The Instigator
AlextheYounga
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
neilalwayswins
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should All Drugs Be Legalized?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,047 times Debate No: 27351
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

AlextheYounga

Pro

I will be Pro/For the legalization of all drugs that the United States Drug War fights against. This includes crack cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, ect.
Opponent may start their argument the first round.
neilalwayswins

Con

I thank my opponent AlextheYounga for providing this debate. My stance will be focused against the legalization of all drugs mentioned which include crack cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine. However the pro is required to provide the first step in argumentation because the burden of proof relies on the pro.

I look forward to this debate and wish my opponent the best.
Debate Round No. 1
AlextheYounga

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate neilalwayswins. I'm confused though, it says on your profile that you're a libertarian. You gotta represent! Freedom, man. Haha. Just kidding. Now back to all seriousness.

I claim that the War on Drugs should not continue on these points:
  • It is immoral and undermines our liberties.

  • It is extremely costly and is a direct contributor to the immense debt held by the United States government.

  • It is very ineffective.


Immorality
"It is always better to be free than unfree." -Murray Rothbard


Morally, it is not right that the government has the ability to control what you put into your own body. As long as it causes no harm to others, what you do to yourself is your own choice, and you should deal with the consequences.

Making something illegal has never solved any problem. Progressively, it usually makes things worse.

And on another point, people are informed on the dangers of drugs. Organizations such as D.A.R.E do a great job at warning children of the dangers of drugs. (Plus it will never be legal for children to do drugs.)

Do you really think that if all drugs were legalized tomorrow that everyone would be doing crack and meth the next day? Most people realize the dangers of drugs.


The Cost of the War on Drugs
A 2008 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron has estimated that legalizing drugs would save taxpayers $76.8 billion a year in the United States


Percent of federal prisoners held for drug law violations = 55%
Percent of state prisoners held for drug law violations = 21%

I really think this speaks for itself.

Another point is the jobs that legalizing drugs would bring to the country. For over a hundred years, marijuana was one of the biggest industries in the United States. It was even acceptable to pay your taxes with marijuana during the 1760's. Obviously, legalizing these drugs would bring a great deal of wealth to the nation.


It is very ineffective
The punishments for drug use, drug distribution, and drug possession can be very high sentences. As I stated above, most of the prisoners in federal prison are in prison for drug charges.

Now please explain to me, how does imprisoning a heroine, crack, meth, ect. addict help that person at all? That person is already addicted to a harmful drug, and now that person is in prison for doing so, where he/she away from their family and friends who could really help to stop the abuse.

So it is very ineffective at helping people who have addiction problems.

Another point is that it is very ineffective...in general! The government will never stop the use of drugs. They can't even get the drugs out of prisons!! Prisoners are caught with marijuana and many other drugs on a daily basis.
So how is the War on Drugs supposed to keep drugs from the people of a nation!? They can't and it is pointless to even try.




Other Points:

Propaganda
Most of what people hear about drugs are completely misconstrued anyway. This idea that by doing crack or meth once will automatically turn you into a drug abuser is completely misconstrued and is no doubt government propaganda.


Here are the real statistics for people who are still users of drugs one year after initial use:
The research report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that only 1% of first-time users of inhalants and tranquilizers were dependent a year later. For hallucinogens and sedatives, the figure was 2%; for pain relievers and alcohol, 3%. The drug with the highest number of dependent users a year after first use was heroin (13%), followed by crack cocaine (9%), marijuana (6%), stimulants (5%), and powder cocaine (4%).


Real Reasons for Illegalization
Arguably, one of the main reasons for the illegalization of most drugs are because of the government's inability to tax these substances. Like many other drugs, marijuana has always been very easy to produce and sell privately, making it difficult to tax.

In marijuana's case, the reasons for its illegalization extend to many other immoral and ignorant reasons including racism, yellow journalism, and greedy politicians.

...as newspapers in 1934 editorialized: “Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

Harry J Anslinger, the Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics stated:
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”









http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.drugwarfacts.org...
http://stopthedrugwar.org...
http://www.drugwarrant.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...


neilalwayswins

Con

Alright let us get down to business.

The legalization of drugs including ending the "war on drugs" is a common libertarian political and philosophical platform. The problem with this platform is that the legalization of drugs only attack the symptoms, not the cause of a much greater problem.

The first point you make is that banning drugs from American society is immoral and undermines our liberties. You say that, "Morally, it is not right that the government has the ability to control what you put into your own body". First we need to establish some key facts about how we approach this problem.

First in order for a society, for a human to function properly we must have the ability to reason and rationalize in conjunction with our environment for if we cannot reason we are subject to fallacious ideology, instinct, and emotions all of which can cloud our judgement about what is moral and what is not. It gives us a skewed even delusional perception of what constitutes order and morality.

This is the inherent problem with the legalization of drugs, the drugs you have mentioned. Drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine dramatically alter and hinder our ability to reason and make sound decisions. It clouds our judgement and the individual becomes a slave to the substance. When a individual is addicted to a substance his whole life whether he wishes to or not will always be centered around his source of addiction. In this state he is much harder to reason for he is bound to his addiction and thus cannot reason effectively. He is no longer a rational being that has the ability to make sound decisions about himself and or others. He becomes a danger to society. He becomes an animal whose only goal is to inevitably take part in his addiction. Although unpleasant to say it is indeed true.

This brings us to another key point in the argument you made. You claim that, "Making something illegal has never solved any problem. Progressively, it usually makes things worse." You have not given any indication to me and others why this is true. This is a completely unfounded statement. You also claim that, "As long as it causes no harm to others, what you do to yourself is your own choice, and you should deal with the consequences. ". This statement is also untrue as well. Indulging yourself in harmful substances such as meth and cocaine is not morally permissible. Just because you are not harming anyone but yourself directly does mean it does not effect others in more indirect ways.
For example if you are a parent caring after children, the addiction you are bound to will inevitably cause tremendous strain on you're children and family. Statistics have shown time and time again that parents who are addicted to a illegal substance end up neglecting their children and family because they are so hopelessly bound to their affliction.

With this in mind let us move on to the issue of government expenditure regarding drug crime. The amount of money the United States Federal Government spends yearly as you have claimed on the drug war is $76.8 billion per year. This amount of spending however is really a drop in the bucket in terms of other federal discretionary and non discretionary expenditure. For example the United States spends around 711 billion USD per year on defense spending alone. We spend several tens of billions more on social security then defense spending and to top that off the US government spends 21% (769 billion USD) of it's budget on Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. So to conclude this point, saving that small amount of government expenditure in order to legalize reason destroying substances is hardly a valid platform to argue off of and would barely make any noticeable impact on the overall fiscal crisis the United States is currently facing.

Another one of the key claims you have stated is that our current system is ineffective at combating the drug war. You then go on to beg the question, "Now please explain to me, how does imprisoning a heroine, crack, meth, ect. addict help that person at all?" This is not my claim to prove you are making the positive argument hence the burden of proof is on you and not me. With this final point made I conclude my argument for round one.

Sources:

http://www.cbpp.org... (Budget)
http://www.chicagotribune.com... (Effects of substance abuse on families)
Debate Round No. 2
AlextheYounga

Pro

AlextheYounga forfeited this round.
neilalwayswins

Con

My opponent seems to have forfeited the round. Because of this my points flow through to the next round and the pro has still not provided any evidence to support his claims against mine.

Debate Round No. 3
AlextheYounga

Pro

My opponent has a very weak argument. He didn't even touch on many of my points.

Morality and Addiction
First in order for a society, for a human to function properly we must have the ability to reason and rationalize in conjunction with our environment for if we cannot reason we are subject to fallacious ideology, instinct, and emotions all of which can cloud our judgement about what is moral and what is not. It gives us a skewed even delusional perception of what constitutes order and morality.

First off, what drug does this? Please expound on this claim.

I would like to quote a distinguished political philosopher, Douglas Husak.

"Why, he asks, should people be punished for using drugs? To punish someone is to impose a severe disability on him; and justice requires that punishment be imposed only on someone who violates rights. The mere fact, if it is one, that drug use leads to bad social consequences does not suffice.

Does anyone believe that individuals should be punished for something simply because the failure to do so would cause an increase in the behavior for which they are punished? This rationale fails to provide the personal justification for punishment that is needed. This is not our reason to criminalize acts like murder and rape. No one would say that we should punish such acts simply because the failure to do so might lead others to commit rape and murder."

He makes a great claim. And how is it moral to imprison someone who is physically addicted to a substance? It is not moral at all. Imprisonment creates another burden upon that person, not helping that person to overcome his addiction at all.

This also hurts your claim of,
Just because you are not harming anyone but yourself directly does mean it does not effect others in more indirect ways.
Just as Husak stated, "This rationale fails to provide the personal justification for punishment that is needed." If a person has not maliciously effected another person, why does that person deserved to be punished? That person doesn't.

My opponent makes the claim,

It clouds our judgement and the individual becomes a slave to the substance.

As I already stated before, very few people actually become clinically addicted to drugs. The study I cited showed this. And that study didn't even say that they were addicted! That study showed that people were still using one year after initial use. There's a good chance that many of them are just using it recreationally, such as marijuana.

In fact, many of the drugs that are illegal are not physically addictive, meaning that it causes physical problems to the body when stopped. One of the most physically addictive drugs is alcohol, and it's still legal! The study proved that more than 90% of people who used drugs did not become physically OR mentally dependent on them.

My opponent focuses on the abuse of drugs which, again, does not seem to happen quite as often as it seems.

Abuse of ANY substance is almost always harmful. For instance, food. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease, and statistically, America is the "fattest" nation in the world. Shall we now ban food or limit consumption of food because it can be abused?


Economic and Political Points

You claim that, "Making something illegal has never solved any problem. Progressively, it usually makes things worse." You have not given any indication to me and others why this is true. This is a completely unfounded statement.

I think this will be the easiest point of all to prove! I can think of hundreds, but let's focus on something that is similar to this topic. The 18th Amendment: Prohibition.

"Organized crime received a major boost from Prohibition. Mafia groups limited their activities to prostitution, gambling, and theft until 1920, when organized bootlegging manifested in response to the effect of Prohibition.[69] A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Powerful criminal gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies, leading to racketeering. In essence, prohibition provided a financial basis for organized crime to flourish."

Rather than reducing crime, Prohibition had transformed the cities into battlegrounds between opposing bootlegging gangs. In a study of over 30 major U.S cities during the prohibition years of 1920 and 1921, the number of crimes increased by 24%. Additionally, theft and burglaries increased by 9%, homicide by 12.7%, assaults and battery rose by 13%, drug addiction by 44.6% and police department costs rose by 11.4%. This was largely the result of “black-market violence” as well as the diverting of law enforcement resources elsewhere. Despite the hope of the prohibitionist movement that the outlawing of alcohol would reduce crime, the reality was that the Volstead Act led to a rise in crime rates than were experienced prior to prohibition and the establishment of a black market dominated by criminal organizations.

I think I made my point.


This amount of spending however is really a drop in the bucket in terms of other federal discretionary and non discretionary expenditure.


This money adds up, my friend. In the past 5 years, the United States has spent almost 400 billions dollars on the War on Drugs. Also, seeing that our economy is already in serious debt, and inflation is going through the roof due to the FED's counterfeiting, this will help to slow our debt down in the future.

Also, my opponent did not even touch on my point that drugs would help our economy exponentially!

My opponent has not made a decent rebuttal to any of my points.

http://mises.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://stopthedrugwar.org...
neilalwayswins

Con

neilalwayswins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
AlextheYounga

Pro

Well, looks like we're even on the forfeiting. Haha.

My points still remain intact:


    • It is immoral.
    • It is ineffective
    • It is costly


Plus the points made in the rebuttals.


    • Illegalization almost always creates more problems than does good.
    • Very few people actually become clinically addicted to drugs.
    • Any substance can be abused.
neilalwayswins

Con

neilalwayswins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by AlextheYounga 4 years ago
AlextheYounga
I'm really sorry. I was on vacation and couldn't respond. I'll get it next round. Again, sorry.
Posted by neilalwayswins 4 years ago
neilalwayswins
It seems you ran out of time.
Posted by neilalwayswins 4 years ago
neilalwayswins
@wilifish The corporate world is only taking advantage of a profitable environment the government has created.
Posted by wilifish4774 4 years ago
wilifish4774
It has become readily apparent that in the U.S. drug and pharmaceutical companies court corrupt politicians to pass laws only with monetary gain in mind. In turn using the citizenry as a comodity to be utilized for selfish gain.. An excellent example of this is the newest legislation to approve a 6 month narcotic "pellet" that in fact will allow the now epidemic levels to continue even higher within the U.S. soceity..
Posted by neilalwayswins 4 years ago
neilalwayswins
Looking forward to round two :)
Posted by AlextheYounga 4 years ago
AlextheYounga
It's no problem. Take as long as you need.
Posted by neilalwayswins 4 years ago
neilalwayswins
Sorry for the long wait I will respond shortly.
Posted by AlextheYounga 4 years ago
AlextheYounga
That is true and I admire you for your strive for intelligence. It is always better completely know each side of the argument.
Posted by neilalwayswins 4 years ago
neilalwayswins
Haha thanks I am indeed although I have learned that it is far more intellectually beneficial to argue stances regardless of personal belief or opinion!
Posted by AlextheYounga 4 years ago
AlextheYounga
What are you doing, neilalwayswins? You're a libertarian too! Lol. C'mon, represent!
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