The Instigator
larztheloser
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
westernmarch
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Medical marijuana should be legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
larztheloser
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 865 times Debate No: 23107
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

larztheloser

Pro

This is for a devil's advocate tournament. I hope for a really fun debate - I'll try and offer something different from the usual boring old arguments that always seem to get presented for medical marijuana.

This first round is for acceptance. I'll start my case in round two.
westernmarch

Con

I concur to the terms.
Debate Round No. 1
larztheloser

Pro

I apologise to my opponent for the delay in getting this up, and for the abbreviated nature of this argument.

Recently, my country legalised medicinal cannabis use (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Since then, we haven't had any significant cases of abuse. Our insurance costs have not skyrocketed, and niether have our taxes. We are not a destination for drug tourism, and we have not undermined our anti-cannabis stance in wider society.

When people take medicinal cannabis, their doctors first assess their condition. The doctor's "do no harm" mantra prohibits them from proscribing anything that is significantly harmful for the patient. Obviously, most if not all medicines have side effects, but we allow doctors to assess what will work best for the patient because they - not the government - are the ones who know the medicine best. Ultimately we leave the decision down to the patient when a range of options are available for the same reason. To presume that some government buraeucrats have a better understanding of each patient's individual condition (if you will excuse my RoyLatham-esque expression), and thus what treatments should be available, is to undermine the entire healthcare system.

Healthcare is a personal thing. Our right to life confers a responsibility for it, and our responsibility for our life empowers us to choose what medicine we take. We make exceptions in various circumstances - for young children, for instance, and for mentally impaired people who cannot understand what is involved with these decisions - but in general the rule is that illness does not rob us of our general autonomy, but rather extends it. It allows us access to public facilities, such as hospitals, just as it opens up access to prescription drugs, for the simple reason that we cannot make a choice when certain choices are prohibited. As a principle, we feel it is entirely consistant with the role of the healthcare system to legalise cannabis. You can't make a full medical choice when certain medical options, endorsed by many scientists globally, are not available to you. For instance, cannabis causes pain relief. It would be a mistake to assume that cannabis is not the right pain reliever for anybody. That's why the choice must be available, in these kinds of difficult medical situations, not narrowed down to a few government-approved alternatives.

I personally do not believe there is any evidence cannabis cures anything, or has any helpful effect beyond suppression of symptoms (such as pain). However, since doctors will not have the prescribed the medicine in any situation where it would be harmful, the cannabis would never be used when it is harmful to the patient's health. Since a person who's in hospital all the time undergoing chemo is not exactly going to be drug driving or doing property crime, there's no harm to the public either. Furthermore, research on cannabis is still ongoing. Perhaps it has some helpful effect that science has not yet isolated. It must be the patient, informed by the advice of their medical professional, who makes that decision, not me, because I have no responsibility for their health.

My contention is that it should be on the basis of harms to the patient, not the benefits to the patient, that medicine is administered. We already accept the principal that the relative value of benefits must be decided by the patient because we allow patients to refuse treatment. Since cannabis has no real harms when administered in the right way under proper, doctor-specified and recommended conditions, as and when appropriate, there is nothing wrong with medicinal cannabis legalisation. We do not ban the use of placebos if patients want to take them voluntarily. Patients can, if they so wish, hug a teddy bear instead of undergoing chemotherapy and pray to God to remove the desease. These are examples of placebos, and they confer no benefits, nor do they have any particular harms. Cannabis can, under most circumstances, fall in the same category. In the remainder of circumstances, doctors will intervene. As can be shown with countries where it has been legalised, such as New Zealand, this does not translate into a broader problem for society.

If you don't accept medicinal marijuana, then as a principle, you deny patient autonomy. You limit the scope of healthcare. But what is of greater value than human life? Even if cannabis has few, if any, beneficial effects, that is no grounds for banning it as a choice. That is why we need to legalise cannabis for medicinal use.
westernmarch

Con

westernmarch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
larztheloser

Pro

I still await my opponent's argument.
westernmarch

Con

Sorry. I had been too far busy. To make a debate against you.
I am sorry
Debate Round No. 3
larztheloser

Pro

Well, then, I guess that means the debate is forfeited.

Vote con!
westernmarch

Con

westernmarch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by westernmarch 4 years ago
westernmarch
ahhhhh laziness is getting the better of me
I try to get it up
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
larztheloserwesternmarchTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Double forfeit and Pro actually made arguments
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
larztheloserwesternmarchTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: 2 forfeits.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
larztheloserwesternmarchTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF