The Instigator
Trojanman13120
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Should Marijuana be legal?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Started: 1/9/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,010 times Debate No: 14330
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

Trojanman13120

Pro

There is no reason for Marijuana to be illegal. Period. Cigarettes are legal which kill many more people than pot. ( pot has never directly killed anyone) How many Cigarettes do people kill? Alcohol is legal and it is responsible for 75,000 deaths per year. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6089353 The only thing that keeps coming up with marijuana arguments is health affects on the person smoking marijuana. I say, "Hey, mind your own business." If people want to smoke marijuana why not let them? What if tomorrow it were illegal to eat chocolate because it was unhealthy? Would you agree with it just because it was illegal? If pot was legal it could be handled just like cigarettes. The states revenue would increase because you know it would be heavily taxed. Please state any negative facts about marijuana stating why it should be illegal if you can think of any.
Danielle

Con

Welcome to DDO!

My opponent has made three arguments which I will respond to below. The bulk of my argument can be found in response to Pro's third contention. Thanks for beginning this debate, Pro, and good luck.

1. Cigarettes and alcohol are dangerous but legal; therefore, marijuana which is also dangerous should be legal.

----> Three wrongs don't make a right. If marijuana is also harmful (it is, and Pro hasn't denied this) then it will simply be another vice taking American lives and / or causing a lot of health problems [1, 2, 3].

2. Even though marijuana is dangerous, people should be free to make their own choices.

----> I agree, though current laws and policy negate this premise. For example, President Obama has signed a major health care bill into effect that ensures all Americans are covered for health insurance regardless of their health problems. This essentially means that people who take responsibility for their health and make healthy choices will be burdened to pay for other people's mistakes that may negatively impact their health. As such, it makes perfect sense to enact laws that make it harder for people to make unhealthy choices, which others will inevitably have to pay for.

Moreover, the number of people driving under the influence will be increased, thus creating a higher risk for traffic accidents of innocent parties. Innocent children would also be affected by the adults who smoke around them. Since second-hand smoke takes so many lives among other dangers [4, 5], this is another potential problem. Cigarettes are not the only risk; smoking marijuana can have similar second-hand harms [6].

3. The government can heavily tax marijuana and profit from the revenue.

----> And now for my main argument. I should probably take this opportunity to tell Pro (since I think most of the audience knows) that I am a huge marijuana advocate. I love pot. I'm smoking pot right now. However I have several concerns about making pot legal which I will outline here. I'll begin by discussing current events in California, as that is the first state to really take initiative on the possibility of legalizing marijuana.

On September 30th 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a piece of legislation that downgrades the penalty for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $100, which is essentially the equivalent of getting a traffic ticket [7]. In other words, the punishment is no longer even a misdemeanor but a completely minor offense that will have no drastic impact on your life if you are caught. As such, law enforcement will probably be a lot more lax on the issue. As an alternative to legalizing marijuana, states can follow suit and essentially decriminalize it to the point where anti-marijuana laws are almost obsolete. California has already begun setting the precedent for this attitude.

The option to legalize marijuana can actually be more harmful to pot smokers for several reasons. First, the state may not allow for personal cultivation. This means people would still have to buy pot from others, which will probably not significantly decrease the cost for smokers. If the state's main concern is profit - and it seems so by this contention - then they may heavily tax this product to the point where it's even more expensive than it is today on the black market. Cigarettes are $11.00 a pack in New York City, for example [8]. In other words, if the government doesn't want you to do something, then they will find some way to interfere and screw things up even if the product is "legal" for all intents and purposes.

Now you might be thinking - so what? I'll just buy from a non-commercial dealer and forfeit the taxes. However since the government will expect to profit off such a product, then laws for those possessing a certain amount are certainly going to be drastically increased! The government doesn't want anyone infringing on their profits, so those who are caught dealing on the black market with marijuana LEGALIZED will be in severely more trouble. The result? Necessarily higher costs for the product. The government has shown through precedent that they will tax a product heavily in an attempt to reduce smoking. This means smokers can say goodbye to $20 grams. Even if some people work around the laws to deal behind the scenes, the increased risk plus the increased value of pot (due to government prices) will mandate higher costs for smokers.

You can also say goodbye to your friendly hippie, hoodlum or hipster dealer. Lol - for years college kids have been making a living that pays well, where you can make your own hours, have a business with no start-up costs, avoid taxes, and build relationships (network) through this harmless trade. However the combination of government's harsh punishment for offenders plus big business corporate competitors will make the attractive job of dealing obsolete... and I think we know the government and big business are two examples of giant entities who don't give a flying you-know-what about the people. Do we really want to give those people more control over our lives? Or can we hold our product and vendor to higher standards when we deal with them directly? I'm all about keeping it local and low key. And who wants to pay another tax?!

Though it's been argued that the legalization of marijuana will potentially save a lot of money by eliminating the costs of incarcerating and supervising certain marijuana offenders, the state of California for instance will already save the money because of the penalty downgrading [7]. As such, if other states follow suit, then there wouldn't be a benefit to legalization. This is further demonstrated through basic laws of economics. If people are spending so much money on pot, they will have less money to spend in other areas of the market, thus impacting the entire overall economy. Additionally, Pro hasn't specified pot being legal at the state vs. the federal level. Even if California legalized marijuana, criminalization at the federal level would essentially render these laws pointless.

In conclusion, I love pot - but my opponent's arguments have all been responded to and negated. Unfortunately, based on his structuring of this debate to only be one round (which I just noticed), he will not be able to respond to my legitimate contentions. Therefore, the responsible thing would be to vote CON.

Thanks again to my opponent for the opportunity to debate such a passionate topic.


[1] http://cyber.law.harvard.edu...
[2] http://www.health.harvard.edu...
[3] http://www.theantidrug.com...
[4] http://www.mayoclinic.com...
[5] http://www.time.com...
[6] http://alcoholism.about.com...
[7] Report this Argument
Debate Round No. 1
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Trojanman13120 3 years ago
Trojanman13120
ok drug dealer
Posted by Danielle 3 years ago
Danielle
Alex ... lol did you read it? It's 1 round.
Posted by Alex 3 years ago
Alex
L, why DID you take this? lol
Posted by Danielle 3 years ago
Danielle
Trojan: Haha based on that response, I see why you kept this a one round debate ;)

AA: Dunno if you're joking lol but I am not a drug dealer :P
Posted by Trojanman13120 3 years ago
Trojanman13120
hahahahaha! oh and pretty sure we pay taxes so i think were aloud to get sick no matter what the cause.
Posted by Shtookah 3 years ago
Shtookah
HAHAHAHAHA lolcaust "While reading the Lwerd's arguments, I knew she was opposed to legalization because she's dealing, and then the no-good-dope-slinger just flat out admits it later on in the debate. How do you live with yourself, you scum?!"
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 3 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
While reading the Lwerd's arguments, I knew she was opposed to legalization because she's dealing, and then the no-good-dope-slinger just flat out admits it later on in the debate. How do you live with yourself, you scum?!
Posted by Trojanman13120 3 years ago
Trojanman13120
its just funny how you can make something harmless sound like death to america. Pot is harmless. No reason for it to be illegal. End of story.
Posted by Sky_ace25 3 years ago
Sky_ace25
Dude, make your debate longer than one round. A one round debate is a guaranteed loss for you as soon as somebody goes through the hassle of refuting all your points and presenting a better argument. This is a debate not a forum, make more rounds.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Trojanman13120 3 years ago
Trojanman13120
Trojanman13120DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 3 years ago
Danielle
Trojanman13120DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by I-am-a-panda 3 years ago
I-am-a-panda
Trojanman13120DanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Cobo 3 years ago
Cobo
Trojanman13120DanielleTied
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