The Instigator
KingofEverything
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ColeTrain
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Marijuana Should Be Legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ColeTrain
Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 11/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,759 times Debate No: 82364
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (77)
Votes (1)

 

KingofEverything

Pro

The first round will only be acceptance.

Rules:
-Common sense must be used, so do not put forth any sort of kritik or semantic or you will automatically lose the debate
-This debate is reserved for ColeTrain. If anyone else accepts, they lose.
ColeTrain

Con

I accept, though you should have also appointed some conservative judges. ;P

Just kidding, your selections are fine. I'll let you post your arguments first.

To clarify, this debate is about marijuana legalization for all purposes, including recreational. :)
Debate Round No. 1
KingofEverything

Pro

Marijuana should be legal for the following reasons. Also, I rushed this a bit. I apologize for not having a lot of time.

1) Marijuana can cure diseases:

Using medical marijuana, there is an abundance of diseases that you can fight and cure with.

One example includes glaucoma, which is an eye disease involving increases pressure in your eyes, which causes it to damage vision. Marijuana can decrease the pressure in your eyes and thus improve your vision.

It is also able to reverse the effects of smoking tobacco, which is a legitimately lethal substance that can kill you over time. Marijuana can also increase your lung capacity and thus give you better breathing. Smoking tobacco is an issue today because too many people resort to it and we can't just stop that process by banning tobacco, so instead, we can give people marijuana to reverse the effects of tobacco and act as a substitution for tobacco.

This only scratches the surface of what marijuana can do for you.

It can also control epileptic seizures, can treat Dravet's syndrome, can stop cancer with a substance called Cannabidiol, can decrease anxiety, etc.

http://www.businessinsider.com...

2) Marijuana is not lethal

My first argument ties in with this argument.

Marijuana has an annual death rate of 0, and deadly substances like tobacco has an annual death rate of 406,290. That is a big difference right there. Studies show that marijuana can steer people away from smoking tobacco, which is definitely a good thing. If you look at the amount of deaths tobacco causes every year compared to marijuana, you would see that marijuana is obviously the better choice. I have already demonstrated that it can cure other diseases, and with marijuana, we will have more happy people, less injured and ill people, and less deaths.

Also, as an added bonus, marijuana can help people with their driving, and reduces car crashes by 8-11%

3) Marijuana helps with the economy.

Taxing for Marijuana can give the U.S a grand total of 6 billion more dollars a year, and a minimum of 14 million dollars in a year. If the U.S can save billions of our profit, they can use the money for bigger issues and strengthen our economy as Marijuana usage continues to grow. Also, WeGrow would be able to set up more jobs for people.

4) Marijuana is beneficial for the environment.

If Marijuana is legalized, it will allow high degree planters to grow Marijuana and waste less water and electricity. Otherwise, Marijuana would have to continue in the state of being grown by lower class planters who may be unaware of the consequences. Currently, 5 billion dollars is being thrown out of the window because of the use of electricity. Toxins are also emitted from Marijuana if it's planted and grown incorrectly, but which I'd certainly unhealthy.

http://distractify.com...
ColeTrain

Con

Framework:

This debate is indubitably an important one; it’s a proposal that is very controversial and divides Americans. However, it’s important to analyze the resolution. “Should” implies moral and pragmatic obligation. Essentially, the resolution renders a complexity as follows: As a society, we are obligated to legalize marijuana. This leads me to value humanitarian welfare, which essentially refers to the welfare of humans. Whichever side (since the BoP is shared) can more effectively show their side upholds humanitarian welfare should win the debate, on moral, but largely pragmatic, grounds.


Introduction:

Though many have deviated from past standards opposing marijuana legalization, I still stand firm in my belief that marijuana should not be legalized. As I will show in the continuation of this round, there are both moral and pragmatic reasons as to why this illegal drug should not be legalized.


C1) Marijuana is a harmful drug.

No matter what camouflage or disguise is plastered onto it, the substance remains the same: a drug. A drug, is a drug, is a drug, is a drug. Essentially, all drugs have harmful effects. This holds true in regards to marijuana. Advocates for legalization claim marijuana is less dangerous than smoking. This was proven demonstrably false by a study conducted for the European Respiratory Journal, which found one joint of marijuana increased the risk of lung cancer by 8%, as opposed to a pack of cigarettes increasing the risk by only 7%. [7] Furthermore, over 30 independent studies confirm marijuana can lead to schizophrenia. [8] A study by the University of Maryland adds “research has shown that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 are at greater risk of permanent cognitive deficits, and have a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.” [9]


The University of Washington documents its respiratory effects. “A 2011 systematic review of the research concluded that long-term marijuana smoking is associated with an increased risk of some respiratory problems, including an increase in cough, sputum production, airway inflammation, and wheeze – similar to that of tobacco smoking (Howden & Naughton, 2011).” [1] Advocates for legalization claim marijuana is less dangerous than smoking. This was proven demonstrably false by a study conducted for the European Respiratory Journal, which found one joint of marijuana increased the risk of lung cancer by 8%, as opposed to a pack of cigarettes increasing the risk by only 7%. [7]

But the problem doesn’t stop there. The same article explains, “Additionally, many marijuana smokers also smoke tobacco, which further increases the harm. Numerous studies have found that the harmful effects of smoking marijuana and tobacco appear to be additive, with more respiratory problems in those who smoke both substances than in those who only smoke one or the other (Wu et al, 1988).” [1] Because the use of marijuana is directly linked to cigarette usage, these statistics are relevant as well. BBC News also suggests the smoke, secondhand and otherwise, from marijuana is “worse” than from cigarettes. [11]

Beyond that, other health problems come from marijuana, including cancer. This is once again detailed by the University of Washington. “Marijuana smoke contains about 50% more benzopyrene and nearly 75% more benzanthracene [than cigarettes], both known carcinogens (Tashkin, 2013). Lung biopsies from habitual marijuana-only users have revealed widespread alterations to the tissue, some of which are recognized as precursors to the subsequent development of cancer (Tashkin, 2013).” Cancer is also a societal plague when considering the legalization of marijuana. With so many individuals already affected by cancer, increasing its prevalence is an obvious detriment.

Medical doctor Ed Friedlander notes “Users frequently report problems with short-term memory, both while using and between uses. Short-term memory is the most fragile brain function, and this spontaneous observation tells me that something real is happening. The mental aftereffects of a pot high are measurable, and are commensurate with the aftereffects of a drunk. (Psychopharmacology 115: 340, 1994).” [10]

Statistically, the potency of the drug is increasing as well. Live Science supports this notion by quoting, “According to research from the Potency Monitoring Project, the average THC content of marijuana has soared from less than 1 percent in 1972, to 3 to 4 percent in the 1990s, to nearly 13 percent today.” [2] THC is the intoxicating chemical in marijuana. The increase in this is causing a more powerful and harmful substance. The simple facts of how damaging the substance is renders sufficient grounds to conform to the status quo and leave marijuana illegal, especially in regards to humanitarian welfare. As the policy would prove damaging to humans, it doesn’t uphold humanitarian welfare.


C2) Marijuana legalization would result in an increase of marijuana use.

Legalizing a substance, even for strictly medical purposes, is bound to increase use. In fact, the Office of National Drug Control Policy supports this notion. “A recent report from the RAND Corporation, “Altered State,” discusses how legalization would cause the price of marijuana to plummet, triggering increases in use of the drug.” [3] Essentially, the illegal nature of marijuana keeps the prices high. Lower prices would inevitably allow, and even encourage, more people to use the drug. More use encourages more abuse, thereby causing more people to be affected by the aforementioned concerns and health complications.

Although alcohol use is vastly more than marijuana use, legalization would close the gap. Moreover, previous experience with attempts to legalize other drugs (such as Oxycontin) have proven faulty and unsuccessful. Even if controlling methods were implemented, they weren’t effective in regulating even legal use.


C3) Legalization of marijuana reverses moral values.

Although many claim that marijuana is beneficial in medical fields, there is not strong support for this notion. In fact, the Buffalo News points this out. “There is not an adequate base of research that shows marijuana is effective for treating any serious medical condition. Therefore, no major group of medical experts supports the use of smoked marijuana for treatment of health problems.” [4] This shows medical marijuana ineffective. If this is true, marijuana is left to only harm individuals. Thus, legalizing marijuana would promote the harm of individuals rather than the assistance.

If marijuana is legalized to increase revenue, and fabricate a better economy, it serves to value economics above humanity. Morality, however, values humanity inexplicably and irrefutably above the economy. Rhetorically, if humanity is being devalued solely to value economy, what is the need for an economy if humanity is being harmed? In reality, there isn’t a need for economy in this scenario. Since legalization of this drug does devalue humanity, any economic benefits are equally countered by the subsequent devalue of humanity. Humanitarian welfare, as the optimal value, is seriously undermined in this regard. It’s not conducive to humanitarian need of health to implement a policy which inherently harms individuals and people around them.


C4) Previous legalizations have had adverse effects.

Perhaps the most popular legalization to date, in the US, is Colorado. While many share success stories of the legalization, we find that more relevant are the detrimental effects that are widespread and prevailing. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area published a report titled “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: the Impact” that detailed few important consequences of the legislation. Among others, key findings included: “The majority of DUI drug arrests were marijuana related and 25 to 40 percent were marijuana alone... the percent of hospitalizations related to marijuana have increased 82% since 2008… In 2012, 10.47 percent of youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally.” [5] These drastic and dire statistics show that the supposed “benefits” of legalizing marijuana fall without merit, when compared to the detriments and harms.

Furthermore, the governor of Colorado regrets the decision to legalize marijuana. The Daily Mail documents this phenomenon, “Speaking on CBNC, the 62-year-old Democrat said: 'If I could've waved a wand the day after the election, I would've reversed the election and said, "This was a bad idea".'” [6] As the governor realizes the fault with legalizing marijuana, and we understand the consequences that have arisen from the legalization, we must negate the resolution and oppose legalizing marijuana.


Conclusion:

Conclusively, we find that legalizing marijuana would be an inferior option to the status quo. Thus, from a moral and pragmatic standpoint, we are fully obligated to negate the resolution under the framework of humanitarian welfare, and keep marijuana illegal in the US.


Sources:


Debate Round No. 2
KingofEverything

Pro

Rebuttals:

"Essentially, all drugs have harmful effects. This holds true in regards to marijuana. Advocates for legalization claim marijuana is less dangerous than smoking. This was proven demonstrably false by a study conducted for the European Respiratory Journal, which found one joint of marijuana increased the risk of lung cancer by 8%, as opposed to a pack of cigarettes increasing the risk by only 7%. [7] Furthermore, over 30 independent studies confirm marijuana can lead to schizophrenia. [8] A study by the University of Maryland adds "research has shown that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 are at greater risk of permanent cognitive deficits, and have a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia." [9]"

While it may indeed be a harmful drug, I do not believe that this is a good enough reason to make it illegal. Making marijuana illegal will cause problems with the economy considering the amount of money that the U.S currently makes from it. This would cause another event like The Prohibition, because the fact of the matter is, people aren't going to stop taking drugs.

Marijuana staying legal is the most healthy option for the U.S.
Tobacco causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year and is a bigger problem as I have demonstrated, and keeping marijuana legal will prevent deaths. I would rather have people who are unhealthy (consider the health benefits as well. Preventing deaths from car crashes and cancer is extremely beneficial) than a bunch of people dying every year. So making it illegal will cause more deaths and a prohibition. The most safe option is to keep it legal.

Also on a side note, there are studies that show that tobacco is worse for your lungs than marijuana. The University of San Francisco put forth research stating that "Smoking cigarettes can cause significant lung damage, including respiratory symptoms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. It accounts for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one in every five deaths, each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data for the long-term effects of marijuana use on the pulmonary system has been scarce until now." And as for marijuana, it increases the air flow in your lungs and helps you breathe better.

I also have a technicality to present. If tobacco is causing more deaths with lung cancer, it is still technically worse for you than marijuana. Marijuana might have a higher chance of giving you lung cancer, but the disease itself isn't as extreme and doesn't cause deaths.

Here is the source for this:
https://www.ucsf.edu... a substance, even for strictly medical purposes, is bound to increase use."

Good. We need marijuana to be used more in order to reverse the effects of tobacco and alcohol. There may be cases of people who aren't healthy, but I believe legalizing marijuana is all about decreasing the amount of deaths.

"There is not an adequate base of research that shows marijuana is effective for treating any serious medical condition. Therefore, no major group of medical experts supports the use of smoked marijuana for treatment of health problems."

There is also no evidence saying that it cannot. But there are scientific studies describing how it can cure cancer, and using science show how physics work and the process of curing cancer.

"If marijuana is legalized to increase revenue, and fabricate a better economy, it serves to value economics above humanity. Morality, however, values humanity inexplicably and irrefutably above the economy."

People would lose their jobs if marijuana was illegal as businesses shut down. The economy is important for many people. Also, ban marijuana and people will die more often. How by any means would that be a moral act of any kind?

"Perhaps the most popular legalization to date, in the US, is Colorado. While many share success stories of the legalization, we find that more relevant are the detrimental effects that are widespread and prevailing."

Though Colorado may be a bad example, you specifically state that many other (states I assume) share success stories. I want what is beneficial for the majority of the United States. If you make marijuana illegal, most of the state's will have an increased death rate. Using data for only Colorado does not determine data for the whole U.S. But even considering that marijuana can be this detrimental, it is still nowhere near as bad as having over 400,000 deaths per year by people deciding to smoke tobacco instead.

Conclusion:
All of your arguments fall apart because even if marijuana can be detrimental to the people of the U.S, it will effect us negatively in the long run due to the fact that all it will do is cause more deaths for the citizens of the United States. We cannot have a perfect country where nobody is unhealthy, but between banning marijuana and keeping it legal, keeping it legal has the best benefits. Deaths are far worse than unhealthy citizens.
ColeTrain

Con

Rebuttals:

Medical Use:
This argument is common, but highly flawed; especially given the primary example my opponent uses to "support" his side. He references glaucoma, and asserts marijuana can help those affected by this. However, the assertion is incredibly false. On glaucoma's website, Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS, (the Odd Fellows Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, and a practicing glaucoma specialist) explains "Although marijuana can lower eye pressure, recommending it does not make sense given its side effects, short duration of action, and lack of evidence that its use alters the course of glaucoma." [1. http://www.glaucoma.org...] In the same article, he explains alternatives are better to assist the problem other than marijuana, which also comes with a host of problems.

King also mentions other supposed "benefits" in smoking tobacco, but I won't bother rebutting these individually. Most of them have the same result as glaucoma A) they come with harmful side effects of smoking the drug, and B) there is almost always a superior method to use as an alternative to better help the problem at hand. Besides, arguing health benefits is largely illogical, as there are a plethora of harms including the following:
  • Trouble thinking and remembering
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth (cotton mouth)
  • Increased appetite (the "munchies")
  • Fast heart rate
  • Slowed coordination
  • Harmed blood flow in the brain
  • Less attention span
  • Stifled brain development
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased chance of heart attacks
  • Cancer risks increased
  • Unsteady walking

[2. http://www.webmd.com...]
That's just the beginning, there's many more harmful effects as I mentioned in my case.

Marijuana is not lethal:
While the substance itself isn't necessarily lethal, the side-effects of smoking the substance are very deadly. I mentioned harms in my first contention of my case as well as in my rebuttal. Preventing someone from smoking cigarettes is good, but not when the alternative is smoking another substance nearly equally harmful to their health and wellbeing. Moreover, the secondhand smoke from marijuana ensures that marijuana legalization only facilitates the decline of other people's health as well. It's not only affecting the individual smoking, but those around them as well.

The claim that it reduces car crashes is illogical, as some of the side effects would prohibit an individual from driving safely.

Marijuana Helps with the Economy:
This is yet another point which should be nullified. My opponent only references taxation, but doesn't include the economic impact of the abuse of the drug (which legalization would facilitate) as well as medical expenses which would indubitably be subsequent. Annually, the US spends roughly $180.9 billion on drug abuse [3. https://www.ncjrs.gov...] and medical expenses from cigarettes totalled a dizzying $170 billion per year. [4. http://www.prevent.org...] As I've shown marijuana has equal (and perhaps worse) effects than smoking, it's only reasonable to assume marijuana would result in the same medical costs (if not more).


Environment:
This is really an absurd argument, but I'll address it nonetheless. This argument falls without much merit when weighed against economic detriments and health detriments not only to the individual smoking, but also to the people around them. This argument falls for two reasons: A) it's of virtually no significance when weighed against other, more impactful arguments and B) legalizing marijuana doesn't teach individuals how to grow the weed correctly, so the toxins can still be emitted. This rebuts any environmental argument. Moreover, if legalized, chances are, more people would grow it, which means more people would be using more electricity and water -- the exact thing my opponent says is wasted.

Defense:

Dangerous Drug:

My opponent concedes the drug is harmful, contrary to his previous statements. You thus disregard that and prefer my arguments that it is harmful. Moreover, his reasoning for not legalizing it despite its danger is already refuted. He asserts we will have economic problems by illegalizing the drug. However, this is untrue. Not only does legalizing actually provide the detriments economically, the drug isn't widely legal anyways. It's only legal in a few states, which means HE'S trying to change the status quo of it being illegal, not the other way around. The Prohibition isn't necessarily related, and regardless, it wouldn't change the status quo. Marijuana hasn't been legal (in most places) so there wouldn't the be a similar effect.

Tobacco:
This is a point that I believe is essential to bring out. Regardless of whether or not tobacco/cigarettes/alcohol is "worse" than marijuana doesn't matter. This debate is about marijuana, not any of these. Simply because those other things are legal doesn't necessarily mean the should be, and doesn't justify marijuana's legalization. His argument here is flawed, and I've shown the contrary to his assertion there are health benefits. Furthermore, he conceded that point (that marijuana is dangerous) in his last round.

Increased Use:
Increased use, as I've explained (and King conceded) only furthers the abuse and detrimental consequences of marijuana, and no pragmatic or just government would allow that. Legalizing marijuana will NOT decrease the amount of deaths when it causes cancer and increases the risk of heart failure. There's literally no evidence or logic provided by my opponent that supports this claim, whereas I've overwhelmingly shown that it will only result in more deaths when legalized.

Medical:
This has been addressed thoroughly, but I'll provide some specific rebuttals here. Evidence overwhelming supports the idea that marijuana has harmful effects, and you can refer to my evidence to view that. That, by definition, means it can't CURE cancer when it's a facilitator of the disease. It also indicates there is not evidence to support the view it can treat health problems when it causes them. Even if it could (thought highly doubtful and not research backed), it's supposed assistance would be outweighed compared to its health harms.

Value of Life:
My opponent claims the legalization would cause job losses and cause businesses to shut down. However, these jobs and businesses are not the kind we want, becuase by staying in operation, they continue to harm the lives of the recipients and the people around them. Economically, we'd be better off to NOT legalize marijuana, as I've shown previously. Moreover, as I've already shown, it is ENTIRELY false that marijuana legalization would result in less deaths. It would ONLY result in more, and I've provided evidence supporting this.

Colorado:
My opponent concedes that this example is a bad demonstration of marijuana. However, it's one of the very few (and until quite recently, was the only one) examples we CAN use. This means the implementation of a legalized marijuana policy has PROVEN itself harmful. he success story to which I was referring WAS Colorado, as many claim it's been beneficial. Statistics show otherwise. My evidence I showed earlier indicated this. Traffic fatalities of marijuana users also increased drastically (100%) [5. http://dailysignal.com...] Besides, it's shown that "Even where decriminalized, marijuana trafficking remains a source of violence, crime, and social disintegration." [6. http://www.heritage.org...] It's simply that the legalization HAS NOT shown net positive effects.

Conclusion:
Indeed, it is not my arguments that fall apart, but those of my opponent. The negative health consequences lead to death, and because they facilitate awful health consequences, they simply cannot be the cure for them simultaneously. Because it's a harmful drug with dire health circumstances for the users and people around them, it increases the use thereof, reverses moral values by advocating for something that will hurt individuals, analysis of past legalizations proves dire, and it won't stimulate the economy, there's no option but to vote CON.

Debate Round No. 3
KingofEverything

Pro

I am sorry man. Too busy.
ColeTrain

Con


Unfortunate as it may be, I accept the concession. Vote CON.


Debate Round No. 4
KingofEverything

Pro

Rebuttals:

(ugghh. Another rushed argument.)

"He references glaucoma, and asserts marijuana can help those affected by this. However, the assertion is incredibly false. On glaucoma's website, Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS, (the Odd Fellows Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, and a practicing glaucoma specialist) explains "Although marijuana can lower eye pressure, recommending it does not make sense given its side effects, short duration of action, and lack of evidence that its use alters the course of glaucoma." [1. http://www.glaucoma.org......] In the same article, he explains alternatives are better to assist the problem other than marijuana, which also comes with a host of problems."

It was said that glaucoma is caused by eye pressure. Lower pressure would definitely heal the eye and give a chance of healing it, which doesn't make it "incredibly false". My opponent uses a source which concedes that it lowers eye pressure, which means it can cure glaucoma.

"King also mentions other supposed "benefits" in smoking tobacco, but I won't bother rebutting these individually. Most of them have the same result as glaucoma A) they come with harmful side effects of smoking the drug, and B) there is almost always a superior method to use as an alternative to better help the problem at hand. Besides, arguing health benefits is largely illogical, as there are a plethora of harms including the following:"

I never stated that tobacco has benefits, only that marijuana does. In this case, this does not refute my case considering the false statement.

"While the substance itself isn't necessarily lethal, the side-effects of smoking the substance are very deadly. I mentioned harms in my first contention of my case as well as in my rebuttal. Preventing someone from smoking cigarettes is good,"

Marijuana isn't good, but it steers people away from tobacco and is the better alternative. I mentioned in my previous arguments that banning marijuana wouldn't work, and my opponent does concede that tobacco prevention is good.

"While the substance itself isn't necessarily lethal, the side-effects of smoking the substance are very deadly. I mentioned harms in my first contention of my case as well as in my rebuttal. Preventing someone from smoking cigarettes is good,"

Business's going down and people illegally selling marijuana won't help. As I said, a ban wouldn't work. And since the choice is between marijuana and tobacco, we shall go with the substance that is not lethal.

" Annually, the US spends roughly $180.9 billion on drug abuse [3. https://www.ncjrs.gov......] and medical expenses from cigarettes totalled a dizzying $170 billion per year. [4. http://www.prevent.org......] As I've shown marijuana has equal (and perhaps worse) effects than smoking, it's only reasonable to assume marijuana would result in the same medical costs (if not more)."

That still isn't a lot of money compared to the amount that the industry makes. I'd say the sacrifices are definitely worth it.

"This is really an absurd argument, but I'll address it nonetheless. This argument falls without much merit when weighed against economic detriments and health detriments not only to the individual smoking, but also to the people around them. This argument falls for two reasons: A) it's of virtually no significance when weighed against other, more impactful arguments and B) legalizing marijuana doesn't teach individuals how to grow the weed correctly, so the toxins can still be emitted."

My opponent literally does not explain Point A at all, so we can just disregard it. As for Point B, that wasn't the point I made. My point was that more businesses would be open for people who could be professionals and could farm marijuana correctly.

"My opponent concedes the drug is harmful, contrary to his previous statements."

Just as you conceded that tobacco is bad for you and that marijuana is better.

"He asserts we will have economic problems by illegalizing the drug. However, this is untrue. Not only does legalizing actually provide the detriments economically, the drug isn't widely legal anyways. It's only legal in a few states, which means HE'S trying to change the status quo of it being illegal, not the other way around."

No. My evidence clearly shows how the industry makes more money then they spend.

"The Prohibition isn't necessarily related, and regardless, it wouldn't change the status quo."

It is in the fact that both beer and marijuana are addictive.

"Legalizing marijuana will NOT decrease the amount of deaths when it causes cancer and increases the risk of heart failure."

It can reverse those effects as well using medical marijuana, and it steers people from a drug that kills hundreds of people annually.

" That, by definition, means it can't CURE cancer when it's a facilitator of the disease. It also indicates there is not evidence to support the view it can treat health problems when it causes them."

But it can cure other diseases and does help fight cancer. Nothing can cure cancer. Should we just ban anything that can't cure cancer, when in reality, it's impossible?

"My opponent claims the legalization would cause job losses and cause businesses to shut down. However, these jobs and businesses are not the kind we want, becuase by staying in operation, they continue to harm the lives of the recipients and the people around them."

The amount of money the industry makes shows that this would be true. There would be less room for jobs and more poor people.

"My opponent claims the legalization would cause job losses and cause businesses to shut down. However, these jobs and businesses are not the kind we want, becuase by staying in operation, they continue to harm the lives of the recipients and the people around them."

"My opponent concedes that this example is a bad demonstration of marijuana. However, it's one of the very few (and until quite recently, was the only one) examples we CAN use. This means the implementation of a legalized marijuana policy has PROVEN itself harmful."

You also conceded that marijuana was successful previously. So thus, one example doesn't convince me that it is bad for us in general.

Conclusion: My opponent ignores a lot of my previous arguments and concedes lots of my points as well. As such, many of my arguments remain either unrefuted or weren't refuted well.
ColeTrain

Con

Rebuttals & Defense

Glaucoma
"Curing" and lowering eye pressure are two different things. The source does not attest that it cures the illness, only that it lessens the effects. What it does say, though (and this is something my opponent ignored), is that it is unwise to prescribe marijuana as a treatment. Another ignored fact is that other things are more effective at lessening glaucoma's detriments and aren't accompanied by such harmful effects.


Benefits
I apologize, I did mean to say marijuana, not tobacco. Yet, I don't think this alters the outcome as the intent was apparent and obvious. I'll reiterate my argument by amending my statement: "King also mentions other supposed "benefits" in smoking marijuana, but I won't bother rebutting these individually. Most of them have the same result as glaucoma A) they come with harmful side effects of smoking the drug, and B) there is almost always a superior method to use as an alternative to better help the problem at hand. Besides, arguing health benefits is largely illogical, as there are a plethora of harms including the following:
  • Trouble thinking and remembering
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth (cotton mouth)
  • Increased appetite (the "munchies")
  • Fast heart rate
  • Slowed coordination
  • Harmed blood flow in the brain
  • Less attention span
  • Stifled brain development
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased chance of heart attacks
  • Cancer risks increased
  • Unsteady walking

[1. http://www.webmd.com...]

This was not addressed, and that's problematic for Pro's case, as the drug still stands as harmful in terms of health.


Cigarettes vs Marijuana
My opponent's argument here is very unstable. Simply because marijuana may prevent *SOME* people from smoking cigarettes, that doesn't mean the alternative is good. I've already established strong grounds showing how harmful marijuana is, and these are essentially unrefuted by my opponent. Moreover, there's another attachment to this rebuttal, which indicates the "alternative" of marijuana is just as bad, if not worse, as smoking cigarettes. Marijuana is a gateway drug, and the age of that gateway extends even older than previously thought. [2. https://www.homeworkmarket.com...] It's also shown that non-marijuana users rarely try a more serious substance. [5. http://www.jsad.com...] Specifically, "those who had previously used marijuana were 2.5 times more likely to use prescription opioids." [3. http://www.narconon.org...] Overdose, this article indicates, can be caused by marijuana use. A solvency to this problem could be the following: "Prevention efforts targeting early substance abuse may help to curb the abuse of prescription opioids." [4. http://www.jahonline.org...(12)00231-5/abstract] Prevention won't be achieved if the substance is legalized. The best prevention is a) knowledge about the effects, and b) illegalization. Moreover, legalizing marijuana has some effects cigarettes do not, and some of those can be even worse by nature than others.


Environment
Point A was more of a pre-requisite to B, exemplifying how health effects and economic detriments were more important than environmental -- and B is still true. People wouldn't want to pay for any more than they had to, so they'd continue to grow it for themselves. That'd fulfill my point B as true, and harmful. Moreover, individuals growing the drug "[use] harmful pesticides to keep their plants healthy, which damages the surrounding environment." [6. http://www.ibtimes.com...] Even in controlled, professional environments, the negative impacts still reside. Growing marijuana costs the US $6 billion dollars annually in terms of environment [7. http://evanmills.lbl.gov...], completely offsetting my opponent's environment assertion as well has economic argument. Furthermore, these farms rampantly increase energy needs, producing a unsettling, large carbon footprint in terms of greenhouse gases as well as operations destroying wildlife. [8. http://lcb.wa.gov...] They also use $5 billion dollars in electricity to grow the substance [9. http://gizmodo.com...], and drain a lot of water from streams. [10. http://blogs.longwood.edu...] There's really a lot of environmental issues legally or illegally with marijuana.


Conceded Points
The biggest impact here is that my opponent conceded that marijuana is harmful and addictive -- other drugs can be either more or less harmful. It doesn't matter within the confines of this debate. My objective is to prove marijuana shouldn't be legal, and that's one reason why: it's harmful. The harms of other drugs doesn't mean they should be legal either, but it also doesn't mean it's justification for marijuana legalization.


Moreover, his claim that I conceded legalizing marijuana has been successful is false. My quote "While many share success stories of the legalization, we find that more relevant are the detrimental effects that are widespread and prevailing" referred to others CLAIMING it had been successful. Besides, the title of my contention (Previous legalizations have had adverse effects.) should be a strong indicator that I don't believe they have been successful on net.

Economic Impacts
First, go back to the environment rebuttal where I brought up figures there. That's quite a bit of money exclusively in one field: environmental costs ($6bn). Then add my economic impacts from my last rebuttal. Drug abuse, we'll cut down to only one fourth of the entirety, seeing as marijuana is one of the most common drugs ($45.225bn). Then, we'll cut out the cigarette impact (this is $170bn, assuming NO medical expenses come for marijuana). That's still a conservative estimate of $51 billion annually, WAY more than my opponent's maximum estimate of a mere $6 billion in economic stimulation. Economic detriment is sure to follow legalization of weed.


Medical
My opponent says this line: "Should we just ban anything that can't cure cancer, when in reality, it's impossible?" The obvious answer is no. But when something CAUSES cancer, it shouldn't be legal. I doubt my opponent would condone another substance that causes cancer.


Conclusion:
I've thoroughly rebutting my opponent's contentions and defended my arguments. Just as an underview, let's go over why I'm winning:

-- Economic impact: It costs way too much either environmentally, policy-wise, or health-related to legalize weed.
-- Environmental impact: It's harmful and costly
-- Health impact: It's inherently harmful and causes increase in medical expenses as well as worse health for users and those around them.
-- Past legalizations: These have proved fallible and unsuccessful because of economic, health, and environmental concerns.
All of these things are harmful resultants of legalizing marijuana, and that is why I respectfully urge a vote in negation.

Debate Round No. 5
77 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Balacafa 11 months ago
Balacafa
I generally agree with whiteflame's vote. I am extremely busy and only remembered about this after typing up a separate vote on one of Coletrain's other debates. Sorry about not getting a vote up but I would have voted Con (coletrain).
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
No problem. :) You've still got 18 days; though the sooner, the better ;)
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Sorry guys, not going to get to this tonight as planned. I'll handle it tomorrow, most likely.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
@Whiteflame - thanks!
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I'll have a vote up on this by the end of the day.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
Thanks Tej! :)

Balafaca, no problem :)
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
Sorry, I got delayed today with work. I'll try and get a vote up in the next few days but my schedule's pretty busy.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
== RFD ==

Pro's first argument, that marijuana can cure diseases, doesn't affirm on its own since it doesn't affirm recreational marijuana legalization. It's also completely refuted, in that there"s no actual evidence for marijuana curing glaucoma (the "pressure" response of Pro"s isn"t even warranted). Pro"s lethality argument lacks offense. The economy argument is successfully turned, as $170 billion outweighs $6 billion. The environment is harmed even if marijuana is legalized at equal levels, so that doesn"t make a strong offense for the Pro side.

Con's offense isn't that strong either. He doesn't actually argue a moral FW to show that health harms caused by marijuana necessitate a ban, only arguing that morality outweighs the economy. The link that govt. should legislate on morality isn"t explained. The adverse effects of previous legalizations isn"t really refuted by Pro, since a Colarado comparison *could* accurately indicate US impacts since it"s a US state. Con wins mainly on the economy turn, since the healthcare costs of marijuana legalization aren"t really rebutted by Pro, and remain the strongest offense on either side.

I vote Con.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
Sweet!
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
My RFD should be done tomorrow.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 12 months ago
whiteflame
KingofEverythingColeTrain
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/society/topic/78351/