The Instigator
claireaknox
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Guidestone
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

should weed be legalized?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Guidestone
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,678 times Debate No: 41999
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

claireaknox

Pro

I believe that Marijuana is in the category of Alcohol and Cigarettes and it is a smart move legalizing and taxing weed.
Guidestone

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for proposing this topic.

1. Gateway Drug
According to a study by the Yale University School of Medicine marijuana is linked with an increased likelihood of prescription drug abuse. [1] The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also have written that "Among lifetime marijuana users reporting their onset after age 20, an estimated 1.1 percent used heroin, 16.4 percent used cocaine, and 20.6 percent used any psychotherapeutics non medically in their lifetime. Among persons who had never used marijuana, less than 1 percent had ever used cocaine or heroin, but 5.1 percent had used psychotherapeutics non medically." [2] As shown by well respected sources that marijuana is a gateway drug, it should continue to be illegal.

2. Health effects
Some of the short term effects include distorted perception, loss of coordination, trouble with thinking and problem-solving, and increased heart rate. [3] Some of these effects like distorted perception, and loss of coordination will lead to increased accidents harming more citizens. Also, there would be second hand smoke that would further harm others who don't smoke marijuana. The government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning it no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. [4] The government also protects its citizens with immunization mandates, fluoridation of water, iodization of salt, pollution restrictions, and banning of hard drugs. In conclusion, with no accepted medical benefit and many health problems it should continue to be illegal.

3. Morally wrong
Under the two major schools of ethics, Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics, both consider it immoral. Utilitarianism is "The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people." [5] Kant uses what he called the categorical imperative. The categorical imperative is "In the ethical system of Immanuel Kant, an unconditional moral law that applies to all rational beings and is independent of any personal motive or desire." [6] In Kantian ethics you must think if everyone had to do this action all the time. Smoking of marijuana would impair normal functioning and every had to smoke marijuana then the world would be a world in which no one would want to live; therefore, it is immoral and should not be legalized. In fact there is almost no ethical system in which smoking marijuana is morally good/acceptable.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
Developing brains and bodies can be dealt serious blows by the use of marijuana. [7] Anytime you make something legal, you increase the accessibility to children. All too often kids and teenagers get their hands on alcohol or cigarettes. [8] We shouldn't let the same thing happen with marijuana. How many kids can get access to cigarette or alcohol, a lot more than can get access to marijuana. So, legalization would only give kids more access to it not less like some claim.

5. Drug related arrest benefit society
Someone who illegally buys/sell/uses marijuana has already established themselves as someone who does not follow the law, and could lead to more crimes in the future; however, if they are in jail on drug charges they cannot commit more crimes. Also, they would get a lighter sentence than others crimes. [9] We can focus on rehabilitation on why they turned to drugs instead waiting for them to do more crimes, and incarcerating them for longer times. By addressing the source of the problems we can make a better society or we could legalize marijuana and pretend the problems don't exist.

6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs
Many arguments made for the legalization of marijuana can be used to argue the legalization of harder drugs like heroin. As an example, many say marijuana should be legal because it is less harmful than alcohol; however, so are many other drugs including crack, meth, and heroin. [9] Also, saying things like "it is my choice" which could be said about any drug.

Sources:
[1]http://www.ctpost.com...
[2]http://www.samhsa.gov...
[3]http://alcoholism.about.com...
[4]http://www.justice.gov...
[5]http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[6]http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[7]http://www.csam-asam.org...
[8]http://www.centurycouncil.org...
[9]http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...

Debate Round No. 1
claireaknox

Pro

1. Gateway Drug
I completely agree Marijuana IS a gateway drug. THIS IS the reason it needs to be legalized. BECAUSE it is illegal, today's society and today's youth buy Marijuana from unstable souses. It is so much easier for someone to be convinced into trying other, more harmful drugs if they get weed from the very person who sells it. Instead, If we eliminate this "Gateway" and sell it alongside of cigarettes the risk of them trying more harmful drugs is almost abolished.

So what you're saying is Weed makes you see things differently, feel things differently and make people in a state of mind different from reality. All WHILE you do it. I don't think you quite understand, this is not a health risk but the argument on behalf of why people smoke Marijuana in the first place, to escape reality and relax. Second-hand smoke is no dangerous to that of cigarettes. It doesn't protect it's citizens. It in fact ruins their futures. People who get caught with Weed are caught with an illegal drug, and given almost the same punishment as those being caught with much more harmful things. Teenagers, in whom I personally know, have it on their records, who then have their lives ruined by those whom are "Protecting our health". In my hometown, and probably others, there is an incredible amount of money going into busting these teenagers, who have worked so hard to make a future for themselves, on the argument weed "Makes you bad at problem solving".

3. Morally wrong

I just wanted to point out, this is your opinion. 50 years ago it was "Morally Wrong" for women to join the workforce. Morally wrong is the reason things should be questioned.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
Developing brains and bodies can be dealt serious blows by the use of marijuana. - please give me one example to this

Kids are drawn to marijuana because they are not properly education by it. "It is a cool thing to do" based on their peers explaining to them. Weed is the easiest thing to get, BECAUSE it had no accessibility to those who want it, people began not only making it to supply to those children, but to make it reasonably accessible to them. If we legalize it, and educate kids about it, it won't be the "hip" thing. Increasing it's accessibility is untrue, for every 1 teenage-cigarette smoker, there is an entire high school of kids who will never tell you they smoke weed. Why would they? That's why there's no statics for how many kids really do, because this generation is smart and won't let the government take their futures away.

[7] Anytime you make something legal, you increase the accessibility to children. All too often kids and teenagers get their hands on alcohol or cigarettes. [8] We shouldn't let the same thing happen with marijuana. How many kids can get access to cigarette or alcohol, a lot more than can get access to marijuana. So, legalization would only give kids more access to it not less like some claim.

6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs

In 2010, overdoses were responsible for 38,329 deaths. Sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs. In the same year, a total of 25,692 persons died of alcohol-induced causes, including accidental poisoning and disease from dependent use. According to one frequently cited study, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying. To even compare it would be ridiculous.
Guidestone

Con

1. Gateway Drug
You do admit it is a gateway drug, this does not change if it is legal or not. It still would correlate with higher rates of harder drug use.

2. Health effects
No matter what reason people smoke marijuana it still has negative health effects. Just because second hand smoke might be less dangerous than that of cigarettes doesn't mean we should legalize marijuana. I am for a smoking ban anyways. I wish you gave me a source I could see this. For the argument you make about ruining their lives just see me comment about "Drug related arrest benefit society" I address your issues there.

3. Morally Wrong
This isn't my opinion. I gave two major ethical views it would be impossible to hold two contradictory views like those; therefore, I would continue to have this argument.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
You want an example? I gave you a source to the information you want.
There is another way to make it not "hip" throw the users in jail. Prison time usually deters people.
There is no source for your claim that 1 cigarette smoker there is a high school of marijuana users.

5. Drug related arrest benefit society
You addressed nothing here?

6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs
I am not sure what over doses have to do with this argument

Debate Round No. 2
claireaknox

Pro

1. Yes, it does. If it is legal, there will be no need to buy Marijuana from shady, persuasive dealers. People would get their weed from a convenient store instead of from some shady drug dealer who sells weed alongside their other, more harmful drugs. It is a gateway BECAUSE it is illegal."the effect of state medical marijuana laws on teen marijuana use has been either neutral or positive, discouraging youthful experimentation with the drug."(Mitch Earleywine, PhD). So by that, not only does it not increase but it makes teens less determined for experimentation.

2. It does not have the negative effects, Marijuana does not cause serious health problems like those caused by tobacco or alcohol (e.g., strong addiction, cancer, heart problems, birth defects, emphysema, liver damage, etc.). Death from a marijuana overdose is impossible. In all of world history, there has never been a single human death attributed to a health problem caused by marijuana. Legalize marijuana and life would be better for most people.(1) Doctors everyday prescribe addictive and deadly drugs, why should a non-toxic death with no connections to any deaths ever be out of the question? Marijuana also may have good health effects, like treating glaucoma, nausea, appetite loss and seizures. Proponents say it's helpful for people experiencing side effects from AIDS and cancer medications and may help treat multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.(http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com...) So there are good things marijuana does which is why it is used MEDICALLY. In fact, it started in china as a MEDICATION. So maybe the negative affects aren't as bad considering you consider actually GETTING high as a health risk. The way I see it, the highest risk that weed presents is legally which I argue is wrong. You also argue that second hand smoke is a major risk, but there is absolutely no need to smoke it. In fact, most people prescribed with Marijuana prefer to eat it. I just find it funny especially how you claim "no accepted medical benefit and many health problems it should continue to be illegal." When your "Health Problems" include loss of coordination, poor problem solving skills and bad perception... while being high, which I thought was funny because it's like saying people shouldn't wear sweaters because they would make people hot. You also claim this while giving no risk to death, or even improper health AFTER being high.

3. You gave two examples of schools that believe that it's wrong. Their view as you said is that if people HAD to do this action all the time. If anyone MAKES anyone do the same action all the time no matter what the action is no one would want to live in this world. That's their ethical views and to say that there is no way it can be ethically right or morally good/acceptable is crazy considering i just searched "Is Marijuana morally acceptable" in google and the first 3 sites were how it was, including this user, So i think that marijuana even though "its illigal is morally on the same page as drinking. Drinking in my opionion is worse than marijuana. you can get alcohol addiction, overdose on alcohol, impare your motor skills so severly that it kills other inocent people. just to name a few. Even our state is in dispute on the legality of marijuana and other states as well. marijuana has just had this bad misconception that has led people to think that it is morally wrong when in all reality its not."(Marijuanasourse.org)

4. Throwing people in jail is just about the worst thing you could possibly do. 43,000,000 Americans have tried marijuana, (http://www.truthmagazine.com...) do you understand how crazy that would be if we put them in jail? To use all the tax payers money to put in prison and ruin the lives of teenagers who are really just trying something to make their day a little better? Some of the most influential people of are time admit to smoking weed, Oprah, Obama, Bill gates (http://www.mpp.org...) even George Washington had a pot farm. Can you imagine if we just "Threw them in jail"? They're pretty successful I mean even though they might have experienced "loss of coordination" for a short period of time after they smoked weed. you want a source for the how many teenagers smoke weed? Go to any high school. "the government study revealed that in a nationwide study of 15,000 high school students, pot is now more popular among teens than cigarettes, CBS reports. Eighteen percent of surveyed students in 2011 reported smoking a cigarette in the past month, while 23% reported smoking marijuana in the last 30 days." (TIME.com), so although my statistics were off, you still have proof. So I hate to tell you that just because it is illegal teens can still get it.

5. I didn't address this beacuse I felt I already have, but ok, I will address it anyway. Just because someone is commiting, legally, a crime. This doesn't mean they had criminal intent. People J walk, should they be established as a criminal? Should they be sent to rehab?

6. Showing the overdose record, was just a not to point out the lack of comparison the two should have. I thought was obvious, crack, meth, and heroin is not like weed at all. There is no way Heroin, Meth and Crack are less harmful than alcohol let alone weed. the effects of heroin include, "Infectious diseases, for example, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, Collapsed veins, Bacterial infections, abscesses, Infection of heart lining and valves Arthritis and other rheumatologic problems"(www.drugabuse.gov) While you listed no long term effects of Weed. Comparing Heroin and Weed is like comparing apples and radio-active bombs. One DOES NOT lead to the other. I'm sure you are aware of the Michele Leonhart got congressional testimony, if not it is when the head of the DEA went in front of congress and said all illegal drugs were wrong after asked if cocaine, heroin and crack were worse than marijuana,which in turn as the huffington post described "By attempting to downplay marijuana's reputation for relative safety, she ends up coming across as oblivious or indifferent to the basic facts about drugs that everyone learns in school. The idea that there's a hierarchy of drug dangers is so widely understood that there's really no sense in even challenging it." I thought everyone just knew that marijuana was no where near as dangerous as such hard drug, that's just a fact. People are smart enough to know that, the fact a DEA member said something like that just makes people believe it more. People are smart enough to let a non-toxic MEDICAL drug with no connection to death lead to an addictive, death machine.
Guidestone

Con

1. Gateway Drug
It isn't a gateway because it is illegal because cigarettes are a gateway too. [1] States with medical marijuana use actually have higher usage.
Teen Marijuana Use in States with Legal Medical Marijuana vs. States Without It[2]

2. Health effects
It does have the negative effects. Cancer: "Because marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50 percent more carcinogens, it would seem logical to deduce that there is an increased risk of lung cancer for marijuana smokers." [3] Heart Problems: "researchers found that users' risk for a heart attack is four times higher within the first hour after smoking marijuana, compared to their general risk of heart attack when not smoking." [3] Birth Defects: "Several studies have found that children born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development." [3] "Research indicates that THC impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems." [3] As far as deaths "A study by the French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research published in theBritish Medical Journal found that seven percent of drivers involved in a fatal highway crash used marijuana. The researchers estimated that at least 2.5 percent of the 10,748 fatal crashes studied were directly caused by the use of marijuana." [4] Legalization implies more than medical use which is what we are debating, so second hand smoke would still be problem. I did claim it had no medical benefit; I was just stating how the government classifies it. The health effects are nothing like wearing sweaters because those health problems lead to accidents. For after being high "Scientists have found that regular marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers do" [3]

3. Morally Wrong

You combine them both, which is wrong. You got one, Kant, and then you misinterpreted it.
There is a short, funny video that explains it at the top.
I also view marijuana the same as alcohol, both are immoral and should be illegal.

4. Legalization would increase the number of children having access to it
That if you can prove all 43 million. If people are using it to make their day better that means something they want to get away from, and instead of running from reality maybe they should try to fix it because no matter how many times they smoke pot it will not get better. Some of the most influential people of the time admit to smoking weed. That is called an anecdotal and it is a logical fallacy. I know teens still get just like people still murder, but because it is illegal it is harder to get.

5. Drug related arrest benefit society
"Marijuana is the drug most often linked to crime in the United States" [5] "In a study of 10,441 secondary students in New South Wales, Australia, students who were frequent cannabis users were two times more likely to participate in assault and malicious damage of property than students who did not use cannabis." [6] Since Marijuana is linked with increased crime it should be illegal.

6. Legalization of marijuana will lead to the legalization of other drugs
I feel you missed the point of this argument too. Alcohol is the most harmful.20 Drugs Ranked by
The point of this is to show legalizing marijuana arguments can be used for other drugs.
Lets see yours
"I believe that X is in the category of Alcohol and Cigarettes and it is a smart move legalizing and taxing X."
"I completely agree X IS a gateway drug. THIS IS the reason it needs to be legalized. BECAUSE it is illegal, today's society and today's youth buy X from unstable souses."

You can fill in just about any drug into X and it would still work.

My opponent has very few sources and very poor ones that don't take you to any information, also uses logical fallacies such as anecdotal, and does not carry the burden of proof since it is on him since they want to change the status quo.


Sources
[1] http://www.jhsph.edu...
[2] http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org...
[3] http://alcoholism.about.com...
[4] http://alcoholism.about.com...
[5] http://www.mcclatchydc.com...
[6] http://www.nber.org...


Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Guidestone 3 years ago
Guidestone
1. That is your opinion that the numbers are not "strong" enough.

2. You misrepresenting the argument is clearly a strawman. I pointed out the health negatives and shown that the government still says there is no accepted medical benefit.

3. Yes, the morality of it is my opinion which is why I showed it in two competing major ethics views which I could not hold both to be mine. It is not my opinion you are just avoiding the comment.

4. When something is legal it is easier to get. That was the point. You do nothing to refute that.

5. It is true I am biased toward my position. You make a claim with no support or logic to follow. If they want to get away from reality then there must be something wrong in their lives. "In a study of 10,441 secondary students in New South Wales, Australia, students who were frequent cannabis users were two times more likely to participate in assault and malicious damage of property than students who did not use cannabis. " http://192.5.14.43/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2004/RAND_WR125.pdf

6. Then tell me why should we legalize pot? Remember the same argument can't be used to legalize other drugs.

If you think I am doing it wrong challenge me to a debate.
Posted by Orieles 3 years ago
Orieles
Point four is a very debatable. Although it is valid to fear for the sake of your children; the fact of the matter is that curiosity exists in all of us. Parents should do well to tell their children the facts and let them know about what is potentially harmful. If a child has developed into an individual with a number of reasons to try a drug; it is not likely you can stop them from acquiring it. Continuing to use marijuana is entirely their choice and it is also arguably the best to use in comparison to all others. Saying that, your next point is complete bull.

Point five is so observably biased, a passing for-profit prison official would see your argument and sponsor your political campaign on the spot. An overwhelming number of people who buy marijuana illegally do not commit crimes passed that. The appealing concept that draw's people toward marijuana use is the momentary dissociation from reality it causes. What ever their motivation, they are using a drug to feel free from their stress. Your conclusion is a truly far fetched stretch to say that marijuana makes people commit more crimes. That source of yours does not reference it by any means and it would be smart to not refer to the drug rehabilitation system as if it succeeds in what it set out to do. Overall, your point is ineffective and a clear misrepresentation of what is true.

Point six is the one i'm least impressed with. Their is a very clear difference between marijuana and other hard drugs that makes marijuana far safer and even potentially helpful. It does have several negative affects, but it is misleading to put it on the same level as heroine and meth. Legalizing it will not open a floodgate of illegal drugs to be legalized. This notion is clearly fabricated.

Now, I'll give you some credit for developing your points, but you are not representing the drug or it's affects in an unbiased manner.
Posted by Orieles 3 years ago
Orieles
I can name six

Point one is pure fallacy. Your insinuating that a correlation exists with marijuana and hard drug use with a study on increased use. Although numbers exist that point out user's will be more likely to use hard drugs, the numbers aren't strong enough to say that marijuana makes you want to try harder drugs. (The presence of other drugs through drug dealers however, is possibly the more direct correlation of increased marijuana smokers trying hard drugs.) The national academy of science even announced some time ago that there is no direct relationship between the two. Your inaccurately forming causation based on the wrong set of numbers. It's a clear post hoc fallacy.

Point two is based on ignorance. Your stating that there is no tested positive effects on marijuana when it is a clear lie to say that. Medicinal marijuana has been studied and shown to contain chemicals that treat migraines, slow Alzheimer's, stops the spread of cancer, and controls seizures with people who have epilepsy. The fact that the government still considers it a schedule 1 drug is completely bogus. Your point on marijuana only having negative effects is pure jargon and an inconsistent representation of the truth.

Point three is not a valid point. Although a world where everyone uses drugs is arguably a terrible world to live in, it is not the thesis you are debating. You are debating whether users should be legally able to buy and own cannabis. The use of marijuana would be regulated the same way cigarettes are so as to stop it's use from infringing on to others. The morality of the situation comes from your own opinion and is an unfair comparison for what the reality is.
Posted by Guidestone 3 years ago
Guidestone
Name one logical Fallacy because I don't think you can.

Less than logical like saying, "you didn't address any thing" or "Not sure what this has to do with this"

If anyone has been less than logical it has been pro since they avoided two arguments, and posted something irrelevant for another.
Posted by Orieles 3 years ago
Orieles
Con has less than logical arguments and rebuttals. The only positive is he actually cites his work. Fight with facts pro and you'll beat his fallacies.
Posted by Axons 3 years ago
Axons
Very good arguments.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
claireaknoxGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to show a strong argument why marijuana show be legalized. Con refuted the pro's strongest argument which was about jail time. Good luck to you both in future debates.
Vote Placed by Cooldudebro 3 years ago
Cooldudebro
claireaknoxGuidestoneTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Wow. The con won this hands down! First conduct goes to the con for being the only one to say thanks. Spelling and grammar goes to the con because he used big words and didn't mispell. Sources also go to the con for posting more effective links. Tip. Magazines should be used with caution. A lot of magazines can be fake while articles and Internet links are generally more trust worthy. Overall, the con had a better B.O.P and took the case to the cleaners.