The Instigator
DebatingReindeer
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Raymond_Reddington
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Marijuana Legalization

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Raymond_Reddington
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 988 times Debate No: 55684
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

DebatingReindeer

Con

I'll let the pro go first :)
Raymond_Reddington

Pro


Legalization of Marijuana
Marijuana is the most used illegal drug [11]
Argument 1: Prohibiting Marijuana Has Not Slowed Its Use
Much like the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's, the government's prohibition of marijuana has not had the desired effect of stopping people from using it. Despite heroic efforts from politicians and law enforcement, as well as nearly 1 trillion dollars spent on fighting drug use [1], the US is still the world's largest importer of illegal drugs.
Stephen Rolles argues in the British Medical Journal that

August Vollmer, the founder of the School of Criminology at the University of California, Irvine believed that



A better deterrent would be public awareness of health dangers. The following graph shows how the use of marijuana has increased in the midst of the war on drugs.
[5]
Teenage Use

[4]
While the effort was noble, the war on drugs has failed to accomplish its purpose and actually caused more harm than good on account of the extreme spending and drug cartel violence fueled by the substances being illegal.
Argument 2: Unjustified Amount of Spending
The war on drugs has cost the US approximately 17 billion dollars this year alone as of May 30th and is increasing at an estimated rate of about 500 dollars per second. To view the Drug War Clock, which shows the constantly increasing amount of money spent on fighting drug abuse, go to this link (http://www.drugsense.org...). The war on drugs has to this day cost a total of nearly one trillion dollars in the 43 years since its implementation.

This kind of money being spent should require some observable positive results by now, but as I demonstrated above, it has not shown any signs of success. The renowned economist Milton Friedman showed that "So far as drugs itself is concerned, some years ago, Alaska legalized marijuana. Consumption of marijuana among high school students in Alaska went DOWN. The Dutch, in Holland, do not prosecute soft drugs, like marijuana, and they would prefer not to prosecute hard drugs, but they feel impelled by the international obligations they've entered into, and consumption of marijuana by young people has gone down. And, equally more interesting, the average age of the users of hard drugs has gone up, which means they're not getting any more new recruits." [2] Right now, marijuana being illegal is a huge restriction on regulating the sale of it. When people are forced to buy it on the black market there is no way to ensure that it is only sold to those who are 21 or above. There is no way to enforce laws regarding dosage amounts. Adding regulation to the market could make sure that all marijuana has labels with dosage and proper medical warnings, there are significant restrictions on advertising, appropriate age limitations, limits to the amount sold, and the ban of sale to an intoxicated person. Jeffery Miron, a Harvard economist, showed that stopping the war on drugs would, in 2010 alone, add 76.8 billion dollars to the US economy. [3] Not only that but legalizing the industry would undoubtedly create jobs. Colorado recently legalized marijuana and now expects to see "$60 million in total combined savings and additional revenue for Colorado’s budget with a potential for this number to double after 2017.” [6] This spending is not justified by nonexistent results.
Argument 3: Drug Cartel Violence
Drug Cartels are the source of incredible amounts of violence and unrest throughout the world, and despite efforts to eliminate them, have thrived and been incredibly successful in their pursuits. A UN report actually estimated that the drug trade has generated around 321.6 billion US dollars as of 2003[9]. Marijuana is actually many drug cartels' main source of revenue despite the widely held belief that cartels live off the profits of harder drugs. [7][8] Legalizing marijuana would be a devastating hit to drug cartels and severely limit their violent activities. For the latter portion of this argument I considered including numerous examples of the effects of cartel violence in the world, mainly around Latin America, I now believe this point is incredibly obvious and need not be included since I'm running out of characters. If Con wants to dispute this or anybody is wondering I can include some examples in the next round.
Argument 4: Freedom

My fourth and final argument is that the government should not have the right to dictate what its citizens do to themselves. The Harm Principle is the idea that a person should only be restricted from causing harm to other individuals, not from themselves [10]. Human beings should be able to exercise the free will that is held so dear by the USA. I and I alone, should have the right to dictate what I do or do not do to my own body. The government cannot stop me from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, overeating, or doing many other things with possible dangers. They can regulate it to make sure I am at a responsible age and fully aware of the dangers, but it has been decided repeatedly that I have the freedom to dictate what happens to my body.
Conclusion
Awareness of this controversial issue is growing [12], and worldwide people are gradually coming to the conclusion that marijuana should be legalized for many compelling reasons. Marijuana has been legalized in a couple US states and several other countries around the world. Legalizing marijuana is the wisest path and I believe I have given sufficient evidence as to why. Back to you Con.
[1] (http://www.cnn.com...)
[2] (http://www.druglibrary.org...)
[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[4] (http://www.rand.org...)
[5] (http://drugprevent.org.uk...)
[6] (http://www.nydailynews.com...)
[7] (http://www.newrepublic.com...)
[8] (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...)
[9] (http://www.boston.com...)
[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[11] (
http://bigstory.ap.org...)

[12] (http://prospect.org...)

Debate Round No. 1
DebatingReindeer

Con

DebatingReindeer forfeited this round.
Raymond_Reddington

Pro

Lack of any arguments or rebuttals from Con. Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
DebatingReindeer

Con

DebatingReindeer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
DebatingReindeerRaymond_ReddingtonTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
DebatingReindeerRaymond_ReddingtonTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
DebatingReindeerRaymond_ReddingtonTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.