The Instigator
DylanFromSC
Con (against)
Tied
7 Points
The Contender
EnlightenedEntity
Pro (for)
Tied
7 Points

The legalization of Marijuana will cause more harm than good.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2010 Category: News
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,304 times Debate No: 13407
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

DylanFromSC

Con

EnlightenedEntity has repeatedly proposed just what the title says, so he obviously has the burden of proof; however, I would like to start off a few things by outlining a few definitions:

harm - physical injury or mental damage; hurt

good - for the better; beneficial

Sources:
http://dictionary.reference.com...
(For good, there are 58 definitions and none represent what I would like to state precisely enough. So the above is the general consensus, given the surrounding sentence, for the word.
EnlightenedEntity

Pro

I'd like to thank Con for proposing this debate.

Before I start I would like to expand on the definition of the word 'harm' as discussed with Con in the comment section as it will allow for more arguments resulting in a more colourful debate.

[1]Harm (harm);

Pronunciation:/h�rm/

Noun:

Physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted.

Material damage.

*Actual or potential ill effect or danger.*

Verb [with object]:

Physically injure.

Damage the health of.

*Have an adverse effect on.*

What I've placed *'s around are the definitions I would also like to add to the word 'harm'. The next thing I would like to define is 'adverse'.

[2] Adverse (ad�verse);

Pronunciation:/adˈvərs, ˈadvərs/

Adjective

Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable.

Since I am the one affirming the proposed, I have the burden of proof and will start with two small contentions.

Contention 1: The legalization of Marijuana would increase the amount of highway fatalities.

The prohibition of Marijuana is a deterrent for many adults, and teenagers with jobs and the legalization of it would increase it's usage. Many employers run a drug screening before employing, and many also continue to run these drug screens at random times; Failure to pass these may result in one not being hired, or the loss of one's job. Possession of Marijuana alone carries hard penalties, and adds a felony to your record; And the punishment for distribution is much more severe. So with felony charges, and possible loss of work, or inability to find work, it's easy to see why the illegality of Marijuana deters people from using it.[3]
Some of you may be asking "what is his point in all of this"? My point is that once you take away a deterrent more people that wanted to do it will be willing to do it, and with that comes negative impacts on society. People may not have to, and it may not be the Marijuana's fault, but when you have more people doing it then the rate of it's occurrence will rise. When you ingest Marijuana several effects happen that would negatively impact your driving skills such as: drowsiness, disruption in attention, an altered sense of time and space, relaxation, disorientation, hallucinations, and delusions. All this can lead to a deadly cocktail of chemicals and side effects all produced by one plant, should we really legalize something that will have such negative consequences on society? The amount of highway fatalities is high enough with substances such as alcohol, when you throw Marijuana into the mix it can only get worse. [4][5][6]

Contention 2: The legalization of Marijuana will lead to more littering, and second-hand smoke.

Marijuana contains tars and many of the same carcinogens as Tobacco, and as second hand smoke is already an issue we face in America today it would no doubt get worse if you legalize the most commonly abused illicit drug. Second hand smoke has many risk to the non-smoker, such as heart disease, lung cancer,breathing problems that include coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function, lung infections, asthma attacks, and middle ear infections in children. Surely legalization of something that would have such a negative impact on societies health wouldn't beneficial in any way whatsoever.[7][8][9]
The Legalization of Marijuana would also lead to more littering, cigarette butts are the most littered item in America, and it's only fair to assume that legalization would lead to the ends of blunts, joints, roaches, etcetera being tossed as well. The tossing of cigarette butts is responsible for triggering fires from residential fires, to major wildfires and bushfires which have caused major property damage and also death. As well as disruption to services by triggering alarms and warning systems. I think it's safe to say that the legalization of Marijuana could lead to more fires that may result in death, and serious property damage, which is also detrimental to society. Furthermore, who knows if legalization would add more toxins to the second hand smoke, or add filters like cigarettes that can take up to 15 YEARS to degrade. I have much more to argue and this was just a starting point for Con to refute. I'm looking forward to his response, and thank you for taking your time to read this.[10][11]

[1]http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2]http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[3]http://www.legalmatch.com...
[4]http://faculty.washington.edu...
[5]http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov...
[6]http://www.alcoholalert.com...
[7]http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk...
[8]http://www.cancer.org...
[9]http://drugabuse.gov...
[10]http://www.cigarettelitter.org...
[11]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
DylanFromSC

Con

First, I'd like to thank the Con for replying. Next, I'll repeat his contention in brackets and provide my argument directly below;

[The legalization of Marijuana would increase the amount of highway fatalities.]

I agree with the Con's statement: "The prohibition of Marijuana is a deterrent for many adults, and teenagers with jobs"; however, I do not agree completely. The prohibition of Marijuana is just as big of a catalyst as it is a deterrent. With that said, declaring an increase or decrease in users would be hard to define considering that all statistics of this category would be nothing more than a guess.
Also, within this contention, the Con states "Possession of Marijuana alone carries hard penalties, and adds a felony to your record;" This is false. Just for example, being caught with one and a half ounces or less is considered a misdemeanor. [1] Therefore, the penalties are not strict at all. Given the circumstances, I could guess just as well as anybody else that the legality of Marijuana wouldn't stop any people that really want to try it from doing so. Often, cops dismiss cases involving small amounts of Marijuana.
The main point that the Con wanted to get to in this all was the part containing: "drowsiness, disruption in attention, an altered sense of time and space, relaxation, disorientation, hallucinations, and delusions." After checking the source, the effects were all there, minus drowsiness. So we throw drowsiness out of the picture and what do we have left? Disruption in attention - a disruption in attention can occur at anytime. Disruptions in attention are quite common considering that the average attention span of a human is 20 minutes. [2] Now we have an altered sense of time and space. I'm assuming that being in an 'altered sense of time' is referring to the common effect of time seeming to slow. If that's the case, then wouldn't driving be easier? In fact; "Several studies have failed to detect any increased accident risk from marijuana at all. The reason for pot's relative safety appears to be that it tends to make users drive more slowly, while alcohol makes them speed up." [3] Next on the list is relaxation. This isn't even a legitimate issue considering that people encourage you to relax while driving. They even create videos that guide you to your "relaxation paradise". [4] After that, we have disorientation. I've never heard of anybody under the influence of Marijuana becoming disoriented; however, I would not like to totally dismiss this. I would rather you give me a specific example or study. As for the hallucinations and delusions: it is widely known that both of these 'concerns' are extremely minute. Many ponder upon the belief that Marijuana is even considered a hallucinogen. Even in the best case, the debate is on how the legalization of Marijuana would do MORE good than harm and vice versa. In that case, with or without the extremely mild hallucinations, you're still on the downhill.

[The legalization of Marijuana will lead to more littering, and second-hand smoke.]

Within your whole first statement(s) about second-hand smoke I find many fallacies. First of all, previously, we discussed the parameters of this debate which included the second-hand smoke laws of tobacco. In any case, this wouldn't be a problem; however, if you still wished to discuss it, bring up the points from Marijuana second-hand smoke, not that of Tobacco.
The second half of your second contention includes assumptions of how Marijuana and Tobacco users are the same in the sense that they both litter. I'll take this more seriously when you can bring up specific facts about that of Marijuana users. We can't assume the same for both users.

I don't feel the need to post any other points other than the refuting I did on his points. I have a lot to include, but I'll save my points for some of the closing rounds and possible upcoming topics. I'd like to thank both the Con and the readers for following this debate. I hope the best for the Con in his upcoming round.

Sources:
[1] http://www.norml.org...
[2] http://www.cs.utk.edu...
[3] http://blog.norml.org...
[4] http://www.ehow.com...
EnlightenedEntity

Pro

I'd like to thank Con for his speedy response. Now I'll refute the arguments placed against mine, and add one more contention this round.

Contention 1: The legalization of Marijuana would increase the amount of highway fatalities - Rebuttal.

Now when my opponent says that it's "just as much a catalyst as a deterrent" he doesn't state his reasoning behind him thinking this, though I will concede that most statistics on this would be no more than a guess. My opponent's claims that possession of Marijuana not being a felony is unfounded. Under FEDERAL LAW (which trumps state law) carrying ANY amount of Marijuana can is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000 on the first offence which is exactly what a felony is, refer to link [3] in R1. I would like to point out that the link my opponent provided it a left-leaning organization that supports Marijuana legalization, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Also, People who want to keep their job, want to get a job, or keep their record clean obviously would be deterred by these penalties, and if the cops aren't doing their job right then they should be punished. [1]
As for the refutation of my main point of contention1 in R1, do you really think people should be driving "high"? The link my opponent provided was from a Computer Science professor that only gave instructions on how to write a speech, and didn't provide evidence that the human attention span is only twenty minutes long.[2]Aside from that, Marijuana is a something that causes the user to have a hard time to focus, and thus is a hazard to be under the influence on when driving.[3] Having an altered sense of space and time could not benefit you in any manner; an example being when things seem further away and you feel like you have a long time to react, when in fact you do not, you would end up read-ending the driver in front of you. Again after checking the NORML link I think it can be said this is due to the relaxation that Marijuana causes, though this does not mean that is it less dangerous. When I said "relaxation" I meant muscle relaxation, which even NORML concedes that it does.[4]Furthermore, the link my opponent provided isn't instructions on how to drive correctly, but rather how to combat one's own road-rage issues. Muscle relaxation obviously would slow your reaction time, which would be a HORRIBLE thing for driving. Marijuana also causes a lack of coordination "people show the same lack of coordination on standard 'drunk driver' tests as do people who have had too much to drink".[5] Disorientation is defined as "the loss of proper bearings, or a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity", as you have already concede that is effects the users perception of time, and it has been proven that THC impairs memory, I think it's safe to assume that this claim is true.[6][7] Now we come to Marijuana's hallucinogenic and delusional properties, the fact that Marijuana can lead to a state of psychosis (hallucinations and delusions) and that Marijuana can cause paranoia which can lead to delusions is enough to convince anyone who isn't brain-dead not to ponder whether or not it's true. That being the case, these things happening while driving would cause more harm, than good, should we enable such behaviour by legalizing the very thing that people would abuse.

Contention 2: The legalization of Marijuana will lead to more littering, and second-hand smoke - Rebuttal.

There are no law prohibiting smoking in public, the work place, restaurants, etcetera as far as I'm aware of. Those things are left up to the employers and owners of the workplace, or anything else in the private sector you can think of. The amount of tar in one Marijuana cigarette is equal to TWENTY regular cigarettes,and contains 50-70% more carcinogens than Tobacco (refer to [9]in R1). Tar and carcinogens are what is harmful in the second-hand smoke, thus the Tobacco studies are relevant to the amount of harm that second-hand smoke can cause. Secondly, the fact that many Marijuana users mix Marijuana with Tobacco provides that they probably have already carelessly threw a cigarette butt out the window at some point, since they smoke it. Beyond that, it's people, not Marijuana users alone, that are littering; cigarette butts are the most littered item in America, after all. Why would someone who doesn't care to harm them self and the people around them with dangerous smoke care to throw something small and useless aside? If Marijuana users were allowed to smoke in public, I'm sure they would toss aside the remains of their cigarette/blunt/roach when it got low enough to burn their lips and fingers, or their Marijuana cigarette butts should legalization lead to filters being added.

Contention 3: The legalization of Marijuana would lead to less productivity in the United States of America

Marijuana users are often tardy to work more often than non-users, have increased absences, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover. Now being able to smoke more often, or again if a user quit smoking for their job, these occurrences will only rise. Also, Marijuana users sometime experience a burnout, which is someone who has smoked so much that they have become lazy and unmotivated to do anything else except getting "high". Marijuana affects the reward system in the brain, making it less receptive, and thus the user less motivated. And lastly, it affects a lot of the cognitive functions that would be required to do many jobs efficiently.[12][13][14]I hope that Con can respond swiftly and add more to this debate. Thank you for your interest in this debate.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.cs.utk.edu...
[3]http://www.nida.nih.gov...
[4]http://norml.org...
[5]http://www.nida.nih.gov...
[6]http://www.livescience.com...
[7]http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[8]http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[9]https://health.google.com...
[10]http://www.foxnews.com...
[11]http://www.urbandictionary.com...
[12]http://www.teenvogue.com...
[13]http://www.urbandictionary.com...
[14]http://www.drugabuse.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
DylanFromSC

Con

DylanFromSC forfeited this round.
EnlightenedEntity

Pro

In the spirit of current festivities I will consider this a four-round debate instead of five. Happy Halloween! >:D
Debate Round No. 3
DylanFromSC

Con

I'd like to thank the Pro (I've been mistakenly calling him the Con, I was thinking this because he is 'Con' in the legalization of Marijuana. Sorry.) for allowing me another round to respond, and I'm sure we all had a good Halloween weekend filled with lots of... Tobacco and alcohol. :) JUST KIDDING. I would never let smoke from that nasty, brown plant touch my lungs. Nor would I allow some stinky yeast infested liquid in or around my body.

Furthermore, I will be referring back to your rebuttal of rebuttal in my next argument. So please do not think I am disregarding your first contention. Thank you.

About your second contention;

"The amount of tar in one Marijuana cigarette is equal to TWENTY regular cigarettes,and contains 50-70% more carcinogens than Tobacco"

I don't exactly believe this statement, but I'm low on time. In this case, I'll put more into my next argument about the effects on the lungs; however, Marijuana does not have to be smoked. There are MANY other forms of getting THC into your system: Lip balms, lotions, candy, creams, food, etc.

"Secondly, the fact that many Marijuana users mix Marijuana with Tobacco provides that they probably have already carelessly threw a cigarette butt out the window at some point, since they smoke it."

If a Marijuana user mixes their green with that nasty brown stuff, they probably can't afford enough Marijuana to fill whatever they're smoking out of. Also, Marijuana is not only smoked through a joint or blunt. There are many other paraphernalia for the cause: pipes, bongs, hookas, etc.

"Marijuana users are often tardy to work more often than non-users, have increased absences, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover."

I can't find a source for the above, therefore I have no reason to respond. Now I'll add just a little bit of a contention;

Pros of using Marijuana: Marijuana has many medical uses [1]; it can help treat arthritis [2]; it can be used in many lotions, oils, and a wide variety of other beneficial things; the list goes on, but I'm short on time. I vow that my next argument will be well worth while.

Cons of using Marijuana: <--- This section is for the Pro to fill out.

Lastly, I'd like to point out and remember when the Pro stated that my sources were often left-leaning and pro Marijuana. Well, his sources are often right-leaning or hardly credible (FOXnews, urban dictionary, drug abuse)

Sorry for the short debate, next round will be WELL worth while. Thanks for reading.

Source [1] is the video.

SOURCES:
[1] -
[2] - http://www.medical-marijuana-testimonials.org...
EnlightenedEntity

Pro

Omnomnomnomnomnomnom :D I really don't feel like arguing, anymore. To be honest. I'm in a veery good mood and being all srs face ruins it. Besides, I think the state of California read this and agreed with me xP

Marijuana is a gateway drug, and can lead to users doing MUCH worse things, as seen in the video.

:)
Debate Round No. 4
DylanFromSC

Con

DylanFromSC forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
I'll reply to this when I get home from work tomorrow night.
Posted by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
No problem :P
Posted by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
Haha. Thank you Cole. Big Halloween party and everything. Sorry about that.
Posted by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
I have read your contentions, but it's 7:18 am and I'm about to leave for school. I still have 1 day 10 hours 35 minutes and.... 0 seconds. Haha. I'll reply after school.
Posted by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
Yes. That's acceptable.
Posted by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
No, you're definition + what I *'d.

They had examples, I took them off. 'On' is basically whatever is being discussed, or whatever we're talking about being effected. In this case, let's just say society. 'Adverse' again, taken from the Oxford dictionary.

adverse (ad·verse)

Pronunciation:/ad&#712;v&#601;rs, &#712;adv&#601;rs/

adjective

preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable:

I can see where you could think it to mean opposite though - Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French advers, from Latin adversus 'against, opposite', past participle of advertere, from ad- 'to' + vertere 'to turn'.
Posted by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
That's fine with me. The way I understand it is that only the *'d phrases are actually going to be used?

Also, what do you mean by the second *'d phrase. Explain it a little more. The way I have always understood the word adverse is it's meaning of opposite. You *'d 'having an adverse effect on'. What I'd like to ask is having an adverse effect on what?
Posted by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
Do I have permission to change the word "harm"? I obviously could already argue that it would harm society with that definition, but I'd like to be able to include other arguments as well. I used *'s around what I would like to include to the definition, I wouldn't like to change it, just add too it. This is from the Oxford dictionary, basically the standard for the English language.

harm (harm)

Pronunciation:/härm/

noun

physical injury, especially that which is deliberately inflicted:

material damage:

*actual or potential ill effect or danger:*

verb

physically injure:

damage the health of:

*have an adverse effect on:*
Posted by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
Alright, when I finish my math I'll accept and start.
Posted by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
I told you that I was actually going to try. I don't believe I said having a life. I said having the time because I have things to do.. Two totally different things. But I told you that I would debate 100%, travel to Starbucks on the weekends if I have to..
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by EnlightenedEntity 6 years ago
EnlightenedEntity
DylanFromSCEnlightenedEntityTied
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Vote Placed by DylanFromSC 6 years ago
DylanFromSC
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