The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points
The Contender
Mirza
Con (against)
Losing
33 Points

Marijuana has more medical benefits than coffee.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 20 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,544 times Debate No: 13213
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (33)
Votes (20)

 

Danielle

Pro

Many thanks to my opponent in advance for accepting this debate -- we've been trying to get around to it for months :)

I think the terms of the resolution are pretty clear, but my opponent may make any notes or clarifications he wishes in the first round. The debate will start with my opening arguments in R2. We will each have 60 minutes to post a round (by my opponent's request) and R2 will be used strictly for our opening arguments. Rebuttals will begin in R3 and the debate will conclude in R4.

Thanks again, Mirza, and I look forward to a very interesting and informative debate!
Mirza

Con

I thank my opponent, theLwerd, for challenging me to this debate. It has almost been a year since I debated her formally, and am glad that I have the opportunity to do so once more.

The resolution is fine and so are the rest of the rules. I hope both we debaters and you readers get well-informed. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

Without really knowing how else to start this discussion, I suppose I can simply list some of the medical benefits marijuana has been proven to achieve.

[[ Known Benefits of Medical Marijuana ]]

* Lisa M. Eubanks, PhD, Staff Scientist at the Scripps Research Institute and the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology notes, "THC and its analogues may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease [by] simultaneously treating both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease" [1]

* The Journal of Neuroimmunology writes, "Cannabinoids can modulate both the function and secretion of cytokines [regulatory proteins] from immune cells. Therefore, cannabinoids may be considered for treatment of inflammatory disease" [2].

* Essentially I can go on like this extensively, providing source after source, as above, proving that marijuana has been known to help people with asthma (ironically enough), Chron's disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer, HIV, hepatitis C, migraines, nausea, multiple sclerosis, tourettes, sleeping disorders and a slew of psychological conditions and personality disorders (such as aiding in depression, anxiety, etc.).

Of course no medicine is universal. For instance penicillin is one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the 20th century, yet it is not equally effective on all people, and some are in fact allergic to it. However just because not everyone responds to the drug the same way does not negate any of the known benefits penicillin has been proven to have. The same concept applies to marijuana. Simply citing cases where marijuana hasn't worked does not negate all of the cases in which it's proven that it has. The main component in marijuana, THC, has an undeniable effect on the brain; for instance THC has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure which is why it aids those with glaucoma.

Again just because not everyone experiences or utilizes the same benefits from marijuana doesn't negate the role that marijuana does play (medically beneficially) for some or most others. Additionally, while some people have the capacity to become mentally addicted to marijuana, that too does not negate any of its positive effects.

[[ Harms and Risks of Marijuana vs. Coffee ]]

For one thing, marijuana is barely physically addictive [3] while coffee is known to be physically addictive [4]. In most cases, physical addiction is almost always harder to overcome than mental ones, because physical dependence leads to tolerance, and tolerance leads to an inescapable, painful physical withdrawal [5]. Additionally, it only takes a small amount of coffee to start the physical addiction. Consuming as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine per day (about a half cup of coffee) can result in a physical dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms -- the hallmark of physically addictive products -- if discontinued [6]. In other words, caffeine - the most widespread drug addiction in America - is much easier to get hooked on than marijuana. It's also far easier and cheaper to fuel that addiction.

Nevertheless, the gist of this argument will be that most of the harms associated with marijuana intake are those likened to smokers in general, including problems with the lungs, etc. Of course this can be avoided by either smoking marijuana through a vaporizer, or consuming it in baked goods (ingestion) making these problems moot. Also, I've already explained that even if marijuana were the most harmful drug in the world (which it's not; in fact far from it), it doesn't take away from the number and value of benefits of marijuana vs. the number and value of benefits from coffee.

I must see what my opponent presents in favor of coffee having more medical benefits before I can continue, so I'll turn this debate back over to him for his opening round. Thanks again, Mirza, and good luck.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://www.drugpolicy.org...
[4] http://www.naturalnews.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://www.overcaffeinated.org...
Mirza

Con

Thank you very much.

I can tell you that my body is filled with coffee right now because I have not drunk it for a while. I feel very good and am able to debate with full energy. I must ask, if my opponent smoked a joint, would she be able to sit on her chair and write a response to my argument right now? I think not. Therefore, coffee is more beneficial for debates, and debates can be healthy for the mind.

In this round, I will present my arguments in favor of coffee. I will write about the many health benefits of coffee, which, overall, outweigh those of marijuana.

-- Content --

• 1. Clarification of studies on coffee
• 2. List and descriptions of health benefits of coffee
o Anti-bacterial effects
o Improving mind/athletic performance
o Reduces risk of dementia and Alzheimer's
o Works as antioxidant - and is #1
o Reduces depression
o Reduces risk of Parkinson's
o Reduces risk of diabetes

-- Arguments --

• 1. Clarification of studies on coffee

Most people nowadays have a very wrong view of coffee. Old opinions based on weak studies (mostly pre-1990's) said that coffee is harmful, especially because it allegedly increases the risk of a heart attack. Even studies from Harvard University used to say that coffee is harmful. However, the researchers from Harvard countered their own studies of coffee and later claimed that coffee is, in fact, beneficial to the health, rather than harmful. Luckily, every single of the old and weak studies on coffee ha been debunked, either by the researchers themselves (as with the case of Harvard researchers), or other well-recognized researchers/scientists. Thousands of studies on coffee nowadays conclude that the health benefits of coffee are far greater than the health risks, which are few when consuming coffee in moderation or when someone intolerant of caffeine consumes it. I will hopefully make it evident that coffee is very healthy and far more healthy than marijuana.

• 2. List and descriptions of health benefits of coffee
o Anti-bacterial effects

It can be hard to believe that coffee serves an anti-bacterial effect, but the fact that it does is undeniable. Studies from e.g. Italy and also Brazil[1] have proved that coffee can fight bacteria in a very successful way. As can be read on the first reference (site), caffeine itself is one of the compounds in coffee that help in fighting bacteria (which is a good fact against my opponent's attack on caffeine). It also mentions that coffee fights salmonella, and also "Legionella pneumophila"[2]. This is very good reason to drink coffee.

o Improving mind/athletic performance

It is well-known that coffee contains the substance called caffeine, which works as a psychoactive drug, although not the same way as alcohol or marijuana. It boosts the activity of the brain rather than making it sort of blurred or dizzy.

With help of caffeine and antioxidants, coffee "activates" the brain functions and boosts one's mental energy. If someone does not get enough sleep but needs to work and enjoy athletic activities, a few cups of coffee once in a while will help a lot. I agree that coffee will not boost the mind for 24 hours, but drinking e.g. cup of coffee every two hours until one is done with daily activities will surely help a lot.

o Reduces risk of dementia and Alzheimer's

Many studies have shown that consumption of coffee reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.[3][4][5] Dementia causes problems to the mind, including the memory. One's life may be drastically changed if one suffers from dementia. Alzheimer's has a similar effect. Both diseases are grave and should definitely be treated a lot. However, the good news is that an occasional drink, namely coffee, can help reducing or curing both. We cannot conclude 100% yet, but that is normal with studies. We can safely say that it only gets better the more we find out about coffee. Therefore, this is another good reason for consuming coffee, and another huge health benefit.

o Works as antioxidant - and is #1

Coffee also works as an antioxidant, and some researchers call it the number #1 daily antioxidant we have in our daily lives.[6][7] Antioxidants are very beneficial to the health. They can, for instance, help preventing certain forms of cancer, and that is nothing but good. It means that coffee can indeed serve the good effect of cancer-prevention. See source eight please.

o Reduces depression

Depression can be a very bad thing for our lives. We may feel regret, hopelessness, and other such things. However, studies have shown that coffee can actually reduce the level of depression, or maybe even remove it.[9] It is a simple drink, a tasty one too, and drinking it to reduce depression is easy and a wise choice, too.

o Reduces risk of Parkinson's

Parkinson's disease is also very bad. The famous boxer Muhammad Ali suffers from it, unfortunately, and we can clearly see how such a disease affects a person, even one as strong as the person I mentioned. However, coffee can help reducing the risk of this disease. Studies have shown a link between the reduction of risk of Parkinson's diseae and consumption of coffee.[10] Due to shortage of time, I ask the readers to read more about this disease and realize at coffee is indeed good to drink to avoid suffering from such a disease.[11]

o Reduces risk of diabetes

I will, for this round, talk about this to end the round with. Coffee has been proven to reduce risk of diabetes, which is also very positive. See source #12 please.

I thank my dear opponent.

-- References --

[1]http://www.ncausa.org...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]http://longevity.about.com...
[4]http://www.straightfromthedoc.com...
[5]http://www.neatorama.com...
[6]http://www.physorg.com...
[7]http://www.suite101.com...
[8]http://cancer.about.com...
[9]http://www.ultimate-coffees-info.com...
[10]http://www.suite101.com...
[11]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[12]http://www.reuters.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

My opponent begins, "I must ask, if my opponent smoked a joint, would she be able to sit on her chair and write a response to my argument right now? I think not. Therefore, coffee is more beneficial for debates, and debates can be healthy for the mind." In all perfect honesty, I have been high while writing nearly 90% of all the debates I have ever written on DDO. I've also gone to school and work high, and my performance has not been significantly hindered. Reading high actually helps me concentrate better. In fact, I could PROVE that I can debate perfectly well while high by recording a video of me smoking and then talking or recording me write anything of an intellectual nature. That actually sounds like a good idea and I will probably do that in the very near future for my opponent's viewing pleasure lol (and of course as proof that marijuana does NOT impact people in the way most assume, or at least not everyone).

Nevertheless, my opponent moves on to discuss that while coffee was once considered harmful, scientists have withdrawn their preconceived notions to conclude that coffee is in fact beneficial to one's health. While it's true that coffee, like other drugs, indeed have their benefits, they also have their harms. Just like with marijuana, we cannot negate the benefits of coffee simply because of the harms. Indeed this debate isn't about the harms of each drug but their benefits.

However, I'd like to point out for clarity that it's simply not true that coffee is not harmful. Coffee dehydrates the body, negatively taxes the adrenal glands, and contains caffeo-tannic acid: a chemical that irritates astringent to the cells lining the stomach and intestines, and also destroys the pepsin in the gastric (stomach) juice needed to digest protein [1]. Caffeine from coffee increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, contributes to heart disease (and this has not been disproven, by the way, as Con suggests), increases your cholesterol and homocysteine, linked to coronary vasospasms, and increases levels of anxiety, irritability, muscular tension, pain, indigestion, insomnia, ages the skin and kidneys, and leads decreased immunity [2]. I could continue on with the detriments of coffee on the body because there are MANY more, but again, it's not too pertinent to our actual discussion.

Let's take a look at the actual benefits of coffee my opponent has described:

1. Anti-bacterial effects

Agreed, though this isn't significantly helpful considering yogurt and a bunch of other readily available home remedies produce the same benefits. Moreover, because of the harm it can have on certain parts of the party, coffee can actually make you less immune to certain things.

2. Improving the mind and/or athletic performance

I have a huge problem with this contention. In his book Caffeine Blues, author Stephen Cherniske notes that when you consume caffeine, the drug begins its effects by initiating uncontrolled neuron firing in your brain. This excess neuron activity triggers your pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin. He writes, "Imagine you lived in a country that was always under threat of attack. No matter where you went, there was a perpetual state of alert. Not only that, but your defenses were constantly being depleted and weakened. Does that sound stressful? Caffeine produces the same effect on your body, like fighting a war on multiple fronts at the same time." Cherniske calls your body's constant state of alert "caffeinism," which is characterized by fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbance, irritability and depression [3].

Here my opponent also writes, "drinking e.g. cup of coffee every two hours until one is done with daily activities will surely help a lot." This is entirely false and in fact why our country's caffeine addiction is so harmful and rampant! Drinking this much coffee will positively have more harmful effects than good! A cup of coffee every few hours is FAR too much caffeine and will almost certainly lead to the detriments mentioned above. I already explained how just *half a cup a DAY* leads to physical dependence on caffeine, ignoring all of the other problems intake can lead to. For now I'll just hope my opponent does some research before posting in the next round about why his suggested intake is far too much, and also note that because caffeine can only stimulate for a very short amount of time, it makes the benefits in this way nearly obsolete. Plus, none of this has much to do with *medical* benefits, and again the difference in athletic performance after drinking caffeine is actually WORSE than if you hadn't had caffeine, making this a pretty moot point.

3. Reduces risk of dementia and Alzheimer's

Hmm. Okay, sure, let's go with that.

4. Works as an antioxidant

True.

5. Reduces depression

I object.

The causes of depression are abuse, ingesting certain medications, conflict, genetics, death/loss, major events, serious illnesses, substance abuse and biology. For instance "the hippocampus, a small part of the brain that is vital to the storage of memories, appears to be smaller in people with a history of depression than in those who've never been depressed. A smaller hippocampus has fewer serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a calming brain chemical known as a neurotransmitter that allows communication between nerves in the brain and the body. It's also thought that the neurotransmitter norepinephrine may be involved in depression" [4].

As you can see, drinking coffee can not significantly effect or impact *any* of those contributing factors to depression.

Second, Con's source talks about depression only as it's pertinent to suicide, as in those who drink coffee are less likely to want to commit suicide, etc. His own source even notes, "The study stated that it could be that THE COFFEE ITSELF HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH IT, but that people who drink coffee share other characteristics that make them less likely to commit suicide."

6. Reduces risk of Parkinson's

In the last round, Con's very own source (#6) says - "Besides keeping you alert and awake, coffee has been linked to an increasing number of potential health benefits, including protection against liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease, according to some recently published studies." Right here we can see that the effect coffee has on Parkinson's is still widely debated and disputed.

7. Reduces risk of diabetes

On the contrary, there is a plethora of evidence that suggests caffeine is bad for those with diabetes. Duke University researcher James D. Lane, PhD, and colleagues put continuous blood-sugar monitors on 10 people with type 2 diabetes. All were regular coffee drinkers averaging four cups a day, but they stopped drinking coffee during the experiment. The result: On the days the patients took caffeine, their blood-sugar levels were 8% higher. And after every meal -- including dinner -- their blood sugar spiked higher than it did on the day they had no caffeine.

Dr. Lane notes, "These are clinically significant blood-sugar elevations due to caffeine... [It] increases blood glucose by as much as oral diabetes medications decrease it... It seems the detrimental effects of caffeine are as bad as the beneficial effects of oral diabetes drugs are good... For people with diabetes, drinking coffee may make it harder for them to control their glucose" [5].

Out of characters -- In my final round, I will explain why the medical benefits of marijuana are greater in number and value.

[1] http://ezinearticles.com...
[2] http://ezinearticles.com...
[3] http://www.naturalnews.com...
[4] http://www.webmd.com...
[5] http://diabetes.webmd.com...
Mirza

Con

To begin with, my opponent stated that she is able to debate even better while being high. While I agree that it is possible, many people "consume" is in such high amounts that they are rather dazed than energetic. I cannot tell how much my opponent smokes, and she cannot give ultimate evidence, which will not prove any side fully right. However, one of the negative effects of marijuana is short-term memory loss. In fact, I can demonstrate this easily. On many occasions, my opponent has contradicted herself in a very short span of time. This has happened more than to any other member I have seen post on the forums.

Here is an example of a contradiction in the exact same post of hers, posted no longer than a few days ago:

"In fact, the whole purpose of this thread was for you to prove that misunderstanding holy books IS a problem."

"The whole purpose of this thread was for you to point out that many people did not understand Islam."[1]

Clear difference in "whole purpose" and clear contradiction. Since my opponent implies hat she is high too many times, I presume she was high here, too, or not long before she wrote it. I can come with many other examples, but it does not matter. Therefore, my claim stands strong. But it was also a humorous claim, so we should move to the more important points.

-- Rebuttals --

"While it's true that coffee, like other drugs, indeed have their benefits, they also have their harms. Just like with marijuana, we cannot negate the benefits of coffee simply because of the harms. Indeed this debate isn't about the harms of each drug but their benefits."

Indeed, but if the harms outweighs the benefits, we need to mention it. In fact, my argument is stronger because my opponent can mention one study proving a good side of marijuana, and I can mention another site/source proving the contrary, so what will make any of our claims more true? Namely if the researchers themselves prove their own studies wrong with new, more authentic claims. As a matter of fact, I have mentioned Harvard researchers debunking their own studies on coffee and coming with new, positive studies that debunk their old, so that makes my argument more credible. Unless she explains why Dr.--- or Scientist --- has more valid studies than Dr.--- etc. that I mention, her argument is not very strong.

"However, I'd like to point out for clarity that it's simply not true that coffee is not harmful."

I never said that it is not harmful. Everything can be harmful when exaggerated. I argue for moderate consumption of coffee, which has been proven with thousands of studies to be much more healthy than harmful.

Moving on, my opponent said that coffee dehydrates the body. This is absolutely not true. Professor Lawrence E. Armstrong has debunked this theory.[2] It is not true that it dehydrates the body. Moreover, coffee can have negative effects on the adrenal glands, but that is with very high consumptions, which is not needed to drink coffee for health benefits. A few cups once in a while is not bad. Moreover, regarding the bad effects on the digestive system and protein, this theory has also been debunked. It was (and still is by some) that coffee has negative effects on the digestive system. However, new studies show the exact opposite: namely that coffee is good for the digestive system, and sometimes even recommended by doctors.[3]

Moving on, while coffee may increase heart rate temporarily, so can sex, and sex is indeed healthy for humankind. Does it make the consumption of coffee negative? Absolutely not. Neither does it increase blood pressure if consumed in moderate amounts.[4] This is another old and false theory. Furthermore, my opponent stated that it has not been disproved that coffee contributes to heart disease. This is extremely false. I can show tons of studies debunking that theory.[5][6][7] Moreover, my opponent mentions a few other "risks" of coffee consumption. I do not have the character space to debunk all of it in very detailed ways, so I will address a few with other sources. Aging the skin is not caused by coffee. My opponent agreed that coffee works as an antioxidant, so why is she saying that it ages the skin? It is illogical.[8] Studies show that coffee actually works as anti-aging, not the opposite. Also, does coffee cause pain? No, it does not. New studies debunk that theory, too.[9] Moreover, coffee in moderate amounts does not cause anxiety, but 'may' increase it if one already suffers from it. However, psychologists say that consumption of coffee/caffeine when feeling anxiety can actually help overcoming it.[10] As for insomnia, this is not caused by coffee. Caffeine works as a psychoactive drug, but if one consumes it several hours before sleep and in moderate amounts, he will definitely not suffer from insomnia.[11]

Also, how can coffee decrease immunity when it has so many health benefits, including disease preventions? Even my opponent agrees with many of my claims, so how can she make this claim? It is a weak argument. See: [12]

1. Just because there are other anti-bacterial products, it means that coffee is not significant helpful? Why so, considering 80% of Americans drink it daily and 500 billion cups are consumed annually worldwide?And it does not lead to a worsened immune system.

2. My opponent argues that she has a problem with coffee being beneficial to mind/athletic performance, especially because only half a cup of coffee per day makes one addicted to caffeine. Who said that caffeine is bad? I say it is not. It is when exaggerated. However, she has no evidence that coffee is good with many cups a day. I have proven that several cups are actually beneficial.

No more time or much space, so I will continue with rebuttals in the next round.

-- References --

[1]http://www.debate.org...
[2]http://www.divinecaroline.com...
[3]http://www.healthyfellow.com...
[4]http://www.ineedcoffee.com...
[5]http://www.medicinenet.com...
[6]http://health.learninginfo.org...
[7]http://www.sciencenews.org...
[8]http://beyondjane.com...
[9]http://www.suite101.com...
[10]http://www.medicinenet.com...
[11]http://www.allbusiness.com...
[12]http://www.greenherbalremedies.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Danielle

Pro

I'd like to begin by noting that the audience should ignore the ad hominem attacks at the beginning of my opponent's round. Not only are his claims irrelevant, but also unwarranted. Even his example is flawed; the two statements he gave are allegedly contradictory but upon closer examination are not.

1) "In fact, the whole purpose of this thread was for you to prove that misunderstanding holy books IS a problem."

2) "The whole purpose of this thread was for you to point out that many people did not understand Islam."

We can see that those 2 statements essentially say the same thing: that my opponent created a thread to discuss the misunderstanding of Islam, as detailed in the holy books - i.e. misunderstanding the holy book (Qur'an) ---> misunderstanding Islam. These 2 sentences are far more synonymous than contradictory. This is a flawed, irrelevant example meant to depict my character and my ability to make an intelligent argument. In other words, it's bad conduct. For some reason when I insult people it's mean-spirited, but when other people insult me it's perfectly acceptable as a 'joke.' Con sadly has to resort to insulting my intelligence and behavior in order to make his argument appear stronger (but so far this attempt is failing miserably).

Anyway, now that I've wasted 2,000 characters and 1/5 of the time I have to write defending myself, let's move on to the contentions that are actually pertinent. Con begins by saying that if the harms of something outweigh the benefits, it negates the medical benefits to some degree. If we apply this reasoning to coffee and marijuana, you'll see that this works far more in my favor than Con's. For instance, the only real benefits Con cited and proved are that coffee contains antioxidants and things that fight bacteria. Obviously the harms I detailed and described in the last round far outweigh any of these minor positive effects.

In terms of marijuana, I've already explained that the harms of marijuana are easily avoided by not smoking marijuana but rather ingesting it in another form, or smoking it through a vaporizer. In that way, nearly ALL harm from marijuana is eliminated making it essentially harmless, yet the benefits are still there. In that way, we can see that coffee is in fact more harmful. The ONLY harms of marijuana Con has offered thus far are harms from smoking (which I've negated), and short-term memory loss. Of course just as Con points out that problems with caffeine usually result from an overexposure to it, the same exact thing can be said of marijuana. Short term memory loss has only been reported with CHRONIC (no pun intended) use; it's not prevalent in those who don't over-do it [1].

Next, Con says, " In fact, my argument is stronger because my opponent can mention one study proving a good side of marijuana, and I can mention another site/source proving the contrary, so what will make any of our claims more true?" Not only does this not in any way, shape, or form prove that Con's arguments are "stronger," but it effectively negates Con's entire focus of the debate. If he's arguing that medical sources are either irrelevant or non-credible due to contrary medical sources, then he has effectively negated every single one of his contentions in coffee's favor as backed up by scientists. Indeed just as Con listed sources from scientists that said coffee does not cause dehydration or digestive system, I can simply list sources from other doctors saying the exact opposite [2, 3, 4, 5]. There are of course sources disproving nearly everything Con says; does that mean we shouldn't accept his benefits?

Ultimately Con did not respond to much of what I said at all in the last round; he simply lists sources of things, and just now I listed sources of more things negating Con's sources. This will seemingly not get us anywhere. To clarify on his final point of R3, just because coffee includes antioxidants, and antioxidants are known to reduce the signs of aging, does not mean that other elements or factors in regard to coffee consumption cannot speed up the aging process. Regardless, in R2 I believe the aging I referred to was more aging of the internal body parts but I digress (and I don't have time time to look back and check because of the stringent time limits).

The best I can do at this juncture is explain, in short, why marijuana has more medical benefits than coffee. Both drugs are revered as equally harmful if abused [6] though my opponent has failed to respond to the fact that caffeine is more physically addictive, thus produces a much harsher withdrawal. In that case, only the benefits are relevant, but Con has effectively made it so that none of our sources proving benefits are useful. Considering there is nothing else we have to go on, I'd like to again look at the nature of the benefits in addition to the number of benefits each of us has described. So far Con has given a handful, many of which include benefits that are either (a) minor or (b) nowhere near exclusive to coffee. However marijuana's benefits can help those who have the most dire of health problems either alleviate pain or all-together recover!

I've already mentioned that marijuana aids in (1) Alzheimers, (2) arthritis, (3) Chron's disease, (4) epilepsy, (5) glaucoma, (6) cancer, (7) HIV, (8) hepatitis C, (9) migraines, (10) nausea, (11) multiple sclerosis, (12) tourettes, (13) sleeping disorders and a slew of (14) psychological conditions and personality disorders for which there are many. This was all in my opening round meaning I've already listed double of the benefits as my opponent, and going into the last round he cannot give any more considering that would be abusive as I have no opportunity to respond. Of course this is fair considering there are even more things marijuana can help (i.e. anorexia, autism, PTSD, stress, etc.) yet I didn't have the time or space to get into ALL of them, so I digress.

Nevertheless, again we can see that the benefits Con described while indeed helpful are not really life saving or compelling. On the other hand, marijuana can literally save lives. In cases where marijuana is needed to induce appetite, without it a patient may starve to death or not get the nutrients they need. From a mental standpoint, one could go crazy from aspects of PTSD yet marijuana can alleviate some of that stress. The impact marijuana has on those who benefit are far greater than the benefits that merely help one's skin look younger (which Con is so proud of).

Because Con spent the last round focused solely on harms, I can only look to R2 to re-cap the benefits he's provided. Looking back on notes of helping with depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimers, we see that marijuana has those same positive effects (if not greater). Con points out increased athleticism or mental performance from caffeine, though the same can (and has been proven) regarding pot as it has been scientifically proven that marijuana stimulates alpha-waves in the brain increasing performance in many areas (many related to creativity, etc.).

Anyway, I have 1 minute to post this, so that's all I've got. In conclusion, both substances can be harmful if abused, though the effects of marijuana can largely be avoided whereas the harms from coffee can not. Furthermore, if we consider that use in moderation is key, the harms of marijuana greatly diminish even moreso than coffee. And finally, most presented benefits of caffeine Con gave us are also benefits of marijuana. The positive impact of marijuana is greater in value and necessity to helping one's ailments than coffee. Coffee may keep people healthy, but marijuana provides some serious solutions to many medical issues.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] http://tinyurl.com...
Mirza

Con

-- Continuation of rebuttals --

2. Elaboration

Is caffeine bad? It was previously believed that caffeine was, in fact, very bad for one's health. However, there is no doubt that most modern studies and far more advanced ones show far more positive sides of caffeine than ever before, specifically when consumed in moderate amounts. Caffeine has been proven to increase the performance of the mind (hereby body, too) when consumed in moderate amounts. Most modern studies will do nothing but prove that right.[1] The point is that since it is a psychoactive drug, it is natural that exaggerating will lead to e.g. headache. The same will happen with marijuana, and even worse than just a headache. Furthermore, my opponent said that "none of this has much to do with *medical* benefits." This is false. Assume that you are a P.E. teacher, but suffer from fatigue. It would be extremely beneficial with a few cups of coffee because it has been proven that coffee intake makes you more alert and gives an energy boost. That is why many energy drinks have caffeine (but too much, e.g. 7:1 ratio compared to a cup of coffee). Also, those who suffer from fatigue in general would feel medical benefits because they get a boost of energy, both mentally and physically.

Furthermore, when it comes to insomnia, people who sleep for a short time because they sleep late and have to wake up early, it is also a great medical benefit for them to consume coffee. Moreover, "if," as my opponent implied, coffee makes you exhausted, then it cannot possibly lead to insomnia as she falsely stated because your mind and body will both desire rest. Therefore, it helps people with insomnia and cannot cause insomnia.

3. My opponent objects to the fact that coffee reduces depression.

"The causes of depression are abuse, ingesting certain medications, conflict, genetics, death/loss, major events, serious illnesses, substance abuse and biology." And "As you can see, drinking coffee can not significantly effect or impact *any* of those contributing factors to depression."

This is pretty much daft. When did I claim that coffee "prevented" depression? I did not. I claimed that it helps "reducing" depression, which is correct. It can also help removing a great deal of depression that one suffers from, by eliminating the strongest effects of it.

My source: "The study stated that it could be that THE COFFEE ITSELF HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH IT"

Correct, it "could be." There are thousands of scientific theories that are not fully proven at all. It is not 100% proven that coffee reduces depression, but more and more studies point toward that and debunk old theories, so yes, it is much more valid to believe in this.[2]

4. Parkinson's

What my opponent said has not debunked the study of coffee and Parkinson's in any way. She said, "Right here we can see that the effect coffee has on Parkinson's is still widely debated and disputed." But there is nothing we can see to suggest so in what she quoted. Because many studies on coffee are new, they are still supported by various scientific studies and researchers, while the old studies have turned into mere hypotheses. There is a high possibility that coffee reduces risk of Parkinson's, even up to as much as 80%.[3] http://coffeetea.about.com...

Still, the fact that there are a great deal of studies regarding many health benefits of coffee invalidates my opponent's arguments. Coffee can impossibly reduce the immune system. We are dealing with studies of valid scientific theories, not mere hypotheses.

5. Diabetes

I said, "[Coffee] Reduces risk of diabetes"

My opponent said, "On the contrary, there is a plethora of evidence that suggests caffeine is bad for those with diabetes."

Yes, those "with" diabetes, not those without. I said it reduces the risk of "getting" diabetes. Argument invalidated.

Moving on…

My opponent defended herself about the contradictions of her statements. I really do not want to derail the topic of the debate, so I am going to argue about this externally, as if I argued in the comments section, but with a reference because that is easier. Please see reference [REF.]

-- More rebuttals --

1. "For instance, the only real benefits Con cited and proved are that coffee contains antioxidants and things that fight bacteria. Obviously the harms I detailed and described in the last round far outweigh any of these minor positive effects."

Not true. I proved tons of others. See: [5]

2. My opponent claimed that marijuana is not harmful, only beneficial, but "In that way, we can see that coffee is in fact more harmful." Then she said that harms of marijuana are due to overexposure, as with the case of caffeine. Yes, the latter is true, but why is caffeine, then, more harmful? No overexposure of caffeine, no harm.

3. My arguments are mainly stronger because tons of studies of marijuana are by Harvard researchers, and they debunked their own theories of caffeine, while I see no same people doing that with marijuana. Only different claims by different people.

4. None of my claims have been debunked. There were few claims, but all got refuted. I can come with tons of refutations to bad claims about caffeine, but I got little space.

-- Marijuana, good or bad? --

Let us really examine the effects of marijuana, even in so-called "moderate amounts." In fact, "moderate" amounts do not make you feel high, so moderate amounts of marijuana bring no fun.

• Cancer

Marijuana has been linked to cancer. Several studies have proven it.[6] Strong scientific support. In fact, the studies that prove this are modern, usually from 2009. Marijuana hardly cures cancer. The number of scientists who claim this are far fewer in numbers than those who claim that marijuana links to cancer 'or' does not cure it. The scientists who speak positively of coffee are in far greater numbers than those who speak negatively.[7]

• Alzheimer's

Not only does marijuana "not" cure or prevent Alzheimer's, but it can cause it. Many studies point toward that.[8]

• Epilepsy

Whether or not marijuana cures epilepsy is disputable, but there is no sign of prevention or cure - only temporary "cure." One you withdraw from usage of marijuana, the effect of epilepsy can be even worse, as your mind is used to the effect of marijuana. So, since the mind gets addicted, is that also not bad, as my opponent claims with caffeine because it is also addicting? And as bad as physical addiction is, it can be cured like mental addiction.[9]

• Nausea

Marijuana does not necessarily cure nausea. People experience even worse cases after marijuana intake.[10]

I have very little char. space, so I cannot refute everything, but there are great refutations. Here are a few more negative effects of marijuana: [11] They are extremely severe and there is nothing that debunks them. There needs to be a lot more evidence, much more than my opponent presented.

All in all, coffee as far less harms and marijuana has many harms, and not many benefits. Coffee is extremely beneficial. I thank her.

-- References --

[1] http://www.good-health.co.uk...
[2] http://hubpages.com...
[3] http://coffeetea.about.com...
[4] http://www.cosic.org...
[5] http://ezinearticles.com...
[6] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[7] http://www.reuters.com...
[8] http://www.science20.com...
[9]http://www.mellowgold.com...
[10]http://www.askthedoctor.com...
[11]http://alcoholism.about.com...

[REF.] http://www.debate.or...
Debate Round No. 4
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by makhdoom5 3 years ago
makhdoom5
well i see little bit.
man indeed marijuwana kills the cells. so helps in cancer.
and coffee has antioxidant which also kills the cancer cells, it do not less cancer cells to take oxygen so the mitosis is stooped.
so but coffee also cleans the kidney.
actully mariguana is addictive here fall in bad categories.
man if u dont have cancer and disease whats the suppose of it.
indeed if not appropriate food like healthy its lethal.
any thing is bad in access.
when u become addicted to some thing u need it on any cost.
well
leave it its going to be full debate in comment.
i wish i could debate on these topics. but i am here for purpose to do religious debate only.
but i can do this in religious prospective.
so i would say there are so much best and perfect alternative for all those disease.
coz we never say marijuana being used as medicine.
but only some cancer patient using voluntarily.
mostly consume with cigarettes.
so more harmful.
coz about 16 toxin u consume.
and even marijuana also has toxin.
http://www.olympus-ims.com...
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
Was nice 60-min round debate.

Already a year, it's crazy how quick it has been.
Posted by i8JoMomma 6 years ago
i8JoMomma
legalize it
Posted by EgadsNo 6 years ago
EgadsNo
Marijuana does not cause cancer, the link you cited from science daily shows no proof of increasing rates of cancer, nor does it really give a mechanism. It is well proven that marijuana repairs several genes that fight and prevent cancer but these changes in DNA can be spun into the word damage.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
Please let us set things straight here for once.

1) I made a comment about someone being unable to really sit on his chair and writing a response while being high.

2) theLwerd responded by using herself as an example.

3) I refuted her by using her as an example, too.

4) She made a bad comment about me, too, one click away from the official debate page.

Conduct vote for? Tied or me. At least I did not lie about her. I made a valid point (that she brought upon her self at first).
Posted by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
Wow, Mirza. Watch your conduct.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
"but also the fact that you did not justify your insults in the debate but rather took it to the forums instead"

Because I had to a) defend my claims and b) defend myself against your comment on the comments page. You also had a wall of text about nonsensical theories about coffee that I had to refute, and did so rightfully (biased people vote on you clearly, and I knew it beforehand), and in order to also have some space to attack marijuana, I had to link to the forums. It is just an external reference. I could as well have said it all on the comments page. I just think that a direct link to a forum thread is easier to find.

"In order to prove the validity of your claim that marijuana = short term memory loss, you linked that premise to a characteristic of *ME* (and a false one at that) which commits this obvious fallacy. Fail."

Yes, partially to you because you, none else, used yourself as an example. If you tell me that you drink Red Bull and are able to fly, I have every right to refute your argument by saying that you cannot fly and have fallen all the times you attempted to. This is basic logic.

Lies and bias. All expected from the common members of this site.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
"Mirza, as I explained in the debate, your example of a "contradiction" was pathetic."

Take it here.

"You made me waste time and space defending a non-existing contradiction."

You made me do the same with regard to your untruthful and negative comment about me.

"I find it hard to believe that someone as thin-skinned as you who thinks a picture of a fish eating another fish is offensive"

I never said I found it offensive. I never talked to you about a fish eating a fish. You brought it up out of the blue. Another lie (and insult, but thanks, it supports my case).

"am the most contradictory poster in the forums, insulting my intelligence, and overall criticizing my actions is not offensive. Please."

I said, "On many occasions, my opponent has contradicted herself in a very short span of time. This has happened more than to any other member I have seen post on the forums."

First, on many occasions, not all the time. Second, I said in a short span of time, meaning that this happens to you (in a "short span of time") more than to any other member that "I" have seen post."

That is not insulting your intelligence. I made an attack on marijuana, through you, since <you> brought it up upon yourself. I did not say out of the blue, "Coffee is healthy, and did you know that theLwerd is the most contradictory member of the site?"

And again, you are whining about a non-seriously intended argument of mine that you chose to be part of, yet you never stop insulting and laughing at people when you debate them.

"Not to mention that bad conduct doesn't only refer to you insulting me (when I NEVER insulted you in the debate)"

You insulted me only one click away from the official debate page. I cold not care less if it was in between your arguments or right next to them.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Mirza, as I explained in the debate, your example of a "contradiction" was pathetic. If you need me to explain it further, I'll take this conversation over to that stupid little thread you made about it (which was dramatic and unnecessary, by the way). You made me waste time and space defending a non-existing contradiction. You also took that statement out of context (which is ironic considering taking things out of context is what you made that thread about in the first place). I find it hard to believe that someone as thin-skinned as you who thinks a picture of a fish eating another fish is offensive does not understand why saying I am the most contradictory poster in the forums, insulting my intelligence, and overall criticizing my actions is not offensive. Please.

Not to mention that bad conduct doesn't only refer to you insulting me (when I NEVER insulted you in the debate) but also the fact that you did not justify your insults in the debate but rather took it to the forums instead -- which is abusive from a debate POV, because you can't continue the arguments elsewhere and expect them to hold any weight whatsoever. Also, your ad hominems were blatant.

Ad hominem: the attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.

You: "However, one of the negative effects of marijuana is short-term memory loss. In fact, I can demonstrate this easily. On many occasions, my opponent has contradicted herself in a very short span of time."

In order to prove the validity of your claim that marijuana = short term memory loss, you linked that premise to a characteristic of *ME* (and a false one at that) which commits this obvious fallacy. Fail.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
You're mad.
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