The Instigator
Letsdebate24
Pro (for)
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The Contender
theta_pinch
Con (against)
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Marijuana should be legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/18/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 405 times Debate No: 44192
Debate Rounds (5)
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Letsdebate24

Pro

Round one is for acceptance
theta_pinch

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Letsdebate24

Pro

In this round ill be arguing the health aspect of marijuana

Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule 1 which is defined as

A.The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
B.The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
C.There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision

But how can this be when it is prescribed for so many things?

Marijuana is a drug that is used to treat things such as cancer, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis, pain, nausea, anorexia, crohns disease, and hundreds of others illnesses.
It is ready for use as soon as the plant matures and has no long term side effects. There has yet to be a proven connection to any of the illnesses marijuana has been rumored to cause.
In fact it is the complete opposite that is true as research has shown as well as its growing support for legalization.

The UK's Medicinal Cannabis Research Foundation published on its website in Nov. 2001:

"Research to date suggests that research into the medicinal uses of cannabis and cannabinoids has the potential to make exciting breakthroughs in the management of severe symptoms such as pain, spasm, bladder dysfunction and nausea and could therefore bring a dramatic improvement in quality of life for people with:

AIDS wasting syndrome Glaucoma
Alzheimer's disease Hypertension
Arthritis Multiple sclerosis
Asthma Nail Patella Syndrome
Brain injury/stroke Nausea w/chemotherapy
Crohn's/colitis Pain
Depress./mental ill. Phantom limb pain
Eating disorders Migraine
Epilepsy Spinal cord injury
Fibromyalgia
Tourette's syndrome"

The short term side effects are:
Loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite and relaxed muscles.

There has yet to be any solid evidence provided by studies to prove long term side effects.

"Still, in the last three years, more than 6,000 studies have been published in scientific journals about the cannabis plant, according to NORML, an organization that works to legalize marijuana. Much of the research has focused on the plant's effects on the body's endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system acts like a bridge between mind and body, helping different types of cells communicate with each other.

Our bodies make natural cannabinoids, or active chemicals that cause drug-like effects through the body, according to the National Cancer Institute. The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC -- works in the same way as these natural chemicals."
Taken from CNN health

The Boston Medical Center did a study and found that no negative health effects could be linked to marijuana
http://www.the-scientist.com...

A recent Gallup poll found 58% of people were for legalization
http://youtu.be...

Sources:

http://youtu.be...
http://youtu.be...
http://youtu.be...
http://youtu.be...
http://youtu.be...
theta_pinch

Con

But how can this be when it is prescribed for so many things?

Being prescribed for medicinal uses doesn't mean it's not dangerous.

"Research to date suggests that research into the medicinal uses of cannabis and cannabinoids has the potential to make exciting breakthroughs in the management of severe symptoms such as pain, spasm, bladder dysfunction and nausea and could therefore bring a dramatic improvement in quality of life for people with:
AIDS wasting syndrome Glaucoma
Alzheimer's disease Hypertension
Arthritis Multiple sclerosis
Asthma Nail Patella Syndrome
Brain injury/stroke Nausea w/chemotherapy
Crohn's/colitis Pain
Depress./mental ill. Phantom limb pain
Eating disorders Migraine
Epilepsy Spinal cord injury
Fibromyalgia
Tourette's syndrome"

First off, it's possible to synthesize cannabinoids which is what causes the medical benefits. When they talk about research into the medical uses of cannabis they likely mean research into other chemicals in it that might be beneficial.

The short term side effects are:
Loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite and relaxed muscles.

That's similar to the effects of alcohol which was the reason for many car accidents before it was made illegal to drive while drunk but when marijuana is drunk or smoked it takes a lot smaller amounts to cause those side effects which means that it's verry hard NOT to get drunk with marijuana.

A recent Gallup poll found 58% of people were for legalization.

Argumentum ad populum: appeal to the people; you are using a logical fallacy here.


REASONS FOR BANNING IT

The most popular way of consumption is smoking and the smoke produced contains over 50 known carcinogens; anyone near them will also be breathing in those carcinogens harming bystanders as well.

It impairs driving ability.

There is no amount that can be smoked that doesn't cause side effects and the amount that needs to be drunk to cause side effeccts is lower than that of alcohol.

Cannabis smoke contains more ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen oxides than cigars.
Debate Round No. 2
Letsdebate24

Pro

In the sources I have provided they point out Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (the chemical that gets a person high) to be one of the most beneficial chemicals found in marijuana.

True some of the short term side effects are similar to those caused by alcohol but the key difference is to what degree. Alcohol can cause a blackout and alcohol poisoning which is responsible for thousands of deaths every year where as marijuana does not take any lives unless someone decides to get behind the wheel of a car. People under the influence of alcohol can become very hostile (as we've seen on cops thousands of times) but that does not happen under the influence of marijuana. Below is information the CDC provides on alcohols effects

Immediate Health Risks

Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These immediate effects are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following"

"Unintentional injuries, including traffic injuries, falls, drownings, burns, and unintentional firearm injuries.6
"Violence, including intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. About 35% of victims report that offenders are under the influence of alcohol.7 Alcohol use is also associated with 2 out of 3 incidents of intimate partner violence.7 Studies have also shown that alcohol is a leading factor in child maltreatment and neglect cases, and is the most frequent substance abused among these parents.8
"Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and increased risk of sexual assault. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.9, 10
"Miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women, and a combination of physical and mental birth defects among children that last throughout life.11, 12
"Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels that suppress the central nervous system and can cause loss of consciousness, low blood pressure and body temperature, coma, respiratory depression, or death.13

Long-Term Health Risks

Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases, neurological impairments and social problems. These include but are not limited to"
"Neurological problems, including dementia, stroke and neuropathy.14, 15
"Cardiovascular problems, including myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and hypertension.16
"Psychiatric problems, including depression, anxiety, and suicide.17
"Social problems, including unemployment, lost productivity, and family problems.18, 19
"Cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast.20 In general, the risk of cancer increases with increasing amounts of alcohol.
"Liver diseases, including" a02;Alcoholic hepatitis.
a02;Cirrhosis, which is among the 15 leading causes of all deaths in the United States.21
a02;Among persons with Hepatitis C virus, worsening of liver function and interference with medications used to treat this condition.22

"Other gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and gastritis.23,

You make the statement "logical fallacy" but failed to determine how it is a fallacy to relay the views of the people.

REASONS FOR BANNING IT
"contains over 50 known carcinogens" This claim has been made many times during debate to try and prove its "dangerous" but as the Boston Medical Center has shown no negative side affects of were found in all their studies and there are no cases or studies proving the link between cancer and the use of marijuana however the opposite has had a plethora of evidence. It is being proven that it may actually hold a cure for several different cancers.
The support for its legalization has exploded in recent years (hence 4 states legalizing it and D.C. putting its legalization on its upcoming ballet) and it's only picking up momentum as each rumor is proven to be a false claim.
Marijuana should hold the same rules as alcohol, there should be designated area's that you may consume it that way others are not affected by it.
You do make a valid statement that it does take less marijuana to feel its effects than it does for alcohol but again the results are drastically different. A person that is high on marijuana will not be staggering through the streets, cussing out random strangers and putting themselves in danger.

http://www.cdc.gov...
theta_pinch

Con

theta_pinch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Letsdebate24

Pro

The prohibition
Prohibition of marijuana simply does not work. The war on drugs has been an utter failure costing the taxpayers billions of dollars a year to try and enforce prohibition and it has produced results that do not justify the costs.
In the early 1920's there was a prohibition on alcohol which gave rise to such criminals as Al Capone who made a fortune from dealing alcohol in the underground market. That's what happens when a substance is deemed illegal, it doesn't disappear it only gets pushed underground where it cannot be regulated.

Here's an example:
How many drug dealers are convicted of selling alcohol or cigarettes? The answer is 0 and the answer is equally as obvious. Dealers are not going to waste their time selling people something they can go purchase legally in the stores.

This would also help prevent young teens from attaining the drug since drugs dealers do not ask to see an ID before they sell something. The legal age should be 21, the same as alcohol.
In the last decade the war on drugs has lost a drastic number of its supporters ranging from law enforcement to politicians because they have come to realize it is highly inefficient.

In 1980 there were just over 40,000 people incarcerated for drug related "crimes" and today we have more than 500,000.

"In the United States, if illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco, they would yield $46.7 billion in tax revenue. A Cato study says legalizing drugs would save the U.S. about $41 billion a year in enforcing the drug laws."

http://www.cnn.com...
http://www.drugpolicy.org...
theta_pinch

Con

Marijuana may not be the most dangerous drug out there but it's a gateway to other worse drugs that cause MAJOR problems. It's a "gateway" to drugs like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy.....etc. If marijuana is legalized then a lot more people will be using the really bad drugs that CAN kill you.

SOURCES

http://en.wikipedia.org...


REASON FOR ROUND 3 FORFEIT

There was a problem with the site that prevented me from posting my argument.
Debate Round No. 4
Letsdebate24

Pro

And yet there is zero proof that people would not try other drugs were marijuana not around. The simple fact is that human's are curious creatures. Suppose marijuana never existed, would people not try other drugs because the "gateway" drug was not around? No people would continue to experiment with drugs as they always have.
People choose marijuana first because it is common knowledge that the drug is safe but as I stated earlier the elimination of marijuana would by no means stop people from trying other drugs, they would simply try them first.

Portugal legalized marijuana and they found that drug use actually dropped among hardcore users. Keeping people locked up in prison costs more than therapy does so does it not make sense to decriminalize drugs and offer people therapy instead of wasting taxpayers dollars?

http://content.time.com...
theta_pinch

Con

Pro actually makes a very good point about drug use dropping. I concede. Thank you for this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
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