The Instigator
jpatdalton
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Marijauna Should Be Legal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,231 times Debate No: 17258
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

jpatdalton

Pro

I'm arguing for marijuana legalization.

Marijuana should be legalized on the fundamental principle of personal freedom. This is inherent to the founding of the U.S.A. Marijuana doesn't do enough harm to keep it legalized and keeping it legalized does more bad then good.

I'm all for the decreased use of marijuana, but I believe by keeping it illegal it isn't lowering supply or availability, and there should be an attempt at limiting demand through education, rehab clinics, and counseling. Plain and simple, teens today can get marijuana extremely easily. Nearly every high school in America has a dealer, so almost any teen can get it. People need to believe for themselves that marijuana is bad to not use it, and here is where limiting demand can come into play. The current enforcement on marijuana is an attempt to limit supply, and this clearly doesn't work so why make our police go after harmless people?

Marijuana users are pretty harmless. When I or anyone I know is high, they are very peaceful and nice people. Also, driving A LITTLE stoned isn't terrible, myself and most of my friends do it every day and I have great driving (my parents would back this up as I have driven them while stoned many times). I have never gotten in a car crash or even a traffic ticket. I'm not saying that anyone can drive around completely stoned because if you feel impaired at all you really shouldn't be driving, but I'm a firm believer that an experienced stoner is a great driver after a bowl.

People see marijuana as leading to laziness and no life. While this can be true if over abused, why can't we be lazy an hour or two a day? For example, I smoke everyday but I also go to a hard engineering school and maintain a job. I don't believe people should be stoned when they need to get stuff done, but if I'm just going to watch a movie, why is being stoned bad? My point is that marijuana may make you lazy, but who is completely productive for 16 hours a day? Even before I smoked I spent a lot of time doing nothing watching TV or playing video games. I view the time of being stoned as a time to relax, which I would take time to do even if I didn't smoke.

I'll go back to my personal freedom point to wrap up my argument. Basically, if smoking a joint at the end of every day makes me happy, who is anyone else to stop me from doing it? What harm is smoking that joint doing? Is it bad enough for someone else to tell me that I absolutely cannot do it and need to be locked up behind bars if I smoke because I'm bad for society? Well, I plan to be a successful computer scientist and to help society, do you really want to lock me up? That just seems ridiculous. Legalize it.
thett3

Con

First I will refute my Opponents points, then I will post my own.

=Rebuttal=
"Marijuana should be legalized on the fundamental principle of personal freedom"-this point only stands if my Opponent is advocating the complete legalization of all drugs, he must show why Marijuana is unique among illicit drugs.

"I'm all for the decreased use of marijuana" -this seems contradictory considering how in all your other arguments you state how harmless it is. If it has no negative affects, why are you for decreased use?

"there should be an attempt at limiting demand through education, rehab clinics, and counseling"
- we already have that, and Marijuana usage is still increasing[1], so this alone can't prevent Marijuana use.

"but I believe by keeping it illegal it isn't lowering supply or availability"
- surely it's still available, but to say that keeping it illegal doesn't lower that is foolish. Right now, to deal in Marijuana you must do it in secrecy and logically that makes it more difficult to get.

"Nearly every high school in America has a dealer, so almost any teen can get it."-and if it was legalized, every town would have a Marijuana dispensery so nothing changes, in fact evidence suggests that Marijuana use would increase, take the Dutch for example despite their well known liberal Marijuana policies, children use it more there than anywhere in Europe.[2] As the Heritage Foundation puts it: "Legalization also alters social norms. More Dutch children smoke pot because the social stigma against it has dissipated." Marijuana usage would increase with legalization.

"When I or anyone I know is high, they are very peaceful and nice people." -this might very well be true in your case, but this is circumstantial, according to the RAND Coporation reports that 60% of arrested people test positive for Marijuana[3] and the National Research Council concluded that "long-term use of marijuana may alter the nervous system in ways that do promote violence.”[2]. Also, Amsterdam, which has very Liberal Marijuana policies is one of the most violent cities in Europe[4] and in California, "police report that areas surrounding cannabis clubs have experienced a 200 percent increase in robberies, a 52.2 percent increase in burglaries, a 57.1 percent increase in aggravated assault, and a 130.8 percent increase in burglaries from automobiles." So there is a link between Marijuana usage and crime.

"but I'm a firm believer that an experienced stoner is a great driver after a bowl."-I would like to see actual evidence of high people being decent drivers.

"People see marijuana as leading to laziness and no life."-that isn't the reasoning for criminalizing it though. Using that logic videogames would be illegal as well.

"need to be locked up behind bars" & "do you really want to lock me up"- actually, only 0.1-0.2% of people in prison are there because of Marijuana use.[5].

=Case=

C1. Legalization will increase Marijuana usage.

The RAND coporation reports that Marijuana price would decrese, and usage would increase if it was legalized[6], fiurthermore, usage increased in Amsterdam with legalization, as I've already shown. There really isn't much to be said here because the evidence and common sense points one way.

C2. Marijuana is more similar to "hard" drugs than Alcohol and Tabacco.

SPA: Alcohol

As the Heritage Foundation states, "compared to alcohol, marijuana is not safe. Long-term, moderate consumption of alcohol carries few health risks and even offers some significant benefits. The effects of regular marijuana consumption are quite different. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (a division of the National Institutes of Health) has released studies showing that use of marijuana has wide-ranging negative health effects. Long-term marijuana consumption “impairs the ability of T-cells in the lungs’ immune system to fight off some infections.These studies have also found that marijuana consumption impairs short-term memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information or perform complex tasks; slows reaction time and impairs motor coordination; increases heart rate by 20 percent to 100 percent, thus elevating the risk of heart attack; and alters moods, resulting in artificial euphoria, calmness, or (in high doses) anxiety or paranoia." [2]

Marijuana, unlike Alcohol, has no positive effects, and also unlike Alcohol is unsafe in any amount.

SPB: Tabacco

According to the British Lung Foundation, “smoking three or four marijuana joints is as bad for your lungs as smoking twenty tobacco cigarettes.”[7] also, according to the Heritage Foundation "Researchers in Canada found that marijuana smoke contains significantly higher levels of numerous toxic compounds, like ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, than regular tobacco smoke. In fact, the study determined that ammonia was found in marijuana smoke at levels of up to 20 times the levels found in tobacco. Similarly, hydrogen cyanide was found in marijuana smoke at concentrations three to five times greater than those found in tobacco smoke."[2]

Marijuana usage is more dangerous that Cigarettes and Alcohol, and so any arguments about their similiarites are invalid.

C3. Taxation of legalized Marijuana would not be enough to cover the expenses it cause.

People are likely to find a way around taxes, as stated by the Heritage Foundation (speaking of Prop 19. in California) "the act would let every landowner grow enough marijuana to produce 24,000 to 240,000 joints a year for "personal consumption." Who would pay the $50-per-ounce tax on marijuana (a 100 percent tax) when he could grow it himself or buy some (illegally) from a neighbor." Taxes on other drugs simply do not cover their expenses. For example, the total net profit of Tabacco for the Government is -175 Billion dollars, for alcohol it is -170.5 billion Dollars.[5]. The costs for legalized Marijuana use are likely to be significantly higher seeing as how it's more dangerous as I showed in my C2.

There you have it, Marijuana should not be legalized. Good luck to my Opponent in his rebuttal, and I urge a Con vote.

Sources:

1. http://www.usatoday.com...
2. http://www.heritage.org...
3. http://www.rand.org...
4. http://funny.talk4fun.net...
5. http://www.cnbc.com...
6. http://www.csmonitor.com...
7.http://www.ncjrs.gov...

Debate Round No. 1
jpatdalton

Pro

jpatdalton forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

Unfortunate.
I'll remind my Opponent that he's only lost the conduct vote, he can still beat me if he decides to return.

Extend.
Debate Round No. 2
jpatdalton

Pro

jpatdalton forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

*sigh*
Extend, Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
jpatdalton

Pro

jpatdalton forfeited this round.
thett3

Con

Extend, vote Con.

Also, here's a song:
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by thett3 5 years ago
thett3
in the next round, if I still have characters can I cross examine you?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Meatros 5 years ago
Meatros
jpatdaltonthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro left...
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
jpatdaltonthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: 4feit
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
jpatdaltonthett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, leaving Con's arguments unanswered.
Vote Placed by Sieben 5 years ago
Sieben
jpatdaltonthett3Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: nerga