The Instigator
killa_connor
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Oberbeck
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Legalize Marijuana.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Started: 12/24/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,432 times Debate No: 958
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (13)

 

killa_connor

Pro

I haven't seen this done on debate.org yet, so I thought it would be interesting to hear some opinions on the issue. This debate will probably have many different types of arguments (legal, health, and economic), so I'm going to start Round 1 off with a whole mess of arguments in favor for the legalization of marijuana and we'll see where it goes from there =).

The first and most basic reason why I think marijuana should be legalized is because it's a matter of basic autonomy! From a philosophical point of view, individuals deserve the right to make choices for themselves. The government only has a right to limit those choices if the individual's actions endanger someone else. This does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual. But this argument does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco (I'll cover this claim in the 'health' parts of my argument).

I also think it makes economic sense to legalize the plant because it would save both the federal and state government and enormous amount of money and reduce governmental beurocracy like the DEA. In the United States, all levels of government (even local authorities!) participate in the "War on Drugs." We currently spend billions of dollars every year to chase peaceful people who happen to like to get high. These people get locked up in prison and the taxpayers have to foot the bill. We have to pay for food, housing, health care, attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses. This adds up! We could save billions of dollars every year as a nation if we stop wasting money locking people up for having marijuana. Keep in mind, that if marijuana were legal, the government would be able to collect taxes on it, and would have a lot more money to pay for effective drug education programs and other important causes. Because lets not forget that marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco all have health risks associated (for that matter so does eating a Big Mac!) to them and a responsible government is suppose to educate and inform it's citizen not to enact a prohibition!

This leads into my historical argument against a prohibition policy towards marijuana, it simply doesn't work! We tried prohibition with alcohol, and that failed miserably. There is no good evidence that prohibition decreases drug use, and there are several theories that suggest prohibition might actually increase drug use (i.e. the "forbidden fruit" effect, and easier accessibility for youth). One unintended effect of marijuana prohibition is that marijuana is very popular in American high schools. Why? Because it is available. You don't have to be 21 to buy marijuana -- marijuana dealers usually don't care how old you are as long as you have money. It is actually easier for many high school students to obtain marijuana than it is for them to obtain alcohol, because alcohol is legal and therefore regulated to keep it away from kids. If our goal is to reduce drug consumption, then we should focus on open and honest programs to educate youth, regulation to keep drugs away from kids, and treatment programs for people with drug problems. But the current prohibition scheme does not allow such reasonable approaches to marijuana. Instead we are stuck with 'DARE' police officers spreading lies about drugs in schools, and policies that result in jail time rather than treatment for people with drug problems.

Finally, there is the health component to my argument. Keep in mind that if I can prove that marijuana is safer then its legalized counterparts (alcohol and tobacco) then I have effectively undermined any health arguments to condemn its legalization. Let me begin by saying, Marijuana only poses health risks to people who choose to use it. As is the case with other potentially harmful substances, such as unhealthy foods, individuals should be able to weigh the risks for themselves. Cholesterol claims exponentially more lives then marijuana, should we make bacon illegal? The health risks associated with Marijuana are often misunderstood or exaggerated. The best recent scientific research shows that marijuana is much less harmful than prohobitionists say it is. The truth is that marijuana's health effects are complex and cannot be simply labelled good or bad. Here are some recent studies rejecting some of the standard health arguments against the plant:

Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain (from WebMD, July 2003). A recent survey of research found that long term marijuana use did not have a significant effect on cognitive abilities. The report was published in the July 2003 Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection (from Washington Post, May 2006). A recent study of the effects of long-term marijuana use found that "smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer." This study, the largest of its kind, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The same study found that heavy tobacco use greatly increased the chance of lung cancer.

Finally, I believe that marijuana does have medicinal merit. There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence, as well as some scientific research, indicating that marijuana can be effective as a treatment for some illnesses. Benefits of marijuana can include appetite stimulation for cancer and AIDS patients, and general pain relief.

I sort of took a shotgun approach for this first round, but it should be an interesting debate either way =).

-connor

American Kill Count:
Tobacco - 10 million (http://www.costkids.org...)
Alcohol - 17,800 per year in alcohol related car accidents. (http://www.drug-rehabs.org...)
Marijuana - 0
Oberbeck

Con

You is just a pinko long hair. See they was talking all this same stuff back in 1960--you isnt even smart. See cause I knew that the the Bibie call us all to be good to each utter and I knows that you isnt any good if you is wanting to be legalizing all the mariwana. I is bettin you go and smoke it with all you little pinko friends and lie to you momma and poppa all about it. But they know and god know and you cant be living in sin forever. Seeing cause one day the whole earth jus gonna come to an end and you is gonna get left behind wiht all the devils and go to hell! All this if you dont stop you sin and confess you love for Jesus!!!!!!! He done died on the cross you sins and you jus gonna sit back and smoke you hooch stick and lie to you momma? Legal marawana jus gonna bring more sin to this earth and gonna let the devil work his mind trick on more of our kids! Marawana be the devil on this earth-it come and go0na get in you brain and then the devil control you and make you wanna legalize the marawana so all you friends can go and get high or watever. Bow to Jesus!
Debate Round No. 1
killa_connor

Pro

Thank you Oberbeck. Your response is interesting and although it failed to refute or even acknowledge any of my arguments I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you keep posting. Since I don't think we're going to have any meaningful discussion about the health risks or economic ramifications of legalizing it, I think instead I'll just chat with you.

"You is just a pinko long hair."

What does this mean? Is 'pinko' a reference to my skin color? Do I even really have that long of hair? Does anyone agree with Ober and think that my hair is long?

"See cause I knew that the the Bibie call us all to be good to each utter and I knows that you isnt any good if you is wanting to be legalizing all the mariwana."

First off, just for the purposes of this debate, marijuana is spelled, 'M-A-R-I-J-U-A-N-A'. And I take offense to the claim that marijuana would somehow inhibit people's ability to be "good to each utter". Do you have any statistic or personal observation to support this?

"I is bettin you go and smoke it with all you little pinko friends and lie to you momma and poppa all about it."

No, they know I smoke. And again what does 'pinko' mean? Is it something I should take offense to? I don't think that marijuana inherently creates a divide between parents and children, it all depends on how people approach the use of marijuana. I would advocate responsible use which would include moderation and communication with family and friends.

"Seeing cause one day the whole earth jus gonna come to an end and you is gonna get left behind wiht all the devils and go to hell! All this if you dont stop you sin and confess you love for Jesus!!!!!!! He done died on the cross you sins and you jus gonna sit back and smoke you hooch stick and lie to you momma? "

This is completely baffling and unfounded. The assumption that marijuana will provoke God somehow is not found within the Bible. I don't understand why you equate marijuana 'hooch stick' smoking with sinful behavior. If you could explain any of your points here I'd be much obliged. I never thought this debate would become religious but that's fine, I'd be happy to discuss marijuana and morality with you.

"Legal marawana jus gonna bring more sin to this earth and gonna let the devil work his mind trick on more of our kids! Marawana be the devil on this earth-it come and go0na get in you brain and then the devil control you and make you wanna legalize the marawana so all you friends can go and get high or watever. Bow to Jesus!"

M-A-R-I-J-U-A-N-A! Could you explain how marijuana is going to "let the devil work his mind trick(s) of more of our kids"? How do you respond to my point that prohibition policy increases drug use? I also don't like how you mischaracterize my motivation for wanting marijuana legalized. It's not just so "all you friends can go get high or whatev", it's because people are being unjustly imprisoned for it and because it would help our country's economy to legalize it!

The command to "Bow to Jesus" is bizarre and doesn't really belong in this debate. But thank you for your response Oberbeck. Although you have yet to present an argument against marijuana legalization, I still have enjoyed your evaluation of weed being the devil and I look forward to hearing more.

-connor
Oberbeck

Con

Oberbeck forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
killa_connor

Pro

Dearest Oberbeck,
You are a debate guru and I've learned a lot from you. I will miss you. =(

<3 connor
Oberbeck

Con

Oberbeck forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SirJDKnightCroix 6 years ago
SirJDKnightCroix
Good argument, but do you think it'll ever happen?

:-(

- J.D.
Posted by Modernmoron 6 years ago
Modernmoron
let them do what they want. as long as they dont do anything stupid while they are on it then why would the government care? its the same as alcohol and the whole prohibition case when you look at it. In canada its legal there, and you dont see people screaming in pain dying from smoking a bong. sure you see homeless people with signs saying need money for my fix, but hey, in Us you see homeless people doing the same stuff for alcohol. I really dont care if someone does marijuana, as long as thet know what could happen to them if they do it.
Posted by killa_connor 6 years ago
killa_connor
Okay! Haha Sorry! But I doubt the opposition was this entertaining.
Posted by dorobo 6 years ago
dorobo
It has been done too many times!
Posted by Ahking 6 years ago
Ahking
It's funny, I had this same debate and my opponent backed out too (I was pro-legalization) and still 6 people voted for him. It just goes to show you that people still haven't learned to consider facts and not treat their opinions like their religion.
Posted by killa_connor 6 years ago
killa_connor
I looked into the effects of marijuana on driving. I've read a variety of results ranging from no effect to limited effects (equated to 2 hours of sleep deprivation). You can check out this study for yourself but I think its safe to conclude that being high does not greatly inhibit your ability to drive. http://www.druglibrary.org...
Posted by shwayze 6 years ago
shwayze
I'm a faithful christian and I support legalization for marijuana. One thing I always get tripped up on is the fact that God created marijuana and put it on this earth! Seriously the only purpose of marijuana is to get high. God put it on this earth and I consider a beautiful gift of His creation.
Posted by goldspurs 6 years ago
goldspurs
It depends on the person Conner. People like myself who rarely used it could be greatly hampered in their ability to react. This is just like alcohol. The more you drink and the bigger you are the less it has an effect on you. Granted it doesn't have near the effects as drinking a bottle of Scotch, but it does impair your ability to drive.

Yes all of the test you have listed do see if you HAVE smoked, but if it was legal it wouldn't be able to tell if you were under the influence at that moment. That could lead to people coming to work stoned out of their gore and the employers wouldn't be able to prove it. They could only prove that they had done it in the last month or so.
Posted by killa_connor 6 years ago
killa_connor
It can be traced in urine for up to about 3 weeks. However, hair follicle or saliva tests can detect THC in the system for up to a month and can't be tricked. I'm sure we could develop a system of testing for "the influence" of the drug that would be non-intrusive like a breathalyzer. However, I would argue that the effects in themselves result in hunger, happiness (releasing of serotonin), paranoia, and sometimes sleepiness are relatively harmless. I fail to see how these effects are demonstrably undesirable and hazardous. I would hope that being "charged" with under the influence of marijuana would be far less serious as being charged with being under the influence of alcohol.
Posted by goldspurs 6 years ago
goldspurs
Connor, it has been many years since I smoked a "fatty" but I do remember the effect it had. I wouldn't mind legalizing marijuana if it could be tested like alcohol. How else could you know if someone is really under the influence?
13 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by prepsexpot69 6 years ago
prepsexpot69
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 6 years ago
Tatarize
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Mr.ROdr1duez 6 years ago
Mr.ROdr1duez
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Oberbann 6 years ago
Oberbann
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by solo 6 years ago
solo
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by IcicledTori 6 years ago
IcicledTori
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Modernmoron 6 years ago
Modernmoron
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by killa_connor 6 years ago
killa_connor
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by NSG 6 years ago
NSG
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Ahking 6 years ago
Ahking
killa_connorOberbeckTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30