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The Contender
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Marijuana should be legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,250 times Debate No: 36752
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




To start off this debate, Marijuana is a plant that is planted in the ground in places with moderate to high climate and long farming seasons. It can be consumed without chemical components unlike cigarettes, which are man made. Marijuana has been seen for over 2,000 years in china in recored history, but of course it still might have been discovered way before that.

In the USA, Marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug, which means it is dangerous and does not have any medical use, and whoever gets caught with it or dealing it gets a really long jail time, sometimes longer than murderers and rapists. LSD is also in the same schedule with marijuana, but thats another debate for another time ;)
Throughout history and especially in the past decade, many researches has been done to discover medical use of marijuana, and there were many. One of the most important medical benefits of marijuana is that it can help cancer patients deal more easily with the effects of chemotherapy, whereas chemo can cause nausea that can go on for hours, even days, without a moments rest, which can be extremely painfull. Of course there are many factory created medicines that the doctors perscript, but they rarely solve this problem entirely, at lease nothing like marijuana. According to many tests done on real cancer patients, marijuana solves the nausea problem right away, whereas when they smoke cannibas they dont feel the brain wrecking feel of vomiting, which is basically bliss for them. Which beggs the question, why is marijuana a schedule 1 drug when it has proven experiments of its medical success? While other drugs like Meth and cocain are on Schedule 2 which means that they have medical use.

Alcohol is even more dangerous than marijuana. Day by day we hear and read of deaths caused by drunk driving and overdrinking, but I havent heard of a death by marijuana. There are approximitely 75,000 kills a year linked with alcohol, so why it illegal?

And to all people who say that marijuana is addictive and that is why its dangerous, alcohol has a addicition rate of 15% while marijuana has one of 9%; Alcohol is more addictive than marijuana!

Ill leave it at that and await your answer :)


Hi! Frankly, I"m excited to be debating this topic, as it is definitely an important a sensitive issue.

I agree with your definition of the plant that"s planted, but I would like to draw an important distinction. We"re debating if marijuana should be legalized, which is not the same thing as whether marijuana should be decriminalized. Legalize means to make something licit, whereas decriminalize means to remove criminal penalties from it. In other words, if marijuana were decriminalized, people would be fined (and only fined lesser sums) instead of jailed if caught using it. If it were entirely legal, there would be no penalty whatsoever.

I think that marijuana should be decriminalized, but should remain illegal, and I"ll use this premise to argue the con.
With this in mind, I completely agree that marijuana should not be a schedule one, two, etc. drug. It"s not even close to being on par with heroin or other hard drugs. Decriminalizing it would bring the punishment more in line with the danger actually created by the drug. However, as you acknowledge, marijuana is still addictive and, as I shall endeavor to prove, can pose a threat. I have four core arguments, which I will go through now.

Contention One: Legalizing marijuana makes it appear as less of a threat, and, therefore, actually promotes risky behavior.

CNBC reported in 2010: "In the discussion of legalizing marijuana, a useful analogy can be made to gambling. MacCoun & Reuter (2001) conclude that making the government a beneficiary of legal gambling has encouraged the government to promote gambling, overlooking it as a problem behavior. They point out that "the moral debasement of state government is a phenomenon that only a few academics and preachers bemoan."" Marijuana is already the most abused, illicit drug in the world; why should we promote further irresponsible consumption of it by making it legal. CNBC notes, "Legalized gambling has not reduced illegal gambling in the United States; rather, it has increased it. This is particularly evident in sports gambling, most of which is illegal. Legal gambling is taxed and regulated and illegal gambling is not. Legal gambling sets the stage for illegal gambling just the way legal marijuana would set the stage for illegal marijuana trafficking. The gambling precedent suggests strongly that illegal drug suppliers would thrive by selling more potent marijuana products outside of the legal channels that would be taxed and otherwise restricted. If marijuana were legalized, the only way to eliminate its illegal trade, which is modest in comparison to that of cocaine, would be to sell marijuana untaxed and unregulated to any willing buyer. If the U.S. were to legalize marijuana, the number of marijuana users would increase. Today there are 15.2 million current marijuana users in comparison to 129 million alcohol users and 70.9 million tobacco users. Though the number of marijuana users might not quickly climb to the current numbers for alcohol and tobacco, if marijuana was legalized, the increase in users would be both large and rapid with subsequent increases in addiction." It seems then, that the pro side would actually escalate the problem.

Contention Two: Marijuana poses a grave risk on the road.

CNBC argues that: "Drug-impaired driving will also increase if marijuana is legalized. Marijuana is already a significant causal factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths. In a recent national roadside survey of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6 percent tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/dL (2.2 percent). In another study of seriously injured drivers admitted to a Level-1 shock trauma center, more than a quarter of all drivers (26.9 percent) tested positive for marijuana. In a study of fatally injured drivers in Washington State, 12.7 percent tested positive for marijuana. These studies demonstrate the high prevalence of drugged driving as a result of marijuana use." So, when the pro mentions how alcohol is a bigger problem than marijuana, that is because marijuana is very tightly regulated, whereas that is less true with alcohol. Once marijuana is legalized, marijuana will become the bigger issue.

Contention Three: Marijuana is medically harmful.

As reported in the Huffington Post in 2012: "Many studies show serious problems, for example, with schizoid psychosis while smoking. " This is further evidenced by a study conduct by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which found mice, especially younger mice, at risk of cortical malformations and neurological problems after smoking even small amounts of pot. The report goes on to note that "marijuana can act as a cancer-causing carcinogen and damaging DNA for pot smoke contains higher levels of certain toxins than tobacco, which is why pot smokers face rapid lung destruction, with the impact on lungs from one joint equaling up to five cigarettes. Pot also opens the door for the virus that causes Kaposi's Sarcoma. And for pregnant moms, it can harm their unborn child by impairing growth and by causing long-lasting neurobehavioural problems. For habitual use is strongly associated with car crash injuries and smoking marijuana doubles the risk of fatal accidents." This seems to, at the very least, counterbalance the claims about marijuana"s curative properties.

Contention Four: There is little to no financial benefit in legalizing marijuana.

CNBC notes, "The costs of legalizing marijuana would not only be financial. New marijuana users would not be limited to adults if marijuana were legalized, just as regulations on alcohol and tobacco do not prevent use by youth. Rapidly accumulating new research shows that marijuana use is associated with increases in a range of serious mental and physical problems. Lack of public understanding on this relationship is undermining prevention efforts and adversely affecting the nation"s youth and their families.
This is shaping up to be a great debate. I look forward to your responses.
Debate Round No. 1


Yea it really is a nice debate :)
This is my first debate on this website, on any website actually, and I'm taking this as an opportunity to learn from other great debaters such as yourself.

I will be countering your points and adding some of mine which will be my counter argument.

By saying illegal gambling do you mean like counting cards ? Nevertheless since marijuana is illegal most of its sellers are either small solo distributors or work for a criminal that gains money by selling weed in the streets, funding them with more and more money. According to "the average price of 0.5 grams (a unit) of marijuana sold for $8.60 on the street, while its cost of production is only $1.70." Making the average profit a big 7 dollars on each unit. If you think about since marijuana is illegal you can only buy it from criminal; however, if it became legal you may have Marijuana stands like cigarette stands on the streets, giving people, who have a potential at farming, jobs. People can even get creative with them, like making bars for weed like bars for alcohol, where people can go in a smoking environment and buy marijuana and smoke them and cant leave while being high...

You cant compare gambling with marijuana because gambling doesn't have medical benefits whatsoever, it even has a much more higher addiction rate than cannabis.

According to common belief, Marijuana is considered as a gateway drug to more serious drugs like cocaine and heroine, which is wrong. According to " Marijuana does not cause people to use hard drugs. Marijuana is the most popular illegal drug in the United States today. Therefore, people who have used less popular drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug and the vast majority of those who do try another drug never become addicted or go on to have associated problems. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a so-called gateway drug. " In my opinion, doing cannabis, which has proved many and many times that it has medical uses, is better than doing any other drug or cigarettes, and I'm sure many marijuana and other drug users and non users would agree with that.

You had made a point stating that there is little to no financial benefit in legalizing marijuana, I beg to differ, and so does the Huffington Post. According to an article about Marijuana, legalizing the drug will help the economy in a major way. " The states could see a major economic boon because of the legalization. The new measure is expected to bring the two states more than $550 million combined, with more than 300 economists previously estimating that legalizing pot could save the U.S. up to $14 billion a year...". The prohibition of the drug alone costs about 13.7 billion dollars a year, which can be used for more useful purposes than stop a "useful" drug.

What if marijuana is legalized? That doesn't have to mean that every one will use it. Like anything else in the world, marijuana has its cons, but they are nothing compared to its health benefits. You said that mothers who are pregnant and smoked pot had problems with their babies. Just because marijuana is legal doesn't mean everyone, children, adults, pregnant women, grown men, will smoke it. Cigarettes and alcohol are legal and you don't see everyone smoking and drinking.

In addition, unlike alcohol, overdosing on marijuana is virtually impossible. Furthermore, marijuana is known to help with depression, and reduce muscle pains with just the first joint.

To conclude, weed is widespread anyway, instead of paying all this money and effort on trying to stop it why not think smart and give the people what they want while making profit and saving money to give poor people a better lifestyle?

Sorry my answer took time, I was travelling


A to your first point, I admit that there would be fewer small time dealers if it were legalized. However, the same could be said if it were decriminalized, which is the con position. But what the CNBC evidence is saying is that legalization won't end criminal marijuana, merely it will encourage dealers to sell more virulent for a of the drug. So just as people will "get creative," so to will the criminals and gangs. Also, I feel that you failed to address my point that legalizing the drug would vastly enlarge the number of marijuana users an abusers, which could lead to it becoming an even greater issue than booze.

In regards to your second assertion, to which states are you referring? What was the date of publication for the Huff Post publication? And, Even if we concede to some financial benefit, government has a greater duty to the welfare of its people than just a profit motive. In other words, I feel the other arguments are more crucial than this one.

Thirdly, it's true not everyone will use pot if it's made legal. That being said, you only address one of the myriad harms I cite. Furthermore, the only health benefit you've been able to show is one for severe illnesses, which afflict only a small portion of people. That dangers, however, apply to almost everyone. I don't think benefit for a few outweighs dangers for many.

I'd like to see a source for the muscle health and depression argument. There is evidence also, provided by the U.S. Dept. of Health that pit can actually make depression worse, especially if that depression has gone on for a few years. This report is from 2009. Finally, it's not just overdoes rates, but the volume of impacted individuals and the abuse rates that matter.

To conclude, you never addressed me contention regarding the issues on the road. The gateway drug thing is not a core part of my stand, but the dept. of health also noted in that report that over 60% of hard drug users had smoked cigarettes or pot before transitioning upwards. It found "strong statistical evidence" that it was a gateway drug. And,, we shouldn't give the people what they want if it poses a risk of harm. Well being should trump monetary concerns.

I look forward to your replies! Great debate!
Debate Round No. 2


Fereska forfeited this round.


Good debate!
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
You're welcome. I barely got my argument in on time too. I think I had like 3 minutes left before it expired. It was a nice debate!
Posted by Fereska 3 years ago
Hey I'm sorry I didn't post an argument I forgot I had one to submit because I was busy the whole day. I should have made the time between arguments longer :/

Either way it was a very good debate and I learned a lot from it, thank you :)
Posted by Statler 3 years ago
The most central argument to marijuana and all drugs that is often ignored is one of liberty. As human beings living in a society that values freedom, and views freedom as a central tenet to the pursuit of happiness it does not follow that drugs can be illegal.

If there is one basic thing we do own upon birth it's our own body, and what we choose to put into it cannot be dictated by a governing body under the rationale of liberty. The harm we do it, or things we choose to ingest into it, is our fundamental natural right as human beings.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
It's fairly late here to, and who has time to proof everything?
Posted by Fereska 3 years ago
Sorry for all the typos. Its late where I am in the world and I didnt proofread :P
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by D.Wolf 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Rather equal overall. Con stated more reliable sources, but neither contenders provided any direct links.