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May Beginner Tournament: Recreational Drugs Should Be Decriminalized Across the Board.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 372 times Debate No: 75323
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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Okay this is for the beginner's May Tournament.

The topic is decriminalization of recreational drugs. My opponent is arguing Pro and I'm Con. This first round is just to present the rules, definitions, and basic acceptance.


1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round; R1 is just for acceptance
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (i.e. arguments that challenge an assumption in the resolution)
7. No semantics
8. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add "resolutional" definitions
9. The BOP is Shared; Pro must argue that Drugs should be Decriminalized
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

Basic Definitions:

"Across the Board" - a phrase meaning "all" and/or "without exception". In this case meaning any drug deemed recreational in nature.

Decriminalize - to eliminate criminal penalties for or remove legal restrictions against

Recreational drug - Any drug used without medical justification for its psychoactive effects often in the belief that occasional use of such a substance is not habit-forming or addictive. Examples include cocaine, marijuana, or methamphetamine.


I accept, if you don't mind I'd like to add another definition and set up the rounds.

Should - indicating a desirable or expected state.

R1. Acceptance
R2. Pro's Case, Con's Case
R3. Pro rebuts Con's Case, Con rebuts Pro's Case
R4. Pro defends Pro's Case, Con defends Con's Case, crystallize.

Good luck con :)
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks Hitman, and good luck to you as well.

I could write a million words on why decriminalization is the exact wrong course of action, but the simplest way to put it is:
"people are stupid". And my sources for this assertion is the time I've spent working emergency rooms and morgues. People think putting an infant in boiling water and watching it freak out is funny. People think shooting nail guns at each other is fun. People assume allergies are guidelines rather than boundaries they shouldn't cross. People regularly ignore that children and adults are fundamentally different in how they tolerate and digest substances. They also assume it's okay to do all kinds of things while pregnant... But worst of all - people don't ever want to take responsibility for their actions... stupid or otherwise.

And it's that last point that makes decriminalization of drugs impossible.

Just look at how alcohol and cigarette usage is being handled. There are millions of car accidents yearly related to alcohol usages, campus rape is tied into a culture of alcohol abuse (by males and females), the marriage problems caused by dependence, the instances of homicides, and/or the rate of F.A.S... and that's just alcohol usage in the US. Cigarette usage has been cracked down on very hard, which brings up the point of why people aren't more upset about that. And part of that might be how little cigarettes are glorified now in comparison to other drugs like marijuana and Molly.

Like alcohol many drugs are being talked up as being positive or at least not super harmful. Just like no one talks about how 29,001 alcohol-induced deaths occurred in 2013 (and over half of them from liver disease) or how 2.5 million of 3.9 million Americans getting substance abuse help in 2005 were trying to stop drinking.... no one talks about how Molly is a serious gamble these days. Most of it is synthetic in nature, and there are significant differences in composition even within a single package.

Some might say that legalization would handle this problem, because regulation would make everything okay. The problem of course is that regulation can only do so much if it isn't enforced. The USDA for example is drastically under funded and manned - and this has led to any number of recalls and public health scares. The demands of something like a legalized drug trade doesn't bear thinking of. The more so as the production of drugs present risks in and of themselves. Meth labs are known for their impressive explosions for a reason - there are also the fumes and by-products created when making any number of substances.

But going back to the issues of regulations - who has the final say on what flies and what doesn't? Federal or State? And will there be overlapping in jurisdiction? And how will this regulation be imposed? Taxes are one thing, but really if it's cheaper to get on the street from some unlicensed yob... why would I buy the legit stuff? I mean... if all drugs are legal then what stops the average person from going into the business and what keeps the market from being flooded by whatever junk can be slapped together?

And answering these questions is still only half the battle, because as previously mentioned - people are irresponsible dolts. And that's with the improvement of age - kids between the ages of 12-24 seem to be borderline suicidal in terms of behavior. 66% are binge drinking regularly - what will stop them toking up constantly? In Amsterdam laws have been passed to prevent kids smoking before school - because apparently being stoned wasn't very helpful in terms of knowledge retention. Half of what helps out here is that it's too much effort for most kids to try the harder stuff.

I guess it's like suggesting the US lower the age of consent. It only sounds reasonable until you start asking questions of responsibility and bringing up things like who gets to deal with the fallout. Who is going to take care of the people who quite simply can't work due to drug usage? Who is going to take care of the crack babies and the smack babies and the like? Who is going to deal with the underage prostitutes (male and female) trying to pay for their next hit(s)? Do we even have any real long-term data on drug usage that isn't stupidly negative in nature?

And you can't say that such data doesn't matter, because while some or maybe even most people can take or leave many drugs... there are a significant number that can't. If even 5% of a group of users is bound for addiction that's far too many. Say that a million are using smack 5% of that is 50,000 addicts who need to be dealt with somehow. 50,000 individuals
who are potential criminals (because violent behavior is an associated risk of drug use) and also potential leeches on society. Also 50,000 horrific incidents waiting to happen anywhere.

Because drug usage isn't confined to layabouts and gangbangers - it's housewives and doctors and lorry drivers and teachers and babysitters and construction workers and assembly line workers and whatever. And as I already mentioned people are stupid - I've had nurses mistake Vaseline for IV saline. I've had newbies add a zero where they should have subtracted. I've had co-workers leave bio-hazards in the freaking fridge. ...It's a well-known fact that surgeons are rather prone to leaving things in their patients. And that's when they aren't high as anything. Sleep deprived sure, but not stoned or buzzing or whatever. And you can't say that people will self-regulate, because people refuse to accept self-responsibility these days. I mean for goodness sake people have sued McDonald's for their own obesity. It's ridiculous.

In short the simple fact is people are people - they will overindulge, they will use it inappropriately, they will work and act under the influence, and none of the current drug-related issues will be dealt with. Instead more problems will crop up - and that's completely unnecessary. Because it's not like most recreational drugs have a point outside of getting high. And even marijuana has a fairly limited usage that can be replicated better via other means. So yeah, there is no point whatsoever in decriminalizing drugs across the board.

And I hope to god this is coherent... it's 4 in the morning...



Himans45 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Espera forfeited this round.


Himans45 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Espera forfeited this round.


Himans45 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Himans45 1 year ago
I'll probably have to forfeit this round, really sorry. My finals are taking up too much time and I don't really have time to construct a decent argument.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
@Kozu I think they are indicating the manner in which the drug is being used rather than each drugs potential medical use. So Marijuana being used in a manner that is not medical but rather casual use.
Posted by Kozu 1 year ago
"Any drug used without medical justification"

Pretty sure you can't put marijuana on that list.
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