The Instigator
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Hattrrrick
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

let it be resolved that all drugs should be legal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Hattrrrick
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,593 times Debate No: 30067
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

All drugs should be legalized. If the state can tell me what I can and cannot put in my own body it means the state owns my body and I am a slave to the government. Drug use is a personal decision. A lot of different drugs have various uses - for recreation, for medicine or as a sacrament. The war on drugs has been extremely harmful; it costs a ridiculous amount of taxpayer money, has ruined the lives of countless families, and completely failed to put an end to drug use. Nor should an individual who wants to do drugs be prevented from doing so. People should be able to decide how they want to run their own lives, so long as they are not hurting others or their property.
Hattrrrick

Con

I will accept the debate as my first debate on this site. Pro has the BOP that all drugs should be legal.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

I don't accept that PRO should have BOP. The BOP is on those who are claiming that we should lock up people who use and sell drugs for life. The BOP is on those who want to use the power of the state to take away someone's freedom for the rest of their life (as current draconian drug laws allow) - if you want to do this to someone, if you want to make the very cruel and inhumane punishment of locking someone up for the rest of their life you better have a pretty good reason why you want to do it.

All drugs should be legal. The war on drugs has provided great injury to our civil liberties. Every day the police spy on us, tap our phones and violate due process with warantless searches. This is a war that has turned brother against brother and son against father as people inform on each other to curry favour with the state or to punish an enemy. Prohibition of controlled substances has created a blossoming black market in the sale of illegal substances. Since those who participate in this market are by definition criminals it is no surprise to find that crime and fraud are rampant. Well meaning drug consumers are taken advantage of at every turn. Often drug dealers cut their highly expensive illegal products with other goods, in order to obtain even further profits fraudulently - if drugs were legal this would never happen. Nor would they be as expensive. The price of these drugs includes an incredible risk premium charged by the drug dealer, as well as all the extra costs associated with hiding the drug from the authorities and the extreme difficulties in shipping across borders and of course the theft of great amounts of the product by authorities.

If we legalized drugs they would cost pennies on the dollar and be widely available. Pharmacists would be able to experiment freely and create newer and even cooler hallucinogens. There is simply no telling how fucked up we'd be able to get. Drugs can be used as an aid in the creation of the art. They can also be used for many medicinal purposes. For example ketamine, currently a schedule i controlled substance in my country (akin to heroin or methamphetamine), has medical uses as an anti-depressant. Yet it is a crime, punishable up to 9 years in prison to possess it. A drug that makes you happy can lend you nine years in prison. Marijuana stimulates hunger and suppresses nausea in cancer patients. Illegal. Heroin is a very effective pain killer. Illegal. Amphetamines are illegal and yet doctors prescribe them to children in the form of Adderal. It's all very contradictory and paradoxical.

The war on drugs is ran at a tremendous cost at the taxpayer, all to keep people from buying things they want. It is not the state's decision if I or anyone else choose to use drugs. That is my decision and my decision alone. It is my body. Who are you, or anyone else, to tell me what I can and cannot put in my body? Ultimately if you argue this you are arguing that it is not my body, but the governments body, that I am a slave to the state and that I must take care of their body for them. If it is true that the state can regulate my consumption of drugs, then surely it must be true that the state can regulate what you eat and drink and how much exercise you get. You are conceding the moral premise of totalitarianism that virtually everything we do should be regulated by the state.
Hattrrrick

Con

Pro rejects that he has the BOP, yet he is the one that wants the current laws changed. Why should Con have BOP to keep the current laws? I will let the voters decide who has the BOP.

Pro is stating his opinion with no data to support his claim in the second paragraph. He states "Every day the police spy on us, tap our phones and violate due process with warantless searches." My question would be what exactly does this have to do with legalizing drug use/sales? If true, which he shows no supported data, this is just another crime. We do have laws for due process and search and seizure, which can be found in the United States Constitution, Amendments IV and V.

In his third paragraph, Pro makes more claims of his opinion with no supported data. He states "If we legalized drugs they would cost pennies on the dollar and be widely available." Where is the supported data that proves this? Pro also doesn"t seem to understand the difference between legal and illegal drugs. He says "Amphetamines are illegal and yet doctors prescribe them to children in the form of Adderal. " Amphetamines are controlled substances, which are only illegal in the wrong hands or for the wrong purposes. This is only one example of a controlled substance.

In his last paragraph Pro finally get to his argument that people should be able to do whatever they want to their own bodies, without State interference. I would agree with his point if the impact didn"t affect others and society. Since the BOP could be on me, I will prove my points with facts and data.

In 2002 a publication was released that showed the economic costs of drug abuse in the United States. At the end of the study it showed that the cost of drug abuse was $180.9 billion/year, and increasing 5.34% annually. The three categories that these costs were broken into were productivity, health, and others.

Productivity Losses
By far the largest component of cost is from loss of productivity, at $128.6 billion. In contrast to the other costs of drug abuse (which involve direct expenditures for goods and services), this value reflects a loss of potential resources. Productivity losses represent work in the labor market and in household production that was never performed, but could reasonably be expected to have been performed absent the impact of drug abuse. The estimated productivity loss in 1992 was $69.4 billion. By 2002, we estimate that this cost had risen to $128.6 billion, a 5.2 percent annual increase. This rate of increase is somewhat higher than the combined increase in the population (about one percent annually) and in wage rates (about 3.1 percent annually) of 4.1 percent during this period, although it is virtually identical to the 5.1 percent annual increase of total economic activity (termed gross domestic product) in the United States.
The greatest share of productivity loss is from criminal activities, including losses because 660,000 offenders were incarcerated and others pursued crime careers to pay for their drug use. Together, there was a loss of about 1 million person years of effort that could have and arguably would have been available to the legitimate economy if these individuals had not been involved with drug-related crime. There were an estimate 23,500 drug-related3 deaths from all causes (e.g., overdose, poisoning, homicide, HIV and hepatitis B/C) in 2000, the most recent year with available data. Trend comparisons with earlier years are problematic because the US (and world) mortality diagnostic system changed in 1998.

Health Care Costs
Health-related costs are projected to total $16 billion in 2002. Substance abuse-related health care costs are projected to have risen 4.1 percent annually between 1992 and 2002. This rate of increase is less than the combined rate of increase of population growth and medical inflation as measured by the consumer price index for medical services (CPI-M). During this period the population grew at one percent annually and the CPI-M grew at 4.1 percent annually for a combined annual increase of 5.1 percent. Furthermore, data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that total health care spending grew by 6.5 percent per year between 1992 and 2002. Thus, substance abuse-related health care spending lagged somewhat behind what might have been expected.

Cost of Other Effects
The final major component of costs came to $36.4 billion in 2002. These primarily concern costs associated with the criminal justice system and crime victim costs, but also include a modest level of expenses for administration of the social welfare system. Between 1992 and 2002, the costs for the other effects of drug abuse rose at a 6.5 percent annual rate. This rate is clearly higher than the combined 3.5 percent annual increase which is the sum of the growth in population (one percent annually) and general inflation (2.5 percent annually) and even exceeds the 5.1 percent annual growth in the total economy over this period.

https://www.ncjrs.gov...

Now, I suspect that one could argue that the cost of productivity loss could decrease if drugs were legalized. But, it would be na"ve to think that it would be eliminated due to the fact that it is already proven that addicts commit other crimes to support their habit. So, it could actually increase as well.

Also, it is reasonable to say that the impact of legalizing drugs use/sales would increase the health care and other costs.

I look forward to Pro"s response.
Debate Round No. 2
ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

There are three types of lies, said Mark Twain, lies, damned lies and statistics. The reality is that if you tease the data hard enough you can support any conclusion or any premise. My opponent thinks he can measure 'work which was never performed in the market place'! I'm curious where he gained these powers of omniscience from. Still, even if we grant his premise - and I do not, for one second - what then of the productivity losses due to facebook? Due to cell phones and text messaging? Perhaps we should ban everything that could possibly distract someone from the holy task of obeying their bosses orders. Ban shiny objects, and jokes. Ban water coolers! But my opponents own argument is self defeating. He measures the productivity loss because all these people are incarcerated. Well duh! If we didn't have the war on drugs, they wouldn't be incarcerated. In other words, my opponents statistics are the perfect argument against his case that drugs should be legal. Not only would all these people be able to work, if they wanted to, because they weren't behind bars - we wouldn't need nearly as many guards, or prisons, or many aspects of the prison industrial complex, if drugs were legal and the government hadn't criminalized the non violent behaviour of such a vast portion of the public.

Of course if you legalized drugs addict's wouldn't need to commit crimes to get their fixes! You have to understand why drugs are so expensive. The production of a KG of cocaine is not significantly more complicated that the production of a KG of flour. Yet a KG of flour will costs you a few dollars and a KG of cocaine will cost you probably over ten thousand dollars. Why? Because the price of the cocaine includes a huge risk premium for all the dealers who are facing life in jail for selling it and for all the product which is confiscated by border patrol. If these drugs were legal and bought and sold on the open market then the cost of cocaine would be closer to the cost of flour. The same with all drugs. Marijuana is a plant, there's no reason it should cost $200 an ounce except for the fact it's illegal. If these products were legalized, and especially if they were untaxed, they would cost much less. What's the relevance here? Well the reason why a heroin addict must resort to burglary or prostitution to support their several hundred dollars a day habit is because there are not many high paying jobs for heroin junkies. But if heroin was legal it would cost only pennies on the dollar today. They could support their daily habit with a couple hours of begging, or with a very low paying job. Likewise if drugs were not illegal, treatment of addiction and use in general would not be so stigmatized. This would reduce the costs to the health care system and could even reduce overall use. To me it is not a question of more or less use being preferable. That is up to the individual. If someone wants to drugs, that's their personal choice - it's their decision not yours.
Hattrrrick

Con

I now understand why Pro does not use any data to support his claims. He simply doesn't believe in statistics, even though statistics are used every day in all aspects of life. He seems to believe that the data can be manipulated to a degree of $180.9 Billion/Year.

"what then of the productivity losses due to facebook? Due to cell phones and text messaging? Perhaps we should ban everything that could possibly distract someone from the holy task of obeying their bosses orders. Ban shiny objects, and jokes. Ban water coolers!" - There is a productivity loss due to the things that Pro has pointed out. "Nearly 60% of work interruptions now involve either using tools like email, social networks, text messaging and IM, or switching windows among disparate standalone tools and applications. In fact, 45% of employees work only 15 minutes or less without getting interrupted, and 53% waste at least one hour a day due to all types of distractions." http://harmon.ie...

And, many employers have made Social Media against company policy due to this reason. The difference is that there are no physical addictions that require time from work due to rehabilitation, hospitalization, or incarceration. These things can be left at home, where drug addiction cannot. It seems that Pro is denying that there is any such thing as drug addiction. If he admits that there are such things as drug addiction, he has to admit that it impacts productivity costs, as well as health costs and other costs. The latter two he completely does not attempt to refute, so I will assume that he concedes to these costs.

"But my opponents own argument is self defeating. He measures the productivity loss because all these people are incarcerated. Well duh! If we didn't have the war on drugs, they wouldn't be incarcerated. In other words, my opponents statistics are the perfect argument against his case that drugs should be legal. Not only would all these people be able to work, if they wanted to, because they weren't behind bars - we wouldn't need nearly as many guards, or prisons, or many aspects of the prison industrial complex, if drugs were legal and the government hadn't criminalized the non violent behaviour of such a vast portion of the public. " - This simply is not true. Pro is completely ignoring the fact that other crimes are committed to support drug Addict's habits. He seems to believe that a heroin Addict can work a 40 hour work week, do his recreational drugs in the evenings and weekends, collect a paycheck, and purchase his heroin with his paycheck. If we assume that Pro is correct, for argument sake, eventually the heroin Addict's paycheck will not be enough to support his habit. "There is evidence that after prolonged use heroin is highly addictive. People who use heroin regularly can develop dependence and tolerance to it, which means they need to take larger amounts of heroin to get the same effect." http://www.mydr.com.au...

"The production of a KG of cocaine is not significantly more complicated that the production of a KG of flour. Yet a KG of flour will costs you a few dollars and a KG of cocaine will cost you probably over ten thousand dollars. Why? Because the price of the cocaine includes a huge risk premium for all the dealers who are facing life in jail for selling it and for all the product which is confiscated by border patrol. If these drugs were legal and bought and sold on the open market then the cost of cocaine would be closer to the cost of flour. The same with all drugs." - Since Pro does not believe in statistics, and doesn't use any data to support this claim, it can be ignored unless Pro can prove that he is an expert in this field.

"Marijuana is a plant, there's no reason it should cost $200 an ounce except for the fact it's illegal. If these products were legalized, and especially if they were untaxed, they would cost much less." - Not only does Pro wish for marijuana to be legal, he doesn't want it to be taxed either. So, to keep the cost of something to a level that is affordable for Addicts it shouldn't be taxed? This is not good for ANY Economy in the world, and absurd.

"What's the relevance here? Well the reason why a heroin addict must resort to burglary or prostitution to support their several hundred dollars a day habit is because there are not many high paying jobs for heroin junkies. But if heroin was legal it would cost only pennies on the dollar today. They could support their daily habit with a couple hours of begging, or with a very low paying job." - Pro's statement here supports my position. He admits that Addicts can beg and let productive members of society support their habit. Although there is nothing wrong with low paying jobs, somebody has to do those jobs, I would prefer those jobs went to people who actually wanted to support their families and not their habits. Perhaps if we kept drugs illegal, this would be the case for the most part.

"Likewise if drugs were not illegal, treatment of addiction and use in general would not be so stigmatized. This would reduce the costs to the health care system and could even reduce overall use." - Pro clearly does not understand what drives up health care costs, or the effects of drug addiction for that matter. Supply and Demand is one aspect that determines the cost of health care. This is basic business principals. Using my supported data in a previous paragraph, that "prolonged use heroin is highly addictive", we can reasonably assume that the legalization of heroin, in this case, would result in more addiction. We can then assume that more health related problems and rehabilitation will be required. As the demand increases, and the supply is limited, the costs increases. http://en.wikipedia.org... (I only used wikipedia for a quick reference. There are a lot of resources on this subject)

"To me it is not a question of more or less use being preferable. That is up to the individual. If someone wants to drugs, that's their personal choice - it's their decision not yours" - It is my decision when their choices affect me. This has been my position all along, and I think that I have shown enough proof that the decision does in fact affect me and other.

There is no need for further arguments. I feel that I have, not only refuted Pro's position, but also have shown proof as to why all drugs should not be legalized.

I appreciate the opportunity to debate this topic.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
that guy doesn't even make sense. I never argued anything about drug dealers 'sell(ing) each other out' and he said and I quote "The fact that people suffer from legalization of something that is already illegal is not a valid argument to exonerate drugs. " this sentence doesn't even make sense.
Posted by Hattrrrick 4 years ago
Hattrrrick
You are viewing only a portion of my argument instead of looking at the whole picture. You are set on that incarcarated people are incarcarated because they did illegal drugs. That is not all of the reasons they are incarcarated. That is the point that you are missing. Then there are all of the other costs. To be honest, I could have went on to debunk your ideal, but I felt that my point was made with the little bit of information that I provied. So far, I am correct with at least one other persons view. Who, by the way, was not siding on either side before the debate as indicated by his voting.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
you made an argument that destroyed your case
Posted by Hattrrrick 4 years ago
Hattrrrick
Evidently you are the only one that didn't understand that productivity loss isn't just from incarcaration. Also, that not all of those that are incarcarated are because they just used illegal substances.

You had your chance to make your case in the debate. Now you are trying to use the comment section to get people to side on your weak arguments that totally ignore the actual problem.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
in a free society you don't need a reason for something to be legal
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
i can't believe anyone actually read this debate and is still voting con.

he argued that drug use leads to productivity loss.

BECAUSE THE DRUG USERS ARE IN JAIL.

THIS WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF DRUGS WERE LEGAL.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
i can't believe anyone actually read this debate and is still voting con.

he argued that drug use leads to productivity loss.

BECAUSE THE DRUG USERS ARE IN JAIL.

THIS WOULDN'T HAPPEN IF DRUGS WERE LEGAL.
Posted by Ike-Jin-Park 4 years ago
Ike-Jin-Park
God... I wrote a whole bunch of another half of my RFD but it just didn't get posted for some reason. Please just message me if anyone wishes to challenge my vote.
Posted by Ike-Jin-Park 4 years ago
Ike-Jin-Park
There are many reasons why I ruled in favor of Con but before I explain them, I want to point something out about BOPs. BOPs should usually be on the side that argues the status quo since if one is arguing against the current status, it has to be proven that the status quo needs a change. In counter to that, the other side arguing for the status quo carries a burden to clash. Now putting that norm of BOP aside, the explanation that Pro gave as to why BOP should be on Con was also unsatisfying. Pro argued Con shall carry BOP since Con is deciding who should be locked up. However, that is not a valid reasoning since the fact that perpetrators to law get locked up is the policy of a legal system which Pro used so much in favor of him during the debate and not what my opponent is really arguing for in this debate discussing in essence of legality of drugs.

Pro started the debate with a faulty point that argued legalization of drugs will decrease the problems such as over priced drugs, violation of civil liberties and drug dealers selling each other out. But this is based on a faulty premise. What should be illegal shall remain illegal. The fact that people suffer from legalization of something that is already illegal is not a valid argument to exonerate drugs. Then should I say we should legalize murder since murderers have to face such a harsh punishment? Or robbers should be sent free to save space in prisons?

Pro brought up a completely different issue which is medical use of drugs which I believe is already legalized since they are justified. The risk of borrowing a power of such harmful and dangerous substances worth the benefit that drugs can give if used medically. For that reason, medical usage is already legalized. Again, the medical usage of drugs cannot prove why all drugs should be legalized.
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
wait... you're telling me there's substances that can induce anger and poor driving?

SOUNDS A LOT LIKE BOOZE TO ME! Or have you never seen two angry drunks fighting?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by x2MuzioPlayer 4 years ago
x2MuzioPlayer
ZakYoungTheLibertarianHattrrrickTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Since Pro was defending a legal change, the BoP was on him to justify altering the status quo. Pro wasn't able to defend the decrease in cost for drugs if they're legalized. Con showed some drugs form deteriorating addictions (with sources), which leads to the demand being too high and the increase in supply flow can't compensate for it. Con also has a reasonable case that certain drugs present a danger to society and individual choice doesn't trump basic rights of others. When arguing the validity of statistics, Pro needed to show how Con's particular sources were manipulated and failed to do so. Con's case outweighs Pro's, so the resolution is negated. I'll elaborate further if I must in the comments, but this debate was pretty clear-cut.
Vote Placed by Ike-Jin-Park 4 years ago
Ike-Jin-Park
ZakYoungTheLibertarianHattrrrickTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Please view comments