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Should drugs be banned in United States

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 618 times Debate No: 73525
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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Round one- Just introducing no arguements in first round, and any exception to any of you soon to be proposed rules

Round two- Explain your side with facts and statistics make sure to get all of your points in

Round 3- This is a rebuttal round

Round 4- How would you change the way drugs are handled in America

(Note the point of this debate is to persuade and expose the judges or witnesses to new ideas of thinking while also trying to persuade your opponent


I accept. I should state though that I am not entirely against the idea of legalizing drugs, I just err on the side of banning them.
Debate Round No. 1


Well lets start of by me explaining how other countries who have legalized all drugs, Portugal. Portugal's crime rates have plummeted, contrary to popular belief, Portugal drug usage rates, (drugs addictions per 100,000 people) is lower than the United states.Also take into account how the U.S has a costly 'war on drugs' and in the end the 'war on drugs' benefits three categories of people and three only. The cartels, using a simple economic theory of supply and demand we can accurately assume what would happen if drugs where to be legalized in the United States, at the current state of the nation with drugs being illegal there is a demand but not enough supply, another economic theory called inflation can explain and be used to create a thesis. Lets say there is 200 people who want weed, but the cartels can only smuggle weed for 50 people, the cartels can now take advantage of this and raise the price because there is lack of competition, this is know as price fixing, and the addicts will literally do anything to feed there addiction, this is what leads to muggings and assault so that thew addicts can get a source of income.Now lets jump to a scenario where drugs are legal and weed is freely traded across the markets, the same 200 people want weed, the cartels cannot monopolize industry because there is a level of competition in the markets due to many new dealers and pharmacies selling weed. there is enough supply to meet the demand, prices will be lowered because new dealers have to compete in the markets and keep prices down so that they will not get outsourced, addicts will not have to mug people or steal to get money because the price of drugs will go down. Price of 5 oz cocaine in USA 700-100 U.S.D, price of 5oz of cocaine in Portugal 30-40 U.S.D.

The 'war on drugs' fails to produce results and just perpetuates the drug industry, let me use a example, Mike is a drug dealer, because of the 'war on drugs' he gets 4 years in prison and a felony charge.Mike gets out of jail and decides he wants to turn his life around and become clean. Mike files a application to work at a company but guess what? He is denied a job because he has a class 1 felony conviction on his record.Unable to find a job and is running out of places to live Mike goes back to the only source of income he can get, selling drugs.

A full ban on drugs in the United States is unconstitutional, the 10th amendment to the constitution reads,"All powers not delegated by the constitution to the government, are reserved to the state and the people, respectively." A nation wide ban on drugs contradicts the 10th amendment and contradicts the foundations of a free society.But a drug legalization is also against the 10th amendment but it is not against the society that the founding father had envisioned. Benjamin Franklin once said," Once the federal government starts controlling what the people can and cannot do with there own persons, the people will soon be in a worse state than if the government wasn't involved."

I encourage a good debate and I hope I can open your eyes or expose you to a new way of thinking, and I am not a liberal btw. *Drops mic*


Ill start with a few rebuttals as they touch on points I already intend to make.

"...contrary to popular belief, Portugal drug usage rates, (drugs addictions per 100,000 people) is lower than the United states."

This is not a proper comparison. What were the rates before (in Portugal) vs rates after (in Portugal). You cannot use our rate as a comparison to show improvement in another countries rate.

"...the 'war on drugs' benefits three categories of people and three only. The cartels ..."

I think we can accurately assume that cartels just become legitimized with legalization. They already have the supply chains to move their product in place and have production on a larger scale than the small medicinal operations here in the US. You aren't going to rid us of cartels by legalization, rather, you're just putting them in an executive position over a large business dealing in the legal distribution of those same drugs.

"the addicts will literally do anything to feed there addiction"

This may be true. But you make it seem like addiction is something that cannot be fended off. So your solution is to give in and feed it so it doesn't get nasty towards us? I can't imagine that just because the price of drugs drops ... that all addicts will still be able to make ends meet and get them. Now we'd be looking at many magnitudes more of addicts than before. If we went from 1 out of 5 addicts commit robbery to fuel their addiction to 1 in 8, we are looking at 1 in 8 of a group much higher in number than were users previously.

"...prices will be lowered because new dealers have to compete in the markets and keep prices down so that they will not get outsourced, ..."

When have you known anything produced here in the USA to be cheaper than product coming in from countries that have no minimum wage, age, or health code requirements? How do you think America can even compete in this type of market? Quite literally only by making drugs better and more potent ... which is where all the negative effects derive from in the first place.

This brings to mind though what addicts really prefer more. Look at the cigarette industry or the alcohol industry. Addicts do not tend toward the high end product. They start out there and move toward whatever will give them their fix. Check out what pack of cigarettes anyone whose been smoking for 15-20+ years is holding. Its not the high end cigs anymore. Alcoholics the same. You'll find that their taste trends toward the alcohol and not so much the high end pop stuff with the better flavor etc.

"The 'war on drugs' fails to produce results and just perpetuates the drug industry"

But your solution is to douse the burning building with more fire. Producing, advertizing, everything ... making a big business of drugs is quite literally perpetuating it. Your example for perpetuating the drug industry is circumstantial and has no modal value.

"A nation wide ban on drugs contradicts the 10th amendment and contradicts the foundations of a free society."

I agree. But states banning it individually is just fine. Most states impose seat belt laws to match suit with others, for example, so that might be one reason why this looks like federal ban. Another has to do with the fact that its being transported over state lines. The second a person decides to be lazy and not drive to Colorado every time they want to smoke and they take some back to their home state, it becomes a federal issue again.

If we were talking something like Casinos and gambling ... those are different. A state can keep their choices to themselves in those realms. The fact is, drugs move hands too easily for a state that has legalized it to effectively keep their citizens decisions within their borders. We can have a little more control over borders at a national level ... on a state level there is no way to guarantee the decision of a state to ban from being smeared by the fact that your neighboring state legalized the drugs.
Debate Round No. 2


You say that the Portugal per 100000 persons stat is in not proper, It is proper on a state level because Portugal's population is close to many American states, also they get the total number of drug sales in Portugal and the total population and divided for the total drug usage rate, they did this in 2001 and results shower 5.8% of Portugals population used drugs before the legalization, now it stands at around 4.5% of the population is consistantly buying drugs, In the United States that rate is 6.1%. For the judge also note that my opponent did not bring up any counter statistics.

You than go to ASSUME, that cartels will just become legitimized with legalization, and you also assume they have ready chains and knowledge of people, this just servers my purpose my opponent is implying to the fact that drug cartels benifit in the United States because of the drug war and my opponent disregarded the economic theory of competition which works in free markets to keep quality high and prices low.

He concedes to the fact that addicts will do anything to get there hands on money for drugs.

He then makes another statement of 'magnatudes of addicts, more than before.' that is speculation and he came to this speculation by denying the competition and supply and demand economic theories.

My opponent then moves on to say that drug addicts are hard to rehabililate and this is true, but placing them in a prison system to serve time will only feed the addiction, treat drugs like a health issue and try rehab prison just places non violent drug users next to convicted murderers and robbers, and evidently they may start to devolope personallities comparable to these convicts.

You than go to sat economic fallacy that drug users just use what they can get there hands on which is again speculation no facts where brought up to prove this.

You than say my solution 'Is like trying to throw fire at fire' when yours is just throwing gas at fire which just ignites the flames. Logically adding fire to more fire will not create more fire, you need a fuel source.

Judges, my opponents arguements are based off of speculation and denying economic principles like supply and demand and competition, judges do a read thought my opponents arguements and try to find at least 3 statements backed with facts. *Drops mic*


Your initial comparison to the US rate was flawed. I stand by that. Thank you for bringing the proper data forth in round two to support your initial claim. That was an interesting stat you had on Portugal though. It's news to me. If you have a source that would be appreciated.

Starting with your first smear ...

Cartels being legitimized: If you take someone performing a crime and suddenly state that what they were doing is no longer criminal, then what they are doing is now legit. Legitimized. Plain and simple. No assumptions to be made there.
They may have benefited in the past by not having any legal competition in their market, but not without plenty of friction and loss to their business. Legitimizing the business they are already in, that they already have established, makes for a much easier move for them than that of the emerging pot farmer in America. Lets not forget, the inadequate regulation we do impose on our growers is still far more of a burden to them than that of foreign growers from countries with zero regulation. That's not factoring in at all the fact that, with legalization, they could just as easily set up here in the states now using what resources they already have at hand. The fact is, they are at an advantage in this market no matter what you do. Legalization does not dissolve drug cartels.

"He concedes to the fact that addicts will do anything to get there hands on money for drugs."
Not all of them. But under your model there would be more of them in number, yes.

"He then makes another statement of 'magnatudes of addicts, more than before.' that is speculation and he came to this speculation by denying the competition and supply and demand economic theories."
Then you need to explain the relationship between supply and demand to me with how it relates to addiction. It seems obvious to me that if you increase the supply of an addictive drug and the increase the availability of that drug to be dispersed over a more widespread area that you have effectively increased the addiction rate that comes attached to said drug. Does that not seem at all logical to you? I'm not denying the theory ... I'm telling you that you have a very backwards idea of how that theory works in all of this.

Arguing forms of rehab is an entirely different argument from this one, so ill steer clear of that. I will take from that though that you recognize that rehabilitation as a whole will still be needed under your model, and therefore you concede to the fact that supplying the nation with addictive drugs will not take away the need for it.

"You than go to sat economic fallacy that drug users just use what they can get there hands on which is again speculation no facts where brought up to prove this."

Facts-a-comin' friend:
This site shows the 5 most popular brands of alcohol (yes alcohol is a drug and is addictive and was legalized, so its a good representation).
1) Note that only one of these companies is American. This proves my point about the import of product from other areas. Foreign made drugs are poised to still remain the most popular over our home grown stuff.
2) Note that, of these top 5 brands, they are all middle to low grade forms of their particular type of alcohol (you would know this if you have done any drinking ... I can supply price points if your truly deem it necessary). This proves my point that the top used alcohol is not the most innovative or pure stuff in the market. Its the low grade mass produced stuff that is backed by a monster of a company.
3) Note that these brands are almost what you would have guessed would be at the top. Why? Because of the huge amount of money these companies pour into advertising. They are all very well known brands because of it. We can deduce from this that such levels of advertizing will become the norm with legal addictive drugs as well.
Here's a site loaded with data on all of the drugs you intend to legalize. More things to note:
1) 24% of people why TRY heroin become dependent on it. Basically 1 in 4 people. What do you think the number of addicted will look like when you legalize something that addictive, advertize it's legality across the nation, and decrease its cost through unhindered supply and demand?
2) Section 9 on cannabis addiction. It states, "Many factors besides a drug's physiological effects including availability, frequency and pattern of use, perception of harm, and cost can contribute to cessation outcomes and the strength of addiction." That sounds familiar. All of those factors sound like things we just mentioned in Round 2. Things that you have conceded to coming about through supply and demand. Every aspect of legalization from a market standpoint will aid in addiction rate of drugs, even one of the lower (but still plenty harmful) ones like cannabis.
Here's a site loaded with facts about another addictive drug we decided to legalize. More things to note:
1) Alcohol was comparable to many of the other drugs in the previous link. We can predict quite accurately that some comparable ratios of the alcohol related problems in here will apply to other addictive drugs we might choose to legalize. Some worse ... some not as bad ... but all worse than the rates were it non-existent (or at least its use not promoted) in society.

'Logically adding fire to more fire will not create more fire, you need a fuel source."

The fuel source is our burning nation. Currently its isolated to a rather small number of the population and predominantly in certain consequently lower value areas of town. You aim to set fire to other areas that currently frown upon drug use by making it entirely legal to be out growing, dealing, and using them in areas they don't belong.

Again, I invite you to please show me how your model of supply and demand works to actually reduce the risk of addiction, drug related crime, accidental death, decreased productivity, medical problems, poverty, and moral issues that we all face in the wake of a nation legalizing harmful drugs within its borders. I have yet to see any points made that create a better and safer nation under your proposal.

You should probably stop dropping that mic, it sounds broken.
Debate Round No. 3


ajg897 forfeited this round.


Thats unfortunate. I was looking forward to this round, hearing constructive solutions to the issues we named, the most.

I suppose I'll keep it short then and state what positions that Con presented that i'd be willing to concede on given the proper culture was in place to handle it.

1) The supply and demand thing: Basically this is unavoidable. The only way I see problems raised by streamlining the drug trade going away is by continuing pressure on foreign imports of the substances while also making campaigns on public opinion to help educate people about the risks of these drugs. I think we've become far to comfortable with their use in our society, so much so that people have begun to lose the sense of danger associated with addictive drugs. In much the same way cigarettes are becoming increasingly unpopular for the harm they do, we need to be cultivating a people free from the desire to even use drugs in a recreational manner.

2) Constitutionality: Being that we want people to have the freedom to make this choice by themselves, while at the same time people making the correct choice not to use them, we require that culture from above. If we were truly holding people who decided to use accountable for their lifes circumstance and their consequent crimes on the rest of us ... then I would say all is well, give them the chance to make the right choice. As it stands in areas where we have legalized these types of drugs in the past (Marijuana and Alcohol being my prime examples) we have no reason to believe that a more dangerous drug would be treated with any control that would protect the citizens who chose not to use from the damages the drug would cause them. Drunk drivers take the lives of innocents everyday and get off with manslaughter. Their conscious choice ends up getting glazed over by the fact that they are unaware of what they do in their intoxicated state. Until this type of injustice goes away ... I wouldn't condone increasing that risk any further than where it sits right now.

3) Drug rehab: I agree that we should give people a chance to atone for their mistake, if they are willing. But with chances to go into remission being so extremely high with these things we need to be prioritizing the rest of society and not spend as much time and money into fixing outliers. Jail is for this purpose. I don't understand why everyone thinks of them solely as a rehab center. They are there to isolate the bad. Rehabilitation comes from within. If they want to be clean bad enough, they will. If they don't, the jail serves its second purpose of keeping these people away from damaging others or propagating whatever sent them there in the first place. We don't need to be making good by them. Our focus should be making good to the community and allowing criminals the time and freedom of choice to make good with themselves.

In conclusion, bring controls to the proper level to handle these new drugs first. Build containment for the animal youre about to bring into the country before it gets here. Don't legalize it first and try to play catch up. We will never win like that. Also, create a culture that doesn't lean towards drug use. People will use it and there will be many that take it too far. We can cut that number down now by not popularizing the harmlessness of these things and instead educate people so they are better equipped to make proper decisions for themselves when the time comes. Then drugs will handle themselves in a Roe Effect fashion. Having an uneducated population is what will truly foster the will to use these drugs anyways. As that increases, so does drug use. They work in conjunction.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by FreedomBeforeEquality 2 years ago
Go figure ... no one voted.
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