The Instigator
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The Contender
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Marijuana Legalization

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,516 times Debate No: 27140
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




I've never used this website before so if someone could please be so kind as to educate me on basic procedure I would greatly appreciate it.

To begin, marijuana was legalized for recreational use on November 6, 2012 in Colorado and Washington. I believe this is a huge step in the right direction. Marijuana prohibition has been going on for far too long and the negative side effects associated with it have been devastating. Millions locked up for a victim-less crime. Lives ruined. Families separated.

The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We have wasted billions of taxpayer dollars and we now see the cheapest, most potent, most readily available supply of drugs this nation has ever seen. Drug trade is a booming industry and under the current system, the only people benefiting are those at the top of criminal enterprises.

Its time to put people back to work. Legalizing cannabis (and hemp) would create a whole new industry. Millions of new jobs across the country.

Legalizing marijuana would do a better job of keeping it out of the hands of children than the current system. Drug dealers don't ID.


My humble greetings to my fellow opponent.

General public, the first question we need to ask ourselves is what are the hazards of using marijuana?
Some of the common discomforts found when using marijuana include dry mouth, swollen eyelids, bloodshot eyes, loss of coordination and an accelerated heart rate.

Short-term Hazards include:

Anxiety and paranoia
Impaired memory
Difficulty in thinking
Learning difficulties
Lack of attention and focus
Poor driving skills

Long-Term Hazards Include:

Respiratory problems
Heightened risk of infections, especially the lungs
Poor short-term recall
Inability to shift attention normally
Inability to understand complex information
An increased risk of developing lung, head and neck cancers
Lack of motivation
Decreased sperm count in men
Irregular menstruation in women
Clearly one can see the imminent danger of marijuana. Now general public if the short term hazards include "poor driving skills", how many innocent people's lives are at stake when driving on the road? And how many have fallen prey on the road due to someone having smoked marijuana?

However general public, if marijuana is legalized, how many school children wouldn't have access to it. Now my fellow opponent will talk about a age limit being implemented to prohibit school children from using it, but hasn't the same thing been done to alcohol but still scholars access alcohol even if there is a age limit. Now since marijuana causes learning difficulties, if scholars have access to it, wouldn't a number of learners perform poorly at school and take into consideration that if this happens, the economy will crumble due to a poor productivity.

Furthermore, my opponent speaks about job creation if marijuana is legalized. This is simply tedious to mention, because such an industry poses a threat to society as we will have a lot of people accessing it easily and a lot of people will eventually become addicts. Clearly on can see that at the end of the day, preventing people from using marijuana is of great benefit to them and to society. After all, "prevention" is better then "cure".
Debate Round No. 1


To address your list of "Short-term Hazards", all of these things are also associated with using other legal drugs or even just being highly fatigued and should be of no concern to the general public or government. The only one that could involve others is "Poor Driving Skills". I would say decreased reaction time, and I agree this is bad, but your argument implies that more people would drive under the influence of marijuana if it became legal. In places around the world where legalization and decriminalization strategies have been implemented in the past, consumption rates have actually decreased.

To address the "Long-Term Hazards":

"Respiratory problems", "Heightened risk of infections, especially the lungs", and "An increased risk of developing lung, head and neck cancers" - That's not what the research says. The only long-term, respiratory consequence of smoking marijuana is an increased lung capacity. Medical professionals are learning more every day that THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) can be used to treat various medical conditions. Some studies show that certain cannabinoids retard the growth of cancer.

"Poor short-term recall" and "Inability to shift attention normally" - I'm not sure what you mean by this. There is absolutely no long term, irreversible cognitive damage done by smoking marijuana.

"Inability to understand complex information" and "Lack of motivation" - I am offended. I am a senior Industrial Engineer major / Mathematics minor at Texas A&M University with a 3.3 GPR. I was salutatorian of my high school. I am not graduating until May but I signed a job offer at the beginning of this school year at the multi-national corporation I interned at last summer (I'm not saying the name of the company as I don't want to offend anyone associated). I promise you that smoking marijuana since high school has not negatively impacted my ability to "understand complex information" or given me a "Lack of motivation"

"Decreased sperm count in men" and "Irregular menstruation in women" - The only research on this I've seen is in a documentary called "Super High Me" and the man's sperm count actually increased during a period of heavy usage following a period of abstinence.

"many school children would have access to it." - I challenge you to actually research or think logically about this point because I think it is important to realize why you are wrong. Ask any middle or high school student whether it is easier for them to get marijuana or alcohol. Invariably, the answer will be marijuana. The reason? Drug dealers don't ID. Just as alcohol was easier for minors to get under the prohibition of alcohol, marijuana is easier for children to get under this prohibition of marijuana.

"Furthermore, my opponent speaks about job creation if marijuana is legalized. This is simply tedious to mention" - I think you are vastly underestimating the profit margins these corporations will be making and the number of people they will have to employ to become successful. Look at the thousands of jobs that have already been created and the millions of dollars of tax revenue generated in the states who have legalized just medical marijuana. If marijuana were to be legalized nationwide for everyone, these benefits could grow exponentially.

"After all, "prevention" is better then "cure"." - Even if this true, I think we can agree, we will never prevent an entire country from using drugs. The failed war on drugs has been pretty strong proof of this. The best way to handle this issue is to get the drug that generates the most profit in the world out of the hands of criminals and into safe, FDA regulated shops.

As you can see, I have done a staggering amount of research on this topic and I believe all signs point to legalization. It has been a great success in the places it has been implemented and it is about time America realizes this. Just as prohibition of alcohol failed by every measure, so is the prohibition of marijuana.


Greetings be again to my fellow opponent.

I would like to warn my opponent not to compare places where legalization and decriminalization strategies have been implemented in the past, to the places where its not subject matter is not legalized. Now my opponent might say its okay to compare a "country" to a "country", but doing this would be like comparing an apple to a pear since they both "fruits," something I find it tedious. Noting with satisfaction that my opponent talks about what he has achieved under the influence of marijuana in order to prove my point wrong. This is totally unacceptable because I would have done the same thing if I was proposing the motion at hand, and this clearly proves that my opponent is sucking all that he mentioned out his thumb. And furthermore I see my opponent is spending to much time on denying the imminent danger of smoking marijuana and focuses on the same story of the industry marijuana would give birth to, take note general public the same industry that poses a threat to society. I also acknowledge my opponents statement on the fact that "we will never prevent an entire country from using drugs", but by not legalizing marijuana prevents at least many from using it, who could've fell under the "entire" my opponent fondly speaks of.

However, my opponent fails to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself. General public, we need to realise that the consequences of smoking marijuana are bad, as it poses a threat to society, and it out weighs the pros of smoking marijuana.

Furthermore, the use of Marijuana can cause a condition called drug-induced psychosis. This usually passes after a few days. However, if someone has a predisposition to a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, marijuana may trigger the first episode of an ongoing condition such as schizophrenia. There is increasing evidence that regular marijuana use precedes and even causes higher rates of psychotic illness. At the same time, many people with schizophrenia have not used marijuana. But "How does Marijuana affect someone with a psychotic illness?"
Marijuana generally makes psychotic symptoms worse and lowers the chances of recovery from a psychotic episode. People with a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, who use it experience more hallucinations, delusions and other symptoms; they have a higher rate of hospitalisation for psychosis, treatment is generally less effective and recovery more difficult. And the consequences can be so serious for the person"s health that it is best to avoid drugs such as Marijuana completely. People at higher risk of developing a psychotic illness " if they have other family members with the illness, for example " should also avoid using marijuana It can be helpful to look at other, healthier ways of relaxing and socialising as an alternative. And the above-mentioned is one of the many consequences of smoking marijuana, thus proving that by not legalizing it we are saving the lives of many.
Debate Round No. 2


It is clear now my opponent is backpedaling. After I debunked all the myths he regurgitated, one half of his remaining arguments were about the dangers associated with people with mental disorders using marijuana. While I don't doubt this is a serious concern and while I agree more research should be done in this area, this argument centers around a portion of the population that is <<1%. Additionally, even if this number was 50% decriminalization would still be a better system than we have now because we would be able to screen who gets marijuana. A drug dealer would sell weed to anyone. If marijuana was decriminalized we could structure the legislation about who can be sold to however we want.

As for your warning not to "compare places where legalization and decriminalization strategies have been implemented in the past, to the places where its not subject matter is not legalized.", I never said things would work out exactly like they have in other places, but if we are looking for the closest model to what would happen if marijuana were legalized here, I would say the best place to look would be other societies.

Also, you say, "the same industry that poses a threat to society" in reference to the legal cannabis industry. Can you elaborate on this "threat"? Taking drugs off the streets and getting it out of the hands of our youth sounds like more of a benefit to society to me. Less drug related violence, less money for criminal enterprises, less access to the drug for anyone under the age of 21. Why don't you want these things?


It is clear that my opponent doesn't want to accept or let my say turns the blind eye to the threat a marijuana industry poses to society. My opponent vehemently denies the short term and long term hazards of smoking marijuana, and this is expected of him. However, a recent study by Madeline Meier, a post doctoral researcher of Duke University, shows th prolonged marijuana use by teenagers can be harmful to the developing brain, to the extent of lowering adulthood IQ's by almost ten points on average. Now take this into account and imagine if marijuana was legalized how many people would become a victim of this study. My fellow opponent might say people have access to it, but this only refers to a certain number of people who use it illegally. and I acknowledge that, but lets look at the number of people are not using because of it being illegal. Doesn't my opponent see that with it being illegal we are acting in the best interests of society. Furthermore I cannot seem to avoid the fact that my opponent talks about "taking drugs off the streets and getting it out of the hands of our youth sounds like more of a benefit to society to him", but taking drugs out the hands of the youth is just like taking drugs out of the shops, Doesn't that sound that sound more beneficial to him?

On the contrary my opponent has focused only on the industry marijuana if legalized would give birth to, and this is not enough in order to tell us why Marijuana should be legalized, because need not I reiterate that short term and long term hazards of smoking marijuana are fatal, and these hazards of smoking marijuana prove that it cannot be legalized, because we are saving the lives of many. Let us continue in preventing many from using it, and left us stand together to build a drug free society.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Too many of Con's sentences, particularly the insults, are hard to parse. S&G: Pro. This is one debate where citations would have been useful. As it is, Pro sounded more authoritative than Con. He at least said he had done research. And Con sounded unathoritative, like his claims were exaggerated. For instance, he says marijuana is a "threat to society."
Vote Placed by ThomasJefferson 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I wish that Pro would have focused his arguments more on how decriminalization would reduce unfair imprisonment, reduce taxpayer expenses as a result of imprisonment (including prisoner expenses, judicial expenses, and police enforcement expenses), and increase economic revenue. Instead, the debate focused on whether marijuana is dangerous or not. I think Pro could have simply shown it is no more dangerous than alcohol, which is already legal. We are a country that generally permits individuals to consume substances that are harmful, because the U.S. tends to avoid paternalistic involvement. If marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes, then why shouldn't people have the personal choice in whether or not to engage in the activity -- particularly when there are so many other positive effects of legalization. However, I thought both sides were argued equally well.