Marijuana should be legal for recreational use
Debate Rounds (4)
1. Marijuana is a non-lethal drug. Virtually no one has died from smoking marijuana. Stephen Sidney, MD, associate director for research for Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., in the Sept 20 issue of The British Medical Journal states that "the current knowledge base does not support the assertion that it has any notable adverse public health impact in relation to mortality," No one dies from a 'fatal marijuana overdose'. Since it cant kill you, why make it illegal?
2. Marijuana has relatively mild side effects. It is also non-toxic to humans. Dr. Mark Sircus says this in regards to marijuana use, "...a low risk profile is evident from the literature available. Serious complications are very rare...".
4. Marijuana is almost never addictive. 'In 1944, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia commissioned research to be performed by the New York Academy of Science. Among their conclusions: they found marijuana did not lead to significant addiction in the medical sense of the word. They also did not find any evidence marijuana led to morphine, heroin or cocaine addiction.'- CNN News .In fact, tobacco is three times as addictive, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
5. Alcohol and cigarettes are addictive, but they are legal. If we want to be consistent in our values, then its a no-brainer that marijuana should be legalized.
6. Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. If we can have guns, and cigs, and beer, and play football (linked to CTE and fatality), then why not?
Another reason that marijuana should not be legalized for recreational use, is because marijuana is terrible for mental health. Marijuana creates a feeling of anxiety to some user which have been linked to depression. This, I suppose would essentially be considered another health risk. With that being said, there are too many long term health risks behind marijuana, so therefore it should remain out of the hands of recreational users.
1. So, in response to your 'gateway drug' argument, marijuana is actually not a gateway drug. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that ' the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. '.
Factcheck.org says this- 'Though studies of large populations of people have indeed found that those who smoke marijuana are more likely to use other drugs, these studies show a correlation without showing causation " a commonly misunderstood phenomenon in science.'. So its like saying that since usually it rains the day after your neighbor mows his lawn,mowing the lawn must bring rain the next day. It says more about the type of people that use drugs, than any problem or addictive power of marijuana.
In Holland, where marijuana is legal, there has actually been a decrease in people falling into the 'gateway' trap. 'A 2010 Rand Institute report found that there was "some evidence" for a "weakened gateway" in The Netherlands, and concluded that the data "clearly challenge any claim that the Dutch have strengthened the gateway to hard drug use." '-from a Time magazine article entitled 'Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die'.
2. I will also point out that while marijuana has been linked to depression and anxiety, it can also be used to treat depression and anxiety. So wouldn't it stand to reason that the people who use marijuana take it because it relieves the depression? But when they are tested (presumably not while smoking a joint) they show up as depressed, anxious, etc.? What I mean is that the people more likely to smoke marijuana are people who are more likely to be depressed and/or anxious.
'There have been a number of studies that have explored the link between marijuana use and mental health symptoms. Strong associations are often found but this is not the same as a causal link (i.e. one causes the other).'- The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute. They also say that 'results are mixed'.
3. Smoking weed does not cause lung cancer. Research from Johns Hopkins University showed that 'Marijuana, unlike tobacco and alcohol, does not appear to cause head, neck, or lung cancer.'
In marijuana/cancer studies, there is often no link between the two after accounting for smoking and drinking. Many weed users also do those things. The presence of tobacco can skew the results of such studies, unless you account for those substances. Marijuana on its own is 'unlikely to cause head, neck, or lung cancer', according to WebMD.
(On a somewhat irrelevant note, 'What we do know, is that smoking marijuana may help some people cope with cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, "cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects."- Verywell.com. So marijuana may have the opposite effect. ----I bring this in not as a reason to legalize, but just to show that it has the opposite effect than what some claim it does.) (We can pretend I didn't say it if you don't want it in.)
So while weed may have some adverse effects on your lungs, it most definitely has not been proven to cause or increase the chance of lung cancer.
(Rebuttals/Summations in Rd 4?)
To continue, pro claims that marijuana can be used to treat depression and anxiety, whether or not that is true or not, is not relevant to this debate, as we are debating about recreational use of marijuana, and not medicinal use for it. However, research provided by Mayo Clinic suggests that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, rather than non smokers.
With that being said, pro also claims that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer. However, this is untrue because according to the American Lung Association, smoke in itself no matter where it is from, including marijuana can cause all sorts of lung illness ranging from damage of the lung lining, or even chronic bronchitis.
Furthermore, marijuana is indeed harmful to our bodies, and can lead people (especially those that do not have very good control over behavior) to try harder drugs out there. Combine that with people that are prone to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and then we have got a world of very physically, and psychologically ill people. Maybe a consensus would be for a doctor to prescribe marijuana in some instance, which would be for a different debate, however the debate about whether or not marijuana should be available to anyone for recreational use, is proved to be con by the reasons stated above. Thanks for a good debate!
We live in a world of risks. Everything we do can harm us. Look at the statistics of vehicular fatalities. Look at the danger of drowning, or injuring yourself during sports. We have guns, which can be used to kill others, even accidentally at times.
We eat sugary, fatty, chemical-laced food. We drink sugar-water and food coloring mixes (soda).
We drink alcohol, a substances that impairs the mind's ability to think clearly.
We smoke tobacco, which is proven to cause lung and mouth cancer, and can often kill.
How is marijuana any different?
Marijuana is not addictive, like alcohol and tobacco.
Marijuana is not, in and of itself, a 'gateway' drug. I have shown this through multiple sources. The people who use these drugs may be more likely to move on to other drugs, but through their own choice, not any fault of marijuana.
Con conceded my point when he said this- ' ...have been urged in some way or another to begin using a different hard drug.'
'Urged', not addicted.
In America, where I am from, we have the freedom to pursue happiness. To some people, marijuana is happiness. To continue to outlaw marijuana is both unconstitutional and contrary to the Declaration of Independence.
While I am not someone who has smoked or used marijuana, nor someone who plans to, I recognize the basic right to do what I want with my body. It's not bothering you, so let others be happy.
I rest my case.
Thanks you as well, this has been a lot of fun, and intellectually stimulating.
In the words of one far smarter than I, 'Vote Pro!'
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Omniscient_Debater 7 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in the comments.
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