The Instigator
jcostello14
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Gibby97
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Should the recreational use of marijuana be legal in the US?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Gibby97
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 486 times Debate No: 77004
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

jcostello14

Con

First round is to accept the challenge and state your position. I will be arguing that marijuana should not be legalized in the U.S for recreational purposes. My opponent, gibby97, will be arguing for recreational legalization.
Gibby97

Pro

I accept. I will be arguing that Marijuana should be legalized in all fifty states in the U.S. Best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
jcostello14

Con

We can examine the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado, where it has been available for medical use since 2001 and completely legal since 2014. After legalization, the amount of children sent to the ER for marijuana-related accidents or poisonings doubled. Teens were also arrested for possessing the drug while in school, leading to an increase in the number of arrests for underage consumption. The number of fatal car accidents involving marijuana also increased.

A common argument for legalization is that it would decrease prison populations of inmates incarcerated for drug possession. A study showed that only .3% of state inmates had been imprisoned for such a small crime as possessing marijuana.

https://learnaboutsam.org...
http://nrfocus.org...
Gibby97

Pro

First I thank my opponent for offering me this chance to partake in this debate. Also before I begin my argument let the record show I do not use marijuana and I support its legalization from an economic standpoint.
To point out Colorado legalized marijuana from a popular vote in 2012 with a 55% percentage of approval. Colorado is a state that is flourished under the legalization of the narcotic. Colorado has been able to bring in revenue from the taxes placed on marijuana. A quote taken exactly from the Colorado Dept of Revenue (sourced below) "Total marijuana tax revenue includes the 2.9% retail and medical marijuana sales tax, 10% retail marijuana special sales tax, 15% marijuana excise tax, and retail/medical marijuana application and license fees." Marijuana has a 10% state sales tax and the taxes on the drug brought in additional $10.6 Million in state revenue during the Month of April 2015 (also courtesy of the Dept of Revenue).
In its first year of legalization, Colorado brought in $53 Million in tax revenue. Be legalizing marijuana, states and the federal government could use the additional money to reduce deficits and improve areas in need throughout the nation.

http://ballotpedia.org...
https://www.colorado.gov...
https://www.colorado.gov...
http://money.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 2
jcostello14

Con

While you are correct in stating that legalization would give states more tax revenue, this would not solve the issue of the black market. Consumers would still turn to illegal sources to get marijuana without having to pay taxes on it, and the unregulated product would be more potent and therefore more dangerous to the individual's health. Any tax benefits would also be minimal, as we can see by using data on tobacco from 2010: while $200 billion was spent on tobacco, it only brought in $25 billion in taxes for the government.

As I stated earlier, legalization would also lead to an increase in consumption, addictions, and drug-related accidents. Wider availability, even if only legally for adults, would mean that the drug would spread to minors, as has happened with alcohol. Teens who regularly use marijuana have higher risks of heart disease and heart attacks, and lose an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and 38 (from a 2014 Duke University study). Areas of the brain that control emotion also develop abnormally, and there is no evidence that these abnormalities reverse once the user quits smoking marijuana.

http://www.cnbc.com...
http://time.com...
Gibby97

Pro

Thank you for your argument. To rebut your point, black markets and the illegal sale of marijuana would be effected by its legalization. Drug smuggling is very similar to Prohibition nearly 100 years before. Organized crime would gain power in the 1920's after the U.S. deemed alcohol illegal. As a result of Prohibition, organized crime would profit from bootlegging and illegally selling and manufacturing alcohol. If the United States were to legalize marijuana there would be no need for a black market on marijuana.
Marijuana also possesses many health benefits that could help those with illnesses with its legalization. Marijuana can used to treat anything from migraines to treat and lessen severity of diseases. With its legalization it could also use benefits for medicinal purposes in additional to recreational purposes.

http://www.thefinertimes.com...
http://www.philly.com...
Debate Round No. 3
jcostello14

Con

You are correct in saying that marijuana has several health benefits and could help individuals coping with various diseases or ailments. If marijuana is being used for a medical purpose, I have no problem with it as it should be treated like any other pharmaceutical drug. However there is a difference between that and using it recreationally. Even medical marijuana should be regulated to reduce some of the negative effects of its availability that I have already mentioned. In this scenario there would be essentially no difference between someone smoking marijuana to get high and someone else taking prescription pills for the same purpose. Both would be using the drug outside its intended purpose as a medicine. This is why there should be a clear distinction between using marijuana for medicinal purposes and using it recreationally. It should be treated like any other drug.

Any economical benefits to legalization would be outweighed by the damage that this drug would do to the workforce, including memory loss and other issues that would negatively impact work.

Thank you for participating in this debate.

http://www.usnews.com...
Gibby97

Pro

I do agree that marijuana will be abused and overused by some. However it with any legalized drug: alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, there will be people that overuse that narcotic. Our society has learned to evolve and adjust to the legalization of drugs and alcohol. Marijuana legalization would be ideal from the economic standpoint of our nation. In a Nation in which our economy is shaky, the tax revenue from marijuana could be enough to turn red states to states operating in the black. I appreciate participating in this debate. I hope that many people will view, comment and vote on this debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheConman 2 years ago
TheConman
Arguing about more drugs huh Gibby??
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
jcostello14Gibby97Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Debaters could've done more to compare and assess the relative strength of their points as opposed to their opponents. I buy that the black market would be reduced but not eliminated by legalization (people will still seek untaxed product). I buy that there is a clear tax benefit to legalization, and I buy that recreational consumption is harmful (reduces IQ, access by minors, etc.). The stats on these issues were clear and not meaningfully contested. The discussion of medical marijuana was also clearly not topical--recreational =/= medical. So, I'm asked to assess health harms as compared to tax gains. Debaters don't give me a real way to weigh the round, so I have to establish some criterion by which to do this. Pro points out that governments often choose economic benefits over harms to health (tobacco, alcohol, etc.). If distributing those products is okay, then I don't really see a reason why marijuana is any different. Thus, I vote Pro.