The Instigator
Pro (for)
14 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Marijuana Legalization

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 7/1/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 532 times Debate No: 58419
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)




First round is acceptance.


I will argue against marijuana legalization inside the country that works by the laws that I am suggesting.
In other words, there are some problems of marijuana being illegal in most of the countries, and I will make the case for solving these problems along with many other problems, in ways other then making marijuana legal.
Debate Round No. 1


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 “Consensus is growing within the drugs field and beyond that the prohibition on production, supply, and use of certain drugs has not only failed to deliver its intended goals but has been counterproductive. Evidence is mounting that this policy has not only exacerbated many public health problems, such as adulterated drugs… but has created a much larger set of secondary harms associated with the criminal market.”

August Vollmer, the founder of the School of Criminology at the University of California, Irvine believed that “The first step in any plan to alleviate this dreadful affliction should be the establishment of Federal control and dispensation- at cost- of habit-forming drugs. Drug addiction, like prostitution, and like liquor, is not a police problem.”

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.

Teenage Use

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 ( 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.
Legalization of marijuana immediately creates a new industry and stimulates the economy, it allows the US to spend significant taxpayer money elsewhere, and does irreparable harm to drug cartels. People deserve certain freedoms, and illegaling marijuana is comparable to the prohibition. Neither worked and the government does not have the right to infringe on people's liberties like this. 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 have given sufficient evidence as to why.
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C1: My opponent has shown that since we prohibited marijuana, it's usage has grown. This however does not imply that there wouldn't be even more use of marijuana if it wasn't prohibited.
C2: One trillion may seem like a big number to some people, but America is more then 170 trillion in debt. Money only serves to divide goods. Only real concern is how much people are working in war on drugs.
C3: Drug cartels can work without marijuana, with other drugs nearly as well.
C4: By consuming marijuana, people are doing harm to other people by:
- Making big smoke that is unhealthy to breathe. This is a very serious issue in places such as restaurants, offices, shops...
- Making other people more likely to smoke.
- Making people produce more of it. And as follows, making producers make more advertising for smoking marijuana.
By becoming addicted to marijuana, people become dependent on their providers. This directly reduces their freedom. Many people do horrible things to get money for drugs; Many things that they wouldn't do if they were not addicted.

Now I will address reasons why marijuana use is growing.
1. It is promoted in music industry. Many rappers are financed by big drug dealers.
2. There are private prisons. Some people are making money of imprisoning people. It is in their best interest to make drug usage as high as possible.
3. Many government officials want more power of government. Big number of drug addicts is a great excuse for them to make police state.
4. Many drug dealers are working with or for people who are supposed to fight against usage of marijuana.

1. Abolishing all paper money and coins. Only valid paying method should be credit cards. All transactions should be displayed on official website, to whoever wants to see them. In other words, everyone would be able to see anyone's history of transactions. This way, catching all big dealers would be extremely easy; And not just them but many other criminals.
2. Government buying private prisons and reducing sentences, in order to shut other private prisons down.
Debate Round No. 2


Con's Rebuttals
: My opponent has missed the point here. There is no evidence suggesting the legalization of marijuana will increase use. The point is that one trillion dollars is only justified with results, and no results are demonstrated. Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado use has stayed approximately the same [1]. It did decrease the amount of state court cases related to marijuana by 77 percent, saving the state large amounts of money. Legalization also brought in 184 million dollars in new tax revenue. A look at the prohibition (1920-1933) gives a similar result. There was an initial drop in alcohol use but a steady increase shows it would have stabilized at a consumption level very similar to before the prohibition. [2]
Legalizing marijuana has not been shown to increase use, and the War on Drugs has been completely unsuccessful in reducing marijuana use.
C2: My opponent claims the national debt is 170 trillion, which is clearly a typo. The US debt is 17 trillion [3] and we have spent nearly 1 TRILLION dollars on the war on drugs which has been a failure in every way. Con shrugs this off, but it is extremely important. This is money that could be spent elsewhere. We could be improving schools, building roads, or paying off the national debt, but instead we pursue an unjustified moral war against a crime that, first of all shouldn't be the government's business, and second of all has done nothing to reduce drug use. The cost is an increase in violent drug cartels and a skyrocketing national debt.
C3: I'm not sure if my opponent read my argument here. I explained in my opening arguments how marijuana is a major source of revenue for drug cartels. Actually almost 30% of cartel's revenue in the US is from marijuana [4][5][6]. Legalizing marijuana would severely damage drug cartels.
- Actually legalization of marijuana doesn't include the ability to smoke wherever you want. It is similar to cigarette laws actually. In Colorado smoking is only allowed at private properties with the permission of the owner [7].
- Con claims legalization will make other people more likely to smoke, but this is blatantly false. Awareness of any possible health dangers reduces this risk to zero. I have already demonstrated above in my rebuttal of C1 that marijuana use does not go up with legalization.
- Con says that the legalization of marijuana will raise production and advertising, both of which are false. Rather than cartels producing marijuana, which runs the risk of dangerous mistakes or mixtures, the production of marijuana will be run in the US in a much safer setting with less risk. Advertising with marijuana, just like advertising with smoking, would obviously be heavily regulated. That's a no brainer. Next Con basically claims that marijuana is addictive. This is actually totally false. Unless Con provides evidence to support this assertion there is no reason to believe it.

Con's Arguments
1. This argument is a joke. There is no evidence to show what musicians sing about influencing people to do these same things. I occasionally listen to rap, but believe it or not, don't do drugs, don't treat women terribly, and don't swear constantly. This argument lacks any evidence.
2. Perhaps instead of imprisoning marijuana users we could put the money that would have been used on the marijuana users into the Police Departments. Then we could imprison actual criminals. The need for private prisons actually arose partially from the war on drugs on account of overcrowding [8].
3. I'll assume this a troll argument. This debate is not about what a select few "government officials" want so that they can create a "police state". This is about the path of action that is most beneficial for the United States as a whole.
4. Another claim without evidence. This argument should be ignored without anything to back it up.

Con's Solutions
1. lol Abolishing paper money creates to many problems. First of all not everyone has a credit card. Second, if everything was digital, then all the money in the world would be at risk. And who wants all of their transactions to be public knowledge?
2. Government reducing the sentences of marijuana users is a poor plan. It's basically acknowledging that the government doesn't have the right to imprison them, but won't legalize marijuana.

I have presented strong arguments that support the legalization of marijuana, none of which have been refuted. All of Con's claims lack any evidence at all and hold no weight.



My opponent kept posting links and statistics that are not of any relevance our dispute. Arguments that I presented are based on simple reasoning, and can be reached as conclusions without effort.

There is no way to make evidence for if marijuana legalization will increase use or not. Because evidence means statistics of past usage. This statistics are affected by multiple different factors; And some of them were not possible to measure.
Here are the reasons why legalization of marijuana would increase number of users:
- There are much more tobacco users and much more alcohol users then marijuana users. Effects are pretty much the same, but people prefer to use legal drugs.
- For people who are not hanging with thugs, it is currently very hard to find a dealer.
- Fear from consequences is currently greater, because people know they will go to prison if they get caught.

Voters will excuse me for my typo. My argument still stands.
By implying my solution, war on drugs would become super effective.

If marijuana was legal, cartels would focus on other drugs. This makes reducing cartels issue by less then 30%. My solution however, would easily disband cartels.

At private properties, people who also live in the house, would also breath in the smoke; Including kids.
I will not make it even more obvious: Who is more likely to start singing, person surrounded by 9 people who sing, or person surrounded by 9 people who are not making a sound?
Evidence for marijuana being addictive:

Big companies are often paying celebrities to advertise their products.; Which they certainly wouldn't if it wasn't affecting people's psyche. Is there any reason why celebrities advertising marijuana in music video would be less effective then in other cases? - No.

Lets put that extra money into welfare or healthcare. We can imprison actual criminals by implying my solution.
"troll argument"? It is a valid reason why marijuana use has grown.
And here is the evidence for last reason:

Making a credit card for everyone is certainly not a problem. Many people currently use credit cards, and as we can see - money on them is extremely safe. Furthermore, by implying my solution, it would be impossible to steal money, for if you did, everyone could so where the money was transferred to. Who wants all transactions to be public knowledge? - People who don't do crimes. They would be much richer, because this would disable all the big criminals.
Of course corrupt politicians would never allow this system, because people would discover that they are criminals; But this is not a problem for my position, which I explained in Round1.

Reducing prison sentences is acknowledging sentences are too long; Not that drug users do not deserve sentences at all.

Conclusion: Implying my solution would significantly fix many things. If we do imply it, marijuana use can be easily reduced for low amount of money, as long as it is illegal. Making marijuana legal would not do any significant good, and there would be much users.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
Looks to me like most of the people who want this garbage legalized also want to smoke it/already smoke it. Just an observation. I noticed that most people in my school who want it legalized who I've talked to already smoke it.
Posted by AvidActivist 2 years ago
i think cold mind got utterly destroyed the votes show it. As is the fate of anyone who argues against legalization of marijuana. i mean there are actual facts that show that it would be beneficial. and now that it is legal in Colorado we have actual real life examples that support the benefits. I could have argued the point better then raymend i think but overall this was a landslide victory.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
I agree with Cold-Mind on this one, regardless of how the debate went...
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
- and said that there was no data at all. Which left Pro's points dropped, and affirmed into the debate. Overall, this was a terrible debate, but Pro scrapes by with an affirmed resolution.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by neutral 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I only got through round 2 ... Con needs better facts.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Alright, a lot of immediate errors on both sides. Pro's arguments were unbelievably weak in the regard he stuck with one contention the whole debate. Use goes up, while marijuana gets cracked down. Big flaw, is how he failed to show whether this correlated with the war on drugs (not really a war IMO), or with another X factor. Which con successfully pointed out. He had one more contention, saying marijuana use will make us 1 trillion dollars. This isn't true,and that's a false statistic. This was exempted though once con said were 170 trillion dollars in debt. This is a outright fabrication of a statistic. The US is only 17.5 trillion in debt, or 101% of the GDP. The actual amount of money legalization would make is a couple 100 billion, which is certainly needed. So we're back at the main contention. Will legalizing slow down use. Pro provided very little data that it would, and at this point, his arguments are dead weak. Con lost this debate when he said there was no evidence, ext...