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Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Legalization of recreational marajuana

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 285 times Debate No: 92742
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
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The legalization of a harmful substince can damage family communities. Acording to the centre for disease control some effects of marijuana are :

-short-term memory impairment and slowness of learning.
-impaired lung function similar to that found in cigarette smokers. Indications are that more serious effects, such as cancer and other lung disease, follow extended use.
-decreased sperm count and sperm motility.
-interference with ovulation and pre-natal development.
'impaired immune response.
-possible adverse effects on heart function.
-by-products of marijuana remaining in body fat for several weeks, with unknown consequences. The storage of these by-products increases the possiblilties for chronic, as well as residual, effects on performance, even after the acute reaction to the drug has worn off. Of special concern are the long-term developmental effects children and adolescents, who are particularly vulnerable to the drug's behavioral and psychological effects.

If this substince is proven to be a serious health hazard why do we wan't to legalize it. Pro may argue why cigarettes are legal and marijuana isn't. One reason is that cigarettes were legalized in a time when the health hazards where not known to the public. There are too many people addicted to smoking now to ban it. But now with our modern health technology we know marijuana is hazardous to health. We can stop the legalization of a harmful and addictive substince that can ruin peoples lives.

CDC surgeon general's warning:


Smoking pot is a victimless crime; that is it does not infringe upon anybody else's rights. Instead people have the right to exercise their personal freedom to smoke. It is not the government's responsibility to legislate morality. The government exists to protect people's rights. Adults of sound mind should be able to make the legal decision to smoke - especially on their own property.

Con argues that marijuana poses some danger. In fact the harms of smoking pot are negligible. Weed is safer than alcohol, tobacco, sugar, vehicle exhaust and many chemicals that we put in our food [1]. Ibuprofen kills almost 50,000 people per year. Diaper cream and toothpaste also kill tens of thousands [2]. Prohibition of marijuana is based on manipulative and exaggerated propaganda.

Plus, it would be unrealistic and unproductive to criminalize anything that could be potentially harmful. While Con says that people once didn't know tobacco was harmful, people know now, and yet we allow tobacco to remain legal along with a plethora of other harmful substances.

In this debate, Con will have to prove that criminalizing pot is more just, fair and reasonable than legalizing it.

One reason the government permits cigarettes to remain legal is because it's so profitable. The government collects huge amounts of revenue from cigarette taxes. Similarly, where they have legalized pot, the government has raked in a ton of money to put toward schools and other positive social programs.

So far Colorado has raised over $100 million from taxes in legal pot sales [3]. Not only would pot allow us to collect tax revenue, but economists say that pot legalization could SAVE us more than 13.7 billion dollars per year [4]. Legalizing pot would also boost the economy by creating a lot of jobs [5].

Moreover, legalization would save smokers a ton of legal fees. More than 1/2 of all drug arrests are for pot. More than 8.2 million people are arrested for smoking every year [6] even though those people do not harm anyone but (maybe) themselves. These people should not have to spend thousands of dollars per person paying off fines and other expenses related to arrest.

It's also ridiculous and unfair to give someone a criminal record for smoking weed. Criminal records make it significantly harder to get jobs [7] and may inhibit people's rights [8] yet Con wants to penalize smokers in this way, while not penalizing other people in society (like drinkers) even though their behavior is more dangerous and more harmful.

Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana. More than 25 million Americans smoke pot annually, and weed is the largest cash crop on the planet [9]. These people are peaceful and should not be considered criminals if they do not offend other people's rights. Furthermore, keep in mind that pot criminalization disproportionately targets minorities [10]. This perpetuates racism and problematic barriers for people of color.

A regulated, legal market in marijuana would reduce marijuana sales and use among teenagers, as well as reduce their exposure to other drugs in the illegal market. It would also reduce the flow of money from the American economy to international criminal gangs.

Last but not least, pot has a handful of positive attributes, such as its undeniable medical value and use as a recreational drug with relatively mild side effects. Science has discovered more than 23 medicinal uses for pot [11]. There are also positive mental, emotional and social impacts such as elevated mood and less social anxiety [12].

"Marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea, spasticity, and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with conventional medications. Many American adults prefer marijuana to the use of alcohol as a mild and moderate way to relax. Americans use marijuana because they choose to, and one of the reasons for that choice is their personal observation that the drug has a relatively low dependence liability and easy-to-manage side effects. Most marijuana users develop tolerance to many of marijuana"s side effects" [9].

In conclusion, the criminalization of marijuana is unnecessary, harmful and too expensive for our justice system. Instead it should be legalized and taxed to support beneficial government programs. This would benefit society by alleviating the tax payer burden, and providing people freedom of choice. Since pot has many benefits (including medicinal), people should be able to make the smartest, safest decisions for themselves. Only people who infringe on other people's rights should be punished. Smoking pot does not impede on other people's rights and should not be punished.

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your response. In pro's argument she says:

"Plus, it would be unrealistic and unproductive to criminalize anything that could be potentially harmful."

It can be harmful in more ways than you think. We now have aproblem with drinking and driving. Can you imagine adding driving high and drunk to the list of problems. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse:

"According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 10 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed.4

NSDUH findings also show that men are more likely than women to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And a higher percentage of young adults aged 18 to 25 drive after taking drugs or drinking than do adults 26 or older.4"

The institute also says:

After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes. Tests for detecting marijuana in drivers measure the level of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana"s mind-altering ingredient, in the blood. But the role that marijuana plays in crashes is often unclear. THC can be detected in body fluids for days or even weeks after use, and it is often combined with alcohol. The risk associated with marijuana in combination with alcohol, cocaine, or benzodiazepines appears to be greater than that for either drug by itself.3,"

The National Institute of Drug abuse is obviosly a credible source. Another problem is second hand smoke. Second hand smoke from cigarettes is bad but second hand smoke from marijuana can be equally or more damaging to others.

The Canadian Cancer society says:

"People who smoke marijuana tend to inhale more smoke per puff and hold it in their lungs for as much as 4 times longer than people who smoke tobacco cigarettes. This means that smoking 2"3 marijuana cigarettes can expose you to roughly the same amount of smoke as 20 tobacco cigarettes."

This is also a very credible source. People have a right to do what they want but when it harms them and others it can not and should not be easily accessible. Pro argues that the country can profit off people harming there bodies. Cigarettes, alchol abuse, sugar, chemicals etc are already a problem. I don't think adding marijuana is a very smart desicion.


I'd like to thank my opponent for this debate.

Con begins by suggesting that pot cannot be legalized, because people might smoke and drive.

First, extend my argument that drinking and driving is infinitely more dangerous than smoking and driving [1] yet alcohol remains legal. For Con's argument to have merit, he would have had to argue that we ban alcohol (which has been tried and failed) though he did not.

Second, studies show that driving under the influence of marijuana is not that dangerous, and that it could be more dangerous to drive while tired [2]. Nonetheless, smoking and driving should be illegal. Con is arguing that people might break the law to smoke and drive -- yet this defeats his own argument, as people could just as easily break the law and continue to smoke weed (and drive) now.

My opponent's second argument is that smoking pot is dangerous because pot smokers inhale more smoke. There are several rebuttals to this (especially in regard to freedom) that I have already addressed and Con has ignored. However pot can be ingested which completely bypasses every single one of the dangers of smoking in terms of tar or other impacts on your lungs [3]. People can also smoke weed through vaporizers, which is another way to virtually eliminate all of the harm from smoking [4].

In conclusion, I would like to repeat my dozen arguments below.

The ones in bold are the ones that my opponent has dropped.

1. Smoking pot does not infringe on anybody else's rights.
2. Comparatively, smoking weed is minimally harmful.
3. Legalization of pot would save a ton of money.
4. Legalization would also be great for creating jobs,
5. And adding a significant amount of revenue to alleviate tax payers.
6. It's not fair to make pot smokers criminals and pay a lot of fines.
7. Criminalization leads to arrests and records, making it harder to get jobs.
8. Prohibition is ineffective and disproportionately targets minorities.
9. Legalizing pot keeps money out of the hands of gangs and drug cartels.
10. Pot has a lot of medicinal benefits and social benefits.
11. People become desensitized to pot's mild side effects.
12. People have the right to relax in a way that is not dangerous.

These contentions, especially the ones in bold, must be awarded in my favor.

I have proven that legalizing drugs is more just, fair and reasonable than criminalization.


Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 4 months ago
>Reported vote: youmils03// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments), 1 point to Con (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: The Con never explains why the supposed "physical harms" of smoking marijuana should be illegal. I'm allowed to sit on my fat butt all day and eat potato chips if I want. I'm allowed to smoke 10 packs a day of cigarettes if I want. Being an American doesn't mean always making the "healthiest" choices (even if I buy that pot is unhealthy, which I don't - Pro's sources are speculative and untrue), it means being the freest. But Pro fails to bring up convincing moral and economic arguments. I very much agree with Pro, but I only thought he was slightly better at actually debating.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn't explain conduct. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter seems to decide the debate based on their own opinions of a specific argument rather than anything specifically stated in the debate.
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