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The Contender
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Marijuana should be legalized in the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/28/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 209 times Debate No: 88855
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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Marijuana should be legalized, in the U.S.

Full burden of proof is on me, as I am making the positive claim.

marijuana-cannabis, especially as smoked in cigarettes.

legalized-make something that was illegal permissible by law.

United States of America- The country that wastes billions-trillions of dollars in military and tanks and ships that nobody wants, while people die on the streets because they can't afford healthcare. Is a rigged democracy/oligarchy, where the economy and legislation passed is almost completely controlled by corporations. Current president is Obama, whom is a great orator and has some intelligent progressive policies, but is an overall center right establishment president. Is in North America, and borders Central American and Canada.


I can tell you that Marijuana should not be legalized in the United States. Marijuana has a lot of problems. It has health risks and it is, at least partially, a gateway drug. In this way, I would compare to handguns. It's mere presence doesn't necessitate violence, but likely increases violence. So also it is for marijuana. It doesn't necessitate addiction, death, or harder drugs, but it does increase each one of those.

Marijuana Health Risks:
Gateway Drug:
Debate Round No. 1


Marijuana should be legalized for economic reasons.

Multiple states have legalized marijuana in the United States. Colorado is a great example of its advantages.

The retail sale of marijuana in Colorado began on January 1st, 2014.

The first glaring advantage is that tax revenue was huge, just in between January 2014 and October 2014, tax revenue amounted to $40,900,000 million dollars. This was just in a span of about 8 months, there has been a massive increase to that total by now. And a huge part of this is, a lot of this tax revenue is going towards health professionals in public schools. The Colorado joint budget Committee set aside $2,500,000 in order to increase health professionals in public school. This would in turn, actually help decrease crime rates in Colorado, involving drugs. [1]

That is a wonderful source there, as it gave much of the information needed to see the benefits. The effect legalization has had on Colorado is amazing, in 2014 Colorado had the fastest growing economy of any state in the United States. Business Insider did an article where they ranked each state by economic growth using factors like the unemployment rate, non farm payroll jobs, GDP, average wages, working age population, value on international exports, house prices, and auto sales. [2]

This is extremely apparent, considering the employment rate of Colorado was at a six year low in 2014. [3]

I have heard countless times the arguments that legalizing marijuana leads to more traffic fatalities. But actually, legalization had the opposite effect in Colorado. In the first 11 months of 2014, Colorado had 436 traffic fatalities, which is a 3% drop from the first 11 months in 2013. See [1] This can hardly be contributed to legalization, as traffic fatalities have been decreasing in the state for 12 years, however this shows marijuana did not lead to an increase in traffic deaths.

Colorado's capital, Denver, released information about crime rates in 2014, and they show crime actually went down. In the first 100 months of 2014, violent crime went down 2.2% in Denver, in that same period burglaries decreased 9.5%. See [1] What this shows is that marijuana legalization does not increase crime rates.

Also, keep in mind, no one in human history has ever died from a marijuana overdose, con's source by the DEA admits that. While cigarette smoking is the cause of more than 480,000 deaths per year, just in the United States, while no one has died from a marijuana overdose in human history anywhere.


Let me put it this way. Yes, we are getting an incredible amount of money. We are, however, poisoning ourselves in the process. Marijuana entails many health risks. As of right now, there are not enough statistics to make a judgment about overall crime rates because of marijuana. All we know is that crime is going down like it was in previous years before marijuana was legalized. To say that marijuana legalization caused this change is to use the post hoc ergo proctor hoc logical fallacy.

As for your usage of the number of deaths, now that marijuana is legalized we will have a sample size much closer to that of cigarettes. When you say that marijuana has not had an overdose death, this is true. This is also true for cigarettes. As for the comparison in death rates between cigarettes and marijuana, let me tell you something. Marijuana has seen that same percentage of death rates, it just hasn't been recorded. The health effects of marijuana are much larger than those in cigarettes, but marijuana use has been lower.
Debate Round No. 2


"As of right now, there are not enough statistics to make a judgment about overall crime rates because of marijuana."

A. Very true, but the evidence we do have points to the fact that it lowers crime rates, so we have to assume that right now as an advantage to marijuana legalization.

The only thing I credit to marijuana legalization when it comes to crime is a decrease in marijuana possession charges. However what we can tell from this is that marijuana legalization does not increase crime.

Marijuana itself has never killed anyone, it does combined with other drugs long term. But what I am saying is if you try to ban marijuana because of health risks, then you have to be for banning cigarettes, or alcohol (which people do overdose on) this just isn't a very viable reason to advocate banning something.

"The health effects of marijuana are much larger than those in cigarettes, but marijuana use has been lower."

A. Marijuana does have health effects, however, the fact that in the U.S in 2013 there were over 400,000 cigarette deaths, and no marijuana deaths, shows that the effects can not be greater.


I have need to contend over three issues: physiological effects, other bans, and crime statistics.

Crime Statistics:
When you say that we have to assume that crime is decreased by marijuana legalization, that is built on the false presupposition that "the evidence we do have points to the fact that it lowers crime rates". The evidence we have is that crime has been decreasing over the past two(ish) decades. Marijuana legalization has no causation, merely correlation.

Physiological Effects:
When you say that "Marijuana itself has never killed anyone", this is not true. It has killed people. When you point to cigarettes which have killed over 400,000 people in 2013, you have to realize that cigarette caused deaths can mean everything from cancer, premature death, organ failures, etc... These deaths do have one thing in common, cigarettes. The statistics for Marijuana pointing to these various types of death have been tracked, they just haven't labeled these as the cause. Marijuana does kill.

Other Bans:
Just because I'm keeping marijuana banned, this doesn't mean that I have to also ban cigarettes and alcohol. Instead, I should keep them legalized until such time as a ban would not be vehemently opposed. The goal is to keep public safety and order up. Keeping marijuana illegal will lead to this end goal. I can't ban alcohol and cigarettes and have this goal be achieved. Therefore, I will do what I can in order to maintain these two traits.

Final Thought:
To legalize marijuana solely for economic benefits would be like keeping handguns around for economic benefit solely. This would put money over lives. That is truly unacceptable.
Debate Round No. 3


While we do not know is marijuana lowers crime rates, but it does not raise crime, as is a common argument against legalization.

"The statistics to marijuana pointing to these various types of death have been tracked, they just haven't labeled these as the cause. Marijuana does kill."

A. Do you have a source I could examine? Right now this is kind of just an assertion.

B. Saying that some one could die from marijuana therefore ban it is kind of asinine, sex could kill people as well through AIDS and other STI's. Human interaction can kill people, as rejection can lead to suicide of course. Giving birth could kill people, as could abortions. Playing any sport, soccer, baseball, motor racing, hockey, football, have all killed people. Guns have killed people, a lot. Knives have killed people. Kitchen appliances like toasters and stoves have killed people. A criminal justice system where people slip through the cracks has killed people. Airplanes and helicopters have gotten people killed. You do not ban something because misuse of it would end up as dead, then you have a society with a terrible economy, and almost no freedom of people to do what they want.

"...would be like keeping handguns around for economic benefit solely"

A. We do keep handguns around for economic benefit, even though they kill people. Because making them illegal only leads to people who really want them going through illegal markets for the product, same for marijuana. If making marijuana illegal was actually really effective then no marijuana would be in circulation.


I'm going to say one thing. We don't know what marijuana does with crime yet. We do know that alcohol leads to crime [1]. Why is this? This is because it leads to loss of inhibition and a distortion of the senses. All drugs do. This isn't just about marijuana. There is not one miracle drug that defies the patterns that go with them [2].

A) Yes, I do have a source to indicate that crime has been decreasing naturally [3].

B) When you say that all these things can kill people, you're right. The thing is though, almost all of the above items that you have mentioned (with the exception of guns, faulty justice systems, and abortions) all involve people taking risks on their own. In the case of these drugs, it is people who are taking other peoples lives into their hands. Every time somebody gets high, they risk something going dangerously wrong for other people. That is unjust. That is taking away someone else's freedom. That is what a government protects. I'm not going to go into the other items. That is irrelevant to today's debate.

C) With the rational presented here, we should just legalize murder. Laws don't stop people, so why have them? It's because laws stop a lot of people. That is why we have them.

Why Con Wins:
1) Con has demonstrated that marijuana is bad, and pro has failed to disprove this.
2) Con has demonstrated that a lack of legal marijuana is not a restriction of liberty, rather a way to uphold liberty.
3) Con has demonstrated the effects of laws on people better than pro.

[1] -
[2] -
[3] -
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by SocialDemocrat 7 months ago
It is, but I guess it is kind of irrelevant to the debate.
Posted by Sam7411 7 months ago
I'd like contend that your definition of the US is a biiiiiit subjective
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