The Instigator
Thugzbunyyy
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
CopperRoses
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Marijuana's Legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 786 times Debate No: 35110
Debate Rounds (4)
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Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Hello all, I will be arguing for the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in the United States (to at least a level equivalent to that of alcohol's). I will begin by presenting all my points and their subset points for legalization. I respectfully request for my opponent to refute them, then I will challenge their arguments. This is simply to establish a sense of organization, please and thank you. Also feel free to add any points you may have or to not address any of mine that you choose (if you don't however, I will assume you either acknowledge/agree with my point or cannot refute it). I do not wish to focus on other drugs besides cannabis although I intend to mention them for argumentative purposes if necessary. If you do not understand anything I say, simply ask and I will clarify, no need to be rude.

My Points
1.There will be little to no negative effects to the country/society from marijuana's legalization.
a) Marijuana is not addictive.
b) It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana
c) Marijuana's supposed "negative" effects, whether long term or short, are negligible, and many of which cannot credibly be declared true.
d) The logic of the gateway theory is fundamentally flawed and therefore it cannot be true
e) Marijuana's intoxicating effects are not harmful to the users or others within itself (i.e. calmness, changes to mood or perception), and therefore responsibility is placed on the user (although it would be anyway).
f) Youth's access to marijuana will not be increased by legalization but will in fact be decreased
g) Assuming it is true that marijuana's psychoactive potency has increased since the 1900's, it is an irrelevant fact seeing as how the negative effects remain unchanged.

2. There will be a plethora of positive effects resulting from marijuana's legalization.
a) The revenue saved and made from marijuana's legalization will be substantial and much needed to the country
b)The medical benefits (known and to be known) of marijuana would benefit many of its citizens, saving lives and creating a greater quality of life for many
c) Legalization will allow regulation of cannabis and therefore a greater degree of damage control. (i.e. preventing child access, reducing drugged driving)
d) Legalization will improve society by ending prosecution and punishment of responsible, contributing citizens simply for committing the victimless crime of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
e)Cannabis integration would benefit our culture and uphold our rights as a nation under the constitution.
f ) Gang violence and crime revolving around marijuana will be greatly decreased.
g) Legalization's resulting industry would create jobs and generally benefit the national economy.
h) Marijuana education would be healthy for both youth and adults (because now the only education is lies unless you dig deeper).

3.Marijuana Prohibition altogether is a colossal failure.
a)The whole purpose of cannabis prohibition is to prevent use nationwide, yet, cannabis use is still very prevalent.
b)Because of point a, the adverse societal effects of marijuana (however minuscule) are in effect despite it's prohibition, ergo prohibition is purposeless.
c)marijuana prohibition is exactly the same as the 20's alcohol prohibition save for the failure to end it.

4. It is not the governments place to tell us how to live, but to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the nation.
a) Proof of the government's failure to do this is how a constitutional amendment was needed to sign alcohol prohibition into law (and is now being used to prohibit marijuana). This means that the views/values this nation was built on differ from those that allow/support prohibition.
CopperRoses

Con

Hello, and thank you for making your argument clear and with some valid points. I say I disagree with some of your points and will address each of your points respectively.

"1.There will be little to no negative effects to the country/society from marijuana's legalization."
-Weed would be taxed, as alcohol and cigarettes currently are. Some may find this to be a negative aspect to its legalisation.
-Like second hand smoke, people may inadvertently get high from breathing in others' smoke in public places when they do not wish to. This is a negative effect that may cause health issues to the public.
-The legalisation of weed may promote the drug for recreational use by people who had previously not tried it. It would mean that the government approved its usage within the country and would therefore not condone getting high - something which changes behaviour in some negative ways.

"a) Marijuana is not addictive."
-It is. Anything that is in some way interpreted by the brain has the ability to be addictive. People become addicted to online games despite not taking in any substance. Caffeine can be addictive. Chicken burgers can be addictive. On a personal note, I am a Psychology undergraduate and have studied those addicted to gaming.
"For a small percentage of people who use it, marijuana can be highly addictive. It is estimated that 10% to 14% of users will become heavily dependent. " - http://www.csus.edu...

"b) It is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana"
-It is possible to overdose on any substance if enough of it is taken. Though this is extraordinarily unlikely... it is still physically possible. It would have to be concentrated in a laboratory and taken in high enough doses.

"c) Marijuana's supposed "negative" effects, whether long term or short, are negligible, and many of which cannot credibly be declared true."
-I know a person whose personality had become aggressive, volatile and extremely paranoid when in a state of being without weed. He professed himself that his attitude to life had changed since taking the drug, but didn't care for his personality change.

"d) The logic of the gateway theory is fundamentally flawed and therefore it cannot be true"
-Please expand on your point here.

"e) Marijuana's intoxicating effects are not harmful to the users or others within itself (i.e. calmness, changes to mood or perception), and therefore responsibility is placed on the user (although it would be anyway)."
-See my previous point on my volatile friend. And the responsibility would be always on the user, as you said, as an inanimate object cannot have responsibility, but it can be stated as the cause for issues.

"f) Youth's access to marijuana will not be increased by legalization but will in fact be decreased"
-Please state how.

"g) Assuming it is true that marijuana's psychoactive potency has increased since the 1900's, it is an irrelevant fact seeing as how the negative effects remain unchanged."
-Please reference this point. I have stated previously how weed can lead to an increase in aggression.

"2. There will be a plethora of positive effects resulting from marijuana's legalization.
a) The revenue saved and made from marijuana's legalization will be substantial and much needed to the country"
-I must state that although the government would get more money from taxes, it would not be substantial.

"b)The medical benefits (known and to be known) of marijuana would benefit many of its citizens, saving lives and creating a greater quality of life for many"
-In my country (The UK) it is legal to smoke weed for medicinal purposes, as I believe it is also in the US... unless I am mistaken.

"c) Legalization will allow regulation of cannabis and therefore a greater degree of damage control. (i.e. preventing child access, reducing drugged driving)"
-Legalisation would increase production and would allow adults to legally buy the drug in which they could pass it on to children for a profit, which occurs with alcohol. Increasing the access would not reduce drugged driving.

"d) Legalization will improve society by ending prosecution and punishment of responsible, contributing citizens simply for committing the victimless crime of consuming cannabis for medical or recreational purposes."
-It is not victimless. Currently drugs are smuggled into countries, sometimes by people who do not realise. This is far from victimless. Also, I believe medicinal weed is legal.

"e)Cannabis integration would benefit our culture and uphold our rights as a nation under the constitution."
-How so?

"f ) Gang violence and crime revolving around marijuana will be greatly decreased."
-Please say how.

"g) Legalization's resulting industry would create jobs and generally benefit the national economy."
-In turn I could argue that more people would waste money on buying weed as it is so easily accessible.

"h) Marijuana education would be healthy for both youth and adults (because now the only education is lies unless you dig deeper)."
-False. At least in the UK, we are highly educated about drugs and to know the facts.

"3.Marijuana Prohibition altogether is a colossal failure.
a)The whole purpose of cannabis prohibition is to prevent use nationwide, yet, cannabis use is still very prevalent."
-The whole purpose of making rape illegal is to prevent rape nationwide, yet, rape is still very prevalent. Prevalence does not mean something should be legal.

"b)Because of point a, the adverse societal effects of marijuana (however minuscule) are in effect despite it's prohibition, ergo prohibition is purposeless."
-Please expand on this point.

"c)marijuana prohibition is exactly the same as the 20's alcohol prohibition save for the failure to end it."
-They are two very different drugs. It is not the same.

"4. It is not the governments place to tell us how to live, but to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for the nation."
-Making weed illegal is protecting life.

"a) Proof of the government's failure to do this is how a constitutional amendment was needed to sign alcohol prohibition into law (and is now being used to prohibit marijuana). This means that the views/values this nation was built on differ from those that allow/support prohibition."
-Times change = laws have to change.
Debate Round No. 1
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

First, thank you con for following my format and providing some sophisticated and legitimate arguments. My sources are numbered and can be found at the bottom of my post (the video to the right is my source (8)).

1.
-I find that hard to believe seeing as how many legalization advocates (including myself) actually suggest regulating and taxing marijuana. We know that the taxing of cannabis would add much needed revenue to the economy (America’s economy probably more so than the UK's). Even if such a fact were true, it certainly would not warrant prohibition of cannabis.

-While it is possible to get high from secondhand/side-stream smoke, the conditions necessary for that to occur are not practical and are easily avoidable (1). Furthermore, the "negative health issues" you speak of are still in question.

-Please elaborate on this point.

a) Marijuana's physical addictiveness has been proven to be much less than that of even coffee's (2). Therefore, unless coffee (and everything more physically addictive than it) should be banned, the issue cannot be physical addiction but psychological addiction. However, you have proven my point because as you said, "anything that is in some way interpreted by the brain has the ability to be addictive." Does that then mean that everything that is in some way interpreted by the brain should be deemed illegal and dangerous? If not, I fail to see the relevance of marijuana's psychological addiction potential with regards to legalization.

b) Actually the only consumable substance in the world that it is physically impossible to overdose on is marijuana (in and of itself), even water carries this risk (3). And as my source proves, it still is not possible to achieve overdose even in a lab setting. You simply need to consume too much in too little time, making it impossible.

c) I know and have smoked with a regular user who has a family, successful career, and who is really a pretty cool guy.
Simply because this is true, your implication that weed caused these adverse changes in your friend is weakened. I can say with support from my source that your friend either became aggressive for some other reason while smoking weed, or was already aggressive, either of which being the case with or without his own knowledge (4). The specific myth is number six.

d) Simply put, the gateway theory claims that because and only because one has smoked marijuana they will move on to other drugs. However, this exact logic has already been universally accepted as a fallacy (look it up if you don’t know what that is) and therefore cannot be valid (5). It is faulty cause, the first one.

e) I've addressed your previous point. Secondly, using your same logic, without cars there would be no car accidents; should there then be no cars? If everyone drove perfectly according to the traffic laws there would be no accidents. Consequently, when there is an accident the first thing everyone wants to know is whose fault it was. The same should apply to cannabis seeing as how it does not inherently affect the user adversely (same as cars).

f) It is clearly easier for youth to achieve marijuana now because all they have to do is call a dealer (which isn't hard to find) and have the necessary funds. However, once legal, it would be taken out the hands of street dealers and be regulated; both similarly to alcohol (refer to point 2f to argue this statement). Then the only access would be in stores that enforce the age restriction and require identification, which naturally makes it much harder to obtain. Also, we already have an example of the success of more sensible cannabis policies with regards to use youth in the Netherlands (6).

g) Once again I have addressed your aggressiveness point. Here is my reference, it is myth number three (4).

2.
a) In a 2010 Cato Institute study, they show how the government would create roughly $8.7 billion upon the legalization of marijuana alone (7). Considering that this does not consider government spending for cannabis prohibition in it's entirety, I would consider that pretty substantial (keep in mind that we are in different countries with different cannabis laws and different economic situations).

b) In the U.S. it is legal medicinally only in a few states, and even then the laws are FAR from ideal.

c) While I recognize this as a possibility I must ask you to reference these occurrences with alcohol. Regardless, the prevalence of such a practice would in no way even be comparable to the reduction of general use by youth resulting from legalization (6). This statement is further supported by the fact that these alcohol profit practices have not initiated any successful movement or nationwide desire for alcohol prohibition.

d) I don't see how drugs’ being smuggled into countries makes my relaxing by smoking at home after a hard day's work dangerous to others.

e) We are in different countries but the basis of my point holds. Marijuana legalization would benefit society by providing greater expression, and therefore less ignorance, and therefore MANY more beneficial applications of not only the drug, but the hemp plant itself to the nation. As far as the constitution part, I will touch more on it in argument 4a.

f) Basically, once legalized, prices for cannabis in legal stores would be improved, as would quality, product options and security, purchasing environment, and accessibility (for responsible adults of course). Therefore, it follows that underground dealers would lose customers and consequently have much less to fight oer with regards to the underground weed market (just like alcohol). My source explain this much better (8).

g) Actually you cannot, because you have no support, that argument is another fallacy (5). Number twenty: hypothesis contrary to fact.

h) First, the truth about weed is distorted by lies that either ignore, mislead away from, or hide it in the U.S. Secondly, and with all due respect, I find your claim hard to believe seeing as how you were unaware of the fact that it IS physically impossible to overdose on marijuana, you honestly believe your friend's aggressiveness was caused by marijuana. Also, you believe that second hand smoke, and marijuana smoking in general is dangerous because of some unknown health effects that you have failed to provide and, for some reason, everyone believes it must have. I have addressed all of these with support from my sources.

3.
a) I beg to differ. Unlike marijuana, rape is certainly less prevalent than it would be if it were legal. Secondly, rape is quite obviously not a victimless crime. Rape is not beneficial to any country in any way. But ultimately, compared to marijuana usage prevalence, rape's prevalence is minuscule. "There is an average of 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year" (10). "Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with nearly 17million Americans age 12 and over reporting past-month use" (9). Seventeen million in a month (at least) or two hundred thousand plus in a year, the two are not comparable with regards to prevalence.

Unfortunately, I must address your last few statements in a following post due to text limitations.

Sources:
(1) http://www.slate.com...

(2) http://www.procon.org...

(3) http://voices.yahoo.com...

(4) http://listverse.com...

(5) http://commfaculty.fullerton.edu...

(6) http://www.erowid.org...

(7) http://www.cato.org...

(8)

(9) http://pioneerparticulars.areavoices.com...

(10) http://www.rainn.org...
CopperRoses

Con

CopperRoses forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

While I pray that con responds to my argument, I would not be surprised as I doubt he could respond to many of my points even if he tried. Nevertheless, I will respond to the few points I was unable to in the previous round.

3.
b) Basically, things that are perceiceived as negative to society and are attributed to cannabis occur regardless of it's legal status. Also, prohibition is known to increase use seeing as how the netherlands general use rates are about half of those in the United States (1). It neccesarily follows that with increased general use, things such as drugged driving are increased.

c) Regardless of the properties of a drug, the economic impact is the same with regards to legalization and prohibition. See my previous round's video for support.

4. How is it protecting life? I argue it is doing the exact opposite considering not only the lives prohibition has ruined through civil punishment or criminal activity, but the many lives marijuana stands to save through its amazing medical value. Also, you have yet to respond to many of my arguments related to this topic.

a) This is not one of those laws as it infringes on my nations values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

If con does not respond, this is all I have to say ofor the debate.

Sources
http://www.truth-out.org...
CopperRoses

Con

CopperRoses forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Thugzbunyyy

Pro

Dissapointing
CopperRoses

Con

CopperRoses forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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