The Instigator
Chuckles
Pro (for)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
mattshuster
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Marijuana should be legalized in the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,718 times Debate No: 3683
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (11)

 

Chuckles

Pro

So i know this subject has been pounded to death already but i love it and i'm getting really bored.

First off i'll start by saying under a government that allows the use of tobacco (specifically cigarettes) and alcohol, that same government should also allow marijuana (for recreational and medicinal purposes). I'll start with showing that marijuana is safer than cigarettes:
Many say a marijuana is worse because it has no filter. But they do not realize that when you cigarette you smoke the whole thing down, whereas with marijuana, you take a few hits and then stop (usually). And you don't even have to smoke it. You can eat it, use a vaporizer, etc. there are a variety of ways to use marijuana, all of them safer than smoking a cigarette (or chewing tobacco, for that matter).
Next, marijuana is safer than alcohol. Alcohol impedes your judgment as well as slowing down reflexes, etc. Most ppl are familiar with the effects of alcohol. Marijuana on the other hand, slows down reflexes, but does not impede judgment. You are aware of what you do and possible consequences when you are on marijuana. also, MJ only affects your memory while you use it. once you are done, you can remember what you did. alcohol, however, affects your memory long after you are no longer drunk. I am still randomly remembering bits and pieces of times i have been drunk. You can remember clearly things you do while using weed.
Now i don't have enough time to finish an opening argument, so i'll continue to present points throughout this debate, which, by the way, is 4 rounds.
mattshuster

Con

hi, thank you for posting this topic and even if it's commonly used i still find it to be a very interesting debate

i would ask that everyone who votes, would vote on the basis of who argues better and presents their case better not on whether you personally believe marijuana should/should not be legal. moving on

first i would like to start of by laying out my case, since this is 4 rounds i won't use any of this speech to refute my opponent and will simply focus on my own.

1: despite the dangers of any other substance such as alcohol or tobacco, marijuana remains a dangerous drug.

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us within just 1 hour of using marijuana the users risk of a heart attack more then quadruples. It also impairs your ammune system's ability to fight illnesses, a side effect indeed, but one that can in the end lead to a permanent effect or disease. In the end they tell us that in general those consuming marijuana have more overall health problems then those using tobacco, and have about a 30% chance of a successfull rehab once addicted to marijuana.

2:even if marijuans can be found to be non-harmful, it leads more often then not to other more dangerous drugs

National Institute of Health reports that "very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana"

Erich Goode, Drugs in American Society "The marijuana user has a statistically higher likelihood of trying and using a wide range of dangerous drugs than is true of the nonuser"

Even if my opponent can prove marijuana has no other negative side effects then it being rapidly available still promotes the addiction to other drugs, clearly a harm in the legalization of it

As my opponent said, I will add more as we go, with 4 rounds I felt no need to argue all my points in 1 speech
Debate Round No. 1
Chuckles

Pro

alright, i look forward to this debate, and i also hope that no one votes either way based on an opinion. Thank you for accepting the debate, mattshuster.

Here is my summary of his points made in his speech, correct me if i'm mistaken:
1. Marijuana is a dangerous drug, even if compared with worse ones.
-can lead to heart attack
-inhibits immune system
-low rate of successful rehab after addiction
-causes more problems than tobacco
2. Marijuana is a gateway drug
-leads to more drugs
-"very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying mj
-"The mj user has a statistically higher likelihood of trying and using a wide range of dangerous drugs than is true of the non user"

i'm going to go out of order and attack point #2 first.

The concept of a "gateway drug" is flawed. It basically states that those using a lower class drug (ie Marijuana) are more likely to start using harder drugs. when you look closer at the concept and the studies backing it up, it seems quite a bit less creditable than at first glance.

http://www.marijuanalibrary.org...
The above link is an article on said topic, but i believe not too many readers will actually read it. so i'm going to summarize what it says. here are the first two paragraphs:

"The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, in cooperation with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the White House Office of Drug Control Policy, recently announced a new anti-drug campaign that specifically targets marijuana. Instead of featuring horror tales of marijuana-induced insanity, violence and birth detects, this campaign is built upon the premise that reducing marijuana use is a practical strategy for reducing the use of more dangerous drugs.

The primary basis for this "gateway hypothesis" is a recent report by the center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), claiming that marijuana users are 85 times more likely than non-marijuana users to try cocaine. This figure, using data from NIDA's 1991 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, is close to being meaningless. It was calculated by dividing the proportion of marijuana users who have ever used cocaine (17%) by the proportion of cocaine users who have never used marijuana (.2%). The high risk-factor obtained is a product not of the fact that so many marijuana users use cocaine but that so many cocaine users used marijuana previously. "

It only makes sense that a user of a harder and more expensive drug, in this case cocaine, would also use a drug with less effects that is also less expensive. chances are those users also used alcohol and tobacco.
the statistic that this study avoids proclaiming is that 83% of MJ users never use cocaine. If you look back to the rates of use of both drugs for the last 40 years, you will observe that the two are obviously unrelated. They peak at different times, they grow at different rates, it is obvious they are unrelated.

Think of it like you are in a building getting to different floors. simply because you go to floor one does not mean you must go to floor ten. marijuana does not lead to harder drugs.

furthermore, even if the Gateway drug concept had credibility, legalization can reduce the possibility of using harder drugs. The simple fact that marijuana is available does not mean harder drugs will be used. You can look to Holland for an example of this. consider this second quote from the above link:

"If the creators of American drug policy are truly interested in reducing the risk of marijuana users using other drugs, they should take a closer look at Holland, where drug policy since the 1970s has been guided by a commitment to diminishing any potential gateway effect. Wanting to keep young marijuana users away from cocaine and other "hard drugs," the Dutch decided to separate the retail markets by allowing anyone 18 years of age or older to purchase marijuana openly in government-controlled "coffee shops" which strictly prohibit the use and sale of other drugs.

Despite easy availability, marijuana prevalence among 12 to 18 year olds in Holland is only 13.6 percent - well below the 38 percent use-rate for American high school seniors."

http://norml.org...

obviously we can scratch this idea of a gateway drug.

Next i'll move backwards to his first point:
in the first in a wide array of claims he makes in this point is that the risk of heart attack increases 4 times (the exact # is 4.8) in the hour after using marijuana.

First off, the study this refers to SMOKING marijuana. As i said, marijuana does not have to be smoked to enjoy its effects.

"Dr. Middleman (Professor from Harvard doing the report) also said that in the debate over the medicinal use of marijuana, it might be judged inadvisable for people with existing coronary disease.

The Boston group studied 3,882 patients who had survived heart attacks and found that 124 reported using marijuana regularly.

Of those, 37 said they had used it within 24 hours of their heart attacks and 9 within the hour of their attacks. The relative risk of heart attack increased 4.8 times within the first hour but dropped to 1.7 times higher in the second hour, suggesting a rapid decline in the acute cardiac effects, the researchers said.

The group previously reported on other triggers of heart attacks, including cocaine, exercise, sex and psychological conditions.

The latest report said smoking marijuana...was less risky than a "spurt of exercise for a couch potato or a snort of cocaine." -http://www.mapinc.org...

next, this study has yet to have been reaffirmed, as is done in science. its results have not been repeated. This study showed that when a smoker is reclining their heart rate increases and if they stand up it drops suddenly.

there was another professor (Dr. Grinspoon) at harvard(the school the report comes from) who disagreed with the conclusions drawn from this report.
here's the link:
http://stopthedrugwar.org...

"Dr. Grinspoon: Well, I would point out that (in the study) out of 3,882 patients, we're talking about 9 who used marijuana within an hour of the onset of a heart attack. That's around 0.2%. By sheer mathematics, given that people sleep eight hours per day or so, we can deduce that 6.7% of those patients emptied their bowels within an hour of onset. It's incredible to me that the numbers here could be said to constitute a significant risk factor."

So if we are to use the same reasoning, we can assume that shitting is also connected with heart attacks.

the report said the risk was for people WITH HEART DISEASE. DUH.

We cannot assume that simply because of one report that has not been peer-reviewed that MJ is connected with heart attacks.

Later my opponent says that MJ users have a 30% rehab success rate. What are the rates for alcohol and tobacco? what about prescription drugs like OxyContin?

The point is that MJ, like any other drug (or food for that matter) can be abused. used correctly, you can reap great benefits from the use of marijuana.

Now to move on to make new point of my own:

Legalization provides an avenue for Regulation

If we are to legalize MJ, then the government can regulate it, as in Holland. Otherwise marijuana can be tainted with truly harmful substances. but if the Gov. could regulate it, then you would not have to worry about that. Tobacco has warnings. Alcohol has alcohol content and other things on the label. Prescriptions have active and inactive ingredients on the label. This way marijuana can be safer!

Now due to time constraints i have to get off my computer. Thanks again for accepting the challenge!

PS: tomorrow is 4/20!
mattshuster

Con

mattshuster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Chuckles

Pro

this is my argument. It is over now. Actually not now but after i reach one hundred characters...now
mattshuster

Con

mattshuster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Chuckles

Pro

now i'll turn to whitney houston to speak for me: and IIIIIIIIIIII will always love yoooOOOOOooou! This argument is now 100 characters long
mattshuster

Con

mattshuster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by mattshuster 8 years ago
mattshuster
when i get a chance i will msg u k, srry about the inconvenience
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
if you want a redo, i'm fine with that, i'd like to add points and make my case less wordy. Whatever you want.
Posted by mattshuster 8 years ago
mattshuster
srry i have been outta town and am only on computer to post this, then back off

srry we couldnt have a good debate, i had some pretty good arguments i hadnt posted yet and someways of countering yours

call it a win if u want, i call it life > debate.org
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
hahaha, leethal, nice. about to write the argument for that very point. can't stand it. "gateway drug" doesn't make sense at all.
Posted by Anonymous 8 years ago
Anonymous
What is the point of debating this. It is a historical fact that marijuana was outlawed based on lies, a fake war on drugs propagated by basically one man in the FBI who was trying to make a name fr himself. For God's sake, I watched a history channel special on this very issue. Even they acknowladge that the government used dishonest ad campaigns to scare the crap out of Americans and make them want Mary Jane to be illegal. Marijuana is much more profitable when it is illegal, and therefore the government will never legalize it.

What we should be debating is that the American government needs a complete overhaul.
Posted by leethal 8 years ago
leethal
Haha, the "Gateway Drug" argument cracks me up every time.

mattshuster: "Very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana"

Yeah, well I bet even fewer people use other illegal drugs without first trying alcohol or cigarettes. Or, for that matter, milk. *GASP* Milk MUST be a gateway drug. Mothers lock up your mammery glands!!!
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