The Instigator
dazchilly
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
mackoman_93
Con (against)
Winning
38 Points

Marijuana Should Be Legalized.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,763 times Debate No: 11575
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (6)

 

dazchilly

Pro

These are my top 10 reasons on why marijuana should be legalized.

10. Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana. The government has tried to use criminal penalties to prevent marijuana use for over 75 years and yet: marijuana is now used by over 25 million people annually, cannabis is currently the largest cash crop in the United States, and marijuana is grown all over the planet. Claims that marijuana prohibition is a successful policy are ludicrous and unsupported by the facts, and the idea that marijuana will soon be eliminated from America and the rest of the world is a ridiculous fantasy.

9. Arrests for marijuana possession disproportionately affect blacks and Hispanics and reinforce the perception that law enforcement is biased and prejudiced against minorities. African-Americans account for approximately 13% of the population of the United States and about 13.5% of annual marijuana users, however, blacks also account for 26% of all marijuana arrests. Recent studies have demonstrated that blacks and Hispanics account for the majority of marijuana possession arrests in New York City, primarily for smoking marijuana in public view. Law enforcement has failed to demonstrate that marijuana laws can be enforced fairly without regard to race; far too often minorities are arrested for marijuana use while white/non-Hispanic Americans face a much lower risk of arrest.

8. A regulated, legal market in marijuana would reduce marijuana sales and use among teenagers, as well as reduce their exposure to other drugs in the illegal market. The illegality of marijuana makes it more valuable than if it were legal, providing opportunities for teenagers to make easy money selling it to their friends. If the excessive profits for marijuana sales were ended through legalization there would be less incentive for teens to sell it to one another. Teenage use of alcohol and tobacco remain serious public health problems even though those drugs are legal for adults, however, the availability of alcohol and tobacco is not made even more widespread by providing kids with economic incentives to sell either one to their friends and peers.

7. Legalized marijuana would reduce the flow of money from the American economy to international criminal gangs. Marijuana's illegality makes foreign cultivation and smuggling to the United States extremely profitable, sending billions of dollars overseas in an underground economy while diverting funds from productive economic development.

6. Marijuana's legalization would simplify the development of hemp as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States, including its development as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legal marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. As US energy policy continues to embrace and promote the development of bio-fuels as an alternative to oil dependency and a way to reduce carbon emissions, it is all the more important to develop industrial hemp as a bio-fuel source - especially since use of hemp stalks as a fuel source will not increase demand and prices for food, such as corn. Legalization of marijuana will greatly simplify the regulatory burden on prospective hemp cultivation in the United States.

5. Prohibition is based on lies and disinformation. Justification of marijuana's illegality increasingly requires distortions and selective uses of the scientific record, causing harm to the credibility of teachers, law enforcement officials, and scientists throughout the country. The dangers of marijuana use have been exaggerated for almost a century and the modern scientific record does not support the reefer madness predictions of the past and present. Many claims of marijuana's danger are based on old 20th century prejudices that originated in a time when science was uncertain how marijuana produced its characteristic effects. Since the cannabinoid receptor system was discovered in the late 1980s these hysterical concerns about marijuana's dangerousness have not been confirmed with modern research. Everyone agrees that marijuana, or any other drug use such as alcohol or tobacco use, is not for children. Nonetheless, adults have demonstrated over the last several decades that marijuana can be used moderately without harmful impacts to the individual or society.

4. Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. It is established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. It is unfair and unjust to treat marijuana users more harshly under the law than the users of alcohol or tobacco.

3. Marijuana is too expensive for our justice system and should instead be taxed to support beneficial government programs. Law enforcement has more important responsibilities than arresting 750,000 individuals a year for marijuana possession, especially given the additional justice costs of disposing of each of these cases. Marijuana arrests make justice more expensive and less efficient in the United States, wasting jail space, clogging up court systems, and diverting time of police, attorneys, judges, and corrections officials away from violent crime, the sexual abuse of children, and terrorism. Furthermore, taxation of marijuana can provide needed and generous funding of many important criminal justice and social programs.

2. Marijuana use has positive attributes, such as its medical value and use as a recreational drug with relatively mild side effects. Many people use marijuana because they have made an informed decision that it is good for them, especially Americans suffering from a variety of serious ailments. Marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea, spasticity, and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with conventional medications. Many American adults prefer marijuana to the use of alcohol as a mild and moderate way to relax. Americans use marijuana because they choose to, and one of the reasons for that choice is their personal observation that the drug has a relatively low dependence liability and easy-to-manage side effects. Most marijuana users develop tolerance to many of marijuana's side effects, and those who do not, choose to stop using the drug. Marijuana use is the result of informed consent in which individuals have decided that the benefits of use outweigh the risks, especially since, for most Americans, the greatest risk of using marijuana is the relatively low risk of arrest.

1. Marijuana users are determined to stand up to the injustice of marijuana probation and accomplish legalization, no matter how long or what it takes to succeed. Despite the threat of arrests and a variety of other punishments and sanctions marijuana users have persisted in their support for legalization for over a generation. They refuse to give up their long quest for justice because they believe in the fundamental values of American society. Prohibition has failed to silence marijuana users despite its best attempts over the last generation. The issue of marijuana's legalization is a persistent issue that, like marijuana, will simply not go away. Marijuana will be legalized because marijuana users will continue to fight for it until they succeed.
mackoman_93

Con

I thank my opponent for the fun topic of marijuana usage and ultimately it's legalization. This is a topic that finds it's self in the back of the mind of youth of all demographics across the country. However, there are a few key issues that must be addressed here. I, coming from a high school that delves heavily in marijuana and other drugs (and hears this same story every single day) noticed a few problems in need of being addressed.

On his tenth point talking about how prohibition has failed for over 75 years. My opponent mentions prohibition several times through out the round. This is clearly going to be one of the key arguments however, one may find that this argument holds no real clout in the debate. Just because people have been breaking marijuana regulations doesn't mean that we should legalize marijuana it just means that people have been breaking laws. This does nothing to further the affirmative's position. Furthermore, 25 million people is a mere fraction of the population of the United States. Don't let my opponent blow the image of marijuana out of proportion.

Their ninth point deals heavily in demographics and the sad fact of statistics. While even if his statistics were true, which we can't be certain they are because he did not cite them (he could have made them up for all we know), these are the sad facts about demographics. Call me a racist but these populations are scientifically proven to be more prone to criminal activity. Another interesting point is that this argument is also completely irrelevant, as this again does absolutely nothing to further his position. Just because black people and Hispanics use marijuana doesn't warrant legalization.

In his eighth point they talk about reducing teenage exposure to and sales of marijuana. However this is were we see a logical fallacy. If we accept his fourth point about marijuana being safe to be true, then why do we want to reduce exposure of marijuana among teens. My opponent finds him self in a double bind. Either he accepts marijuana to be a dangerous drug there by establishing the need to reduce exposure, or he concede his eight point and admits that there really is not need to reduce exposure. Logically they can't have both.

Their seventh point talks about how legalization of marijuana would reduce the amount of money lost by the US. However, marijuana is not the only drug that would need to be legalized in order to effectively carry out the advantages that my opponent talks about. A good example of what my opponent is talking about would be the Mexican drug cartel. Simply legalizing marijuana would not be effective in reducing US economic losses, this is because the cartel deals in FAR more than simply marijuana. According to a news article in the Korea Times the cartel also deals in marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine... drugs that the general American population would not be comfortable legalizing and for good reason. Simply legalizing marijuana would not be the cure all as my opponent would like to suggest.

In my opponent's sixth point he makes a very appropriate point about the energy sector. He talks about hemp and bi-fuels. An advantage mentioned was reducing oil dependence. While this is great for us in America you cannot get rid of the economic dependence on oil and other fossil fuels in other parts of the world simply by legalizing marijuana here in the US. With out the United States (the largest exporter of oil in the world) places like: Angola, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq and even Mexico would suffer a dramatic economic blow. This radical economic downturn would destabilize societies all over the world. Furthermore, there will be no economic incentive for farmers to grow hemp and in the even that the Federal Government does provide an economic incentive farmers would flock to make this new investment. Fields that once grew corn and wheat would be dedicated to farming hemp. This shows that either nothing would happen or that food prices every where would suffer dramatically.

My opponent's fourth and fifth point talk about how marijuana is not dangerous and its effects are blown out of proportion. He is right about how there are misconceptions, he is wrong that marijuana doesn't have its negative consequences. He starts off by placing great faith in people saying, "marijuana can be used moderately without harmful impacts". Even if this is true we cannot assume that everyone will use it responsibly. While it's true that you would have to smoke over 100 bowls of marijuana to overdose, it is also true that this is not the real danger in marijuana usage, far from it. The danger in marijuana is not chemical at all in fact, it is almost 100% psychological. Marijuana is not dangerous, people on marijuana are dangerous. Although it is not chemically addictive, the psychological dependence of many people is VERY strong.

For legalizing marijuana to be beneficial to the government it would need to be put on a taxable market (which it would if legalized). However, taxation would eventually force marijuana underground again ultimately leaving legalization an ineffective and useless political gesture.

My opponent's point two only applies when people use it responsibly, which we cannot assume they will (because it's not true). Don't be sheep to the flawed assumption that EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN who uses or will use marijuana does so responsibly and in a well informed manner. This is simply not true.

In his final point my opponent plays the part of Martin Luther King Jr. touting about sanding up to the "injustice of marijuana probation" and refusing to "give up their long quest for justice". While this point is passionate, emotional and very pointed it ultimately fails to establish any footing within the debate. The 25 million users that he talks about are a mere fraction of the population. Clearly legalization would not uphold our country's democratic ideals of the right of the majority to prevail as 25 million is closer to 10% of the population than it is to 51%.

Contrary to my opponents beliefs, there are informed people who oppose the legalization of marijuana. Don't let him blow the issue of marijuana legalization out of proportion as the fact remains that 25 million (although it sounds pretty big) is a mere fraction next to the hundreds of millions of people in America. Legalization, as now established, would be nothing more than a useless and ineffective political gesture. Whit that I urge you to stand with me in negation of the resolution.

Thank you. :)
Debate Round No. 1
dazchilly

Pro

dazchilly forfeited this round.
mackoman_93

Con

Sadly my opponent as forfeited the round, thus all of my arguments still stand and my framework ought be accepted.

I will use this opportunity to express another important argument. It is critical to remember that even if one does subscribe to the idea that marijuana ought in fact be legalized I ask that you judge this round objectively. So you may completely disagree with what I'm saying but I ask that you consider the superior argumentation on my side (considering my opponent has been rather silent as far as opponents go :P). Once again I ask that you judge based n the argumentation not on who you actually agree with (I say this because I have seen the comments of people who disagree).

As far as argumentation goes, remember the statistics, remember the argumentation, remember what we both have brought to the debate.

At this point in the debate no reason has been provided for one to vote contrary to my position.
Debate Round No. 2
dazchilly

Pro

dazchilly forfeited this round.
mackoman_93

Con

My opponent's position (which I'd like to remind you is not really his position at all, but rather an article plastered all over the internet that my opponent has copied and pasted word for word) has been refuted. I have shown to you how every single point that my opponent has plagiarized is either irrelevant, contradictory, not in your best interest, or just plain wrong. In the face of these refutations my opponent has offered ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in his defense. This means that even if you agree with my opponent with every fiber of your being he has sadly provided you with NO reason to vote for him.

Even if these were actually HIS points, the only words you see in the space provided for my opponent to type his defense are (and I quote), "dazchilly forfeited this round." Therefore the facts at the end of this debate still stand as such: legalization would not uphold our country's democratic ideals of the right of the majority to prevail as 25 million is closer to 10% of the population than it is to 51%, taxation would eventually force marijuana underground again and MANY more unanswered arguments questioning my opponent's fallacious position. Once again, don't let my opponent blow the issue of marijuana out of proportion.

In the face of opposition my opponent has provided you with NO reason to vote contrary to my position, thus be the resolution Resolved: Marijuana should be legalized, negated.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by infam0us 7 years ago
infam0us
"Call me a racist but these populations are scientifically proven to be more prone to criminal activity."

L-O-L.
Posted by mackoman_93 7 years ago
mackoman_93
Should label this debate "falling in love with originality"

<3
Posted by mackoman_93 7 years ago
mackoman_93
Google "top ten reasons marijuana should be legalized" and the first hyperlink that you find will be my opponent's case. lol

http://www.alternet.org...
Posted by BrianCannabis 7 years ago
BrianCannabis
Historic statewide initiative in California to legalize, control, and tax cannabis. Help build national support for the movement. Sign up on the website, join the campaign! taxcannabis.org
Posted by mackoman_93 7 years ago
mackoman_93
Yes and I mentioned that. I also said that doing so would force marijuana underground again. Marijuana Thrives behind the government's back. It is illegal for the sake of control (it thrives this way) if it were to be made legal for the sake of control, then what would be gained from this political venture?
Posted by denbee 7 years ago
denbee
"Our nation can acknowledge the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana while still permitting their use. The only logically and morally consistent argument for marijuana prohibition necessitates the criminalization of all harmful recreational drugs, including alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. We can agree that such an infringement on personal freedoms is as impractical as it is un-American. The time has come to accept that our nation's attitude toward marijuana has been misguided for generations and that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it."
Dr. Nathan, a psychiatrist in Princeton, N.J., is a clinical assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Yeah, pirate.
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
lol caught red handed
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Your top ten, or your copied top ten? :P
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by shlebear_94 7 years ago
shlebear_94
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Vote Placed by UnFascism 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cmb 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Me100 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by burnbird14 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by mackoman_93 7 years ago
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