The Instigator
SuperPerfundo
Pro (for)
Winning
179 Points
The Contender
Epicism
Con (against)
Losing
101 Points

Marijuana Legalization

Do you like this debate?NoYes+22
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.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 16,007 times Debate No: 7327
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (99)
Votes (45)

 

SuperPerfundo

Pro

I think marijuana should be legalized. For the purposes of the debate, let's assume laws under legalization would make pot similar to alcohol (21 age limit, no driving under the influence, etc.)

1. Other substances
Alcohol impairs you more, yet is legal. Cigarettes offer all of the same health concerns, but offer no significant benefit (high) and most cigarette smokers smoke more than marijuana users on a daily basis. Also, marijuana has been medically proven to be non-habit-forming, unlike cigarettes and alcohol.

2. Tax revenue
The government could tax and regulate the marijuana industry, generating state revenue at a time when it is needed. Also, the birth of a high demand industry would foster jobs and economic growth.

3. Criminals
With the ever growing popularity of marijuana, middle-class people who are not drug or street savvy are having to deal with dangerous people and frequent the more suspect areas of town to procure their product. Legalization would stop this. Also, legalization takes away a large portion of criminal funds, without the cost of policing. By offering the legal sale of marijuana, the criminal organizations who deal it now are out that revenue.

4. Quality
The medical purposes of marijuana (while they may be suspect) would be improved with improved quality. If people are able to grow it freely, it can be privatized professionally and developed at lower cost and higher quality yield.

5. Civil Liberties
The political history of marijuana is suspect. Many believe it was outlawed under false pretenses (i'll go into detail if so requested). Also, in a free country, a citizen should be able to indulge/harm themselves in any way they see fit as long as they do not infringe upon or danger the rights of others. While other harder substances may offer this risk, the private consumption of marijuana doesn't.

I'm looking forward to hearing from someone on this topic. Thanks in advance.
Epicism

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate and wish him a good debate.

First to answer Pro's 1-5;

1 & 4) There are over 10,000 scientific studies that prove marijuana is a harmful addictive drug. There is not one reliable study that demonstrates marijuana has any medical value.

The harmful consequences of smoking marijuana include, but are not limited to the following: premature cancer, addiction, coordination and perception impairment, a number of mental disorders including depression, hostility and increased aggresiveness, general apathy, memory loss, reproductive disabilities, and impairment to the immune system, death.

The Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Public Health Service have rejected smoking crude marijuana as a medicine. Medical marijuana has been promoted for "compassionate use" to assist people with cancer, AIDS and glaucoma. Scientific studies show the opposite is true; marijuana is damaging to individuals with these illnesses. In fact, people suffering with AIDS and glaucoma are being used unfairly by groups whose real agenda is to legalize marijuana.

AIDS: Scientific studies indicate marijuana damages the immune system, causing further peril to already weakened immune systems. HIV-positive marijuana smokers progress to full-blown AIDS twice as fast as non-smokers and have an increased incidence of bacterial pneumonia.

Cancer: Marijuana contains many cancer-causing substances, many of which are present in higher concentrations in marijuana than in tobacco.

Glaucoma: Marijuana does not prevent blindness due to glaucoma.

Marijuana is currently up to 25 times more potent than it was in the 1960's, making the drug even more addictive.

Major medical and health organizations, as well as the vast majority of nationally recognized expert medical doctors, scientists and researchers, have concluded that smoking marijuana is not a safe and effective medicine. These organizations include: the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, National Sclerosis Association, the American Glaucoma Association, American Academy of Opthalmology, National Eye Institute, and the National Cancer Institute.

In 1994, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug: highly addictive with no medical usefulness. The court noted that the pro-marijuana physicians had relied on non-scientific evidence.

Pro states marijuana is safer or better than alcohol, but legalizing marijuana would add a third drug that combines some of the most serious risks of alcohol AND tobacco making it twice as dangerous. Marijuana offers both the intoxicating effects of alcohol and the long-term lung damage of tobacco.

3) Your correct. No need to police dead people. Rest assured that with legalization those cops can eat doughnuts in peace! Unless the doughnut man is on drugs too...

2 & 5) As for its effect in the economy, marijuana expenses society in terms of employee productivity, public HEALTH CARE COSTS (why should the non-drug users have to pay too? This proves it does bring harms to others making their "right" to smoke marijuana disappear) and accidents.

Legalization would further hurt the economy causing poverty across the U.S.

3) Your correct. No need to police dead people. Rest assured that with legalization those cops can eat doughnuts in peace! Unless the doughnut man is on drugs too...

I offer a source proving my points; http://www.usdoj.gov......

AND

Some arguments other than 1-5;

Its the govt.'s job to protect its citizens, that is why it was ruled illegal. This doesn't take away one's "rights"

Think of how many people die of cancer accelerated AIDS etc from marijuana, or get mental disorders. If marijuana was legalized the easy access to it would multiply the amount of these effects, soon It will be as common as chewing tobacco once was, and children will look upon their role models thinking they should do the same. This could threaten our very existence. In the long term legalized marijuana would be worse than the next WWIII.
_________________

As a counter resolution for those of you who like them, the USFG should put more money into finding/creating a replacement for drugs, that has the nicotine in which we crave but the dangers non-existent in hopes of making the full transition from drugs yet keep people happy, because people don't care if its marijuana or twizzlers so long as it has the nicotine. This would save millions and bolster the economy's employees, health care costs, etc.

I conclude for this round.

Thank You!

Thank you for opening this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
SuperPerfundo

Pro

1. The substances
Please cite one scientific study that shows marijuana to be addictive. You claim there are over 10,000, yet fail to reference a single one. I have used cannabis in the past and found it in no way addictive. Studies actually show marijuana to be not addictive. http://www.cannabismd.net...

We shouldn't rely on what the government claims to know about marijuana. Just because a court flooded with years of legal precedent kept things the way they are is not an indictment of marijuana. Rather than relying on a government agency, we should look at concrete scientific evidence, which I have provided, to make a determination.

I realize there are negative health effects to smoking marijuana, just like there are with tobacco. Still, tobacco is infinitely more dangerous with thousands of chemical additives and a level of addiction that can hardly be matched in the casual drug culture. Also, people smoke less cannabis than cigarettes. While someone may get high on weekends, smokers choke down a pack a day or more.

If you have ever partaken in cannabis, you will surely agree that alcohol impairs you exponentially more. Alcohol is also more addictive than marijuana and causes bad health effects as well. Also, the simple fact that marijuana impaires is not a health effect, several things, like anesthesia, impair you without causing harmful effects.

Both of these substances are legal, but because of legal precedent marijuana remains illegal. While the use of these drugs may be harmful, the legality of tobacco and alcohol demonstrate the civil liberties we should have in this country. A person should feel free to impair themselves in any way as long as it doesn't harm others, which I will address below.

2. Economy

You don't provide any evidence that legalization would decrease employee productivity. Alcohol is legal, but people can't come to work hammered every day. I'm not sure what you mean by 'accidents', but you should not be able to drive under the influence of anything, which I specified in my opening round.

The only viable argument you make here is on health care costs. While your argument stands to reason; that more smokers means more sick people and higher health care costs, the cost is overwhelmingly offset by the money we would make and save by not having to enforce marijuana prohibition ($7.7 billion!!!) and the tax revenue generated ($6.2 billion!!!). Yes, that's billion, with a B. So, society would benefit incredibly financially. Also, check out the article I cited below, over 500 economists including Milton Freidman just sent a letter to the feds supporting legalization.

3. Criminals

I think you are misunderstanding my argument. Right now, marijuana is surging in popularity, making more and more casual users deal with dangerous criminals. Legalization would stop this. Also, the funding criminals and criminal organizations receive from dealing drugs like marijuana is astronomical; so when we legalize it, all of that criminal funding disappears.

4. Quality/ Medical

This is where you make the bulk of your argument. I'm not advocating the medical use of marijuana as the sole reason to legalize it. But, there are people who use it, whether advisedly so or not. So, those people that choose to use it for medical use would have access to better weed at lower costs. If marijuana shortens the lifespan of someone with AIDS or cancer, maybe people with AIDS and cancer shouldn't smoke pot. I'm not forcing it down people's throats, just making it available to those who do choose to partake.

5. Civil Liberties

Its not the government's job to protect us from ourselves, simply to protect me from other citizens and vice verse. What I choose to do with my own life and well-being is my business. The government realizes this in some areas, like abortion, but fails to apply it here because of the foregone stigma that accompanies marijuana.

Also, society needs to realize a level of significance here. When I say 'harm someone else', there needs to be substantial reason to strip someone of their rights. Slightly increased health care costs doesn't seem substantial, especially considering the money we would actually make. Also, there are countless other more harmful vices, especially when it comes to health care, such as heart disease, the number one killer in America. Should we ban trans fat and run Mickey D's out of town because of an increase in health care costs? Seems like they are doing far more damage than smokers.

------------------------------------------------

You have provided NO evidence to lead me to believe that marijuana causes accelerated death or metal disorders and certainly not WWIII or the failure of humankind. The one citation you make is for the Department of Justice homepage and contains absolutely NO information relevant to the debate.

------------------------------------------------
Counter-Resolution

Your resolution, if it does at all, would only solve for cigarettes. Marijuana doesn't have any nicotine and nicotine is hardly the reason people do drugs. People smoke pot because they enjoy the high that THC gives them. Marijuana is picked right from the plant and delivered to your door, no chemical additives as you claim. This resolution just shows how radical and widespread the misconceptions of cannabis are. Also, you would need a lot of funding for scientific research etc., money that we don't have. So, not only does the resolution not solve for the case; it costs more and fails to generate any revenue in return.

Thanks for the cogent response, looking forward to another one.

http://www.cannabismd.net...
http://economics.about.com...
Epicism

Con

Sorry No time to answer this round I'll get to it next round I hope!

I might open another debate like this, I've been Con twice but I want to try Pro. Euthanasia is my favorite topic though!

Again sorry!
Debate Round No. 2
SuperPerfundo

Pro

Man, really disappointed you didn't have time to respond. Extend all of my arguments.

That:

Other substances are more harmful and addictive, yet legal.
Scientific evidence I provided proves marijuana is not addictive.
Marijuana is illegal due in large part to legal precedent and popular misconceptions.

The alleged increase in health care costs are offset by the $14 Billion annual revenue/savings generated by legalization.
Freidman and other economists advise us to legalize.
An entirely new high-demand industry would be created along with new jobs.

Legalization deprives criminals of a major means of support and funding.
Casual pot smokers wouldn't have to interact with a more dangerous societal demographic.

Not everyone HAS to smoke under legalization, only those who wish to enjoy it.
This makes all negative health effects voluntary and a matter of free will and civil liberty.
Legalization and privatization would lower cost and increase quality.

Everyone is entitled to make self-effecting choices in a free society.
Marijuana does not significantly harm others to the point where we need to strip users of their civil rights.

The evidence you provide is unsubstantial to prove your claims.

The counter-resolution furthers the radical misconceptions of marijuana.
The counter-resolution does not solve because a nicotine supplement is not a substitute for marijuana use.
The CR attempts to side-step a fundamental civil rights issue and continues to deny rights to users.
The CR costs money, failing to generate/save massive amounts of money like the original resolution.

Thanks for the debate. Hope you get a chance to respond.
Epicism

Con

Sorry for the last round, I thank my opponent for this debate again.

On to my opponents arguments (In round 2);

1. Substances
"Please cite one scientific study that shows marijuana to be addictive."

http://www.spencerrecovery.com...

I would go on but my opponent states I must only provide one study in order to prove my point. Pro's source states there is no physical addiction, but mental addiction is just as dangerous as my link above shows. Therefore it is resolved that marijuana is indeed an addictive drug.

"We shouldn't rely on what the government claims to know about marijuana. Just because a court flooded with years of legal precedent kept things the way they are is not an indictment of marijuana. Rather than relying on a government agency, we should look at concrete scientific evidence, which I have provided, to make a determination."

First off my opponent only offered one shady source as his "concrete scientific evidence" which I have stated only talked about the physical levels of addiction and totally avoids any mental studies. Thus, we should rely on the courts "legal precedent" because its the only "concrete" thing in this debate.

"I realize there are negative health effects to smoking marijuana, just like there are with tobacco. Still, tobacco is infinitely more dangerous with thousands of chemical additives and a level of addiction that can hardly be matched in the casual drug culture. Also, people smoke less cannabis than cigarettes. While someone may get high on weekends, smokers choke down a pack a day or more."

OK so what my opponent is saying is that tobacco is only worse because its more addictive, and the quantity smoked is much greater. This argument is flawed, because first of all cannabis would be much more potent than it is now when people start investing in it and over time with legalization the govt. would allow R&D which would make the plant much more addictive. Also of course cigarettes are being used more than marijuana now, because marijuana isn't legal! My opponent spends less time talking about how legalization will affect us and more time talking about the current status-quo of the plants effects, never taking into account legalization's effect on these things. Also, it is Pro's burden to show proof, and Pro has mostly just pulled out facts from no where. Don't let this pass.

"If you have ever partaken in cannabis, you will surely agree that alcohol impairs you exponentially more."

You can only give Pro this argument if he can prove that all cannabis users have the same opinion as him on this subject, which he has not. I'm sure that cannabis to alcohol impairment depends on the person you ask.

"Both of these substances are legal, but because of legal precedent marijuana remains illegal. While the use of these drugs may be harmful, the legality of tobacco and alcohol demonstrate the civil liberties we should have in this country. A person should feel free to impair themselves in any way as long as it doesn't harm others, which I will address below."

Alcohol is legal because some types of it are actually good for you (i.e. red wine good for your heart) and because alcohol is ONLY dangerous when abused, never in moderation. You can under no circumstances say that "oh, a little marijuana is OK as long as I don't abuse it" which is how the two differ. As for tobacco, Marijuana isn't legal because the government can't control the growing of marijuana like they can with tobacco. It's alot easier to grow marijuana than tobacco. If the government could control it marijuana would be legal. Another reason marijuana is illegal, is that marijuana can kill you a lot faster then tobacco.

2. Economy
"You don't provide any evidence that legalization would decrease employee productivity."

Yes, this is true because I already proved (and you conceded) that marijuana is health hazardous and it KILLS YOU. This would very likely decrease ones likeliness to work productively.

"The only viable argument you make here is on health care costs. While your argument stands to reason; that more smokers means more sick people and higher health care costs, the cost is overwhelmingly offset by the money we would make and save by not having to enforce marijuana prohibition ($7.7 billion!!!) and the tax revenue generated ($6.2 billion!!!). Yes, that's billion, with a B. So, society would benefit incredibly financially."

My opponent concedes that marijuana would kill health care for everyone, therefore this cancels ANY arguments about smoking cannabis being our right, or freedom! Freedom stops at the point of harming bystanders! It doesn't matter if marijuana raises 7.7 billion and 6.2 billion if no one can afford health care! And while we're talking about those figures, is there any evidence? Once again, Pro is not utilizing the burden of proof but instead spouting random numbers and "facts".

3. Criminals

There are so many more things criminals get money from, you can only grant Pro this argument if he proves that criminals would receive no funding for ANYTHING once marijuana is legalized, which is impossible. There is barely any solvency on this contention because it wouldn't even make a dent in criminal funds!

4. Quality/ Medical

Pro concedes to my points that marijuana has no medicinal quality by never answering the arguments posted.

5. Civil Liberties

My spiel about health care costs and the economic effects already ruled that the freedom to use cannabis is not enforced because it DOES harm bystanders, so it IS the governments job to protect the citizens from legalized effects of marijuana. Health care costs wouldn't "slightly" increase, with people dieing, diseases being accelerated, etc health care could cease to exist! Pro states other culprits of health care cost rises are to blame, but they haven't "killed" health care like legalization would, and you state that marijuana isn't as bad on health care costs but once again my opponent only accounts for the status-quo, never applying what might happen if marijuana is legalized. How much marijuana effects health care right now is irrelevant to its effects once legalized
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

"You have provided NO evidence to lead me to believe that marijuana causes accelerated death or metal disorders and certainly not WWIII or the failure of humankind. The one citation you make is for the Department of Justice homepage and contains absolutely NO information relevant to the debate."

I will just concede this argument, I'm terribly sorry that the link didn't go to the right site! I will check my links more thoroughly in the future.

As for the counter resolution, the nicotine replacement would work because it would replace the mental addictiveness of marijuana and spur a transition away from the drug. Prefer the counter resolution;

#1: It stops all drug related deaths/ harms

#2: Solves for Pro's spiel on criminal use

#3: Would repair our health care systems

#4: Takes away no civil liberties, and is already supported by the govt. no technological breakthroughs or massive funding is need.

======================================

Now I shall make one last argument;

Whether we know it or not, the marijuana debate on legalization is hurting others outside the U.S.
http://www.latinalista.net...

Marijuana legalization movements in the U.S. is fueling Mexican cartel violence, the link says all.

I will end the debate here, no need to drag viewers on further.

I thank my opponent for this debate again, and wish him luck in all future debates! This was a very educational round for me.

I urge a vote for Con.

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 3
99 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Switzerland 3 years ago
Switzerland
Purplehaze, its not addiction its love. Are you addicted to your wife or do like being away from her sometimes?
Posted by clock 4 years ago
clock
Epicism, you said "Its the govt.'s job to protect its citizens, that is why it was ruled illegal."

While it's true that the government is supposed to protect us. Its role is to protect us from outside influences (other nations and other people in general). It isn't supposed to protect people from themselves by dictating their choices and what they can and cannot do with their own body as long as those choices do not harm anyone else and/or infringe upon the rights of others. Otherwise it becomes nothing more than a vile dictatorship.

I'll leave you with a quote from Justice Casey Percell: "It is not the responsibility of the government or the legal system to protect a citizen from himself."
Posted by Epicism 4 years ago
Epicism
And you actually took this debate seriously? You sad little man.
Posted by thereal_yeti 4 years ago
thereal_yeti
Theres two things I find laughable about the con side, which are ACTUAL argumetns people use (The rest seem so upsurd to even comment on)

1. Using the argument that marijauna is addictive, in order to keep it illegal is silly! In my mind, if something is ADDICTIVE, it is that more immoral to punish people for using it!

2. He says that alcohol is legal because thers some that is good for you. However, it is COMPLETELY legal to get drunk. Does con advocate a limit? That is the ONLY way to make this argument consistent. Also, if you look at the number of people that use it for HEALTH reasons, vs those who use it to get DRUNK, the harms from it FAR outweighs the benefits..
Posted by purplehaze 5 years ago
purplehaze
Weed is highly addictive. I would definitely say that I am addicted to weed.
Posted by Chase_the_Bass 5 years ago
Chase_the_Bass
I realize this is somewhat old but I felt that this was noteworthy.

The link that Epicism posted ( http://www.latinalista.net... ) is actually pro legalization.

Taken from the article "What we, as a nation, learned after legalizing alcohol sales was that, ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own choices.

If legalizing marijuana can reduce the bloodshed and violence in Mexico, keep our jails free for the murderers, rapists and true terrorists of this country and provide medical relief to the terminally ill who must now weigh whether or not they risk going to jail versus improving the quality of the remainder of their lives, then why shouldn't marijuana be legalized?

Yet, legalization of marijuana won't be passed as long as there are self-righteous people in charge who feel it's their divine duty to stand in judgement of others.

Even God blessed us all with Free Will.

Isn't it time the U.S. government did too?"
Posted by Epicism 5 years ago
Epicism
lol
Posted by Biggbrother 5 years ago
Biggbrother
On the eve of your day
Posted by Epicism 5 years ago
Epicism
Wow it went from win>lose>win>tie>win>lose>win>lose>tie....
Posted by Epicism 5 years ago
Epicism
@ and that girl would be alive today

Doing drugs!! lol

@So when you help gov...

Why am I to blame read my last 2 comments your a broken record.
45 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 41 through 45 records.
Vote Placed by dsager112 5 years ago
dsager112
SuperPerfundoEpicismTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by SuperPerfundo 5 years ago
SuperPerfundo
SuperPerfundoEpicismTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by philosphical 5 years ago
philosphical
SuperPerfundoEpicismTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by LDer 5 years ago
LDer
SuperPerfundoEpicismTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by Epicism 5 years ago
Epicism
SuperPerfundoEpicismTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07