The Instigator
MasterKage
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
maninorange
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Marijuana ought to be legalized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
maninorange
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,625 times Debate No: 19390
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

MasterKage

Pro

I will be using the L-D format of debating in this debate.

Resolved:Marijuana ought to be legalized. I affirm this resolution.

My value for this debate is freedom.

My criterion for this debate is the various positive physical and mental effects of long term use of marijuana.

I will now present some definitions to further allow understanding of the debate.
Please note, all my definitions are cited from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

The definition of marijuana is the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC and are smoked in cigarettes for their intoxicating effect.

My first contention is that of supporters of medical marijuana.

Supporters of medical marijuana state that it can be an effective and safe treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, gluacoma, epilepsy, and various other medical conditions.

My second contention is that of wartime use of marijuana.

Napoleon and his army used marijuana for its pain reliving and sedative like effects.
The Vietnam war's uniqueness from many other wars it its drug use. Marijuana was grown over much of the land in Vietnam, many soldiers had their first experiences overseas, besides being used strategically as a pain killer, the soldiers used it mellow out and helping them to forget the purpose of the war and the cause they were fighting for.

My third contention in that of other various positive effects of marijuana.

Marijuana is generally more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation.
Limiting the use of marijuana restricts personal freedom.
Legalization would mean a lower price: thus, crimes linked to marijuana would be reduced.
Street justice related to drug disputes would be reduced.
It would be a source of additional taxing revenues.
Police and court resources would be freed up for more serious crimes.
Drug busts often trap adolescences in a flawed system transforming them into lifelong criminals.

I have finished my argument so, that is all.
maninorange

Con





Greetings!

My position in this debate is that Marijuana ought not be legalized. As a utilitarian, my reason for this is that the benefits of such an action would not outweigh the negative effects. I shall respond to Pro’s points in the relevant sections, and present one counterpoint of my own afterward.

Counterpoints:

First contention – Marijuana for Medicinal purposes:
(The resolution states “Marijuana ought to be legalized,” as opposed to “Marijuana ought to be legalized for medicinal purposes.” Furthermore, the argument from medicinal purposes is made as its own point in Pro’s argument. Both of these lead me to believe that Pro wished Marijuana to be legalized for all purposes as opposed to those simply medical in nature. Keep this in mind as I state my position on this point.)

Objection 1: You have not cited any sources for this point. Keep in mind that you share the burden of proof for this debate.

Objection 2: I acknowledge that Marijuana has specific medical benefits. However, this does not require that Marijuana be legalized for public use. Heroin and opium also have specific medical benefits, and are used today. I wouldn’t want marijuana intended for a specific medical effect to leave the hospital any more than I would want morphine to roam the streets.

Second contention – Wartime use of marijuana:

Objection 1: In a similar case as with my second objection to the first of Pro’s points, the military has access to many things that the public simply does not. It is perfectly legitimate to acknowledge that marijuana has a place among military personnel without opening it up to the public.

Objection 2: There are more effective pain killers available which have less severe side effects. If I were to choose a drug for pain relief for the people going to war for me, I would be choosing one which has less of an effect on a person’s mental state, such as acetaminophen of ibuprofen. In severe cases, such as those in which the pain is incapacitating anyway, drowsiness should be accepted, and so stronger painkillers could be used. The issue comes with administering a hallucinogenic drug to a person in full control of an assault rifle. Not only would this be dangerous in and of itself, it would be amplified by the fact that it would be self-administered as opposed to something one needs to report to sick-bay for.

Third contention – The catch-all category:

“…less harmful than…”

Tobacco:

The only thing I can say to this is that it is patently false. Tobacco may be more addictive because of the nicotine. However, marijuana smoked vs tobacco smoked has about 50% more benzopyrene, which is the leading chemical under suspect for causing lung cancer in tobacco smokers. [1][2] Additionally, tobacco smoke has limited short term effects on cognition, being no more altering than caffeine. Marijuana is a hallucinogen, increases heart rate, is a depressant, and has impairing effects on coordination and decision making skills. Long term effects of tobacco are limited to a lengthy list of cancers and respiratory problems. Research on marijuana is limited, so an acknowledged gap in information exists relating it to cancers. However, other respiratory problems generally attributed to tobacco are, in fact, present in people who smoke marijuana alone. [3]

Alcohol:

Again, this is demonstrably false. Alcohol has detrimental effects all over the brain. It impairs the ability to solve simple problems through reason, resulting in impaired judgment; it impairs fine motor skills and muscle coordination; and it impairs hearing, vision, processing associated with those senses, and ability to speak. Marijuana has all of these effects [4] and more, including, again, hallucinogenic and heart-rate and blood pressure increasing effects. In a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, almost 40% of drivers stopped for reckless driving who were not under the influence of alcohol were under the effects of marijuana. [5]

“Limiting the use of marijuana restricts personal freedom”:

Prohibiting people from possessing child pornography also restricts personal freedom. There are cases in which restriction of freedom is a good and necessary thing. I don’t think I need to elaborate much more on this point.

“Legalization would mean a lower price: thus, crimes linked to marijuana would be reduced” and “Street justice related to drug disputes would be reduced”:

There is a strong correlation between marijuana use and other crimes. [6] Contrary to what many think, possession and distribution are not the only crimes associated with marijuana. Marijuana impairs cognitive reasoning abilities, and can make a person more likely to behave with disregard to other laws.

“It would be a source of additional taxing revenues”:

About $83 billion per year is spent on cigarettes [7], and about half of this is taxes.

About 20 metric tons of tobacco is sold annually. [8]

An estimated 15 metric tons of marijuana is smoked annually. [9]

This gives us a total of approximately $30 billion dollar revenue from our hypothetical marijuana tax. Given our nearly $750 billion military budget [10] this amount really does pale in comparison to the amount this nation spends. This minor benefit is not enough to nullify the downsides.

“Police and court resources would be freed up for more serious crimes”:

In relation to the total number of arrests made, those made because of possession of marijuana is actually rather low, at barely more than 5% of the total. [11] Given that people all over the nation are still ticketed for going 5 over the speed limit, having a turn signal out, or having an expired license, I’d say that police time and resources aren’t all that precious. As with the above, this is not enough of a benefit to tolerate the other consequences.

“Drug busts often trap adolescences in a flawed system transforming them into lifelong criminals”:

Objection 1: I don’t understand what you mean by this. Are you suggesting that children whose parents are charged are put into foster care? Are you suggesting the children are placed into detention centers? In either case, see objection 2.

Objection 2: You provide absolutely no evidence for this claim whatsoever. Again, as you do have a burden of proof to carry, I do expect some evidence which I can dispute. Until then, this claim shall be disregarded as unsupported.

Even without my objections to Pro’s points, there is the valuable fact that we can have the effects of marijuana without the harmful effects of smoking them. Canadian scientists have developed a THC spray which, when absorbed though the red lining in one’s mouth, imparts the same psychological effects of marijuana without the harm to the lungs. [12][13]

Summary of my points:

A – None of Pro’s contentions are persuasive enough to allow the legalization of marijuana in the face of

B – The harmful effects of legalizing marijuana.

C – One can impart the effects of smoking marijuana without actually smoking it.

Therefore, Marijuana ought not be legalized.

[1] http://www.drugabuse.gov...

[2] http://www.pbs.org...

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[4] http://www.pnas.org...

[5] http://www.nejm.org...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] http://www.cdc.gov...

[8] http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org...

[9] http://www.drugscience.org...

[10] http://www.gao.gov...

[11] http://www.fbi.gov...

[12] http://thcsprays.com...

[13] http://www.news-medical.net...

Debate Round No. 1
MasterKage

Pro

I thank Con for their response.

I will attempt to negate my opponents points.

Your negation of my contention of Medical marijuana was that of

"I acknowledge that Marijuana has specific medical benefits. However, this does not require that Marijuana be legalized for public use. Heroin and opium also have specific medical benefits, and are used today. I wouldn't't want marijuana intended for a specific medical effect to leave the hospital any more than I would want morphine to roam the streets."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, could easily control the usage of marijuana if it was legalized.

Your first objection to my second contention were that of the military has access to certain things that the general public does not.

Well, you could extend this access to certain justice and crime associations, such as the CIA or the FBI, which could be used to allow the pain reliving effects of those groups.

Your second objection to my second contention was that of there are better alternatives for pain killer which have less side effects.

Marijuana has a greater effectiveness as a pain killer than most other pain killers. Wars may produce a near death injury, while allowing the use of marijuana as a pain killer, can allow the pain to be eliminated near instantly.

Your third contention stated attempted to show that certain drugs are less harmful than marijuana.

According to NORML, " In fact, the most recent studies have tended to confirm marijuana's safety, refuting claims that it causes birth defects, brain damage, reduced testosterone, or increased drug abuse problems."

In refute of the THC spray, I doubt the majority of users of marijuana have discovered said THC spray.
Users may also prefer actual marijuana experience over the THC spray.

(1)http://norml.org...
(2)http://www.annieappleseedproject.org...
(3)http://www.library.vanderbilt.edu...
maninorange

Con







I have no new arguments to present; however, I feel more than capable of defending my existing arguments, so this round will be entirely dedicated to rebuttals. Statements in quotes which begin a paragraph are taken from Pro’s rebuttals in round 2.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, could easily control the usage of marijuana if it was legalized.

Any control exerted could be circumvented. The sheer number of prescription drugs on the street testifies to the willingness of desperate people to get their fix by whatever means necessary. As the only established reasons for legalization so far have been medicinal purposes, any of those people who do not have a corresponding medical problem would be acquiring their weed by illegal means. Again, legalization has solved nothing.

Well, you could extend this access to certain justice and crime associations, such as the CIA or the FBI, which could be used to allow the pain reliving effects of those groups.

My statements applying to the military apply just as easily to these groups you now present. Extend my arguments to cover these as well.

“Marijuana has a greater effectiveness as a pain killer than most other pain killers. Wars may produce a near death injury, while allowing the use of marijuana as a pain killer, can allow the pain to be eliminated near instantly.

The only thing in your sources which implies superiority to other painkillers is cases of nerve damage, for which morphine cannot perform its function properly. This is a specific medical case, and, again, I would suggest that hospitals and military sick bays could use marijuana derivatives to relieve pain in these situations. This does not, however, provide a legitimate reason for legalization.

“According to NORML, ‘In fact, the most recent studies have tended to confirm marijuana's safety, refuting claims that it causes birth defects, brain damage, reduced testosterone, or increased drug abuse problems.’”

Rebuttal 1: This says nothing defending against the risks regarding cancer, injury due to negligence under influence, or the host of respiratory problems attributed to marijuana. In fact, from your same source,

Although there has not been enough epidemiological work to settle the matter definitively, it is widely suspected that marijuana smoking causes cancer. Studies have found apparently pre-cancerous cell changes in pot smokers.3 Some cancer specialists have reported a higher-than-expected incidence of throat, neck and tongue cancer in younger, marijuana-only smokers.4 A couple of cases have been fatal. While it has not been conclusively proven that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the evidence is highly suggestive.

Rebuttal 2: You have not provided sources confirming your claims. While secondary sources can be used effectively, the sheer bias of NORML is enough to make any reasonable person skeptical of its claims in support of its cause.

In refute of the THC spray, I doubt the majority of users of marijuana have discovered said THC spray.
Users may also prefer actual marijuana experience over the THC spray.”

Rebuttal 1: As the only legitimate reason for use established so far are for medicinal purposes, it wouldn’t be the users of marijuana who would need to discover the THC spray, but their doctors who are prescribing the herb. The doctors prescribing drugs with such obvious side effects ought to know that there is a perfect substitute with the same pain relieving effects without the penalities! Surely any reasonable doctor would prescribe the THC spray over marijuana if he wanted his patient to be well-cared for.

Rebuttal 2: Whether or not the patient prefers smoking the marijuana to the THC spray is completely irrelevant. Some patients might prefer morphine of vicodin. However, that does not mean that morphine should be prescribed.




All of my objections to Pro's third contention save that marijuana is, in fact, more harmful than tobacco have remained uncontested. Note that he also did not object to marijuana being more harmful than alcohol. Extend all other objections.

Debate Round No. 2
MasterKage

Pro

I thank Con for their response.

I will refute his counterpoints, then build up my own points.

My opponents counterpoint to the FDA was that of "Any control exerted could be circumvented."
Once again the FDA could regulate the movement and usage of marijuana, they can supplement who gets it and who uses it, also they can regulate the quantity of marijuana being issued

"My statements applying to the military apply just as easily to these groups you now present. Extend my arguments to cover these as well."

Your argument was "the military has access to many things that the public simply does not."

Well having it legalized only for military and combat purposes would permit a long and tedious process that the organization in question is forced to abide by.

You then attempted to refute my NORML point.

I will also use my source to counter your point.

It clearly states "While it has not been conclusively proven that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the evidence is highly suggestive."

So , regardless, that there is no prove that the claim is correct, there is also no prove that shows that claim is incorrect.

"You have not provided sources confirming your claims. While secondary sources can be used effectively, the sheer bias of NORML is enough to make any reasonable person skeptical of its claims in support of its cause.

I will quote directly from NORML's website

"In fact, the most recent studies..."

There sources are clearly from other non-biased parties.

From your attempt to refute of my counterpoint of the THC spray.

"Surely any reasonable doctor would prescribe the THC spray over marijuana if he wanted his patient to be well-cared for."

If the patient refused to take the THC spray in favor of the actual marijuana substance, the doctor would have to give said patient the marijuana as the alternative of him dieing is less than him being giving the marijuana.

I have effectively rebutted each of my opponents rebuttals, therefore I urge the voters to vote Pro.
maninorange

Con





T
his round, as the final round, will be entirely dedicated to rebuttals. Because of the intricacies of our responses, for this round, I will list my references to this debate in chronological order, label them accordingly, and indent them, and my statements regarding these references will follow unindented

Regarding the control of legalized marijuana:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, could easily control the usage of marijuana if it was legalized.
- Pro in round 2

Any control exerted could be circumvented. The sheer number of prescription drugs on the street testifies to the willingness of desperate people to get their fix by whatever means necessary. As the only established reasons for legalization so far have been medicinal purposes, any of those people who do not have a corresponding medical problem would be acquiring their weed by illegal means. Again, legalization has solved nothing.

- Con in round 2

Once again the FDA could regulate the movement and usage of marijuana, they can supplement who gets it and who uses it, also they can regulate the quantity of marijuana being issued

- Pro in round 3

Note that Pro has simply repeated a claim he made in the second round, and this claim in no way nullifies what I said in response. My objection will be extended.

Regarding the military use of marijuana:

Your argument was 'the military has access to many things that the public simply does not.'"

Well having it legalized only for military and combat purposes would permit a long and tedious process that the organization in question is forced to abide by.”

- Pro in round 3

Nonsense. Again, the only established reason you’ve given for marijuana is for medicinal purposes. All that would have to occur is for these organizations to be able to refer people to a doctor from whom the patient can get the prescription.

Regarding the safety of marijuana:

It clearly states "While it has not been conclusively proven that marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, the evidence is highly suggestive."

So , regardless, that there is no prove that the claim is correct, there is also no prove that shows that claim is incorrect.”

- Pro in round 3

You have absurdly high standards of evidence if you think that a marijuana supportive site admitting that the evidence is “highly suggestive” of marijuana causing lung cancer is not convincing enough. I can cite several other sources which indicate the same thing. [1][2][3][4]


Regarding the legtimacy of NORML as a source:

I will quote directly from NORML's website

"In fact, the most recent studies..."

There sources are clearly from other non-biased parties.”

- Pro in round 3

I will acknowledge and drop this topic as my first rebuttal was more than enough to carry my point through.


Regarding the effectiveness of the THC vs smoked marijuana:

“If the patient refused to take the THC spray in favor of the actual marijuana substance, the doctor would have to give said patient the marijuana as the alternative of him dieing is less than him being giving the marijuana.
- Pro in round 3

You’re basically saying that if the patient throws a tantrum and refuses to take a safer, more easily approved, and just as effective medication, the doctor MUST provide him with medicinal marijuana? You evidently do not know how the process works.

As my opponent has not made a cohesive case whatsoever for the legalization of marijuana, and as I have proposed an effective alternative for the positive effects of medicinal marijuana, marijuana ought not be legalized. Additionally, as the effects of marijuana ARE damaging, marijuana has NOT been passed by the FDA as even having medicinal value in its smoked form, and there appear to be no utilitarian reason for legalization, I, again, state that marijuana ought not be legalized.

Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
I'm very sorry... I meant to post these sources at the bottom of my last post, and neglected to do so:

[1] http://www2.le.ac.uk...
[2] http://www.fhcrc.org...
[3] http://www.science20.com...
[4] (I was going to use another source here, but decided that it would not be adequate for proving the point, and that 3 was plenty.)
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
My rebuttal has been posted.
Awaiting your reply.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
Sorry about that. Again, delays because of the holyday... Again, I apologize for the near-tardiness.
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
I will warn you of the time constraints once again, as it would be quite an annoyance if you did not get to post your arguments.

You have about eight hours.

Good luck
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
Hmm...I see. Thanksgiving is interfering with my plans, some what.
I won't dull you with the details, I will just say it sucks.

Also, I greatly look forward to your argument.

Good luck.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
Sorry for the delay... I thought I would have time, but Thanksgiving Break just started, and I had to move a lot of stuff from dorm rooms yesterday. When I was done, I simply didn't have the will to make a post.

I'm working on it now ;)
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
I am not trying to rush your, but could you perhaps post your argument on by tommorow...
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
To your first post, that is indeed what I meant to type. Good eye by the way.

To your second post, honestly, I am for legalization of marijuana in controlled medical purposes.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
Side topic:
Your profile says that you are against drug legalization. Why the exception for marijuana?
Every single one of your "other various positive effects" apply to any other currently illegal drug, with the sole exception of "X is generally LESS harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation."

It just made me curious. Oh, by the way, you might notice that I'm playing devil's advocate on this one.
Posted by maninorange 5 years ago
maninorange
"Marijuana is generally more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation."

Based on your stance, surely you meant to say,
"Marijuana is generally LESS harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation."

Nonetheless, I shall accept the challenge before someone else does. I will give a response sometime Tuesday afternoon.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
MasterKagemaninorangeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented little in terms of refuted Con's counters, and he didn't link his sources, which made it difficult to know what I was looking for in each source. That also put to hide that many claims wer un-sourced.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
MasterKagemaninorangeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did a very thorough job refuting Pro's arguments; Pro's rebuttals were very weak, and his sources almost nonexistent. Arguments and sources to Con.
Vote Placed by OMGJustinBieber 5 years ago
OMGJustinBieber
MasterKagemaninorangeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed a little overwhelmed here by the content and sources of Con.