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Marijuana Legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,828 times Debate No: 7369
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




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.


Alright, thank you for challenging me, oh_so_fast.
Although i usually debate on the other side of this topic, I decided for the sake of fun and improving my skills, I'd play the devil's advocate and argue for something i don't agree with.

So, without any further ado, I will first address my opponent's points and possibly present my own case (if i have time).

1. Other Substances

My opponent basically makes the assertion that since cigarettes and alcohol are legal for adults, marijuana should be too. He says that marijuana is safer and non-habit forming, so it should be legal. Essentially he argues that it is hypocritical for a government to ban weed but not alcohol and tobacco.

I would argue that while it may be slightly hypocritical, there is no problem with that. Now, I know that statement may make anyone who reads this gasp, OMG, or have a heart attack, but hear me out. We can live with a little hypocrisy in the name of our safety, because, essentially, we have formed this hypocrisy. The US outlawed alcohol, as most of you know, during Prohibition, which did not work. Prohibition was repealed after it only fueled crime and violence. Tobacco (as far as I know) has never been banned in the United States. Marijuana has been banned on state and then federal levels since 1914. Tobacco was never outlawed, Prohibition only lasted 20 or so years I believe; but the laws against marijuana have stood up for nearly a century.
Citizens can stand some small hypocrisy. The government was unable to ban alcohol or tobacco, mainly because of such widespread use, but were and still are able to ban marijuana by the people's consent. They haven't been able to keep citizens from the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco. They can, however, pull off a prohibition of weed. They are doing as much as they can to prevent harm coming to its citizens without too severe of infringement on civil rights. They do as much as the people allow them to. When the people are ready for marijuana's legalization or decriminalization, the people will have it. Until then, it remains illegal.

I will combine my rebuttals for his second and third points, as they are very similar and easily blended.
2 & 3. Tax Revenue & Criminals

Here are two points my opponent makes:
a. Marijuana, if legalized, could be taxed to generate revenue in these hard times, and in turn create new jobs and
b. Legalization of weed would stop forcing regular people to associate with drug dealers and criminals to get weed,
as well as taking away revenue from those criminals.

I believe these points do not stand because legalizing marijuana doesn't force criminals out of the market, it only makes that market legitimate. This would provide an excellent front for criminals and criminal organizations. It creates an available front for money-laundering and other crimes as well as legitimizing revenue made from the drug's sale. This only increases the money these criminals could get, and makes it easier for them to use that money.
If you legalize marijuana, you aren't creating new jobs, you're just legitimizing the act of growing and distributing marijuana. The ones who are capable now of doing so, will be the same ones who will be selling the drug once it is legal.

4. Quality

My opponent's next claim is that the medical qualities of marijuana would be enhanced upon legalization, and that weed would cost less and be of better quality.

If the concern for marijuana's legality is because it may help some patients as medicine, then it should not be legalized. Medical marijuana should be legalized if this is the case. Only patients with an approval from a physician could get it, just like a prescription. If it is a medicine, then treat it like a medicine, instead of like a toy.

He also says this:
"The medical purposes of marijuana (while they may be suspect) would be improved with improved quality."

If the medical qualities of marijuana are suspect, then the plant should not be legalized. Perhaps penalties lessened or legalization for medical purposes would be allowable, but my opponent does not say this. His proposed resolution only said it would be legalized, and regulated similarly to alcohol. This means that all over 21 could partake. If it is a medicine, treat it like a medicine; but if it is not, then treat it as it is: a drug with serious consequences to be reckoned with.

5. Civil Liberties

My opponent first says in this point that the political history of marijuana is suspect, and that many believe it was outlawed under false pretenses. There's no need to go into detail here, at least for me, as I'm well aware of its criminalization, although my opponent may consider posting a link or two describing its history for readers. Next, he claims that in a free country, citizens should be able to harm themselves through indulgence or otherwise any way they see fit, providing they do not infringe on others' rights.
Unfortunately for my opponent, this, nor any other country in the world, is truly a free country then. Essentially all countries have one or many laws regulating victimless crimes and other activities where none but the individual taking part are harmed. We have laws against this type of crime. I would also refer my opponent to the first rebuttal i made in this round: that the government is only doing as much as the people will allow to prevent harm. If the people truly want marijuana, they will get it. If not, then it will remain illegal. Currently, they seem to believe it not safe for use, and not ready for legalization.
Debate Round No. 1


oh_so_fast forfeited this round.


Why does this always happen to me?
Debate Round No. 2


oh_so_fast forfeited this round.


Well this seems to be going well...NOT.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
i guess i'll play the devil's advocate...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cronodaman 8 years ago
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Total points awarded:07