The Instigator
jaffy25
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Christopherwilliamzz97
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The legalization of marijuana

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 370 times Debate No: 60805
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

jaffy25

Pro

This is a debate on whether the legalization of marijuana should be allowed in the US. Only serious debaters please... 5 rounds, 24 hours to reply... Just say "I accept" and state your argument.
Christopherwilliamzz97

Con

To be completely frank, the legalization of marijuana is something that should be accepted by everyone. The problem is that people over the years have been brainwashed into believing that marijuana is a hallucinogen, narcotic or some deadly drug. The truth is that marijuana is not a hallucinogen, a narcotic or a deadly drug, rather it is a substance that helps people and makes them happy. Now someone out there would say some BS about the children. It's an adults choice to tell their children the truth about marijuana, and the stuff that the government is screwing about it is totally wrong. The fault lies in what the government has been telling people even up to the 21st century. It does not make people lazy, it does not kill brain cells. Look at Michael Phelps, an Olympian, mind you, completely lung cancer free and one of the top athletes in America. Obviously he was not lazy and his lungs are undoubtedly perfectly fine from all of the 'cancer-causing' carcinogens in his body due to marijuana inhalation. This "deadly hallucinogen" is saving peoples lives. And nobody on this earth has the right to take away the chance at life from someone. So in conclusion, it saves lives, not destroys them.
Debate Round No. 1
jaffy25

Pro

Quite frankly sir, you have agreed with me, as I am FOR the legalization of marijuana. In just fact, you are con, or against the legalization of marijuana. Here are my contentions.

Introduction
The goal of the government should be to benefit the common good, while preserving the free will of its citizens. My goal will be to prove that marijuana prohibition works against the common good and takes away free will from citizens, thus, it should be legalized.

C1) Marijuana's impact on user and those around user:
A) User's Mental Health
Marijuana can help rather than harm mental health. Cannabidiol (a substance found in cannabis) is known to contain anti-psychotic properties (1). Many people use marijuana to help with anxiety, as it has a calming effect. Depression is also known to be decreased among those who use cannabis. Jeremy Spiegel M.D. (from Psychology Today) explains, "In a medical journal Addictive Behaviours, researchers compiled data from over four thousand questionnaires of depressed patients and marijuana users, and determined that those who smoked daily or even less often, also reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non users (2)." There have been some studies that note a correlation between marijuana smokers and depression/anxiety. However, it is important to remember that correlation is not causation. If my con wishes to use this point, he must explain exactly how Marijuana results in depression/anxiety. Another common myth is that marijuana kills brain cells. WebMD explains, "Long-term and even daily marijuana use doesn't appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers." My source continues, "scores on thinking tests were similar to those who don't smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies (3)." Through this evidence, I have shown that marijuana does not impair mental health and actually has the chance of positively impacting it.
B) User's Health
It has been proven that smoking marijuana is not as harmful to the lungs as smoking cigarettes, in some cases, smoking marijuana has increased lung capacity (4). Although, I will concede that cannabis isn"t exactly "good" for one"s lungs, the effects are much less severe than one would expect. The way that marijuana legalization can positively impact physical health is rather simple. Cannabidiol (mentioned earlier) aids smokers who wish to stop smoking. An experiment was done, and smokers who were given inhalers with cannabidiol decreased smoking by 40% by the end of the experiment (5). If marijuana was legalized, those addicted to cigarettes would be given a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.
C) Effects on Bystanders
One thing observed after the legalization in denver was that, as Time explains, "researchers found that fatal car wrecks dropped by 9% in states that legalized medical use " which was largely attributable to a decline in drunk driving (6)." This is because, "Driving under the influence of marijuana seems to be less risky because people who are high tend to be aware that they are impaired and compensate, while alcohol tends to increase recklessness and create false confidence." The idea is that people will start using marijuana instead of alcohol due to the legalization. While driving when one is stoned is certainly not advisable, it is preferable to driving while drunk. This 9% isn"t just talking about any crash, but fatal crashes. What this means is that due to this 9% decrease, three thousand lives are saved every year.

C2) Unnecessary arrests:
As I have proved above, the effects of marijuana not harmful to the consumer and those around the consumer. Yet, arrest for the possession of the drug is extremely high. In 2007, over 750,000 people were arrested for the possession of marijuana. It is completely unnecessary to permanently impact someone's life by arresting them for the possession of a drug that has little harmful effects on the user. We can see from the chart below that arrests for marijuana have clearly gotten out of hand (7).

The Medical Marijuana Magazine explains, "In "lenient" California someone arrested in their home can lose their driver's license, which can obviously mean the loss of a job. In other places people can lose custody of their children. If a person is charged with cultivation of just one plant, the consequences can be even more dire. People can and do lose their homes, farms, etc. to "civil forfeiture (8)." So essentially, people"s lives can be ruined for the act of possession/growing of cannabis. The worst part is that California is one of the more lenient states. In places like Alabama or Texas, the consequences clearly are more serious.

C3) Money and the economy:
Firstly, we have to look at the current amount of money that is being lost by keeping cannabis illegal. NORML notes, "American taxpayers spend more than $1 billion a year incarcerating citizens for using pot (9)." Most of these crimes are for simple possession. So, not only is keeping weed illegal unfair to consumers, but it is unfair to the taxpayers. It is a waste of the government"s money as well as a waste of the people"s money. Secondly, look at the large amount of tax revenue that will come from the legalization of marijuana. Colorado, saw 10.8 million dollars in the first four months of legalization. It is estimated that 1 billion dollars will be raised altogether by the end of 2014. 40 million dollars of this will go towards bettering the schools in Colorado (10). So not only does legalization of cannabis earn money, but it saves money, resulting in funds that can be used for various positive causes. Moreover, the marijuana industry generates jobs and boosts the economy in other ways. The governor of Colorado explains, "Gov. Hickenlooper compared Colorado"s economy since legalization to that of other states by noting, "While the rest of the country"s economy is slowly picking back up, we"re thriving here in Colorado."

C4) Safer cannabis:
When obtaining marijuana from a drug dealer, one can never be sure of what they will get. There is always a possibility that marijuana can be laced with a substance such as PCP, cocaine, crack, or even embalming fluid. These things are obviously highly dangerous; with federal regulation, this problem will go away since marijuana will be sold through reliable sources. Some companies in Colorado have begun testing marijuana for contamination, but if the drug was legalized federally, it would have to be tested in order to be sold.

Conclusion
Let"s assume marijuana is a harmful substance for a minute. I have shown in numerous ways that keeping it illegal hurts works against the common good. It contributes to prison overcrowding and takes money away from taxpayers. It gives drug dealers money, but ultimately hurts the consumer (who will smoke the substance regardless of it"s legal status). What really makes the argument against legalization fall is the fact that marijuana isn"t a relatively safe drug drug. One cannot die from it, or overdose on it. When it is legalized, people have a less harmful alternative to cigarettes and alcohol. Prohibition of cannabis works against the common good and takes away the free will of citizens.

For these reasons, I am pro.

(1) http://tinyurl.com.........
(2) http://tinyurl.com.........
(3) http://tinyurl.com.........
(4) National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Heart Lung Blood Institute
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.........
(6) http://healthland.time.com.........
(7) http://www.bjs.gov.........
(8) http://www.drugsense.org.........
(9) US Bureau of Justice Statistics
(10) http://www.thedailychronic.net.........

I eagerly await my opponent's response. I shall refute his opening case next round.
Christopherwilliamzz97

Con

Christopherwilliamzz97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
jaffy25

Pro

I am so disappointed in my opponent, and I do hope he does not forfeit the next couple rounds.
Christopherwilliamzz97

Con

Christopherwilliamzz97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
jaffy25

Pro

jaffy25 forfeited this round.
Christopherwilliamzz97

Con

Christopherwilliamzz97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
jaffy25

Pro

jaffy25 forfeited this round.
Christopherwilliamzz97

Con

Christopherwilliamzz97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
When something is illegal the government gives up control of it, and puts the control of it in the hands of the criminal. And anyone that deals with it a criminal. The most detrimental aspect of marijuana use, is law enforcement.
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