The Instigator
red24pat12
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Zabcheckmate
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Marijuana should be legalized.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Zabcheckmate
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,294 times Debate No: 13922
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

red24pat12

Pro

I propose the legalization of Marijuana. One of the most used arguments for the legalization of Marijuana is that it will produce massive tax revenue. I'm no economist. I want to look into the morality of marijuana.
1) Someone shouldn't be restrained from a soothing activity with less side-effects than common legal drugs.

2) Marijuana use in teenagers will not increase.

3) Crime will decrease because it will reduce dangerous drug deals.
Zabcheckmate

Con

*Topic Specification*

This topic needs to be clarified before either of us can debate it appropriately. There are three ways in which a drug can be legalized:

1. The drug is an unregulated substance (like most items of food). There is no substantial body responsible for the safety or production of the substance, and anyone can purchase or sell it.
2. The drug is a prescription drug, regulated by the FDA and prescribed by doctors.
3. The drug is an over-the-counter drug, regulated by the FDA and purchasable by anyone of age at any pharmacy or registered place of sale. (This is actually equivalent to the condition of cigarettes and alcohol)

Red24pat12 needs to clarify which (if any of these) he means before any real debate can occur. That said, I will try to provide some general argumentation relating to this topic until red24pat12 does so.

*Red24pat12's Argumentation*

1. Someone shouldn't be restrained from a soothing activity with less side-effects than common legal drugs.

Why not? This claim has to be warranted before it is worth my time. Beyond that, the long term side-effects of marijuana may or may not be as significant as legal drugs, but this is largely irrelevant, given that legal drugs exist to treat a medical condition, and are a tool doctors can use to do so. Every legal drug is the best method of treatment for some condition under a given circumstance (that's how drugs are approved) What Red24pat12 needs to prove to solidify this argument is:

A. Marijuana's side effects are less significant than other drugs which should be legal
B. Marijuana is the best method for treating some condition

Until he does so, it fails to be convincing.

2. Marijuana use in teenagers will not increase.

This argument is entirely defensive, and even if Red24pat12 wins this, it will not help his case. The fact that a given bad thing will not occur if the government does something is not a reason to for the government to do it. Otherwise, I could argue that the United States should nuke New York City because if we did, Marijuana use in teenagers would not increase. Even given that, this argument is not convincing. As the availability of a given drug goes up, general use (including teenage use) goes up. Take Ritalin, for example. Presumably, if Ritalin were illegal, it would be harder for teenagers to access it. There is always the possibility of the drug being mishandled or misused by minors, so the reduction of accessibility is generally a good thing.

3. Crime will decrease because it will reduce dangerous drug deals.

It is highly unclear why this should be the case. Gangs exist to distribute illegal drugs. When one drug goes off the market - for whatever reason - the gang population will shift to distribute another drug. The only thing legalizing marijuana would do would be to shift dangerous Marijuana drug deals to dangerous other drug deals, and I see no reason why that would be preferable.

*My Argumentation*

1. Marijuana has negative external effects beyond those on the individual user.

In a health care system where the many pays for the expenses of the few (i.e. health insurance or a public option), other individuals ought not be obligated to pay for the damaging effects of marijuana use on a user. The long-term health costs of more marijuana use in our society are incredibly vast. Marijuana is incredibly carcinogenic, damages brain cells, causes decreased hormone production, memory loss, interferes with the immune system... and the list goes on. Why should Average Joe fund the addiction of potheads?

2. Marijuana is a gateway drug.

People who become involved with drugs through marijuana use are highly likely to advance to more serious, more dangerous, and more harmful drugs. Banning marijuana use is a good way to prevent a larger portion of our population from becoming addicted to worse drugs.

3. Marijuana use for teenagers will increase

(See my analysis above)

4. A ban on marijuana is a justified instance of paternalism.

The government ought to intervene to protect a citizen from harming himself when the citizen is not acting rationally or when the citizen cannot internalize the costs of his actions. Addicts can do neither of those things. Once someone is addicted, he can no longer understand what is truly best for him, just like any temporarily insane person, and so he needs a third party (society or the government) to step in and protect him from himself. In addition, it is hard for anyone to understand the long term effects of marijuana on their brain (especially after those brain cells start dying...), so the government ought to preemptively prevent individuals from subjecting themselves to those risks. This is the same logic behind seat-belt laws and motorcycle helmet laws.

Thank you for proposing this interesting debate. I look forward to your responses!

Zabcheckmate
Debate Round No. 1
red24pat12

Pro

red24pat12 forfeited this round.
Zabcheckmate

Con

*Summary*

Since Red24pat12 forfeited this round, all of my arguments against the legalization of Marijuana stand. All of my attacks on his argumentation stand. He's essentially already lost the debate by dropping everything I've said. I won't waste much time reiterating my arguments, let me just remind you of the tag-lines.

1. Marijuana has damaging effects on society and individuals other than the user.
2. Marijuana is a gateway drug, and by banning it, we reduce hard drug use.
3. Marijuana use for teenagers will increase.
4. A ban on marijuana is justified paternalistically.

In addition to proving each of these things, I made it clear that Red24pat12's arguments are invalid, and he needs to make up a great deal of ground at this point to win the debate.

*Theory*

In addition to all of the topical analysis I have given to show why Red24pat12 is wrong, I would also like to make some theory arguments about why Red24pat12 should lose this debate, even if he is right.

1. Clarification of the topic.

I asked Red24pat12 to clarify the topic of the debate in Round 1. Not only did he drop all of the argumentation in this debate by forfeiting Round 2, he also failed to make clear what this debate is even about. He should lose at face for refusing to take a clear position. He should also lose at face for not making it clear to me what exactly I have to prove. On both of those accounts, this round is effectively over.

2. Forfeiture of a round.

Obviously Red24pat12 doesn't care much about debating. Whenever someone forfeits a round, they should lose the debate. This is now an open and shut case. Once he forfeited the last round he demonstrated:
A. He doesn't care about debate
B. He doesn't believe his position important enough to defend
C. In a comparative sense, that I deserve to win this round more than he does.

*Please...*

I accepted this debate because I wanted to have a good discussion about Marijuana legalization. I still want to have this debate. Red24pat12, please actually debate with me instead of just forfeiting the next round. Thanks.

Zabcheckmate
Debate Round No. 2
red24pat12

Pro

red24pat12 forfeited this round.
Zabcheckmate

Con

It's too bad Red24pat12 didn't want to actually debate. Because of this, here isn't much I need to say, so I won't waste your time with a lot of rhetoric or crystallization. Let me quickly summarize the reasons why you should vote Con.

1. Marijuana has a number of harmful societal effects.
2. Marijuana is a gateway drug.
3. Teenagers will use marijuana to a greater extent if it is legalized.
4. The marijuana ban is justified paternalistically.
5. Red24pat12 never clarified the topic.
6. Red24pat12 forfeited not only one, but two rounds.

From all of that, it is pretty clear that I have won this debate.

In addition, let me encourage a seven point vote in my favor for the following reasons:

1. Red24pat12 forfeited two rounds, while I forfeited none. --> I have had better conduct.
2. Admittedly, Red24pat12 had few grammar mistakes* (See my note below), and no spelling ones, but - then again - neither have I. I have said a great deal more with fewer mistakes than my opponent. --> I have had better spelling and grammar.
3. Red24pat12 had only two constructive arguments (as I explained right in round one, his second argument was defensive, not persuasive). He never warranted or justified any of them. I provided a total of six persuasive arguments which I thoroughly warranted and which my opponent never refuted. --> I have made more convincing arguments.
4. In terms of source usage, he never used any. He had the burden of proof, so until he provided empirical evidence for his case, I had no need to. He failed to provide any evidence for his side, so there was no reason for me to waste effort in pursuit of reliable sources. That said, I still used the most reliable sources available to any debater: logical analysis and simple reason. Red24pat12 didn't even use those. --> I used the most reliable sources.

I'll gladly debate this with someone else in the future if someone wants to redeem Red24pat12.

Thank you, vote Con.

Zabcheckmate

* In his first argument, Red24pat12 uses the phrase "common legal drugs". Properly rendered, this phrase would read either 'commonly legal drugs' or 'common, legal drugs'.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by EllieP 5 years ago
EllieP
red24pat12ZabcheckmateTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Woodpecker 5 years ago
Woodpecker
red24pat12ZabcheckmateTied
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Vote Placed by Zabcheckmate 5 years ago
Zabcheckmate
red24pat12ZabcheckmateTied
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Total points awarded:07