Marijuana is Disgusting and Ought to Not Be Legalized, For Various Reasons Other Than The One Stated
Debate Rounds (5)
What I don't understand is the disturbing preoccupation with it in the first place!
It's one of those instant pleasures, isn't it? Everyone ought to be wary of those, because the risks are always unnecessarily many and great and not worth short- term "satisfaction". True satisfaction is contentment, and relying on instant pleasures for happiness, being aware of the risks, shows a desperate need for an escape from one's life. It is completely illogical that one should put their time and money into something that leaves them happy for only a short period of time only to suffer the worst effects possible. It shows weakness due to one's ability to take charge of their life, and a sad lack of self-control, and misguided beliefs as to the true sources of happiness in life. Anyone who practices these immoral pleasures is clearly not intelligent, disciplined, or mentally stable enough to improve their life, or just ignorant of the risks. I should like to be neither. Here, have a look at this list of instant pleasures and see if you disagree as to their high level of inherent risk.
1. Alcohol abuse
2. Sex as pleasure
4. Reckless activity
Did you disagree with number six? Well, my friend, you must not be aware of the facts.
Instant effects of getting high are altered perceptions of mood, impaired coordination, thinking and problem solving inhibition, and disrupted learning and memory. Heavy use during teenage years causes long-lasting negative effects on memory and thinking, as well as, according to a recent New Zealand study, a significant drop in intelligence quotient, averaging 8 points per teen interviewed. It is also noteworthy that the teens did not gain back all of their mental abilities as adults.
And yes, there is of now no evidence of weed causing cancer, but consider this:
Weed smoke is irritant to the lungs, and people who use it regularly can bestow upon themselves much of the same crap tobacco smokers have to deal with: Daily cough, more frequent acute chest illness, and increased risk for lung infections.
That's not all. Schizophrenics who want to worsen their ailment can use this drug. There is a link between this drug and psychosis later on in life. Let's see- it also has widespread mental health implications, including depression, anxiety, self-destructive thoughts in teens, and personality disturbances. Teens who use may engage less in normal, rewarding activities. Mothers who use can cause neurobehavioral problems in babies.
Weed can cause essentially the same thing as drunk driving can, due to the sensory and cognitive impairment and whatnot. It IS addictive, though admittedly not much- only 9% of research candidates became addicted. Long-term -users find it very hard to quit due to the symptoms of drug cravings, insomnia, diminished appetite, anxiety, and irritability that come with withdrawal.
So, if that doesn't sound like it's enough for you, then there's more:
Weed causes more than three times the tar amount of tobacco to be inhaled.
Some research shows that the smoke has up to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. It can cause temporary sterility in men (by deforming sperm cells) and menstrual abnormalities in women.
And, well, as to it not being a gateway drug, people who use weed are 104 times more likely to use cocaine than someone who was never tried it before. I don't know how you can possibly ignore that fact. Besides, just think about the people who users hang out with. Not too honest, I'd imagine.
But the thing that nags at me is the lack of information. I don't see why people would support weed legalization without making sure of all the risks first. This is one of the things I feel is ignored; significant studies have yet to be conducted. This is mainly due to the illegality of the drug in most states/countries. So, you can argue its supposed "benefits" all you want, but I'd wait until more studies are conducted if I were you. This is my main reason for opposing its legalization. Personally, I believe it would demean my morality to either get drunk or get high (Yes, I believe alcohol abuse should be illegal as well but I know this will never happen).
I happen to enjoy cheesecake. Could not the same argument be made as to why it should be illegal for me to enjoy such an "instant pleasure". I realize the "short - term satisfaction" may not be worth the cholesterol filled bite I would soon devour. Furthermore, I accept that there are many who would not approve of my lifestyle choices. It's not hard to understand why a person who devotes their lives work toward staying fit, and being healthy would want to ban all food products that would add no nutritional value. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the sweet treat in moderation. But even if I choose to abuse that treat, it should be a personal decision, not a society's decision.
There is no law forcing anyone to abuse alcohol, act reckless, use marijuana, or enjoy sex. Although, I cannot imagine why anyone would want to live in any society where having sex for pleasure would be forbidden. The point is that although you are welcome to your personal opinion that something is disgusting or unhealthy, it is immoral to deny someone else from determining that for themselves. There is nothing wrong with informing a general public about the negative side effects from abusing drugs and alcohol. There is something seriously wrong with removing choice from decisions both bad and good.
The legalization of marijuana does not force a person to ingest it, it only creates an environment where it can be easily obtained and used without fear of punishment. People who are interested in the guilty pleasure would no longer need to hide in shadows, deal with less than desirable dealers, or be incarcerated for years at a time for simply being in possession of it. Because to be in support in it's illegalization would mean a willingness to punish anyone who would be found in violation of the law. Their rights being taken away from them for the crime of "instant pleasure seeking".
Although it is possible to link marijuana with the variety of health concerns you have listed. It is not dangerous for anyone other than the person using it's properties. And for that reason alone, it should be legal for anyone who would choose to seek it.
Forgive me if I sounded too opinionated in the first argument. I suppose you missed or disregarded the part where I made my main point.
My main point is such: There is not enough research about the harmful health effects of marijuana.
You told me that people should be given the freedom to choose whether they want to do harmful things or not, didn't you? That they shouldn't have to deal with restrictions, but instead be informed about the risks they are taking.
And I agree with that- to a point.
First off, people have less of a chance to engage in risky behavior like marijuana (and we seem to agree that there are health effects) if there is a government institution backed up by the government in its entirety. The government has weapons, resources, and power; thus, it can strongly deter people from making bad decisions- when this is used in conjunction with the information intended to deter people from doing these things, like you mentioned (and the purpose of that information is indeed to deter), then you have the best combination for deterrence from risky or illegal behavior.
The fact is, the information by itself is not nearly enough to deter people.
Why do I keep insisting that abuse of the hemp plant is risky? Well, obviously for the known health risks, and also for the fact that any time you make an uninformed decision, especially one that already has risks associated with it, you are making a big gamble. Weed is known to be harmful in many ways but that alone is not enough cause to ban it (at least in some people's eyes). What really vexes me is that people know there are risks, know that more conclusive research is needed, and yet blindly push for legalization without even thinking about how they might have a hand in possibly the downfall of our nation. What if it's like tobacco, only worse? What if it can cause cancer? There needs to be more research, and people will need to remain patient. Believe me, if I could get a complete summary of reports from labs around the nation stating that weed is cleared to go, backed up with cold hard statistics and irrefutable proof, then I would give your argument more merit.
However, you are correct in saying that I have a belief system that has a part in me taking this side of the argument, and I apologize if that has led you to believe it is the main reason I'm opposed to legalization. The primary reason for my doubts and fervent opposition is the one stated in the paragraph above.
Back to what I said before... The importance of regulations on choice. You must concede that there is no such thing as true liberty. Humans are, obviously, imperfect, and that imperfection is the reason concepts like complete liberty can't apply. Government, and rules, will always exist because people want protection from threats. It's in our nature to band together to survive in the natural world. Now, what if weed is far more harmful than we know it is presently and it is legalized? Well, you've taken away regulations on choice, and the people who can't find other pleasures in life, or just don't know how serious the consequences are will destroy the lives of themselves and others, creating national chaos and adding to other problems like alcoholism and abuse of other drugs, including tobacco. I did mention the greater good (one of the many things you lovingly put in quotation marks for me). In my book, anyone who denounces government, or reasonable regulations, to an extent at least takes for granted the relative stability of their country. If we didn't have rules, we wouldn't have other things, like cars, vacations, restaurants and whatnot. The need to survive would come before the need for enjoyment. That's why not only do people need to be informed, they need to be forbidden from doing certain things as well. If, and only if, legalization of weed occurs without the adequate number of adequate studies being conducted, then our leaders and us ourselves could inadvertently setting ourselves up for a situation comparable to that of China prior to the opium wars.
Instant gratification is more desirable to most people- and thus its needs to be regulated on a larger scale. And by "instant pleasures" I meant the things that are accepted by most of society to be representative of the most inherent risks, and can be experienced through instant gratification as opposed to delayed gratification. Everything is relative, and there needs to be a certain threshold with "acceptable" written on it. Marijuana, for all we know, could completely hinder our country's progress and well-being if legalized. It could be, relatively, ten times worse than, say, cheesecake. Mm, cheesecake.
Lack of research: There are two arguments to be made in response to this.
One, to illegalize a product or behavior because of a lack of knowledge on the subject makes no logical sense. That prevents a society from ever experimenting and discover more. Even from the evidence you have provided, humans have been used as test subjects. To suggest illegalizing the product, would mean punishment for any who would use it for other purposes other than recreation as well. Unless, you would agree that it should be legalized for the purposes of science or health studies, in which the broad term you have used as a debate subject would be counter to your stance.
And two, there is plenty of information already provided on the subject to suggest great medical purposes for it as well as possible negative side effects. The information however is all relative to what direction you would lean toward and baised on all accounts. This crusade against the legalization of what is widely known as a relatively harmless plant, is an incredible waste of time and resources. To which I will provide more insight later in the debate. If you truly believe for yourself that there is not enough research on this product, then why on earth would you want to ban something you have limited information on? That kind of closed minded thinking is what prevents progress as a society. I refer you to the following article.
I believe you mentioned some medicinal benefits. True, medicinal herbs have been used for centuries (and sometimes for less-than-medicinal purposes). I'm not opposed to a new form of medicine, as long as it is used in a way that cures diseases or other ailments, rather than adding to them.
Surprisingly, there are some documented health benefits of this drug. However, smoking any plant, as science has shown, causes lung damage, so in some respects, that use of the drug is comparable to cigarettes, with some aspects worse and some aspects better than the latter plant. Eating the plant seems to have less risks. Apparently, however, it's not possible to get high that way without wasting the plant, and perhaps that's a good thing. And, as I said, as long as there is conclusive proof that the benefits outweigh the risks by a good margin, then I'm all for it (but definitely not using it).
Some new risks I discovered:
Increased Testosterone, Leading to Acne
But in the tradition of debating in general. My opponent has implied that although the legalization of marijuana should be acceptable in certain conditions, it should not be for recreation use. To that I would still disagree and am happy to continue arguing on that topic.
I have already conceded that there is a possibility of health risks regarding the use of marijuana. Any time you burn something, and inhale smoke into your lungs, there is naturally a health risk. But as I have explained in previous arguments there are multiple products and activities out there that have been legal for years, and should remain legal, that could easily be considered much more risky than the recreational use of marijuana. Products and activities such as skydiving, base jumping, white water rafting, skiing, skate boarding, driving a car, ingesting unhealthy foods, having unprotected sex, lighting fireworks, the list continues but I believe you can get the point. My opponent has expressed his/her argument, I have expressed mine.
I would like to touch up on a previous argument regarding our governments tools and resources, and the use of force. Currently in the U.S. it is illegal to be in possession of marijuana. It is possible to spend 20+ years in a federal prison for simply being in possession of marijuana. Imagine, spending your entire adult life in a prison not for murder, not for theft, not for breaking and entering, or rape, or assault, or even reckless driving. But instead because you were found guilty of selling a plant to an undercover officer.
In the history of the world, there is not one recorded incident of death by marijuana. Not one. Currently the illegalization of marijuana has ruined more lives of people than the law could ever claim to have protected. Making risky behavior illegal for a society's own good makes about as much sense as forcing a woman to wear a burka in public to prevent temptation for a man. Because of the illegalization of marijuana, careers have ended, a thriving black market exists packed full of violence, police agencies are stretched thin, and the court systems is so tied up in many states it is forced to dismiss cases without even looking at the docket. Further, our prisons are packed full of non violent offenders. We have one of the highest prison population ratios in the world. All this while we continue to lose the expensive, and pointless war on drugs.
If you are willing to make something illegal, you must be prepared to kill someone in order to enforce that law. For example:
A man is caught for the third time selling large amount of marijuana to feed his family and earn a living. He is forced to choose this way of life because at an early age he was already caught with marijuana and therefore his chances of earning a decent living legally were diminished. He carries a gun because selling marijuana is illegal and because of this if he is ripped off, or held at gunpoint for his product, he will not be able to report the robbery to the police. Because he has this gun and realizes he is probably going to jail for the rest of his life, he decides to resist the arrest by running. When he is caught, he attempts to fight. When sticks are used to subdue him, his only option left is to defend himself with his gun, and officers return fire.
This is the result of illegalizing marijuana because it's unhealthy...
America once illegalized the sale and use of alcohol for similar reasons. The result was a spike in organized crime, gangs, and a general public who resented the officials enforcing the laws.... sound familiar? I encourage my opponent to refer to our nations history of prohibition.
We may agree that the use of marijuana has it's health risks. But where it appears we separate is in the length at which you are willing to go to prevent it's use. A government is supposed to work for the public, not against. Is should protect us from each other. Laws such as murder, larceny, fraud, and rape should be emphasized and enforced. A government should protect it's people from outside invaders. But a government should never be given the authority to protect me from myself. That is not the role of government, and that is why it should legalize the use of Marijuana, regardless of how disgusting or unhealthy it would prove to be.
debate_power forfeited this round.
So, as I've mentioned, I'm opposed to immediate further legalization with my argument revolving around three points so far:
1. The smoke of marijuana contains harmful substances
2. Abuse of this drug entails many known health risks
3. Not enough quality studies have been conducted on potential or additional health risks
I think I haven't mentioned this before, but, if legalized NATIONWIDE and then researched, the obvious risk is not only that it might have unknown health risks and many people's lives will be affected, but that also, if prohibition is attempted, it might become extremely problematic. You've already removed all restrictions and told people it's okay- do you really think they're going to listen when you tell them it's not? The damage will have been done, and the need to get high will preside over the need to obey authority. We humans spend a lot of time tending to our habits.
Since you and I both are aware of the fact that marijuana is a psychoactive drug that impairs the brain temporarily, let us consider the effects on the economy and social system if it is legalized. You maintain that alcohol is worse, and, counter-intuitively, legalized. And I don't disagree that alcohol is worse. All I'm saying is, alcohol, during the foundation of our country, was NOT made illegal. Not only that, alcohol has a had a place, in many forms, in all world cultures, and it is not only used as a drug- it seems to be mainly used as a beverage. I certainly don't believe in getting drunk- toward this subject I keep the same attitude as I do toward weed- but the simple fact is, alcohol has such a place in society, whether you think like me or not, you're never going to be able to make it illegal. It's a shame, really, that so many bright, intelligent people (or otherwise) but their time into making themselves stupid under the influence of alcohol. Tell me, do I sound like I'm advocating the defense of alcohol? I don't NEED to defend it; most people will wholeheartedly do so anyway. Sadly.
What I'm saying is, why add to the problem? Why would someone- with more information about health risks or not- knowingly make something like this, something that hinders thinking, legal? When you legalize something like this on a national scale, the most likely scenario is that more and more people will use it more and more frequently. We've got alcohol, now we have another mind-numbing substance? Excuse me, isn't there a problem here? And as to what you said- that people ought to choose for themselves whether to cause bodily harm to themselves or not- are you aware that, under that pretense, you could argue for the legalization of any number of things, such as cocaine, PCP, LSD, Krokodil- I could go on and on. WE KNOW these things are harmful, and, if we encouraged people, through legalization, to encourage others to use these things, we'd be in quite a fix- unless you have some sort of counter- argument? You have to realize the effects of peer pressure. What's more, interestingly, drinking while under the influence of weed and alcohol increases risks twofold.
Let's discuss some possible economic and social implications of recreational-use legalization. I'll use www.globaldrugpolicy.org for this purpose...
"Economists estimate that marijuana use will increase by 75% - 289% once legalized, or more if
advertising is permitted." You do realize what that means, right? It means that, once legalization goes through, between 13.05 million and 47.85 million new users will be created. As for school productivity and the welfare of teenagers- "Marijuana can cause disinterest
in activities, lower grades and isolation from the family. It can permanently impair brain development.
Problem solving, concentration, motivation and memory are negatively affected. Teens who use
marijuana are more likely to engage in delinquent and dangerous behavior and experience increased risk
of schizophrenia and depression including being three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. (73)".
You mean to say, dear opponent, that you are willing to, in our already educationally-lacking country, you would put the welfare, education, and FUTURE of teens and other school-aged children at risk??? You do realize it decreases ambition for achievement, among other things??? You would risk the future of our nation, for we are indeed taking into account our future, on the pretense that legalization could possibly reduce crime rates???
"Our drug treatment facilities are full of young people dealing with marijuana related problems. One study
of children in treatment showed that, 48% were admitted for abuse or addiction to marijuana, while only
19.3 % for alcohol and 2.9 % for cocaine, 2.4 % for methamphetamine and 2.3 % for heroin (74)."
That's a MASSIVE statistic, 48 percent. But it only makes sense, seeing as how use is so common in these "young people".
"Marijuana use accounts for tens of thousands of marijuana related complaints at emergency rooms
throughout the United States each year. Over 99,000 are young people (75). " Yep, go ahead and multiply all these statistics with legalization and see what you get!
"As many as 13 % of high school seniors said they drove after using marijuana while only 10 % drove
after having five or more drinks. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged 15 to
So yeah, go and argue that more high school students drive drunk than high, but first, ponder for a least a moment that statistic.
"In spite of legalization, crime is endemic and will not diminish even though the kinds of crimes
committed might change. In fact, under a heavily regulated legalization regime, police detentions for
marijuana-related offenses may dwarf the current rate."
"Legalization will increase drugged driving and more drugged driving will mean more dead and injured
drivers and other innocent victims and all the cost related to these tragedies (78). "
And, as to the argument that legalization will keep people out of prison...
"Under our current laws few offenders are in prison for marijuana possession. No more than two-tenths of
one percent (.2%) of federal inmates are locked up for marijuana possession and, among state prisoners,
only one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) are in for marijuana possession without a prior record (81)"
"The proponents of legalization ignore the fact that legal sanctions deter or delay potential abusers, thereby
limiting the growth of the illicit market. Law enforcement also leverages drug users/addicts into treatment
through the use of drug courts that offer treatment as an alternative to incarceration."
But, of course, then you'll have more people attempting withdrawal being treated in centers, which means more of people's money down the drain.
I beg your patience. I'm not done yet.
"According to a recent study by Colorado State University, Colorado"s legalization experiment will require
retailers of marijuana to charge 318% more than producers (82). The same study also found that current
estimates of legalization"s revenue potential are overblown by about 60% and that, in reality, legalization
would raise revenue equal to only 1% of Colorado"s budget."
"Ultimately, this will push users into the black market and drive retailers into the tax-evading "grey
market." Law enforcement resources will need to be re-marshaled to address problems caused by
marijuana-impaired driving, underage purchases, and criminals who seek to undercut licensed marijuana retailers."
So, not only is legalization grossly unfounded on scientific facts, more so founded on risk, and not as clear-cut as you deem it to be, it could also be seriously detrimental to work and production.
"Legalization will not only have devastating consequences for health, crime, and productivity, it is a waste
of taxpayer dollars that could much more wisely be spent on more effective deficit-reducing measures.
Likewise, if the public buys marijuana, this diverts funds from the national economy that are available for
more productive purposes like education, research, and prevention. Even if tobacco use has so far been
shown to cause more health harms than marijuana it does not follow that legalization is a justifiable
policy shift in light of its harms." I agree with this entirely- why cater to just another ultimately useless hobby that burns money and will only have the most awful effects on our national well-being? Sure, legalize it- and then see how many people call in sick (weed increases risks for various diseases) and pour their time and money into treatment AS WELL AS buying weed. Less productive students equals less productive workers, and thus a less productive economy. You really want to add to people's stress levels by giving them another addiction? To encourage them, with the argument that it's better than alcohol or tobacco, to add to their insecurity and and escape tendencies and have perhaps a third of the nation having to deal with withdrawal? Think realistically.
1. Known risks
2. Lack of conclusive studies
3. Lack of studies about medical benefits
4. Progressive economic harm
5. Inhibition of students' ability to learn
Think about you're doing before you chant "Legalization". This drug will really hinder our attempts at better-educated workers, that's for sure. Why add to the problems we ALREADY have? Best of luck to you refuting my argument.
Banning the sales of marijuana creates a black market. Illegalizing marijuana will not eliminate the risks you have provided. Prohibition increases the rate of crime, not the opposite. My links provide this accurate information.
In closing. My opponent has fortified and refortified the argument that marijuana should be illegal because of the known and unknown risks. I stand by my original argument that despite these risks, it hold not weight on forcing someone else to live by your personal set of moral codes.
I support the study of this mind altering drug as it is fascinating on how it effects the body. I do not support it's illegalization within an entire country; mind a few states here and there for experimentation. History has proven this so called war on drugs has had little to no improvement on our social enhancement and has only accomplished creating a deadly black market, separates social circles, and heavily populating our already full legal system. I have given many examples, both morally, legally as to why this drug should no longer be illegal (if ever it should have been). I leave it to my voters to decide who made the better argument.
Thank you for your time and consideration. And thanks to my opponent for the same.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited R3, such actions are rarely acceptable in any debate structure. Due to this, Pro lost conduct points. S & G - Even throughout the debate, neither made any major spelling or grammatical errors. Due to this, they are tied. Arguments - Con. Unfortunately, Pro failed to uphold his BOP throughout this debate. By appealing mostly to emotion and presenting main contentions that involve impressing personal beliefs or desires onto the mass population, there was no real justification for such positioning. Pro also did technically concede when admitting that legalization is appropriate for medical purposes... although there are fine points that failed to be addressed, this also strengthened Con's side. Con's approach from both legal and moral grounds effectively blocked Pro from convincing me to his side beyond a doubt which is the duty of Pro/Instigator. For this, Con is awarded Arg. points. Sources - Tie. Both utilized sources and had a balanced amount of validity.
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