The Instigator
Pro (for)
13 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Medical as well as recreational marijuana should be legal in all US states

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 539 times Debate No: 87105
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)




The matter of legalizing medical marijuana is an important issue for several reasons. From the data observed in the link below [1] there are currently 23 states with laws legalizing marijuana, some still more restrictive than others. This of course is a significant step in the right direction. However, I believe that all states should follow the examples of Alaska, Colorado, Washington and Oregon to legalize not only cannabis for medicinal usage but also for recreational consumption. I will list my reasons further below. Before doing so I would like to specifically define the meanings of marijuana itself and respectively medical and recreational cannabis to avoid any confusions or misunderstandings.

Marijuana is defined as "a commonly used illegal drug made from dried leaves of the hemp plant" and "a strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared." Marijuana goes by many other names such as cannabis, hemp, weed etc. [2]

Medical marijuana is defined as the usage of marijuana for medical or medicinal purposes. [3] [4]

Recreational marijuana is defined as any other recreational drug which is described as "a drug (as cocaine, marijuana, or methamphetamine) 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." [6]

I acknowledge the many different types of marijuana that exists for different purposes, most, I understand, are hybrids made for different specific medical needs. However I do not know enough on the subject of them, their effects and upsides as well as downsides. I would therefore appreciate if this debate could be exclusively on the matters of the aforementioned descriptions of cannabis, medical and recreational.

Now I will present my arguments as to why I believe medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized in all US states.R32;R32;First of all I would like to point out that there is no scientific background with evidence as to exactly why marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug in the first place. The definition of a Schedule 1 drug from the Drug Enforcement Administration itself clearly states, that "Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."[6]

This definition leaves no room for doubt that no Schedule 1 drug has any medical use. However it has been a known fact for centuries that cannabis has been used for medical purposes with positive effects. This can easily be found true when looking at many different sources. Here I have merely linked one. [7]R32;The National Institute on Drug Abuse also states that there are medical benefits from marijuana. [8]
R32;There can be many reasons as to why marijuana was classified the way it was and still has not been re-classified but that is a completely different debate. Here are links with possible explanations that no matter what do not justify why it was classified so harshly. [9] [10] R32;All in all, there can be no doubts that this classification of marijuana is deeply illogical and misleading.

Second, I would like to stress that America would merit tremendously from the economic profits caused by legalizing marijuana. It can be no surprise to any logical thinking creature that America spends enormous sums of money on dealing with and prohibiting crime related to illegal marijuana sales and consumptions. All of this money would of course not be spent if marijuana was legalized. In stead I propose that all states start off like Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado by legalizing recreational marijuana as well. These states all have different laws that specifically suits them and I believe this is a good way to start. R32;R32;The legalization of medical as well as recreational marijuana would be the only solution to properly profit economically from the marijuana businesses that are currently not legal. This is because these businesses will probably still exist if only medicinal marijuana was legalized. [11] [12]

Third and last I believe, as mentioned, that marijuana should be legalised for recreational use. This is because I believe in every individual"s right to care for him or herself"s own health and decide what is best. Especially when it comes to smoking tobacco or marijuana for pleasure. I am aware of the fact that marijuana has other effects than regular tobacco smoking. However tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death here in America and I do not see how it in any aspect is justifiable, that tobacco smoking has no legal restrictions when a harmless plant such as cannabis is classified as a schedule 1 drug and illegal in most states. [13]

I believe that cannabis should be legalized for medical and recreational use. Of course all sale should be done by an approved salesperson to ensure and uphold a certain safety. This will still leave room for illegal sales but not in the same measure as it is now.
I am not trying to say that tobacco smoking should be classified as a schedule 1 drug as well. I am saying that the laws making marijuana illegal are so illogical that I am astonished this can happen in a well educated country in the 21st century.


I accept this debate and would like to thank my opponent for this great opportunity.

Section 1:
Marijuana can be very addictive to some people. Dr. Drew Pinsky has been working with addicts for years. He claims that it would be malpractice to say that cannabis isn't addictive. Even though it can take a long time for the addiction to kick it, the "high" will eventually stop coming, causing users to smoke more and more just to get the "high" back. This is when the problems start. According to Dr. Pinsky, those who are addicted to cannabis, have the most difficulties getting off of it. According to his statistics, 4.3 million persons out of 7.3 million persons, have marijuana dependence or abuse. He also points out that the more legal it become, the higher that number will increase.

Amsterdam has already legalized pot, and it isn't as much of a success as people may think. Citizens are worried about their children being exposed to the drug, which they have the right to. Until recently, kids would smoke marijuana right before going to class. To add to that, crime has began to center around coffee shops. Ever since they became member only shops and closed down around schools, crime has increased around these shops, especially the human sex trade. Also, shops are given a death knell if they sell pot to a non-Dutch citizen.

Death Knell : The tolling of a bell to mark someone's death

Marijuana can damage your intelligence. A Northwestern University found that marijuana users have an abnormal brain structure and chronic marijuana abuse can lead to brain changes similar to schizophrenia. In an report against the legalization of marijuana, the American Medical Association said that use of cannabis by adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ.They also state that the use is usually associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorders. And this doesn't just happen when the user high.

Schizophrenia: a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Marijuana is more toxic than cigarette smoke. In fact, users are usually hit with the devastating effects some 20 years before regular smokers do (cigarette smokers). Marijuana causes sterility, as well as birth defects, mental abnormalities and increased risk of leukemia in children. Though it is safer than crack and meth, you're still deluding yourself if you think pot is anything but horrible for your health.

While movies portray potheads as cool, laid back people, real life pot heads are flunking out of school, losing their jobs, losing the people they love and becoming frustrated because they can't concentrate. A study of 129 college students found that casual, almost daily, smoking of marijuana diminishes critical skills related to attention, memory and learning. Another study has shown that when employees were (or are) on marijuana, there are 55% more accidents, 85% more injuries and a 75% increase of absences from work. Again, another study has shown that marijuana is the cause of 4.3% of all driver fatalities in Australia. Legalizing marijuana will cause even more damage. Aren't cigarettes and alcohol bad enough? Legalizing marijuana may not cause a lot of deaths (unless you're a child), but it can greatly damage our country. We'd eventually lose our workforce which will damage our economy even more than it already is.

Section 2:
* Marijuana is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is because it doesn't meet their criteria for medication (quantity, frequency/duration of administration, and interaction with other medicines). They also bring up the point that smoking has never been an accepted method of administering any medicine.

* A study shows that in all the states that have legalized marijuana, there has been an increase in the rate of 12-17 year old's using it. Marijuana is the most illicitly used drugs among the youth and adults of our nation. According to the 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey, 45.2% of high school seniors have tried pot while 22.9% have smoked it in the last 30 days. Though 6.5% of high school seniors smoke marijuana, I'm sure the numbers are bound to increase with the further legalization this drug.

* The rate of addiction and abuse would obviously rise with the legalization of marijuana. That's a given.

* The marijuana trade would eventually grow, and possibly begin advertising to children. That's apparently already a problem in Colorado.

* This goes back to the increase in problems in jobs. All those increases in accidents and injuries cause companies to pay a lot of money in insurance. It would be much cheaper to let the addicts go, and that's probably what will happen. Again, this would shorten our workforce and eventually ruin the economy.

* No one has succeeded in defining the kind of pain that marijuana, and many other supposed "pain killers" are supposed to get rid of, or hide. This has caused a problem called pill mills, which is a doctor's office, clinic, or health care facility that routinely conspires in the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances outside the scope of the prevailing standards of medical practice in the community or violates the laws of the state of Florida regarding the prescribing or dispensing ... They don't have any limits of how much is handed out, and they make it easier to get addicted. Adding pot shops will just make things worse. Consequences that people are expecting from this include, selling to minors, deaths, increased noise, increased crime (robberies namely), and loss of commercial businesses that don't approve of marijuana.

* Marijuana is damaging the environment. Pot farms have killed a lot of animals, and other sorts of wildlife anywhere near them. This is because of all the chemical pesticides that are used in growing marijuana. These toxicants may eventually get into us. The chemicals can easily get into deer, cattle and other such meat that we eat. Once we eat that meant, those chemicals are unknowingly put into our bodies. This will cause more deaths as the chemicals will make us very sick and kill us.

* Black market sales would increase. Since marijuana would be legal for adults to purchase as they please, there would be only one group of people left to illegally sell to... The children. This will cause them to become addicted at a young age and ruin their futures. So, if we legalize marijuana, we put our children at risk of probably doing more harm to the world than the previous generation and possibly my generation.

As you have read, marijuana destroys economies (or at least, it can), it has wrecked havoc on an entire country and their children, and can destroy any country's economy. Out of all the reasons, the children are what I'm worried about most. No matter who you are, or what you think, you can't deny that you, like the rest of us, hope that our children and the future generations do better than we did. But if we legalize marijuana, that can't happen. Legalizing marijuana would be one of the biggest mistake our generation has ever made, and it may never be fixed. Now I'd like the readers to ask themselves. Do I want my kids to drop out of school? Do I want them to have a good future? Thank you
Debate Round No. 1


I thank 'Dpowell' to have accepted this debate.

It is true that marijuana can be very addictive to some people. Many other substances both legal and illegal can be very addictive as well. My opponent bases his arguments upon the work of Dr. Drew and he himself says that "It is extremely addictive for some people. I think that's where people get confused. It's not very addictive for many people. It's a small subset of people with a genetic potential for addiction." It's like saying because some people are allergic to garlic then we should ban it everywhere. It simply does not make sense. Obviously the "small subset of people" have the right to get help but the many people that don"t get addicted should not be punished with restrictions on their personal freedom and right to make their own decisions concerning their health because of a minority"s unfortunate genetic situation.

In a large-scale survey where the participants were asked about their use of drugs they found out that of those who had tried marijuana at least once about 9 percent eventually fit a diagnosis of cannabis dependence. The numbers for alcohol was 15%, cocaine 17%, heroin 23%, nicotine 32%.

The argument stating that the more marijuana an individual consumes, the greater amount this individual will need in order to achieve the "high" feeling, is also true for other substances if consumed frequently enough. Since 91 percent of people who have tried marijuana never get addicted and therefore wouldn"t consume the cannabis frequently enough I would say this fact is only true for that "small subset of people". As the aforementioned states, I am not a fan of compromising the majority"s freedom because of the minority. And nor is democracy.

Referring to the sentence "According to his statistics, 4.3 million out of 7.3 million, have marijuana dependence or abuse" I must say this is directly wrong. The original source ( states: "of the 7.3 million persons aged 12 or older classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse in 2012, 4.3 million persons had marijuana dependence or abuse."
"Dpowell" gives the reader the impression that 4.3 million people out of 7.3 million have marijuana abuse, which gives the impression that 58.9% of the American people has a marijuana dependence. Since this is obviously not the case I would like to stress that the original numbers indicate that out of the 7.3 million persons classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse, 4.3 million had marijuana dependence or abuse. The very important word "classified" clearly states that these numbers are only valid for people who officially are abusive with drugs. I might add that luckily 58.9% of those are addicted to marijuana and not worse, hard drugs like cocaine, LSD and heroin.

Dr. Drew Pinsky also points out that the more legal marijuana becomes, the more people will become addicts. In a comparison of the Netherlands, Canada and the US the numbers observed from the following link states that "the rates of cannabis use did not differ between the countries." I would like to point out that in the Netherlands where marijuana is legal, all production, trading and stocking of drugs, are still very much illegal. Which means that the young Dutch people get their marijuana from approved salesmen which I dare to say is way safer than the marijuana available to young Americans.
I think we should see Amsterdam as an example. According to my opponent, "citizens are worried about their children" in Amsterdam. This is a very subjective statement. Some kids may have gone to school under the influence of marijuana. How many children we are talking about? I am for legalising marijuana in all states yes, but there should be restrictions in schools for kids, since it is proven that marijuana in some cases damage children"s brains. Amsterdam also banned the smoking of marijuana in schools in 2012. Let us learn from Amsterdam and legalise marijuana but ban it from kindergardens and primary schools. Just like many US states already have done with regular tobacco smoking.

Looking at the statement "crime has began to center around schools, crime has increased around these shops, especially the human sex trade." I would like to point out that this information comes from a website called "". I do not believe this is a very reliable source since they do not link to the sources their statements are based on. I also believe that the crime in the US related to illicit marijuana is on a much bigger scale than that of the Netherlands.

My opponent claims that marijuana is in very bad for your health and can damage your intelligence. That may be true but so can alcohol. And the important thing to remember is that it depends 100% on how much, how often and how you use marijuana. Smoking cannabis is more dangerous for your health than eating cannabis. Again considering the 91% that don"t get addicted, I believe they are out of the danger zone when it comes to permanent intelligence-damage

Marijuana can be beneficial to people who suffer from schizophrenia. I believe that if you were to directly get this illness from cannabis consumption it would only happen for people who are abusers. It clearly doesn't happen to the majority and of course some people will experience side effects, like with any other medicin or substance.

In relation to the statement about "real life pot heads" I would like to see some statistics as to how many marijuana users have "flunked out of school, lost their jobs, lost the people they love and became frustrated due to concentration difficulties". And a definiton of when exactly one can label another as a "pot head". I would like to point out that the top three causes of car accidents here in America, not Australia, is drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving. Not marijuana usage.

As for the quality of America"s work force I don"t see any proof that the work force of a nation will decrease due to legalization. No matter what, a person has to have a job in order to make a living. I think most people are aware of that fact and if you end up not doing your work properly due to marijuana then that would be defined as an abuse, which only 9% of people who have tried marijuana end up with. Since this nation needs jobs, it is obvious that if you can"t do your job then there will be another dutiful American citizen who will be more than happy to take over.

As for marijuana being damaging for the environment, I would love to see the scientific proof of animals near "pot farms" directly of cannabis farming. The agriculture uses pesticides and chemicals as well. So how come you are not dead (I assume you don"t eat 100% organic)? Since there are pesticides and chemicals in almost all the food we eat? Please back up your very radical statements like "This will cause more deaths as the chemicals will make us very sick and kill us" with scientific research and evidence.

As for the conclusion: It is without sufficient scientific research that my opponent states "marijuana destroys economies" and "it has wrecked an entire country and their children". Please define how the Netherlands is a wrecked country? When the Netherlands ranks better in education than the US, when the Netherlands tops health care rankings with the US not even on the list of the top 15.

Thank you.


In this round, I plan to rebut my opponent's arguments from round 1 and possibly answer his question from then end of his round 2.

Section 1:
Legalizing marijuana isn't necessarily important, its more a matter of opinion. I believe that we have more concerning matters to deal with, other than legalize a drug. What to do with the illegal immigrants and whether or not we should raise the minimum wage are more important issues than an insignificant drug which has always done more damage than good. Also a drug that kills people. People say that marijuana doesn't kill people, but it does. Its made out of hemp (cannabis) which has a history of killing people, which is why people have began to call it cannabis. Its' funny though. Everyone is saying that the drug is being legalized for medical purposes, but its the medical field trying to stand against it. The medical field keeps warning everyone that cannabis is deadly and bad. It kills 30,000 people a year. The drug can cause cancer, lung disease and terribly mental illnesses. Not to mention a user is up to 6 times more likely to develop schizophrenia. This is not something anyone in their right mind would want legalized.

Section 2:
Research that has been performed shows that since we can't get a good revenue for marijuana, the tax will probably be high. This would give more money to the government sure, but that might not be so good for the overall economy.

Section 3:
If people believe that damaging their IQ, memory, health and mental state is something that's good for them, then go for it. These are the kinds of decisions that the last generation has been trying to teach this new generation, especially since we're graduating high school and going off into the real world. But like I said at the beginning of this round, its a matter of personal opinion.

Section 4:
That may be so, but from talking to a foreign exchange student from the Netherlands in my school, they're expecting a major decrease in their education. Also, even though they've legalized marijuana, it can only be sold in coffee shops, they can't legally grow it privately and they're only allowed to have a max of 5 grams.

I apologize for not posting longer rebuts. I was having technical difficulties with my network, so just being on this site was complicated enough.

This is a before and after picture for the use of marijuana.
Debate Round No. 2


Given that this is the last round I would like to make my final points and also comment on the previous points made by my opponent.

Section 1:
First I would like to ask my opponent why he accepted and entered this debate if he does not find the topic to be "necessarily important"?
Of course it is a matter of opinion but I believe everything is when it comes to debating. And that"s why we"re here - to debate and give our opinion on a specific topic.

Nevertheless, I have some points to make as well. My opponent"s argument stating that cannabis kills people is indeed true. But what in this world does not include a risk of death? The history of cannabis however is not that it kills people. Everyone knows that it has a history which includes saving people"s lives within the medical field. In fact it still saves lives. A study actually shows that ""in the years following legalization,"states that legalized marijuana had experienced reductions in fatal overdoses and addiction treatment center"admissions relating to opioid abuse."

Another study shows us that "marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events." It shows that marijuana in fact is preventable for suicides and that "in the three years following the passage of medical cannabis legislation, the suicide rate for men in their 20s and 30s dropped by roughly 10 percent."

And yes the drug would definitely be beneficial for medical purposes. Here"s a list of illnesses treatable with medical marijuana:

My opponent also claims that there is something not making sense, when people claim that marijuana is being legalised for medical purposes, at the same time as the pharmaceutical companies warns against the use of cannabis. I on the other hand find this very logical. Of course the medical companies, and all other companies with an annual income, don"t want to loose their market. It is a known fact that medical companies lobby and spend money on campaigns against competitive medicaments - like cannabis.
In this article you can read about the aforementioned. It says that: "Medical cannabis is clearly competition to the pharmaceutical industry." It mentions a case where "Minnesota Governor Dayton Refuses to Legalize Medical Marijuana". So as many other things it is all about the money.

In this article "The Top 5 Industries Lobbying Against Cannabis Legalization" are listed. And of course big pharmaceutical companies are amongst them.

Section 2:
As for the matter of the taxes I believe the source itself and my opponent use words such as "may", "probably" and "might". This indicates an uncertainty of whether or not this is true and it can therefore very likely also be, that a legalization of cannabis will benefit the economy.

Section 3:
My opponent seems very sure in this section that a use of marijuana would "damage their IQ, memory, health and mental state." However I haven"t seen research directly claiming that if you through one way or another get cannabis into your body you will suffer from all of the aforementioned.

As for the last generation trying to tech the new generation, I do not see how this is an argument. If everything was taught from generation to generation, then we would walk around believing the Earth was still flat, that the Moon and the Sun orbited us and we would still die of the flu. There has to be room for learning new things. Discovering how the real world works is not something you can be learned from a book or a teacher. You have to experience it yourself. But clearly this is a matter of opinion.

Section 4:
As I have said before, I believe each state should start off legalizing marijuana, but on their own terms. If they want to only allow 5 grams like the Netherlands, fine. If they want to allow their citizens to grow it themselves, then great. Whatever works best for them. It"s a start, it"s new and we must learn from what we do further down the road. But I believe there can be no doubts that the benefits of legalizing marijuana are greater than the downsides. Only 9% of people who tried cannabis become addicts, it can have huge medical advantages and save lives - and if not it can ease the pain of patients suffering from chronic disorders.

The picture:
I would like to know the story of this man? How much marijuana has he been dealing with? Which type? How often? Because all of these questions are essential. If you eat too much of something, that is not good for your health either and no matter what, he chose it himself. And the matter of marijuana should be up to each individual. We can inform them of the dangers that might occur - but that is all, nobody should decide for them.

I would like to end this by saying thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate in the first place, but also to state that the majority of America"s people now agree that cannabis should be legalized for medical purposes. Thank you.


In this round I plan to conclude my arguments, but first I shall answer my opponent's question. I entered this debate because I thought it would be interesting. Now, on to my conclusion.

Marijuana is a very deadly and unhealthy drug. At no point in history, nor today, has it ever helped anybody. It just makes health problems worse, or create new ones. If you really want to legalize it, you must want a lot of people to die, or at least end up in an insane assyleum. As I have explained throughout the previous rounds, marijuana will just make things worse. No has ever, nor will ever, come from its legalization. Especially since potheads are the only ones trying to fight to get it legalized while the medical field is trying to put their foot down and say no. They've been trying to tell us how bad it is, but no ones listening. They think drugs are fun, but they're really not. My girlfriend used to take all sorts of drugs, marijuana being one. You want to know what they did? They made her uterus bleed... A lot. In fact, she called them her periods. But when was the last time a girl had a period 3 times in one month? Marijuana can have just as bad, or worse effects on everybody who uses it. Is this really something we want in our country? Aren't we supposed to be better than the rest? That's not something we can accomplish if we legalize marijuana.

I thank my opponent for this very interesting debate, I also thank the readers who payed attention and followed this. Also, for the readers/followers, please be the well educated, sane people I know you are and vote for Con. Show the world that you're above drugs.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by SocialDemocrat 7 months ago
Funny how con, who is openly conservative, (conservatives are generally for smaller government), cheers for the government deciding what substances you can and can not use. Pretty ironic.
Posted by matt8800 7 months ago
I couldn't put a link in my RFD, so here is where I found that picture that is actually of a meth user not a marijuana user.
Posted by freddiegeorg 8 months ago
Bocaj1000 or whooplaah, I'm ready for a challenge from whoever of you accepts it first!
Posted by Bocaj1000 8 months ago
I'd debate this topic, but I'm not willing to go looking up hundreds of sources. Plus, I know how druggies work. They'll never think drugs are bad. Ever. Not only should marijuana be illegal, but all recreational drugs should as well as tobacco.
Posted by whooplaah 8 months ago
I might accept this debate if no one else does in the next few days.

I'm a bit of a prude, especially about substance abuse. In my opinion, any sort of mind-altering substance should be illegal for recreational uses (including alcohol and tobacco). The problem is that this is a practical impossibility when it comes to enforcement, as the prohibition era clearly demonstrated.
Posted by Sgt4Liberty 8 months ago
Sweet! I agree 100%. Alcohol and Tobacco are so much worse.
Posted by dsjpk5 8 months ago
Nice research
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SocialDemocrat 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: This was pretty clean cut, con was just forced to cower in a corner in the face of pro as his conservative idea was completely demolished with logic and facts.
Vote Placed by matt8800 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con?s argument centered around his claim that marijuana is more addictive and dangerous than alcohol and tobacco. The sources he provided were biased and unsubstantiated. Pro argued that if marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, it should be a freedom granted to the individual. Pro provided sources that backed up his position on this. Con was unable to argue this point, which is an important point. Con used a before and after picture of a person that he claimed used marijuana. I did a google image search and found that picture was actually a before and after picture of a meth user. Con?s claim and usage of that picture was inaccurate and dishonest. I also gave points to Pro for conduct because of the dishonest use of this picture.