The Instigator
feverish
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Sniper213
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Marijuana should have similar legal restrictions to alcohol (or less legal restrictions).

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,921 times Debate No: 9534
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

feverish

Pro

Hello and thanks to whoever accepts this debate.

In most (and perhaps all?) countries marijuana is subject to more severe legal restrictions and penalties than alcohol. Indeed in USA and UK alcohol is legal (though age restricted) and marijuana is a prohibited substance.

I argue that this is wrong and that for a number of reasons marijuana should in fact have less legal restrictions than alcohol or at least equivalent legal status.

To clarify, for the purposes of this debate:

Marijuana = any derivative or species variant of cannabis sativa or indica, including 'skunk' varieties, in any form; buds, hash, oil etc. for both medicinal and recreational use.

I've tried to set this debate up before but there was some confusion about the topic so I'll try to be extra clear this time.

I am arguing that alcohol is at least as bad or worse for individuals and society. I am not saying whether either substance should have any specific legal status. I am saying that marijuana should have less restrictions than alcohol.

This could be achieved one of two ways:
1. Loosen current restrictions on marijuana.
2. Tighten current restrictions on alcohol.

I do not intend to advocate one position over the other, merely to prove that alcohol has worse effects on behaviour and health than marijuana therefore the status quo is unfair and immoral.

As my opponent will presumably be supporting the status quo, I will allow him or her the option of presenting arguments first, if they wish to. If he or she would prefer however, they can instead use the next round merely for introductions and to challenge me to start the argument.

If you are unsure about the topic then please ask questions in the comments section before accepting the debate.

I hope that this will be a fun and informative discussion.
Thankyou.
Sniper213

Con

Awwww yeeeeeaaaaaa I'm ready 2 go, my first debate I'm so psyched, anyway... I disagree. Marijuana has much worse effects on the brain especially at a young age. Both marijuana and alcohol have an addictive quality. Alcohol affects the brain specifically the cerebellum and the brain stem, Marijuana however affects the cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, lungs and heart. I'm not too great at math but I'm pretty sure that marijuana affects more organs. I rest my case, for now
Debate Round No. 1
feverish

Pro

Allow me to welcome Sniper213 to his first DDO debate and wish him luck in this and future debates.

My youthful opponent has made 3 distinct points in his opening post, which I will briefly address before making some arguments of my own.

___________

1. "Marijuana has much worse effects on the brain especially at a young age."

It is difficult to respond to this point without any kind of evidence to refer to, I suggest my opponent provides some kind of source to back up his claims about the effects of these two drugs on the brain.

Alcohol has severe effects on the brain, for a full list see:

http://www.bloodalcohol.info...

----

Most of the concern about the effects of marijuana on the brain are more mundane issues like short-term memory loss, or the myths of 'cannabis psychosis' and 'reefer madness'.

I've never heard that marijuana is worse for young people than it is for adults but I have heard this said about alcohol:

"research has shown that compared with the adult brain, the adolescent brain is particularly sensitive to some effects of alcohol"
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov....

__________________

2. "Both marijuana and alcohol have an addictive quality."

If this "addictive quality" were an equally shared characteristic of both substances, as my opponent seems to be suggesting, then this point would be entirely irrelevant to a comparison between the two.

In actual fact marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol. See the table on "problem substances" in this link for a comparison of the addictive nature of different drugs. http://www.io.com...

Marijuana is generally recognised as not addictive in a physical sense and only addictive psychologically, in the same way as gambling or promiscuity can be for some people.
http://www.fcda.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...

There is not even a well recognised scientific term for cannabis addiction, whereas alcoholism is the first example of addiction on the wiki entry.

_______________________

3."marijuana affects more organs."

The number of different organs potentially affected by a substance is not a reflection on how harmful the substance can be to the organs it does affect.

Again my opponent provides no supporting evidence for his assertions.

"Alcohol affects the brain specifically the cerebellum and the brain stem, Marijuana however affects the cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, lungs and heart."

The cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem are all of course different parts of one organ, the brain. The source I provided above (under point 1) shows how alcohol affects many more different parts of the brain too.

Marijuana only affects the lungs and heart when it is smoked. There are other ways to consume it that do not have these negative effects.

--------------------

Some arguments of my own:

________________________

1. Alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana.

The health effects and the links with violent behaviour and (especially) automobile accidents make a compelling case that the dangers of marijuana (which I admit exist, although I believe my opponent exaggerates them) pale into insignificance compared to the dangers of alcohol.

"Alcohol contributes to 100,000 deaths annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable mortaility in the United States"
http://boreal.com...

"There can be both short-term and long-term consequences, even with moderate levels of drinking."
http://www.sciencenetlinks.com...

"This factsheets [sic] shows how alcohol contributes to accidents"
http://www.ias.org.uk...

"Some of Britain's leading drug experts .....By their analysis, alcohol and tobacco are rated as more dangerous than cannabis, LSD and ecstasy."
http://www.guardian.co.uk...

And lastly on violent behaviour the following scientific studies prove the indisputable link:

http://www.bio-medicine.org...
http://www.sciencedirect.com...
http://www.aic.gov.au...

____________________________

2.De-criminalisation does not lead to increased use.

Many people believe that a loosening of restrictions on marijuana would increase usage but the evidence contradicts this.

"There was no immediate increase in cannabis use after 1976"
http://www.tc.columbia.edu...

"UN Drug Office Can't Explain Lower Marijuana Use in Holland"
http://digg.com...

"Dutch Marijuana Use Half That Of America"
http://norml.org...

"statistics show a substantial decline in cannabis use in the Netherlands since statutory decriminalization in 1976"
http://www.sciencedirect.com...

It seems that an anti-marijuana campaigner should actually be demanding legalisation as this seems to actually discourage use.

_________________________

3.Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

This page from the campaign group SAFER compiles some excellent scientific references on the subject:
http://www.safercampuses.org...

This breaks down several risk factors.

-----

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

This is an excellent article that presents a balanced point of view but although it finds doctors and scientists to support marijuana it can only find laymen to disparage it.

----

The video posted in the top right hand corner of this argument shows a presidential candidate telling a group of students that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

__________________

Alcohol is more harmful to an indivdual's physical and mental health than marijuana and the violent behaviour and automobile accidents that it can trigger are more harmful to society.

I await my opponent's response.

Pro.
Sniper213

Con

Sniper213 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
feverish

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the last round but as two more remain he still has time to get back into this debate. I urge him to do so, he has apparently been online in the last day so hopefully he will be able to post in this round and I will be able to respond in round 5. Until then, extend my previous points.

Thanks.
Sniper213

Con

Sniper213 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
feverish

Pro

Oh well, maybe I'll get to actually debate this topic someday, if anyone wants me to challenge them with this same first round then let me know.

I can't vote on the site and this won't show up on the front page due to forfeits so I ask anyone who is reading this to kindly take the time to vote for whoever you think won according to the DDO guidelines.

Thanks.
Pro.
Sniper213

Con

Sniper213 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
All points to Pro.
Pro had the better argument, given the very modest attempt by Con.
Pro had better conduct, given his punctuality in all rounds.
Pro had better spelling and grammar, insofar as cons short attempt was too informal.
Pro had better sources, inasmuch as he included at least one.
Posted by casterle 7 years ago
casterle
Last month "Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" was published. This book covers the topic of this debate in detail, complete with citations.

For those interested in the topic, the book is a bargain at just over $10 (http://tinyurl.com...).
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
@ CON: PROOF! plzkthx
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
<You should change it to "(or fewer legal restrictions.)">

Unfortunately that would use more characters than are available for the debate title, I know it sounds kind of clumsy but after a few tries this was the clearest way I could find to write it with the space available.

Thanks for accepting Sniper, I should have my round 2 up either tonight or tomorrow.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
"I think you grow as a debater when you argue something that you disagree with"

You are now officially a disciple of Kleptin.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
<"you are so NOT COOL for publicly implying that you smoke marijuana.">

Stop being an idiot. I never, ever, not even once, said anything about "coolness," or anything like that (since it's all meaningless to me, anyway.) I said you're childish for bragging to random strangers that you smoke. What don't you get?
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
;P That said, I'd love to take this. I think you grow as a debater when you argue something that you disagree with; however, I feel sooo strongly in favor of Pro that I'm just not sure I could do it! Let me think about it. Btw, I love how the advertisement that comes up on the left of my screen when viewing this debate is for Marijuana Rehab and has like a father hugging his two children tight to him... it says "End Addiction Now" lol I can't. This is too much :)
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
feverish, you are so NOT COOL for publicly implying that you smoke marijuana.
Posted by LeafRod 7 years ago
LeafRod
In a bad way.
Posted by LeafRod 7 years ago
LeafRod
You should change it to "(or fewer legal restrictions.)" Haha, sorry, but the name keeps coming up in my Recent News thing on the home page and it makes my head race.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
feverishSniper213Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
feverishSniper213Tied
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Total points awarded:70