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The Contender
Pro (for)
8 Points

legalize weed?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,590 times Debate No: 15063
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Legalizing marijuana is morally wrong and should not be legalized because Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the U.S. and around the world. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for general use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.


I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate, and am greatly honored to have this as my first debate on DDO.

Marijuana, a strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared
Legalization, the act of making lawful

My standpoint in this debate is to be for the legalization of marijuana.

Contention 1
I cannot disprove my opponents statement that marijuana is the most commonly abused but this statement actually supports the reason to legalize Marijuana. If legalized we can regulate who and how much is received. By regulating this substance we can cut back on the number of individuals that abuse the drug.

Contention 2
Now my opponent fails to clarify her last point so I shall infer she is referring to situations in which the cannabis is mixed in with other substances hence making the substance dangerous to the user. In this case legalization and regulation serve as a benefit, by being able to control quality and content we are able to decrease the probability of bad hemp getting out to the general population drastically.

Now that I am done refuting my adversaries contentions I shall begin with the demonstration of my own points upon why marijuana should be legalized.

Point I}
The money that is wasted upon the war on drugs can be spent on more productive things such as education in which the U.S. is falling incredibly far behind other nations.

Point II}
By legalizing the substance we can decrease the amount of crime associated with the drug. For instance when prohibition ended the amount of gang violence severely decreased for now the substance could be legally purchased and then people no longer had to deal with mobs to receive an incredibly wanted commodity. By doing the same thing with cannabis we can also decrease the amount of gang violence by making it so that people can go to legal tenders to receive the wanted commodity rather than dealing with the cartels.

Point III}
If we legalize cannabis and pt a tax upon it we could potentially create an new source of revenue, and in doing this we can decrease taxes on other things such as food, electricity, and other such commodities.

Point IV}
Marijuana has many other applications besides an drug such as the production of bio-fuels, fabric, paper, and many other things. It is an cheap and easy crop to grow and can help the environment by giving us an clear alternative to the use of trees to make paper and fossil fuels for fuel (a bit redundant, I know, bu none the less factual) and plastics .

Point V}
The locking up of people in prison who the use and sell the plant in an nonviolent manner is an absolute waste of prison space and we tend to give them an lengthy sentence for a fairly innocent thing. Prison should be devoted to the storage of criminals, not people of peaceful intention using a drug harmlessly. This waste of space costs taxpayers around $78.95 per day to keep these individuals in jail, and multiply this by the 755,186 people arrested in a year for the usage and ownership of this relatively harmless substance and you see that it becomes an incredible waste of funds which can be better devoted towards other things such as educations and public services.

This concludes my first round argument, I look forward to hearing my opponents rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1


Id like to thank my opponent for setting up his argument in an organized manner which makes it easier for me to examine and refute your claims.

In response to point One: I do agree that we are spending alot of money upon the war on drugs but i feel that citing revenue gain as reason to legalize the drug emphasizes money over health and ignores the significant cost burdens that will inevitably arise as a result. Also there would be significant cost burdens that come along with increased marijuana use.
For example, there will be a greater social cost from decline in worker productivity and school performance. Legalization will also lead to a greater need for drug education, rehabilitation and treatment. And there will be costs associated with selling the drug.

In response to point two & three: Legalizing the substance will not decrease the amount of crime because legalizers are saying there will be a policy whereby legalized drugs are taxed in order to raise revenue for other social programs. But again, if you legalize drugs and tax them, you will have a black market that can sell the same drugs less expensively. The same is true if you stamp a tariff on imported drugs, and history shows this to be correct. Recall that until the early twentieth century, opiates and other drugs were legal in the United States. Much of the opium consumed by U.S. citizens was imported from China, and " enlightened lawmakers decided to place a tariff on the drug as a means of raising revenue.Criminals would smuggle opium into the country, not pay the tariff, and make a higher profit margin on their goods. The same thing would occur today for those looking to make profit.

point 4- altough there may be some alternative uses for marijuana I do not think that would be the main use of marijuana and would not make a large enough impact to be a reason to legalize.

Also after researching i found that marijuana is Perceived as Socially Addictive, heres a quote that states the potential for abuse.
"Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug on the basis that is has "a high potential for abuse." This means that the perception is that people get on marijuana, they get hooked and become "potheads," and it begins to dominate their lives." and "In 1995, 165,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse, showing they needed help to stop using."

Rebuttle to point 5: Selling an illegal drug or growing an illegal plant is ILLEGAL, not a "fairly innocent thing" Prison is devoted for criminals and criminals are those who break the law, therefor those selling large somes of an illegal substances is not a peaceful intention it is to make money of people who want to get high. Also these people could be selling the drugs to young impressionable teens. so presumably unless getting teenagers high is a good thing to do, these people should be in jail.

Also marijuana is not"harmless" here are some harmful effects:

-Marijuana hinders the user's short-term memory (memory for recent events), and he or she may have trouble handling complex tasks. With the use of more potent varieties of marijuana, even simple tasks can be difficult.

-Because of the drug's effects on perceptions and reaction time, users could be involved in auto crashes. Drug users also may become involved in risky sexual behavior. There is a strong link between drug use and unsafe sex and the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

-Under the influence of marijuana, students may find it hard to study and learn. Young athletes could find their performance is off; timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by THC.
-Marijuana smoke has been found to contain more cancer-causing agents than is found in tobacco smoke. Examination of human lung tissue that had been exposed to marijuana smoke over a long period of time in a laboratory showed cellular changes called metaplasia that are considered precancerous. In laboratory test, the tars from marijuana smoke have produced tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that it is likely that marijuana may cause cancer if used for a number of years.

this concludes my argument, im interested to hear your response.


Contention I
I not only emphasized the costs I also emphasized health concerns, by government regulating the substance they are able to control quality hence making it much safer for the consumer. Your concept that labor productivity would decrease can be extended to alcoholics, and users of cigarettes, people continue to use them yet society continues to function normally, and as for education we can simply use the same restrictions we put on cigarettes and alcohol by simply increasing the legal age of drug use and purchase. As for your lat point you fail to clarify these extra costs associated with selling of the drug so it is an pointless assertion to argue.

Contention II
It will be the same as the black market for tax free cigarettes and booze, not an huge market for it is far easier and safer just to buy it at an store. Most people have enough sense to by it in an safe manner and avoid the problems and complications that result from the use of illegal channels. Also if history serves as any good example look at tobacco and alcohol, the latter (alcohol) was once banned and the mob used to sell it illegally, then they stopped the ban upon it and put regulations and taxes upon the substance, now how often do you see people go off to the mob or a moonshiners house to purchase booze with no tax? You probably will never see this, now more often than not moonshiners only produce alcohol for their own personal consumption. Also look at cigarettes, they have an incredibly high tax rate, yet the fact still remains that barely anyone buys the tax free cigarettes for it is still much easier to purchase them from legal tenders.

Contention III
They may not ever become the main uses of the plant but they do show much promise in solving many of the other issues so the banning of something on the sole basis of ones personal opinion bias the substance even though it has more positive uses than the only usage which one has a bias against the substance is quite the wrong way to look at things. For instance if knives are sometimes used to kill people does this imply that e should ban knives because of this reason, majority of the time it is used as a tool for preparing food, repairing machines (as good as a screwdriver), and other such applications so why ban something because of your own bias against one particular bias when it shows a greater capacity for more good than harm. As for your second paragraph, there are many other things that can be abused such as tobacco, alcohol, and even caffeine yet the government makes no distinctions in banning these commodities which are even more commonly used and abused than marijuana, if these other substances are far more abused why don't we ban the as well? The simple answer to this question is that people are generally more biased towards hemp than the other substances that are listed. Also marijuana is not an addictive drug and if there are addicts then it is extremely rare for most of the studies upon the drug lack serious scientific studies.

Contention IV
My argument does not say anything about it currently not being illegal, it states that it should become legal meaning that it should cease to be an crime. My argument was talking about how it is a waste of time and resources to incarcerate people for something as trivial as the sale of an relatively safe substance. As for your statement "is not a peaceful intention it is to make money of people who want to get high" welcome to capitalism 101 the basic principle is to sell something people want so one can produce a substantial profit, the tobacco and alcohol industries do the exact same thing and with much higher consequences to the buyer than cannabis does, such as greater risks of lung and liver cancer. As for what you are talking about with the topic of teens I do not agree with this either but by making it legal we can control which age groups can receive the drug and mind you not all cannabis users are "impressionable teens" as a matter of fact most teens (around 80.9%) have never used the substance.

Contention V
-The first so called harmful effect you have listed is also the same as the effect of alcohol and most anesthetics doctors use and the short term memory loss tends to be temporary so it poses no issue.

-Your arguments upon the topic of auto crashes and the spread of STD's through unsafe sex practices caused by impairments is also a problem encountered with alcohol as well, now how do we respond to these problems, we simply issue drink responsibly commercials, we could also make smoke responsibly commercials as to make it so that the people who are going to get high can elect one person to stay in his/her right mind (chaperone) so as to keep the others from getting behind the wheel (the same principle is applied to booze). Also account for how most people will not have sex with a drunk person the same can be applied to hemp, also the drug users can elect one to serve as an situation maintainer (once again chaperone) so as to keep the smokers from getting laid (this is also applied to booze).

- I have already talked about keeping teens off of weed so this point is null and void.

-I have also talked about how marijuana does not increase your chances of coming down with cancer in my prior paragraph so this point is also mute.

This concludes my rebuttal, I am eagerly awaiting my oppositions argument.
Debate Round No. 2


i still strongly feel that marijuana should not be legalized but you have made some interesting points. Given my research, if marijuana is legalized it will not have such a positive effect on the US, and will jeopardize the health of our citizens. presumably unless marijuana only used for medical purpose. I feel there may be a happy medium soon to be found in this continual argument.

Thanks to my opponent for your time, and rich arguments


I would like to would like to thank my opponent for such an thought provoking debate.

I respect my oppositions arguments and personal position upon the subject at hand, but I would like to further extend my prior points that the effects of legitimizing cannabis is inherently beneficial in the following mannerisms:

-Money is no longer wasted upon drug wars
-New source of government revenue
-Regulation can maintain drug quality
-We can devote more police time and energy towards less trivial issues
-Introduction of a new industry with the capacity to help benefit the environment

All of these points and more were touched upon in my previous arguments. I understand my enemies concern but I would like to leave you off with this even though it is one of the most clich�d and overly used phrases of all time, "The greatest atrocities come from the best intentions" and in this situation the atrocity is the idea that we should maintain the ban upon cannabis, although I can clearly see your good intentions the ban upon this drug is one of the worst ways to address the issue, you must address this issue with compromise and regulation not outright ban.

I would once again like to emphasize my sincere appreciation for this debate and my adversaries contentions.
I urge you, the most essential and important voter, to vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Round two was ignored by Con, Pro easily took BoP in that round.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not show any reasons why legalizing marijuana is morally wrong. Also, pro very conclusively showed that the pros outweigh the cons when looked at in an unbiased manner. pro for the win.