The Instigator
InNOutGaming
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Should drug abuse be legal?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 543 times Debate No: 78068
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

InNOutGaming

Con

Rules

1. First round is for acceptance only.

2. BoP (Burden of Proof) is on me.

3. No plagiarism.

4. Minor trolls if you wish. You must however stay on topic.

Failure to follow these rules will result in a 7-point forfeiture.
MagicAintReal

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
InNOutGaming

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I look forward to a good debate.

Effects of Drugs

"Most abused drugs directly or indirectly target the brain's reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter present in regions of the brain that regulate movement, emotion, cognition, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. When drugs enter the brain, they can actually change how the brain performs its jobs."[1]

Now, because they change the way the brain performs it jobs, drugs may cause you to do unintended things, which will be presented in these following arguments.

Injuries leading to Expenses

Many drug abusers injure either themselves, others, or both. Not only has it been proven they can affect other people, but this leads to avoidable costs.

"Illicit drug users make over 527,000 costly emergency room visits each year for drug related problems."[1]

Health care costs of illicit drug abuse itself is 11 billion. In overall, it is 193 billion.[2] If drug abuse had been legalized, then people whom consider abusing drugs, but are held back by law, which we can assume to be a lot, and will definitely be increasing due to our future generation(s), will start on it, and therefore expenses will increase.

Domestic Violence

"More than 75 percent of domestic violence victims report that their assailant had been drinking or using illicit drugs at the time of the incident."

Now, luckily, this law is in place because again, because of it, some hold back from drug abuse. If drug abuse was legalized, percentage may be inconsistent, but domestic violence would surely be more often.

Pass Down to Generations

"These and other illicit drugs may pose various risks for pregnant women and their babies. Some of these drugs can cause a baby to be born too small or too soon, or to have withdrawal symptoms, birth defects or learning and behavioral problems."

Now, my problem here isn't the woman abusing drugs; if she's willing to harm herself, then let her. However, this can cause our younger generation to grow up with birth defects, learning problems, etc., which is basically putting another being in danger involuntarily.

I await my opponents arguments.

Sources

[1] http://recovergateway.org...

[2] http://www.drugabuse.gov...
MagicAintReal

Pro

If we are debating a law about drug abuse that the government would need to legislate and execute, then we should go with the definition of drug abuse that the government currently uses; it would likely guide their regulation of the matter.

So directly from the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institute of Health (NIH):

"People use substances for a variety of reasons. It becomes drug abuse when people use illegal drugs or use legal drugs inappropriately. This includes the repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, alleviate stress, and/or alter or avoid reality."
http://www.drugabuse.gov...

If drug abuse were specifically made illegal, by the government's definition of drug abuse, then people who routinely smoke cigarettes to produce pleasure would be subject to at least a civil trial, or, if drug abuse were further criminalized, people who routinely smoke cigarettes would be subject to a search, an arrest, and a criminal trial.

For the government to regulate what constitutes "inappropriate drug use," criminally, would require violating our civil rights.
You could be repeatedly consuming tobacco in your house trying to produce pleasure or alleviate stress when you are suddenly required to open the door for an officer, because they saw you abusing nicotine; a cop's observance of this drug abuse is probable cause to search your house.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com... cause

I realize though that if all drug abuse were illegal, that it may not be a criminal violation, rather, a civil violation.
So, if you are charged with a civil violation, you are afforded a trial in the court system.

If we made drug abuse a civil violation, which is still illegal, then all abusers would be afforded a trial.
Here are the current US government statistics on drug abusers in the US who would need a trial for their civil violation(s):

Total nicotine abusers = 42.1 million people
http://www.cdc.gov...

Total alcohol abusers = 118.4 million people
http://www.cdc.gov...
(go to page 73 of the actual document, or page 81 of the pdf)

Total illicit drug abusers = 24.6 million people
http://www.drugabuse.gov...

To make drug abuse illegal, criminally or civilly, would either require the government to violate our rights to regulate such a concept, or require the court system to accommodate for 180 million new trials, law suits, and filings.

To make drug abuse illegal would be to make criminals/civil violators out of over a third of the population of the US.
How would we pay for all of the excess trials that the entire nation's district courts would receive?
Yeah, the same way the government likes to pay for everything...taxing you.

Con says "my problem here isn't the woman abusing drugs; if she's willing to harm herself, then let her."
This is why drug abuse should just be legal, because if people are only harming themselves and not violating the rights of others with their abuse, then their abuse needs not be regulated.

Also, Con has three contentions with legal drug abuse:
1. expensive hospital visits
2. domestic violence
3. unborn baby harm

Drug abuse does not NECESSITATE hospital visits, domestic violence or harm to unborn babies.
Despite how counter-intuitive it may sound, drug abuse can be done responsibly.

One could repeatedly use any drug to produce pleasure/alleviate stress, and not be pregnant, live with anyone, or cause injury to themselves to warrant a hospital visit.
In fact, one could refrain completely from violating anybody's rights, safety, or liberty and abuse drugs.

Also, the idea that every human has the ultimate authority over their body, so long as any action done to their body does not impede the rights/safety/liberty of others, allows for responsible drug abuse.

However, if drug abuse were specifically made illegal, someone responsibly abusing drugs could be criminally subject to a search and arrest, or civilly subject to a trial.
So, where there were no people's rights being violated, the responsible drug abuser has their rights temporarily suspended by the police or by the courts.

Con made some bare assertions.
1. "If drug abuse was legalized, percentage may be inconsistent, but domestic violence would surely be more often."
2. "If drug abuse had been legalized, then people whom consider abusing drugs, but are held back by law, which we can assume to be a lot, and will definitely be increasing due to our future generation(s), will start on it, and therefore expenses will increase."

1. Without illustrating all of the confounding variables involved in determining what the legalization of drug abuse would particularly do to domestic violence statistics, saying domestic violence "would surely be more often" is not enough.
Con needs to consider the different variables involved with legalizing drug abuse, and demonstrate legalization-->domestic violence before assuming as much.

2. Con should provide evidence that demonstrates that there are a significant amount of people held back from drug abuse by the law.
If speeding on the highway, which is illegal in all 50 states, is any indication of people being held back by law, then laws don't seem to hold people back when people don't care about the law...but if Con presents valid evidence for the numbers of "law-considering-drug-abuse-resistors" we have in our nation, then perhaps.

Con also needs to demonstrate that our "future generation(s)" are a likely cause for increased drug abuse...noe evidence was provided for this claim.

Drug abuse should be legal because:
1. Regulating abuse goes beyond drug possession violations...police will actively be looking for "repeated drug use to produce pleasure" if drug abuse were illegal.
2. If not a criminal violation, drug abuse would be a civil violation that would afford 180 million drug abusers a court trial for their behavior. Our court system would need to pay for the excess caseload with tons of tax money.
3. If a criminal violation, drug abuse would turn over one third of the US population into criminals by law.
What do you think that would do for unborn babies, domestic relationships, and the hospital industry?

Responsible drug abuse, like responsible drug use, should be legal to all who are free.
Debate Round No. 2
InNOutGaming

Con

Harm to Others, Not Just Yourself

"Con says "my problem here isn't the woman abusing drugs; if she's willing to harm herself, then let her."
This is why drug abuse should just be legal, because if people are only harming themselves and not violating the rights of others with their abuse, then their abuse needs not be regulated."

My opponent ignored the rest. Let me repeat what I said there.

"Now, my problem here isn't the woman abusing drugs; if she's willing to harm herself, then let her. However, this can cause our younger generation to grow up with birth defects, learning problems, etc., which is basically putting another being in danger involuntarily."

Basically, pregnant women who abuse drugs can give birth to a child with birth defects, learning problems, etc. involuntarily.

Drug Abusers Unpredictable when in Effect

"One could repeatedly use any drug to produce pleasure/alleviate stress, and not be pregnant, live with anyone, or cause injury to themselves to warrant a hospital visit. In fact, one could refrain completely from violating anybody's rights, safety, or liberty and abuse drugs."

When people begin abusing drugs to alleviate stress or to please themselves, they like to think that they can do so responsibly because they have yet to experience the effects. However, it changes the way you think, which can cause you to do unintended things.

For instance, drugs can alter your mood; You can either be grumpy for no reason, or be upset much quicker, thus being prone to another case of domestic violence.

People are Held Back by Law from Drugs

There are people out there who are deterred by law, which I assume to be most people because it's part of human nature to be afraid of certain punishments, depending on how severe they are. Some may not be comfortable with the activities routinely followed in prison, such as showering with possible rapists, etc.

You will find lots of people out there, mostly teens, that try to pressure other people to abuse drugs:

"You might be feeling pressure from your friends, other people, or society as a whole through movies, music or advertising to use drugs or drink alcohol. Saying no to drugs and alcohol when people around you are using them can be tough."[1]

The minority manage to fight it off. Some of them did it because they were afraid of being arrested. Maybe they didn't care about the variety of consequences drug abuse has to offer.

If drug abuse was legalize, they wouldn't have fought it off, which could've added more cases of domestic violence, injury, and or illnesses passed down to newborns.

Passed Down to Future Generation(s)

"Con also needs to demonstrate that our "future generation(s)" are a likely cause for increased drug abuse...noe evidence was provided for this claim."

I did not say that our future generation(s) are a likely cause for increased drug abuse. I said that we could pass it down to them; Some pregnant women abuse drugs too, thus they could pass their addictions and illnesses down to their newborns.

Debunking Pro's Arguments

1. Regulating abuse goes beyond drug possession violations...police will actively be looking for "repeated drug use to produce pleasure" if drug abuse were illegal.

As I said, effects of drugs are unpredictable. Since they change the way your brain performs its jobs, you will be doing things you don't intend to.

2. If not a criminal violation, drug abuse would be a civil violation that would afford 180 million drug abusers a court trial for their behavior. Our court system would need to pay for the excess caseload with tons of tax money.

However, if we legalize drug abuse, medical costs for drug abuse will be exploding.

Either way, loads of tax money are consumed. At least something good for the majority comes out of condemning drug abuse.

3. If a criminal violation, drug abuse would turn over one third of the US population into criminals by law.
What do you think that would do for unborn babies, domestic relationships, and the hospital industry?

Can't really say much to that. My opponent's got a valid point there. I say drug abuse shouldn't be a criminal violation, but it should be a civil violation.

I await my opponent's arguments.

Sources

[1] http://us.reachout.com...
MagicAintReal

Pro

To respond to Con's contention with pregnant drug abusers, I mentioned how one could abuse drugs without being pregnant.

The resolution mentions nothing about pregnant women abusing drugs, but, if it did, then I would be for a law banning pregnant women from abusing drugs, because drug abuse while pregnant impedes the rights/safety/liberty of someone else. The behavior of drugs + pregnant is irresponsible.

Though it is considered inappropriate by the government, drug abuse can be done responsibly.

Think of it this way:

Being drunk is legal, but driving while drunk, just one time, is a DUI and it's illegal.
"One time," I will point out, is not sufficient for "drug abuse."
"Drug abuse" is defined by the government as "REPEATED use of drugs."

See this law, the Driving Under the Influence law (DUI), understands that the bad results of this behavior are not due to the drug use itself, rather the irresponsible driving.
This behavior, driving while drunk, is irresponsible, because it impedes others' rights/safety/liberty.
This one time behavior isn't drug abuse, as it is not repeated, and it should be the subject of regulation instead of alcohol use itself.

Women who use a harmful drug just one time during pregnancy are GUI...Gestating Under the Influence.
This behavior, gestating while drugged, is irresponsible, because it impedes another's rights/safety/liberty.
This one time behavior isn't drug abuse, as it is not repeated, and it should be the subject of regulation instead of drug use itself.

Con said "basically, pregnant women who abuse drugs can give birth to a child with birth defects, learning problems, etc. involuntarily. "
I agree, but the abuse of drugs alone is not sufficient for the result of birth defects.
The abuse of drugs while pregnant, a GUI if you will, is sufficient for the result of birth defects.

Con says that drug abuse "changes the way you think, which can cause you to do unintended things...[it] can alter your mood; you can either be grumpy for no reason, or be upset much quicker, thus being prone to another case of domestic violence."

Stress at work can alter your mood, such that at home you are grumpy for no reason; you get upset much quicker. Sometimes work has so much stress, it kinda changes the way you think.
Stress can cause you to do things that, without stress, you might not have intended to do.

Therefore, people who are stressed at work are unpredictable and prone to domestic violence.
Furthermore, having work stress should be a civil violation.

Hopefully the analogy fits...

So many factors go into domestic violence that highlighting one correlative factor, like drug abuse, is ignoring a host of confounding variables like stress, socioeconomic status, family dynamics, education level, etc...

I then asked Con to demonstrate that a significant amount of people are held back from drug abuse by the law.

So Con said "There are people out there who are deterred by law, which I assume to be most people because it's part of human nature to be afraid of certain punishments...some may not be comfortable with the activities routinely followed in prison, such as showering with possible rapists, etc. "

Let me see if I got this.
Con is saying:

There are people deterred from drug abuse by the law, because I assume that most people are afraid of getting raped in prison.

Without Con providing statistical evidence for how many potential drug abusers are held back by law, "I assume" is not enough to demonstrate that a significant amount of potential drug abusers are held back by law.

Also Con contradicts himself by saying "I say drug abuse shouldn't be a criminal violation, but it should be a civil violation."
Civil violations do not put the violator in prison, thus are not a deterrent for drug abuse in the manner (prison rape) that Con described.
If people are deterred by prison rape, civil violations for drug abuse will not fulfill this deterrence.

Con states again that of the teens who have been pressured to use drugs and refused, "some...did it because they were afraid of being arrested."
Con provides NO evidence for this, and just asserts it.
That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Dismissed.

Con continues, "If drug abuse was legalize, [teens who refused drugs] wouldn't have fought it off, which could've added more cases of domestic violence, injury, and or illnesses passed down to newborns."

Ok, I'll agree that if drug abuse were legalized, those assumed to be only deterred by the law would then have no reason to be deterred.
I won't agree however, that a former abstainer of drugs who then accepts drugs is therefore a potential for adding more cases of domestic violence, injury, or baby harm.

If the former abstainer of drugs starts abusing drugs, avoids romantically living with anyone, remains in reasonable health, and never has children, then the likelihood for Con's specific drug abuse contentions are 0%.

47% of all American households are without spouses and therefore immune to spousal abuse.
http://www.census.gov...

49.2% of all Americans are men, who cannot Gestate Under the Influence
http://www.census.gov...

95% of all Americans per year do not get admitted into the ER, and cannot make costly ER visits.
http://www.cdc.gov...

So if we legalized drug abuse tomorrow, and most abstainers of drug use due to the law were to become abusers, on average, 47% couldn't commit domestic violence, 49.2% couldn't Gestate Under the Influence, and 95% would likely not be admitted to the ER.
This doesn't include all of the responsible drug abusers who do live with a spouse and aren't violent, the normally drug abusing women who are refraining from drugs while pregnant, and the drug abusers who actually avoid the ER because of their drug abuse.

These statistics combined with responsible drug abuse show that even a civil law on drug abuse with the intention of alleviating domestic violence, baby harm, and ER visits, would only account for a portion of the drug abusers and would likely be punishing people who have not violated any of Con's contentions.

Either way, Con's contentions are all fallacies of division.
https://www.google.com...

Fallacies of division assume that the characteristics of the whole are shared by one, some, or all of the parts.
For example:

Whole = drunk driving
Part 1 = being drunk
Part 2 = driving

Though drunk driving (whole) is illegal, being drunk (part 1) is not illegal, and driving (part 2) is not illegal.
A fallacy of division would be to say that because drunk driving is illegal, therefore being drunk is illegal.
This should illustrate the problem with the fallacy.

In Con's case:

Whole = drugged gestating
Part 1 = being drugged
Part 2 = gestating

Though drugged gestating (whole) is irresponsible, being drugged (part 1) is not irresponsible, and gestating (part 2) is not irresponsible.

Whole = drugged domestic violence
Part 1 = being drugged
Part 2 = physical spousal abuse

Though drugged domestic violence (whole) is irresponsible, being drugged (part 1) is not irresponsible. Notice that part 2, physical spousal abuse, is irresponsible even without drugs...this highlights a mistaken attribution of causation on Con's part.

Whole = drugged ER visits
Part 1 = being drugged
Part 2 = visiting the ER

Though drugged ER visits (whole) are irresponsible, being drugged (part 1) is not irresponsible, and visiting the ER (part 2) s not irresponsible.

Con attempted to debunk my claim that police would need to violate our rights to regulate "repeated use of a drug for pleasure" by saying that the "effects of drugs are unpredictable. Since they change the way your brain performs its jobs, you will be doing things you don't intend to."

I respond by saying that the effects of stress are unpredictable since they change the way your brain performs its jobs, and you will likely be doing things you don't intend to.
Should police be regulating stress as a civil violation?

I made the claim that if drug abuse were a civil violation, 180 million drug abusers could be afforded a trial and this would be expensive and difficult for the court systems to maintain, so taxes would increase.

Con responded by saying that the medical costs for all of the newly converted drug abusers would be exploding if we legalized drug abuse.
What Con fails to see is that if we legalized drug abuse, the government can generate revenue from selling drugs, similarly to the way we already make a lot of money off of alcohol.
With drug abuse as a civil violation, no revenue can be generated from drug abuse.

I maintain that responsible drug abuse, like responsible drug use, should be legal to all who are free, because truly free individuals are the ultimate authority of their own bodies, and the detriments of drug abuse that Con describes are fallacious, lack evidence, and require bare assertions.

I accept the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
InNOutGaming

Con

InNOutGaming forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
InNOutGaming

Con

InNOutGaming forfeited this round.
MagicAintReal

Pro

Extend.
Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Thanks for the vote.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Sorry, my link to probable cause was messed up...so here it is
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
InNOutGamingMagicAintRealTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con just doesn't give me a lot to go on in this debate. He asserts almost all of his links to his impacts, presenting no evidence to show that making drug abuse illegal will reduce the incidence of any of the harms he presents. He also does nothing to mitigate or counter the harms presented by Pro, which include tremendous costs and court clog, both of which are solidly linked to illegalizing drug abuse. Pro also spends a lot of time minimizing the likelihood of Con's impacts, something Con never gets a chance to counter solidly since he forfeits the last two rounds. So arguments, based mainly on likelihood, go to Pro. Conduct also goes to Pro for the forfeits. Lastly, sources go to Pro, not because he presented more, but because he used them to strongly bolster his case, whereas the often missing sources from Con's case end up leaving large and obvious holes that Pro effectively exploits.