The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Should marijuana be legalized?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/23/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,731 times Debate No: 32808
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




This debate topic will be on whether or not cannabis for consenting adults should be made legal.

I will be arguing the pro side while my opponent will be arguing against it.



Cannabis use is not unhealthy:

Not one university or or medical facility has ever recorded a single death directly attributed to marijuana. Tobacco on the other hand has an average of 443,000 deaths a year, and alcohol has an average of 80,000 deaths a year. Both drugs however are legal.

In order to get a lethal dose of delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, you would have to smoke around 15,000 joints in 20 minutes.

Marijuana does not kill brain cells. In fact recent studies show that marijuana actually stimulate brain cell growth.

Smoking can be harmful because of the properties of smoke, not as a result of anything in the cannabis plant. However it does not need to be smoked, it can be inhaled through a vaporizer.


Marijuana is not addictive.

While it's true true that there are more teenagers and kids in treatment for marijuana than all the other drugs combined. What the DEA never tells you is why that's true. A kid is caught possessing or smoking marijuana, he's taken to court, he's given a choice, either some horrible penalty or going to a treatment center, obviously he's going to choose the treatment, and goes to treatment then he's considered an addict. Only 3% of the people in treatment for marijuana addiction are there voluntarily, the other 97% are forced to go there. It provides no basis for speaking about addiction. There are absolutely no addictive properties in marijuana.


Marijuana is not a gateway drug.

Only 1 out of every 104 marijuana users use cocaine and less than 1 use heroin.

The problem is that the black market fused the dealers of "soft drugs" together with the dealers of "hard drugs". For example, you have a dealer that deals in marijuana along with dozens of other drugs such as LSD and the dealer asks you if you want to try something stronger. So in that sense because of the black market, because of prohibition people might be more likely to see these other drugs and try these other drugs. So what you see is there is a gateway effect but it's caused by prohibition. It however is very small if you look at the statistics I cited above.


Hemp is very useful.

Hemp is the most robust durable natural soft fiber. Up until 1883 and for thousands of years before, hemp was the largest agricultural crop in the world. It had thousands of uses and products. We can even make fuel from hemp that can power diesel engines by using filtered hemp oil, which is a lot more environmentally friendly. With hemp we would no longer need to cut down trees for paper.


Legalizing cannabis for recreational use will stop a lot of violent crime.

The violent crime that there is surrounding marijuana is only because of the black market. In a regulated market there would be no violent crime surrounding the drug.


It will aid the economy.

Legalizing cannabis means there will be more jobs, much more business and a lot of tax revenue.

We currently spend over 7,000,000,000 annually to fund marijuana prohibition in the United States. Legalization would help fix budget problems.


Let me begin by thanking you for putting up this debate:
Debates over drugs are highly politicized, with much rhetoric and few facts but i would like to set the record straight; I am not interested in defending the old draconian laws against cannabis, or the false claims of past decades.What I will do is present what I think is a convincing case against the use of Marijuana hence present a convincing case against it's legalization.

I don't bang the drums with what you said with marijuana not being unhealthy.If you Look straight there is reason to be
concerned about it's long-term effects on the brain.According to Dr Smith Lann users of marijuana frequently report problems with short-term memory, both while using and between uses. Short-term memory is the most fragile brain function, and this spontaneous observation tells me that something real is happening. The mental aftereffects of a pot high are measurable, and are commensurate with the aftereffects of a drunken debauch (Psychopharmacology 115: 340, 1994).

*it's clear that using cannabis does alter the molecular structure of the brain and again it's clear that marijuana smoking does impair a user's ability to drive a car safely hence i still put my soul on the cross and say "Marijuana

Cannabis promotes single-minded focusing of attention, and this is seldom on other people. A user may become pleasantly engrossed in a candle flame, but will not make a real friend or practice a skill. The drug makes its users markedly less sociable when they are high. Now, there's a time for introversion and introspection, but a marijuana high is not meditation or serious reflection. The people whom you select as friends tend to be those who share common activities, and a marijuana smoker is likely to end up with a circle of friends who are less interested in interacting with one another.

In peroration i will encourage you mate to do more research on the effects of Marijuana on the brain because you got it totaly wrong.
Debate Round No. 1


I apologize for my late response. and let me begin by thanking you for accepting the debate.

My opponent mentions a study done by Dr.Smith Lann. I however can't find anything about this study online. Please provide me with a link to the study. Furthermore a study done by Dr. Xia Zhang at the University Of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon Canada shows that cannabis use stimulates brain cell growth and improves learning memory.

My opponent also says "it's clear that using cannabis does alter the molecular structure of the brain" he however has not given any evidence that this is the case.

My opponent then says that "Cannabis promotes single-minded focusing of attention, and this is seldom on other people. A user may become pleasantly engrossed in a candle flame, but will not make a real friend or practice a skill. The drug makes its users markedly less sociable when they are high. Now, there's a time for introversion and introspection, but a marijuana high is not meditation or serious reflection. The people whom you select as friends tend to be those who share common activities, and a marijuana smoker is likely to end up with a circle of friends who are less interested in interacting with one another." however once again he has failed to backup his argument with facts.


I would like you to bear with me merely for the common sense that i may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but My scope is not just to pull the blanket towards the coast but to present as much facts as possible backed up with verifiable evidence but since you failed to identify those facts in my first arguement you have failed not only me but everyone following this argumentation.

Offcourse there are reasons why one would want marijuana to be legalized e.g
1.Liberty-people deserve freedom to use marijuana
2.Cost-keeping Marijuana illegal is expensive
3.Failure-prohibition doesn't help
4.religious reasons

And as verifiebly evident below the reasons against the legalization of marijuana outstands reasons for hence why i still say "Marijuana should not be legalized"

1.Marijuana continues to be identified by Congress and the DEA as a Schedule 1 drug. sechedule 1 drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use in treatment and lack of accepted safety for use.

2.The 2006 FDA finding verifies the fact that marijuana causes harm,The normalization,expanded use and increased availability of marijuana in our communities are detrimental to our youth, to public health and safety of our society.

3.The active component of cannabis(Tetrahydrocannabinol), when administered for five days or more,is now known to greatly increase the number of cannabinol receptors and to alter their chemical binding characteristics.

4.According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse
"Taking cannabis produces a mild euphoria,often enhances the appetite and libido and causes the user to focus on simple things ,long and attentively, one at a time.
Debate Round No. 2


You mention that the DEA identifies cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. However who said that just because the DEA said this then it has to be right? The requirements for a drug to be considered a schedule 1 is for there to be a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision, The drug or other substance must have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and The drug or other substance must have a high potential for abuse. Cannabis fails to meet this criteria for many reasons. First of all, there are many accepted medical uses for cannabis such as treating Glaucoma, using it as a pain reliever, treating Spasticity in multiple sclerosis, treating Alzheimer's disease, treating breast cancer, treating HIV/Aids, controlling ALS symptoms, and even treating opioid dependence. Second there is not a high potential for abuse of cannabis. Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of NIDA ranked the relative addictiveness of 6 substances (cannabis, caffeine, cocaine, alcohol, heroin and nicotine). Cannabis ranked least addictive, with caffeine the second least addictive and nicotine the most addictive. A study done by epidemiologist James Anthony on more than 8,000 people between the ages of 15 and 64 showed that only 9% of marijuana users will become dependent. Most regular users will not be addicted to the drug. Third, marijuana is not unhealthy. Please provide proof that it is.

You mention that cannabis is detrimental to our youth. However the fact that it is illegal and the fact that there is a black market for it is what makes it so easy for youth to get it. If it were legalized and regulated in a similar way as alcohol. However while I currently believe that marijuana should not be sold to children due to the fact that there is little research done on the effects it has, if more research were done on the effects it has on people below the age of 18 then I would be willing to consider legalization for those below that age.

I also want to add that even if the stuff you say about the negative effects of cannabis were true, which they are not, there is no point in not allowing farmers to grow hemp to make useful things such as gasoline since you can't get high from industrial hemp.


Contrary to the common believe(or mental disease) that marijuana is not addictive"Marijuana is addictive!"with reference to term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including irritability,anxiety and drug craving-all of which can make it difficult to remain abstinent-so your argument that marijuana is not addictive is just fallacious,deceptive and meant to corrupt our brains.

You also say that the fact that marijuana is illegal makes it easy for youths to get it, that makes not less but no sense because people know very well that everybody found in possession of marijuana will have to face the law so people are so cautious and sellers of marijuana also have their potential customers which makes it hard for beginners to acquire it.

A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and mental illness,High doses of marijuana can produce a temporary psychotic reaction(involving paranomia and hallucinations) in some users.

Marijuana raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking,an effect which can last up to 3 hours and further more Studies have also shown that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug-this maybe due to increased heart rate i have talked about.

Marijuana over activates the endocannabiod system,causing the high and other effects that users experience which means that marijuana alters the normal body operations. Ref:
Marijuana use during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of neurobehavioural problems in babies;This is because compounds in marijuana mimic the body's own cannabinoid-like chemicals

You say that marijuana should not be sold to children yet if it was to be legalized measures would have to be put in place to make sure that children have no access to the drug, a thing that would be even more costly than keeping marijuana illegal.

Marijuana smoke is irritant to the lungs and frequent users experience the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers e.g daily cough and phlegm production.

In a research that was part of a large-scale study of health and development conducted in New Zealand. Researchers administered IQ tests to over 1,000 individuals at age 13 (born in 1972 and 1973) and assessed their patterns of cannabis use at several points as they aged. Participants were again tested for IQ at age 38, and their two scores were compared as a function of their marijuana use. The results were striking: Participants who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a significant drop in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38"an average of 8 points for those who met criteria for cannabis dependence. (For context, a loss of 8 IQ points could drop a person of average intelligence into the lowest third of the intelligence range.)

Other studies have shown a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment. A recent report in Brain, for example, reveals neural-connectivity impairment in some brain regions following prolonged cannabis use initiated in adolescence or young adulthood.

In August 2012, The Glaucoma Foundation warned patients against medical marijuana, stating that "medical experts believe that marijuana could actually prove harmful for glaucoma patients."

Glaucoma is often cited by medical marijuana advocates because THC can lower the pressure inside the eye. But medical experts now say that marijuana could actually prove harmful for glaucoma patients:

In Montana, 90 percent of medical marijuana card holders are on the registry because of "chronic pain", not for a serious medical illness. Less than 3 percent have cancer, AIDS or glaucoma. Chronic pain cannot be adequately diagnosed in the minute-long meetings with a pot doc that are the norm in medical marijuana states. Real chronic pain doctors do not recommend marijuana use. so marijuana should not be legalized,thank you!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JanetPlanet 4 years ago
I hate marijuana. I think it"s gross. But that"s just my personal opinion and doesn"t affect my thoughts on whether it should be legalized or not. In a lot of ways, it makes sense to legalize it.

And as soon as it"s legalized, immediate safeguards would have to be put in place. I don"t want someone high on marijuana to accidentally aim a 4,000 pound weapon (automobile) at an innocent pedestrian.

The argument that marijuana is not unhealthy is silly. The argument that it"s not addictive is ridiculous. That being said, I"m totally fine with you endangering your life, just don"t endanger mine while you"re high. :-)
Posted by davidw 4 years ago
What difference does it make if marijuana is slightly dangerous?

Marijuana is probably one of the safest things you can do. It's safer than alcohol, smoking (of course). It's safer than eating red meat, or taking to much aspirin, or driving a car. It's safer than eating a candy bar. It's better than eating a McDonald's hamburger. It's probably better than most of the manufactured food products they sell at your typical grocery store.

I don't think they have shown much medical benefits of it with controlled studies, but there are some studies that find beneficial effects, and many case by case results that show strong positive results. Even if these are placebo effects, if they are positive, then great. If cancer patients say it makes them feel better so they can eat more, then why not?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ProudBlackVoter 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: for con
Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro slightly had the edge in arguments. Both sides did a poor job regarding sources. If Con had backed up more of his assertions, he would have probably won.