The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Marijuana should become legalised

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,461 times Debate No: 20764
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)




This debate is on the issue of the legalisation of Marijuana. The legalisation shall be to legalise the drug, also known by its technical name Cannabis Sativa and street names "weed, marijuana, green, hash, skunk".

The first round is for acceptance. The fourth round is not for presenting new arguments. The fifth round is in case anyone forfeits, we can simply use on of the "spares" in order to finish the debate.


I accept this challenge and thank Stephen_Hawkins for setting up this debate; however, I would like to ask a question.

If no one forfeits throughout any of the rounds, then will we use the fifth and final round to argue, or shall we simply pass them?

Furthermore, I would like to point out that this debate is for weirdman's tournament, which can be found here:

I look forward to a fun and challenging debate!
Debate Round No. 1


Marijuana. The drug is one that has left many people on the fence whether it should be legalised or not. The drug is one that has became renown for being the centre of many debates and disagreements on whether it should be legalised or not. Today, I am here to hopefully dispell a few myths about the drug, explain what happens from its legalisation, and maybe make some people's mind change on this issue.

I hope to dispell a few things right now, things that are usually used to make people think that marijuana should stay illegal.

Marijuana is dangerous

Now, this is the first, and usually most important clash point in any drug debate. It is one that is incredibly important - if marijuana is extremely dangerous, then, really, it should be outlawed. So, quite simply, if Marijuana is less dangerous than other legalised products, then it should be legalised.

There are numerous studies talking about how marijuana is less dangerous than its legal counterpart, cigarettes. Cigarettes, containing tobacco, on low or moderate use are more dangerous than same usage of marijuana[1], a study found. In fact, it found that extremely minor use actually helps clear the lungs and airways[1]. "Air flow rate increased rather than decreased with increased exposure to marijuana up to a certain level". Mark Pletcher, MD, MPH, professor in the Division of of Clinical Epidemiology, stated:

"Our findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana for these or other purposes may not be associated with adverse consequences on pulmonary function. On the other hand, our findings do suggest an accelerated decline in pulmonary function with heavier use...and a resulting need for caution and moderation when marijuana use is considered."

He agrees that moderate and low use of Marijuana has been hyped, and new studies are constantly finding Marijuana is less dangerous than once thought. "We expected that we would find that a history of heavy marijuana use--more than 500 to 1,000 uses--would increase the risk of cancer from several years to decades after exposure to marijuana," explains physician Donald Tashkin of the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead researcher on the project. But looking at residents of Los Angeles County, the scientists found that even those who smoked more than 20,000 joints in their life did not have an increased risk of lung cancer.[4]

Many studies also agree that Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco[2], when considering psychological and physical damage. Phil Willis, who chairs the committee, said the current classifications were "riddled with anomalies" and "clearly not fit for purpose"[2]. He went on: "It's time to bring in a more systematic and scientific approach to drug classification - how can we get the message across to young people if what we are saying is not based on evidence?"

Alcohol is also more dangerous for teenagers to those in their mid-20s[3]. The brain damage has been told as being almost 50% more in some studies, showing, yet again, marijuana is not as dangerous as people used to think.

Is there any danger at all?
Some people I know still smoke marijuana because of the overwhelming evidence showing how it is not dangerous to you or I. However, there is a vital difference between marijuana used in medical tests and for medical purposes currently than the recrational batches on the street. It's called a business aim. One who produces marijuana for medical purposes needs high quality, pure marijuana. This is good, and has no link to other problems. The legalisation of pure marijuana is what I am advocating.

The problem, unfortunately, is with the low-quality marijuana. Some of the dangerous ingredients include lead, which "on average was 10% by weight, which translates into a profit increase of approximately €1,000 ($1,500.00) per kilogram of marijuana."[4]. Lead poisoning is well known for being dangerous, but, to reiterate the dangers, "It has been determined and recognized by the EPA that there is no safe level for lead...and that any level poses some degree of adverse health effects."(bold in source)[5]. "Even very low levels of lead can cause reduced IQs, learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as hypertension and reduced attention span... And often the effects of lead are life long and irreversible."[5].

If it ain't broke, don't fix it
My final point in this round shall be the argument that it is working right now. Well, we are in a recession, no denying that. We all need more money in order to relieve the tax hikes, the public spending costs. But there's a third way. One that is usually not liked by too many people (no idea why) but keeps taxes low, and keeps great public service. Legalisation. If we modernise the legislation of our countries, then we can increase income. "From Canada we’ve learned that the production cost of (government-sponsored) marijuana is roughly 33¢ a gram. Currently, marijuana consumers pay at least $10 per gram retail for illegal marijuana. ...Selling the (legal) product at exactly the same price as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue. Not chump change. Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse."[6]. This kind of revenue boost would push most countries out of recession.

On top of this, the legalisation of drugs actually helps the population. Case study Portugal. Legalised all drugs 7 years ago. Now, the degree of legalisation is not one I agree with due to the speed of their legalisation, but one can't deny the facts. "Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006, according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute"[7]. "Now instead of being put into prison, addicts are going to treatment centers and they're learning how to control their drug usage or getting off drugs entirely," report expert Glenn Greenwald. It is quite clear: the legalisation helps the people, the criminalisation hurts them. The law, one similar to that of the 1920s prohibition, should be thought of similarly: a law that was out of touch with the people's wishes, and the people's needs. I think this final quotation explains everything quite clearly:

"[Marijuana] decriminalization did reach its primary goal in Portugal," of reducing the health consequences of drug use, he says, "and did not lead to Lisbon becoming a drug tourist destination." Marijuana decriminalisation helps everyone. Vote PRO, vote for change.

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I am sorry to say that I will be unable to post my arguments this round (I cannot access my arguments at this time); thus, I will be using the fifth spare round (which I am now very grateful for) to compensate for this one.

I apologize for passing this round, and hopefully it will not happen again.
Debate Round No. 2


I'll wait for my opponent to respond.


Sorry for the wait, and here are my arguments.
A) Marijuana affects one of your most important organs—the brain. Studies have shown that this drug affects the blood flow to the brain, which may explain why cannabis users have trouble with memory or thinking [1] [2]. Researches studied the blood flow in brain arteries of 54 marijuana users and 18 nonusers.
"The marijuana users volunteered to participate in an inpatient program and abstained from marijuana use for a month."

"Blood flow in the brain was analyzed at the beginning of the study and at the end of the month for the marijuana users. Researchers found blood flow was significantly higher in marijuana users than in nonusers, both at the beginning and at the end of the study."

Thus, it is evident from the study that marijuana not only negatively affects your brain; these negative effects linger within your brain even after a month (this is not that all surprising, considering cannabis has nearly 400 chemicals inside it). In other words, even after you have stopped using marijuana, your blood flow is still altered, which can lead to trouble thinking or remembering things.
Furthermore, this study also revealed that cannabis causes high levels of pulsatility index (PI). "The marijuana users had PI values that were somewhat higher than those of people with chronic high blood pressure and diabetes," says researcher Ronald Herning.

B) Marijuana also causes several detrimental medical effects to one's health (both short-term and long-term). This includes slowed reaction time, distorted sense of time, anxiety, depression, and lower levels of sperm count and quality (in men). Other symptoms include weakening of the immune system, limiting the brain's capacity to retrieve and store information, damage to the brain's memory functions (including math and verbal skills), increased blood pressure and risk of heart attack, and loss of motivation and/or interest in everyday activities [3] [4]. These side affects in turn lead to things such as car accidents (if driving after having smoked marijuana), trouble learning, lowered grades, shoddy work, and possibly even a heart attack.
In addition, cannabis is addictive, despite what pot smokers may tell you. I do not mean physically addictive, but rather psychologically addictive [3]. However, it is also possible that marijuana is physically addictive. Some symptoms of withdrawal from pot may include aggression, anxiety, and a depressed mood.

C) Cannabis is even more dangerous when used by the young population, whose minds are still developing. Studies have shown that various risky behaviors such as gambling, drinking, fighting, steroid use, and smoking cigarettes were all associated with higher risk for marijuana [5]. Self-harm behaviors were also associated with marijuana use. By legalizing marijuana, the government would be exposing our young population (this includes students, children, etc.) even more than before to this drug.

D) Now, marijuana alone is obviously detrimental to one's health (as shown above); however, it gets even worse when mixed with other drugs. For example, if I were to mix marijuana with cocaine and smoke it, then the effects on my health would be much worse than before. By legalizing this drug, the government would be allowing the people to mix marijuana with other drugs, causing the danger upon one's health to increase significantly.

Pro's Case-
Marijuana is dangerous
My opponent: "So, quite simply, if Marijuana is less dangerous than other legalised products, then it should be legalised."
This statement is not true. Simply because another drug that is legalized does not make it okay to legalize another less dangerous drug. Marijuana, as I have shown, is clearly detrimental to one's health (especially mixed with other drugs); thus, all the government would be doing is exposing the people to even more harmful drugs, and their justification would be that it is less harmful when compared to some of the most dangerous drugs on the planet (alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, etc.). They should be more focused on getting rid of alcohol and tobacco instead of simply increasing the danger to society. It is never wise to fight fire with fire, or in this case, add fire to even more fire.
Furthermore, my opponent's source [4] simply leads to a page stating, "Lead Poisoning Due to Adulterated Marijuana," which simply supports me as it shows the dangers of marijuana. It is because of this that I would like to ask where my opponent has gotten the following information he put in R2:

"But looking at residents of Los Angeles County, the scientists found that even those who smoked more than 20,000 joints in their life did not have an increased risk of lung cancer."
Moreover, while cannabis may not increase the risk of lung cancer, it may increase the risk of testicular cancer.

"The risk was particularly elevated (about twice that of those who never smoked marijuana) for those who used marijuana at least weekly and/or who had long-term exposure to the substance beginning in adolescence." [6]
Therefore, it is evident that cannabis may also cause testicular cancer, which is another health risk (out of many) that this drug causes.

Is there any danger at all?
My opponent: "The legalisation of pure marijuana is what I am advocating."
Actually, my opponent is advocating the legislation of marijuana and not just pure marijuana, as was agreed upon in the first round. In addition, pure marijuana is still harmful (as I have previously shown).
Afterward, my opponent posts more arguments in my favor. Please note that my opponent is advocating cannabis with lead in it, and that lead is extremely harmful to one's health as Pro has proved for me. Is this really something that you want to be smoking? Do you wish to smoke something that has detrimental effects that are (as Pro puts it), "life long and irreversible?"

If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Here my opponent attempts to show that legalizing marijuana we will increase our own economic situation; however, I can just as easily show examples where legalization did not work. For example, the Netherlands was having second thoughts on legalizing marijuana. [7] [8]

"After allowing marijuana to be sold in certain cafes, the Government of the Netherlands reconsidered its legalization policy. Consumption of marijuana had nearly tripled from 15 to 44% among 18-20 year olds." [7]
"Mayor Gerd Leers is reacting to growing concerns among residents who "complain of traffic problems, petty crime, loitering and public urination. There have been shootings between Balkan gangs. Maastricht's small police force…is already spending one-third of its time on drug-related problems." [7]

As you can see, while Panama may have been successful in their legalization, the Netherlands certainly were not. This is most likely due to different variables that are changing throughout the country. In other words, the legalization of marijuana alone is not enough to help or hurt a country, because other variables could affect the outcome (after all, it took Panama five years to get positive results, and many different things can change in five years).

From the evidence that I have provided, it is clear that marijuana is harmful to human health due to a plethora of detrimental side affects and is even more dangerous when mixed with drugs already legalized; thus, it should stay banned.







Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for a quick response. I shall address the points back into clash points in order to keep the argument clear.

The dangers of Marijuana

I would like to state that the studies my opponent gives are most likely false. I do not blame my opponent: there is a lot of false information out there. He has, unfortunately, fallen victim to them. Not only is this myth totally false[1], but the reverse may be true: Marijuana may stop brain injuries[2][3].

Also, regarding the PI, I refer my opponent to the quotation " blood flow was significantly higher in marijuana users than in nonusers", meaning that blood flow had a net gain increase. There was slightly more resistance, but a lot more increase. Also, "Researchers say the level of resistance to blood flow among light and moderate marijuana users improved over the course of the abstinence month". Now, as "Light marijuana users smoked two to 15 joints per week, moderate users smoked 17 to 70 joints per week"[4], there are 1g of marijuana to a joint[5], and the average person takes between 1-2g a day, that makes roughly 8 joints a week, putting it easily in the lighter unit, with liberal figures.

Regarding the other effects, I would like to point out that some of them (depression for example) are minor, and other factors cause equal or more threats, such as drink, or pressure. With the major threats (immune system, sperm count, brain cell count), they are myths[7]. I do not wish to make a habit of simply reading from sources, but it basically explains why each of these 'facts' are wrong.

Regarding the mixing with other drugs, I'd like to point out that mixing tequila with arsenic is also very dangerous. So is mixing water with a savage bear. I do not see the value of point D, when he calls it bad for you, when you mix it with things that are a) bad for you and b) illegal.

My proposition

Of course, saying Marijuana should be legalised and nothing else is useless, and does not help society at all. I like to think that my debates have meaning and unfolds a proposition that can be enacted. So, I would suggest the following:

Legalisation of Marijuana
Strict Regulation, if not nationalisation, of Marijuana

The latter is something I have to reiterate in response to some of my opponent's criticisms. Lead Poisoning, for example, is because of lead. We know lead is dangerous. Lead in some substances is something the backstreet market has adopted, due to the costs. Now, if we could sue over health problems, and regulate to force pure marijuana, then we have solved this problem. The dangers my opponent has used in this debate has, many times, been due to additions made to the drug, which would be removed if the drug became legal. Also, if I refer to my previous round, in portugal, the legalisation has drastically increased quality.

Also, regarding testicular cancer, what is it with the anti-marijuana lobbyists and my c**k? First making things up about sperm count, then they make things up about testicular cancer...
Admittedly, the study holds a weak link between the two. However, the linking percentages are the same as the risks of potatoes. Sorry, but the link is so weak that it is unreasonable to express any interest in it. In fact, the link with potatoes causing cancer is as reasonable[9].

Socio-economic factors

Firstly, my opponent mentions Panama, but the country was Portugal, I'd just want to remind everyone of that. More importantly, I'd like to point out that the Netherlands has had less drug use in the past 10 years, and still a lot less drug use than countries where it is illegal, such as France and USA[10]. Also, I had cited my explanation of the business costs, but I will post it here as well to make it clear:

"We...know, that according to recent figures, U.S. consumers number anywhere from 25 million to 60 million (depending on how likely survey respondents are to tell the whole truth), and at an average cost of $5 per cigarette (and factoring in one per day for each user), total spending on marijuana may add up to $45 billion to $110 billion a year.

What about possible tax revenue? From Canada we’ve learned that the production cost of (government-sponsored) marijuana is roughly 33¢ a gram. Currently, U.S. marijuana consumers pay at least $10 per gram retail for illegal marijuana. If the cost of retailing and distribution is the same as for legal tobacco cigarettes, about 10¢ a gram, then selling the (legal) product at exactly the same price as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue. Not chump change. Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse." (business weekly citation #6 from Round 2)

As all can see, this is very obvious calculation independent of my opponent's reasoning.

Finally, I wish to bring in a new argument: The moral police. Let's face the truth here: individuals are sovereign over themselves, not the government, and should be free to make choices which affect them when it does not affect others. People gain pleasure from drugs to the point that, even with all the propoganda against the drug, they still do them. It's not up to the legislature to make laws here. Rather than wasting resources in attempting to suppress drug use, the state should embrace it, and create campaigns warning of the dangers of poor quality marijuana, and the risks and consequences of taking different types. It is simple: don't waste money policing something that is not needed to be policed. Promote freedom and personal liberty, and legalise marijuana.

I thank my opponent for responding promptly, and look forward to the next round.

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It seems that I lack the time to finish this debate; thus, it is to my greatest regret that I must concede. I apologize to my opponent, who clearly put much effort into many of his arguments, but I just cannot go on with this debate. Maybe, in the future, when more time is available, we can debate this topic again.

I urge you to vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 4


I thank my opponent for letting me know this promptly. I urge a PRO-vote.


Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by TUF 6 years ago
Missed the voting period... dangit
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
I wish you could remove comments on your own debate. Even if it is useful, I DONT CARE. It's the equivalent of, in the middle of a debate, standing up half way through someone's speech and blabbing on about why someone is wrong/right.
Posted by JakeBoatman96 6 years ago
Cause of death Number
All causes 2,436,652
Cardiovascular diseases 779,367
Malignant neoplasms 568,668
Lack of Health Insurance3 44,789
Drug induced2 37,485
Suicide 36,547
Motor vehicle accidents 36,284
Septicemia (infections) 35,587
by Firearms 31,224
Accidental poisoning 30,504
Alcohol induced 23,199
Homicide 16,591
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)9,424
Viral hepatitis 7,652
Cannabis (Marijuana) 0

Based on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Second Edition, 2004
Drug induced include both legal and illicit drugs.
As calculated in the American Journal of Public Health.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
Random, I also class Marijuana as that which you smoke and not inject. Different streetnames mean different cultures of usage and 'naming'. However, wikipedia claims they are all streetnames, and skunk - "a strain of marijuana" - is not the term ever used scientifically or in common usage, it has became a streetname.
Posted by RandomName 6 years ago
And Skunk is a strain of marijuana.
Posted by RandomName 6 years ago
Just so you know, hashish, hasheesh, or simply hash is the concentrated resin of the cannibis plant, not a street name.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 6 years ago
Okay, thanks.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 6 years ago
Peaceful, pass the final round if no-one uses it, I think.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by kyro90 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice job to both of you, especially Con because he did a great job even when this debate has had a bad history. But obviously Con Conceded so Pro deserves the 3 points, sorry Con..
Vote Placed by Volkov 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Voted pro, as I was told to.
Vote Placed by wmpeebles 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded the debate.