The Instigator
TheFreeThinker
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
That.Guy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The US Federal Government should legalize the manufacturing, sale and possession of all drugs.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
TheFreeThinker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/4/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,336 times Debate No: 16872
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

TheFreeThinker

Pro

The concept is simple: I believe that legalizing drugs will be beneficial to society as a whole.

If you are against drug legalization, accept the debate!

You can post your opening arguments in the first round if you wish, since I feel this will be a hard fought debate and we'll need a lot of space ;)
That.Guy

Con

I am excited for a good debate

Drug Legalization, while it may be a good idea in concept, has many drawbacks. There's the obvious, like increase in drug related crimes, but the less thought of things, like increases in immigration. It can negatively effect society as a whole a lot more than it can benefit it.
Crimes:
Drugs have been blamed for a lot of crime, and there are statistics to back it(1). People who use drugs are 16 times more likely to commit theft. They are also 10 times more likely to commit non-aggravated assault. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 78.7 arrested males tested positive for drugs, and in New York, New York, 82.1 percent of arrested females tested positive for drugs. Those are massive numbers already, and those numbers would skyrocket if drugs were legalized.
Illegal immigration:
Illegal immigration is one of the largest topics in America right now, and a major cause of illegal immigration is drug sales. (2) While I'm not saying that all illegal immigrants are drug dealers, they do have a sizable chunk, a chunk that would rise if drugs became legalized in America. Already, on a yearly basis, an estimated 11.6 million pounds of cocaine are brought into the country by illegal immigrants(2). If it got legalized, then that number could double or triple, with still no money going to the US (via taxes).
Drugs and Driving:
Drugs are a large problem when driving. In a 2007 poll, 12 percent of seniors admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana(3). And in another recent study, driving ability was negatively affected by drugs in a "dose-dependent fashion"(3). Once again, these rates will skyrocket if drugs are legalized.

There are many more reasons that legalizing drugs would be bad. I may not even be able to list them all during this debate.

I await your response

Sources
_______________________________
(1)http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov...
(2)http://www.nccivitas.org...
(3)http://www.drugabuse.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
TheFreeThinker

Pro

I would like my opponent for accepting the debate.


My opponent opens the debate by arguing with drug related crimes, arguing that "People who use drugs are 16 times more likely to commit theft. They are also 10 times more likely to commit non-aggravated assault."


The Bureau of Justice Statistic Website though lists following data:

17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. [1]

My opponent argues that legalizing drugs would increase if drugs were legalized. I not only disagree with this point but will also show that the overallcrime rate would decrease following legalization.

Since drug-related crimes are committed in order to get money to buy drugs, we can argue that the higher the price of drugs, the bigger the extent of drug-related crimes. Legalizing drugs would allow free production and competition between manufacturers and retailers, and no need to smuggle the drugs across borders, which would reduce the price and arguably the impact of drug related crimes.

Furthermore, drug-related crimes make up only a portion of crimes that involve drugs.
As is shown by the very same source that my opponent listed, drug-related offonses refer to:"Offenses to which a drug's pharmacologic effects contribute; offenses motivated by the user's need for money to support continued use; and offenses connected to drug distribution itself."

However, there are also drug-defined offenses, which are defined by the same source as "Violations of laws prohibiting or regulating the possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs"

"According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, of the 2.2 million Americans that are currently incarcerated, 21.2 percent of them are non-violent drug offenders"[2] which means that we are currently keeping over 466,000 people in prison for simply possessing, using, distributing or manufacturing drugs.

If we were to legalize and control drugs, we wouldn't have almost half a million people in prison for "crimes" that are not violent in nature and do not directly harm other people, which would drastically decrease the overall crime rate.

In his next point my opponent cites illegal immigration and argues that it "would rise if drugs became legalized in America".

This argument is of course non sensical and my opponent has not brought one single piece of evidence that supports this theory.

On the contrary though, if drugs were to be legalized, regulated and taxed, legal entities such as corporation would be able to take over every step from production to distribution and sale. Having legal drugs in the United States would cut the drug cartels off, as people who want to buy them would not have to go to drug dealers but could legally buy them in stores, which would create domestic jobs and further decrease the demand for illegal immigrants.

In his last point, my opponent argues with Drugs and Driving.

This is again in my opinion a very bad argument, because legalizing drugs would not include legalizing under driving under the influence.
Driving while intoxicated would still be illegal and punishable by law.
We know that a lot of other things are dangerous while driving, for example being drunk and texting or using a telephone without speaker, which is illegal and punishable by law.

Nobody however would argue that banning alcohol and cell phones is the appropriate solution to limit drunk driving and texting and driving.

Finally, there is the cost point. Today we are not only spending huge amount of tax money to keep non-violent drug defined offenders in prison, we are also spending billions in the so-called war on drugs, which by the way has not being successful in stopping the afflux of drugs, and losing billions in potential tax revenues that we would be able to raise by taxing legal drug sales.

Furthermore, people should have the right to decide for themselves what the want to do with their bodies.

It is not the government's business to tell free citizens what they can or cannot smoke, drink or inhale.



[1]http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov...
[2]http://www.scccampusnews.com...

That.Guy

Con

My opponents first point is that crime rate would go down if drugs were legalized, pointing out that "17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs". But, of all the inmates in prison for drug offenses, only 27% are in there on simple drug possession charges(1). That leaves another 73% of individuals arrested on drug crimes other than possession, use, distribution or manufacturing charges. Those mostly include violent crimes, because of psychological effects on the brain by drugs. And that rate would skyrocket if drugs went mainstream.

My opponent also argue that drugs would no longer be smuggled across the border because of a lack of need. But, with the free sale of it, drug lords will still likely want into it.

I cannot cite any sources about the rise of illegal immigration in America due to drug legalization because it is a theoretical situation that can only be proven with tests. And these tests would be a waste to attempt to perform as it would require the legalization of all drugs. I would also like to note that the drug cartels could treat the American sales as a standard business.

And the fact that we have domestic jobs has never stopped illegal immigration. It actually would increase it.

My opponent states that legalizing drugs would not legalize DUI, which I agree with. But, there are many cases of drunk driving. Since alcohol is legal, people drink it. And people drive drunk largely because their common sense is distorted(2). And drugs also tend to distort common sense. And drug legalization would greatly increase drug use, which would lead to an increase in drugged driving

And, the government should regulate what their people put into their body due to economic and social reasons. Among these reason's includes the negative effects on students(3), the negative effects in the workplace(3)(Which would lead to economic problems), and the bad impression it would likely leave on our allies, as many are against drug legalization.
Sources
___________________________________
(1)http://www.justice.gov...
(2)http://alphastore.org...
(3)http://www.med.unc.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
TheFreeThinker

Pro

I would thank my opponent for posting his argument in a timely manner.

My opponent argues that, contrary as I have stated, that crime would not go down if drugs were legalized.

His argument however has many fallacies, and he claims that "of all the inmates in prison for drug offenses, only 27% are in there on simple drug possession charges(1). That leaves another 73% of individuals arrested on drug crimes other than possession, use, distribution or manufacturing charges."

This is simply not true, and easily verifiable on the very same source that my opponent provided. Even though only 27% of offenses were for simple drug possession, it does not mean that the remaining 73% were violent offenses.

The source my opponent provided for his argument clearly states that: "in our state prisons, it’s ... about 27% of drug offenders. In New York, which has received criticism from some because of its tough Rockefeller drug laws, it is estimated that 97% of drug felons sentenced to prison were charged with sale or intent to sell, not simply possession."

Sale or intent to sell are not violent crimes.

Furthermore, my opponent claims that drugs are responsible for those "violent crimes, because of psychological effects on the brain ... And that rate would skyrocket if drugs went mainstream."

This assumption is somehow baseless. Most violent crimes are not committed by drug users, especially in the case of light drugs such as Marijuana, but by cartels and dealers, and unlike alcohol, drugs such as Marijuana and Cocaine are not proven to make people more violent.

My opponent then admits that his assumption that illegal immigration would increase as a result of drugs legalization has no factual base whatsoever and adds that "it is a theoretical situation that can only be proven with tests. And these tests would be a waste to attempt to perform as it would require the legalization of all drugs."

If this point cannot be proven, or at least articulated by providing sources, this point remains pure speculation and has no value whatsoever in this debate.

My opponent then writes that "I would also like to note that the drug cartels could treat the American sales as a standard business."

This doesn't make any sense. If drugs were legalized, the recreational drugs industry would come out of the shadow and do business in public, with no need of the cartels of smuggling drugs across the souther border.
I don't know about anybody else, but if I want a bottle of whiskey, I go to the store to buy it, I don't try to get it from some smuggler that has connections with the Mob in Chicago, because after the end of the prohibition, it is not necessary anymore.

My opponent's next point is that legalizing drugs would increase drugs consumption, and therefore DUIs.

This is again, simply not true. In the U.S., 42 percent of surveyed said they had used marijuana and 16 percent had tried cocaine, according to the study published in the journal of the Public Library of Science. In the Netherlands, where people can go to cafes to smoke marijuana, 20 percent have tried that drug and 1.9 percent sampled cocaine. [1]

Even though drugs are illegal in the US, they can be easily purchased by pretty much anyone. Every person who goes to a big college or lives in a big city will have probably have already experienced how easy it is to get drugs.

The idea that the war on drugs is actually preventing anybody who wants to to buy drugs, is ridiculous.

My opponent closes his argument by writing that "the government should regulate what their people put into their body due to economic and social reasons."

I believe that this belief in the right of the government to mingle in the private lives of the people is very disturbing.
Neither school or work performance nor economic or health problems are the government's business.
Free people aught to be able to choose for themselves if they want to be productive or not and if they want to use recreational drugs or not.

More than 300,000 americans died in 2003 for obesity-related reasons [2]. Should the government ban fast food because of this?
Of course not, every person knows the risks involved with using drugs or having a poor diet, and it is up to them, not the government, to take these risks or not.

Furthermore, my opponent has completely ignored the financial burden that the current policies put on the american taxpayer.

Every year, we spend some 44,000,000,000 $ - this is forty-four Billion dollars - fighting the war on drugs, while legalizing and taxing drugs, could provide some 33,000,000,000 $ in tax revenue.

If we look at the amount of drugs consumed in the US each year we quickly realize that we are wasting a whopping 77,000,000,000 $ every year because of our failed drug laws.

Prohibitionism is not working, is not making us safer, is not making us freer, is not saving us money.

It is time to legalize drugs!

VOTE PRO!

[1]http://www.bloomberg.com...
[2]http://www.surgeongeneral.gov...



That.Guy

Con

Due to time constraints, I must forfeit this debate
Debate Round No. 3
TheFreeThinker

Pro

Since my opponent needed to forfeit the round out of time constraint, I will wait for his rebuttals in the last round and reserve the right to post a closing argument in the comment section.
That.Guy

Con

That.Guy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by That.Guy 6 years ago
That.Guy
I stated earlier that I had to forfiet because I left for a week
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
TheFreeThinkerThat.GuyTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
TheFreeThinkerThat.GuyTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: A weak debate, but Con forfeited and left arguments. Because the illegal drug trade is gang-operated, dealing s certainly a violent crime, or at least very heavily violence-influenced by violence. Drugs were legal until around 1900; the historical experience should be referenced in such debates.
Vote Placed by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
TheFreeThinkerThat.GuyTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfiet, but also better argument.