The Instigator
VaLoR
Pro (for)
Losing
37 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Con (against)
Winning
107 Points

Marijuana Should NOT Be Legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 39,167 times Debate No: 349
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (45)

 

VaLoR

Pro

The legalization of marijuana, either for medical purposes or otherwise, is entirely unjustifiable. Marijuana only suits one significant purpose, other than the feel good effects of use, and that is as a pain killer "medication." This is reason enough for advocates in favor of legalization to use as justification for the legalization for medical purposes, at least. I view this argument as more of an excuse for legalization than a legitimate concern. Marijuana isn't the only pain killer on the market, after all, nor is it by any means the most effective.

If it is reasonable to legalize marijuana on the basis that it is an effective pain killer, it would follow that the legalization of cocaine would be even more necessary as cocaine, it could be argued, has a more effective numbing effect than medical marijuana. Legalization of marijuana could induce a chain effect of similarly constructed arguments in favor of legalization for a variety of different potent drugs currently illegal.

For those that favor the argument that legalization will dissuade use over time, I strongly disagree. I cite alcohol and cigarettes as basic counter examples of this flawed logic.

One might argue on the disaster that was alcohol prohibition as evidence that the unlawfulness of marijuana use is no way to combat the problem, and that it only encourages it. Viewing this from a slightly different perspective, one can easily see that despite the unlawfulness of alcohol use during prohibition, use has not sufficiently declined since alcohol prohibition was abolished. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that nearly every American citizen has had at least one alcoholic beverage from the age of 21-40 based on the culture in which we live and the social pressures associated with use to make no mention of the abundance of teen alcohol abuse in society today. Along with social pressures, the legality of use is more encouraging. People are more likely to give something a try when the potential negative repercussions of first time experimental use, both from health and legal considerations, is low. One would not want the same effect to come into being by the legalization of marijuana beyond medical use. It would not be a responsible decision to allow for marijuana to evolve into as much a social norm as alcohol has become, where nearly every American citizen is willing to give it a try.

It would be reasonable to take into consideration the epidemic the tobacco company has caused with the creation, manufacture and marketing of cigarettes.

A few quick facts on the negative effects of cigarette use include:

-- Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand, accounting for around 4,300 to 4,600 deaths per year.

-- Half of the people who smoke today and continue smoking will eventually be killed by tobacco. Half of them will die in middle age.

-- Globally, 1.3 billion people smoke. Each year tobacco causes five million premature deaths.

-- Tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide. If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020.

-- Smoking increases the risk of developing diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems. These include cancers of the lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus and pancreas. Smoking also increases the risk of developing diseases of the urinary tract, pelvis, bladder and digestive tract.

-- Etcetera.

Source: http://www.sfc.org.nz...

And the list could go on, but the focus here is the parallel between the legality of cigarette smoking and the potential legalization of marijuana for general use. When cigarettes were originally introduced, their purpose was the feel good effect induced upon use, and the same could easily be said of the reasoning behind casual use of marijuana. Moreover, tobacco has become a public health priority as more and more people take up the habit, and deaths rise in frequency each year. If smoking cigarettes had been illegal, it would not have prevented people from smoking, but it would have given the government the necessary power to prosecute people for distributing the debilitating drug, thus minimizing deaths. Inaction would be immoral.

By accepting this debate you agree to defend the legalization of general marijuana use, not simply for medical purposes.
clsmooth

Con

First, I need to implore the readers to make their votes on the basis of the logic of our arguments, not based on their personal beliefs on this issue. Thank you.

You said: "Marijuana only suits one significant purpose, other than the feel good effects of use, and that is as a pain killer medication."

This is demonstrably not true. Marijuana serves another very real medicinal purpose -- it stimulates appetite. There are many people with AIDS and cancer who rely on marijuana for this purpose. Either their diseases or their treatments for the diseases decimate their appetites. Medical marijuana stimulates it. Marinol, the legal alternative to medical marijuana, does not achieve this.

You said: "Marijuana isn't the only pain killer on the market, after all, nor is it by any means the most effective."

You are correct to say it isn't the only pain killer on the market, nor is it necessarily the most effective for that cause. So what? By your logic the government should outlaw every pain killer except the one that is "most effective" according to the government itself. This is not a legitimate role for the federal government. Where is this power authorized in the Constitution? Furthermore, you highlight an interesting reason marijuana is in fact illegal -- because drug companies would have a hard time controlling it. Make it legal and people could use it more freely for their medicinal needs. The government keeps it on the black market in order to bolster the profits of its patrons in the medical-industrial complex. This is also not a proper role for government. The government should not be picking winners and losers. Individuals constituting a free market in goods and services should.

You said: "If it is reasonable to legalize marijuana on the basis that it is an effective pain killer, it would follow that the legalization of cocaine would be even more necessary as cocaine, it could be argued, has a more effective numbing effect than medical marijuana."

Although I agree that cocaine should be legal for medicinal purposes, for it definitely has medicinal use -- which is why it was used medicinally for hundreds of years prior to the recent War on Drugs -- your argument does not hold. One could argue for legalizing marijuana and not cocaine because cocaine has demonstrably more harmful effects than marijuana if abused.

You said: "despite the unlawfulness of alcohol use during prohibition, use has not sufficiently declined since alcohol prohibition was abolished."

That's true. But use actually increased during Prohibition. That's because when you take a product and put it on the black market, prices go up. There is a premium built into the price due to the legal risk the distributors of the product face, plus the cramp in supply causing a higher price at which supply and demand are met. Profits for drug dealers are high now because of the War on Drugs. This gives drug dealers a greater incentive to "market" their product to customers -- including children. Being pro-Drug War is thus really being pro-drug dealer profits, and indirectly, pro-children using drugs. Stores don't sell kids booze or cigarettes, but drug dealers will sell them marijuana or cocaine, no problem.

You said: "It would not be a responsible decision to allow for marijuana to evolve into as much a social norm as alcohol has become, where nearly every American citizen is willing to give it a try."

A large majority of Americans have given marijuana a try. Most do not continue to use it because of what they perceive as negative side effects. Do you only not use drugs because they are illegal? Every drug in the world was legal in the U.S. for the first 100+ years of the country's existence. There were drug addicts back then, but no more than there are now. Why do you think other people are so different than you; that you are so much better and so much smarter than other people? Why can't people be trusted to make the right decisions for themselves? Do you really think the government is smarter than the people who elect its representatives? That's a very elitist position to take.

You go on to make what sound like arguments for making both alcohol and cigarettes illegal. On what basis? Where is the federal government empowered to do this? A constitutional amendment was required to enact Prohibition. The original anti-drug laws were creatively crafted so that they fell within Congress's power to tax. But modern drug prohibition is obviously unconstitutional. You are making an argument for the continuation of unconstitutional laws.

You are also missing the side effects of the Drug War. Deficit spending, high taxes, loss of civil liberties, racial disparity in prosecutions, etc., and no demonstrable decline in the rate of drug use or abuse. Instead, we have prisons full of nonviolent criminals -- either harmless users or people whose communities have been devastated by the Drug War and thus they turn to the artificially created (by the government) black market in drugs in order to earn money. This is the problem that your precious Keynesian government created.

The CEO of Coors doesn't pull drivebys on the CEO of Miller Beer. That's because their product is protected by the rule of law. All exchanges are voluntary and property is protected, thus, there is no need for violence. You are making an argument in support of continued high profits for drug lords and continued violence in inner cities. There are no more Al Capones, and if drugs were legalized, there would be no more drug gangs. Marijuana is the place to start.

In summary:

1. Marijuana does have medicinal benefit beyond being a pain killer. Your assertion that it does not is demonstrably untrue. QUESTION: Do you admit this?

2. Just because marijuana is not the "most effective" pain killer does not mean that it should be made illegal. By that logic, only one pain killer should exist -- probably the one owned by the drug company that gives the biggest kickback to your presidential candidate. QUESTION: Should there only be one pain killer on the market, and should all others be banned?

3. Arguing for the legalization of marijuana does not mean one has to support the legalization of cocaine, for the simple reason that everyone knows cocaine (if abused) is more harmful than marijuana. Where are you getting your information? Government propaganda films like Reefer Madness? QUESTION: Do you concede that marijuana, if abused, is less harmful than cocaine?

4. Prohibition of alcohol was a failed experiment that led to gang warfare. So too has prohibition of drugs. Furthermore, while Prohibition of alcohol was passed during a time when the government still respected the Constitution enough to amend it to implement its coercive laws, prohibition of drugs on the federal level is clearly, without question, unconstitutional. QUESTION: Do you admit that prohibition of drugs is unconstitutional, and if not, why was a constitutional amendment needed to prohibit alcohol?

5. In addition to the crime directly caused by the Drug War, there are other negative side effects: High taxes and deficit spending to fund the Drug War, a decreased respect for civil liberties by police officers and other lawmen and women, and racial disparity in the manner in which drug cases are prosecuted, to name just a few. QUESTION: Do you think that the Drug War has been worth the fiscal and social costs, especially given the fact that people still want and use drugs?

Governments exist to protect our liberty. Not to protect us from ourselves. We are not children and the state is not our parent. We are adults and we can make choices for ourselves.
Debate Round No. 1
VaLoR

Pro

I, too, would like to request that potential voters choose the winner based on the strength, and persuasiveness of their argument, rather than their personal position on the subject matter. I realize that far more people are for legalization than against it.

With regard to the argument that Marinol is an inferior drug by comparison, I think it is worth pointing out that the Food and Drug Administration determined Marinol to be safe, effective, and therapeutically beneficial for use as a treatment for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, and as a treatment of weight loss in patients with AIDS. This is not to say it is more effective, but that it is most importantly safe, as well as suiting its purpose.

According to the FDA: "These products [Marinol and Cesamet] have been through FDA's rigorous approval process and have been determined to be safe and effective for their respective indications. It is only through the FDA drug approval process that solid clinical data can be obtained and a scientifically based assessment of the risks and benefits of an investigational drug is made. Upon FDA approval for marketing, consumers who need the medication can have confidence that the approved medication will be safe and effective."

Marinol contains active ingredients that are present in botanical marijuana. Marinol also contains the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is considered the psychoactive component of marijuana. However, the FDA have determined Marinol, through their "rigorous approval process," to be safer in the respect that Marinol does not produce the harmful health effects associated with smoking marijuana.

Marijuana also has been recommended by advocates of legalization for the treatment of conditions such as glaucoma as well. However, according to the Institute of Medicine, there are six classes of drugs and multiple surgical techniques that are available to treat glaucoma that effectively slow the progression of disease by reducing high intraocular pressure.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine conducted a comprehensive study to assess the potential health benefits of marijuana. They concluded that smoking marijuana is not recommended for treatment of any disease condition. The Institute of Medicine further concluded that there is little future in smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication.

Smoked marijuana can also affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections. This demonstrates the simple fact that marijuana can do more harm than good in people with already compromised immune systems. A Columbia University study found that a control group that smoked a single marijuana cigarette every other day had a white blood cell count that was 39 percent lower than the norm. This impedes the immune systems capability of fighting infection, thus making the user far more susceptible to infection and illness, which certainly isn't a good idea for critically ill patients trying to fight debilitating diseases.

According to the National Institutes of Health, studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes a day. Additionally, Harvard University researchers report that the risk of a heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour after smoking marijuana. This is particularly dangerous to people with high blood pressure, as marijuana raises blood pressure. From 1993 through 2000, the number of emergency room marijuana mentions more than tripled.

Another important thing to consider is the rise in potency of marijuana over the past few decades. According to data from the Potency Monitoring Project at the University of Mississippi, the THC content of commercial-grade marijuana rose from 3.71% in 1985 to an average of 5.57% in 1998. The average THC content of U.S.-produced sinsemilla also increased, from 3.2% in 1977 to 12.8% in 1997.

When compared to the average cigarette, smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette. Marijuana also contains more than 400 chemicals that include most of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke.

The American Medical Association recommends that marijuana remain a Schedule I controlled substance.

Marijuana IS a gateway drug. One might have their own opinion on the matter, but statistics don't lie. Marijuana, according to studies, plays a role in leading to the use of other illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. According to these longterm studies, very few people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana. Certainly, not all marijuana users go on to experiment with other illegal drugs, but using marijuana sometimes lowers inhibitions about drug use and exposes users to a culture that encourages drug use. This is one of the major detriments of the advocacy of legalization to begin with.

In the 1980s, illicit drug use was reduced by 50 percent. This was due in part to the combined and concerted efforts of law enforcement and prevention and treatment professionals. However, now that a more tolerant view of marijuana is prevalent in our society, drug use has gone up again. Substance abuse always seems to rise whenever public attitude is more tolerant towards drugs. This is particularly detrimental to the susceptible youth of America and should be considered an area of eminent concern.

Marijuana IS an addictive drug, contrary to the popularly promoted notions of pro-legalization advocates. In 1999, more than 200,000 Americans entered substance abuse treatment primarily for marijuana abuse and dependency. The youth of America in particularly are suffering the greatest from marijuana abuse. More teens are in treatment for marijuana use than for any other drug or alcohol. The percentage of adolescent admissions to substance abuse facilities for marijuana addiction grew from 43% in 1994 to 60% in 1999.

Why should we not allow legalization for recreational use? Public safety. As I am sure you are aware, marijuana affects many skills required for safe driving, alertness, the ability to concentrate, coordination, and reaction time. Other inhibitory effects that influence such activity include memory loss, distorted perception, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor skills, decrease in muscle strength, increased heart rate, and anxiety. These associated affects can last up to 24 hours after smoking marijuana. Use of marijuana can also make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and signs in the road. In one study, out of the total amount of drivers stopped for reckless driving, one-third of them were found to be under the influence of marijuana. In a 1990 report, the National Transportation Safety Board studied 182 fatal truck accidents, and found that just as many of the incidents were caused by drivers using marijuana as were caused by alcohol -- 12.5 percent in each case.

Another concern of public safety is the evocation of violent and criminal thinking while under the influence of marijuana. According to statistical review, there seems to be a connection; marijuana contributes to crime. A large percentage of those arrested for crimes test positive for marijuana. Nationwide, 40 percent of adult males tested positive for marijuana at the time of their arrest.

In short, not only is the health of marijuana users of concern, either for medicinal or recreational purposes, but public safety is of concern as well.

P.S. -- I apologize, I was unable to squeeze in my assessment of your arguments and to answer your questions, I will attempt to squeeze them into my round 3 argument.
clsmooth

Con

Valor has fallen victim to "Reefer Madness!" :)

Marinol is not as effective as marijuana. Steve Kubby has survived for over twenty-five years a form of cancer expected to cause his death as a young man. He credits medical marijuana for prolonging his life. In 2006, despite the legalization of medical marijuana in California, Kubby and his wife were arrested on unconstitutional anti-drug laws that violated the sovereignty of California. Here is how Marinol worked out for him:

"With Marinol, Steve is only partly protected. Because Marinol uses only the THC active portion of the cannabis plant, his tumors are now free to grow again. This type of tumor is particularly apt to grow into the spinal cord, brain and organs."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

You cite the FDA as if it is some kind of authority. The FDA is a political bureaucracy that, like all bureaucracies, exists in order to expand its scope, budget, and power. There are thousands of medical doctors who support the use of medical marijuana, and several states have enacted laws to legalize it. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong -- why do you think there has to be one solution for everyone? Do you want to put dying AIDS and cancer patients in jail for using the medicine that they think works best for them? For using a medicine that might be more affordable, particularly if homegrown? You are shilling for the corporate drug companies in the medical-industrial complex (what a surprise, the AMA is against legalization!), and you are arguing for continued human suffering, death, and financial poverty brought on by high drug prices.

As for the government studies you cite: I could cite non-government counter-studies -- anyone can just Google it. There is difference of opinion and impure motives on both sides. Why does there have to be just one solution? If medical marijuana were legal, then individuals and doctors could choose whether to use or prescribe it. If a doctor thought it was not effective, he could prescribe something else.

You then demonstrate there are negative side effects to marijuana usage -- this just makes it like every other drug on the planet. Of course, there are negative side effects! Watch TV and you'll see plenty of ads for government-approved drugs that can cause everything from increased blood pressure to an urge to gamble! The negative side effects, as well as the health risks for personal/recreational use make a great argument for not using it -- but no argument for making it illegal. I don't smoke marijuana because of the negative health effects. I don't smoke cigarettes either. But I do eat Big Macs and drink beer, both of which are unhealthy. Should they be banned too? Obesity and alcoholism are much greater problems in America than marijuana "addiction."

By the way: Marijuana is not physically addictive. It is only mentally addictive. There are people who are officially categorized as sex addicts. The consequences of sex can be far more harmful than marijuana (unwanted pregnancy and AIDS come to mind). So should sex be banned, or at least regulated? Even though sex can be "addictive" and harmful, the vast majority of people make responsible choices with sex. Just as the vast majority of Americans currently make responsible choices with marijuana. Marijuana is addictive like MySpace or Nintendo (or Debate.org), not like alcohol or cocaine.

Marijuana a gateway drug? Sure. The type of people who are prone to use heroin are going to use marijuana first because it is more widely available. But they probably drink alcohol before that. And they probably drink soda before that. If the fact that heroin users first use marijuana can be blamed on marijuana, then obviously, marijuana usage should be blamed on soda, and by your logic, soda should be made illegal, too. In fact, breast milk could be cited as the "gateway" to all drugs and crimes and other horrors in the world.

You truly are a victim of government propaganda and Reefer Madness. Look, ladies and gentlemen, my opponent is saying that marijuana makes people violent -- even the government hasn't made such outlandish claims since the 1930s. We all know people who use marijuana and aren't violent. In fact, we probably know people who are specifically not violent because they use marijuana!

You are against health freedom. You are for bureaucrats and central governments dictating the healthcare choices of sick people, and I find that morally offensive. There are thousands of people who use medical marijuana in the U.S., and the reasons they do so are none of your business. Recreational use is none of your business, either. As cited in the previous round, alcohol consumption increased during Prohibition, but it did not go up appreciably following the end of Prohibition. There's no reason to believe marijuana would be any different (although use certainly is higher now than when it was legal -- Prohibition creates higher prices, which in term create profits for drug dealers, which create an incentive to market the product, etc. -- FACT).

You mostly ignored my arguments and focused in on marinol, and the government studies that suggest it is an effective alternative. I will ask you once again to answer the following questions:

1. Do you admit that marijuana has medicinal benefit beyond its application as a pain killer (stimulating appetite being one such benefit)?

2. Should there only be one pain killer on the market, and should all others be banned?

3. Do you concede that marijuana, if abused, is less harmful than cocaine?

4. Do you admit that prohibition of drugs is unconstitutional, and if not, why was a constitutional amendment needed to prohibit alcohol?

5. Do you think that the Drug War has been worth the fiscal and social costs, especially given the fact that people still want and use drugs?

NEW QUESTION #6: Should alcohol and cigarettes be banned, and if not, why not?

Please answer my questions in Round 3. If you do not answer the questions, I can only assume that you concede the points, and that's a lot of points to concede.
Debate Round No. 2
VaLoR

Pro

First I will address your questions that I was unable to squeeze into my previous argument.

1. Do you admit that marijuana has medicinal benefit beyond its application as a pain killer (stimulating appetite being one such benefit)?

The other benefit being the alleviation of nausea and vomiting. Yes, I acknowledge the proposed benefits of the substance, but disagree with its effectiveness and overall safety. Moreover, I think the negative health effects of smoked marijuana outweigh the potential benefits, and in some cases can worsen a patients condition by weakening their immune system.

2. Should there only be one pain killer on the market, and should all others be banned?

No. There is no reason to add another pain killer to the market when there are already numerous legal, effective alternatives. Sure, all drugs have side effects that are of health concern, but marijuana has a more consistently negative effect on patients. Countless studies have shown marijuana to be far more harmful, and less effective in several areas, than the legal alternatives.

3. Do you concede that marijuana, if abused, is less harmful than cocaine?

Absolutely. My intention for mentioning cocaine legalization was not to contrast the severity of the negative health effects, but to point out the nonsensical reasoning of legalizing a harmful drug. In other words, marijuana is not a safe drug, neither is cocaine. Both are effective as a drug, particularly for pain relief, but both have negative health effects that outweigh their respective benefits.

4. Do you admit that prohibition of drugs is unconstitutional, and if not, why was a constitutional amendment needed to prohibit alcohol?

Drug abuse fuels degeneracy. If the government must play the role of mother to protect the health and well being of its citizens, so be it.

5. Do you think that the Drug War has been worth the fiscal and social costs, especially given the fact that people still want and use drugs?

Absolutely. The legalization of marijuana would be to let the lion out of its cage. People need to realize the importance of the illegality of this deleterious drug and the importance of government quarantine. It is imperative that we keep the beast caged at all costs. We must learn from the history as well as the present severity of the health epidemic created by the abuse and addiction of alcohol and tobacco. We don't need another such epidemic to legally creep into public domain and have use become influenced by social pressures of conformity and normality upon society in the manner as has occurred with alcohol and tobacco.

NEW QUESTION #6: Should alcohol and cigarettes be banned, and if not, why not?

Tobbacco cigarettes, yes. There is no reason for it, and it has become a social health epidemic. It is an addictive, harmful drug that is claiming lives by the truck load. It may not impair your judgment and perception in the same way marijuana and alcohol do, but the long term effects are well documented. As for alcohol, there have been various studies that have shown that an occasional drink may actually be beneficial for your health. I do not think alcohol should be banned, but that those that drink irresponsibly should suffer a more severe penalty. However, I don't think either of these are on a par with the severity of marijuana abuse.

Most major medical and health organizations, as well as the vast majority of nationally recognized expert medical doctors, scientists and researchers, have concluded that smoking marijuana is not safe and effective medicine. Some of these organizations include:

--The American Medical Association
--The American Cancer Society
--National Multiple Sclerosis Association
--The American Glaucoma Association
--American Academy of Ophthalmology
--National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke
--National Institue of Dental Research
--The Natioanal Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Several government agencies of both party affiliations have also opposed the legalization of medical marijuana. These organizations include the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Public Health Service. Their latest finding, as recently as 1994, was affirmed in a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C.

Frequently, pro-legalization advocates put forth unscientific, non-scrutinized or analyzed anecdotal statements from people with a variety of illnesses. We aren't told whether these individuals were using marijuana prior to the illness or if perhaps they are using marijuana in combination with other medication. Had the individual had a recent thorough medical exam? Or is he or she justifying their use of marijuana, experiencing a placebo effect, or experiencing the intoxicating effect of smoking marijuana? Such anecdotal evidence would not pass in a peer reviewed journal.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "In the last half of 2003, marijuana was the third most commonly abused drug mentioned in drug-related hospital emergency department (ED) visits in the continental United States."

The National Eye Institute (NEI) reports, "there is no scientifically verifiable evidence that marijuana or its derivatives are safe and effective in the treatment of glaucoma." None of NEI's marijuana-based research studies demonstrate that THC can safely and effectively lower intraocular pressure enough to prevent optic nerve damage from glaucoma.

Dr. George L. Spaeth, the first President of the American Glaucoma Society and Director of the Glaucoma Service at the internationally known Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia has "not found any documentary evidence which indicates that a single patient has had his or her natural history of the disease altered by smoking marijuana."

Dr. Keith Green, Director of Ophthalmology Research at the Medical College of Georgia, states, "It is clear that there is no evidence that marijuana use prevents the progression of visual loss in glaucoma."

In 1996, Harmon J. Eyre, Executive Vice President for Research and Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society stated, there is "no reason to support the legalization of marijuana for medical use."

Joanne Schellenbach, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, said her group feels there is "no need to treat the side effects of chemotherapy" with marijuana. There are ample legal pharmaceuticals available to do this which don't present the [medical] problems [caused by] inhaling," she said.

Dr. David S. Ettinger, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, and a nationally respected cancer expert, has written that "There is no indication that marijuana is effective in treating nausea and vomiting resulting from radiation treatment.... No legitimate studies have been conducted which make such conclusions."

Quotes from "Medical Marijuana Should Not Be Permitted" by Robert L. Maginnis Ed. William Dudley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999.

There are other legal, safer, more effective drugs on the market, and no need for marijuana. Legalization of marijuana, either medicinal or recreational, will encourage use, not dissuade it. The negative effects of marijuana are well documented, while the positive effects of medicinal use have failed to stand up to the rigorous tests of science.

clsmooth, it has truly been a pleasure debating with you. I chose you specifically because I had seen a few of your debates before, and felt you were the best challenge available. You certainly delivered. I look forward to future debates with you. Thank you for the lively, persuasive, insightful debate!

P.S. I got a good laugh out of the mirapex reference with the urge to gamble!
clsmooth

Con

Thanks for answering my questions.

1. So you admit that your Round 1 argument was false. You said, "Marijuana only suits one significant purpose, other than the feel good effects of use, and that is as a pain killer," but now you admit that was wrong. Okay.

2. Why should the government decide how many choices we have? If a product is ineffective, it doesn't need to be banned by government. It will lose via forces of market competition. Are you honestly arguing that marijuana is more harmful than, say, OxyContin, Rush Limbaugh's drug of choice? Come on!

3. If you concede this point than another one of your Round 1 arguments is rendered pointless. You're not doing so well.

4. You don't answer the question. When did the Constitution become irrelevant? You are willing to sacrifice freedom for "safety." Not even safety in the sense of "the terrorists are coming to kill us!", but safety in the "I might be tempted to smoke the reefer and I need Big Daddy Government to spank me if I do!" The Founding Fathers would not have thought highly of you.

5. So an ineffective "war" (people still want and use drugs) has been worth the billions of taxpayer dollars, thousands of innocents killed by errant bullets, thousands more families destroyed, increased profits for drug dealers, increased childhood usage of drugs, and overcrowded prisons that cause rapists and child molesters to be released into the general population, ahead of schedule, to rape women and molest children again? The detachment from reality of socialists never ceases to amaze me.

6. OKAY, PEOPLE: NOW HE WANTS TO BAN CIGARETTES, TOO. There is no end to the fascism.

The government and its dependent-NGOs, agencies, etc., do not want marijuana legalized for reasons I've cited earlier: They exist to protect their bureaucracy, which is funded, in very large part, by the multinational drug companies that would be adversely affected by legalization of an easily home-grown plant. YOU ARE SHILLING FOR ILLEGITIMATE CORPORATE PROFITS AT THE COST OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND POVERTY, not to mention big government at the expense of individual liberty.

Your argument is for unrestrained government and central-planning fascism. It is entirely against the spirit on which our country was founded. Most sickeningly, it is against the freedom of sick and dying people to choose the medication that best suits their needs. Marijuana, if home-grown, is much cheaper than any other drug on the market -- but corporate pharmaceutical profits are more important to you than alleviating human suffering. I find that morally repugnant. As for recreational use, what part of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" don't you understand? Where in the Constitution is the government given the dictatorial powers you want it to wield against peaceful, nonviolent people because they make what you perceive to be the "wrong" choice? Answer: Nowhere.
Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JOEYMER21 6 years ago
JOEYMER21
HARRY ANSLINGER SAID WHEN HE BEGAN HIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST CANNABIS THAT THERE WERE 100,000 CANNABIS SMOKERS IN THE UNITED STATES . BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS OF YOUR DOLLARS LATER AND HOW MANY ARE THERE NOW ?

PROHABITION DOSE NOT WORK AND YOU ARE FAR BETTER OFF SMOKING A COUPLE OF JOINTS AT THE WEEKEND THAN DRINKING A FEW PINTS.
VOTE CON
Posted by Mangani 6 years ago
Mangani
I have challenged many in face to face debates regarding the use and effects of Marijuana and why it should be legalized. The debate goes on forever until I tell them I am a heavy user. It is often difficult for people who demonize drugs to understand the intricacies of the beauracracies of the US relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. I am a healthcare professional and I can honestly say that among healthcare professionals marijuana use is as common if not more common than alcohol and/or tobacco use. "Con's" arguments were much more persuasive and much more in accordance with actual science. "Pro" made some very good points, however many of them are rooted in myth.
Posted by clsmooth 6 years ago
clsmooth
Hey countrylover -- I'm from Adrian originally. I see you're from Jackson. You should join the Ron Paul group there.
Posted by countrylover 6 years ago
countrylover
there are alot of things that are harmfull or mor bad then good that are legal...why pinpoint weed out?...they mide as well legalize that too?....if peaple are entitled tosmoke tobacco...why not weed?......they say peaple should be able to do this or that cause it's "THERE choice"....well..time to come to the other side then....if its nobodys bussiness on abortion...then its nobody's business on weed....yes..you can go on and on about the effects of it...but again...there are stuff thats legal that i feel should be..and there defence was.."ITS MY CHOICE".....well then it's OUR choice to smoke weed then aint it?
Posted by clsmooth 6 years ago
clsmooth
I have a friend who I hadn't seen since high school. Ten years. I visited him and stayed over for the night. He was smoking marijuana literally all day long, which is his regular regimen. He is a political science student working on his master's degree. If he can handle it, why not let him?
Posted by Chuckles 6 years ago
Chuckles
A widely cited study from the '90s ( i can't remember exactly which year) saying marijuana is dangerous, etc. was only conducted on HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY users. That was those who used it at least once a day. That added up to a whopping 1% of all actual American marijuana users. just an interesting sidenote.
Posted by brittwaller 6 years ago
brittwaller
right on the money, clsmooth. once again.
Posted by lindsay 6 years ago
lindsay
they should be visible; i think i made an attempt to keep privacy for my name and address or something but i didn't intend for my views to be hidden, so i'll try to get them back up!
Posted by clsmooth 6 years ago
clsmooth
Lindsay - Why are your views not visible on your profile? Or is it just me that can't see them?
Posted by lindsay 6 years ago
lindsay
clsmooth,
well done. you made a great argument, and that's how i voted.
45 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by ockcatdaddy 1 year ago
ockcatdaddy
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Reasons for voting decision: vote bomb for pot yay=D
Vote Placed by cbass28 5 years ago
cbass28
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marin24
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Vote Placed by independent 6 years ago
independent
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Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by JOEYMER21 6 years ago
JOEYMER21
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Vote Placed by maxh 6 years ago
maxh
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Vote Placed by The_Silent_Consensus 6 years ago
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Mangani
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