The Instigator
Chuckles
Pro (for)
Winning
42 Points
The Contender
DDRPsycho
Con (against)
Losing
31 Points

Marijuana should be legalized in the US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,176 times Debate No: 3832
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (23)

 

Chuckles

Pro

I already posted this debate but my opponent was unable to post argu

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
mattshuster
Con ~ Round 1

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
DDRPsycho

Con

although Marijuana may be in some ways healthier than alcohol and cigarettes, it still shouldn't be made legal. Marijuana is the second most abused drug in the united states. Abusing marijuana can result in problems with memory, learning and social behavior. Longer term it can lead to problems such as lung cancer and increased risk of infections. Aside from the health issues of Marijuana, officers often get criminals and dangerous people off the street because of their drug use, then later convict them for their crimes. If Marijuana is made legal, that is one less way dangerous people can be taken off the street, and who wants criminals out on the loose?

And i'm just going to ask one last thing, are you a crack head or something?
Debate Round No. 1
Chuckles

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate, even if it is done too much.

my opponent's first point against legalizing weed is that Marijuana is the second most abused drug in the US. Imagine that.

I say:
- Of course it is, being cheaper and more common than most other drugs, as well as less dangerous (no one has ever died from marijuana). Also a factor contributing to that statistic is that the government considers USE of marijuana to be ABUSE of marijuana. They are, in fact, quite different things. The fact that it's less dangerous means we should legalize it. here's some statistics:

ANNUAL AMERICAN DEATHS CAUSED BY DRUGS

TOBACCO ........................ 400,000
ALCOHOL ........................ 100,000
ALL LEGAL DRUGS ................ 20,000
ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS .............. 15,000
CAFFEINE ....................... 2,000
ASPIRIN ........................ 500
MARIJUANA ...................... 0
----------------------------------------
Source: United States government...
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Bureau of Mortality Statistics

70 million Americans have used MJ. What would happen if MJ was legalized, regulated, and taxed by the government? Those 70 million would become a huge source of revenue.

"Marijuana legalization offers an important advantage over decriminalization in that it allows for legal distribution and taxation of cannabis. In the absence of taxation, the free market price of legal marijuana would be extremely low, on the order of five to ten cents per joint. In terms of intoxicating potential, a joint is equivalent to at least $1 or $2 worth of alcohol, the price at which cannabis is currently sold in the Netherlands. The easiest way to hold the price at this level under legalization would be by an excise tax on commercial sales. An examination of the external costs imposed by cannabis users on the rest of society suggests that a "harmfulness tax" of $.50 -$1 per joint is appropriate. It can be estimated that excise taxes in this range would raise between $2.2 and $6.4 billion per year. Altogether, legalization would save the taxpayers around $8 - $16 billion, not counting the economic benefits of hemp agriculture and other spinoff industries." - Dale Gieringer, Ph. D.

Reprinted from Ed Rosenthal, ed., Hemp Today pp. 311-24.
(Quick American Archives, Oakland, CA 1994)

UP TO SIXTEEN BILLION PEOPLE! THAT'S $16,000,000,000!

-Basically, any drug can be abused, but MJ is abused more often because it's more available than other drugs. If i was to say wal mart was the #1 shopped-at store in america, we could assume that's because there's more of them, it's better prices, and its more available. The same goes for MJ.

My opponent's next argument is that it effects memory, learning, and social skills. I addressed memory already, although it is included in what i will say. Look to the study that provided this information. It was conducted on 129 college students, 65 of which were classified "heavy users". this means they used Marijuana 27 of the last 30 days. The study focuses on these. It fails to mention problems with the 64 other users who were "light users". Why? because there weren't problems. Heavy use does have problems, there's no doubt about that, but the same goes for alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs. Word to the wise: Heavy use is stupid. besides the effects above, the high you get is not as good as when you use MJ occasionally. If you use it then wait for a time, then use it again, it is much better than using it everyday. The point is, MJ has effects of long term heavy use, but so do most legal drugs.

Next my opponent speaks of lung cancer. cigarettes cause this as well. i also addressed this in my first speech. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SMOKE MARIJUANA. you can use it in a variety of different ways. The reason smoking it is more common is because it is considered a crime to use it, thus you want to leave less evidence of use. Smoking would provide less evidence than, say, baking brownies or using a vaporizer. Then my opponent mentions the ability to fight infections, i will address this in a later speech.

his next and longest point is that MJ convictions lead to more convictions.

THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

most people who smoke marijuana are only criminals because mj is illegal. that is their only crime. simply because "dangerous people" us mj does not mean that it should be illegal. simply because it can get people into jail doesn't mean it should. it's the same crooked idea as "gateway drugs". Simply because you use MJ does not mean you will use harder drugs. and simply because you use mj does not mean you will commit crimes other than that. think of it as an elevator on a 10 story building. Simply because you go to floor one does not mean you will go to floor ten.

"Like most Americans, people who smoke marijuana also pay taxes, love and support their families, and work hard to make a better life for their children. Suddenly they are arrested, jailed and treated like criminals solely because of their recreational drug of choice. State agencies frequently step in and declare children of marijuana smokers to be "in danger", and many children are placed into foster homes as a result. This causes enormous pain, suffering and financial hardship for millions of American families. It also engenders distrust and disrespect for the law and for the criminal justice system overall. Responsible marijuana smokers present no threat or danger to America or its children, and there is no reason to treat them as criminals, or to take their children away. As a society we need to find ways to discourage personal conduct of all kinds that is abusive or harmful to others. Responsible marijuana smokers are not the problem and it is time to stop arresting them. "

-PureTHC.com

Now to review:

if taxed, sales of MJ could generate revenue of up to $16 billion, not including the growth, etc. of MJ.

MJ can be abused, but likewise it can, and often is, used responsibly. USE of marijuana is not ABUSE of marijuana.

and once again the effects of MJ, both short and long term, are less than or equal to the effects of LEGAL drugs.

and once again, no i am not a "Crack head".

are you jesus? cuz you have long hair.
DDRPsycho

Con

Alright, Marijuana gets legalized, what then? It will begin a chain reaction, that's what. Legalized on drug such as marijuana, then we get other supposedly "safer" drugs to get legalized, ans so on and so forth. Unfortunately, like any drug, Marijuana causes addictions, and addictions cost money to fulfil. Anyone who is a major cigarette user today will tell you it costs a lot, imagine how much marijuana will cost? The American families who pay taxes will soon be trying to satisfy their addiction while attempting to support their family. Imagine, a kid walks how to the smell of burnt marijuana, his dad is continuously spending all his money to buy more weed, and later finds out his dad has lung cancer, yet his dad has no idea what the hell is going on due to him being high every few hours. You may say that a responsible parent wouldn't do that, but the fact is, there are a lot of irresponsible parents in this world. You may also say people will smoke a joint just to relieve their stress, well, you can do the same thing with a cigarette.

I just want to add, if i seem to look like Jesus, then you REALLY must be a crack head XD. Oh, and it's a pleasure debating with you
Debate Round No. 2
Chuckles

Pro

kay, so i could cut his argument down to two points (none if his points so far, might i add, have had sources or supporting facts):
-Slippery Slope (we'll legalize more drugs)
-Fuels Addicts

First off, the Slippery Slope concept is flawed. On any topic. Humans know when to stop. Use my analogy for gateway drugs for this to. Going to floor one does not imply that we will go to floor ten. The idea that our government will legalize MJ, then harder drugs, is unlikely at best. It's a longshot to even convince people MJ is safe.

Next, his second argument is also flawed. He basically says that MJ can cause addiction, and legalization would fuel this trend in society. Well, you can be addicted to sex and it's legal (well, mostly). Supposedly now you can be addicted to video games too, and they're legal. And they're both psychological addictions. addiction to marijuana is psychological as well. Arguably Psychological addictions are easier to overcome than physical ones, as you don't start getting like physical symptoms from withdrawals. Tobacco is PHYSICALLY addicting and much harder to beat. as tobacco is legal, marijuana should also be.

pleasure debating with you as well. i await your rebuttal
DDRPsycho

Con

My friend, that is where yo are wrong. Studies have proven that there are addictions to marijuana that are equal if not worse than tobacco addictions. Studies on humans have also proven that marijuana has MAJOR WITHDRAWL SYMPTOMS!
Debate Round No. 3
Chuckles

Pro

This will be my last and closing argument.

I'll address three of his points:
-the first, from his first speech: Marijuana effects the immune system's ability to fight infections

-next, the addiction to mj is equal or worse than that of tobacco

-last, mj withdrawals

Then i'll go on to list some benefits of Marijuana use.

1. My opponent says that Marijuana affects the immune system's ability to fight infections.

I'm glad he brought this up, some of my rebuttal relates to a minor "debate" in the comments section.

This is true, but quite misleading. There is virtually no danger in this area for humans.

The ratio of the amount of cannabinoids (the chemicals in MJ that make you high) to the amount needed for intoxication is 40,000:1. In simpler terms, you would have to take 40,000 times more marijuana than is normally needed to get high. Plainly put: THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

The study that drew this conclusion involved injecting lab rats with EXTREMELY high levels of THC (the active compound in weed). at such unrealistically high levels (just short of a lethal dose), the THC did have a suppressive effect of the immune system,specifically on cells in the liver lymphocytes, and macrophages, which fight bacteria, but not viruses. However it was found this took effect only during intoxication. So here's the facts: weed can negatively affect your immune system during the time you are high if you take an amount of marijuana just short of a lethal dose. and the lethal dose is nearly physically impossible to take. There has never been a death due to marijuana overdose (sorry Inkslinger).

2. Marijuana is NOT physically addicting (at least to a degree to be worried about). It is, however, psychologically addicting. It has been shown less addicting than caffeine. Tobacco, meanwhile, IS physically addicting due to the nicotine contained in cigarettes. You can become psychologically addicted to ANYTHING. Video games, sex, whatever. And yet, video games, sex, and even tobacco, which is the cause of 1 in 6 American deaths, are legal. alcohol, which has been ranked with cocaine and heroin as some of the most addicting drugs. Alcohol is legal. While anything can be abused, anything can be addicting, weed has less risk than most drugs, including legal ones.

3. Marijuana withdrawals are not dangerous and not comparable to many other withdrawals from other drugs. Symptoms of weed withdrawals are basically the opposite of the drug's effects and include:
loss of appetite
insomnia
headache
nausea
anxiety
irritability

these are less worrisome than the side effects of many prescription drugs, not to mention withdrawals from other drugs like tobacco.

here are the tobacco withdrawal symptoms:

# irritation

# anger

# weight gain

# concentration problems

# depression

# headaches

# fatigue

# constipation

# restlessness

# insomnia

# dizziness

# anxiety.

In the end we can see that marijuana is less harmful than other legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and prescriptions. But what are some benefits?
There are many benefits you can get from using weed as well as many societal benefits to be derived from its legalization.

1. Relief from Nausea and weight loss.
- Many chemotherapy patients and AIDS victims suffer from nausea and dramatic wight loss. weed can counteract this through an increase in appetite (the munchies), and it's been shown to help against nausea

2. Relief from Glaucoma
-Marijuana can reduce interlobular pressure, thereby alleviating the pain and slowing -- and sometimes stopping -- the progress of the condition. (Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. It damages vision by increasing eye pressure over time.)-http://www.wamm.org...

3. Relief from pain
-duh

4. MS & epilepsy
can reduce or prevent epileptic seizures in some patients and reduces shuddering and involuntary twitching

Some benefits in legalizing weed:

1. Government Regulation.
-once it is legal the government can regulate it and decrease the chance that the weed is laced with more harmful drugs or harmful substances, as well as other increases in quality.

2. Tax Revenue
as i said before, revenue from a tax on legalized marijuana could be in. billions of dollars. here is an analysis of the legalization of MJ's effect on the economy in California:
California NORML's analysis of the benefits of marijuana legalization are as follows:

* An excise tax of $1 per half-gram joint of marijuana would raise about $1 billion per year, as much as the current excise tax on cigarettes.

* Retail sales on the legal market would range from $3 - $5 billion, generating another $250 - 400 million in sales taxes.

* Legalization would save over $156 million in law enforcement costs for arrest, prosecution, trial and imprisonment of marijuana offenders. Intrusive CAMP helicopter surveillance would also be eliminated.

* Based on experience with the cigarette tax, total revenues of $1.5 - $2.5 billion might be realized.

* Based on experience with the wine industry, the total economic activity generated by legal marijuana could be nearly three times as great as retail sales, around $8 - $13 billion. Amsterdam-style coffeehouses would generate jobs and tourism. If the marijuana industry were just one-third the size of the wine industry, it would generate 50,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages, along with additional income and business tax revenues for the state.

* Industrial hemp could also become a major business, comparable to the $3.4 billion cotton industry in California.
- http://www.canorml.org...

3. Cost of enforcement of MJ laws would go down.
here's more from that site about the cost of MJ laws' enforcement in california alone:

COST OF MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT IN CALIFORNIA IS OVER $156 MILLION PER YEAR

The cost of marijuana enforcement in California currently can be estimated at over $156 million per year, as follows.

State prison

(1400 prisoners @ $25K per year) $35 million

Jail costs (est. 40% of prison population) $14 million

Felony prosecution, court & probation

(9900 felony cases, SF DA's office estimates $9250 per case) $90 million

Felony arrests 12,000 arrests @ $732/arrest* $8.7 million

Misdemeanor court costs

$100 court time/case, 48,000 cases) $4.8 million

Misdemeanor arrests ($300/arrest,* offset by fines) ----- $0

California Marijuana Suppression Program (OCJP) $3.8 million

Total $156.3 million

Not counted above are costs of non-helicopter surveillance and investigation by local sheriffs and police. Also not counted are the substantial costs of criminal penalties to prisoners and their families.

* Arrest costs based on report by State Office of Narcotics and Drug Abuse to the Cal. legislature "A First Report of the Impact of California's New Marijuana Law" (1977), adjusted for inflation.

Now imagine the whole country's costs, even without the drug war's cost from other enforcement efforts.

My opponent has failed to source any references, only to make vague statements about marijuana, which i have proven wrong or misleading.

The benefits of marijuana and its legalization would be dramatic for this nation, and that is why you must vote pro.

Thanks for the debate, Jesus, and see you around.
DDRPsycho

Con

okay, i probably already lost this debate, but hear this final part out. If thinking a man is Jesus is the effect of marijuana, imagine how this world would be if EVERYONE did marijuana. I AM NOT JESUS!
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
thank you ,mangani this comment is now 25 characters long
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Chuckles, not only what you said, but those statistics are available on dozens of other websites!!!
Posted by Black.Nite17 8 years ago
Black.Nite17
Wow Psycho you really make some foolish arguements. As a supporter for de-prohibition, I gotta say you failed for yor fellow pro-probitionist.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
if you want inkslinger, i'll debate you on this or something else.
Posted by Chuckles 8 years ago
Chuckles
inkslinger, at the bottom of these stats i posted in round two. it's a funny little thing called a citation. I got that from PureTHC.com, which got it from you high and mighty government. look! National Institute on DRUG ABUSE (NIDA)
look! Bureau of Mortality Statistics!
look! you give no citation, just say "i found this on this site!" i couldn't find any stats saying what you said. gimme a link?

ANNUAL AMERICAN DEATHS CAUSED BY DRUGS

TOBACCO ........................ 400,000
ALCOHOL ........................ 100,000
ALL LEGAL DRUGS ................ 20,000
ALL ILLEGAL DRUGS .............. 15,000
CAFFEINE ....................... 2,000
ASPIRIN ........................ 500
MARIJUANA ...................... 0
----------------------------------------
Source: United States government...
National Institute on Drug Abuse,
Bureau of Mortality Statistics
Posted by InkSlinger4 8 years ago
InkSlinger4
Somehow I think speeding is not as bad as smoking weed. Crazy, I know. And drug-overdose.com is not a gov't site, so I don't trust it. I told you to look up a gov't site, so I'm guessing you're just looking for stuff that supports your flawed argument.
Posted by cloppbeast 8 years ago
cloppbeast
WOW! How could anybody possibly vote for con? Obviously that person didn't even read either argument and just voted on his/her opinion.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
"My friend, that is where yo are wrong. Studies have proven that there are addictions to marijuana that are equal if not worse than tobacco addictions. Studies on humans have also proven that marijuana has MAJOR WITHDRAWL SYMPTOMS!"

-Where are these fictional "studies"? I have provided links on studies in my debates on this topic- all state there is no physical addiction to marijuana, and emotional addiction is the refusal to quit on the grounds that the user perceives no risks associated with his/her use (not quitting because they don't want to is not addiction). Symptoms of withdrawal are attributed to natural personality traits suppressed by the marijuana in the first place, ie. aggression, lack of concentration, hyperactivity, indeciciveness, etc. Marijuana calms and suppresses those personality traits and the person gets used to being "different" than their usual self, and when not using they go back to the same undesirable personality traits. Ever heard the term "take a chill pill"? Well, go smoke a joint and read a book...
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Or is it psyco? Whatever... they're schizo...
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Psyco, your arguments are phsyco...
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