The Instigator
Mangani
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points
The Contender
mb852
Con (against)
Losing
35 Points

Marijuana Legalization

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 14 votes the winner is...
Mangani
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2009 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,979 times Debate No: 10591
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (14)

 

Mangani

Pro

This is a four round debate. The first round is for presenting our positions, but the debate officially starts in Round 2. I would prefer to debate this with someone who feels strongly about the position, and not just playing devil's advocate or semantics. This is my basic position, and will get into further detail pending my opponent's response. Do not accept if you are only going to debate the specifics of my position rather than the overall legalization position. If your concern is regarding the personal preferences I set forth in my own hypothetical situation legalizing marijuana, then you are not truly against the legalization of marijuana. This is not a debate about degree of legalization, nor is it abut decriminalization vs. legalization. This debate is about the status quo vs. ANY form of legalization, liberalization, or reform of marijuana laws in favor of non-violent users. Thank you.

1- Marijuana should be legal in small quantities (3 oz. or less) for personal use to responsible adults over the age of 21.

2- Marijuana should be considered for medicinal purposes for a variety of illnesses including, but not limited to depression, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, crohn's disease, HIV, AIDS, patients on chemotherapy, migraines, insomnia, and others.

3- Marijuana should be taxed and regulated by the individual states, and proceeds from taxation should be used to fund treatment for drug abuse, studies for alternative medicines like marijuana, youth education programs, etc.

4- The growth of marijuana for personal use should not be considered a crime.

5- Means of legal acquirement of marijuana should be established with federal protection so that those which follow their state laws need not be worried about federal prosecution.

I await my opponent's introduction, and hope this turns out to be an informative debate for all.
mb852

Con

My position:

1- Marijuana should not be legal in ANY quantity for ANYONE to do ANYTHING with.

2- Marijuana should not be considered for medicinal purposes...medical professionals are not witch doctors.

3- Since marijuana shouldn't be legal, there's no reason to discuss taxing it.

4- The growth of marijuana for personal use should be considered a crime.

5- Since marijuana shouldn't be legal, there's no reason to discuss the acquisition of it.
Debate Round No. 1
Mangani

Pro

Marijuana has been in use as a food, medicine, and for textile use since at least 6,000BC. The early American settlers planted hemp for it's various uses. In the 1800's, pharmacies in America began selling cannabis based medicines, and hashish. The 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act was the first regulation passed on marijuana in the US. Between 1915-1927, several states banned the 'non-medical use' of marijuana. In 1936, the propaganda film 'Reefer Madness' was released to scare youth out of using marijuana, and is filled with many falsehoods that are still widely believed today. A year later, marijuana was further regulated to the point of prohibition through the Marihuana Tax Act.

Then, in 1972, the Nixon appointed Shafer Commission recommends the re-legalization of marijuana. In what can be seen as the start of a conservative right wing led effort to contradict science with self-righteous reasoning, the Nixon administration ignored it's own commission's recommendations. Then in 1975, the FDA briefly established it's Compassionate Use Program for medical marijuana, which now boasts only 7 patients.

I present this brief history of marijuana, and the following: the prohibition of marijuana is based on ignorance, self-righteousness, and the lack of common sense legislation.

My stance is that marijuana should be legal in modest quantities to responsible adults. I present the following definitions:
Marijuana- the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC and are smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating effect (http://www.merriam-webster.com...); cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis, mainly.

Legal- conforming to or permitted by law or established rules (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Because I am the affirmative of a commonly negative position (marijuana is commonly viewed as a drug, drugs are commonly viewed as bad), it is difficult to argue my position without hearing the offensive. I will allow my opponent to present his argument, and I will structure my responses around his arguments.

Thank you, and good luck.
mb852

Con

First, I'd like to say that I don't care if marijuana was at one point grown by Jesus, the fact is that it is a completely unnecessary nuisance to society.

It's clear what will happen if my opponent has his way, just like the cigarette companies, their will be marijuana companies making their product irresistible by lacing it with addictive substances, people will become slaves to it and loose great sums of money that could be used in MUCH more productive ways. My opponent will probably say, "well, we'll just let people grow it", and that's a great idea, put it right in the open for all the youth to get a hold of and become pot heads.

Stats show that smoking marijuana leads youths to try worse drugs like crack cocaine and eventual death. Once people are addicted, they will do anything to get that drug for their "high", this is why we see so many addicts resorting to theft to get money to pay for their drugs.

I don't see a benefit for society by legalizing marijuana.
Debate Round No. 2
Mangani

Pro

Ok, it seems like my opponent is not really interested in providing any facts to support his opposition to legalization other than to state "it's bad". I, however, will provide some facts to counter his position as well as some others that support my own.

First a look at his statements:

"it is a completely unnecessary nuisance to society."
-Marijuana for personal use is no more a nuisance to society than watching a movie loudly in the confines of your own home.

"It's clear what will happen if my opponent has his way, just like the cigarette companies, their will be marijuana companies making their product irresistible by lacing it with addictive substances"
-How is this clear? Marijuana on the street is marketed by it's potency, purity, strain, and organic growth techniques like hydroponics. This concept makes absolutely no sense. Cigarettes require an addictive substance because they otherwise serve no use whatsoever. Furthermore, the organic substance in cigarettes- though added in larger quantities by some companies- is naturally occurring in tobacco. There are no naturally occurring addictive substances in marijuana.

"people will become slaves to it and loose great sums of money that could be used in MUCH more productive ways"
-According to what? Making unsubstantiated claims does not make for honest and/or logical debate.

'My opponent will probably say, "well, we'll just let people grow it"'
-The growth of marijuana in modest quantities for personal use is a concept I fully support.

"and that's a great idea, put it right in the open for all the youth to get a hold of and become pot heads."
-That's a deductive fallacy. First off, I am not supporting the growth of marijuana in the living room. Responsible adults should have the sense to keep live marijuana plants in a place where they can grow healthy- this is usually out of anyone but the grower's reach or view. Second, the presence of live marijuana plants is not motivation for anyone who is not already a pothead to become one. Third, responsible adults will educate their children. As with alcohol and guns, ownership or presence of these in your home does not mean your child will be a killer or an alcoholic.

"Stats show that smoking marijuana leads youths to try worse drugs like crack cocaine"
-That's not true. In fact, recent trends suggest that a rise in marijuana use has coincided with a decline in hard drug use http://www.monitoringthefuture.org... http://www.monitoringthefuture.org...

"eventual death"
-There is not one recorded marijuana death in it's 8,000 plus year history, yet thousands of people die annually from prescription drugs, alcohol, cigarettes... even from eating too much McDonald's. http://drugwarfacts.org...

"Once people are addicted, they will do anything to get that drug for their "high", this is why we see so many addicts resorting to theft to get money to pay for their drugs."
-This has absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.

"I don't see a benefit for society by legalizing marijuana"
-I will name a few:

1. 44.3% of non-violent criminals arrested in 2008 for possession were arrested for possession of marijuana for personal use. http://www.fbi.gov...
This accounted for a total of 429,605 arrests. Using 2005 numbers for the cost (which one would expect would have risen in 2008), that accounts for a total of 4.5 Billion dollars. http://www.norml.org...
The legalization of marijuana for personal use would free up this money to use in other areas of law enforcement, or drug treatment and prevention.

2. The US spends about 50 Billion dollars a year to fight drugs. About 50% of drug offenses prosecuted in the US are related to marijuana. Legalization could save the government about 25 Billion per year. http://www.drugsense.org...

3. Legalization in California alone has the potential of earning the state 1.2 Billion in taxes, and upwards of 12 Billion dollars annually in associated income from the legal regulated sale of marijuana. http://www.canorml.org...
Over 500 economists, some Nobel Laureates, agree- http://economics.about.com...

4. Illegal grows can harm the environment. There are benefits to the environment in legal, government regulated grow operations. http://www.recordnet.com...

5. 14 Billion dollars per year are generated for Mexican drug cartels through the sale of marijuana. Legalization would strip a great deal of that money away from the cartels, and proceeds from the legal sale of marijuana, taxation, and other fees can be used to support law enforcement in other ways. http://www.alternet.org...
Marijuana has the same effect on law enforcement, and underground society that prohibition of alcohol did. Figures like Al Capone would not have been so popular, so financially successful, or so dangerous had alcohol been legal in their time. Only hardened criminals benefit from prohibition.

6. Marijuana has been proven to have positive effects on the following diseases:
Crohn's Disease
AIDS/ HIV
Glaucoma
Multiple Sclerosis
Epilepsy
Scoliosis
Fibromyalgia
And other chronic diseases and ailments. The largest organized group of doctors in the US, The American Medical Association (AMA), has recently urged the US government to reconsider scheduling of marijuana. http://www.latimes.com...

7. Many drugs currently prescribed for diseases that can be treated by marijuana are far more toxic, and far more dangerous. Legalization of marijuana can save thousands of lives lost to these drugs. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...

I await my opponent's response.
mb852

Con

1. I ask people to answer this question in the comments section: Is my opponent high while he writes his argument?

2. I'm persuaded. If your life sucks so bad that you need pot, go right ahead and smoke it. My opponent has provided reasons we should tolerate pot heads, I will try to do my best, but I'm ready for the next one to try and break in my house.

I thank my opponent for taking time out of his pot smoking to persuade me not to pay for him to stay in jail, instead, he's right, we should all save our money and let the people who want to smoke pot do it. Hopefully they'll drive themselves off the road, in their fog, and rid society of themselves.

......no no no.....I hope that doesn't happen.
Debate Round No. 3
Mangani

Pro

Observers, I apologize for the lack of a lively debate. It takes two to tango, and my date seems to have stood me up at prom. Unfortunately I left the options for an opponent wide open, and a member who joined six months ago and has not had one debate (ie. a duplicate account, vote bomber, or troll) accepted the debate, but basically forfeited every round by not presenting an argument.

He has done nothing but offend the intelligence of his opponent, and the observers, and use ad-hominem attacks that bear very little logic or reason.

"1. I ask people to answer this question in the comments section: Is my opponent high while he writes his argument?"
-If I am high, then that would bolster my argument. It would prove that someone under the influence of marijuana can be more logical, reasonable, articulate, and respectful than someone who opposes legalization of marijuana for no rational reason.

"If your life sucks so bad that you need pot, go right ahead and smoke it."
-No one "needs" pot. But life does suck. People get sick. People get depressed. People want to distract themselves, and have a little recreation. Be it drinking, smoking marijuana, playing video games, or watching TV there is very little harm to society as a whole, and there is no rational reason to oppose legalization of marijuana for personal use.

"My opponent has provided reasons we should tolerate pot heads"
-My opponent is arguing the strawman. I have not defended potheads at all. What I have defended is the position that marijuana should be legalized for personal use by responsible adults. A responsible adult can be defined by law, as with alcohol, and the sale, possession, and use can be regulated with much greater ease than the status quo.

"I'm ready for the next one to try and break in my house."
-Has a person exclusively high on marijuana ever broken into your house? Do you have proof that this is a trend amongst responsible marijuana users? Note the references I provided- over 400,000 people arrested each year for simple possession. Simple possession means there was no other crime attached, including breaking and entering.

"he's right, we should all save our money and let the people who want to smoke pot do it"
-My opponent concedes the debate.

People, trust your own intelligence, and vote accordingly. Thank you.
mb852

Con

I'm pretty sure I said he was right. Vote accordingly.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by daniel_t 6 years ago
daniel_t
I'm not going to bother with an RFD on this one. Pro wins for obvious reasons.
Posted by LeafRod 6 years ago
LeafRod
Kleptin, who cares? Some people sometimes want some debates that aren't just there for the sake of debating.
Posted by Mangani 6 years ago
Mangani
Good. Then this debate is not for you.
Posted by Kleptin 6 years ago
Kleptin
This is one of the most unfairly rigged debates I have ever seen, forcing Con to adapt a position that would yield Pro the easiest win possible. If anything, this debate screams out for the use of a semantic argument.
Posted by Mangani 6 years ago
Mangani
Again, the debate is not about the semantics of my personal provisions, rather the overall legalization of marijuana in any form. If your concern is how you define a responsible adult, then you are not against the legalization of marijuana in any form.
Posted by Mangani 6 years ago
Mangani
Obviously the laws of the state in which a responsible adult was defined would be the standard. The law determines whether or not an adult is "responsible" and the law reserves the right to grant the privileges of a responsible adult to any individual per the law's definitions.

For example: HR2943 (Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act or PUMRAA)

'Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no penalty may be imposed under an Act of Congress for the possession of marijuana for personal use , or for the not-for-profit transfer between adults of marijuana for personal use . For the purposes of this section, possession of 100 grams or less of marijuana shall be presumed to be for personal use , as shall the not-for-profit transfer of one ounce or less of marijuana, except that the civil penalty provided in section 405 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 844a) may be imposed for the public use of marijuana if the amount of the penalty does not exceed $100.'

A responsible adult, per the writers of this bill, would be a person carrying less than 100 grams or less of marijuana or adults in exchange of one ounce or less of marijuana in not-for-profit transfers.

I would further define a "responsible adult" as an adult 21 years of age or older for personal use, and 18 years or older under the supervision of a doctor.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Agreed. Who determines responsibility?
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
Define responsible adult.
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