of bad health effects. Increased crime and increased health issues will only hurt the economy.

Concluding, marijuana should not be legal because it will hurt the economy even though it raises minuscule amount of tax revenue.
Cannabis based products would be legal to produce in the U.S.
You can have industrial hemp products without legalizing marijuana for other uses. Further, there is a difference between Industrial hemp and marijuana [3]



Sources
[1] http://www.whitehouse.gov...
[2] http://www.cbo.gov...
[3] http://hempethics.weebly.com...






Debate Round No. 3
Orieles

Pro

I took some time to look through con's points and found a lot of the supporting evidence to have very sketchy and skewed views of information. I'd like to start off my first rebuttal by identifying these for the readers.

1. Marijuana is a Gateway (Speculative)
The first article that con references seems to be very presumptuous of the numbers found in the study. In the article, it says:

"The Yale researchers focused on a sample of 55,215 18- to 25-year-old. Of those, 6,496, about 12 percent, reported that they were abusing prescription opiates. Of the group abusing these drugs, about 57 percent had used alcohol, 56 percent had smoked cigarettes and 34 percent had used marijuana." (1)

That 34 percent may seem a bit daunting at first, but in reality, it's not. The study focuses on a large sample size of young adults to find a correlation between marijuana and medicinal drug abuse. It succeeds in this regard, but it fails to identify any real conclusion on causation. There are many important questions that the study did not identify that could change the conclusions gained from reading it.

Example: What was the rate of use among the 2,078 marijuana users who became abusers of prescription drugs? Where did the study take place? What was the history of those who became abusers? What of the other 48,719 individuals also smoked marijuana and did not become prescription drug abusers?

It's important that these and many other questions be answered before using this study to confirm a gateway theory of some kind.

The third article that con references is completely unscientific with it's accusations. It does not support it's claims with sources and it's focus on scaring readers rather than informing them comes from a bias towards drugs in their entirety. This website does not prove that a trend exists between tolerance and harder drug use. There is however, a study that points the finger at prohibition for creating an environment that encourages drug abuse. To quote a researcher, they suggest that:

"In contrast with marijuana use, rates of other illicit drug use among ER [emergency room] patients were substantially higher in states that did not decriminalize marijuana use. The lack of decriminalization might have encouraged greater use of drugs that are even more dangerous than marijuana" (1)(3)

While it is not conclusive, neither is any gateway theory that is proactively advocated. This point is not wholly valid and demands more evidence to be definitive.


2. Marijuana has bad health effects
(speculative)
This is a much larger point that will need a lot more characters than I currently have available to explain everything that is wrong with con's analysis. I will go further on this in my next rebuttal


3. Use of Marijuana is Immoral (Incorrect)
I'm afraid you've incorrectly used both Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics in an example. You over simplified the use of marijuana to be wholly bad and implied that every person would have the same outcome without deciding what the setting was. For Utilitarianism to work in this situation, we must identify a common purpose and setting for it's use. Let's say it is for recreational purposes and everyone who would use it at the time would be doing it at their own homes outside their front door, sitting in a lawn chair. Being that they are stressed and overwhelmed at the moment, they would like a moment to relax. Now, they all smoke their joint of cannabis with the sole intent of reducing pressure and relaxing. They are affecting no one but themselves and are successfully achieving a high that is pulling them away from their troubles for the time being. The outcome to this is not immoral as much as it is neutral. It would negatively affect no one when used by responsible adults who only wish to feel free for an hour or so before returning to their work. It is something similar to smoking a cigarette but effectively less dangerous for your health in the long run.

Now, Kantian ethics would see how a person intends for a drug to affect themselves and only becomes immoral when they intend to affect someone else around them negatively. Blowing smoke in someone's face or intentionally smoking around someone else would be considered immoral by Kant ethics.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it (Incorrect)
There appears to be an overwhelming number of studies against this claim with studies confidently saying that legalization does not increase use by children. In fact, one study states that

""Levels of use tended to be higher in the decriminalization states both before and after the changes in law. [S]tates which moderated penalties after 1974 (essentially a group of decriminalization states) did indeed experience an increase in rates of marijuana use, among both adolescents (age 12-17) and adults (18 or older). However, the increase in marijuana use was even greater in other states and the largest proportionate increase occurred in those states with the most severe penalties." (1)

There is no peer reviewed study that confirms that use among children would increase if marijuana was decriminalized.

5. Drug related arrest benefit society (Speculative)
There's not a lot of strength to this claim. A lot of it is very easily refuted and just illogical. It's rather ignorant to speculate that buying weed illegally puts you on the same level as any other criminal. While it is illegal, it's not a decision made at the expense of another human being. Selling could be argued to be much worse, but the negative connotation behind the act and the environment when selling the drug is created by prohibition itself. I'll go over that in point 7.

The sources that con uses are also intentionally misleading. The first article that con references with a quote "Marijuana is the drug most often linked to crime in the United States" is very presumptuous of a studies results. The article states that "Eighty percent of the adult males arrested for crimes in Sacramento, Calif., last year tested positive for at least one illegal drug.




Marijuana was the most commonly detected drug, found in 54 percent of those arrested". (4) While this may be true, the study did not find ample evidence to designate that marijuana was the main cause of the crimes. It would be vital to identify whether the drug was used hours or weeks prior to the crime taking place; but the article ends up avoiding that question entirely. Overall, it assumes too much to be a useful source.

The source that con used for the New South Wales study does not support his self made conclusion. Straight from the forty page paper con referenced without indicating a page number, states on page 19:

"
Given that marijuana can be identified for up to 30 days past the time of consumption, this suggests that individuals who engage in violent crimes are also likely to engage in marijuana use but the marijuana use is not necessarily related to their decision to engage in crime". (5)

There is a lot of problems with this argument that also has to do with the prohibition system itself and why it fails to stop drug abuse by forced treatment. I'll continue on this in point 7, but I'd like to say that the supporting evidence of this claim is entirely speculative rather than factual.






6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs (Incorrect)
For con's source, the information is rather unorthodox. It lacks variables like sample size to indicate whether the drugs were on equal ground with eachother. While alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana may be on a far closer playing field; The others might be tremendously smaller in regards to size and length of studies taken into account. (6)

It's also pretty clear that this actually does not help this argument. The cannabis drug is not of the same kin as synthetic drugs such as heroin, meth, and crack. It is very obvious that there is less of an impact from the drug when comparing it to others. Dependency is lower, withdrawal symptoms are far more tame, and the immediate affects are no where near as dangerous as harder drugs. con's conclusion is not properly supported.

7. Regulated marijuana would greatly improve federal and state funded programs
The point of this argument is to prove that regulation is superior to prohibition. The supporting evidence comes from the lucrative cannabis growing industry prohibition has created, the failure of the drug rehabilitation system to stop drug abuse, and the overwhelming amount of money put into prosecuting marijuana users rather than suppliers of both marijuana and other hard drugs. I'm incredibly close to running out of characters so I will have to leave both health affects and regulation for my next rebuttal.

I'll be interested in what con has to say in his next rebuttal.


Sources:
(1) http://www.ctpost.com...
(2) http://norml.org...
(3) http://www.nap.edu...
(4) http://www.mcclatchydc.com...
(5) http://www.nber.org...
(6) http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
Guidestone

Con

1. Marijuana is a Gateway
My opponent does admit that the Yale study did find a correlation between Marijuana use and harder drugs. "The study found that, among both men and women, those who had used marijuana were 2.5 times more likely than those their age who abstained to later dabble in prescription drugs." [1] This was further backed up by the government report by the department of health and human resources. [2] It is true that there is no in-text sources on that single page, but there is their references on the pamphlet they make which contains all the information I gave my opponent. [3] Also, it seems very logical to conclude that because most people take marijuana for the high effect, that if they are no longer getting that same effect they want because of a built up tolerance that they will try harder drugs to get that effect.
My opponent claims that prohibition might have encouraged greater use of drugs that are even more dangerous than marijuana. First, I would just want to point out this is totally speculative, and is very hypocritical to use speculative information after claiming my stance was speculative. Secondly, states with decriminalization/medical marijuana have higher rates of use than states that don't. [4]
Teen Marijuana Use in States with Legal Medical Marijuana vs. States Without It

2. Marijuana has bad health effects
I am looking forward to my opponents response.

3. Use of Marijuana is Immoral
"For Utilitarianism to work in this situation, we must identify a common purpose and setting for it's use." I never heard of that. I would appreciate if you would give a link on how to use Utilitarianism correctly if you don't go by just the definition. Anyways, in your example you give they are using it for stress relief or to get high. This fits in with the gateway theory that the person will build up a tolerance and will need harder drugs for stress relief. You assume this effects no one, but this is not true. There are vast number of possible effects this could have such as second hand smoke, significantly increase possibility of accidents, or a worse stress feeling when the marijuana wears off. You have no idea of what could happen as effects of marijuana use.

As for Kant you are mistaken that "only becomes immoral when they intend to affect someone", Kant thought suicide [5], and non-procreative sex was wrong. [6]

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
Your source for the study you listed says nothing you quoted in there at all. Anyways "data collected by the University of Michigan on behalf of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), is reporting a rise in the illicit use of marijuana among high school students." [7]

I will save points 5-7 for my next round.

Sources
[1] http://www.ctpost.com...
[2] http://www.samhsa.gov...
[3] http://www.scribd.com... (slide 23 for references)
[4] http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
[5] http://www.siue.edu...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...
[7] http://www.chillicothegazette.com...



Debate Round No. 4
Orieles

Pro

1. Marijuana is a Gateway (Still Speculative)
I'll make this very clear and concise for the readers of this argument. Correlation does not make causation. The correlation made with con's Yale study is casual at best. What this means is that while marijuana was a common factor found in a portion of individuals who later abused prescription drugs, it can not be attributed as the major factor to harder drug use without further consideration. For this point to be definitively correct, con must have substantial evidence that other factors such as environment, lifestyle, health, or psychological discrepancies did not interfere with the studies results. The Yale study has these factors unaccounted for, so it does not establish causation. Take this information with a grain of salt.

I'd like to apologize for claiming that the drug free pamphlet did not have any sources, but I'd like to exchange that statement with another. The Pamphlet intentionally misconstrues information and uses studies with small sample sizes to support it's claims. It assumes too much from correlation to be reliable. On the subject of tolerance; marijuana does build tolerance based on amount of use and concentration of THC, but it also tends to break down with time. In a study of tolerance, a head researcher stated:

"The effect is selective to D9-THC (ruling out changes in second messengers), is time- and dose-dependent, and is reversible, and thus appears to be cannabinoid-receptor mediated." (1)

There is little strength to con's claim of tolerance and should be deemed speculation until further considered with studies. I'd also like to remind con that the argument he is pursuing does not need to be definitively disproven. My only objective in countering this argument is to prove that it is little more than speculation, which I can confidently say I have. Con has failed to develop anything above correlation and cannot find a direct relationship between marijuana and harder drug use.

Before I move on, I'd like to quickly point out that con's graph does not support his argument. On the same webpage with this graph, a note is made below stating:

"The lack of an increase in teen marijuana use in states that legalized medical marijuana appears to disprove the argument that legalizing medical marijuana would lead to an increased teen use of marijuana for recreational purposes."(2)

Con's point remains speculative.

2. Marijuana has bad health effects
Oh boy, where to begin. How about that driving statistic. Con quotes a article on fatal car crashes stating:

"researchers estimated that at least 2.5 percent of the 10,748 fatal crashes studied were directly caused by the use of marijuana."

Unsubstantial. We can be in agreement that those who use the drug and understand the effects of the drug should not use it while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or while using heavy equipment. This example however, is the result of reckless behavior on part of the driver and is not the fault of the drug by itself. To conclude that marijuana must be kept illegal because of this minimal increase in accidents is ridiculous. If several unsupervised children severely damage their hands while using fireworks, you don't determine that large fireworks are too dangerous for all kids; You find out why those kids did what they did and inform others to what may lead to the inappropriate use of fireworks among children. Unless con has some sort of study that proves marijuana use causes excessively irrational behaviors among a large portion of users, he fails to make any ground with this point.

Next up, this little quote that con states saying:

"The government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."

While federally it is deemed schedule I, they're several peer reviewed studies confirming that marijuana has medicinal purposes. Several studies have shown that those who suffer migraines can find relief in marijuana for it's potent pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory actions within the body. (3) Another study found that the THC inside marijuana served to slow the progression of Alzheimer's by inhibiting the enzyme AChE from developing. (4) There isn't many clear reasons why the federal government would deny peer reviewed research, but it is very misleading to continue calling it a schedule I drug when there is strong evidence against the claim.

Here's one that's spouted often. Con states is his argument:

"Because marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50 percent more carcinogens, it would seem logical to deduce that there is an increased risk of lung cancer for marijuana smokers."

Con elaborates more on the topic, but the general idea that he is trying to establish is that marijuana causes lung cancer. Not only is con making another assumption based on correlation, but he's absolutely incorrect in his accusations. Marijuana has never been found to definitively cause lung cancer by any study even with more carcinogens and tar than tobacco. In a study of 1,212 incident cancer cases and 1,040 cancer-free controls(total of 2,252 participants), those who were surveyed to have smoked the equivalent of one joint a day for sixty years had been found to have no consistent increase in chances of developing lung cancer or any respiratory cancer for that matter. (5) Unless con has a peer reviewed study that finds consistent increases in respiratory cancers among marijuana users, he'll be lacking any real data to back this claim.

And there's more! Con goes on to state:

"Research indicates that THC impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems."

This is another claim without proper testing that should be reserved until further testing is done. This claim originates from a rather unorthodox study on the effects of THC's immunosuppression on rats. With it, the test effectively stimulated the rodents cannabinoid receptors with large quantities of THC and it soon caused a deficiency of B cell-mediated function. This however differs heavily in humans because of how humans are far less susceptible to immunomodulation by cannabinoids. (6) This in itself means we would theoretically need more concentrated stimulation by the THC drug to be effected to the same extent. This still needs far more data to be considered a consistently appearing effect of smoking marijuana.

Last one, I promise. Con states last in his argument saying:

"Several studies have found that children born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development."

I can once again agree. Smoking in it's entirety should be avoided while a women is pregnant. Does that mean we should keep marijuana illegal just because a small integer of irresponsible woman might smoke marijuana while pregnant? Absolutely not.

This argument is inadequate and fails to conclusively prove that most claims against marijuana are made on scientific grounds.

3. Use of Marijuana is Immoral
Con inadequately describes the utilitarian approach of smoking marijuana in a black and white manner. It is not just the act of smoking that is bad; it's the result of smoking based on a certain situation. They're different results of smoking based on the setting and the purpose. In a setting derived from the one I described, results are positive if the user is a responsible individual. Any effects caused by second hand smoke can be avoided and accidents are not a large enough issue to be worried about while resting in ones home under the drug's influence. Also, con assumes to much by expecting all those who smoke to relieve stress do it in a consistent enough manner to grow a tolerance.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
I apologize for my mistake. I meant to reference this site. (7) Con also references a study for the increased use among teens in high schools. Whether or not this is true, con must be able to definitively prove that the increase comes from legalization and not other factors.

Con lacks the data to prove this argument.

7. Regulated marijuana would greatly improve federal and state funded programs
I'll make this quick. Prohibition has failed to deliver on what it set out to do. Since the start of the war on drugs during the Nixon administration, it has failed to stop the illicit drug market from producing almost every illegal drug at every measurable margin. The price of heroin, cocaine, and cannabis has decreased 80%, purity increased in all three, and tens of millions worth of people are imprisoned for non violent drug charges. For those arrests, a large investment is made with tax payer dollars.
each year, the U.S spent over $51,000,000,000 to fail miserably at stopping the illicit drug trade. (8) The state of prohibition is in shambles, leading us to have a vastly larger supply of illicit drugs on the market and a giant waste of a money.

Regulation is proven to be more capable in both controlling a substance and helping those who use the product. By controlling it's production and taxing it appropriately, it is possible to keep the product from being sold to children and even help to create programs in communities that work to prevent addiction or support those addicted through the withdrawal process.



Sources
(1) http://www.drugscience.org...
(2) http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
(3) http://www.psychologytoday.com...
(4) http://pubs.acs.org...
(5) http://cebp.aacrjournals.org...
(6) http://www.drugscience.org...
(7) http://norml.org...
(8) https://www.commondreams.org...
Guidestone

Con

Guidestone forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by atreyusblaze 2 years ago
atreyusblaze
Life doesn't have an answer. That's why its so beautiful.
No such thing happened. An atheist could never adhere to religious dogma. The best part of being a nonbeliever is the liberation, the freedom, and wonder of discovery. The limitless of learning and imagination and living unrestricted by the ignorance and self-grandour of religions. It takes an intellectual, philosphical, scientific unbiased conviction to be an atheist. It takes indoctrination, fear, war, hopelessness and an naive emotional appeal to be a theist. Sadly the religious needs to be reassured of their existence, that means they never developed an identity on their own to begin with. Fretting about dreadfully and vainly asking why am I here, what's my purpose, what the point, etc.

I am familiar with Kant, but his morality was absolute and I have yet to be convinced of its merits along with all the arbitrary complexities
To me We are all individuals unique to one another yes but biologically we are all brothers and sisters in an existence that is certainly shared. We have experienced pain and pleasure. We lose, gain, love and hate. All theses emotions are remarkably relative to us all. The religious hold no such morality. I've always thought it was insincere to give up your life with the promise of a heaven or reading thou shall not kill without ever experiencing the empathy it takes to reason why murder and violence Is unjust to all. What is more beautiful and heartfelt is the person who asked for nothing in returns other than anothers happiness in life. To give up your life for another not out of salvation or dogma but out of love. All can attest for this superior moral. All mankind may not be equal in wealth or intelligence or in physicality but each breath holds as much life and freedom as the next. I find that if you genuinely want to help people you must give others not money but happiness and an aspiring motives to capture dreams
Posted by Guidestone 2 years ago
Guidestone
He was and atheist turn theist like one of the most famous atheist Anthony flew.
I pity atheist, for they are so deterministic.

I use to buy that many shades of gray stuff, but it only leaves questions and no answers. After researching some philosophy I came across Immanual Kant, one of the greatest philosophers, and he gave an absolute moral code that was black and white. He gave his reasonings and logic, and it made sense. I have a very similar way of viewing the world.
Posted by atreyusblaze 2 years ago
atreyusblaze
Sadly yea a devout he was. I pity the religious.

To know anything at all is too experience, feel, observe, to live. Who are we to say whoring is bad, sex is just that. An intimate moment of physical embrace by 2 or whatever how many consenting adults for whatever purposes or reasons. I see no up coming std epidemics and Sex for money is as superficial as having sex for a promotion. I don't consider it an evil . its just is and as long as we depend on money to defines ones worth in a competitive society, men and women alike will use and search for ways to use there appeal. I don't see any "bad" in euthanasia, you think so black and white. Your intellect and reasoning should be as complex as life is. Yet your words be as sound as your emotions. ....
Posted by Guidestone 2 years ago
Guidestone
The only way to know if heroin/prostitution/euthanasia is bad is to try.

C.S. Lewis was very devout and would never support drug legalization.
Posted by atreyusblaze 2 years ago
atreyusblaze
"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn"

C. S. Lewis

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him."
Aldous Huxley

Tip- sources
Posted by Guidestone 2 years ago
Guidestone
I loved all your sources you provided.
Posted by atreyusblaze 2 years ago
atreyusblaze
I am in denial. In Denial of the validity of your arguments. Marijuana Is not a PENALTY to begins with!!!!!! Thats the point. Texting in public is more dangerous. Soda is more dangerous.Cyberbullying is more dangerous. How can you speak of something without ever having experiencing it? Demand for weed has been up. Always been and in fact the number 1 herb in america. It's sustainable, livable, MEDICINAL. Profitable, so in turn is beneficial.
Logic and all reason points to the decriminalization of marijuana in a country going forward as we are.. Accept it or reject It, your on the wrong side of history.
This has been a fun little discussion. Thank you :/
Posted by Guidestone 2 years ago
Guidestone
You keep spouting the same words while providing no proof. This is usually called denial.
You say criminalizing something makes profits rise in street value. If you know anything about economics you would know that there is two ways to increase a price either supply falls or demand increases. Since most people are law abiding that means supply falls, which is the point of criminalization. Therefore, higher prices are expected.
I never claimed that potheads are in the same realm of murderers, and the law agrees since marijuana possession is a lower penalty than any of the other things you named.
Posted by atreyusblaze 2 years ago
atreyusblaze
Proven health effects???? Logical reasoning?? no doubt from decades of biased government studies and unintelligent myths. When you criminalize something, you label it as gateway drug, profit RISES in street value. It becomes part of that culture, guilt by association not necessarily of the same value hence the stereotypes and bad rep, and well your arguments. You can't justify laws that says pothead belong in the same realm of murderers,rapists,thieves,etc living life by violent means!!!!.

Why debate only for us to articulate enough polemics to agree to disagree in a game of words and fancy semantics?? Truth has always been lived, not spoken. I WIN.
B#####s
Posted by Orieles 2 years ago
Orieles
@ atreyusblaze
Hostility is not appreciated. If you have a issue, challenge him.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
OrielesGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins this arguments with more convincing and sourced arguments. Its hard to debate published reviewed facts without having counter reviewed and published proof which Con did not have. Conduct points go to Pro as Con forfeited the last round. Source points go to Pro as pointed out, may add they were wider and mostly unbiased. Spelling and Grammar points go to both debaters, but I would like to ask debaters to try focus on editing as the arguments were difficult to read.