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The Contender
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drug legalization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 430 times Debate No: 77206
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




All drugs should be legal. The choice of use should be an individual decision. Instead of incarcerating thousands each year and fighting a losing drug war, we should spend our tine and money on education. We should educate the public on the benefits(if any) of every drug. Also the dangers and harm they cause. Give the people all the information there is and allow them to make an educated choice. Instead of false propaganda lets tell the truth about drugs. Some have beneficial use some do not. It will be up to the individual to make the decision which to use or not. Our prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders. Instead of educated these people we lock them in a cage and forget about them. We spend upwards of 2 billion dollars a year on the so called drug war, yet drug use continues to increase. We could use that money for education, rehabilitation, and research of drug use effects. Too long in this country have we stuck our heads in the mud about this issue. Its time to stop going to the doctor to get our drugs. Its tine to have the right to make our own choice what we will or will not put in our bodies.


Thank you, jstudt76.

I will open with my negation case.

Burden of Proof: So, the resolution entails that should I find a drug that should not be legal, I win.

Negation Case

P1: People fear the legal and social consequences of illicit drugs, who talked to young people about their experiences with drugs, listed both: (1) Fear of the risks involved in drug-taking, and (2) Family relationships, as being half the reasons why young people do not take drugs [3]. Also, as I demonstrate later, young people (under the age of 25) are precisely the people who should not be allowed to take drugs.

To further solidify, a 2005 study by Rosalie Pacula found that the availability of drugs affected the decision of people. If there was significant risk in obtaining the drug (i.e. it was illegal), this was often a sufficient deterrent in preventing people from purchasing he drug [10]. For example, higher fines and longer jail times were consistently associated with reduced cannabis prevalence”.

From this premise, it should be readily apparent that making drug illegal helps prevent people doing them.

P2: Drugs are very dangerous

According to the American Office of Public Affairs, 40,393 people were killed by illicit drugs in 2010 [2]. From another report, a closer examination of these deaths reveals that 94.7% of all unintentional poisoning deaths are caused by drugs. In 2004, this meant nearly 20,000 deaths [11]. Keep in mind that people are not trying to kill themselves. Due to the ridiculously high rate of poisoning deaths being solely attributed to drugs, would it not be best if drugs were kept from people as often as possible?

To further give you an idea of the potency in illicit drugs, *six times* as many people use alcohol compared to illicit drugs, yet people die from illicit drugs at 174% of the rate of alcohol deaths [8]. Alcohol is also a deadly drug, yet these illicit drugs are staggeringly more dangerous!

Here are the effects of the more potent drugs:

Heroin: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2011, nearly a quarter (23%) of all people who tried heroin in their lives were addicted to it [5]. Addiction is so damaging that it is considered a mental disease [6]. There are said to be three results from addiction: (1) tolerance (meaning it takes more of the drug to get the same effect), (2) dependence (self-explanatory) and (3) deterioration of white matter in the brain (meaning in sharp decrease in decision-making, behaviour regulation and ability to cope with stressful situations). There are also other risk factors strongly associated with heroin, including:

- Overdose

- *Comorbidity* (people who have drug addictions are at least two times more likely to incur a second mental disease)

- Infection (sharing needles)

- STDs (unprotected sex)

- Collapsed veins

- Infection of heart lining and/or valves

- Abscesses

- Liver and/or kidney disease

Above: A heroin user who destroyed her life in merely months

Cocaine: is a very powerful drug. Common highly correlated effects include: restlessness, irritability, anxiety, with paranoia, paranoia psychosis (where the user loses touch with reality) and death being somewhat rarer, but certain possibilities [8]. Further issues are denoted below:

Above: The effects of Cocaine abuse

Above: A cocaine user merely years after taking the substance

Scopolamine: is used occasionally for its hallucinogenic properties [7]. However, this drug can *easily*: destroy a person’s ability to say ‘no’ to things (i.e. the person becomes very suggestible), wipe a person’s memory of whatever happened during drug use and can kill in small doses [12] [13]. I emphasise the ease in which all these things can happen. This leaves the victim in a state where he/she could help the attacker rape, steal, assault or really anything, whilst the person is under the influence.

In Columbia where Scopolamine readily available, there are *at least 50,000* victims of scopolamine each year [14].

From this premise, there should be no doubt in your mind as to the deadliness of drugs, which is going to give my coming arguments some serious impact.

A1: Under 25, brain has not fully developed

According to a articles, of which references several researched papers, the human brain does not fully develop until roughly the age of 25. What this means for this debate is that there are, on average, 4 years in which young people can make some seriously bad decisions relating to some seriously harmful substances [1].

Until roughly the age of 25, what lacks in development is the prefrontal cortex. This means that [1]:

- Organised thinking is lacking, meaning that hormones often influence decisions

- Risk management is quite poor, meaning that instant gratification will often take precedence over long-term rewards

- Impulse control is low, meaning that you are much more likely to give into urges which are detrimental to your well-being

So, the impact is that people under 25 are not in a position to make these potentially very harmful decisions, and thus all drugs should be legal to them.

A2: Drugged Driving

According to the American Office of Public Affairs, in 2007, approximately one in eight weekend night-time drivers were found to be positive for *at least* one illicit drug [2]. Furthermore, from a self-report study (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), about 10.2 million Americans self-reported driving under the influence of an illicit drug during the past year. Keep in mind that this occurred when the drugs were illegal.

Now, since people have been shown here to be unable to control themselves, please consider how A1 and A2 show how drugs are alter the state of mind drastically and how young people are quite poor at making important decisions. Now, amplify all of this with what can be used as a killing weapon: a car. To give this line of argument impact, in 2012, *more than* one in three (38%) drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents tested positive for drugs [2].

The impact here is that drugged driving is already a problem, despite illicit drugs being illegal, and legalisation will make the problem far worse.

A3: Effect on society

When someone destroys his/her life through drug abuse, it is not merely the individual that suffers, but his/her relatives, loved one, community and society, too.

In terms of macro-economics, according to, in 2004, “Illicit drug use in the United States is estimated to have cost the U.S economy more than $193 billion in 2007“[4]. It can be largely attributed to over 1,742,887 hospital emergency department drug misuse or abuse [8]. Comparatively, merely $15 billion is spent yearly on ‘The War on Drugs’, which as you can see, is not even close to a tenth of the healthcare costs illicit drug use inflicts on the American society yearly [9]. Thus, keeping the giant of drug abuse cost is OBVIOUSLY going to outweigh the relatively measly cost of maintaining a war on drugs.

In terms of progress, for every $1 spent in curbing drug use, a return of $4 to $7 in “reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice cost and theft, is received [8]. If legalising drugs is a good idea, then why is it that curbing use brings returns as such?

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there are *six times* as many homicides committed by people under the influence of illicit substances than those who are looking for money to buy drugs [8].
















Debate Round No. 1


Once again I believe it should be an individual choice. If we are educated on the dangers why should we not be able to make up our own mind? You are saying that the brain doesn't fully develope until 25 and I won't dispute that. Then should we restrict other things too? No sex before 25 because that also has an affect on the brain and no relationships for that matter either because they will alter your thinking as well. I guess we shouldn't do anything before the age of 25 then? I won't argue that heroin and cocaine are bad but I still think they should be legal. If they were legal they could be regulated. There could be places to get clean drugs and clean needles so as to cut down on std's and other diseases. Instead we keep it illegal and it makes it a dirty trade with drug cartels and drug gangs who profit from this. How many lives would we save if these cartels were put out of business? You have to trust people to make up their own minds. If we are educated on use and abuse. Your argument suggest that everything harmful should be illegal. Especially under the age of 25. We can't nerf the world and expect everyone to live happily ever after. This is a dangerous place and we have to do the best we can with the info we are given. How many non-violent drug offenders are locked up each year? They are never the same after that. Our prisons are over full with these offenders. Prison has become big business but that's an argument for another time. The crime rate would go down exponentially if drugs were legal. It would effect gun violence as well. How many shootings occur over drug deals gone wrong? How many occur over gang wars over drug selling turf? We are a country that takes pills. We go the the doctor and he prescribes us a pill. These pills are as deadly and in some cases more deadly than illicit drugs. More people overdose on oxicotoin than heroine every year. Now lets talk about other drugs that have benefits. Cannabis has many beneficial effects. It can be used for a wide range of disease and ailments. It is an effective pain reliever. Much better than the pills you can get from the doctor. It is almost impossible to overdose on cannabis. There has never been a documented case of that. Actually there has never been a case of death from cannabis. It helps people with chemo therapy to keep their appetite. It is not physically addictive. Unlike the highly addictive pills from the doc. I have witnessed that first hand. My girlfriend was once addicted to opiates. She took them as they were prescribed and her body became addicted. I watched her go through withdraws and it was terrible. By the way she was greatly helped by cannabis at that time. Now on to psychedelics. We have used psychedelics through out our history. It has beneficial use. From therapy for soldiers with ptsd to helping terminal patients come to terms with their impending deaths. MDMA has been used in couples therapy. Under the proper setting and proper doses these drugs can be very beneficial. If we take the money we spend on the drug war and the money we spend on imprisoning non-violent drug offenders just think what we could improve. The social improvements could be huge. Spend that money on education and training. A lot of people turn to drugs to escape their reality but if we improve that reality then they would be less likely to turn to drugs. If drugs were legal we could better control the use and distribution. You have to trust the people to make the right choice with the right information.


Thank you, jstudt76.

I will first defend my negation case, then I will construct counter-arguments.

My opponent spews out an array of arguments, of which none are referenced, hence they are allbare assertions [1]. I often respond merely in presumption that they are true, but since I have pointed out that nothing is referenced, and therefore my opponent’s entire case is logically fallacious,my opponent has failed to affirm the resolution. Also, my opponent’s walls-of-text are also very hard to follow (as I am sure you had trouble with, too), so please consider penalising him/her on conduct for being difficult to follow.

Negation Case

P1: People fear the legal and social consequences of illicit drugs

My opponent drops this premise.

P2: Drugs are very dangerous

My opponent concedes that cocaine and heroin are “bad”. There is not mention of scopolamine, so this is dropped.

A1: Under 25, brain has not fully developed

My opponent concedes that before the age of 25, the brain is not fully developed yet. My opponent counter-argues that sex “has an affect on the brain”. There are a few problems with this counter-argument:

1) It is unreferenced, therefore it is a bare assertion [1]. What this means is that my opponent has provided no sources to support the claim that sex does have an “affect” on the brain

2) Secondly, my opponent has failed to demonstrate, to the severity I have, that sex causes serious damage to people under the age of 25. Thus, my opponent’s analogy misaligns

3) Furthermore, even *if* my opponent did show that people having sex under the age of 25 was harmful, this does not null or permit the dangers of taking the drugs I listed. It is entirely possible you could negate all drugs being legalised *and* negate young people having sex *at the same time* -- mutual exclusion is not a necessity here

A similar line of argument is applicable to my opponent’s claims that we “shouldn’t do anything [if dangerous drugs aren’t legal]”. My argument is that *seriously* harmful things should be illegal, not just “anything harmful”.

Furthermore, my opponent argues that: if people are educated about the issues, then they will be in a position to make a good decision. This contradicts my line of argument, under this heading. I have demonstrated with statistics and facts (in which all of my demonstration, statistics and facts have been dropped), that people under 25 are *not* in a good enough position to make these very dangerous choices. In fact, there are *plenty* of institutions in the U.S alone that deal with raising awareness about the dangerous nature of drugs (I will only list a few) [2] [3] [4] [5]. Yet despite having all these institutions disseminating information and raising awareness, we still have all the drug abuse and addiction statistics that I listed in my previous round!

A2: Drugged Driving

Completely dropped. Please extend my arguments.

A3: Effect on Society

My opponent drops my statistic that showed for every $1 spent in curbing drug use (e.g. War on Drugs), $4 to $7 is saved.

My opponent also drops my argument that people commit homicides at *six times* the rate than those looking for money to buy drugs. This pre-emptively *countered* my opponent’s argument that the cost of drugs is the main cause of drug related crime.

My opponent claims that the War on Drugs is a “losing battle”. On the contrary, if my opponent had read my arguments and statistics under this title, he/she would see that the cost of the War on Drugs is a mere fraction the cost of illicit drug use costs the United States ($15 billion versus $193 billion). My opponent claims that “we spend upwards of 2 billion dollars a year on the so called drug war”, and despite the figure being actually higher, my opponent’s claim is completely unreferenced (and surprise, surprise: it is wrong). Hence, in order to prevent spending *a lot more money* in dealing with illicit drugs, the War on Drugs is far, far cheaper, and thus should be preferred.

My opponent also mentions that education would be better than continuing the War on Drugs. I refer you back to the bottom of A1, wherein I show that there are *plenty* of drug information institutions that already do this, yet the United States still spends $193 billion a year in dealing with illicit drug use! I emphasise that this is with these drugs being *illegal!*

My opponent mentions gang wars/cartels being a problem, but this is merely a statement and not an argument with statistics and references (unlike mine). So, there is no weight to this line of argument. My opponent even asks, “How many lives would we save if these cartels were put out of business?”That is a very good question, of which my opponent does not know the answer to. herefore it purely speculation and has no impact.

My opponent says that prisons are “full of offenders”, but again, no evidence is provided – another bare assertion [1].


Legalisation of Cannabis, MDMA etc.

I will rely on the fact that cocaine, heroin and scopolamine are dangerous enough that I can negate the resolution based on these. Remember: I do not have to prove that every drug should be illegal. If I show that just *one* drug should not be legal, I win this debate. So, I will let these less harmful drugs slide, for the purposes of this debate.

Individual Choice

Why should this be the case? What is so impactful that *all* drugs should be available to all people? You see, my opponent gives this line of argument no weight, hence there is no reason to buy this line of argument. Instead, my opponent merely states over and over: “it should be the choice of the individual”. In other words, my opponent gives no reason/evidence as to why this should be the case, he merely asserts it, and we know all about bare assertions by now [1].

Regulating drugs

My opponent writes: “If [cocaine and heroin] were legal they could be regulated. There could be places to get clean drugs and clean needles so as to cut down on std's and other diseases.”

Again, this is a bare assertion, as this is purely speculating without providing any evidence to support the claim [1].

Use drugs to escape reality

Why can they not escape reality in a safer way? Have you ever heard of someone dying from drug overdose by reading a fantasy novel? My opponent’s ridiculous argument is that we should legalise *all drugs* because people like to escape from reality. I will trust the fair-mindedness of the audience to see the folly with this.

Pills are more dangerous

Even if pills were more dangerous, it is not true that we can only ban one and not the other. Even *if* this were proven true (and weren’t another bare assertion), this is a false dichotomy, in that my opponent argues with the assumption that there are only two options, when in reality there are more than two [6].








Debate Round No. 2


jstudt76 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by HeraldSarah 1 year ago
I agree that not all drugs should be legalized. Imagine a society where all kinds of drugs, including formerly illegal ones, were readily available to the population. In Colorado, where marijuana use was recently legalized, usage increased with the legalization []. In Amsterdam, where restricted marijuana use is legal, there are over 200 "coffee shops", or places to buy marijuana in small amounts legally []. The use and distribution of recently legalized drugs increases when they are legalized. If such drugs, such as date rape drugs, or even desomorphine (krokodil) [] were legalized, they could be used on others more easily, not allowing for drug use to be an individual choice. This argument, along with the personal dangers associated with drugs like desomorphine, are what convinces me that legalizing some illegal drugs is a very bad idea.
Posted by Zarroette 1 year ago
Posted by ChickenBakuba 1 year ago
Did u honestly have to overkill that poor man
Posted by ChickenBakuba 1 year ago
I was *ahem* including your profi...

Nvm I'll cut short my sentence
Posted by Zarroette 1 year ago
I'm glad that you enjoyed them =)

I have to put scary pics! I have to get my point across because this debate is not about text, but people's lives, too. I need you to see the *real* effects!

We'll see how he/she handles this...
Posted by ChickenBakuba 1 year ago
Zarroette I rlly enjoyed reading ur argument, but plz not post so much scary pics in ur argument next time...

I think I'll have nightmares tonight 0_0

It's basically a Gg alrdy, winner is almost confirmed...

I wonder how Pro will wiggle his way out of dis
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by doomswatter 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con for Pro's forfeited round. Grammar to Con for Pro's lack of paragraph division. Arguments to Con because Pro did not support any assertions with sources and evidence, and ignored and dropped far too many of Con's arguments.