Should the recreational use of marijuana be legal in the US?
Debate Rounds (4)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
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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.
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