The Instigator
10551901
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Siege
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Tobacco/Alcohol should be banned and illegal

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Siege
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/17/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,336 times Debate No: 34854
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

10551901

Pro

Tobacco/Alcohol should be illegal because tobacco can cause extreme damage to your body and could cause lung cancer. And alcohol could not only harm the drunk person's mind, but it could also physically hurt anyone near them. All harmful drugs shouldn't even exist!
Siege

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

To begin, I would like to point out my opponent's point that drugs and alcohol should be illegal. I wholeheartedly disagree. Frankly speaking, it is not the government's job to protect citizens from themselves. Having the government control what you put inside your own body infringes upon the personal rites of the people. If a person wants to commit suicide, it is certainly harmful to themselves. It is, however, impossible to make committing suicide illegal. Though my opponent is right that some drugs are harmful and are basically slow-acting forms of suicide, again, a government can not and should not be able to control what a citizen puts inside their own body just because it may be bad or harmful to them. Let them citizens decide for themselves.

Another point my opponent seems to overlook is the impossibility of enforcing these laws. We have already seen how badly Prohibition failed, and my opponent has no grounds to assume that it would fair better this time. Like wise, there are many illegal drugs in the US, however, citizens still acquire them daily. It is impossible to stop the acquisition and usage of drugs by the populace and trying to enforce the unforceable not only causes an increase in violence and gang warfare, as we saw during the time of Prohibition, but also causes the citizens to lose faith in the government.

Frankly speaking, making alcohol and tobacco illegal will serve no purpose as citizens will still do drugs anyway, and that fact aside, it would be an egregious over-stepping of boundaries by the government.

I ask that the notion be dismissed.
Debate Round No. 1
10551901

Pro

10551901 forfeited this round.
Siege

Con

Siege forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
10551901

Pro

I have to admit, my opponent has brains. But I still believe that if cancer or other deaths happen the population could decrease and that's no good. So, the government should totally care about what people do to themselves. And what's more, children who actually watch their parents do this could decide to accept these drugs secretly. And I'm glad that a lot of health teachers actually teach their students about these dangers.
Siege

Con

To further illustrate my point on the vanity of making tobacco or alcohol illegal, I'd like to point out a few studies that have been conducted.

A recent study by the University at Albany illustrated the penal consequences as violent crime increased by 13%, federal prison population increased 366%, and total expenditure on the prison system increased by 1000% during Prohibition[1]. This shows how much money was wasted in vain to stop the consumption of alcohol, when by the end of Prohibition, more people were drinking than ever. By attempting to ban these things, the US economy, which is already suffering, will continue to lose more and more money, and with no results to show for it. We simply can not afford this.

Additionally, making these things illegal will just allow criminal organizations to make more and more money. This can be seen by the rise of the Mafia during Prohibition and also the profits foreign drug traders currently make selling marijuana, cocaine, and heroin into the US. Richard Davenport-Hines notes, “10–15% of illicit heroin and 30% of illicit cocaine is intercepted. Drug traffickers have gross profit margins of up to 300%. At least 75% of illicit drug shipments would have to be intercepted before the traffickers’ profits were hurt.”

It is nearly impossible to intercept the amount needed to stop criminal organizations from profiting, and we are wasting money doing so. On the flip side, by making drugs legal, we can profit from the sale and consumption of these things ourselves and bolster the economy.Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Miron, in an interview with the Cato Institute, observed, “Legalizing drugs would save roughly $41.3 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of prohibition. Of these savings, $25.7 billion would accrue to state and local governments, while $15.6 billion would accrue to the federal government…drug legalization would yield tax revenue of $46.7 billion annually, assuming legal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco.” Additionally, making them legal would discourage people from doing them, since they are no longer illegal and therefore "cool". This can be seen in that Portugal now has the lowest life-time marijuana usage after legalizing marijuana[2]. So in actuality, the best way to stop people from doing drugs is to legalize them!

My opponent claims that the government should care about what people do to themselves and I agree, but that does not mean they can control what they do to themselves. The government has continuously shown that it cares about the health of people by sponsoring many anti-tobacco ads, and the number of treatments for nicotine addiction has risen dramatically. As such, the amount of teens smoking cigarettes has also dropped from what it was previously. I think this is a very positive thing. However, I argue that that should be the extent of the government's invovlement. Prevent the people with the facts and tell them it's harmful, but ultimately, it is up the the people to heed these warnings or not. If they know it's harmful and decide to smoke anyway, that is their decision. Fast food can also be harmful, but that does not mean we outlaw it. If people want to eat it anyway, that is their choice and them excercising their own personal freedom.

I propse to reject the notion on the grounds that the laws are unforceable, and over-step the boundaries of the government. I would also like voters to view the evidence I have provided clearly showing that legalization will not only bolster the economy, but also lower drug usage. Also note the fact that my opponent has provided little to no evidence to back her own opinion-based claims.



[1]http://www.albany.edu...
[2] http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 3
10551901

Pro

10551901 forfeited this round.
Siege

Con

I will also forfeit this round, to keep things even.
Debate Round No. 4
10551901

Pro

10551901 forfeited this round.
Siege

Con

Will also forfeit this round.

I urge voters to reject the notion.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Siege 4 years ago
Siege
Change the time limit or character limit. I had my argument typed out but could not post it
Posted by Siege 4 years ago
Siege
I'd also be up to debate this.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 4 years ago
The_Chaos_Heart
I'd love to debate this with you, but your criteria is set in such a way that I cannot.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
10551901SiegeTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that prohibition is not efficient, and had sources. Pretty clear win here.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 4 years ago
calculatedr1sk
10551901SiegeTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: If Pro had resolved that tobacco and alcohol are harmful she would surely have been able to meet her burden of proof. But her motion was that it must be banned and made illegal is far harder because she then also has to establish that government intervention is likely to lead to desirable social outcomes. She did not cite sufficient sources or provide enough argument to defend that motion, and in fact Con gave a very strong case against it by pointing out the examples of prohibition and the success of Portugal after legalization. Several rounds were forfeited, which should cost her on conduct, but Con was kind enough to forfeit as well. Con's arguments had a lot more substance, but since Pro's grammar and spelling were also acceptable I'll render that one a tie.