Why marijuana legalisation should be avoided at all costs.
Children in the modern day society have far too many responsibilities and errands to be under the influence on cannabis. It has been proven that adolescent indulgence in THC slows the growth of the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain we use to obtain new information. Furthermore, long-term use induces impaired cognitive thinking and an altered reward system. As you can probably deduce these factors have a negative effect on the quality of schoolwork as well as attendance.
The horrors of marijuana don"t stop as you exit your teenage years though. The sheer illegality of it should be enough to make any sensible adult stay away from marijuana. Failure to do so results in run ins with the law which will then add to your criminal record. Needless to say, this is non-beneficial toward any individuals" future, which poses the question, why would anyone ever smoke pot?
Before beginning this debate, I'd like to give a short background on my perspective. I believe I have some degree of credibility as I have known many marijuana smokers, a handful of drug dealers, and had friends that were affected by substance abuse. I am Pro-Marijuana, Alcohol, and Cigarettes, although I do detest cigarettes. I do not recommend any of the substances, though I do drink in healthy amounts regularly. I, like over 40% of Americans have tried marijuana. I do not particularly enjoy it, and am not a regular user. Since there is nothing sacred, like human life or rights at stake here, I propose that we weigh the benefits with the negative effects for determining the winner of this debate. If the Pros outweigh the cons the pro wins. If the Con outweighs the Pros the con wins. If the con accepts, burden of proof is shared. If not, I will continue to argue that legalization is a good thing regardless.
ThomasWesterby forfeited this round.
Like most American kids growing up, I was offered weed during my teenage years in high school. I'd ask to dealers, how do I know its not laced with something? They'd answer the same old way, and tell me its natural and you don't lace weed. I don't talk to random drug dealers and I trusted them but I'd always reply, that its not drugs I'm worried about. What if there's concentrated fertilizer on it, or pesticides? I want to know what I am putting into my body. That is my biggest reason for refusing to use weed from a drug dealer. The lack of legality has nothing to do with preventing me from a substance so common, but it does prevent safety standards that should definitely be present for anything we consume.
In addition to this, I've spoke with many a pot head in college. Every once and awhile they get a bad batch. It might not be that the weed is bad, but because they didn't know what they were buying. There are different breeds, with different levels of THC, CBD, etc.... and millions of Americans are lighting up without knowing what they have. Legalization would lead to standardizing certain strains and labeling them, so people can make informed decisions.
How did Al Capone go down? Tax evasion. Right now, millions of pounds of marijuana are wasted every year. Imagine if we spent money on the tobacco market and voluntarily refused to tax it. Why would we do this when we could be could be making money off of it? People are always going to smoke and drink. Its part of our culture. The weed market has proven to be resilient enough to withstand government persecution; a significant body of people support it. We should be tapping into this resource. Remember, not only would the product itself be taxed, but a reduction in illegal drug dealers would lead to less tax evasion as well.
Lower Crime Rate
This is pretty simple to understand. By legalizing the product a black market lives off of, the black market will become greatly weakened. Not only would any pot smokers instantly have their actions legalized, the drug dealers would have legal competition.
If we legalize marijuana, law enforcement can stop wasting their time on it, and instead crack down on drugs that have higher addiction rates then coffee, and extreme detrimental side effects. It seems ridiculous that people can do time simply for having marijuana paraphernalia like a pipe or bong. I mean, if they aren't hurting anyone, why are they part of the War on Drugs?
Medical Marijuana is a real thing and has real world proven benefits ranging from pain treatment to slowing the progression of cancer. It has unwanted side effects as well, but wouldn't legalizing the substance free up research on it?
Many people have "burnt out" on pot, but recent studies show that's because they started at a young age. Marijuana has proven detriment to developing brains, but after the brain matures there has been no proof of recession in capability. Some studies actually indicate the opposite is true in older adults, with positive results occurring.
Compared to Nicotine, and Caffeine the information in the following link shows just how easy it is NOT to abuse marijuana. It is an arguably better alternative to things containing nicotine like cigarettes.
Again, smoking is the main issue here. Edibles have not been proven to have anything particularly bad about them if taken during adulthood. I am eager to hear the Cons information on the subject. The drug has well proven adverse affects on brain development as as such should be kept out of the hands of teenagers. Unfortunately teens have historically had a constant access to the drug in both illegal and legal states in America. If we are to legalize, I recommend a national 21 year age limit for the similar reasons we have for alcohol. As teen development is the greatest Con against marijuana I expect this will take up the majority of our debate.
Percent of 12th Graders that have used Marijuana in the Year
Its amazing that the perceived risk correlates inversely with drug use. You would think it would roughly match it, but it appears that perception of risk might have something to do with preventing drug use in teens, and if this is the case teens can potentially be influenced to avoid drugs whether they are legal or not by showing them the risks they're taking instead of just outright telling them drugs are bad. Don't do them. I will be interested to hear what the con has to say on this subject, as there is little evidence on legalization affecting teens more then an illigal system. Percieved risk surely has a far greater impact then legal influence, which seems natural considering the nature of health consequences to teens vs a legal slap on the wrist.
ThomasWesterby forfeited this round.
Debate has been forfeited. It would have been interesting to see the other side. I placed a pretty textbook pro-legalization debate. Evidence shows that legalization has little impact on use to begin with, especially compared to greater influences like percieved risk from education. Asside from the universally negative affects of smoking, marijuana is not particularily harmful when used by fully developed adults. Marijuana is one of the less adictive drugs we have common access to so its easy not to abuse it.
Any substance can be abused, and abuse of any substance can cause harm to your your life. Please be careful, and if you have any doubts, just don't do it.