The Instigator
Smithereens
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
JorgeLucas
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points

illicit drugs should be legalised

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Smithereens
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,747 times Debate No: 25918
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (4)

 

Smithereens

Con

Greetings, I hope you accept this debate.
I have issued this challenge after seeing you debate with THEBOMB and thought that you would make an excellent opponent in this issue should you be able to spare the time for this debate.

If you accept, we will define illicit drugs as drugs that are currently illegal in the majority of first world countries, drugs which have been determined to cause damage to the health of a human user in any amount above 1 mg.

Rules:
4 rounds, first is for acceptance, definitions and anything else you might want to say outside of this debate before we begin. This first round you can also use to post your argument, but if you do so there will be no new arguments allowed from you in round 3.
last round will contain no new arguments, only rebuttals and defenses of previous arguments.
BoP is on Pro, but Con may state arguments if he wants. If Con's arguments do not attempt to adequately negate the resolution Pro may ignore them altogether. (within reason)
voting period is 2 weeks
72 hours to type your argument
8k character limit.
No semantics or trolling.
Forfeit results in 7 point penalty.

If nothing else needs to be stated, I wish my opponent good luck.
JorgeLucas

Pro

I accept the challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
Smithereens

Con

My case:

1) Users of drugs harm other people involuntarily.
a) In a new study, reported in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers found that of U.S. drivers who died in a crash, about 25% tested positive for drugs.[1] This is in a country that prohibits the use of illicit drugs. If drugs were to be made legitimate and available for everyone, it will follow that the amount of people who are killed by other drug users will skyrocket to alarming levels, not that they aren't alarming already, the further amount of tragic accidents that will kill innocent civilians will be a cause for further alarm.
b) Babies exposed to legal and illegal drugs in the womb may be born premature and underweight. This drug exposure can slow the child's intellectual development and affect behavior later in life. [2] Pregnant drug users hurt their offspring, which they have no right to do.
c) Parents' drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes and child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the well-being and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation. [2] It also emotionally scars the children and impairs their right to freewill using a normal mindset. Other mental injuries result in depression and suicide, which occurs due to the child being subject to such a negative environment thanks to the illicit drug use of the parents.


2) Users of drugs harm themselves involuntarily.
This argument stands in pre-emptive refutation of an argument which I think my opponent will use. 'People choose to take drugs, they are allowed to choose that.' Well, wrong. Freedom of choice only occurs when it is 'free.' When someone takes drugs however, it is usually because of other influences that have forced them to try. Most people who smoke, take drugs and abuse other substances eventually regret it. [3] So that means that their decision that they started off with did not reflect on what they actually wanted, which resulted in the regret factor. In other words, if a decision leads to regret, and the person wished he/she picked the alternative, then we are obliged to force them to the alternative to begin with, and not allow them to have regret. On the bottom line, people who take drugs don't want to hurt themselves, but they are willing to hurt themselves if they get a pleasurable experience from it, which ties into my next point.


3) People take drugs thinking it will make them happy. We should stop drug use due to this misconception.
People take drugs for a multitude of reasons, but every single one of these reasons boils down to a single fact. People take drugs to be happy/happier. But what is it that drugs are doing?
Dopamine is a the neurotransmitter responsible for the 'thrill' that happens every time you consume drugs. Dopamine is released from the transmitter and collected by the receptor resulting in the feeling of pleasure. However, when you take drugs, large quantities of dopamine are released and two things happen.
a) Your body adjusts to the sudden increase of dopamine and becomes tolerant of the neurotransmitter, meaning dopamine does not make you as happy as you use to be
b) The dopamine transporters are ruined by the drug and more drug is required to stimulate the release of more dopamine, which further kills the transporters. This always results in tolerance to the drug, where user starts wanting more and more; and addiction, where due to the tolerance, the body cannot function properly without the drug and demands that more drugs be available.

In short, drug use is a very ineffective method of attaining happiness due to the fact that it results in the inability to be happy. The fact that most drug users take it for happiness means that they are not aware of the implications of their decisions, which as I pointed out before results in regret.

Concluding, people who take drugs harm others, harm themselves (against their will) and do so because they are subject to misguided or incorrect information. Furthermore, I challenge my opponent to propose a model in which drugs can be legalised where teenagers cannot use drugs. Teens have a flawed risk vs reward system of judgement due to an underdeveloped frontal lobe. We cannot allow drugs to be available to teens due to this impairment of free choice. So how do you legalise it without them getting any?

Reminder: My opponent must post arguments as well as rebuttals in order to fulfill BoP and to confirm the resolution.


[1]http://www.progressiveic.com...

JorgeLucas

Pro

Rebuttals:

O1. Users of drugs harm other people involuntarily
a. My opponent says himself that these statistics are in a country where drugs are already illegal. Clearly, drugs being illegal has not helped to solve this problem at all. Next, he goes to say that the amount of DUI deaths will "skyrocket." He gives no evidence to support this claim. He simply assumes its truth. I would like to relate his logic to something similar: the recent bans on texting while driving. By his logic, the amount of texting-related crashes should have dramatically decreased after texting while driving was banned. "Yet a new study by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers" (1). The article goes to say that crashes have actually increased in several states, and has several graphs as well. So, if applying these laws had no effect other than slight increases, what reason is there to assume that legalizing drugs would have any effect on crash rates?
b. Fetuses are not truly living people with legal standing, so a pregnant parent doing drugs violates no rights, even if it is stupid and harms herself more than anyone else. However, since my opponent is opposed to abortion, I propose we abandon this point for the sake of staying on topic. His choice.
c. In blaming drugs for the parents' negligence and abuse, my opponent actually sanctions this reprehensible behavior and blames the drugs, not the people. Neither drug legalization or criminalization are ever going to change the fact that some people are naturally cruel and should not be raising children.
What my opponent forgets with his argument, is that people commit crimes and acts of stupidity. Not drugs. He wishes to excuse. When one takes drugs, they are aware of the possible consequences, and are responsible if they occur.

O2. Users of drugs harm themselves involuntarily
My opponent begins by stating that the choice to take drugs is not a free decision, because there were outside influences. The simple problem with this claim is that all choices are affected by outside influences. For example, I might be out of milk, so I would choose either to stay home or go to the store and buy the milk. Let's say I chose to buy the milk. By my opponent's logic, I should have been 'protected' from having to make this choice because it wasn't really my decision. But while it may have had outside influence, it was still my free decision. The same goes for drugs. The user may have been influenced, but he freely made the choice to get drugs.
The regret factor is actually proof that drug legalization would not be a bad thing. People like to think that under legalization, suddenly everybody would become an addict. But since people regret using drugs, that means they can understand the consequences that go beyond legal standing. That means that people actually can make the right decision without being forced. Nobody forced regret upon them. The regret came from within, because they came to a realization of their own. Regret is a good thing. It is a way for people to know they made a mistake, and more importantly learn from their mistakes.
We are not obligated to help people who cause their own problems. We do not have the right to coerce people into conforming with our way of life. A society built on force is a society of anti-freedom, anti-equality, and anti-morality.

O3. People take drugs thinking it will make them happy
While my opponent hasn't sourced his science, I believe what he says is correct, so I will continue with the rebuttal.
My opponent is correct when he says that drugs are an inefficient means of happiness. He also says that the user is not aware of this. These are not justifications for a drug being illegal. If one were to purchase a car (spending much more money than on drugs) and find that they don't like the car, should the car be illegal to purchase? If one were to go to McDonalds and buy french fries, only to find that there are 3 fries fewer than the last time they came, should the fries be illegal? The answer is of course "no", because such claims are absurd. The analogy applies to drugs as well.

O4. Teenagers
Nothing will ever stop teenagers from getting drugs. The difference is whether they get them from underground or legitimate operations.

Contentions:

C1. The act of taking drugs does not violate rights
The responsibility of the government, first and foremost, is to protect the rights of its citizens. In the act of taking drugs, nobody's right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness has been violated. In fact, the user has taken advantage of his rights. He has the liberty to do anything as long as he does not infringe on the rights of others. So he does drugs. He also takes advantage of his right to the pursuit of happiness, since drugs make him happy. That's why people take them. And while I myself wouldn't make such a decision, it does not harm anyone, and should not be illegal.

C2. The failure of prohibition
In 1920, the government made alcohol illegal. The thinking was that people would be healthier, and alcohol-related crime would go down. It failed horribly. Alcohol was readily available anyway, but it was no longer controlled by respectable businessmen. It was run by the mafia. Organized crime rose in power, to brew alcoholic beverages and protect other brewers, since the government wouldn't. One man that rose out of prohibition was Al Capone, arguably the most infamous gangster of all time. In 1933, the government realized they had made a horrible mistake, and prohibition ended (2). While the drugs we are discussing in this debate are more dangerous that alcohol, on a philosophical level there is no difference. We are making the same mistakes, and pretending we are helping people.

C3. More power to gangs/cartel
As I mentioned in my last argument, prohibition gave rise to the mafia. The War on Drugs has given rise to something else: the Mexican drug cartel. In Mexico, the Mexican drug war has various cartels fighting each other and the Mexican government, in what is basically an all-out war. The cartels make an estimated 39 billion dollars annually. The cartel does not stick to Mexico, however. A drug known as black tar heroin has made its way into the U.S. black market due to the cartel. The cartels are known to recruit in American high schools. A 14 year old from San Diego was turned into an assassin by the cartel (3). If drugs are legalized, the cartel will be obsolete, as legitimate companies will be able produce and sell drugs. The competition will no longer be the violence we have today, but businesses responding to the needs of consumers in an attempt to make a greater profit than their competitors. This is evidenced in the alcohol industry by Miller and Budweiser, for example.

C4. Users cannot be helped if they were scammed
Let's say somebody wants to get some drugs. They find a dealer, make the deal, and discover that the drugs are much less potent that what they were told. Maybe it was a simple mistake on the part of the dealer, or maybe it was fraud. In the world of legal products, One could go and get a refund if it was a simple mistake. If it was fraud, however, the customer might have to sue whoever sold them a faulty product. But in the world of illegal drugs, one couldn't sue their dealer. If they did, they would announce to the government that they went and bought an illegal substance. And then they will likely go to jail. Is it fair that somebody would have to face legal punishment just because they wanted to report fraud? Of course not. And if drugs were legal, this problem would cease to exist.

Sources:
1. http://www.iihs.org...
2. http://www.cato.org...
3. http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Smithereens

Con

Defense: (my opponents words in bold)

1) drugs being illegal has not helped to solve this problem at all.
Wrong, drug illegalisation helps stop drugs but nothing will ever be able to destroy it for good. This statement which Pro makes seeks to imply that legalising drugs will solve the problem, I dare him to prove that, since it is his claim after all.

amount of DUI deaths will "skyrocket."
Studies cannot be done here due to the fact that no government in their right mind will allow it. It follows that if there is x amount of drug users with 49%[1] of x being involved in drug related accidents, then if x rises by 50-500% as is expected if drugs should be legalised, then my opponent cannot state that the 49% will reduce to compensate for the new drug users who normally wouldn't take drugs if it were illegal. That is laughable. More people maybe taking drugs, but the amount of those users that are injured severely will remain at 49%.

b) so a pregnant parent doing drugs violates no rights
Drug abuse does not kill the child as often as it spares him/her. So the child is born with horrific defects and is stuck like that for life. How can Pro justify that? He tries to justify it by saying that drugs 'harms [the mother] more than anyone else.' What rubbish! Even though she is harmed by it (and she sure deserves it for her cruelty) it is the child that suffers! Being born with fatal genetic failures and trisomy and birth defects in your chromosomes is one of the most hideous tortures a parent can inflict on their child. Now look what he says: " I propose we abandon this point for the sake of staying on topic." No. This is not off-topic. Address this injustice Pro.

c)Neither drug legalization or criminalization are ever going to change the fact that some people are naturally cruel and should not be raising children.
This was my opponents response to my point that the drug use of a parent destroys the entire family and ruins the children's lives. What a likewise inhumane justification. My point was that people using drugs ruin their families and Pro says that it would happen regardless? If the drugs were not there then this would never have happened. Look what he says: "...and blames the drugs, not the people." Concession/argument in my favour. Yes, I'm trying to say that the drugs are to blame due to their influence on the people.

sub arguments b and c have not been refuted, please try again.

2) By my opponent's logic, I should have been 'protected' from having to make this choice because it wasn't really my decision.
When making insignificant decisions, it doesn't matter what the influences are that shaped it. When it is life changing and life threatening however, every decision must be carefully considered and weighed to ensure that the person is not making a misinformed decision. Furthermore, people who start taking drugs lose the ability to decide to stop. So in essence, they have lost free-will. How then will we know if they really wanted to stop and salvage what's left of their lives? We don't know. So we need to know beforehand, which is where we use regret. If a person regrets their decision, then if we could, we would be obliged to go back in time and stop them from making it. Since we can't, we stop them from doing it due to the fact that the majority of people regretted it and it follows logically that the next generation of drug abusers will likewise share the same regret. And in a democracy, we are trying to please the majority.

3) My opponent is correct when he says that drugs are an inefficient means of happiness.
A strange way to begin a rebuttal, but anyhow...

If one were to purchase a car (spending much more money than on drugs) and find that they don't like the car, should the car be illegal to purchase
No, buying a car will not guarantee the destruction of your life. But let's entertain his thoughts for a moment. We cannot illegalise you buying a car that you will wish you had never bought in the future simple because we cannot predict it, and if we could, cars are still a small matter compared to life. Since we can predict that you will regret starting on drugs we have sufficient reasons to attempt to dissuade you, namely by making it illegal. We are not stopping you, just trying hard to make it hard for you.

4) Nothing will ever stop teenagers from getting drugs.
While its true that more teenagers take drugs than what I would want (21.5%)[2], this is all the more reason not to legalise it, where it would become readily available to all of them. Pros rebuttal is frankly amusing.

Rebuttals:
C1: This point has been refuted by O1: b and c. The act of taking drugs will violate others rights due to the negative repercussions that arise out of substance abuse. Harming yourself also negatively affects those around you, how would your family feel if you committed suicide or became a homeless unemployed and probably criminal person living on the street? Not only would you cause them emotional harm, but people like you would then force taxpayer money to be spent worthlessly on rehabilitation programs designed to help you. Pro should not be short sighted, it is very hard to hurt yourself without harming others. Even if you could, I have demonstrated why harming yourself is against your will.

C2: My opponent makes a claim and has introduced a grenade in his own works.
the government made alcohol illegal.
Alcohol was readily available anyway

So, he has explained why the plan to illegalise alcohol failed: It is really easy to make and distribute. Drugs however, are so hard to make that a single kilogram of cocaine in the USA, where laws are slack will sell for $35,000. In places like Australia, the same drug sells for $190,000 per kilo.[3,4] Now compare the two countries:
Australia with population of about 22 million has roughly equal demand to USA now that demand in Australia has increased.
USA has 311 million and drugs are hard to make there due to a higher density of humans per square kilometre. Drugs in USA must therefore be made next door in Mexico (it is far harder to smuggle drugs than it is to make it locally).
So the differences in law have caused a significant difference in the value of the drugs. The price is determined by the substances scarcity and since that is so, prices should be higher in the USA. Now going back to the argument, illegalising drugs works better than illegalising alcohol since drugs are so much harder to be made without the police catching you. Let it also be noted that this point does not attempt to affirm the resolution, since the illegalisation of drugs is serving its purpose.
I realise that there is an argument there so I request Pro to both defend and refute.

C3: More power to gangs/cartel.
Mexico has got a huge mafia due to a failed police system. In tougher places, like Australia, the mafia has been completely destroyed. So its not the presence of drugs that cause big gangs, its the absence of law enforcement. Gangs will still exist even if we legalise drugs, so what's the point? We know that a more effective law enforcement system will work, so why jump to the conclusion that drug legalisation will work? It won't. These gangs will just turn into massive retail and manufacturing empires if they are ceased to be hunted down.

C4: Users cannot be helped if they were scammed
This point does not help my opponent at all. In fact, it helps me. If someone is scammed by a drug user then they will have a reason not to buy drugs. The fact that they are doing something illegal means that when something illegal happens to them in turn, they will suffer for it as just punishment.

Concluding, I would like to see some rebuttals from my opponent and some stronger arguments if he can help it.
The resolution remains unaffirmed.

I have put the sources in the comments since they wont fit here.
JorgeLucas

Pro

Rebuttals:

O1. Users of drugs harm other people involuntarily
a. My opponent dares me to prove that legalizing drugs will make people stop doing drugs, and says that that is my claim. This is not my claim. My claim is that legalizing drugs will protect people's rights and prevent gang violence.
My opponent declines to respond to my argument about texting-while-driving bans. Instead, he uses flawed logic to restate a point I have already refuted.
b. I said in my original rebuttal that "fetuses are not truly living people with legal standing, so a pregnant parent doing drugs violates no rights." My opponent has not addressed this at all. When I proposed abandoning the point, I was not saying the point was invalid, but that my rebuttal might lead to a micro-debate on abortion instead.
c. My opponent seems to think that drugs are the cause of all evil, and without drugs there would be no problems. This is simply not true.
As my opponent likes to do to me, I dare him to show that ALL ruined families are the result of drugs.
In saying that drugs are the sole cause of incidents like this, my opponent groups an ordinary user into the same category as a violent user. They are not the same, and the former should not suffer for the crimes of the latter. People are responsible for their own actions. They are not controlled by drugs because it was their decision to take the drugs in the first place.

O2. Users of drugs harm themselves involuntarily
My opponent attempts to make a distinction between significant and insignificant decisions. However, his criteria are strange and arbitrary. If a significant decision must be life changing and life threatening. By his logic, buying a house is insignificant because it is not life threatening. So is getting married.
My opponent thinks that if somebody regrets their decision, we are obliged to prevent them from making it. We aren't people have the right and the responsibility to learn from their own mistakes.
My opponent says that we are trying to please the majority in a democracy. Wrong. Democracy is about everybody, not a group of people that happens to be in the majority. Back in the day, the majority of people owned slaves. Was it right, then to have slavery legal? The majority of people today actually support the legalization of marijuana (1). Helping the majority at the expense of the minority is not democracy.

O3. People take drugs thinking it will make them happy
My opponent basically that drugs guarantee the destruction of life, but cars don't. However, the amount of drug deaths is only slightly higher than the amount of car deaths (2). Thus, this claim is invalid.
Making it harder for people to get drugs is not a good thing. While it may discourage some, many others will just resort to more drastic measures to acquire drugs.

O4. Teenagers
Saying my rebuttal is "frankly amusing" does not counter anything I said.

Defense:

C1. The act of taking drugs does not violate rights
While drug users can cause their family to feel emotional harm, this is not a violation of rights. People are not entitled to happiness. They are entitled to the PURSUIT of happiness.
My argument is not that taxpayer money should go to rehabilitate drug users. I want the government to play no part in drugs, and setting up tax based rehabilitation programs is just the opposite.

C2. The failure of prohibition
My opponent's point here is that that criminalization leads to scarcity, which leads to price increases, which lead to less drug consumption. This is logical thinking, but fails to take something into account: addiction. As a user goes down the path to addiction, drugs become more important in their head, and the rest of the world becomes less important. These people crave drugs, and do not care what the price is. Thus, their drug consumption will not go down. As this continues, the user will start going broke, and have less money to get their drugs. They will start to steal to pay for their problem. A Kentucky couple went on an interstate burglary spree to pay for their drugs, and made a total of $80,000 (3). Increasing drug prices through criminalization does not lead to less drug consumption. It leads to poverty and crime.
While some drugs may be harder to make than alcoholic beverages, There is one drug notable for its addictiveness, danger, and easiness to make: methamphetamine. The active ingredient is ephedrine or pseudo-ephedrine"cold medicine. There is no correlation between the danger of a substance and how easy it is to make.

C3. More power to gangs/cartel
Mexico does not have light law enforcement. There is an all-out war between the cartels and the Mexican Federal Police. Even the military has gotten involved.
Gangs will still exist, but they will have much less money. Thus, they will not be able to afford weapons or recruit new members as well as before. Gangs will lose power, and violence will go down.
If the gangs or cartels turn into massive retail/manufacturing empires, with no violence, then there is no problem. My opponent argues for my case by showing that legitimate business is more effective than underground business.

C4. Users cannot be helped if they were scammed
In saying that scam victims will have a reason not to buy drugs, my opponent argues for my case. He shows that drugs being illegal is unnecessary, because people will be able to choose not to do drugs
Next, my opponent says that a drug user who was scammed has received some sort of justice. Justice must be done through the legal system. Vigilante justice leads to anarchy. But even if vigilante justice was somehow noble and fair, the fact is the dealer in our scenario wasn't a vigilante. He was a con man, who committed fraud and got away with it.

Sources:
1. http://stopthedrugwar.org...
2. http://rt.com...
3. http://www.wlwt.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Smithereens

Con


Defense:
#1 Users of drugs harm other people involuntarily
a) I brought up an excellent counter-example to refute my opponents someone amusing attempt at a rebuttal. My example distinguished a a difference between our examples mathematically. He calls it flawed logic but curiously enough he doesn't say why. I don't see how it can be possibly flawed. Maybe maths is flawed? But that's for another debate.
b) My opponent starts straying from my argument in this point. I asked him to justify a pregnant drug users actions when the baby is born with disabilities, namely, severe underweightness and mental/physical impairments. This has nothing to do with abortion. We are discussing the implications of a fetus that although survives the parent's abuse of drugs, does not go through unscathed. This is unjust on the child, who will live a probably short life of pain. He has failed to provide a justification.
c) My opponent asserts incorrectly that I believe drugs are the source of all evils. I have no idea why he thinks this, but for the purposes of this debate, all prior beliefs should be ignored and we should focus on the matter at hand. Now, my opponent dares me to show that all ruined families are ruined by drugs. This is a grammatically hideous statement, it should be: I dare him to show that all families with drug abusing members are ruined. I advocate that drugs are one of the causes of broken families, but not the only cause. A study by Marina Barnard at Glasgow University[1] concluded that every normal family under normal circumstances receives a negative impact from a members drug use, sometimes so profound that the family never recovers. Its unsurprising really, science tells us that a human cannot use illicit drugs and not be harmed. That's why illicit drugs are considered as illicit. There is no safe level of use. What my opponent fails to see however, is that it is incredibly rare for a single person to be harmed by drugs. The circumstances to allow such a scenario are so improbable, they can be ignored altogether. For this debate, we will be real and consider the fact that nearly everyone who takes drugs harms other people, not the hypothetical possibility of taking drugs without harming someone else.

#2 Users of drugs harm themselves involuntarily
So, my opponent doesn't know what I'm talking about, understandable. What I'm saying is that we cannot use my opponents system of correction to substitute for a decent regret justification of preventing a decision. For example, consider my opponents naive statement: 'people have the right and the responsibility to learn from their own mistakes.' We can't allow that to happen if the person cannot learn from a mistake. Its true, they learn they shouldn't have made their decision, but that is the regret at work. They cannot undo their actions, the damage has been done and it is pernament. That is what I mean by a life changing decision, one where you cannot simply learn from a mistake, you die from it, or get your neurotransmitters screwed up.

#3 People take drugs thinking it will make them happy
Look at my opponents hilarious claim: "The amount of drug deaths is only slightly higher than the amount of car deaths. Thus, this claim is invalid." My opponent seriously needs a math lesson. I'll gladly provide.
When comparing fatality:nonfatality ratios you never work from absolute numbers, only percentages. Lets say that 5% of all drivers are involved in serious accidents. Now lets say that there are 10 million drivers in a certain place. 5% of 10 million is 500 thousand. Now lets assume that there are 400 thousand drug users. Lets also say that 95% of these drug users become substance abuses. 95% of 400 thousand is 380 thousand. So according to my opponents logic, since there are 380 thousand people negatively affected by drugs, vs 500 thousand injured by car accidents, then one is more likely to be injured in an accident than by drugs. What rubbish. My opponent clearly needs help with maths. Also, note his source: http://rt.com... It details why my opponents claim is invalid. And by looking at it, this maths example should not be taken as true, since there are now more drug fatalities than car fatalities, wow O_O. [2]

#4 Teenagers
Another hilarious comment/attempt by Pro! You should be a comedian! my original argument was that we cannot allow drugs to become available to teenagers. While some teenagers do manage to get hold of drugs anyways, the fact that they are illegal has prevented a higher percentage of teenage drug users. At the end of the paragraph in my previous defense, I stated that his rebuttal was amusing. What does he do? Pro ignores all the factual stuff and homes in on that statement. His only comment is: "Saying my rebuttal is "frankly amusing" does not counter anything I said." Well, feel free to ignore all my arguments Pro. It's your funeral.


Rebuttals:
1) The act of taking drugs does not violate right
Oh no, what do we have here? "People are not entitled to happiness." Hmm. Flawed statement. If someone is happy, are they not entitled to continue being happy? Happiness is after all merely contentment. My opponent seems to think it is pleasure, which is understandable, but he assumes that no one has it. He is also one of the philosophically narrow people who claim that you can't be happy, but you can try to be happy. Nonsense, you can be happy, its not impossible, but it is hard in this stinking rich country. My opponent also says: "While drug users can cause their family to feel emotional harm, this is not a violation of rights." It is a violation of rights actually. You do not have the right to hurt people in order to pursue your happiness. Basic Utilitarianism. Others have the right to expect no harm from you, assuming you live in the civilised world, and you have the right to not harm other people. My opponent is very good at being funny, but I was hoping for a more... intelligent debate.

"I want the government to play no part in drugs" Well, that's your opinion, but the fact of the matter is that people who take drugs want rehabilitation. You are obliged to give them that since you didn't try to prevent it in the first place. Refer to article 1 of the UN declaration of human rights. Due to this declaration, we must have things like Medicare and rehab centres. More will sprout up if we give drugs to everyone, an utter disaster of health.

2) My opponent suggests that we can avoid theft by making drugs legal... unbeknown to him, drugs also have a tendency to cause people to lose their jobs, fall out of school and have a life of wreck anyways, so solving the problem of 1 or 2 thefts, leads to 1000 or 2000 cases of unemployment and serious debt.

The production of methamphetamine has been made more difficult by federal regulations aimed at controlling the flow of precursor chemicals such as ephedrine and pseudo ephedrine, so Pros claim is invalid. [3]

3) Gangs use any source of crime they want. Take one away and they get a new one. That's why they are so resilient. Making everything legal is a unconscionable approach to fighting them. But them turning retail will be disaster, as they will still specialise in crime in other areas funded by business.

4) this is a rare case of vigilante justice actually working. We don't mind criminals scamming criminals, just so long as no innocents are affected. But it is still necessary for drugs to be illegal, people are only encouraged not to do drugs due to the law being against them.

Pro is flawed all over, he has failed to negate a single one of my arguments, he also needs a maths tutor. Thanks for the debate Pro, and no offense but I would like to debate someone else next time. I wasn't really looking for humor here. Have a good day, Vote Con.


[1] http://www.jrf.org.uk...
[2] http://rt.com...
[3] http://science.howstuffworks.com...


JorgeLucas

Pro

Rebuttals:

O1. Users of drugs harm other people involuntarily
a. My opponent once again ignores my texting-while-driving example.
b. My opponent once again ignores my argument that fetuses are not life.
c. My opponent once again fails to adequately rebuttal the fact that people are to blame, not drugs. He declines to address that ordinary users should not be punished for what violent, harmful users have done.

O2. Users of drugs harm themselves involuntarily
My statement about one's right and responsibility to learn from their mistakes is not naive. It is reality. If the damage is permanent, that is tragic, but it is not the business of the rest of us to prevent it. People need to be more afraid of the very real health consequences, not arbitrary legal consequences.

O3. People take drugs thinking it will make them happy
My opponent's numbers of 10 million, 400 thousand, and 95% are arbitrary and should not be taken seriously.
I know that there are now more drug fatalities than car fatalities. I read the article. My point is that the numbers are so similar that saying drugs guarantee death is the same as saying cars guarantee death.

O4. Teenagers
My opponents talks about lowering the percentage, but his original challenge clearly stated that drugs needed to be completely away from teenagers: "Furthermore, I challenge my opponent to propose a model in which drugs can be legalised where teenagers cannot use drugs. Teens have a flawed risk vs reward system of judgement due to an underdeveloped frontal lobe. We cannot allow drugs to be available to teens due to this impairment of free choice. So how do you legalise it without them getting any?" This was his challenge. Not that teenagers need to take less drugs.
My opponent once again ignores my argument about the source of the drugs.

Defense:

C1: The act of taking drugs does not violate rights
I have no idea where my opponent got the idea that I assume happiness is pleasure and that "no one has it." Of course it is possible, but I don't understand my opponent's claim that it is harder to be happy in a rich country. I think he is talking about recession.
It is not that one does not have the right hurt other people. It is that one does not have the right to violate the rights of other people. There is a big difference. Competing businesses might hurt their competitors, but they certainly aren't violating any rights.
My whole argument is my opinion. That's the point of a debate. My opponent's next point is trying to change the subject by using a different law, but in a debate about the law, the law is not a valid argument.

C2. The failure of prohibition
My opponent's comments about losing jobs, falling out of school, etc... take place in a world where drugs are illegal. I explained why all this happened in my last argument, but my opponent again chooses to ignore my argument in favor of a straw man.
By regulating ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine to regulate meth, they might as well just regulate water to regulate alcohol. This would of course be ridiculous.

C3. More power to gangs/cartel
My opponent says that gangs would get a new source of illegal income, but cannot come up with an example of one. Even if this did happen, nothing could possibly get them the same revenue as the War on Drugs.
If gangs continue to commit crimes, then there is still a problem, but why would they commit crimes when they have turned legitimate? It would be terrible for their business.

C4. Users cannot be helped if they are scammed
The point is that if Criminal A scams 'Criminal' B, Criminal B is an innocent in the situation. As an innocent victim, he should be able to receive help after being stolen from, but instead he will be arrested for drugs.
My opponent says that "people are only encouraged not to do drugs due to the law being against them." This is wrong in two ways. The first is that drug users are not discouraged to do drugs, and the second is that non-users are discouraged by the possible health problems caused by drugs. I know that if drugs were legalized, I still wouldn't do drugs.

This debate started off well, but by the end my opponent grew extremely disrespectful, and ignored many of my arguments. He constantly told me my arguments were hilarious. As for math skills, I just so happen to be in AP Calculus. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JorgeLucas 4 years ago
JorgeLucas
The addiction itself does not harm other people. The actions taken while under the influence do.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
There is no actual substance that prevents you from making the right decision when it comes to murder. Tolerance to drugs prevent you from ceasing to take the drug unless you are one of the rare people who have the ability and sheer will-power to break the addiction. I would say that's sufficient reason alone to prevent legalisation of drugs.
Posted by JorgeLucas 4 years ago
JorgeLucas
That's like saying if somebody kills people while high they shouldn't be convicted of murder.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
@how do you punish an addict? Its not their fault the human body reacts that way.
Posted by JorgeLucas 4 years ago
JorgeLucas
@Smithereens: I think I see what you are saying. But in this scenario, the problem is not an individual's drug use, but an individual forcing another individual to take drugs. So now that I think about it, the mother should be held accountable, but again, punish the person, not the drug.
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
@jorgelucus,
sorry to chase this after the debate, but my curiosity has gotten better of me:
my argument is that assuming it is ok to kill the fetus via the mothers drug abuse, what would you say in defense of the mothers actions if the fetus survives and becomes a deformed human, is that unjust on the human?
Posted by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
@jorgelucas, yeah, we all do that, think nothing of it
@16kadams, you're an experienced debater, you know that I don't necessarily believe what i say.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Studies have been done for DUI, legalization raises the rate.
Posted by JorgeLucas 4 years ago
JorgeLucas
Oh crap I called myself con when I'm actually pro...
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ObiWan 4 years ago
ObiWan
SmithereensJorgeLucasTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall, I think con was able to defeat pros arguments more effectively, especially with his mathematical proof and the issue of pregnant drug users. Spelling and Grammar and sources were clearly quite even but I'm giving Con the point as a counter to danjr10
Vote Placed by larztheloser 4 years ago
larztheloser
SmithereensJorgeLucasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, good clash, somewhat weak arguments from pro. Two key areas of clash - enforcement and choice. I felt con won choice by showing that we restrict choice when society is at risk, and showing a general social harm from drugs. Pro won enforcement, because con never showed substantive evidence for a lack of enforcement causing current drugs problems. This was a less significant issue in the debate, and so I award it narrowly to con. I'm happy to give more detailed feedback if asked.
Vote Placed by danjr10 4 years ago
danjr10
SmithereensJorgeLucasTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: The Pro side had the better arguments, such as the point on prohibition and personal choice
Vote Placed by Jacob_Apologist 4 years ago
Jacob_Apologist
SmithereensJorgeLucasTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: easy case for Con, but he needs to respect the opponent no matter how absurd and fallacious his arguments may be.