The Instigator
Therearenogods
Pro (for)
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The Contender
SocialTeacher
Con (against)
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The UK Government should legalise use of cannabis both recreationally and medically

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 241 times Debate No: 83349
Debate Rounds (4)
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Therearenogods

Pro

The UK government recently released an official disclosed response after debating the topic of cannabis legalisation in the houses of parliament. The debate came after a people's petition calling for the plant's legalisation received way over 100,000 signatures, 100,000 being the minimum number required for it to be debated in parliament. The response read as follows:

"Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health. There are no plans to legalise cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities." For the full response https://petition.parliament.uk...

It is clear the government is running out of tripe to feed the uneducated masses when they fail to address any real points or issues; alcohol or death rates were not mentioned once in the response. The facts, on the whole, are overwhelmingly on the side of those of us who want to see this plant legalised in the UK.

The fact alcohol is legal - and most likely consumed regular by most, if not all, of those who took part in this debate in the houses of parliament - is one of the most hypocritical, disgraceful injustices when we consider that cannabis is NOT legal. In the UK, alcohol related deaths stood at 8,664 in 2009, and went up to 8,790 in 2010. In other countries like the USA, deaths caused by alcohol are as high as 80,000 per annum, roughly 20,000 of those being attributes directly to overdose. Cannabis, on the other hand, has never been the cause of a single death in all of recorded human history, and physical overdose is literally impossible.

Alcohol has been linked very strongly with many health issues including liver disease, cancer, brain damage, strokes and Cardiomyopathy just to name a few. It's potential benefits are very limited, consisting mostly of the fact that it can help reduce stress by aiding relaxation. Cannabis, though, aids relaxation itself, and no scientific evidence has ever directly linked the use of the cannabis plant with any cancers (any possible cancer coming after excessive cannabis smoking being a result of the carcinogens produced by the combustion process, not the actual cannabis plant itself). The only drawbacks of cannabis use related to health with any evidence behind them are related to mental health, and most of them are along the lines of younger people who used cannabis more often in their youth being more likely to develop mental disorders in later life. Correlation is not causation, and there are MANY other factors that can cause mental problems in later life in these young people. The very fact that the government makes criminals of those who use cannabis automatically puts these youths in situations where they are surrounded by other crime and, most likely, other, much more harmful substances, which are most likely the genuine causes of their problems later in life. That argument, then, is very unsatisfactory.

The use of cannabis has many benefits, which is more than can be said for other substances that remain legal like alcohol and tobacco. These benefits include the ability of cannabis to increase appetite, which can help people with eating disorders; the ability of cannabis to reduce tumours and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in the body; the ability of cannabis to massively reduce pain in sufferers of multiple sclerosis and other painful conditions; and the ability of cannabis to aid sleep, which is useful for insomniacs and others troubled by things like anxiety and other mental problems. All of this comes, with no hangover, with cannabis' immediate effects being totally positive. Cannabis users simply experience feelings of happiness, euphoria, relaxation, giddiness and hunger; polar opposite to the often aggressive behaviour of those intoxicated by alcohol use. It makes no sense, then, to actually prevent people from using this plant. As a recreational substance it is safer and less crime-encouraging than alcohol, and as a medicinal plant its benefits are scientifically proven. It is absolutely immoral and hypocritical to ban this plant while keeping much worse substances like alcohol and tobacco completely legal.

I am not saying alcohol and tobacco should be made illegal. My point is that, just as we do with alcohol and tobacco, we should be grown-up about the issue of cannabis and simply let people use it IF THEY WISH, whilst continuing to encourage and educate people based on health and moderation. This doesn't mean give loads of kids weed; just as we wouldn't let our little children get drunk, it would make sense to have some form of regulation on the plant's use, but banning it totally it absolutely ridiculous and the government should be ashamed of themselves, not only for denying simple pleasurable experience to recreational users who do not want to be labelled as criminals, but also for denying the factual benefits of the plant for those suffering with bodily illnesses.
SocialTeacher

Con

You're not totally wrong guy. But, to my mind, the law HAVE TO make a difference between alcohol or tabocco and drugs. Socially, it's true that it makes a lot of problems (we'll see it after). But, the access to cannabis is decreased by his non-legalisation. Can you just imagine what it will happen if cannabis is legalized ? I've some ideas. This product have some harmful properties : like the FACT that we get fast addicted to and that we can't stop without a serious medical assistant. Well, now, can you imagine the huge trade we can make with it, even without the people already addicted ? Do you think that nobody will try to win some money with this opportunity ? I don't think so. We gonna speak a bit about economic problems now. If any countries legalize cannabis , it means that they take responsabilities( even if the UK government pays for helping addicted people, it's still a non-legalized product). Well, the increase of consumption and the promise of the country to "pay more", do you think that it will not be a problem ? Finally, the BIG social problem. Some children, or even growwn-up, are more touched with regard to other people. You've all understood : I speak about suburbs problem. Yes, the odds that a suburb habitant smoke cannabis are bigger than for a village habitant for example. But, that's not place to really explain, and it's a bit controversial( I just want to say that it has been proved :) ). So, that 's something anoysing for the egality, don't you agree ? That's about it I will debate in my next post.
Debate Round No. 1
Therearenogods

Pro

Therearenogods forfeited this round.
SocialTeacher

Con

SocialTeacher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Therearenogods

Pro

I'd just like to apologise for missing the last round; I forgot about the debate and didn't receive reminders because my email account was playing up - sorry!

About the so-called 'FACT' that cannabis is highly addictive, and the idea that because of this it should not be made legal in the UK, the 1988 US surgeon general studied the effects of tobacco on the body and concluded that it was highly addictive, and The large majority of people who try marijuana do it experimentally and never become addicted. It is estimated that 32% of tobacco users will become addicted, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users, and 15% of alcohol users. Cocaine and heroin are more physically harmful and nicotine is much more addictive. It is much harder to quit smoking cigarettes than it is to quit smoking pot. The UK is one of the top ten in the world for alcohol consumption per head of population and alcohol abuse is clearly escalating. The Office for National Statistics reported in November 2006 that the alcohol related death rate in the UK doubled from 4,144 deaths in 1991 to 8,386 deaths in 2005. When we consider the actual effects of alcohol and tobacco on the body, even if cannabis were addictive - addiction rates and addiction rates per user are much more than alcohol and tobacco - would it not be much better to have people addicted to a much less harmful and even medically beneficial substance rather than alcohol and tobacco? If we legally allow people to take the risk of addiction to these drugs, it is only fair to say we should also allow people to take the much smaller risk of becoming addicted to a substance much better for them. I would also be very interested to see some scientific research demonstrating how cannabis is even physically addictive to the body in the way other drugs are. It's possible to get addicted to fast food, and that's much worse for you long term than cannabis, yet we all accept that it doesn't mean we should actually outlaw fast food or punish people for using it; the same should apply for cannabis.

I don't really understand your points about social problems concerning cannabis, as we can all easily observe the very timid and rather positive effects cannabis has on people in social situations. Cannabis use has a directly negative inverse relationship with violence and aggression, and most high people are just relaxed, happy, giggling balls of love that wouldn't harm a fly. Have you ever seen anybody high on cannabis and nothing else commit a violent crime?
The only social stigma attached to cannabis use in society is that it is associated with low-lifes, bums and chavs. It is associated more with the criminal population among society only because those people are already criminals and are the only people that obtain cannabis. If it was legal and the stigma of being a terrible human and a criminal was not attached to cannabis use, then its positive effects on society and people would become much more clear. I think the unfair labelling of harmless pot users as good for nothing criminals is what makes them criminals in other ways in the first place; they are shunned by society and turn to other crimes.

Basically, if we would just accept the facts and evidence about cannabis' actual effects on the body, we would soon see that it is childish and unreasonable to actually punish people for using it and forbid them from using it.

References:

http://www.drug-aware.com...

http://www.alternet.org...'_concerns_answered_and_refuted
SocialTeacher

Con

SocialTeacher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Therearenogods

Pro

I feel that, in order to win the debate, the opponent would need to give good evidence and explanation that cannabis is harmful enough, both to the body of the individual user and to society as a whole, to be banned and for those who use it to be punished for doing so. By simply investigating the immediate and long-term effects of the cannabis plant on the body, analysing typical behaviours observed in users, and then comparing with other substances, it's easy to conclude that it makes no sense to forbid people from using this rather healthy substance if they want to, and just encouraging moderation and healthy use.
SocialTeacher

Con

SocialTeacher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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