The Instigator
Rinaldanator
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
wingnut2280
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

The War On Drugs. Destroyer of your liberty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,089 times Debate No: 501
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (10)

 

Rinaldanator

Pro

To put it as simply as I possibly can in a free country you should be able to do what you believe is right to you body provided you do not hurt anybody else. That is the essence of freedom. To ponder this topic you must first ask this very important question; "Who owns your body".
wingnut2280

Con

I am having trouble identifying your stance here. I'll state some generalities to kind of get it going, but if you could clarify in your next round, that would be great.

Your arguement seems to be that drugs should be legalized. The reason is that it violates our freedoms because using drugs only harm the user. Your opening claim seems that it doesn't violate our liberties if use of drugs harms others. Then, you argue, it is OK for the government to take that privilege away.

I agree on the first part. You should be able to do what you want to your own body. I believe, in a free country, each person should "own" themselves. However, neither of these are sufficient to warrant the legalization of drugs. It is the last part of your claim that is problematic. The widespread, accepted, and legal use of drugs DOES hurt people other than the user. If your argument is just for "softcore" drugs then other arguments may apply better. The general use of drugs is BAD for society in general and particularly those closely affiliated to the user.

Again, I am not clear on your position, or what I am trying to refute, but at the least drugs harm more than the user. Thanks and I urge you to clarify.
Debate Round No. 1
Rinaldanator

Pro

First let me say I'm sorry like I commented down below I new to this website so it werid to just put my postion out in the open. My postion is that all drugs should be 100% legal

Well when I was talking about hurting people I was talking more along the lines of beating them or damaging thier property things along that nature. Just because somebody is feeling bad for them self because lets say their cousin is doing herion is not a reason to make something illegal. And if your going along that line of thinking alchol should be illegal as well as world of warcraft (to the extreme of course) just because somebody may get addicted to something and hurt themselfs by doing and inderctly huring their friends and family as I have said is not a reason to make something illegal.
wingnut2280

Con

So, going into this last round, your argument is contingent on this idea that drugs don't hurt people other than the user. Therefore, if I can prove that drugs hurt other people, than we should protect those who are harmed and keep drugs illegal.

To elaborate, you claim that as long as it doesn't directly and substantially hurt other people, I should have the right to do what I want. I agree. However, drugs definately hurt other people. There are some drugs where this is not as true as others (weed vs. meth), but since you advocate ALL drugs, we can lump them together.

You argue that the only harm drugs cause people other than the users is grief. However, drug users are lazier, less responsible and more susceptible to crime. According to the National Drug Threat Assessment (http://www.usdoj.gov...) drug users cost America over $180 billion dollars. Imagine how this number would sky rocket with the increase of use after legalization. This proves that the health of drug users isn't just a problem for the user. They become a burden on the economy, as they are sicker and less effective as members of society, claiming welfare and health benefits, as well as other costs. Also, the number of stories we have heard of drug addicts stealing or prostituting themselves in order to buy drugs and feed their addiction proves this as well.

As for your claim about alcohol and WoW. I don't need to prove that alcohol should be legal as well, just that drugs should be illegal. Whether or not alcohol and video games have these effects isn't relevant to the debate. However, you DO make the claim that "just because somebody may get addicted to something and hurt themselfs by doing and inderctly huring their friends and family as I have said is not a reason to make something illegal". First, this is blatantly false. If someone's actions hurt someone else, legitimately, then they shouldn't be able to do it. You argue this in your first round. Second, as I have shown above, the harm of drug users on others is incredibly substantial and direct.

The reason drugs should not be legal is because drug users have a direct and devastating effect on society. If drugs were a purely personal choice, they should be legal. But, the drastic effects drugs have on non-users make them a communal issue and the illegalization of them legitimate.
Debate Round No. 2
Rinaldanator

Pro

Well the biggest problem with your argument is we don't protect people when we make something illegal if anything it makes it worse for the user and their family. If there is a demand there is going to be a supply and right now the supply is met by thugs dealing it harmfully.

First let me say I'm sure that those specs are correct but I don't trust what the government has to say on there policy and how bad it will be after words. And you must understand one thing I'm not talking about legalizing drugs I'm taking about relegalizing drugs we go back in time before probation when aspirin had heroin in it and wines had coke in it as well as coca cola actually having cocaine in it. And you know we were pretty good off and our economy was alot stabler than it is today. Now you talk about welfare and health programs than an entire other debatable topic there weather the government should runs those or not. When you think about drug addicts and stealing that the entire fault of it being illegal the black market having control of it. Them wanting their products to be as addicting as possible so making it more and more pure as well as making entire new harmful drugs like crack and meth. I'm not going to say that if we legalized drugs that the crime revolving around drug use would go away, but let me say when is the last time you heard about somebody knocking over a 7-11 to buy a case of bud light or a bottle of aspirin.

Yes you are correct in saying that "If someone's actions hurt someone else, legitimately, then they shouldn't be able to do it." but the biggest problem with your reasoning is they don't directly hurt people we could go on and on weather they do or not but the question is where is the line draw. First we make drugs illegal because they can hurt the people you are associated with, then we make alchol and tobacco illegal because it does the same thing and so on. Its a very slippery slope when dealing with goverenmnt if they can do one they can do the other.

And drugs are legal because of the out dated thinking in washingtion by people who think they know better for me.
wingnut2280

Con

First, let me just reitterate our previous agreement. If drug use substantially hurts people other than the user, drugs should be illegal. We have agreed on this point throughout the debate. Somehow, this debate has shifted into historical context. I don't know how, but I'll roll with it as I can prove my point on both pretexts.

First, you argue that the reason drugs are so bad is that they are illegal.

This is obviously not true. Whether or not drugs are legal doesn't change their effects. Yes, illegality has made seedy drug dealers the source for drugs, but they are still harmful to your health, that can not be argued. Since they are harmful to your health, those stats I gave you earlier, about how much drug dealers cost society still hold weight. I'm not trying to debate whether or not the government should have control over welfare. The fact is that they do. Subsequently, this means that drug users cost taxpayers money because of their 'personal choice'. A LOT of money, actually.

Just in case we don't believe the DOJ and their figures, drugs have other effects outside of the economic ones. Regardless of how drugs are dealt, they are addictive. The reason Coke used coke is because of its addictive nature. This addiction breeds crime, not the illegal nature of drugs. People don't knock over 7-11's for aspirin because they do not have an uncontrollable urge to take tylenol. They do, however, commit crimes or other immoral and unsocietal behaviors because of their drug use. Whether the drugs themselves are legal or not, the ramifications they have on the users outward behavior is obvious.

You claim that drugs have gotten really bad because they are illegal and these terrible people have control of the drug market. Let me point out you admit later in your round that "I'm not going to say that if we legalized drugs that the crime revolving around drug use would go away". This is an obvious reason not to legalize, or go back and keep drugs legal. If legalization doesn't stop the crimes associated with drugs, why should we make/keep drugs legal and breed more users? That would just breed more crime. Also, what suggests that government sanctioned drugs would be OK, or less harmful?

You claim that illegality has made drugs the monster that it is. This is historically inaccurate. The fact is, new drugs are invented because people want a better high. Take LSD as a historical example. It was invented/discovered and remained legal for a period during the late sixties. The government banned it because of its extremely dangerous nature and its effects on society as a whole. If legal drugs wouldn't have negative effects, why were all drugs that once were legal having negative effects? Drugs were legal at one point, but society still felt the negative effects and banned them. This works contrary to your belief that if drugs were legal, there would be no ill effects.

If I buy the argument that our government is running some kind of anti-drug conspiracy, why is it that over 40 other nations, including the UN, have also banned the same drugs? Why is it that drug users do in fact have bad health and do get sick? Why is it that science and the culture itself proves drugs are addictive? Why do drugs ACTUALLY create criminals? Why are all of the bad effects of drugs obvious without the evil drug underworld and the tyrannical government?

Next, you tell me that our economy was better when drugs were legal. I don't see any reason to 1) see why our economy was better 2) how, even if that is true, drugs get any of the credit 3) how the widespread/legal use you advocate would have made this the case.

A legitimate question you seem to pose is your slippery slope argument. This "when do we stop denying rights in the name of protecting other people?" argument. This argument is a classic, but really only applies to contreversial issues. Drugs have SUCH a harmful effect, not only on the users, but on society and others, that it makes the choice to ban them obvious. Also, there is no risk here, drugs are already banned. Even in your historical scenario, banning drugs is not a rights violation because of the drastic and evident harm it does to other people. As we agreed before "If someone's actions hurt someone else, legitimately, then they shouldn't be able to do it.". I don't need to defend the legalization of other things, just prove that drugs should be illegal. The illegalization of drugs would only cause other substances that have as drastic effects on society to become illegal and based on the logic we have presented, that would be legitimate as well.

In sum, the debate is based on this notion that if our actions legitimately hurt others, we shouldn't be allowed to perform those actions. This point is agreed throughout the debate. My burden is to prove that drug use, legal or illegal, harms non-users. Whether or not drugs are sold safely doesn't change the harmful effects they have. The users bad health is a burden on society evidenced by the DOJ evidence which states that drug users costs the nation $180 BILLION a year. This number would only skyrocket with legalization (now or back then), as we would see any increase (probably a big one) in the number of users. Despite their own health effects, it has been agreed that drugs breed crime. However much is irrelevant (again, probably a lot) as our government can not regulate a trade that festers unsocietal and criminal behavior. The legality of drugs would not reduce the growth and severity of the drug market. If anything, it would stimulate it, by allowing the substances to be moved and used. In this case, a government conspiracy against our rights in the name of protection is implausible due to the evident historical and societal drug trends, devoid of government involvement. The fact is, our privilege to use drugs should be denied because of the effect it has on others.

At the end of the day this debate asks us the question of whether or not an increase of use that already costs us $180 Billion dollars a year, places a burden on our health systems, promotes crime and addiction as well as unsocietal behavior, and festers numerous other negative effects (even when drugs were legal) is a legitimate harm to those other than the user. If the effects are legitimate, then there should not be legal drugs, in order to protect those who do not make that choice. Our country is based on freedom and the right to make personal choices, but people should also be free from the weight of degenerative personal choices and suffering the consequences of other's actions.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Shorack 9 years ago
Shorack
Pro had the advantage that i'm pro myself. However, he failed to counter Con on some points, even though the counters were not that hard to get to.

Con had the advantage of being very cohesive and well structured in making his point.
On the other hand, some reasonings made by Con were rather flawed imho.

But the good build-up made Con came out as the strongest side in this debate, so Con gets it.
Posted by breonkid 9 years ago
breonkid
I would probably have to vote for wingnut2280 based on the clarity, cohesiveness, and logic of his argument.

However, I strongly disagree with his last statement. In a society where people have the responsibility to make choices, we are always burdened by poor choices made by other people. The only way to escape the poor choices made by others is to prevent individual's personal choice altogether. Even to become a hermit does not eliminate the possible ramifications to indirect circumstances, such as the environment, etc.

Luckily, in a world where individuals retain personal choice, we also benefit from the good choices made by others. Society enjoys a great deal as a result of individual's spontaneous innovation, compassion, intelligence, hard work, and charity.

My point is that every choice we make affects others directly or indirectly, for better or for worse. You can't benefit from positive choices without suffering from negative ones.
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
Had to vote CON on this one: wingnut2280's arguments were better constructed and more cohesive, although personally I think that many illegal drugs should be legalized. I understand and agree with the pragmatist argument of sovereignty over one's own body and actions, until a person's actions are harmful to another agent. Rinaldanator, you could have brought out WHY it costs the government over $180 billion a year (non-violent offenders locked up for extensive periods, etc.), how the drug war is an expensive failure in every sense (also contributing to the DOJ's figures), how it is doubtful that legalization would lead to an extreme increase in use (you're either going to use drugs or you aren't), and how all that money the DOJ says it spends (in vain for the most part) could be recovered by taxation if legalization took place. You may still not have won, true, but perhaps your argument would have been stronger?
Posted by Rinaldanator 9 years ago
Rinaldanator
Sorry I'm new at this website so here out in the open drugs should be 100% legal
Posted by nrw 9 years ago
nrw
what exactly is your argument lol? because i have a feeling that im going to say some stuff and ur gonna be like oh, i agree with all that, but they should just do this...

like, what are you going to defend? that it should be legal to use drugs at all times and in all places?
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Vote Placed by Jamcke 8 years ago
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