The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The US should legalize all drugs

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/20/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 628 times Debate No: 79925
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (26)
Votes (1)




Round 1 : Acceptance

Round 2: Arguments (no rebuttals)

Round 3: Rebuttals



I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


C1) Paternalism is bad

The government should not tell us what to do with our own bodies when we do something that harms no one else. Drugs would fall into this category.

C2) Criminal networks

According to Seth Jones of RAND Corporation, the Taliban gets 70-80% of their funding from the heroine trade. If drugs were legalized, US agrobusiness would be able to compete the Taliban out of business, meaning we would nearly instantly win the War in Afghanistan by denying the Taliban most of their funding. In addition, the Council on Foreign Relations points out that our drug demand fuels most of Mexico's cartels and much of the violence that spills across our borders. If we bought all our drugs from American companies, Mexican cartels would all go out of business.

C3) Makes the government money

We'd save about $15 billion a year by ending the useless war on drugs. In addition, we'd gain about $30 billion a year by taxing drugs, although it could be significantly more, since we can progressively raise taxes (as we've done with cigarettes). The Global Commission on Drug Policy points out, ""The global war on drugs has failed . . . prohibition has failed in tackling global consumption of drugs, and has instead led to the creation of black markets and criminal networks that resort to violence and corruption in order to carry out their business. This drug-related violence now threatens the institutional stability of entire nations."

C4) Decriminalization decreases drug use

When we treat drugs as a matter of public health, not criminal justice, people feel less stigmatized and feel better about seeking help. This is why a Cato Institute study of Portugal's decriminalization policies shows decreases in drug usage and safer drug use over time.


1. Drugs are bad for you

This is answered by paternalism. Cigarettes and alcohol are also bad, but we are allowed to make these decisions for ourselves. In fact, alcohol is more likely to affect others than any other drug (drunk driving).

2. Drugs hurt others

No, they really don't, except that when we hurt ourselves, we hurt those who care for us. But this still doesn't justify paternalism, unless you believe loved ones should make all your decisions for you just because your decisions tangentially affect them.



I am going to focus on one drug right now, that is very life threatening, and should never be legalized, it's heroin. A study conducted by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention showed that heroin related deaths have skyrocketed over the past 5 years. In 2013, 8,200 American"s died from Heroin overdoses. Recently there has been a lot of controversy on a program the White House has recently passed to combat the rise in Heroin deaths. As told by CNN News, the plan will focus on tracing the sources of Heroin, and will also prioritize treatment of addiction over punishment for users. To fund this, it will take 2.5 million dollars. That"s where the controversy comes in. A problem that many see, as stated by former congressman, Patrick Kennedy, is that it needs much more funding, so why put towards the money when there is more financial commitment needed, much more than the White House is providing. My response to that is any amount of money put towards the program, will help in several ways. This program not only works towards stopping trafficking of heroin, it also gives help to those struggling with addiction, which is much needed, in my opinion, and in the opinion of others. Yet there is the opposing side that claims addiction is a choice. My argue against that is simple, addiction isn"t a choice, research shows that. It has been proven in many studies. A study done by Dr. Brad Lander, a clinical director of addiction psychiatry, found that addiction is a chronic disease. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is now known to be a chronic and progressive brain disease that attacks and damages key parts of the limbic system and cerebral cortex, which in turn results in compulsive cravings, obsessive seekings, and irrational over-use despite harmful and often devastating consequences. Addiction is considered a brain disease because alcohol and drugs literally change the brain chemically, structurally and functionally. While it"s true that for most people the initial decision to partake of alcohol or drugs is voluntary, over time these substances literally change numerous aspects of the brain to the point where the individual cannot stop using or drinking even if the desire to do so is high. As was just stated, by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a real thing, and is a disease. Getting help to those that have addictions, such as a heroin addiction is something I feel very strongly about, because it"s something I've seen first hand. In 2013 I lost my sister to a heroin overdose, and I got to see a glimpse of how hard it is to overcome a heroin addiction. As I saw my sister struggle with her addiction, I gained a lot of knowledge, when it comes to addiction, and gained so much love and compassion for those struggling with one. Addiction is something people can"t fully understand unless they have struggled with one, or have seen first hand someone they know and love struggling with one. I may not have a full understanding of it, but seeing my sister struggle with one really showed me how hard it is to overcome a heroin addiction, let alone any other addiction. Legalizing drugs would put so many people at risk.
Debate Round No. 2


Jeff Deeney, a former drug addict who now works as a social worker, wrote a piece in the Atlantic that calls for treating heroin like a health issue, not a criminal act. Out of the 1.5 million people arrested for drug crimes in 2012, 82 percent were for possession, and 16.5 percent of those were for cocaine, heroin, or associated drugs. Did those arrests do anyone any good? At least 100 million people in the US have done marijuana, while the number of frequent heroin users has stayed under half a million for decades. This can hardly be classified as an addiction.

POLITICO magazine ran a fascinating piece by Jason Edward Harrington, a writer who worked for years as a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) agent at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. Harrington, who blogged anonymously during the last six months of his stint, reveals some nasty details about life in the TSA, including the staggeringly low morale, the fact that the agents themselves think that much of what they do is bunk, and that they also fear radiation from the full-body scanners. He also writes that passengers from certain nations are profiled—you know which ones—and that agents pay special attention to attractive passengers and mock the ugly ones. The whole thing is well worth a read, and quite disturbing. If police have admitted to profiling then isn't it for the best that drugs become legal. Of course there would be warning like there are for cigarrettes.

My opponent has provided many very specific facts but has failed to provide any sources. This means that there statistics could be false. I could say anything and make up random facts and dates without sources to prove that your statsitics are reliable it makes it very hard to trust your argument (not that I don't trust you).

“Research Shows Oreos Are Just As Addictive As Drugs,” says the headline above a recent Connecticut College press release. “…in Lab Rats,” it adds, and I’ll get to that part later. But first note that the study’s findings could just as truthfully be summarized this way: “Drugs Are No More Addictive Than Oreos.” The specific drugs included in the study were cocaine and morphine, which is what heroin becomes immediately after injection. So the headline also could have been: “Research Shows That Heroin and Cocaine Are No More Addictive Than Oreos.” Putting it that way would have raised some interesting questions about the purportedly irresistible power of these drugs, which supposedly justifies using force to stop people from consuming them. But the researchers are not interested in casting doubt on the empirical basis for the War on Drugs; instead they are trying to build an empirical basis for the War on Fat.

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” [neuroscientist Joseph] Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”…

“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food,” said [neuroscience major] Jamie Honohan. “We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses.”…

“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat/ high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” she said.

Unlike my opponent I will provide sources to back up my arguments



There's the sources, didn't share them because I assume most people know this stuff, it's something people should know if they keep up with the new and such.

Addictions should be treated like a health issue, not a crime, so thank you for stating that. I agree with that 100%. So you agree it is a health problem, you obviously just hated that. So should we not treat cancer, it's a Health problem. People don't decide to have cancer, and we try everything to get rid of it. It should be the same for addiction, and the biggest step is not legalizing drugs.
Addiction is hurting many people, the number is much bigger then you realize, but you don't seem to look at the bigger picture. Since drugs have become more popular, the crime rate has gone up, a lot.
Not to mention all the sites you used are .com, not always reliable sources.
Obviously you haven't seen addiction first hand, or else you'd have a better understanding of it. Your logic on the Oreo stuff makes me laugh. More people have died from drugs, then they have Oreos, so your "logic" from that doesn't phase me at all.
Debate Round No. 3
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 5 months ago
btw whiteflame, Balacafa's opening case was plagiarized from bluesteel
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
Vote by "TheQuestionMark" (vote for Pro) has been disqualified and removed.

Posted by Meghannelson 1 year ago
I talked about the danger of addiction in and of itself, and I also talked about the crime rates.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
Name 1 other point that didn't link to heroin.
Posted by Meghannelson 1 year ago
I'm talking about the first round, and they were all different points that you failed to argue.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
(arguments in the final round don't count because I couldn't have responded to them because I didn't have a round)
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
They all linked to the same thing!
Posted by Meghannelson 1 year ago
I made 4 different points actually.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
You only had 1!
Posted by Meghannelson 1 year ago
While your at it, check to see if you responded to all of my points, you avoided all of them but 1.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: "Addictions should be treated like a health issue, not a crime, so thank you for stating that. I agree with that 100%." That's a concession. If addiction shouldn't be treated as a crime, then why should taking drugs be treated as a criminal offense? Con seems to have lost track of her argument, which was that addiction is what makes drugs criminal, and the reason why they should remain illegal. Admitting that addiction shouldn't be treated as a crime concedes her biggest point, and she already conceded all of the benefits Pro states in his opening round. Taking all of that into account, Pro easily takes down this debate.