The Instigator
BlackVoid
Pro (for)
Winning
69 Points
The Contender
TheSquadBoss
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/2/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,558 times Debate No: 13546
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (13)

 

BlackVoid

Pro

LD format

I and likely many others would like some extra practice on this resolution before tournaments. Here's a great opportunity as this is the aff I will be using.

The time to post a new argument is 72 hours however this is because I may not be able to post arguments between the 4th and 6th, since that is when my tournament is and my schedule will be pressed. However I will do my best to get arguments in within a day otherwise. Good luck to con.

I affirm the resolution resolved: The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice.

I offer the following definitions:

Illegal drug: A class of conciousness-altering drugs that operate at a high efficiency. (Princeton)
Treated: To deal with a matter (Merriam Webster)
Ought: Indicating desirability (Merriam Webster)
Public health: The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society.
Criminal justice: A generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is investigated, arrests made, evidence gathered, charges brought, defenses raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered, and punichment carried out. (Legal Dict.)

I offer the value of safety, defined as freedom from danger or harm. Safety must be paramount because with no safety there is no life. A public health approach to drug abuse will uphold safety by solving for the harms caused by drug abuse in a criminalized world.

My criterion is minimizing drug abuse, since the impact of abuse is obviously undesirable. Minimizing drug abuse will uphold safety by keeping people safe from the harms drug abuse causes.

Contention 1: Criminal justice punishes people for something out of their control.

Sub point A: Abuse is involuntary. Abuse is defined as to use wrongly or improperly. When people use drugs they dont intend on misusing them. They want drugs to get high. If they end up abusing drugs it is almost always unintentional. Criminalizing punishes people for accidents and mistakes, but it doesnt do anything to actually solve for abuse. Bennet Fletcher explains, "Punishment alone is a futile and ineffective response to drug abuse, failing as a public safety intervention for offenders whose criminal behavior is directly related to drug use". Rather than punish would-be criminals for something that is completely unintentional, we should focus more on actually solving for and preventing drug abuse from happening.

Contention 2: Public health solves for abuse by solving for overdose

A: Overdose is the primary way drugs are abused. Let us not forget that the definition for abuse is to use wrongly or improperly. Obviously overdose is the main way to misuse not only illegal drugs but drugs in general. William Turnbo reports that on average 5,200 (five-thousand two hundred) people in the US die from illegal drug overdose each year, with many more cases leading to severe sickness. The issue with the current world is that because of their illegality, drug users do not have ready access to information on how much of a substance to take. Joshua Wolf explains, "Virtually all "overdose" deaths from the use of illegal drugs are due to contaminants or the user's ignorance of the drug's potency. "
[Joshua Wolf; Freelance Writer; Prohibiting Drugs Has Serious Consequences; 2001; Gale]O

Overdose is further caused by by the fact that illegal drug users dont always know what drug they get. The underground drug market is a risky business, DrugScope reports "It is often difficult to know whether a powder, pill, resin, herb or liquid is a particular drug. Even if you think it is a particular drug you may have no idea how strong the dose is, or whether it also contains another drug(s) or other substances." Furthermore, not all drugs require the same dose. So if you expect to get crack but really get cocaine, which have different default levels of dosage, you take the incorrect amount of the substance.

Because of this, users become abusers by misusing the drug. BetterHealthChannel reports that illegal drug overdose can cause an excess of dopamine output which causes long term depression, in addition to immediate defects such as vomiting, fatigue, internal bleeding, or death.

Sub point B: Public health will solve for overdose. Through decriminalization we will be able to focus less on throwing people in jail and more on solving the problems caused by drug criminalization. This policy would make the specific quantity of a drug that should be taken readily available to everyone. This info should be publicized greatly as to make sure everyone is fully educated on how to use the drugs properly. Furthermore a public health stance would cause the legal pharmaceutical regulation of currently illegal drugs. By doing this we eliminate the chance of acquiring the wrong drug, as corporations have more ready access to chemical identification than do drug dealers. Alan Jones explains, "It could be argued that the likelihood of harm would be reduced even further by a regulated industry which restricts supply, provides warnings to consumers and monitors the content of what is sold." Therefore,a public health stance will all but eliminate the vast majority of illegal overdose cases, thus solving for the main cause of drug abuse.

Contention 3: Public health solves for dangers of drug additives.

Sub point A: The purity of drugs dealt under a criminalized system cannot be determined. Melanie Gordon explains "Illegal drugs are extremely dangerous. You rarely can know or trust the person who is selling them. You also dont know what other substances have been mixed in with the drug. Often drug dealers mix an illegal drug with another substance so that they can have more product to sell. For example, a dealer might mix cocaine with talcum powder, sugar, or even another cheaper drug. If you use illegal drugs you simply cannot be sure of what substances you are putting into your body."
(Drug interactions: protecting yourself from dangerous drug, medication, and Food contaminations page 15)

While the additives themselves are usually not dangerous, they indirectly make criminalized drugs very deadly. Drug scope reports that these additives such as adulterants and dilutants make the purity of street drugs vary to a startling degree. Drug Scope continues, reporting that the purity of amphetamines are around 1 to 10 percent. Cocaine purity: 20-90 percent. Crack: 85-100 percent. Heroin: 30-80 percent. LSD: 0-100%.

So to the key question, why is this important? Well, purity can be considered synonymous with the drug strength. So when a drug has 30% purity, its potency is the same thing. The problem is, when the drug strength varies so greatly, we once again have no idea how much of it to take to get the desired effect. So if we guess that we should take x amount of the drug, but the purity ends up being much greater than previously thought, then once again it causes overdose and misuse. Also, if somebody takes too little of the drug in regards to its purity, then they take more and more and more which can also lead to overdose. Thus is the flaw in a world where these drug abuse is criminalized.

Sub point B: Public health solves for this issue. Under legal regulation, each class of conciousness altering drugs will have similar or identical levels of additives, and thus identical levels of purity. Thus the dangers the vast levels of purity causes are nonexistant in the affirmative world.

Because a public health approach solves for drug abuse while criminalization does not, I urge an affirmative ballot.

I request my opponent do cross-ex in comments. Max 10 questions please. I will answer asap.
TheSquadBoss

Con

I thank my opponent for crafting an interesting topic.

I accept my opponent definitions, but would like to add a criteria in which the Pro. must meet in order to win. he most prove not just that illegal drugs are bad and can be miss used but that illegal drugs are an issue to Public Health. The Neg. (Me, TheSquadBoss) must prove that keeping drugs illegal will benefit the public's health.

i will now begin my opening statements:

Point 1. Drug Miss Use

My opponent talked about how the use of illegal drugs is not inherently bad;however, the miss use of drugs are. Regardless of whether drugs should be decriminalized currently they are illegal. Due to the fact that they are illegal any use of such substances is miss use. My opponent also stated that if the proper amount of a certain drug is used it is okay, but this statement is a contradiction on his part. During his contention 2 part A he talked about how drugs are often mixed in with other drugs for various reasons. If this is the case then as my partner stated we don't know what is in these drugs and therefore cannot give a proper amount to use without getting injured.

Point 2. Keeping It Illegal Would Protect Public Health

Second hand smoke from a substance such as marijuana is much greater than that of second hand smoke from say a cigarette. I concur second hand smoke from cigarettes is bad and can lead to some minor health problems;however, second hand marijuana smoke can lead to second hand inhalers getting impaired as well. If marijuana and other drug use is decriminalized than its use will obviously increase meaning there will be more smokers/users creating more second hand smoke. With second hand smoke in the air it could potentially be inhaled by a minor where as similar effects as the one the actual user is going through would occur on the minor. If drugs remained illegal there would be less users, thus less second hand smoke, thus less of a chance of third party people going through the negative impacts of illegal drugs. I prove in this point that keeping drugs illegal (or criminal in this sense) is actual in the best interest of the public's health.

Point 3. Even if Pharmacy Did "Make" the Drugs

My opponent talked about how drugs would be safe merely because pharmacies would be growing/creating them. To an extent this may be true;however, that does not mean that all drugs would be made and regulated. A large amount of drugs would still be being made the same way they are now leading to the same negative health impacts.

At the beginning of this fine debate I established a criteria saying that the Neg or Con must prove that keeping drugs illegal will better benefit public health. Because I met this criteria by proving that second hand smoke is harmful to the public's health and that by keeping drugs illegal we will reduce second hand smoke I have one this debate.

I thank you all....
I strongly urge all parties voting to vote for the Con/Neg/Me side of this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
BlackVoid

Pro

My opponent obviously did not see the "LD format" that was at the very beginning of the round (since this is an actual ld resolution), either that or he ignored it. Nevertheless I'll continue this debate.

1. My opponent does not attack the correct argument. I never said regular drug use is good. I do not need to because we are not debating recreational drug use, we are debating drug abuse, which is obviously bad. Just because drugs are illegal does not make all use misuse. Not wearing a seatbelt is illegal, but if you dont wear it anyway are you misusing the entire car? Obviously not.

My opponent claims a contradiction in my case where I supposedly say normal use of a drug is good (I didn't) but that because of the overdose risks I brought up, drug use is never good. What he fails to attack whatsoever is that we are *solving* for drug overdose on the affirmative. He has conceded the risks of overdose in a criminalized world, but never conflicted that the aff solves for it. Please extend then that I solve for overdose as well as drug additives. His argument now has no weight because it was predicated on the dangers of drug misuse, which I have solved for.

2. My opponent makes an interesting argument about criminalization preventing second hand smoke. Nevertheless this is a nontopical argument. The way he solved for this issue is to keep all drug use criminalized. However my opponent cannot draw from the impacts of criminalizing all uses because the resolution is specific to drug abuse only. He can only make arguments that stem from criminalizing abuse. Obviously most second hand smoke would result from recreational use, because abusing it indicates taking it in excess or taking a poisoned drug. Therefore there will be little second hand smoke from abusers because they will be in the hospital sick or dead.

3. My opponent states not all drugs would be regulated under my system. This is ridiculous considering I created this policy. Let us look at the word "ought" in the resolution, which basically meas "should". I'm arguing we should treat abuse as public health. Therefore as long as it relates to public health I can create any policy I want and say this is what we should do. My policy of pharmeceutical regulation will regulate all illegal drugs. This disproves his argument of not regulating all of them.

Round summary:

My opponent concedes that I solve for drug abuse
Things that result from criminalizing all use have no grounds in this round

I thank my opponent for responding, I look forward to hearing them again.
TheSquadBoss

Con

Thank you Black Void for the timely response. In regards to your request for LD format if you could explain what that is I will follow it. I myself am accustomed to a Public Forum style debate.

My opponent used an interesting analogy to counter my saying: "Any drug use is miss use." My opponent said that in a car one must wear a seat belt. If one does not he is not miss using the car. I concur not wearing a seat belt in a car does not mean you are inherently miss using the car;however,you are miss using the seat belt portion of the car. I believe this is a more appropriate analogy, after all we must remember that you can not wear a seat belt and then not end up crashing your car, where as if you use/smoke drugs you will end up impaired.

My opponent also said: "I never said drug use was okay." However he did. By defending the fact that one can use an illegal substance such as crack and then because you did not take a dangerous amount it is okay (which is incorrect because no amount of crack is okay) is to in other words justify it.

He said how it was irrelevant to talk about the second hand smoke produced by such substances merely because we are not discussing recreational use of these substances;however, regardless of the "type of use" this smoke will still be being produced thus harming the public's health. In my criteria that I established in round one the Neg must prove that drug legalization will harm the public's health. I have proved this by showing that regardless of the "use type" (whether it be recreational, medical, etc.) second hand smoke will be produced and this will harm the public's health. In accordance with my criteria (which my opponent had no objections to) I have won this particular argument.

I thank all readers/commentators/potential voters and I urge all parties who will be voting to vote for the Neg/Con
Debate Round No. 2
BlackVoid

Pro

I'll message you about what ld is. Its fine that you aren't familiar, but in the future please do not accept challenges that say ld format or begin the topic with the word Resolved until you are familiar.

Onto the arguments.

My opponent attacks the car example stating that not using a seatbelt is misusing the seatbelt portion of the car. Simple grammar shows us this is not the case. My opponent claims it would be "misusing" the seat belt function, however in reality it would be "not using" the seat belt. There's a big difference. Misuse would indicated that I am improperly wearing it or that I dont have it fully buckled. Not using it, which is what my opponent is talking about, implies it is just sitting there doing nothing.

Now going back to what this point was originally about, it is illegal to not use a seatbelt, nevertheless just because you dont wear it does not mean you misuse (or abuse) it. Thus we can also infer that just because drugs are illegal does not make all use abuse.

My opponent claims that even second hand smoke from abusers only creates health problems. However I refer you to my previous round in my point 2. I already addressed that second hand smoke from abusers is minimal because they all die from overdose.

My opponent claims no amount of crack is okay. He gives no warrant for this. Never brings up any scientifically proof that drugs in non-abusive dosages are still bad. I've shown you throughout the round that the main harms from illegal drugs is caused from overdosing, contaminants in the drug market, or using drugs too often. My opponent also conceded that I solve for all these. Thus, I solve for harms from illegal drugs.

Then,

My opponent drops my point three from last round and still has not denied I solve for drug abuse through overdose and impurity prevention.

Round summary/voting issues:

Please realize, with simple common sense, not all use of drugs is abuse. If I take one tablet of E and no more, am I an abuser?

I have solved for drug abuse, which is what this topic is about. I educate the public about proper dosages, I also create purer/safer drugs that are free of contamination. Drug abuse is no longer a problem because of this under the affirmative wold.
TheSquadBoss

Con

Once again Black Void I thank you for your timely response.

In regards to your car analogy, A seat belt is put in a car so it can be worn. If it is not worn than it is going against its purpose. If a seat belt is supposed to be used than not using it is miss use. But we have gotten a bit off topic in this discussion anyway.

My opponent said I needed evidence to reinforce my saying: "No amount of crack is okay." However, I believe that it is not me who needs to supply this evidence but my opponent is the one who needs to give evidence saying that crack can be taken in moderation. My opponent is the drug advocate therefore it is he who should supply the evidence.

My opponent also challenged my point about second hand smoke. He said that because people will be dying of over dose second hand smoke will be at a minimal. Is my opponent really suggesting that the level of second hand smoke will be low enough just because people will be dying off in the over dose process. If my opponent's solution to second hand smoke from illegal substances is really to just allow drug abuser's to die of I believe in regards to public health a vote for the Neg/Con is clearly the best.

In round 2 I left out a point I made earlier about pharmaceutical drug production. It may be true that my opponent made up this plan;however, just because he made up this plan doesn't mean everyone will follow it. If drugs are made legal then not only will pharmacies be selling them but the current illegal parties selling them (i.e. the Mexican Drug Mafia) will continue to do so. I concur, some drug users may be buying the pharmacy produced one's but many people will stick with there current sellers who would still be mixing in dangerous additives. It is almost impossible to regulate drugs because even if they become legal many 3rd parties will still be making them and adding in dangerous things.

In conclusion
-----------------

The goal in this debate was to prove that keeping drugs illegal was in the best interest of the public's health.

My first point was that any use of drugs is miss use, my opponent challenged this by asking for evidence. Because he was the drug advocate in this case he should have provided evidence saying that crack could be used in moderation but since he didn't I have one this point.

My second point was second hand smoke. I the goal is to protect the public's health than legalizing drugs would only increase second hand smoke which would harm the public's health. My opponent responded (and I do paraphrase): "Second hand smoke would be at a minimal because drug abusers would be dying from over dose thus reducing second hand smoke." If my opponents solution to dangerous second hand smoke was to merely let drug abusers die off in order to keep second hand smoke levels down then he is not following the goal to protect public health because he is letting people die.

Because my opponent did not stick to the goal in trying to preserve public health and I did by proving that any drug use is miss use and that drug use will produce very harmful second hand smoke I have one this debate.

I thank all parties voting and strongly urge a Neg/Con ballot!
-Thank you
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
@rainman

I dont think he does ld or knows how it works. He just accepted my debate anyway.
Posted by waterbird 6 years ago
waterbird
@BlackVoid thanks for clarifying that for me
Posted by Rainman715 6 years ago
Rainman715
Okay, I am an LDer and A PFer. I can say to Neg that, first of all, in LD, 99% of the evidence you use is going to be philosphers or quotes from sart guys, because your arguing morals. Second, where was the CX?
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Thats what you're supposed to do. But in this round my opponent only chose to attack my arguments. Most of the time people do attack the res. itself.
Posted by waterbird 6 years ago
waterbird
to clarify what i meant, can the neg debater attack the resolution itself?
Posted by waterbird 6 years ago
waterbird
question. in ld, does the con debater have the right to reject the resolution?
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