The Instigator
BandJunkie
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Tackster
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should Marijuana Be Legal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 460 times Debate No: 52461
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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BandJunkie

Pro

Not only should it be legal it should be encouraged. The era now, with drugs is the same as prohibition. During the prohibition era, drinking was more common and was just as illegal. Marijuana should be legal. Medical versions of the drug has helped those who have insomnia, trouble eating, and even asthma. It has also helped those who have Epilepsy and Seizures. Marijuana is currently legal in 20 states. I am going to compare weed to alcohol. During the prohibition era, there was commonly more drinking going on in homes, bars, anywhere. The same is happening now. There is more commonly people smoking weed and dealing the drugs, because there is a sense of rebellion and fun to doing it. It has been said that is also a gateway drug and that if you smoke weed you are more likely to harder drugs, this can be true, but as a known "stoner" I do not feel the need to go out and do harder drugs. If legal it would be the same as alcohol or cigarettes. The government can put taxes on them, as well as moderate it. Also just because it is legal does not mean that all the sudden everyone is going to start smoking weed. "Marijuana has been found to suppress cancer, reduce blood pressure, treat glaucoma, alleviate pain and even inhibit HIV. It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective" As stated by trueactivist.com. There are links to marijuana that it can also help a person lose weight, after you smoke you get something called the "munchies" This is a result of your metabolism going up. Weed has so many bad effects on the world socially, given that it is legal. Legalizing it has a better chance of the offense and the jail time for it to go down.
Tackster

Con

Hello BandJunkie,

I personally can waver between both sides of this argument depending on the studies being quoted and the level of legalization we're talking about (as well as the day of the week :) ). However, after reading your initial post I took issue with one simple fact - none of the arguments you raise are reasons that I agree with the legalization of Marijuana. Given that, I'm going to take a simple stance here - I will be the devil's advocate and push you to make a cogent, necessary and sufficient case for the legalization of Marijuana. The claim 'Should Marijuana be legal' is a controversial one, being broadcasts across the media and undergoing strong tides of change and dissent in both directions across the globe. Given that it is an informed electorate that should dictate our decision making paradigm and not the spread of fallacious claims.

I will summarize the point you made in your opening argument and show where they either fail or do not meet their burden of proof. Please confirm whether i'm citing you correctly, missing important details or misunderstanding your claims.

1) Marijuana usage is common, sale is plentiful/available and the current laws draw similarities with the Prohibition
2) Marijuana has beneficial medical properties
3) Although you admit it can behave as a gateway drug - you are not susceptible to these influences
4) The sense of rebellion and fun that comes from smoking Marijuana is worthwhile and enjoyable

Let's go point by point:

1) Marijuana usage is common, sale is plentiful/available and the current laws draw similarities with the Prohibition
Could you confirm whether it is your contention that legalization should be dependent on what portion of the populace adopts a certain behavior? A 2003 WHO Mortality Database report showed that United States homicide rates were 6.9x higher than rates in the other high-income countries. Firearm homicide rates that were 19.5x higher (1). By comparison usage of Marijuana in the U.S. is only 2-4x higher than other comparable high-income countries (2).
Perhaps you would take the argument that popular demand can satisfy judiciary requirements in cases that do not impede on the liberties and rights of others. In 2002 a review of Federal prison inmates showed that drug offenders were twice as likely to engage in violent crime than baseline (property) offenders in order to obtain money for narcotic substances. Comparable studies in Scotland (US stats unavailable to me at present) showed that of the general prison population 71% tested positive for drug use on entry, the majority using cannabis for recreational purposes (3).

I'll quickly fly into point 3 here as I need to leave soon - your admission that Marijuana can be used as a gateway drug immediately opens the board for drug abuse, criminal and civil damage statistics to be traced back to Marijuana dealers that are circumventing the law.

I'd also like to point out that your premise that the government would be allowed to 'moderate' the subject is already in effect. Gonzalez v. Raich resulted in a supreme court ruling that intra-state Marijuana regulation continues to be subject to Commerce Law and is part of the Controlled Substances Act. In effect, at present, the use of Marijuana is being moderated. Only not in the way that you'd like. In essence, (and as attested by the Attorney General (5)), moderation has been implemented to allow medicinal and certified Marijuana usage only.

2) Marijuana has beneficial medical properties
I apologize but I've lost steam with my audit for the above so I'll provide a simple philosophical breakout of this point. You are basically following a crass teleological argument for Marijuana in stating that as it has positive effects it is in essence 'good'. Many drugs, chemicals, tools, weapons, motions, arguments, people, etc. have positive effects as well as negative effects when taken outside of context. Do you disagree with pharmacies controlling the distribution of medical pharmaceuticals to those in need rather those in want? Even if you give me that Marijuana should be distributed through the medical industry, could you please prove and confirm whether Marijuana has been extensively studied and proven to be the most effective treatment for the effects you've described, with the least side effects?

Skipping 3 - it's ridiculous...

4) The sense of rebellion and fun that comes from smoking Marijuana is worthwhile and enjoyable
Question - What basis do you think should be used to ratify law?

Thanks, looking forward to your rebuttal.

----------------------
SOURCES
(1) Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States With Other High-Income Countries, 2003 - http://journals.lww.com...
(2) NIDA Commentary 2009 - http://www.drugabuse.gov...
(3) SYUK, Drug misuse statistics 2009 - http://www.drugmisuse.isdscotland.org...
(4) Excellent case review available here - http://www.law.gmu.edu...
(5) 2009 - AG Statement, Reuters Coverage - http://www.reuters.com...
Debate Round No. 1
BandJunkie

Pro

BandJunkie forfeited this round.
Tackster

Con

Tackster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
BandJunkie

Pro

BandJunkie forfeited this round.
Tackster

Con

Tackster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
BandJunkie

Pro

BandJunkie forfeited this round.
Tackster

Con

Tackster forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Teemo 2 years ago
Teemo
I would accept, but I currently have various debates going on.
Posted by StoneL 2 years ago
StoneL
Great points band junkie, you have my vote
No votes have been placed for this debate.