The Instigator
Starskii
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
debatability
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

The Legalization of LSD

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
debatability
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,264 times Debate No: 56635
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (9)

 

Starskii

Pro

So, what is LSD? First off the acronym LSD stands for Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. It is a semi-synthesized hallucinogen derived from the ergot plant. It produces a wide variety of effects from vivid visual hallucinations to amplified moods and an intense feeling of unity. Tests were conducted when the drug was first brought to the public to determine the safety of using this drug and they found it to be extremely hard to overdose on and it had almost no lasting effect on your body. LSD should be legal because it has very few effects on the individuals body, it doesn't pose much threat to others around the user, and it is non-addictive.

Have you ever heard of a Acid addict? No? That's because it ISN'T addictive. As of 2007 more than 22.7 million persons aged 12 or older reported they had used LSD in their lifetime (9.1 percent); however, fewer than 620,000 had used the drug in the past year. There was no change between 2006 and 2007 in the number of past-year initiates of LSD. [1] These statistics suggest that most who had tried the drug did not get addicted. It is pretty safe to assume that the 620,000 that still use, have been recently introduced to the drugs psychedelic qualities.

LSD is safer than any current legal drug. There is only one incident resulting in overdose on record. In 1972 in San Francisco eight people snorted milligrams of the drug which depending on the dose (which is currently unknown) but is most likely over 20 times the recommended dose. However it is hard to say whether they were truly overdosing or not since they all left the hospital and were completely fine 12 hours later. [2] It is also important to note that thousands participated in testing in the 60s and all of them came out unscathed. [3] Not only that but a series of notable celebrities have done LSD including: Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Chris Farley, Fat Boy Slim, Doc Ellis, Jerry Garcia, Bill Hicks, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, John Belushi, Kevin Smith, Eminem, Jack Nicholson, Cary Grant, Matt Groening, Angelina Jolie, Jim Morrison, Francis Crick, Aldous Huxley, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. [4]

Now, I know that some of those examples weren't super impressive, but I would like to highlight a few. Ray Charles was a blind musician, LSD influenced his music in a way no other drug could. For all we know his music wouldn't have been the same without it. Steve Jobs & Bill Gates! Are you serious?! Two of the most influential people in IT! Francis Crick, he discovered the double helix (a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis, especially that in the structure of the DNA molecule).

I know what you're gonna say. "LSD poses a risk to those around the users because the user may go and drive!" Yes, that may happen. But it already happens on an equally debilitating drug: Alcohol. How do we know that any more or less people will be driving intoxicated than the current amount?

Also LSD has medical uses. It can be used to treat cluster headaches, alcoholism, end of death anxiety and drug addiction. [5]

So, bring it on! :P

1: http://drugabuse.gov...

2: http://www.erowid.org...

3: http://en.wikipedia.org...

4: http://coed.com...

5: http://www.qualityhealth.com... && http://www.huffingtonpost.com... && http://en.wikipedia.org...
debatability

Con

Thanks starskii for instigating!! I look forward to a great debate.

My Arguments

Effects on the user:
The first thing I would like to point out is that LSD trips last around 12 hours (1). That means that if the user has a very negative experience, or a "bad trip" it is going to last a substantial amount of time.
Long Term
My source explains, "A flashback can occur days, weeks, months and even years after LSD drug abuse stops. And even only experimentation can result in acid flashbacks. These flashbacks come on suddenly, and usually have no warning (2)." Even if the user has a positive experiences, flashbacks have a possibility of being an issue. If a user stops using LSD, flashbacks may not necessarily go away because as the evidence noted, flashbacks can take place over a year since the drug has been taken. They can occur at any point in time, even when an individual (who previously used acid) is driving, or doing something else of an important nature. "In some individuals, the flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD) (1)." In extreme cases... "LSD users may manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression (3)."
Short Term
Drugabuse.gov notes, "Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD (1)." This terrifying experience is not only miserable for the user, but it can compel the user to engage in harmful behavior. If the trip is especially bad, the user can be sent to the hospital. "Under the influence of LSD, the ability to make sensible judgments and see common dangers is impaired, making the user susceptible to personal injury, which can be fatal(3)."

Effects on those around the user:
Even when not on the drug: Look to what I said about the flashbacks. Flashbacks come completely unexpectedly, and they can often be negative experiences. Even if a user of LSD is smart enough not to go driving while on the drug, they could run into an unexpected flashback while driving/doing something important as I mentioned above.
Peer pressure: Legalization will undoubtedly make LSD much easier for kids to obtain. 63% of kids who smoke cigarettes note that it isn't hard to find someone to buy the drug for them (4). The same thing can happen with LSD. LSD is more of a party drug, so the probability of teens being exposed to it at a party atmosphere around other individuals who are doing it is high. LSD may not be psychically addictive, but psychological effects are harmful enough. It would be simple for an adolescent to follow along with peer pressure and other things teens are not equipped to handle. We all know how that goes, "take this because everyone else is."

Opponent's Arguments

LSD is not addictive: I would agree that LSD is not physically addictive; however, it can be mentally addictive. Many people use various hallucinogens to such as LSD continually to escape reality. Also, users of LSD build up tolerance over time, so the need for a continual higher dosage can become an issue (5). High tolerance for LSD can translate into high tolerance for various other hallucinogens such as PCP and Ecstasy.

Safety: My opponent explains that it is impossible to overdose, and that nobody has ever died from LSD. This may be true, but note that my opponent is only taking into consideration the lack of deaths from overdosing on LSD. LSD is a powerful drug; it would be hard to estimate the amount or self harm/harm done to others done during a bad trip.
My opponent then goes on to name some influential people in society who have used LSD and been just fine. This is a logical fallacy called appeal to authority. Just because a figure of authority uses LSD, doesn't mean LSD should actually be legal. There is absolutely no way to prove that LSD was exactly what promoted these people to do great things, so this point falls.

Alcohol comparison: My opponent says that alcohol is an equally debilitating drug. Firstly, this is completely untrue. An acid trip lasts around 8 to 12 hours, whereas alcohol intoxication lasts only a couple hours. I will note that driving on LSD is not a major issue because it happens rarely; however, as I said earlier, flashbacks can occur while driving causing major issues for the driver/those around the driver.

Medical usage: This argument has nothing to do with the legalization of recreational LSD. If LSD really had medical benefits, medical LSD might be a good idea. Cluster headaches can actually be cured by ergotamine (from the ergot plant) rather than LSD itself (6). Those who struggle with alcoholism/end of death anxiety probably shouldn't take LSD because they are more likely to have a negative state of mind, causing them to have a bad trip. I don't usually attack sources but my opponent got his last source from Wikipedia. The wikipedia page notes that the article has poorly sourced content. Thus, it cannot be looked to as a reliable source.

(1) http://www.drugabuse.gov...
(2) http://www.lsdaddiction.us...
(3) http://www.nhtsa.gov...
(4) http://www.tobaccofreekids.org...
(5) http://www.drug-addiction-support.org...
(6) http://www.mayoclinic.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Starskii

Pro

Starskii forfeited this round.
debatability

Con

Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
Starskii

Pro

Starskii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Starskii

Pro

Starskii forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Starskii

Pro

Thank you for the debate, this was my first so you have taught me a lot. I admire my opponents skill in identifying logical fallacies, and successfully poking holes in the pitfalls of my argument.

I look forward to a debate in the future, perhaps a rematch on the subject of the drug war in general or any other issue.

Thanks again for the intelligent and informative response, apologies for my newbiness in formal debate. Next time I won't be such a newb ;)
debatability

Con

Thanks, Starskii for posting something the last round. And thanks to anyone who votes on this debate.
Vote con!!
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by debatability 2 years ago
debatability
shout out to this debate for *literally* having a 200 day voting period
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Ajabi 2 years ago
Ajabi
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Con because Pro could not argue to the point that I felt was needed to justify the legalization of a psychedelic. I should give Conduct to Con for the forfeits, however since Pro did honorably concede, apologize, and be polite I feel s/he deserves Conduct. Happy to clarify this rfd.
Vote Placed by Dennybug 2 years ago
Dennybug
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con gets conduct because of the full forfeiture made by Pro. Con also gets arguments because her original rebuttals were more convincing and were a lot more solid than Pro's original arguments.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 2 years ago
Daltonian
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture, though I'll give the point to Pro for being such a good sport. I was also more convinced by Con's original rebuttals. Con used more reliable sources (slightly), hers being from renowned organizations.
Vote Placed by Lerch 2 years ago
Lerch
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I certainly think that the argument for the decriminalization/legalization of drugs is better than the argument to continue prohibition, but this specific debate was won by Con. I invite debatability to a similar debate in the future. Feel free to send me a challenge, if you find yourself in favor of the idea.
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
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Reasons for voting decision: In spite of the forfeits, pro's politeness in the final round IMO puts this into the realm of concession.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
StarskiidebatabilityTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff