The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Marijuana is safer to consume than both alcohol and tobacco

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,563 times Debate No: 20145
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Government propaganda and other conditioning have led people to believe that marijuana is a dangerous substance, when in actuality, it is safer than both alcohol and tobacco.

It is stupid of anyone to think that smoking any kind of plant matter is not dangerous. Any smoke being inhaled into your lungs is in some way bad for you. Sure some substances create much more toxic smoke, but smoking should not be seen as harmless. While saying this, it should be noted that marijuana smoke has been researched and seen as far less dangerous than tobacco smoke. Many studies show that there is no relation in cancer and long-term smoked marijuana( Some studies even show a decrease in cancer tumors showing that it may possibly help slow down cancer(

It is still true though, that marijuana smoke is in no way 100 percent healthy. This does not say ANYTHING about the safety of marijuana or the compounds contained in the plants. There are many more options of consuming marijuana. These include vaporization and edible forms. Vaporization is heating up the plant to a temperature just enough to vaporize the thc/cbd in the plant, but not enough to burn the plant. This means no smoke will be created at all. Edibles involve baking the marijuana to extract the thc into food such as brownies or butter to be added to food.

Now without smoke to worry about, what is dangerous at all about marijuana?

Two things can be said.
A) It increases your heart rate
B) cognitive and physical impairment.

Since we are relating the safety of marijuana to alcohol and tobacco, the first argument does not really say anything. This is because alcohol and tobacco also increase your heart rate(

The second argument could say that marijuana causes cognitive and physical impairments. Short term memory loss is created with marijuana, but it is only temporary and returns after the drug leaves the body. Physical impairments from it are at a much less extreme than alcohol but slightly higher compared to tobacco. Many people just assume because someone is "high", it must be like they are "drunk", so of course they can't drive. This is untrue though. Studies have proven that there is very little, if any driving problems associated with marijuana.(

The last negative health effect associated with drugs would be addiction. Nicotine contained in tobacco is one of the most physically addicting substances that is naturally produced on earth. Alcohol, while less than nicotine, has been studied to also show physical dependency. It is not known the physical dependency of marijuana. It is known that if any at all, it is far less serious than of tobacco or alcohol. People that get addicted to marijuana almost always do so because of a psychological addiction, not physical. You can be psychologically addicted to ANYTHING so this is just a way of saying that they have addictive personality.

So basically, the only negative health affects from marijuana in vaporized or edible form are only a increased heart rate and temporary "high" effects that do not effect driving nearly as much(if at all) as alcohol. It should be noted that overdose from marijuana resulting in death is impossible.

Lets compare this to the negative effects of alcohol. This includes DEATH from overdose, long term kidney damage, loss of brain cells, coma from overdose, large amount of physical dependence, large driving risk, etc.

Now lets compare this to tobacco. Note that this is based on smokeless tobacco, where smoke tobacco would of course be more dangerous, but I have to be fair due to talking about vapozed and edible marijuana. Smokeless tobacco comes in either "dip" which is still VERY dangerous and causes cancer( It can also be vaporized in "e-cigarettes". This is much safer, but nicotine itself is also dangerous, and you would be receiving nicotine. Using these e-cigarretes, the safest form of tobacco has shown to STILL cause cancer( It also can cause hives, difficulty breathing, and vomiting(

Knowing this information, I find it impossible to believe that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.



Thanks for this debate. Writing this round has been fun and I hope the next few are equally so.

This debate is unavoidably going to be about sources; the method of determining safety of a substance is through research.

I will refer to Pro's sources as numbers, by the order they were presented in.


"1: hemp 1a, c"[1]

"1b: drink (as whiskey or beer) containing ethanol"[2]

"1: any of a genus (Nicotiana) of chiefly American plants of the nightshade family with viscid foliage and tubular flowers; especially: a tall erect annual tropical American herb (North tabacum) cultivated for its leaves"[3]

"a substance or agent causing cancer"[4]


Paragraph One (Intro)
Just the actual level of danger matters here.

Paragraph Two (Benefits)
Excerpt from his source 1:

“We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes,” researcher Donald Tashkin, MD, of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine tells WebMD.

His own source states that marijuana has just as many or more agents known to cause cancer as cigarettes (not pure tobacco). His source also claims that it is not clear why they achieved these results.

Unfortunately, his source 2 provides very little information about the actual study conducted. Regardless, states that "[e]ven though placebos do not act on the disease, they seem to have an effect in about 1 out of 3 patients."[5] So I propose that it is likely his study showed less effectiveness than a placebo. Marijuana reduces ability of bronchial cells to fight tumors, too.[7]

Paragraph Three (Other Forms)
Pro claims that safety of marijuana smoke says nothing of the safety of its other forms, but fails to show reason as to why vaporized marijuana or marijuana edibles are healthier. Also, this debate is about marijuana, not THC. Pro states that just the THC is extracted to make these other forms. No argument there, but THC is not marijuana. It is one ingredient. Pro is only conditionally supporting the resolution. The marijuana evaluated here should be that smoked from a pipe; it contains all the ingredients of marijuana without extra from a marijuana cigarette or other form of delivery.

Paragraph Four (The Dangers of Marijuana)
We have to worry about marijuana when smoked. Pro admitted himself that the vapors and edibles are just THC, not marijuana. Many, many more things can be said about the dangers of marijuana use than increased heart rate and cognitive and physical impairment. We have to worry about lung cancer, as marijuana is 20x more likely to cause lung cancer than cigarettes.[6] It also has twice as many carcinogens as cigarettes.[6] So cancer in general is a danger. Marijuana reduces ability of bronchial cells to fight tumors and other possible issues, suppresses the rest of the immune system in general, and speeds up the progression of HIV to AIDS.[7] The article goes on to state that "[i]t has been suggested that marijuana is at the root of many mental disorders, including acute toxic psychosis, panic attacks (one of the very conditions it is being used experimentally to treat), flashbacks, delusions, depersonalization, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, and uncontrollable aggressiveness. Marijuana has long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness, such as bipolar (manic-depressive) psychosis and schizophrenia." Wow, seems quite a bit worse than just stating, without any sources, that the only issues are "increase[d] heart rate" and "cognitive and physical impairment".

Paragraph Five (Heart Rate Increase)
He states that all three substances lead to this. No need for argumentation here.

Paragraph Six ("Cognitive and Physical Impairment")
Pro states that [p]hysical impairments from [marijuana] are... slightly higher compared to tobacco" with no other comments on tobacco from him here.

He provides no sources to state any physical impairments of alcohol use. So I will ignore the claim that alcohol impairs people physically, as it is unwarranted. Onto the second issue of driving. His source 5 only finds a correlation between states that have medical marijuana and lower traffic-related deaths. If there's a correlation between a society in which people drink juice and a society in which serial killers are rampant, does drinking juice lead to serial killings? His source 6 states that the study "did find that drivers were more easily distracted when under the influence." This is hugely important. Distracted driving accounted for 5,474 deaths and 448,000 injuries in 2009.[8] And the problem is already getting worse without the widespread use of marijuana. There was a 4% increase in the proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009.[8] Oh, and also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 6.8% of drivers involved in collisions test positive for THC (once again, not synonymous with marijuana, but a major ingredient of it).[13]

Paragraph Seven (Addiction)
First of all, nicotine is not addictive.[9][10][11] Onto Pro's claims about alcohol. Because he has no sources, it is hard to determine how addictive alcohol is when it "has been studied to also show physical dependency [sic]." I assert that it isn't very addictive with alcohol dependence in 5% of the population[12]. This is opposed to marijuana, with 9% of the total number who will use it, 17% (1 in 6) of the teenagers who start in their teenage years, and 25-50% of daily users estimated to develop dependence.[13]

Paragraph Eight (Summary)
Fatal marijuana overdoses have been reported.[14] All refuted previously.

Paragraph Nine (Types of Tobacco)
I'm talking about tobacco, not substances containing tobacco.

"Dip" tobacco
Contains nuclear waste, cyanide, more[15]

Common knowledge is that they have more than tobacco

Do not contain tobacco[16]

My Case

This debate is of which is the safest of the three drugs. If the answer is marijuana, Pro wins. If the answer is alcohol or tobacco, Con wins.

C1: Gateway Drug

I made a table with statistics of [17]

C2: Dangers of Marijuana
Subpoint A: Medical
· 20x more likely to cause lung cancer than cigarettes, twice as many carcinogens[6]
· Reduces ability of bronchial cells to fight tumors and other possible issues[7]
· Suppresses the rest of the immune system, too[7]
· Speeds up progression of HIV to AIDS.[7]
· Causes many mental disorders, such as acute toxic psychosis, delusions, depersonalization, depression, flashbacks, panic attacks, paranoia, uncontrollable aggressiveness[7]

Subpoint B: Other
Apply all non-medical statistics and arguments about the danger of marijuana used in refutation

C3: Alcohol and Tobacco
Apply all statistics and arguments about alcohol and tobacco used in refutation

C4: Legal
This one's simple. One should and will not be arrested for use of alcohol and tobacco if one is 21 or older.

Unfortunately, I am out of characters to use. In the next few rounds, I intend on elucidating my contention 2, subpoint B and my contention 3. Back to Pro.

Again, I thank Pro for the fun debate


Debate Round No. 1


johns1234 forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments.


I stated last time that I would elucidate my contention two, subpoint B and my contention three.

C2, Subpoint B

Pro states that the physical impairments of marijuana are greater than those of tobacco
· Leads to distracted drivers
· 6.8% of the drivers in collisions test positive for THC
· 9% of the total number who use it, 17% of those who start in their teenage years, 25-50% of daily users will become dependent on it
· Has caused fatalities from overdosing
· It's a gateway drug


· Causes fewer physical impairments than marijuana (Pro stated)
· Nicotine isn't addictive

· Only 9% of those who have tried it have developed dependency

Now that that is cleared up, I return the debate to Pro.
Debate Round No. 2


johns1234 forfeited this round.



Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by royalpaladin 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: FF