The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The US should legalize drugs.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 11/4/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 221 times Debate No: 96692
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)




This debate is the bronze medal match of Bsh1's individual debate tournament for his DDO Olympics. Coincidentally, fire_wings is also one of my opponents for the team debate tournament bronze match also. Hopefully I'll be able to shut him out of medal contention! ;) In all seriousness congratulations to my opponent for making it so far in both tournaments, he is an excellent debater and I look forward to the challenge.

Full text of resolution: The USFG should legalize consumption of all drugs for recreational purposes.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Constructive (No rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Case Defense/Closing Arguments

USFG- United States Federal Government
should- compelled to do something as it is the best path of action
legalize- to make legal
drugs- often illegal substance that can cause addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness
recreational purposes- essentially any reason


No new arguments in the final round.

No kritiks of the resolution.

No counterplans.

No trolling.

No semantics.

No forfeits.

If any of these rules are violated the offender loses the debate.

fire_wings must message or comment with any changes he wishes to make to rules, definitions, or structure of the debate. Once the debate is accepted by the contender, he waives all rights to add definitions, change structure, or any other aspects of this debate. Should he attempt to do so, do not weigh these ideas when voting.

BoP is shared, resolution must be looked at on balance.

If the contender so chooses, he can use the following structure, please just notify me:
Round 1: Con gives rules/Pro gives opening arguments
Round 2: Con's opening arguments/Pro rebuts Con's case
Round 3: Con rebuts Pro's case/Pro defense his case.
Round 4: Con defends case/Pro waives.


I accept.

We agreed that drugs will also have the definition of "something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness"
Debate Round No. 1


I. Intro
Thank you to my esteemed opponent, fire_wings, for accepting this challenge. I look forward to this debate!

I will work to uphold values of personal liberty, as well as pragmatic reasons as to why the United States should legalize drugs. I therefore propose that whichever debater best upholds liberty and wins on a cost-benefit analysis wins the debate.

II. Liberty
Individuals should be able to do whatever they choose so long as it does not directly harm other individuals. What a person chooses to do with his or her body is up to them. Consumption of drugs does not inherently lead to harm to others, so drugs should be legalized on this basis alone, as this should be a decision left to the individual. As British philosopher John Stuart Mill said "Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

III. Health
Users experience greater health risks under prohibition than not. If outlawed there are no regulations on it, meaning nothing to stop issues of potency, dirty needles, etc. As far as needles go, sharing is a very easy way to spread diseases. "In 2010, 8 percent of new HIV cases in the United States were attributed to IV drug use." [1] Furthermore, legalization allows users to feel safer in seeking out help with their addiction [2] which will make them more equipt to end their dependence. Other regulations as far as discriminating based on age and creating potency restrictions could also be created.

"Precisely because the drugs market is illegal, it cannot be regulated. Laws cannot discriminate between availability to children and adults. Governments cannot insist on minimum quality standards for cocaine; or warn asthma sufferers to avoid ecstasy; or demand that distributors take responsibility for the way their products are sold. With alcohol and tobacco, such restrictions are possible; with drugs, not. This increases the dangers to users, and especially to young or incompetent users. Illegality also puts a premium on selling strength: if each purchase is risky, then it makes sense to buy drugs in concentrated form. In the same way, Prohibition in the United States in the 1920s led to a fall in beer consumption but a rise in the drinking of hard liquor." [3]

IV. Economics
The government spends $85 billion on enforcing drug policy annually [1] this is $85 billion in taxpayer money annually that could be spent on better projects including but not limited to infrastructure, scientific discovery, and education (particularly education on the harms of drugs) that benefit the community as a whole more than drug policy would. Additionally, as is evident by the case study in Colorado, the government will be provided a surplus from the taxation of drugs that can also work toward these same goals for civic progress. It's been estimated that this tax revenue could amount to $46.7 billion. [2] Furthermore, basic economics lets us know that prohibiting a good does not eliminate the demand for that good. The still-existing demand is instead fulfilled by the black market [1] which brings me to...

V. Crime and The Drug War
As stated previously, the market for drugs still exists. Instead, it forces buyers to illegal sellers. This helps give rise to criminal empires that use drugs as their main source of income. These organizations then attempt to corrupt government via bribes, threats, and infiltration.

"Colombia is the most egregious example, but Mexico too wrestles with the threat to the police and political honesty. The attempt to kill illicit crops poisons land and people. Drug money helps to prop up vile regimes in Myanmar and Afghanistan." [3]

Legalization would work to take down these regimes. Instead of purchasing from drug-fueled criminal empires these same substances could be produced by legal entities, funneling profits away from the cartels, making them less powerful, and in turn less destructive.

VI. Crime and Prison
Put simply, the US incarcerates too many people, and too much of this is due to drug offenses.

"Since the war on drugs began under Nixon, and escalated with Reagan, our prison population has skyrocketed 500 percent. Today, we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, and nearly half a million people are in our prisons and jails for drug offenses, compared to under 50,000 in 1980." [2]

This figure constitutes roughly 1/4 of our prison population. [3] In addition to it being ridiculous that individuals are jailed for a decision they decide to make to their own bodies, this brings other unique harms, the first of which is prison crowding. Essentially, prisons are too full. Many are over 200% capacity, leading to atrocious conditions.

"Two of the appended pictures show gymnasiums filled with beds, prisoners standing around in the narrow corridors between them. The third picture shows two cages the size of telephone booths. California locked suicidal prisoners inside such cages when there were no available beds in mental health facilities. Kennedy's opinion referenced a prisoner who was "held in such a cage for nearly 24 hours, standing in a pool of his own urine, unresponsive and nearly catatonic."" [4]

This violates the 8th Amendment provision against cruel and unusual punishment. We must protect the rights of all inmates, and legalizing drug use would be an easy way to drastically reduce our prison population and in turn improve the life of all inmates.

Additionally, imprisonment (unsurprisingly) has negative effects on the individual and the family, particularly in minority families, who are targeted at disproportional rates. [3]

Once incarcerated, users' prospects and those of their families, already often limited, instantly decrease. For the most part, when these folks enter jail, they're marginalized --disproportionately people of color and the poor -- but not violent or dangerous. But after months or years in custody, they become socialized to prison norms, where aggression is an asset and violence commonplace. Someone whose only crime is using a drug does not necessarily have any criminal tendencies, but when they come out of prison and can't find a job because of their record, many turn to crime, the only occupation they've been taught in prison. Almost two-thirds will re-offend within three years, clearly indicating that our current form of punishment is not a deterrent.” [2]

Imprisonment ruins entire lives due to simply ingesting a mind-altering substance. This also has a negative externality on society as a whole, as we create criminals out of individuals who were doing no harm to anyone except themselves to begin with.

VII. Conclusion
Legalizing drugs would provide a plethora of benefits, making it a pragmatic policy option. It would also align with personal freedoms guaranteed to the citizens of the United States. Therefore, from both a moral and cost-benefit standpoint, it is clear that the United States should legalize drug use.

Thank you, now over to Con.

IX. Sources


I barely have time for this round. I copied one of my long time ago debates. I thank my opponent for making his argument.


Just to say, the resolution is about legalizing all drugs, and not just most drugs, all drugs and also for non-medical use. Legalizing all drugs is a very big disadvantage for Pro, because he has to say to legalize all kinds of drugs, not just few. If I say that we should ban drugs, make a good reason, and make the opponent not fill the BoP of the debate, then I win the debate. However, if my opponent fills the BoP, he wins the debate.

Just one more thing I want to say. I want some new arguments in the final round. That is it. Let's have a good debate.


I will first go onto my arguments, then I will go to my rebuttals of Pro's arguments.

1. Secondhand impact.

First of all, I will go in what are drugs.

Okay, now I will go into my actual arguments, which is the secondhand impact.

Okay, I will first give an example of one drug. The drug is nicotine, and this is from smoking. Okay, first of all, I will tell you whyniciotine causes secondhand effects. Okay, first of all, it is well-known that smoking causes secondhand impacts. People breathe in smoking, and then the bad air will go in human's bodies. Nicotine will make smoking addictive, so then there will be more secondhand impacts.

Okay, no it comes to my second reason for secondhand impacts. This shows that secondhand impacts are bad. 5.6 children in the US, died because of secondhand smoke, as related to the status quo. This is a lot of people, and is only children! That means, probably there will be a lot more secondhand smoke dead people who are adults. This rebuts Pro's liberty argument which was that the liberty on choices, as long as their are no people else. My argument rebuts Pro's argument which was about the liberty act of not harming anyone else. I rebut this by showing that there is secondhand impacts from smoking, and many other drugs. Marijuana is also another drug, and this is like smoking, so then, there will be a lot of secondhand impacts from this too. That all means these innocent people who don't use drugs, they are dying because of these drugs.

Pro will probably rebut that people don't get secondhand impact by some drugs. However the resolution says all drugs, and smoking's nicotine is also a drug. As I explained, there is lot's of bad pollution in smoking, which secondhand people will breathe into, making them harmed.

Okay, now it will come to my second argument, which is about cost.

2. Economy Fails

This argument will be very short, because there is not really lots to explain. My second argument is about the economic fails.

Okay, the economic failure is very huge if we legalize all drugs. Because of the many deaths from drugs, there is a lot of money wasted from the economy, because of less humans. The economy fails if we legalize drugs, so that means that we should ban drugs because the economy will fail pretty badly of we legalize drugs, because of the amount of people get less, need to pay healthcare bills. The economy fails, the country gets worse, and the government will have less money when you legalize drugs. There is one more reason why the economy fails. There will be less people because more dead by the health issues of drugs.

3. Health Issues

Okay, this is my last argument, which is about health issues.

Okay, I will go into few examples of what gets bad for your health.

1. Lung Cancer

This is probably the most important one for health issues. Your lungs seriously get harmed by drugs. All the bad chemicals and the things in drugs make your lungs bad. Smoking makes your lungs bad, as many of you know that the air when you smoke is all pollution, and you basically really breathe in a lot of pollution, making your lungs bad. Smoking is a drug, and so is marijuana. They both harm your lungs. Your lungs do a important job for you. Your lungs make you breathe. However, if you use drugs or smoke, use marijuana, you will have lung cancer.

What is lung cancer anyways? Lung Cancer is when your lungs are really in bad condition, and you can't breathe. How much this was in smoking? Between 2005-2010, there was 130659 amount of people dead by lung cancer, only smokers. By second-hand impact, however, there was 7330 people who had lung cancer in one year by secondhand impact by smoking. This is a lot of people who died by lung cancer. Your lung makes you breathe, and drugs cause your lungs to be worse, giving no good things to legalize drugs.

Is there just one drug? No! That means that there is way more people who died from lung cancer by other drugs. There is marijuana, and many other drugs in the whole world, not just one drug. This means that there will be a lot more drugs where you get lung cancer, and then you will have bad health, die from can't breathe.

2. Rotten Teeth

My next reason is that you can have rotten teeth. Your teeth is very important for when you eat. You swallow some food, then all your rotten teeth, some bad things will go in your stomach, making your stomach worse. Also, your teeth will become bad, your teeth might fall out, and you can't eat. Having your teeth being rotten is very bad. That is why you go to the dentist. However, the dentist costs a lot of money, and your teeth will hurt. This means that you should not use drugs or legalize them.

This shows you that there is bad effects by drugs. There are many more bad things like, nightmares, heart attacks, Insomnia. There is a lot of bad issues if you legalize or use drugs by health, meaning that you should not legalize these drugs for health reasons.


Because of the lack of characters, which is not even 100 characters left, I could not rebut all of Pro's arguments. I will rebut them next round. My main arguments are Secondhand impact, Economy Fails, and also Health Issues. We hate bad things for innocent people that involves deaths. Then make drugs illegal. Vote for Con.

Thank you. Rebuttal is the next round. Good luck!

Sources are here in my argument. Sorry for the inconvenience:

Vote for Con!!!
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks, fire_wings!

I. Re: Framework
I'll start with the framework real quick. It seems Con agrees with my cost-benefit analysis, and did not refute the idea of upholding personal liberty, so these both stand and will be used for this debate. As far as new arguments in the final round, this is a firm no. It was stated in the opening round rules that we will not have new arguments in the final round, and that as soon as Con accepts the debate he also accepts the rules. Therefore, no; new rules in the final round will not be accepted. If Con does so despite breaking the rules and my clarification, the rules state that he would lose the debate.

II. Re: Secondhand Impact
The first point is purely about tobacco and marijuana. Con cited no other sources providing research on smoking of other drugs. Therefore you must limit his argument to these two drugs.

A. Tobacco
As far as smoking goes, we have many things in our society that pose slight dangers. For example, if you were to want to minimize deaths from automobile accidents, the speed limit would be 5 MPH everywhere. We accept certain risks in life. If you don't buy this first argument, however, smoking is already legal and this wouldn't be changed. Smoking is non-unique to the Pro world, which means that this point is irrelevant. Con cannot claim this as a harm when it exists in both worlds. Furthermore, we have many things in our society that pose slight dangers. For example, if you were to want to minimize deaths from automobile accidents, the speed limit would be 5 MPH everywhere. We accept certain risks in life.

B. Marijuana
First note that Con's source was only one study that suggested this conclusion, not any sort of consensus. Second, realize that the effects on rats are not the same as the effects on humans and though this solitary study suggests that the short-term harms would translate to humans, this is not a guarantee. This is a weak argument. Next realize that marijuana would be used in public less than tobacco. Just as public intoxication is illegal, publicly being high would be too. Therefore, marijuana users would be using in their own homes (where being high would be more enjoyable anyway) and therefore exposure to second-hand smoke would be minimal, as others in the room would most likely either be doing so out of their own choosing or would be participating in use anyway. Public use of drugs would be illegal, mitigating all secondhand effects. Finally, the negative effects on the cardiovascular system cited in the study were temporary, not permanent. The harms from this are either close to or at zero at this point.

III. Re: Economy
This is false. Con provided no evidence for this claim (even in the other debate he linked) so we can't believe it when my constructive states the exact opposite. I proved that the government would save money by ending the drug war, would make money off tax revenue, and would save money on the prison costs once the population is cut drastically. Turn economy from a Con point to a Pro one.

IV. Re: Health
A. Lungs
Again, non-unique. Cross apply my statements against my opponent's second-hand effects point. Smoking exists regardless of whether we're examining Pro or Con world, so this argument is irrelevant. As far as marijuana use, there may be short-term cardiovascular issues but unless Con proves that the respiration issues and cancer are also applicable to marijuana, his "lungs" harms are irrelevant.

B. Teeth
Non-unique once again. Creates no offense for Con.

With regard to health as a whole, both of these are harms to the user. If we uphold personal liberty, the user should be able to harm his or her body as he or she pleases, and these are all harms to the body of the individual. Even if Con argues addiction here, we can see that the first usage is the choice of the individual, addiction merely compels him or her to continue. They were not addicted before first use. Furthermore, addiction would be more likely to be treated if usage was legal, as per evidence in my constructive. Cross apply this here.

V. Conclusion
Literally the only unique offense Con provided was second hand marijuana smoke, which I clearly refuted by showing that being high in public would not be tolerated. Therefore Con has no ground in this debate while I still have outlined clear moral, economic, health, drug-war related, and prison-related benefits. For all of these reasons I encourage a vote for Pro. Thank you, now back to fire_wings!


We are gonna make a new debate very quickly. Sorry bsh, but please accept this situation, and we'll finish our debate no time. Don't vote
Debate Round No. 3


Do not vote on this debate.

fire_wings please wait to post your last round until we get the new debate set up, then post the link to that one in here so anyone who has gotten this far can easily maneuver to the other one!


Okay, I waited
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by warren42 3 weeks ago
Your call
Posted by fire_wings 3 weeks ago
That could work too, but we need to do it quickly.
Posted by warren42 3 weeks ago
How do you want to go about this then? Just do it when you get back, work on it while you're gone and post when you get back, or let the forfeit glitch take over? If we do forfeit glitch we could just copy-paste our rounds from here into the new debate.
Posted by fire_wings 3 weeks ago
I'm gone for two days, so when I come back itll be around 3 hours left. Im on my phone so i have sucky grammar.
Posted by warren42 3 weeks ago
Will you be able to do so before the end of the time period?
Posted by fire_wings 3 weeks ago
Warren, I'm in Nantes, so I can't post my argument
Posted by fire_wings 1 month ago
Posted by bsh1 1 month ago
Fire, please accept the debate soon.
No votes have been placed for this debate.