Resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of crimin
Debate Rounds (3)
Public health: issues that affect the general health of the community on the whole
The highest value in today's round is Social welfare. That is society's overall well-being. Social welfare is the most important value in today's round because having all of society being well is a moral obligation of the U.S. government. But that cannot happen unless the abuse of illegal drugs is treated as a matter of criminal justice.
The best criterion to uphold this value is Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is best explained by the fact that there is a punishment, then people will abstain from doing that which causes punishment. Utilitarianism upholds my value of social welfare because by having punishment to prevent actions that would be harmful to society. Now I will present two contentions to support my value and value criterion.
My first contention is that drug abusers are harmful to society's well-being. If an individual is not sent to jail for abusing drugs, that person still has the potential to harm society's well-being because of the effects that abusing drugs has done to him or her. By sending these people to jail, it would get them off the streets and away from anywhere were they could cause harm. This contention supports my value of social welfare because by having these people away from where they can do harm, it is protecting society's well-being.
My second contention is that punishment is needed to prevent crime. When people have the knowledge that there is a punishment for abusing drugs, it would make them refrain from abusing these illegal drugs. If people are already doing drugs and they then see the consequences of abusing drugs, it would show them that they should stop. If there was no punishment for abusing drugs, no one would be afraid to do that, but what happens is that the mindset of the people says that punishment is far worse than what the drugs actually do to the body. This contention supports my value of social welfare because by having the punishment, people are more likely to abstain from abusing drugs out of fear.
Value criterion: Preserving justice, doing what is efficient and saving lives is the best thing to do, ergo we need to send drug abusers to rehabilitation centers.
Observations: Drugs are medicines, which fall under the medical field. The use or abuse of drugs, either legal or illegal, is clearly a medical matter that should be handled by medical professionals, not the justice department.
Our Federal Government contains 3 branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Within the executive branch are 15 cabinets, 2 of which are the Department of Justice and the Department of Health & Human Services. Each serves a distinct purpose, independent of the other. When you have a toothache, do you call the dentist or the police department?
Definitions: Illegal- Forbidden by law or official rule. Drug- A narcotic, one that is addictive. Public Health- health services to improve and protect an individuals health, esp. sanitation, immunization, and preventive medicine. Ought- Duty or obligation. Abuse- to use improperly; to misuse.� Criminal Justice- the system of law enforcement, involving police, lawyers, courts, and corrections, used for all stages of criminal proceedings and punishment.
Before we begin today's debate I would like to clear some things up. First of all, I am not agreeing that illegal drugs are good, I do agree that the world would be a better place without them, however we are not debating whether or not we should legalize illegal drugs. Were debating whether or not the consequences of illegal drug abuse should be treated as a matter of public health vs. criminal justice.
I affirm todays resolution which states "The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.
My first contention is that Rehab would be the the best possible choice not to mention it would be cheaper than sending someone to jail or prison. The average cost to house a healthy prisoner is $32,000 per year. Inmates that require services can be much more expensive. According to NPR, many states are running into the problem of overcrowded prisons and the rising cost of housing prisoners. They are struggling to pay for this. Further, drug abusers and other non-violent criminals are taking up space that is needed for the more hardened criminals. They are between a rock and a hard place because of victim's rights.
A more fiscally responsible action would be to go the medical route of rehab. Granted it costs approximately $35,000 for a 6 month stay, however compare that cost with the average prison sentence of 80 months, and we can clearly see that rehab is the way to go.�
When a prisoner goes to jail for 80 months he comes out the same he started, addicted to the illegal drug he/she uses. The reason for this is because they still have the ability to get these drugs in jail. While, the average person who goes to rehab gets out of rehab almost 99% of the time un-addicted to the illegal or legal drug they were addicted to. Now, wouldn't you think the person would want to be drug free if it were to cause him to live longer and live a better life. Which links back to my value criterion. Everyone has there choice as an individual.
My second contention is that because everyone has to choose whether or not they want to do illegal drugs and put whatever they want into there body they need to have a second chance. That is where public health comes in. My value is autonomy, this shows how important and how constitutional it is to allow each individual to have there freedom, and there right to do whatever they want. Whether or not a person wants to put illegal substances inside of there body, that is there choice. If someone were to want to stop doing illegal drugs they would not want to have the option of criminal justice. Addiction is a disease and going to prison is not what they need because the fact is that you can get the drugs he/she is addicted to.
My 3rd and final contention is when an addicted person goes to prison he is prone to more violence than ever. If a man who is what you call "high" because of the illegal drug that he so easily got in prison were to be play fighting with another inmate that could easily turn into a massive brawl. As you know, when you are under the influence of illegal drugs you are prone to do something that you would not if you were above the influence, ergo justifying public health for the abuse of illegal drugs is simply the best thing to do.
1.Public health should be defined as the general health of the community because by having all public healthy, you are ensuring a stable society.
2.My opponent's first contention states that drug abusers should go to instead of going to jail. How can this be? His value criterion is preserving justice. Thus meaning that justice should be preserved by doing what is right. If individuals are sent to rehab centers, then they are able to return to society much sooner than from jail. Resulting in the possibility of more crimes and the continued abuse of drugs. Making rehab pointless. However if one was to be sent to a jail, they would be lock up for about seven years. Meaning they are of the street for seven years, and not able to harm society's public health for seven years. On the matter of the cost of both, which would be more moral? Spending less money and potentially harming society's well-being or spending more money and ensuring that society isn't harmed? The later. This contention contradicts my opponents value of efficiency because by having these people being able to harm the public health, it is not doing the greater good for society.
3.My opponents second contention is that everyone has a choice wether to put illegal drugs in their body or not. This contention cannot be weighed in this debate because it does not support my opponents value of efficiency. He states in his second contention paragraph that his value is autonomy, however it is not.
4.My opponent's third contention is that when an addicted person goes to prison, he is prone to more violence than ever. My opponent says this results from getting high. By using a drug, under the influence or not, that person is not necessarily prone to violence. My opponent also says these fights start from a "play fight", but that means he is provoking violent actions. This contention does not uphold my opponent's criterion of preserving justice, because by saying that it is wrong to send a person to prison where it is more violent, he is suggesting he did no wrong. But by using drugs in the first place, he is doing him self no good.
5.I would like to restate my contention that drug abusers are harmful to society's well-being.
6.I would like to restate my contention that punishment is needed to prevent crime.
7.The use of ergo is not relevant in this context.
BrettCumby forfeited this round.
1. My opponent failed to provide an argument for the second round
2. I would like to restate my contention that drug abusers are harmful to society's well-being.
3. I would like to restate my contention that punishment is needed to prevent crime.
BrettCumby forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chad 6 years ago
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