The Instigator
seraine
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

New Member Tournament: Drug Legalization

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/19/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,373 times Debate No: 17962
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (6)

 

seraine

Pro

The first round will be for acceptance.

Please abstain from semantics, introducing arguments in the last round and ad hominem attacks.

Pro will argue that it is best that all drugs should be legalized.

Con will argue that only some or no drugs should be legalized.

The burden of proof will be shared.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments, but please do it before you accept.

I look forward to our debate.
thett3

Con

Accepted. Best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
seraine

Pro

I am going to attempt to show that there is no reason to make drugs illegal, though I will assume that criminalizing something without reason is immoral. If my opponent believes otherwise, I will address that. However, I do not believe that will be an issue.

I will start off by addressing the popular misconception that drug use leads to crime.

1. Drug use does not cause crime.

There is a link between drug use and crime. About 25% of criminals had used drugs on the day of committing the crime[1]. However, this does not mean that drugs caused the crime. Believing this without sufficient evidence is known as the correlation-causation fallacy. An example of the correlation-causation fallacy is the Pirates and Global Warming graph[2]. Since 1860, global temperature has been steadily rising while pirate numbers have been steadily dropping. This does not mean that the rising temperature lead to less pirates, nor that less pirates lead to a rising temperature.

Research shows that using a number of factors (i.e. personality disorders, poverty, association with drug users and/or criminals) can be used to predict who will become a criminal and a drug user[1]. What this basically means is that drug use does not cause crime, nor vice versa, even though many drug users are criminals and vice versa. It is just a correlation. By banning drugs, you will not reduce crime, because drug use does not cause an overall increase in crime.

Obviously there will be some who commit crimes due to the effects of drugs, but they are in a minority and any increases in crime will be offset by crimes committed in the illegal drug trade. An analysis of drug related crimes in New York found that 14% were probably caused by the pharmaceutical effects of drug use, while 74% were found to be linked with the illegal drug trade[1].

In addition, drug use is predominantly associated with theft and other similar crimes, while alcohol is predominantly associated with homicide and other violent crimes (this does not mean that I am saying that they are caused by their respective drugs)[1].

2. It is not the government's role to prevent drug use.

Another argument for drug criminalization is that it would protect many from the negative effects of drugs. Though drugs do have some negative effects, so what? What gives the government, a casual observer, the right to control what someone else ingests, especially if it harms no one else? The government's role is not to protect harm, no matter what the source. If that was true, the government should force all overweight people to go on a diet. After all, an estimated 300,000 people a year die from obesity[3].

The government's role is to protect rights. You can do whatever you want as long as you do not harm others in the process.

Imagine you buy a car. I state that it is your car. However, you decide to paint your car red. I say that you cannot paint your car red, even though it is not mine. That is essentially what the government is doing when it bans drugs. It is not respecting your rights, it is trampling over them.

Cross-examination: What is the government's role?

3. Drug criminalization is immoral.

Why is it that the government is able to dictate over certain portions of our lives, even if we believe otherwise? What gives the government the right to decide what is right for you, and then force you to do what they want, even if you believe otherwise? A small group has decided what is right for society, and then forced everyone else to follow suit. Doesn't that sound wrong? The government is not supposed to be your parent, watching over every step you make. It is supposed to protect your rights.

Conclusion

There is no reason to criminalize drugs. Drug use does not lead to crime, and it is not the governments role to protect you from all harm, whatever the source. If something is banned without a compelling reason, it is immoral. Given that there is no compelling reasons for drug criminalization, why do it? Isn't freedom our default?

Sources

[1] http://www.parl.gc.ca...
[2] http://www.seanbonner.com...
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
thett3

Con

Thanks seraine. In advance I appologize for my sub standard argument, school has really taken a toll on my free time. Now I will do a quick rebuttal of my Opponents case, followed by my argument. I am also leaving Marijuana out of this debate (my Opponent agreed in a PM that I could do that).


Drugs and Crime

This I feel will become an important point of contention for both my Opponent and I. While I will be providing evidence as to how drug usage causes crime, one needs only to use their common sense. Drug usgae harms our ability to make rational decisions, so logic alone (not to mention the evidence) shows us that they would cause us to make more irrational decisions, including criminal ones.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime[1] "In the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correction Facilities, 32% of State prisoners and 26% of Federal prisoners said they had committed their current offense while under the influence of drugs. Among State prisoners, drug offenders (44%) and property offenders (39%) reported the highest incidence of drug use at the time of the offense. Among Federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes. "

Pro shows us an interesting chart linking temperature and piracy, in an attempt to show us that correlation does not equal causation. While this is true, correlation, when coupled with logic, does equal causation. Logic tells us that pirates and temperature are not liknked. Conversly, logic DOES tell us that rational people are less likely to commit crimes, and since drugs harm our rational abilities, it's easy to see that they cause crime.

You can turn the crime argument to my side. My Opponent even concedes that"Obviously there will be some who commit crimes due to the effects of drugs". This statement invalidates his entire argument that drugs do not cause crime. Even if they cause a small amount of crime, they still cause crime and thus the argument goes to me. His New York evidence is not enough to assess the situation as a whole, being as it's only one city, and regardless of that it shows that 14% of drug related crimes were caused by the drug affects themselves, thus supporting my side.

2. Not governments' role

"What gives the government, a casual observer, the right to control what someone else ingests, especially if it harms no one else?"

This seems to be the under-lying philosophy behind not only my Opponents case, but the mentality of drug legalization as a whole. First of all, drugs do harm others. Even discounting their links with crime, drugs cause people to put their time and money to a harmful use. This harms society as a whole, and the government has an obligation to protect society.

Pro tries to show that the same logic for drug criminalization could be applied to obesity. Unfortunately, this analogy fails. First of all, a government intervention into the diets of obese people is infeasible because it is unenforceable to say the least. How on Earth could the government even enforce such laws applying ONLY to obese people? (as opposd to drug laws, which apply to everyone). Not to mention that this is creating a suspect class of obese people, and thus doesn't apply.

Pro claims that "You can do whatever you want as long as you do not harm others in the process." Suprisingly, I (for the most part) agree with this. However where we differ is our perception of harm. The direct harms to others can be seen in the crime caused by drug usage. However a more obscure and sinister harm to society exists in the harms to the drug user themselves. Drug addiction takes a healthy, rational person, and turns them into a societal dependant. Surely things so harmful to society should be criminalized by society.

His Car analogy also fails. The reason that we can decide what color to paint our cars any color is because it does not harm anyone else. Now imagine if we decided to paint our car a chrome so bright, that when the sin reflects off it, it temporarily blinds people and causes them to crash. Surely if people ever started doing something like that, it ought to be repressed for the safety of others. The same can be said with drugs, as they symbolically blind peoples ability to make proper decisions, and harm not only the user but those around them.

What is the governments role?

The government's role is to protect society and it's people. For my Cross-ex, I ask you the exact same question along with a few more.

1. Do drugs have any positive affects on society?
2. Should we have laws at all? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. What does the United States gain from implementing your case? What is the advantage and impact? How does it outweigh?

Immoral

Pro's reasoning is off here. He seems to think that it is immoral for the government to criminalize something that harms society. Why? If this is the case, than why have laws at all? Not to mention that the "small group of people" is the majority. A 2009 CBS news poll[2] found that 58-31%, Americans opposed legalizing Marijuana. Or, according to Gallup[3], they oppose legalization 54-44%. Either way, the majority is opposed to my Opponents plan, so his appeals to oppression fall. With his plan comes oppression to the majority. These polls of course only show Marijuana. Legalization of the other drugs is simply out of the question for most.

Exceptions:

Even if you feel I have failed to refute my Opponents arguments, since the rules specifically state "Pro will argue that it is best that all drugs should be legalized.", if I can show even one example that does not fit my Opponents arguments, then you must vote Con. There is one drug, whos sole purpose is crime. One drug, that even by my Opponents strange viewpoint must be criminalilzed. One drug that directly infringes on peoples rights, even by my Opponents standards. That drug is Rohypnol, more commonly known as that date rape drug. The sole purpose of this drug is to, as the name implies, rape people! This quite clearly infringes on their rights, and there can be no justification for its use. Sinc my burden of proof is to argue that "only some or no drugs should be legalized.", even if I have failed to refute my Opponents arguments, unless he gives a justification for legalizing Rohypnol for "personal consumption", the Con side still wins this round.

Vote Con!

Sources:

1. http://www.ncvc.org...
2. http://www.cbsnews.com...
3. http://www.gallup.com...
Debate Round No. 2
seraine

Pro

1. Drugs and Crime.

I am attempting to show 3 things. 1: The correlation between drug use and crime contains very little causation. 2: Drugs have very little crime inducing effects. 3: The crime inducing effects are balanced out by crime in the illegal drug trade.

1A. The correlation between drug use and crime contains very little causation.

"Among Federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes. "

This is actually the basis of my argument. Drug offenders are usually also criminals because they are a cause from a variety of factors (physiological disorders, poverty, etc). It goes to follow that if you are a drug offender, you are also a criminal, and that if you use drugs you will probably use them on the day you commit your crime (after all, you are a drug offender).

For example, in a profile of marijuana users, they found that most of them used marijuana daily[1] (yes, you are not arguing for illegal marijuana. This is just going to show my point), and if they committed a crime they would obviously commit the crime having used marijuana that day. But that does not mean that marijuana caused the crime.

1B. Drugs have very little crime inducing effects.

" My Opponent even concedes that "Obviously there will be some who commit crimes due to the effects of drugs"."

Exactly. There will be some, but they will be in a minority. The 14% who committed crimes due to the effects of drugs amounted to 30 people in one year.

New York is a notoriously dangerous city, and only 30 murders were caused by the effects of drugs. This is NOT grounds to criminalize drugs. In 1998, there was 924 murders. 30, or 3%, were due to the effects of drugs.

Very few people actually commit violent crimes due to the effects of drugs. Most violent crimes were committed by people under the influence of alcohol, and those that were drug related were committed by people under the influence of drugs AND alcohol[1].

1C. The crime inducing effects are balanced out by crime in the illegal drug trade.

I decided to check out all of America, and there is almost the exact same ratio as before. There was 111 narcotic induced murders in 2000 and 564 illegal drug trade related murders in 1999[2]

Thus, we should expect that murder rates would rise during prohibitions. And that is exactly what we find. The two most violent periods in this century occur during Prohibition and the escalation of the War on Drugs. At the beginning of Prohibition, the murder rate rose from 7 per 100,000 to 9.9. When Prohibition ended in 1933, the murder rate immediately rocketed down from 9.9 to 8 in 2 years. By 1940 it was 6.5, and stayed low until the escalation of the War on Drugs, where it rocketed to 10. It has stayed there, which isn't much of a surprise since the War on Drugs continues[3].

2. Not the government's role.

I will attempt to show that 1: We should not criminalize drugs because it supposedly harms society, 2: My obesity analogy is correct and 3: My car analogy is correct.

2A. We should not criminalize drugs because it supposedly harms society.

"drugs cause people to put their time and money to a harmful use."

This is completely subjective. Many parents think video games fulfill all of your criteria. Should we also criminalize video games. Who decides that it is harmful? You may think that drugs are harmful, but I think of them as simple recreation. What makes your word more important than mine? My parents think casinos and bars are harmful. Should we ban casinos and bars? All of these have people who think they fulfill all of your criteria.

However, none of these harm anyone (except possibly the users). They only thing about these that are harmful is completely subjective.

"Drug addiction takes a healthy, rational person, and turns them into a societal dependant."

First off, very few people actually turn into drug addicts. A quote: "[it ignores] a body of data showing that most illegal drug users in Canada and elsewhere will never be regular users. It bears repeating that drug use is still, for the most part, a sporadic, recreational, exploratory activity. Most people are able to manage their drug use without any difficulty. Very few will become regular users, and even fewer will develop a drug addiction."[1]

Most everything can become addictive. There is a food addicts anonymous[4], video game addicts anonymous[5], adrenaline addicts anonymous[6], and many others. However, most people are not food, video games, or adrenaline addicts. Only a small minority become addicts. All of these things fulfill all of your criteria, and by your logic we must ban all of them because a very small percentage of people abuse them.

In addition, you seem to think that it is the government's job to put a gun to everyone's head and tell them how to live because of a supposed benefit to society. Who cares if someone is a societal dependant? Isn't a baby also a societal dependant?

2B. My obesity analogy is correct.

I will admit it, I made a small mistake. We should force everyone to go on a diet in order to prevent obesity (even though the obese are a small percentage, though much larger than the percentage of drug addicts) just like we should force everyone to not take drugs in order to prevent drug addiction (even though drug addicts are a tiny percentage of people).

2C. My car analogy is correct.

My opponent has attempted to show that it somehow harms everyone around the drug user, though I don't understand. There is not more crime, and it does not blind anyone else. All you have said it does is "turns them into a societal dependent". That does not exactly blind anyone else. Taking drugs does NOT hurt others (when you factor in illegal drug trade related crime).

3. Morality

3A. We should have laws.

"He seems to think that it is immoral for the government to criminalize something that harms society. Why? If this is the case, than why have laws at all?"

Drugs harming society is 100% subjective at best. The only harm they do to society is "create societal dependents" which isn't something I would really would call harm anyways. However, murder and rape violate people's rights, and preventing that is the government's role.

3B. "Appeals to Oppression"

My mistake. It appears that it is a large group trampling over the rights of a small group. Now that there is a majority, everything's good. By the way, isn't a large group of people trampling the rights of a small group of people oppression?

4. Exception

"The sole purpose of this drug is to, as the name implies, rape people! "

And here is where it fails. This drug is commonly used to "Drugs used to facilitate rape [...] and can be added to a food or drink without the victim's knowledge."[7]

If it is used maliciously against another person, then it is violating their rights. If someone really wants to personally consume this, I see no problem at all with it. However, I do see a problem with using it against another person maliciously. An analogy to my opponents argument is "my opponent supports gun rights, thus he must also support people using guns however they want, including murder"

Cross-examination

Answers

1. I dunno. Does it matter?

2. Yes, to protect peoples rights.

3. It is no longer committing immoral acts, and saves money and lives. There isn't no negatives that outweigh those.

Questions

1. Do you support the criminalization of alcohol? It is linked to much more crime than drugs, and has all the other problems you have addressed.

Sources

[1] http://www.parl.gc.ca...
[2] http://www.ncvc.org...
[3] http://www.drugwarfacts.org...
[4] http://www.foodaddicts.org...
[5] http://www.video-game-addiction.org...
[6] http://www.adrenalineaddicts.org...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
thett3

Con

I sincerely hope my opponnt isn't offended by the poor quality of my argument. Time has NOT been on my side recently, but I thought everyone would much prefer a response rather than a forfiet.

Drugs and crime

My Opponent concedes that the affects of drugs can cause crime, even if they are a minority it still shows a negative affect on our society. When I asked if drugs have an societal benefits, he dodged the question. Since he's admitted that drugs to have some negative affects on society as a whole (causing crime), and no positive affects, than I wonder-why are we debating this at all? As a society if certain things are more harmful than positive we ought to ban them. My evidence shows that 24% of the time violent felons commit their crimes while under the influence. Truly, that is a massive percentage, and my opponent wants us to just ignore it? How absurd. Indeed, he's dropped my statements about drugs causing us to do irrational things, including crimes. At this point it should be recognized that drugs can influence people to commit crimes.

As for the statistics brought up by my opponent, "only" 30 murders were drug related in New York. First of all, he hasn't cited his source, secondly we now have 30 innocnets dead..for what? What justification can we POSSIBLY use to condone this? Drugs have no stated positive affects societally, so why legalize them? Why legalize something that produces harm, but no good?


Pro misunderstands his statistics. There were 111 BRAWLS induced by drugs which resulted in death. The evidence he himself linked provides the following information:

"24.5 percent (24.5%) of Federal and 29 percent (29%) of State prison inmates reported being under the influence of drugs when committing violent offenses"

"Among State prisoners, drug offenders (44%) and property offenders (39%) reported the highest incidence of drug use at the time of the offense. Among Federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes."

The same evidence also states: "According to Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, nineteen percent (19%) of State prisoners and sixteen percent (16%) of Federal inmates reported that they committed their most current offense to obtain money for drugs " So even if we accept that drugs rarely cause crime on there own merits, a desire to obtain them leads to crime.

Government's role

"Drugs cause people to put their time and oney to a harmful use."

My Opponent argued against that statement, saying it was subjective. He is quite wrong. Drugs can truly destroy a person, look to any meth or herione addict to support this. It takes what was once a functioning person, and destroys them. His video game analogy fails for two main reasons: 1. Video games are not chemically destructive and addictive like drugs are, and 2. the true problem from videogames lies in bad parenting, not the games themselves.

"Should we ban casinoos annd bars?"- Who cares? We aren't discussing that.

My Opponent argued that few people actually develop addiction, and his evidence comes from the..parliment of Canada? According to the lanclet (although most people cannot see the whole article, so I will also link the wikipedia page as well), on a scale of 1-3, three being the highest, the illicit drugs scored very high on addictive properties. To make a comparison, tabacco which we all know to be highly addictive scores a 2.2. None of the illicit drugs fall below half that number, showing them to be highly addictive.[1][2]. His objection falls.

Oppression

Pro attempts to argue that " It appears that it is a large group trampling over the rights of a small group" Unfotunately, this statement falls because we do not, and never have, had the right to harm society.

Exception

Pro states that he doesn't car so long as people dont use the drug against another person. However, if they don't have the drug they cannot use it against another. It should be illegal because it is used harmfully the vast majority of the time.

In response to his question: My opinion on alcohol bears no relevance in this debate. If you are truly interested, PM me and we can discuss it.

Sources:

1. http://dx.doi.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
seraine

Pro

I will be mainly using my last round as a summarization round.

1. Drugs and Crime.

1A. My Opponent's Case.

My opponent's case on crime has two main points and one sub-point. I will address all of them.

My opponent's first point is "My evidence shows that 24% of the time violent felons commit their crimes while under the influence. This is because drugs cause us to do irrational things, including crimes."

I have shown that this is usually a simple case of correlation causation. If drug offenders are usually also criminals. But that does not mean that drugs caused them to be criminals. There is a variety of factors that can be used to predict crime and drug usage, such as poverty and physiological disorders. That means that there is more than just one factor in causing crime. If someone is a poor drug using criminal, why do we ignore the poor part and immediately assume that drugs caused the criminal to commit his crimes?

There is a plethora of factors in crime, and there is no reason to assume that it is drugs and not one of the others.

Though drugs do cause some people to commit crimes, those people are in a minority. Only three percent of New York's murders were due to the effects of drugs.

Here is the math. "An analysis of 218 homicides in New York, committed in 1998 and presumed to be related to drugs, showed that only 14% involved the psychopharmacological factor and that 74% were related to systemic violence resulting from the illegal drug market and related drug trafficking." 14% of 218=31. There was 924 murders in New York during 1998[1]. 31/924=3%

There is another reason why criminals are so often under the influence while committing crimes. Most criminals are drug offenders, and drug offenders will probably use drugs the day they commit the crimes (after all, they are a drug offender). A study of marijuana users found that about 50% of the users used drugs daily. If they committed a crime, they would use drugs on the same day that they committed a crime and they probably committed it under the influence. But does that mean drugs caused the crime?

The second part of my opponent's case is "drugs have some negative affects on society as a whole (causing crime), and no positive affects, thus drugs should be banned. Why legalize something that produces harm, but no good?"

Drugs cause a few murders, and that is the negative effect. However, they do have an unseen positive effect and that is that when drugs are banned, the murders due to the illegal drug trade outweigh the murders due to the effects of drugs. By legalizing drugs, we are avoiding the jump in crime due to the illegal drug trade.

There are a few ways in which we can see that the illegal drug trade causes more crime than the effects of drugs- for example, my New York City (74% of drug related crime in NYC is due to the illegal drug trade, while 14% is due to the physiological effects of drugs) example and my chart that showed crime going up during Prohibition. What my opponent has failed to show is that crimes due to the pharmaceutical effects of drugs outweigh those due to the illegal drug trade.

If he can not show that, then we can not know if drugs cause violence. If we cannot know, crime can't be used as an argument for drug criminalization.


My opponent's sub-point is "a desire to obtain drugs leads to crime."

Though my opponent's statistic is convincing at first, what he feels to realize is that crimes committed to obtain drugs are committed for one main reason: criminalized drugs are extremely expensive. It is a basic economic fact that criminalizing something makes it more expensive, due to the risks involved with trafficking. One drug cartel chief actually expressed gratitude at the War on Drugs because the rise in price is "good for business" [2].

If drugs were legalized, they would be so cheap that crimes committed to obtain drugs would virtually disappear. In fact, by criminalizing drugs there is a spike in crime to due to the increased price of drugs. So his point actually works in my favor. When drugs are criminalized, the increased price of drugs leads to more people committing crimes to obtain drugs.

2. Drugs, addiction and society.

Addiction

In the chart my opponent linked to, only two drugs were more addictive than alcohol and tobacco- heroine and cocaine. All the other drugs (LSD, meth, ectasy) scored lower than tobacco and alcohol. In addition, there is few drug addicts precisely because of how expensive drugs are, and most can only afford them on a sporadic basis.

Society

This has been the main point of my opponent's argument. He argues that since drugs harm society, they should be banned. However, I have three objections to this.

1. What is the criteria for being harmful to society?

Drugs create addicts. So does video games, food, alcohol, tobacco, and adrenaline. There is only two drugs more addictive than tobacco and alcohol. At what point does the level of addiction become too much?

Secondly, how does being addicted to something harm society. This is an obvious non-sequiter. I don't think addiction harms society, and you do. Why is your word more important than mine? In addition, banning things and lowering the level of freedom could also harm society.

2. Only some people become addicts. The majority of drug users are not addicts. You are telling a majority of people they can't use drugs because a minority of people abuse them.

3. This is my main objection. Why does it matter that someone becomes an addict? Is it the government's role to stick a gun to everyone's head and force them to be productive members of society? Not only is harming society 100% subjective, there is no reason for the government to enforce it. What is more important- your right to live your life as you see fit without harming others or preventing a supposed harm to society that is 100% subjective?

To summarize a) drugs harming society is a non-sequiter, b) why should the government stick a gun to everyone's head and force them to be productive members of society, and c) most everything can be said to be harming society?

"Pro attempts to argue that " It appears that it is a large group trampling over the rights of a small group" Unfotunately, this statement falls because we do not, and never have, had the right to harm society."

Says who? How does taking drugs harm society? Most people use them for recreation. Does recreation harm society? Not only that, why don't we have a right to harm society? How do drug addicts harm society? If my opponent can't show that a) drugs harm society and b) we shouldn't be able to harm society, I win this point.

Exception

First off, banning the date rape drug would have little to no effect. Anything that can be used to impair judgement can be a date rape drug (i.e. alcohol). Banning rohypnol would just mean that alcohol would be used as the new date rape drug. Rohypnol also also benefits- for example, it is used as a cure for insomnia. And contrary to popular belief, Rohypnol is actually very rarely used in date rape. It was used in only 1% of reported date rapes. It is used more often for recreation and insomnia than as a date rape drug[3].

Sources

[1] http://www.disastercenter.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
thett3

Con

Thanks again Seraine. In my final round, I will go point by point and explain why you ought to vote Con.

Crime

Pro continually argues that correlation=/=causation. Nowhere however, has he even touched my analysis that drugs decrease rationality and would logically lead to irrational things such as crime. He argues that there are other factors that lead to both crime and drug usage. That is true, nowhere was it contended that drugs were the sole cause of crime. I have, however, argued that drug usage lessens a persons ability to rationalize and can thus lead to crime, an argument that has not been properly refuted. Pro asks "If someone is a poor drug using criminal, why do we ignore the poor part and immediately assume that drugs caused the criminal to commit his crimes?" First of all, I never argued that we ought to ignore the affects of poverty and crime. However the staistics introduced in this round show that nearly a quarter of voilent crimes were committed under the influence. To ignore such a correlation is absolutely senseless. It isn't as if we are taking and examining isolated incidences-these are governmental statistics that constiently show a correlation. Besides, even if we accept that poverty cause crime more than drug usage does, what relavence does it bear to the debate? Absolutely none. The crime inducing effect of drugs has been proven beyond resonable doubt in this round.

Observation: Even if we accept that drugs do not cause crime, their negative effects on the individuals who take them and their families are still a compelling reason for their criminalization.

My Opponent concedes that a minority of drug users commit their crimes due to the engative affects of drugs. Automatically, this negates the resolution and destroys his second point. Cons concerns about more deaths being caused from the drug war rather than drugs themselves (which will be addressed shortly) only show us that the status quo needs to be changed, not the legality of drugs. With this concession, his second contention about the role of government must be dropped, because the government has an obligation "to protect peoples rights" as my Opponent stated in cross-examination. Thus since drugs inflict on the rights of others who do not want crimes to be committed on them, the government ought to criminalize drugs. Even if it only happens a minority of the time, we still must recognize that the net societal affect drugs have is negative and thus the government is justified in criminalizing them.

Pro contends that only 3% of murders are caused due to the affects of drugs, as opposed to many more due to drug violence. However when analyzing the importance of this data (which is slight, considering that it concerns a single city. The data supporting the Con side is a nation-wide analysis.) we must think what it shows. My Opponent is attempting to show that the legalization of drugs would bring about less violence, however his previous concessions that drug affects DO cause violence, and that the government has an obligation to protect rights show that drugs ought not be criminalized. The negative affects of the drug war are problems that must be solved, but this only advocates a change in our methodology when it comes to fighting drugs.

Pro argues "A study of marijuana users found that about 50% of the users used drugs daily. If they committed a crime, they would use drugs on the same day that they committed a crime and they probably committed it under the influence. But does that mean drugs caused the crime?" First of all, Marijuana is being left out of this debate. Secondly, no it would not prove that the drug affectss caused crime. However it has already been noted and conceded by my opponent that logically drug affects lead to crime. The evidence on this point overwhelmingly supports the Con side.

Pro argues: "Drugs cause a few murders, and that is the negative effect. However, they do have an unseen positive effect and that is that when drugs are banned, the murders due to the illegal drug trade outweigh the murders due to the effects of drugs"

However reading Pros data will invariably cause the reader to reach the conclusion that much of the illegal drug trade murders involve rival drug dealers killing eachother, which is actually beneficial to society. Drug dealers on balance provide more harm than good to society. Their removal of eachother is advantageous. We must also consider the implications behind legalization. What will these drug dealers do now? Honest labor? Highly doubtful. It is far more likely that they will turn to other forms of crime such as robbery which caus even more damage to society.

Pro argues that " It is a basic economic fact that criminalizing something makes it more expensive, due to the risks involved with trafficking" TURN: The high cost turns off many potential users, showing more benefits that come from criminalization. Pro attempts to make this point support his side by stating that the increased price leads to more crime, however crime would increase in other respects. This is evident in many places, such as Amsterdam (well known for its liberal drug policies) yet is one of the most violent cities in Europe[1].

Addiction

Pro says that since some other drugs are less addictive than legal drugs (Tabacco and Alcohol) we ought to legalize them. However just because some harmful chemicals are legal does not at all justify legalizing all of them. The fact remains that they still have addictive qualities which show their harm to society. You can also turn my opponents statement " In addition, there is few drug addicts precisely because of how expensive drugs are, and most can only afford them on a sporadic basis." to my side.

Society

I will respond to Pros objections.

What justifies societal harm?

Common sense and societal opinion justify what is harmful. In this round we have learned that drugs cause large negative affects, and it has also been established that mainstream society is opposed to drug legalization. Surely this proves their harm. Pro argues that other, legal things, cause addicts but this is not relavent to the topic at hand because we are discussing drug legalization. Nothing else.

Pro asks how being addicted to something is harmful to society. I ask the judges to think of a time they were addicted to something, and if they cannot to think of someone they know who was addicted. Imagine what you would have done to soothe your addiction. Imagine how much time and money you wasted on it. Then couple this with extreme adverse health affects and a loss of your ability to rationalize and now you have drugs. This is how addiction to drugs harms society.

Pro argues that only a minotiry of drug users become addicts. Sadly, he has provided no warrant or evidence to this claim so it falls. Furthermore, it has been firmly established that drugs are highly addictive.

Pro also asks why the government ought to prevent drug use, but he himself has answered this question! The government has an obligation to defend peoples rights and to defend society.

Exception

I actually must congratulate my opponent on this point, he has refuted the widespread usage of Rohyphnol as a date-rape drug. However he has been proven decisively wrong on all other points, so a con vote must be cast. Besides, since my Opponent is obligated to aruge for all drugs to be legalized, if the possibility exists that there is a drug that should by no means be legalized, than he has not met his burden of proof.

The resolution is negated. Drugs lead to crime and are harmful to society.My Opponent has failed to meet his burden of proof. Please vote Con.

Source:

1. http://www.gustey.com...
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
seraine
Do people have a right to screw their life? What gives the government, a casual observer, more right to your body than you have? Criminalizing drugs because they harm the people that use them seems kind of baseless to me. The only argument I can see is drugs cause crime, but I don't really believe that.
Posted by kengibson2001 6 years ago
kengibson2001
I was for drug legalization until I found out about an opiate made from codeine.

It's called Krokodil and Coaxil. And it is truly a horrid drug. A drug so awful I think the death penalty should be applied for the first time getting caught selling it.

It is only used in Russia due to codeine in Russia being over the counter.

Legalize pot, and get help for addicts of other drugs.
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
thett3
yes!! I wonder what topics will be debated next?
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Great debate. Nice to see we finally finished round 1 of our tournament.
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
seraine
Time and space wise.
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
thett3
no worries man, time's been limitied for me as well. Will probably finish my 3rd round this weekend.
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
seraine
I really had to cram round 3 in.
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
seraine
That exception argument scared me for a second...
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Lol I like that pirate example.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 000ike 6 years ago
000ike
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter - Vote bomb. The convincing arguments points are indeed deserved to Con however.
Vote Placed by MassDebator255 6 years ago
MassDebator255
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: con overloads with walls of text, and silly arguments...pro was much more concise.
Vote Placed by Lickdafoot 6 years ago
Lickdafoot
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Neither convinced me whether or not drugs cause crime though con won that point. pro's arguments held up better; mainly because the illegal drug trade causes more crime than the drugs themselves. i found a contradiction in cons argument. he says "even if drugs affect criminals a minority of time, it is still enough to be considered dangerous" and then says "those dying in the drug trade are mostly drug dealers." mostly, but not all of them, which should still be enough to be considered dangero
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: You can really group all the arguments into contention 1. Pro has a strong point about correlation and causation, but he doesn't address Thett's argument about drugs causing irrational decisions from the user, including criminal ones. Pro also admits that some people do commit crimes due to drugs. Even if its a minority, its still crime. This defeats C2 and C3 as well, because the gov. is obligated to protect people from others, and its accepted that drug users do indeed cause damage.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: When Con showed in the second round that drugs cause people to be irrational and commit crimes, he effectively refuted Pro's argument that correlation =/= causation. Pro never attacks Con's logic but restates how correlation =/= causation. Con then strengthens his argument by pointing out that video games are not addictive on a chemical level like drugs are. These arguments negated the resolution.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 6 years ago
larztheloser
serainethett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: High-quality debate. Pro's strategy was to cast uncertainty over the government's right to criminalize potentially harmless substances. A better option might have been also discussing wider societal benefits. Con showed that at least some drugs have sufficient harmful effects. More examples would have been good, because pro refuted con's sole example. Nonetheless, I was convinced that with drug legalization, usage would increase leading to more crime, giving the govt the right to criminalize.