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

Marijuana should be legal

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,352 times Debate No: 25526
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




I believe that marijuana should be legalised in the United States.
Here are some facts:
$70 billion are spent a year on stopping marijuana use.
Taxing marijuana would significantly boost government funding.
People who smoke marijuana seem to have less problems with pain and headaches.

This may seem weak to begin, however I would like for a person against marijuana legalisation in the United States to offer their argument before I really start to bring my arguments to the table.


Firstly, I would like to thank Pro for this debate. I want to clarify to Pro, seeing as this is his first debate and he might be unfamiliar with the rules, that he has the burden of proof. I would provide definitions, but this resolution is pretty straightforward. I hope this debate can remain semantics and troll-free!

With that, I'll start my part of the debate.

Pro starts with his argument with three points: Much money is spent to stop marijuana use, taxing marijuana would boost government funding, and marijuana can be used as a pain reliever. I will tackle each of these points individually and I also ask Pro to support these points with evidence/sources. I will then conclude with some of my own argument.

Controlling Cannabis
Pro's first argument points out the fact that the government has to spend money to enforce marijuana laws. Does that mean marijuana should be legal? Of course not. It also costs the government money to keep convicted murderers in prison. However, the government insists on keeping criminals in prison regardless of the cost. Why? For the safety of its people. A government has more responsibilities than to be frugal. In fact, the United States' most important responsibility is to protect every citizen's right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When a crime is committed, when one person's acts impairs another individual's access to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," it is the government's responsibility to interfere and protect those whose rights are threatened. It is the government's job to protect its citizens by protecting laws.

No Taxation without Legalization
Pro's second point is, if marijuana was legalized, it could be taxed and bring in government revenue. I ask him how significant would this revenue be? Unless this revenue is significant, this point is hardly worth debating.

The Health of Hemp
Pro makes the unsupported conclusion that marijuana reduces the severity of pains and headaches. While this may be true, studies have recently shown adverse long-term effects. Not only has it been shown to lead to lung cancer [1], but other cancers [2] as well as problems with the immune and respiratory systems as well [3]. When one can take an Advil for aches and pains, why is it then necessary to risk your future health for pain relief?


If you let the a weed in, it will be there to stay - Latin Proverb
Once weed is legalized, the amount of weed in circulation would grow exponentially. Why? Because legalizing the drug would cut the price by as much as 80% and lead to increased consumption [4]. With a huge cost drop and an increase in availability (marijuana would be available for purchase at dispensaries instead of dark, dirty alleys), the demand, much like the population, will be high. Basically, lower price and easier access = more consumption.

The Population's Problem
Now, if there were nothing wrong with marijuana this would not prove to be an issue. "Let the people smoke!" stoners howl. "It doesn"t hurt anybody!" However, earlier, we recognized marijuana as a carcinogen. Not only does marijuana consumption lead to increased cancer rates, but increased rates of other health problems as well.
Marijuana is not just damaging to the user either. Families of users are heavily impacted, psychologically as well as physically. Second-hand smoke has adverse health effects [1][2][3] and being a user (as your judgment is impaired) can negatively impact the relationships, health, and development of a family [5]. This can lead to unsafe environments for children, a home that is emotionally and oftentimes financially unstable.
It is also negative from a societal point of view. As we all know, marijuana is a hallucinogen and causes lapses in memory and judgment. In the case that someone under the influence of marijuana causes an accident and has to go to the emergency room or even has complications with cancer that sends them to a hospital, with a 70% unemployment rate for drug users [6], they will likely be uninsured and leave the burden on to the taxpayers. This, combined with problems in the workplace, seeing as 13% of injuries at work are caused by drug-related incidents [7], will create too many problems.

The legalization of marijuana cannot be observed from a monetary standpoint. The reason marijuana possession is illegal, and, therefore, enforced by spending government money, is for the safety of the population. Marijuana use hurts every functioning unit of society: the individual, the family, and the community. It is the responsibility of the government of the United States of America to keep its citizens safe.
I turn it over to Pro.

Debate Round No. 1


Marijuana is not on the same caliber as murder first of all. It is not a harmful drug. It actually helps people who suffer cancer cope with the pain of their everyday lives. Do you want the government to arrest a cancer patient for simply consuming marijuana to improve their painful and suffering filled lifestyle?
Also, the revenue from marijuana would be a very significant amount. Say 30 billion dollars are spent on marijuana with a 6% tax rate in 1 year. 1.8 billion dollars would subsequently be added to the government's revenue. That's a lot of money if you ask me. The marijuana control costs would be paid for in about 39 years. Seems like a long time, however would we rather be gaining money? Or losing it?
As for the government bit, isn't this country "the land of the free"? This means people are free to purchase what they want for whatever purposes they want. FREE ENTERPRISE my friend. You are infringing on it!! People shouldnt be told not to buy marijuana if they want to buy it.
The health of marijuana you bring up seem to be more of the effects of cigarettes rather than weed. Cigarettes are much more likely to cause cancer, so do you think cigarettes should be illegal too? Or are you going to say they arent as bad. Because they are.
Also, I have noticed one of your sources is based on ALCOHOLISM. There is NO alcohol involved in this matter. This is an unreliable source.
As for the Advil part, marijuana is much more potent than Advil. I take Advil and it doesn't work sometimes for me. People can get even more addicted to the pills as oppose to marijuana, which is NOT an addictive drug.
Your rebuttal?


I would like to thank Pro for his quick response.

Pro seems to have ignored many points posted in my argument, including his initial point that much taxpayer money is spent to prevent marijuana use. In fact, pro also completely disregarded my entire argument, which highlights marijuana's negative impact on individuals, families and society. In addition, Pro still has not included a single source. I ask that Pro make rebuttals to all of my points and provide sources next round.

The Caliber of Cannabis (and Killing)
Pro claims that because marijuana is not as bad as murder and that because it is not harmful, it should be legalized. However, there exists many crimes, such as theft, that are outlawed even though they are less severe. Also, marijuana has been shown to be harmful to the individual that smoked it, his/her family and society.

Marijuana as Medicine
Pro's next point is advocating the pain relief benefits of marijuana. However, Pro is not pushing for the legalization of marijuana with this point, but rather the legalization of medical, prescribed marijuana. Unless Pro can show that marijuana must be used to treat pain in all cases (not just extreme examples, like cancer) this point is moot.

Money in Marijuana
Once again, Pro fails to cite a source and instead makes up his own number. I do not believe I need to address an issue that remains unsourced and I ask Pro to attach evidence next round.

"The Land of the Free"
Pro brings up the point that this country was built on the foundation of freedom and therefore people should be free to use their money on whatever they want. This is extremely idealistic and moot at best. There are great limits imposed by the government on what one can or can't do with his/her own money. A government aims to protect it's people first, and if something is harmful to the citizens of its country, it has the responsibility to mitigate that threat. Marijuana, which I have shown to be harmful to citizens, should be barred as it is harmful to others. It is true that the United States is referred to the "land of the free," but once your "freedom" imposes on the freedom of others, it has to be controlled.

Cigarettes vs. Sinsemilla
"Cigarettes are much more likely to cause cancer, so do you think cigarettes should be illegal too?" Personally, I think they should be illegal, but that's another debate entirely. However, marijuana is arguably worse than cigarettes. Marijuana not only has serious side-effects (cancers, lung and immune system complications, etc.), but also a mind-altering aspect, which makes it as dangerous as alcohol in the short run and cigarettes in the long run.

The Source Situation
Although the website title might have the word alcoholism in it, the article is indeed about marijuana. Why is the source, then, invalid?

The Advil Argument
Pro asserts that Advil is not as potent as marijuana. I ask him to cite a source. I would like to remind Pro that anecdotal evidence is not proper in a debate as it is a fallacy to use anecdotal evidence for generalizations [1].

Pro has still unfulfilled his burden of proof. His lack of sources, underdeveloped points and lack of acknowledgement for marijuana's harmful effect on society leaves his argument shaky. With an understanding of marijuana's negative impact to every element of society, it should be the responsibility of the government to keep it illegal.

Debate Round No. 2


dferreira96 forfeited this round.


I would like to extend my arguments, seeing as Pro posted no new reply.

Marijuana is dangerous to the user, his/her family and society in general.

Seeing as Pro was unable to satisfy his burden of proof, all of his points being negated and unsourced, your vote should go to Con.
Debate Round No. 3
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF!
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, better arguments.