The Instigator
lotus_flower
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Marijuana Should be Legalized in the United States of America.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,477 times Debate No: 18955
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)

 

lotus_flower

Pro

Marijuana should be legal in the U.S. I maintain that there is no reason for it to remain illegal, and that the government has severely over dramatized the effects of marijuana.

definitions:
marijuana
noun
�Drug smoked or ingested for euphoric effect, '.
"After smoking a bowl of that fine marijuana, they ate some brownies."

legalize
verb
�To make legal, to permit under law. Either by decriminalizing something that had been illegal or by specifically permitting.

Conditions:

4 rounds,
time to argue is 72 hrs.
voting period is 2 weeks
8,000 characters max.

definitions: Ninjawords.com
imabench

Con

I believe that Marijuana should remain illegal in the United States because I believe it does have many harmful effects. I also believe that the government does not over dramatize the effects, they only try to emphasize the dangers of smoking marijuana.

Pro may state their argument and good luck to ya :)
Debate Round No. 1
lotus_flower

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. First, I would like to apologize for my delayed response, but some things came up that hindered my time to argue.

Now, let's begin, shall we? I will argue that marijuana should be legal in the united states because:

(1.)Legal prohibition does not stop consumers from consuming marijuana, and it does not stop traffickers from producing and selling it. (2.) If used correctly, marijuana is a great alternative to many medicines. (3.) Marijuana is a lot safer than tobacco and alcohol.

My first point, prohibition does not stop users from consuming marijuana, but quite the contrary. Actually, prohibition makes purchasing marijuana for children a lot easier, because a dealer doesn't care if you are 12 or 22, as long as you have money. today, the United States consumes marijuana at a rate some three times that of Europe, although in most European countries, marijuana is legal. (Source: Hakim, Peter, "Rethinking US Drug Policy,")

For my second point, that If used correctly, marijuana is a great alternative to many medicines that may cause liver failure, overdose, and even death, I cite a dispensary in Denver. They are "...careful to avoid that stoner vibe..."
and they call "...marijuana 'medicine' and his customers are 'patients.'" these places are state ordained, and are noted to be a safer treatment to many diseases, and the people that they see are teachers, lawyers, doctors and retirees, who have afflictions like cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. They are state oriented medical users, and have the right to use it.

my last, (and probably most predominant point) is that Marijuana is a lot safer than tobacco and alcohol.
To argue this, please look at some statistics for me.
Each year in the United States, approximately 440,000 persons die of a cigarette smoking-attributable illness, resulting in 5.6 million years of potential life lost, $75 billion in direct medical costs, and $82 billion in lost productivity. Alcohol abuse kills some 75,000 Americans each year and shortens the lives of these people by an average of 30 years, a U.S. government study suggests. Excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States after tobacco use and poor eating and exercise habits. Now, what we are all waiting for: Hoe many deaths from marijuana? 0. Not a single case of death ever recorded in the United States that was caused by marijuana.
This concludes my arguments, again, I apologize for my delayed response.

http://www.gazette.com...

http://www.cdc.gov...

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

Hakim, Peter, "Rethinking US Drug Policy,"

also, I would like to link you to a youtube video, it is an interview with a medical marijuana patient. www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8_5Ebsjk8I
That is all. Thank you for your time! (:
imabench

Con

(Dont worry about the delayed response, no harm done :) )

Ok lets get to it then

1) "Prohibition does not stop consumers from consuming it." Prohibition of Marijuana does control consumption of it because it severely limits ACCESS to it. People who are addicted to Marijuana will go to extreme costs and pay even more to have access to the drug, but legalizing it would mean everyone would have constant access to it and then millions of more people would increase the number of those addicted to the drug and the side effects it causes.....

2) "If used correctly Marijuana can be an alternative to many medicines". Now let me state that this is very true but there are 2 problems.

The first is that it must be used correctly, If Marijuana were to be used for medical purposes it would have to be prescribed by a licensed doctor to only one individual who has a disease or ailment that Marijuana can alleviate. After that the prescription only can allow that single person access to a very limited amount of Marijuana so that it could improve his/her health without triggering an addiction. legalizing marijuana for all would cause many many people to abuse it and become addicted to it which would cause more health problems then it would solve since Marijuana only causes ailments to subside by causing a euphoria in the person using it.

The second is that this argument is a good argument for the legalization of MEDICAL Marijuana (which i do support) but this debate is about the legalization of Marijuana as a drug. Legalizing it as a drug would make it available to millions of Americans who would most likely abuse the drug or suffer side effects from using it.....

Marijuana is safer than tobacco and alcohol, this is true but your comparing it to two of the most harmful substances in the world. Marijuana is less dangerous than tobacco but Marijuana contains hundreds of chemicals that have been proven to be carcinogenic (cause cancer)
http://www.abovetheinfluence.com...

Marijuana also causes an enormous number of teenage addictions, in fact addictions to Marijuana are greater than addictions to all the other illegal narcotics COMBINED

The dangerous aspect about Marijuana is that it directly causes very few deaths compared to other substances (both legal and illegal) but it causes many many other problems that could lead directly to death

Marijuana plays a role in 15% of teenage car deaths,
1 in 6 teenage marijuana users become addicted,
Marijuana deteriorates memory, attention, and learning skills which can cause people still in school to flunk
People who have used the drug feel less physically and mentally healthy
It can worsen psychotic symptoms in people which may cause extreme paranoia

http://www.drugabuse.gov...
http://www.abovetheinfluence.com...
http://www.well.com...
http://www.teengrowth.com...

I agree that Marijuana is not as lethal (keyword lethal) as tobacco or alcohol, but i do believe that Marijuana should still remain illegal because it causes many harmful side effects that can harm people and play a factor (just a factor) in their deaths as well..... As of 2012 guess how many deaths in the US involved Marijuana,

almost 64,000 deaths and well over 300,000 serious injuries for 2010 ALONE.
roughly 370,000 deaths and 2.3 million serious injuries since 2001

http://drugwarfacts.org...

Marijuana is a very harmful drug and it should not be legalized as a marketable product
Debate Round No. 2
lotus_flower

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this argument, but it isn't as truthful as it may seem...
To begin with, I am going to evaluate his sources.
My opponent sites sources such as:
www.drugabuse.gov
www.abovetheinfluence.com
www.teengrowth.com
sites that OBVIOUSLY have a bias. this debate is about a subject which the government STRONGLY opposes, and so there really isn't a way that we can credibly site the government, and expect them to be completely honest. Yes, I did use government sources, but they just provide solid facts about yearly fatalities from legal substances, not substances that they stand solidly against. If we were debating the intelegence of African Americans when compared to caucasians, for example, we wouldn't trust a white supremacy site, now would we? In the same way, we cannot trust websites like www.abovetheinfluence.com, because that would be TOTALLY ridiculous! In the same sense, you cannot quote an organisation about something that they were designed to take a stance against! Now that that has been said, allow me to take apart this semi-truthful warped view of the so called "facts".

"Prohibition of Marijuana does control consumption of it because it severely limits ACCESS to it. People who are addicted to Marijuana will go to extreme costs and pay even more to have access to the drug, but legalizing it would mean everyone would have constant access to it and then millions of more pe0ple would increase the number of those addicted to the drug and the side effects it causes..... "

To begin, I do not see any proof that marijuana is addictive, at all! I have personally, (along with the majority of the people I know) have used marijuana for YEARS, and I have had to quit for a while (either for court, or a job interview, etc.) and have NEVER experienced physical withdrawal that an addict would feel. Yes, if you use marijuana every day like I have before, and then abruptly stopped, then you will see some differences, but that happens with everything, including soda. Does that stand to reason that we can become addicted to soda, and therefore will stop at NOTHING to get it? no, because that is ridiculous. Also, if a substance is that harmful to your body, and it is something that people wouldn't do normally, what makes you think that legalizing that substance would cause more people to do it? If heroine were to become legal tomorrow, I still would not use it. I do not need the government to save me from myself, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.
as far as it limiting access, that is a complete lie. Marijuana is generally in the top 10, if not the number one cash crop in pretty much every state in the union.
This excerpt was taken from abcnews.com:
"Contrasting government figures for traditional crops -- like corn and wheat -- against the study's projections for marijuana production, the report cites marijuana as the top cash crop in 12 states and among the top three cash crops in 30."
The study estimates that marijuana production, at a value of $35.8 billion, exceeds the combined value of corn ($23.3 billion) and wheat ($7.5 billion).
Now, how in any way is that limited?

"1 in 6 teenage marijuana users become addicted"

This is actually based on teenagers who are in rehab for marijuana. Now, the reason those teens are in rehab is because they are given two options by most judges: Do a CRAZY amount of time in jail, where you have no freedoms, or go to rehab, where you can usually still get to live at home, and still have a lot of the freedoms you wouldn't if you were in prison. Now, what would that teen choose?

"Marijuana deteriorates memory, attention, and learning skills"

cite one study that proves this.

"People who have used the drug feel less physically and mentally healthy"

actually, speaking from personal opinion, it actually helps me become more creative, and do things like write stories, ( or debate. :D ) and I have not had any negative effects that I can name. Things like poor diet can also make you feel this way, but we shouldn't go around trying to make Cheetos illegal, now should we?

"As of 2012 guess how many deaths in the US involved Marijuana"

now, if you will, please tell me where you got these statistics for a year that hasn't even happened yet?
Until you can, then please do not
cite whatever study THAT was.
now, I think that I have refuted my opponents arguments adequately. thank you for your time!
imabench

Con

I understand the Pro attacking my government sources since the government is against legalization of Marijuana.
But not all the sites I listed are controlled by the government, the only one that is government controlled is drugabuse .gov, the other 5 websites i gave are independent sources that just like the Pro's sources only state the facts regarding Marijuana use and its dangers.

Marijuana is a very addictive drug, it is not as addictive as many other substances but it still is addictive.
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
http://www.spiritualriver.com...
http://recoveryguy.hubpages.com...
http://alcoholism.about.com...
http://www.psychologytoday.com...

All these sources are independent of the government and show that while Marijuana does not cause a majority of users to become addicted, Marijuana CAN be addictive

"Also, if a substance is that harmful to your body, and it is something that people wouldn't do normally, what makes you think that legalizing that substance would cause more people to do it? If heroine were to become legal tomorrow, I still would not use it. I do not need the government to save me from myself, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself."

The reason that many people do not try it is because they do not have access to it or is too expensive for them to buy it from dealers. If like you said Heroin would become legal tomorrow, not everyone would immediately use it. How ever some people would use it because they now have access to it and may use it simply by urge or even from peer pressure. We dont need the government to take care of either of us because we are very smart people and know the harmful effects of Heroin, but not everyone does, and others do not care about the damage they could do to themselves.

"Marijuana is generally in the top 10, if not the number one cash crop in pretty much every state in the union."
You did not cite the source but it is true.

If you investigate further though you will see just exactly who is growing the Marijuana, it is not the states or the government. People grow Marijuana (and lots of it) and the reason why it is considered a cash crop in many states is because of one report.
http://www.drugscience.org...
One person (who did not work for the government) estimated the value of Marijuana and then multiplied that number by how much is grown to calculate the enormous sum. People have illegally grown Marijuana and because it is an illegal substance it has a high price, but it is grown simply to be sold to others which classifies it as a cash crop.

My point is, Marijuana is not being grown on wide open farms like cornfields in Iowa or Orange Groves in Florida and then sold to other countries for a price that is competitive to other nations exporting the same good. It is grown illegally indoors and in secret places like sheds with lights where people then sell it to other Americans for an ungodly high price because it is an illegal substance.

http://stopthedrugwar.org...
^ that source may appear biased, but it just provides facts you can see for yourself.

If you dont believe my argument consider this.

1 bushel = 30 to 60 lbs
Amount of corn grown in the US = 9 to 10 billion bushels
Amount of Marijuana grown (illegally) in the US = 1.5 million pounds were confiscated so estimating that only 10-20% of all grown Marijuana is found that would cause production to be between 7.5 to 15 million bushels

Bushels of corn = 9 to 10 BILLION
Bushels of Marijuana (guess) = 8 to 15 MILLION
Price of one bushel of Corn = $2 to $3
Price of one bushel of Marijuana = $70,000!!!!!!!! :O

http://www2.econ.iastate.edu...
http://www.druglibrary.org...
http://www.interstock.ru...
http://www.cnbc.com...

My point is, its not the states that grow all this weed, its illegal growers. The reason its the number one "cash crop" is because 1 bushel of weed is literally about 3000 times more valuable then 1 bushel of corn.

Tons of Marijuana is grown and the government is doing a rather crappy job of trying to limit access to it. But since it is illegal the government has been limiting access to it, even if its only 10 to 20%

You make an assumption that all teenagers in rehabilitation centers were caught, arrested, and then given an unbalanced choice by a judge to then be forced into rehab. That does happen but when you examine the teenage population (those who often go to rehab more than any other age group) it is often because their families have decided to put them in there and pay for it out of their own pockets. To assume that ALL teens are in rehab because they were ALL caught and were ALL given a choice of either rehab or jail is false.

Marijuana deteriorates memory, attention, and learning skills
http://psycnet.apa.org...
http://www.springerlink.com...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://bubl.ac.uk...

All are independent studies carried out bu universities and doctors with no government interference

There is a difference in being emotionally creative and emotionally healthy.
I was referring to how Marijuana could cause depression and feel physically weaker and lazier
http://www.sciencedirect.com...
http://www.jstor.org...
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org...

As for the 2012 study, relax I made an honest mistake, it should have been 2009,
http://drugwarfacts.org...

I have provided many independent sources showing the dangerous side effects of Marijuana, and have only used statistics from what the Pro claims are questionable sites to show that the US should not legalize Marijuana
Debate Round No. 3
lotus_flower

Pro

"Marijuana is a very addictive drug; it is not as addictive as many other substances but it still is addictive."

Let us quote some of my opponent's sources, shall we?

"The majority of pot smokers do not develop a marijuana addiction, but some smokers do develop all the symptoms of an actual addiction after chronic marijuana use." (http://alcoholism.about.com...)

"Only about 9% will have a serious addiction" (http://www.psychologytoday.com...)

http://www.spiritualriver.com... says that out of all of the marijuana users, only 4% become addicted.

As far as recoveryguy.hubpages.com goes, for some reason, I cannot access the server, and therefore am not able to quote it.

"The reason that many people do not try it is because they do not have access to it or is too expensive for them to buy it from dealers."
Obviously, my opponent does not know enough about marijuana to even argue this point. For only 10 dollars, you can purchase something known as a "dime bag", and it will usually have about 7 grams of marijuana in it. This will usually last someone with a medium to high tolerance for marijuana (me) about 3 or 4 days.
In fact, I have known several dealers who will sell marijuana cigarettes (Joints) for only 3 dollars. They are also, at least from personal experience, rather easy to come by. Maybe you aren't in the right places? Marijuana is actually more liberally dispensed, because it is not regulated.

"...but not everyone does, and others do not care about the damage they could do to themselves..." so are you implying that the government has to tell certain people how to live? If I want to kill myself, then I should have that right completely.

"If you investigate further though you will see just exactly who is growing the Marijuana, it is not the states or the government... Tons of Marijuana is grown and the government is doing a rather crappy job of trying to limit access to it..."

Limit it?! They are growing it! Let me direct you to a story that was recently on MSN, and also CBS news.
"Americans get medical pot from the feds"
http://www.cbsnews.com...

As far as the marijuana being a cash crop thing, I am willing to let that go, it isn't a focal point to the debate, any way.

"You make an assumption that all teenagers in rehabilitation centers were caught, arrested, and then given an unbalanced choice by a judge to then be forced into rehab..."
I never said all, but it is the VAST majority.

"...Marijuana could cause depression and feel physically weaker and lazier..."
It is odd that you would name depression...

"Marijuana Treats Depression
Patients have, in numerous surveys and interviews, reported anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects of cannabis.
Patients who use cannabis to "relax" may be treating the anxiousness sometimes associated with depression. Cannabis aids the insomnia sometimes present in depression and can improve appetite. Better pain control with cannabis can reduce chronic pain related depression." http://www.opposingviews.com...

As far as lethargy goes, it is true that marijuana can cause that. But then again, so does:
Alcohol, Hydrocodone, codeine, cough syrup, tobacco, Adderall, Ritalin, Paxil, and many more prescription drugs, but those are perfectly legal, and two are legal for recreational use.

"As for the 2012 study, relax I made an honest mistake, it should have been 2009..."
Well, then, let's quote that 2009 study, shall we?
Cause of death1 Number

All causes 2,436,652

Cardiovascular diseases 779,367
Malignant neoplasms 568,668
Drug induced2 37,485
Suicide 36,547
Motor vehicle accidents 36,284
Septicemia (infections) 35,587
by Firearms 31,224
Accidental poisoning 30,504
Alcohol induced 23,199
Homicide 16,591
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 9,424
Viral hepatitis 7,652
Cannabis (Marijuana) 0

Bottom line is, there are plenty of legal substances, (Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, to name a few.) that are MUCH more dangerous, and have a MUCH higher addiction rate than marijuana, but they remain legal. Plenty of functioning members of society use or have used marijuana for medical or recreational reasons (Steve Jobs, The majority of our presidents, 42% of the American people, http://www.time.com...) and the country hasn't condensed and formed a black hole. 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, (http://www.gallup.com...) and I completely agree. With the facts I have laid out in this debate, I feel like you should too. Thank you for your time! (:
imabench

Con

Marijuana is addictive even if it only causes addiction in a small proportion of people. The Pro said that Marijuana is not addictive whatsoever, I proved him wrong.

Im not implying the government has to tell people how to live, dont be stupid. I am saying how some people really dont give a dam about what they do to their bodies and would thus do harm to themselves if drugs such as heroin or marijuana were legalized.

Number of Americans who get medical pot from the government = 4, just 4
http://www.cbsnews.com...

Marijuana can treat depression for those who have it but it can also cause depression in those who dont have it, see my previous sources

Steve Jobs wasnt a pot head, he smoked it a few times his first semester in college and then never did it again so dont glorify him as an example for how Pot doesnt do harm to society

The Pro has conceded that Marijuana is addictive and has many dangerous side effects, and the Pro has conceded that there are over 400 agents in Marijuana that cause cancer. Pro has not offered rebuttels to the negative side effects that Marijuana use has been proven to cause or how millions of teenagers do end up in rehabilitation centers with marijuana addiction. His entire debate on why Marijuana should be legal is because it is safer than Tobacco and Alcohol, substances which kill 8.5 million a year combined.....

Just because something isnt as harmful as the two most dangerous substances on Earth does not mean it should be legalized, Marijuana is a drug and should not be legalized.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
"400 carcinogens, 405 MORE CHANCE OF SCHIZOPHRENIA."
and what bullsh1t source did you get this from, DARE?
Posted by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
*I never said it was dangerous.
also, "Steve Jobs wasnt a pot head" I never said he was, but he claimed that he used it pretty often.
Posted by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
@TCS13 YES YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG! Please, learn punctuation.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
lol at below comment
Posted by TCS13 5 years ago
TCS13
"Obviously, my opponent does not know enough about marijuana to even argue this point. For only 10 dollars, you can purchase something known as a "dime bag", and it will usually have about 7 grams of marijuana in it." ...... Seriously ? Obviously you dont know about marijuana a "dime bag" is not 7 grams lol? And if that lasts you only 3 days then your obiviously addicted usually a dime bag is 10$( DIME ? ) and its either a gram of middies or a .10(DIME) of Dank. ALSO 3 $ for a joint holy sh*t unless your mom sells you weed or you live in mexico they defintally arent 3 $ a decent joint usually uses almost a gram........... * NOW I MIGHT BE COMPLETELY WRONG BUT ONLY IF YOUR IN A DRUG CARTEL.
Posted by polticialwiz 5 years ago
polticialwiz
Look, Pro thinks like every other typical teenager does about marijuana. That is why Con definitly deserves to win and will recieve my vote
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
that 5 needs to be a %
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
um... medical benififts lol. 400 carcinogens, 405 MORE CHANCE OF SCHIZOPHRENIA. AND CANNIBIS YAY SO HEALTHY! dARN CAOS LOCK die!
Posted by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
I just noticed that I defined that marijuana is °Drug smoked or ingested for euphoric effect, '
but in this debate, we recognised it's medical benifits, as well. I appologize for any misunderstanding.
Posted by lotus_flower 5 years ago
lotus_flower
I know, right? haha
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by GWindeknecht1 5 years ago
GWindeknecht1
lotus_flowerimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros arguments were stronger I felt, but Con had more pieces of evidence.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
lotus_flowerimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with political wiz. CON had more evidence and logic behind his argument.
Vote Placed by polticialwiz 5 years ago
polticialwiz
lotus_flowerimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con presents more evidence than Pro