The Instigator
Logos
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Creed-Diskenth
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Legalize narcotics

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,021 times Debate No: 526
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (14)

 

Logos

Pro

In general, most people accept that narcotics are bad for you. Heroin kills you, marijuana makes you lazy, etc, etc. So it would seem logical to say that drugs should be against the law. But there are two major, major flaws in this argument.

The first is the issue of feasibility. Look at the current state of the drug war. Countless billions spent investigating crime, countless MORE billions spent incarcerating nonviolent persons on minor drug charges, with no end in sight. Has drug use declined in recent years? What all has the drug war accomplished? The old joke is that if money would win the war on drugs, we would have already won. Every statistic, even those put out by the DEA, indicate that drug-related offenses have been increasing steadily since the drug war's inception. By what logic does one claim that MORE money, or MORE freedom sacrificed will finally eradicate drug use?

Even assuming the government has unlimited funds to spend on crusading against drugs (as opposed to the $9 trillion dollar debt it currently holds to its name), exactly how WOULD a war on drugs be won? More importantly, COULD it be won? Already in America and many other countries we have seen massive scalings back on personal liberty in the name of security. Cameras in almost every conceivable public location; law enforcement being granted (unconstitutional) secret warrants to search the homes of those SUSPECTED of drug offenses; US law enforcement agents invading sovereign nations to pursue drug traffickers....Where does it end? What reasonable, legal, effective means could be invoked to win a war on drugs?

If one is willing to make the massive stretch of the imagination needed to accept that a war on drugs ever could be won, the question still exists: should it be won? Does the government have the right to tell a person what they can and cannot do to their own body? The Constitution makes no mention of the government having any authority over what a person puts in there body. There are already amendments that prohibit the government from circumscribing alcohol use; what makes drugs any different?

In short, a person's body is their own property, and by no means can the government tell them what to do with it.
Creed-Diskenth

Con

I'm going to limit my argument to the topics you have already mentioned.

I find it unacceptable to state that we should give up on the war against drugs. More effective methods of cracking down on drugs need to be enforced, that is true, but lowering the amount of money spent against drugs will inadvertently KILL PEOPLE! And a significant portion of those will be students, people who by all means can go out into the world as good and productive people if not for the tempting influence of drugs.

Criminal punishments need to be stricter in dealing with drugs in order to reduce the amazing amount of repeat offenders. Its true that despite large amounts of money are being spent at the governmental level, the current legal system is not enough.

But we cannot simply give up! it is not the right choice to say "Screw it, let people die", just because they "want to"! the psychological impact of drugs is horrendous. And the users aren't the only ones that suffer. family and friends may have to endure years of therapy if a close family member DIES of drug abuse. Drugs are too strong to be able to beat without a huge organized effort.

We don't let people play with fire just because they want to. We don't let people steal because they want to. We don't let people kill just because they want to. We don't even let people kill themselves because they want to. So why should we let literally millions of people suffer from drugs, directly and indirectly?

I do not believe in complaining unless you have a solution however. We need to enforce strong punishments against casual users, because they provide the cash necessary for drugs to survive. Shame through extended community service, harsh jail time for 6-12 months, and more for repeat offenders. A government provided budget for schools to set up programs to help educate kids about drugs. If you teach them from a young age to avoid drugs, chances are that unless they live in an environment that encourages drug use, they will never use drugs.

As for drug dealers themselves, 5-20 years in prison, with limited appeals. We do not want these people on the streets, period. They are purposely killing and harming people for money, and should be charged with mass second degree murder and armed assault.

Watching people around you die and doing nothing, when you have the ability to help them, and still living with yourself... you couldn't do it if you were any kind of good person. It is never alright to be okay with pain and death. We would never survive as a race if everyone thought the same way as you.
Debate Round No. 1
Logos

Pro

Alas, we know that harsher penalties for drug offenses do not always work, if they ever do at all. In countries like China and Saudi Arabia the penalties for drug offenses are far more brutal than those in the United States, and yet they too have drug pushers, users, and traffickers just as we do. Even the death penalty is not sufficient to serve as a deterrent; as long as people can make a profit doing something, they are going to keep doing it. No law or law enforcement agency could possibly stand up to the combined ingenuity of thousands of profit-hungry drug dealers. Ever.

The guaranteed failure of any system of prohibition is substantiated by history. Has there ever been a time in which a substance was outlawed, and then successfully eradicated? And what was that society like? Did the citizens there enjoy the same freedoms we do? How much freedom must be sacrificed to ensure every citizen is free from the evils of drug use.

I will concede that drug addiction is a terrible thing, and that it can and has ruined many lives. However, it is the responsibility of people to make decision for themselves. The analogy to letting people steal or kill if they want to is flawed; drug use is a personal choice. It would be wrong to force drugs on another person, but what a person does to their own body is their own business. By what right does the government claim to know what you can and cannot do to your own body? Why should a police officer or law maker have more say over your life than you do? Would you really want to live in a world where government officials could arrest you for being a danger to yourself? And what constitutes a "danger" to one's self? Should there be laws that keep people from eating poorly, or not exercising? And, most importantly, who is to make these decisions and enforce all these laws? Who is wise enough to know how all people should live their lives?
Creed-Diskenth

Con

Creed-Diskenth forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Logos

Pro

"We don't let people play with fire just because they want to. We don't let people steal because they want to. We don't let people kill just because they want to. We don't even let people kill themselves because they want to."

Each of these analogies is flawed. Theft, arson, and murder are all crimes that violate the rights of others, whereas drug use does not inherently harm anyone else. A drug user may steal a TV to pay for drugs, but then he should be punished for theft; outlaw the crime, not the motive. The suicide example is not applicable either; neither the government nor any other party has the right to tell a person what they can or cannot do with their own body, least of all in this manner. A person's body is their property, not the state's, and therefore the state cannot tell them what to do to themselves.

If a person is not infringing on the rights of any other human being, why should the government have any authority over their actions? "Keeping people safe from themselves" is the credo of tyrants.

"More effective methods of cracking down on drugs need to be enforced, that is true, but lowering the amount of money spent against drugs will inadvertently KILL PEOPLE"

"The Nation's Toughest Drug Law: Evaluating the New York Experience, by the Joint Committee on New York Drug Law Evaluation, of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York" was a study conducted to investigate the causes of drug-related violence. While the study did find a link between harsher penalties for drug use and drug violence, the study could not find a link between spending more money on combating drug use and decreased violence.

"I do not believe in complaining unless you have a solution however. We need to enforce strong punishments against casual users, because they provide the cash necessary for drugs to survive. Shame through extended community service, harsh jail time for 6-12 months, and more for repeat offenders. A government provided budget for schools to set up programs to help educate kids about drugs. If you teach them from a young age to avoid drugs, chances are that unless they live in an environment that encourages drug use, they will never use drugs."

We have all these things NOW, and they have done NOTHING. Drug use has INCREASED over time, despite all these policies and more! The above study indicates why harsh penalties are NOT the solution. My entire POINT is that drug policy has been getting stricter, and has accomplished nothing.

"Watching people around you die and doing nothing, when you have the ability to help them, and still living with yourself... you couldn't do it if you were any kind of good person."

If you know someone with a drug problem, someone who is in danger of dying, help them. If they truly want help, they will accept it. (It is a tenant of addiction counseling that you first must WANT to seek help before it will work.) But to continue an ineffective, brutal, unjust campaign is not the solution. Locking nonviolent drug users in prison for years is not the solution. Ordering everyone on Earth to treat themselves the way the State says they should, on the basis of protecting them from making a bad choice, is NEVER the solution.

You have not shown any way in which the drug war has improved the situation, nor have you demonstrated why MORE drug war would save MORE lives. I have shown how the drug war has FAILED, and has HARMED more than it has helped.
Creed-Diskenth

Con

From round 2:

Your opinion is groundless and stems of your lack of research in this area.

Saudi Arabia, for instance, boasts one of the lowest addiction rates in the world. As reported:

- In 1987, based on a ruling by the ulama, drug smugglers and those who received and distributed drugs from abroad were made subject to the death sentence for bringing "corruption" into the country.
- First-time offenders faced prison terms, floggings, and fines, or a combination of all three punishments.
- Those convicted for a second time faced execution.
- According to the police, the anti-drug campaign and the death penalty had by 1989 reduced addiction by 60 percent and drug use by 26 percent.
- Saudi officials claim that the kingdom had the lowest rate of drug addiction in the world, which they attribute to the harsh punishments and the pious convictions of ordinary Saudis.

People can learn, and people will by nature avoid actions which will lead themselves to harm. Current rehabilitation methods are ineffective. Why? Because the lesson is not being taught strongly enough.

We cannot let children grow up in an environment where the might walk into their parents bedroom some day and find their mother lying dead on the floor from drug overdose. Where you wake up one day and your best friend has been shot over drug money.

As for china, they are making extensive efforts through their police force to seize drugs coming in through the border and coastline. They are coordinating with the Philippines to intercept drugs such as "ice".

Did you know that 17% of all state prisoners confessed to having performed their crime in order to gain money for drugs. 18% of federal prisoners performed their crime in order to gain money for drugs.

Reducing the amount of drugs coming in through our borders and decreasing the amount of repeat offenders would contribute greatly to reducing crime rates in america, and allow police officers to pursue work in other heinous crimes.

On to round 3:

Ill react to your arguments on each part.

"Each of these analogies is flawed. Theft, arson, and murder are all crimes that violate the rights of others, whereas drug use does not inherently harm anyone else. A drug user may steal a TV to pay for drugs, but then he should be punished for theft; outlaw the crime, not the motive. The suicide example is not applicable either; neither the government nor any other party has the right to tell a person what they can or cannot do with their own body, least of all in this manner. A person's body is their property, not the state's, and therefore the state cannot tell them what to do to themselves."

Suicide and drug abuse also violate others right to pursue happiness. Our individual happiness depends greatly on our environment and upbringing. Par of that is our friends and family. Legalizing drugs would allow people to grow up where they might wake up and a family member or close friend has died. We cannot let this happen.

How is letting your kid do drugs any different than letting him play with fire? How is death by overdose of drug not murder by the one who gave him the ability? And you propose that the government should make it legal. All hat does is make a government responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people across the nation.

You claim that you have shown why my solution would fail. What would yours do?

People would now have access to unlimited amounts of cheaper drugs. Would you make an age restriction? Like that would ever stop children from being addicted, like they are right now.

We have no choice but to fight drugs. No matter what the monetary cost, our government is responsible for providing a safe environment for its citizens, while protecting their lives and happiness. How can people be happy when death rates soar and life expectancy drops like a stone? Sure, the government receives much needed tax money to repay national debt, for what purpose?

No matter how you look at it, your way helps no one, harms many, and is a completely selfish and irresponsible view. So you wouldn't do drugs yourself, and if your friends was you would only help him if he wanted it? You would let him suffer and die just because he wanted to?

Sometimes you need to help people just because they need help. Sometimes you have to look beyond yourself and ask how you can change things around yourself for the better. And sometimes that means we have to better educate people about why drugs are bad. Legalizing drugs does not include any of that.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeATHNOTE 8 years ago
DeATHNOTE
YES MORE DEATHNOTE!!!!!!!!!!!

AWESOME deathnote is just supremely awesome
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 8 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
I wasn't talking to Logos when i stated that
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 8 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
"the government doesn't really want to stop the war on drugs, the price of drugs is far higher being illegal then if it were legal and taxed. governments have been using drugs to control the masses for century's the english did it too the chinese and now the US allows a certain amount to take place here, there is no need to legalize it, people are already making big gains the way it is."

That is an extremely stupid and ugly point of view. The government may have taken a turn for the worst. That is our fault. If people really wanted things to change, then they would get together and change things. America is truly a country that belongs to the people. If we dont want crooked politicians, then we need to send farmers, physicians, business-men to take up office at personal sacrifice, to get a job done, then return home.

In your previous example it was a case of one country controlling another. The US may be capable of such despicable deeds, but it has not happened, and will never happen.

Even just on a reasonable view, your case is impossible because they government would make far more money AND control its citizens if drugs were legal.
Posted by Logos 8 years ago
Logos
"... I have something to say to you, but ill wait till this is over. Im going to remember that."

You have my attention.
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 8 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
Of course im like light. Especially on justice matters.

guess who supports the death penalty? ;)
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 8 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. i missed the deadline by 10 minutes!!!!!!!!! im sorry guys.... i failed.
Posted by Logos 8 years ago
Logos
Heh....I was referring to Creed, Araj. You seem to have a lot in common with an obsolete boss, though.
Posted by Araj 8 years ago
Araj
of course i do! thats not up for debate. or..IS IT!?!?!?
Posted by Logos 8 years ago
Logos
Heartless am I? I can't refute that without it counting as an argument, but rest assured, you have more in common with Kira than I.
Posted by Araj 8 years ago
Araj
heh you have not, dont worry ^^
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