The Instigator
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The Contender
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Marijuana should remain illegal

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 318 times Debate No: 82152
Debate Rounds (4)
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This debate will be about whether weed should be legalized or remain illegal. I will take on the role as the naysayer. My opponent will argue for its legalization. For round 1, when accepting my challenge, Introduce yourself, but the arguing will not begin until the second round.


I accept. I am for the legalization of recreational and medical uses of Marijuana. Good luck and I hope we have a good debate.

Since no definitions were set up I'll do some.

Marijuana- Cannabis

Illegal- In this context, to have the sale, possession, distribution and growth illegal to be punished by the law
Debate Round No. 1


Marijuana is a substance that many people abuse. This "gift of nature" is a cause of several thousand employment terminations, incarcerations, relationship breakups, car accidents, and more. The main purpose of smoking marijuana is for the high that one receives. The fact that it "grows naturally" doesn't excuse the fact it is an abused drug, and causes a person to act poorly, nor does it call for a legalization.


Ok so, I'm going to make my opening claims and in the next round I will give rebuttals.

Contention 1: The ban is not working.

As someone who has never been involved in any sort of drugs/alcohol coming from a good, mostly crime free school I know at least 20 people who I could get weed just from being a moderate to highly social person.

Cannabis use is on the rise. 6.9% of the population of the U.S. admits to regularly using marijuana. Keep in mind that is just those who admit it, not everyone who regularly uses it. (1) On top of that 49% of Americans claim they have tried marijuana at least once. (2) . The use has gone up in the last year and is predicted to go up in the coming years. (1)

For better or for worse we live in a culture that is very tolerant to weed use. Over half of Americans support legalization of marijuana. (2) This has rapidly changed in favor of legalization in recent years and remains on a steady increase. State governments have recently reformed laws hugely in favor of legalization showing we have a culture that is becoming increasingly supportive of Marijuana legalization.

Contention 2: Economy

Legalizing marijuana would be fantastic for the economy for two different reasons. 1. We would be able to tax/fuel the new industry of legal marijuana. 2. We would be able to greatly decrease spending on the war on drugs.

Point one. With only 4 states selling and taxing marijuana the industry is exploding in growth. In one year's time the industry has grown 74% bringing in 2.4 billion last year. It is estimated the industry will be worth 11 billion in 2019. (3)

If marijuana was legalized nationwide the industry would grow exponentially. We're talking thousands and thousands of jobs and millions/billions in tax revenue. Sales are predicted to quadruple by 2018 (3) Were marijuana taxed at levels similar to tobacco/alcohol we would gain 46.7 billion in revenue. (4)

Point 2. The government spends over 51 billion yearly on the war on drugs. Were the most common drug by far made legal this figure would decrease astronomically. We could hugely decrease the amount of people in jails with legalization greatly decreasing spending. In 2013 693 thousands arrests were made for marijuana related crimes. Were the drug to be legalized the spending that went into that figure would never have to be made.

Contention 3: Vicious drug cartels

If only there were some way to cut off the revenue of the most violent and brutal gangs in North America, oh wait.

The minuscule amount of legalization of marijuana has been hugely effective on cutting illegal trade of marijuana. That means less money for the cartels and more money for the government (5). That means less money to buy guns, bribe cops
and murder. Not only are we shutting down drug cartels we're taking down domestic gangs in urban areas. With no money they have no way to recruit and operate.

These are gangs who terrorize the population. They recruit their members by giving them an option. Join or die. These criminals take away the hopes and dreams of citizens by trapping them in a criminal culture and dooming them to their inevitable fate of dying before they get a chance to really live.

Because of legalization crime is decreasing in the US as well as Mexico. (5) We have a chance to not only improve our country, but to fix a broken one.

Didn't we learn anything for prohibition? Making drugs illegal just makes people turn to gangs and cartels to get their supply. Once prohibition was lifted those gangs declined and soon ceased to be.

Contention 4: Rehab over punishment.

Instead of taking away the drug users future, we need to give them a future by getting them off drugs instead of sending them to prison. Even if we do not make marijuana legal we should at least decriminalize possession of it, so we are not taking away the future of those who really have a chance at making one.

Contention 5: Liberty

We have the choice to smoke tobacco if we chose to do so at the age of 18. At 18 we also can make the choice to enroll in the dangerous life of a soldier. At 21 we are trusted with the legal ability to consume alcohol. What makes marijuana any different? Is it harmful to the user? Yes, but the state should not baby it's citizens through making choices in their life. We should follow the values that this country was founded on. Specifically liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If that is the choice citizens would like to make to follow their own path, who are we to decide for them?





Debate Round No. 2


I noticed in your last argument, you stated " What makes marijuana any different? ". Well, there isn't anything that especially demonizes marijuana, but what lifting the ban of marijuana would do is

1: Increase use, whether it be recreational or medicinal, Leaving millions susceptible to falling prey to addiction and drug abuse

2: Increase access. More than likely, we will see marijuana stores and even vending machines pop up across the country. It would be putting it on display. Enticing passers-by to stop in and buy some marijuana.

3: Most of all, it reinforces the idea that smoking weed is okay within our children's minds. It takes away the idea that smoking, whether it be cigarettes or marijuana, is bad. We are trying desperately to decrease the amount of smoking within our country, and make sure our children don't get involved with the health risks of smoking. Lifting the ban on the drug would practically be encouraging smoking. Legalizing marijuana would be a step in the wrong direction.

In Amsterdam, a city that has already lifted it's ban on marijuana, has seen an increase in crime around coffee houses where the marijuana is sold. To add to that, Amsterdam has also "become the first city in the Netherlands to ban students from smoking marijuana in school". Why lift a ban, just to put another in place?


So, now I will refute my opponents original claims. On my next round I will rebut my opponents rebuttals.

"Marijuana is a substance that many people abuse. "

I don't deny this, however what my opponent does not address in round 2 is if these bans work or not. My opponent doesn't have much of an argument here, for he does not prove nor demonstrate that marijuana is controlled right now. The reality of the situation is marijuana isn't controlled. Regardless of whether it's illegal or not , you have millions of users. Let's learn a lesson from prohibition. When the US tried to ban alcohol instead of use being put to a halt, the users kept going. The only real change that happened was the formation and rapid growth of violent gangs.

"This "gift of nature" is a cause of several thousand employment terminations, incarcerations, relationship breakups, car accidents, and more"

The problem here is not the drug, but it is the people. Marijuana itself is not a strongly addictive drug, yet repeated use/ dependence does often result in addiction. Addiction to marijuana can be easily avoided by exercising self control over the drug. While weed is the cause for some of these yet legal substances are just as easily the cause. For example, alcohol causes all of the problems you have just named.

"The fact that it "grows naturally" doesn't excuse the fact it is an abused drug"

Now I'm going to bring up something called the strawman fallacy. What this is, is an argumentative strategy that is used to win arguments, yet it actually just shows poor debating skills. The strawman fallacy is when you take a legitimate argument and portray it as a poorly thought out stance that is void of logic. That's exactly what you're doing. Little to no one is advocating that marijuana isn't an abused drug, because it's grown naturally.

" nor does it call for a legalization." You really have not demonstrated this. All you have stated is that marijuana is harmful to those who are addicted to it/abuse it. That does not prove that 1. a ban solves the issue. or 2. A ban is more beneficial to society than legalization.
Debate Round No. 3


Debater2.o forfeited this round.


Greg4586 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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