Should marijuana be legalized.
I propose a debate on the current status of marijuana as an illegal drug in certain countries. I contend that no such classification should ever have been imposed and that the rescinding of said classification can only have good benefits upon a society. I do not contend that simple medical marijuana is all that should be brought about. No, my contention is the complete decriminalization and legalization of marijuana and the chemical compound THC.
All arguments are accepted as long as they are grounded in fact. Religious arguments are invalid until said religion is proved to be 100% true.
I await a response from an opponent and wish him/her good luck and quick wit.
Contrary to the beliefs of those who advocate the legalization of marijuana, the current balanced, restrictive, and bipartisan drug policies of the United States are working reasonably well and they have contributed to reductions in the rate of marijuana use in our nation.
The rate of current, past 30-day use of marijuana by Americans aged 12 and older in 1979 was 13.2%. In 2008 that figure stood at 6.1%. This 54% reduction in marijuana use over that 29-year period is a major public health triumph, not a failure.
Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the U.S. and around the world. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for general use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.
There is a common misconception that the principle costs of marijuana use are those related to the criminal justice system. This is a false premise. Caulkins & Sevigny (2005) found that the percentage of people in prison for marijuana use is between 0.1% and 0.2%.
37% of treatment admissions reported in the Treatment Episode Data Set, TEDS, collected from state-funded programs were referred through the criminal justice system. Marijuana was an identified drug of abuse for 57% of the individuals referred to treatment from the criminal justice system. The future of drug policy is not a choice between using the criminal justice system or treatment. The more appropriate goal is to get these two systems to work together more effectively to improve both public safety and public health.
In the discussion of legalizing marijuana, a useful analogy can be made to gambling. MacCoun & Reuter [ http://bjp.rcpsych.org... ] that making the government a beneficiary of legal gambling has encouraged the government to promote gambling, overlooking it as a problem behavior. They point out that “the moral debasement of state government is a phenomenon that only a few academics and preachers bemoan.”
Marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance dependence other than alcohol in the U.S. In 2008, marijuana use accounted for 4.2 million of the 7 million people aged 12 or older classified with dependence on or abuse of an illicit drug. This means that about two thirds of Americans suffering from any substance use disorder are suffering from marijuana abuse or marijuana dependence.
If the U.S. were to legalize marijuana, the number of marijuana users would increase. Today there are 15.2 million current marijuana users in comparison to 129 million alcohol users and 70.9 million tobacco users. Though the number of marijuana users might not quickly climb to the current numbers for alcohol and tobacco, if marijuana was legalized, the increase in users would be both large and rapid with subsequent increases in addiction.
Important lessons can be learned from those two widely-used legal drugs. While both alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated, the tax benefits to the public are vastly overshadowed by the adverse consequences of their use.
The costs of legalizing marijuana would not only be financial. New marijuana users would not be limited to adults if marijuana were legalized, just as regulations on alcohol and tobacco do not prevent use by youth. Rapidly accumulating new research shows that marijuana use is associated with increases in a range of serious mental and physical problems. Lack of public understanding on this relationship is undermining prevention efforts and adversely affecting the nation’s youth and their families.
Drug-impaired driving will also increase if marijuana is legalized. Marijuana is already a significant causal factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths. In a recent national roadside survey of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6% tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the %age of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 g/dL (2.2%).
In another study of seriously injured drivers admitted to a Level-1 shock trauma center, more than a quarter of all drivers (26.9%) tested positive for marijuana. In a study of fatally injured drivers in Washington State, 12.7% tested positive for marijuana. These studies demonstrate the high prevalence of drugged driving as a result of marijuana use.
Many people who want to legalize marijuana are passionate about their perception of the alleged failures of policies aimed at reducing marijuana use but those legalization proponents seldom—if ever—describe their own plan for taxing and regulating marijuana as a legal drug. There is a reason for this imbalance; they cannot come up with a credible plan for legalization that could deliver on their exaggerated claims for this new policy.
Future drug policies must be smarter and more effective in curbing the demand for illegal drugs including marijuana. Smarter-drug prevention policies should start by reducing illegal drug use among the 5 million criminal offenders who are on parole and probation in the U.S. They are among the nation’s heaviest and most problem-generating illegal drug users.
Monitoring programs that are linked to swift and certain, but not severe, consequences for any drug use have demonstrated outstanding results including lower recidivism and lower rates of incarceration. New policies to curb drugged driving will not only make our roads and highways safer and provide an important new path to treatment, but they will also reduce illegal drug use.
Reducing marijuana use is essential to improving the nation’s health, education, and productivity. New policies can greatly improve current performance of prevention strategies which, far from failing, has protected millions of people from the many adverse effects of marijuana use.
Since legalization of marijuana for medical or general use would increase marijuana use rather than reduce it and would lead to increased rates of addiction to marijuana among youth and adults, legalizing marijuana is not a smart public health or public safety strategy for any state or for our nation.
2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009).
4. MacCoun, R.J., & Reuter, P. (2001).
6. Dunstan, R. (1997). Gambling in California. California Research Bureau. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
7. Frey, J.H. Gambling on sports: Policy issues. Journal of Gambling Studies, 8(4), 351-360.
10. D'Souza, D.C., Sewell, R.A., & Ranganathan, M. (2009).
11. Bates, B. (2010, Feb). Teen cannabis use predicts depression. Clinical Psychiatry News, 38(2).
12. Boschert, S. (2010, Feb). Marijuana self-medication might prompt mood disorders, stress. Clinical Psychiatry News, 38(2).
Now onto the debate.
My oppponent has cited a source for his statistics of marijuana use decreasing,
yet on that same website I find numbers that contradict his.
"The use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010 according to a national
survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 22.6 million Americans 12 or older
(8.9-percent of the population) were current illicit drug users. The rate of use in 2010 was
similar to the rate in 2009 (8.7-percent), but remained above the 2008 rate (8- percent)."
This clearly discredits his statement, but I really didn't need discredit it since it has
absolutely no relevance.
The topic of this debate is not whether or not marijuana use is decreasing, it is the negatives
and positives of marijuana itself and I can only count this as a red herring.
Now my opponent holds the contention that marijuana is abused and that some people are depndent on it.
I ask him for a definition for the word abuse in the context he has used it and how the use of
marijuana follows this definition. I aslo ask that he tell me what it is these people are
dependent upon marijuana for, certainly not to feed an addiction right? Since marijuana has yet to
show any addictive qualities, besides those that can be attributed to anything which gives
a pleasant feeling.
As to a possible increase in marijuna usage after legalisation, I would like statistical evidence of
this using countries that have legalized marijuana (IE: Netherlands, etc...). I would also like reasoning
as to why this is bad.
You cannot compare gambling to marijuana in the context you are, for instance does the government
generally promote tobacco and alcohol use because they recieve tax from it? Oh wait, no they banned
advertising and public, for tobacco the definition of public is not quite as broad, use of both.
Isn't that weird?
You propose to compare the health risks of smoking and tobacco to the health risks of marijuana?
I ask that you show me information showing similar levels of health risk. I would also ask for
reasoning as to why legislation cannot be put in place to rescind health care in regards to health
problems related to things like marijuana.
But simply put the status of legal being bestowed upon tobacco and alcohol shows a seriously large
amount of hypocrisy in any legal system.
Now you are of course correct in that any new marijuna users would not necesarrily be adults, but let me ask
you something: Who is more likely to sell marijuana to someone under the age of 18 a person already
breaking the law by selling an illicit substance, or a shopkeeper who generally runs his buisness
according to the law and is always under the scrutiniy of said law via inspections and required permits?
Trust me, as a pot smoker I know how much easier it is to get pot when your under 18 then alcohol or cigaretts
because the guys selling it don't usually care how old you are.
Also, you make this statement "The costs of legalizing marijuana would not only be financial."
I'd like to know exactly what financial costs you forsee in the legalisation of marijuana, considering
estimates of the tax dollars that could be gained from this are in the high billions.
I'd also like to know what health risks, physical and mental as you mention, exist. To my knowledge
none exist beyond inhalation of carcinogens most of which are created in the chemical reaction of
combustion. These effect can easily be avoided by vapourising or ingesting rather then smoking.
Now, you've thrown out some statistics for what you claim is accidents caused by marijuana,
you also claim that legalisation will increase these amounts. First off I'd like to point out the
possibility of causation correlation fallacy, and that these statistics mean nothing.
Until it is conclusivly shown that marijuna effects motor skills and the such I will continue
to claim those results as fallacious. Secondly I'd like to see statistics from a country with
pot legalized that correlates with your claim of an increase in such incidents.
"Many people who want to legalize marijuana are passionate about their perception of the alleged
failures of policies aimed at reducing marijuana use but those legalization proponents
seldom—if ever—describe their own plan for taxing and regulating marijuana as a legal drug.
There is a reason for this imbalance; they cannot come up with a credible plan for
legalization that could deliver on their exaggerated claims for this new policy."
You do realise that the implications of this are that the netherlands does not have a similar policy,
when they do have exactly that. This also has absolutely nothing to do with my contention and is
just another red herring.
"Since legalization of marijuana for medical or general use would increase marijuana use rather than
reduce it and would lead to increased rates of addiction to marijuana among youth and adults"
Really, are you sure about that? Because the rate of teens who have tried marijuana in the netherlands
is 21%, and the rate in the U.S is more then double that at 45%. And the rate of adults who use it are
of similar standings 
Im really disappointed in the response you have given since it appears to not be an actual response to
me but merely a cut and pasted essay which talks about a fair few things which are completely irrelevant.
I ask that in any future debates we might have that you do not give me some cookie cutter respone that
you think is a beat-em all argument.
Marijuana is not justifiable because of the hypocrisy involved with alcohol and tobacco, the ethics of their legalisation is an entirely separate topic and should not have been raised for debate. Just as you say they justify lagalisation of marijuana I can say they display why it's so wrong what with liver and lung cancer being predominantly caused by overuse of alcohol and tobacco respectively.
As for marujiana not making one dependent on it; the following are scientifically proven effects of having mraijuana regularly:
So perhaps there are no 'withdrawal' symptoms when you stop for a while but there is a non-physical depdnency shown in a variety of ways.
I would like to quote a person on how pot/weed/marijuana destroyed their life:
"I am 26 years old and have been smoking weed for about 10 years now. I took almost 2 years off, but I basically smoke everyday if I have some. I have been married for almost 5 years and I have 2 children – a 4 month old boy and a 4 year old daughter. I have a very beautiful family and I want to stay with them forever. I have a good entry-level career (Microsoft Marketing) and we have a nice little house and nice cars, and lots of nice stuff. I guess you could say, on the surface, my life is as close to “perfect” as it gets.
My wife does not smoke pot (she never has) and she does not want me to smoke either. I smoked when we met, but after I quit (for 2 years) she admitted that it bothered her. I now smoke about 1 or 2 bowls per day from the pipe, at least 6 days a week, all without her knowledge. Actually, I’m sure she knows I smoke occassionally, but I don’t come forward and say “yeah, I smoke everyday at lunch and on my way home” or whatever. I can definitely say that smoking has affected me (and others close to me) in a negative way.
I have been bouncing from job to job over the last 4 years, very unsure of what I really want to do with my life. They have been good jobs that challenge me and pay well, but I haven’t really found my passion yet. I get headaches daily and have to take at least 3 to 4 Excedrin every day. My sinus passages are all screwed up and I have to use a nasal spray every day just to breathe normally (which I dilute with saline solution, to prevent any hardcore damage). I have trouble focusing and usually (unintentionally) tune out whoever is talking to me (wife, boss, daughter, friends, etc), and I usually forget the little details that make ALL the difference. I wake up late almost every morning and have to speed my bum off to get to work, and I get really stressed and can feel my heart racing. I usually show up at least 5 to 10 minutes late every day, which has caused my boss to pull me into a room and rip me apart. I have lost any muscle mass that I used to have and now I’m a 6’2” skinny, weak guy with a nice spare tire. I have chicken legs and puny arms, but my waistline is steadily growing from all the midnight munchies. I was hooked on energy drinks for a period of time (to combat the drowsiness that pot causes), but stopped drinking them after my heart began to “flutter” as I was trying to go to sleep each night. I used to be an honors student (even more advanced than honors for some subjects) before I started smoking. I did make the Dean’s List in college during the time I wasn’t smoking. I used to be a hardcore skateboarder, and my only addiction was skating. I gradually stopped skating when I started smoking pot."
Such agony in daily life I'm sure we agree should not be felt by anyone in particular. This shows why legalising it would only make people think it is more okay to use it and regret just as this man does.
I shall now quote another individual named 'John Nelton' (his username on the forum):
"I smoked marijuana from 15 - 19. I am now 23. At 15 and 16 I could probably count the number of times on my hands that I smoked. I wasn't even inhaling the stuff properly. I began to smoke more frequently at 17, and by 18 and 19 I smoked what I consider to be quite a bit of weed. It was nothing in comparison to my friends, but to me it was a lot. 2-3 days a week, multiple blunts a day for a good year long stretch at 18 and 19. Prior to that it would still probably be almost every weekend just not as much. Again out of my group of friends I probably did it the least. I also was affected the worst.
I would see people that smoke and could play sports, or do something active after. I could barely even function. I would be passing out all the time, usually could not get my thoughts out in words coherently..something would happen and 5 seconds later I would forget what everyone was just talking about. Before weed I had a photographic memory that I was known for. Weed completely destroyed that.
The main problem is how I feel on a day to day basis. At like 17 I remember I could feel a difference in myself, like I was getting lazier and started lacking desire to do things I would normally get off my bum and do no problem. This is when I was just starting to smoke more frequently, but not even that much, and not nearly as much as I did quantity wise at 18 and 19. In last couple years of my marijuana tenure I noticed this more. I never had energy. I was always extremely lazy, I always just needed to sit down and relax. I never had motivation anymore. I lacked desire to do anything at all. Whenever I did do something I would get tired out fast. When I was 14 and 15 I was always alert and active, I always wanted to do something and I was never tired all the time. Probably most importantly, I felt considerably slower and noticeably less intelligent and articulate. When forming sentences whether writing or speaking, words would always get mixed around in order.
A lot of things felt like they were on the tip of my tongue and I couldn't think clearly and smoothly. I felt like I had a much harder time processing information and learning about things. My ability to take in whatever it was I was trying to read or learn had diminished. I wasn't able to soak up knowledge the same way I was in the past. It's sad because when I was younger like from 13-15 I always felt pretty intelligent and advanced for my age. And it's like when I began to smoke more all intellectual progress I was making stopped, and if anything I went backwards. I also felt like my motor skills had diminished as well.
I quit at 19 years old hoping that my brain and body would reset. Well I'm 23 now and it hasn't. I still feel the negative affects from marijuana and don't feel like I have returned to my normal self pre marijuana use. I feel like my life is ruined. My abilities to complete tasks are just so inferior to the average persons. I have no work capacity and never have physical or mental energy. I really regret smoking marijuana, and I want to know if there's anything...anything I can possibly do to restore myself near how I used to be."
What does this have in common with the first source? Almost everything. There is a clear link between a person's use of marijuana and their laziness. clearly a government's reponsibility is to prevent a lazy nation. Thus we should not legalise marijuana.
Now my opponent claims marijuana is not justifiable because of the hypocricsy involved with alchohol and tobacco then mentions absolutely no hypocricsy.
He claims that some how the fact that tobacco and alchohol cause cancer some how makes it so they should be illegal and I say on what grounds.
A large portion of the things we use every day can cause cancer, either you have to admit causing cancer is not a reason to make something illegal or you must agree
to criminalizing sun light.
But do you know what reduces cancerous tumor growth? Marijuana.
"Stimulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors by 2-methyl-arachidonyl-2"-fluoro-ethylamide (Met-FAEA)
inhibits the growth of a rat thyroid cancer cell-derived tumor in athymic mice by
inhibiting the activity of the oncogene product p21ras."
Then he goes on to list some supposed symptoms for dependence, but what he doesn't mention is that the "diagnoses" of dependence is given if the subject feels all
of these in one year. I could accept this if they said a week, heck a month, but a year? This is an absurd time range as I could feel most of the symptoms for a
large portion of diseases and infections in a year.
My opponent also drops the abuse point so I can assume he has conceded it to me.
In fact my opponent drops most of his arguments and argues against almost none of mine.
What he does argue is that Pot makes people lazy, and his source for this?
Is it a doctor?
Is it a goverment website?
Is it any form of an accredited source?
Nope, its heresay from two people. Hardly enough for a test aproved by any reasonably authority.
But if heresay is enough, I have a friend who, along with his brother, train nearly every day to be UFC fighters and one of them works every week day as a construction worker.
This clearly shows a lack of laziness, so refutes his argument point for point.
My opponent seems to assert that goverment has a responsibility to prevent lazy people, but gives no reasoning for this. This fails due to lack of evidence.
For my opponent to win he will have to show that leaving this market in the hands of criminals will be a better choice then taking this precious resource from them.
He must show that the police forces can do a better job at removing this from the hands of criminals, then is possible for the goverment to do by making this a white
market allowing for big buisnesses to move in and undercut their prices. Con must show that it will cost more to legalize then shall be gained in taxing.
He will also have to give justification for any law to be in place. Any country with unjustified laws cannot claim they are just in their law.
Effect upon a users health, I find, is inviable unless one can preclude putting in place legislation
to remove any statefunding for treatments or other costs due to marijuana related illness, injury, or other harmful effect. And show that a user does not have the right to choose their state of health.
Con has show disregard for this debate, disregard for me, and flagrent plagerism of an entire argument.
Based on this I feel I deserve the conduct point.
I have soundly refuted Cons arguments and he has dropped a large portion of mine. Based on this I feel I deserve the argument point.
I leave it entirely up to the voters to decide spelling and sources as I have no experience in thouse areas of debate.
As my closing argument I would like to inform my opponent I wrote both of my rounds completely high and I shall assume that he is completely sober or we can show clear duplicity, I wrote out both my arguments my self and you plagarised the first one while the second consisted mostly of two copy and pasted life stories. I offer into evidence this against his claim that pot causes laziness.
Ladies and gentleman, I ask that you vote pro.
RationalMadman forfeited this round.
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