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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,460 times Debate No: 43683
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Cannabis should be legalised and sold like alcohol or tobacco


Firstly, thank you, and I look forward to a sensible debate with you, Tommy.leadbetter.

Cannabis should not be legalized and available for retail as are alcohol and tobacco.

Many say that marijuana should be legalized because there are other more harmful things in the world, such as alcohol, cigarettes, speeding, and unregulated gun distribution. However, if we also legalize marijuana, is that not just a gigantic leap backwards in our society?

Alcohol (I choose this example because it also distorts perception) has many damaging side effects, short and long term, too. It has no regulation.

Here is an article from

[ Marijuana can impair thinking, memory and learning for weeks after use. It produces a range of psychological and physical effects that can be unpredictable at times. It can relieve pain, control nausea and increase appetite. Marijuana typically gives a high, or feeling of well being, which is why it abused. But marijuana can also cause acute psychosis, or a temporary break with reality. Marijuana-induced psychosis happens more often in new users or in people prone to mental illness. Marijuana can cause short-term memory and learning problems, dry mouth, impaired motor skills and red eyes. Within minutes after smoking marijuana, the drug increases the user's heart rate. Heart rates can double in some cases, which is a risk for people with certain heart conditions. Some people may feel relaxed after using marijuana; others may develop anxiety and paranoia. ]

There is illegality with this drug, and it is still a huge problem in the health of our nation. Why would we legalize it, inducing harm unto many more people?

I know, some say that they 'do not do marijuana because they know the risks or they don't want to, but not just because it's illegal.' Really? Do people know the affects of drinking or smoking? They do them anyway! If there is a tiny $5.99 bottle of whisky at the counter of a gas station, it is infinitely more tempting than it would be if it were illegal. There would be the same effect with marijuana.

Thank you!

I await your rebuttal!
Debate Round No. 1


I look forward to a good debate with you Incredebater. And I would firstly admire your attitude towards health, particularly your proposal on children cooking healthy meals, and I would like to note that I am completely in support of promoting health and health education to the public. However I feel this debate is concerned with matters that go beyond public health.

I will attempt to answer your statement as completely as I can, going through your words piece by piece from start to finish.

You ask if legalising marijuana is not a step backwards in society. I would say that less control over people's lives is more typically forward leaning than backwards, I cannot think why outlawing practices could be considered forward thinking. I think you mean (correct me if I'm wrong) that the last few decades have seen a movement towards eradicating cannabis and that allowing it to be legal would essentially be 'giving in' or reverting back to old ways or something. But I would say that societies are not as linear in their social development, nor as simple as that. I believe a perfect society would have members that would not abuse drugs because they didn't need/want too, not because they would be prosecuted.

Now this article has many truths. It is clearly not written by a user of cannabis. There is no evidence (that I have herd) that proves cannabis causes psychosis. Much, if not all, of the research is based surveys that; note all people with psychosis, and then note what percentage smoke cannabis; and compare this percentage that smoke cannabis in the general public. This research doesn't account for variables such as; poorer people more likely to have psychosis, poorer people more likely to smoke cannabis; people who think differently and are rebellious are more likely to be psychotic, but are also more likely to smoke cannabis because of its 'rebellious persona'. This shows how cannabis use can appear to be the cause of the psychosis when in fact it may be just a symptom or a typical trait of a person who has psychotic tendencies.

From my own experience I can see how cannabis can provide a crutch to a person that he would perhaps be bettor of not having. It can make it much easier to seclude yourself and separate yourself from society but it is by no means the cause of the behaviour. The fact that it is illegal doesn't help with the seclusion either, but bigger factors, such as poor education, materialistic culture, bad diets and un-satisfying jobs are the main reasons for bad mental health in my opinion.

As for the other claims in the article; personally I have experiences memory loss, though I know some who have smoked it their whole lives (age 30 something) and have brilliant memory. Though I don't doubt cannabis smoking, or the inhalation of any plant matter, is bad for you. But it is cause for concern that not one human, in the history of recorded deaths, has died from smoking marijuana. Now when you consider that up to 6000 deaths a year are from caffeine, you are aware that we know when a substance has cause a death, and yet cannabis still has no victims.

You argue many more people would smoke the drug and this would be bad. Okay, probably true. Though not quite so simple as some smoke it to be cool because its illegal, and I'm sure many would merely 'swap' there normal drug of choice (typically alcohol) for cannabis. If you are concerned with more people doing cannabis or drugs then the approach should be on reducing the need for it. People who didn't do drugs (alcohol included) before wouldn't start smoking weed when it became legal, and obtaining cannabis isn't much harder (in many cases easier) than going to the shop now anyways, so the increased availability may not have as strong effect as you may think.

Yer, the whiskey at the gas station may be more tempting if its legal-but I would much prefer someone at the gas station to buy marijuana than a bottle of whiskey! The 'want' for drugs may take easiest available option, but that is alcohol, if cannabis was there too then some would chose that instead. And I know this isn't an argument about alcohol being better than weed, but in my experience people smoking cannabis are typically much more socially acceptable (in behaviour)than drunk people.


I appreciate your well-sided response and say it was very well-worded and constructed.

As you noticed, yes, I enjoy to discuss the health of the public. (and I apologize in advance for any new points I may squeeze into my retort - here is the first one)

Smoking in public is being legally diminished, and as I attempt to keep as close as possible to yours views, I feel you'd clench that this is wrong. Freedom to please one's self with substance should be their choice and none should be prosecuted for it, but instead all should attempt to teach not to do it or not to do it in public, as I think you might say. However, second-hand smoking is a disaster in the home, and it has been a very controversial topic when regarding recreation in public places. It has been forced out of almost all restaurants, public transit, campuses, and many, many more venues. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, and it ticks me off when it's from a stranger. How would anyone feel about a second-hand high from recreational use of marijuana? The nation would be outraged and I think we can see which sides would form. Smelling any smoke that one does not want to smell voluntary is terribly unpleasant and outrageous in many aspects. Some would be enraged if it would simply force someone walking on the sidewalk to advert themselves. Others might say that parents do not particularly want their children to see people hitting bongs or fat rolls, as they also attempt and succeed mostly with keeping them from alcohol and nicotine abuse.

As for the step back in society, this is what I thought of to come to my stance. In many cultures, small and large, alcohol is the destruction of man and the earth, as it destroys inhibitions and conscience, the things that make us human. Imagine that everything considered terribly bad to our health was against international morality, or even the state's laws: tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks, etc. I am stating that legalizing any of these is a step back in strides we've tried to make in society: strides to make our communities sterile and helpful environments free of horrible sickness and careless, helpless deaths. In a utopia, obviously, everything in the world would be legal, but everything done would be morally correct. This is wild, but we do not come closer to a more helpful society with the inclusion of casual use of THC, or anything I listed with it. Lastly, to your last sentence on stepping back in society, you are correct. That is a perfect argument to any change in number of people that would use/abuse marijuana. We should, however, not teach more or less about the effects that this would cause just because it is still illegal. We should teach the effects of THC now as much as you say we would if it became legal.

Alright, I quickly copied and pasted that stupid article. Rereading it with knowledge that had slipped my mind while reading it in the first place shows that it is quite ridiculous. I shall, though, say that there are many unknowns to the effects of the "drug" on the mind, and a few unknowns on its effects on the body, included with the side effects correct in the article (and a few long term affects). Also, if some one is high (as people are drunk now), they could get into a car and kill a family of 4 instantly. This could cause many more indirect deaths that are accepted by people taking your stand. I know, it all depends on the person hitting it, but that's just the thing. Many could have wild side effects that could effect the moral of the nation and any new business of marijuana sales that would emerge.

I still think that more people would smoke weed if it were legal and available to them there. I completely agree with you that it would be better for them and their peers if they chose it over alcohol, but I still don't want to make it legal. I don't drink, but I could. I don't want to. It's readily available but it is illegal at my age. Now, if it were perfectly legal and as cheap as it is now, I would be much, much more enticed to drink it. Same with everyone, and same with marijuana. I also agree that it is stupidly easy to obtain cannabis now, but it would be much easier to obtain it if it were legal. Anyone can make it at home, unlike many other "drugs".

Before I forget, I commend and agree with your last sentence. It's not related, but so true.

And lastly, I'll quickly add a few other points.

There are some religions that embrace the herb of the world as their communion. They use it as the most spiritual physical aspect available, such as the Rastafarian movement, a religion based on love and its virtue, and other cultures. I argue, however, that since it's a spiritual aspect of the lifestyle, cannabis should be consumed in a spiritual way in private, not among friends on the streets. That's my argument on any religious part of cannabis use. However, these cultures are in no way embraced in this country. We embrace only the bad aspects of it, and I think that health should be more important in America. It is readily available among others with these spiritual views nearby, though.

The number one problem with most people regarding marijuana is its gateway uses. Now, almost all street stuff is laced with harder drugs just so one becomes addicted and the money keeps moving. I realize that new, legal weed would be cleaner and not laced with cocaine or anything for that matter, but it's still a hallucinating. It's still addictive, and it still leads to harder drugs. When you move up in hallucinogen's, you will eventually move to real drugs.

I apologize for my tardiness to this debate, for I've had a cold. But thank you for waiting and I patiently await your response!
Debate Round No. 2


First paragraph: So, if your saying you would legalise it but ban it from public places, I don't know if I would go so far as to ban it from public places, but I would not take up arms against you so too speak. But may I say a point on the smoking in public places. Firstly, it depends how far you go. Not being able to smoke outside almost anywhere is a bit too far for me. Parks, the street and walking paths in my opinion should be smokeable. I understand your point about second hand Highs and the smell of smoke. Second hand highs however are not a realistic concept, I don't want to be too blunt but they simply don't happen. Not unless you stay in a sealed of room and sat with someone who was smoking heavily for at least 20 minuets, and i would imagine it would be unnoticeable. We probably get higher of car fumes and the alcohol in some chocolates than we would of second hand smoke, it is simply not real. You say you don't like the smell of smoke, well I get that but let's be honest, we don't live in a perfect world. I get offended every time I see an advert, a boy band, a modern pop video, a story about how some of our goods are obtained. I get annoyed when the phone rings when I'm relaxing or when I'm forced to watch loads of adverts before a video. Life, in a society of 60million (talking about UK here) is going to get a bit cramped and conflict will occur. You may have to put up with smelling smoke now and again when outside your own home and in the public places, but cannabis smokers have to put up with being put in jail, have their jobs taken of them, having to creep away and hide outside in the cold, feeling like a bum, just to smoke their ganja. One must weigh up the costs and pro's. Is it more justified to ruin people's lives because they chose weed as their drug of choice, or more justified to allow a practice that will result in some people, from time to time, being able to smell smoke? Also, one is forced to smoke cannabis in their home if it is banned from all public places, this causes second hand smoke for family members and children and so should not be brought in. Outside, the smoke dissipates and is to sparse to cause any significant or noticeable effects. I know what you mean about children seeing people hitting a bong in a public place, maybe only joints should be allowed in public places. But either way, you cannot wish to shelter your children forever and there is much worse that can happen to them. Also, the T.V is littered with with alcohol adds that actually tell people that to be cool, attractive, successful and happy, they should drink. I know we are mutually wholeheartedly against this, and we are also are in agreement that we don't want children exposed to drugs. But I would argue that it is okay to let people smoke a joint in a park or on the street, as not letting them seems too authoritarian and controlling to me. Given that, in a town, a person might have to walk 4miles to get to a non-public place that is nearly always just private farmland or a main road with no side-walk. Their only other alternative maybe to smoke it indoors (though practically all rented places are smoke-free now) and he may have children in there anyways. Who, as a result of being indoors, will get worse second hand smoke than people outdoors! So you see the dilemma would face people who smoked something that was banned in public places? This, too me, is far worse than smelling smoke.

Apart from all that however, the government has no right in a free society to punish people for smoking cannabis. It is not a matter of 'occasional smelling of smoke by others' or 'their own good' or whether its bad for health or not, it is a matter of rights and freedom. I am not against the banning of certain things for our own good, though I do question it sometimes, such as the banning of heroine. But only in the most extreme circumstances. I am almost tired of going through the findings that show cannabis to be less addictive than caffeine, less physically harmful (by a long way) than caffeine, not at all a causer of psychosis and all in all a drug that typically makes one hungry, happy and sleepy. Like any substance, continuous use for many years can have an effect but so can any substance abuse (food). Govern't should focus on the factors that lead people to abuse drugs

Last paragraph: Im afraid I must disagree with this argument. As an 8 year smoker of cannabis, and that means 8 years of moving in these circles, I can say with certainty that cannabis is not laced with 'other drugs'. Why would somebody put a valuable substance onto an already valuable substance that would not increase the cost? Cocaine is cocaine, and when people buy it, they know what they want and they get it. When somebody is selling both cannabis and cocaine they sell them separately, mixing most certainly never happens. (It may happen with white powder drugs or drugs in a pill form, and cannabis may be 'sprayed' with glass to make it look more quality. But this kind of thing (wrong, but very rare on cannabis anyway) is done with many products legally in the capitalist market. Cannabis is not laced with other drugs but the gateway drug theory doesn't regard this as the cause anyway. It believes that, like you said, that it 'leads on the harder drugs' and 'when you move up the hallucinogens you move up to real drugs'. This brings me on to my next paragraph.

I don't know what evidence there is to support this idea, I think it is just a theory made by the government or other institution, who's members probably have never moved in these circles and never 'lived it' so to speak, that being the life of a smoker. The argument is so weak (don't take this personally, it is an argument that has been used many times before) that I don't fully know how to approach dismantling it. But here we go: supposing that evidence showed that people who take cannabis are more likely to do harder drugs in their life. This does not mean cannabis led to the harder drugs, it merely shows that the kind of people who take harder drugs are more likely to have smoke cannabis. There are also reasons why those people who smoke weed may do other illegal drugs. This is because they are illegal, and this fact promotes harder drug use in two ways: 1, access. If your the kind of person who knows drug dealers, you will have more access to these drugs. 2, Because cannabis is illegal, it tends to be the lower-classes that use it. These people are much more likely to be in a culture of drug use, unhealthiness and criminality. Because of their typical characteristics these people are drawn to use cannabis, possibly because they disregard the law more than the typical middle-class person, and the law is what stops most people from using it. However, this distorts the figures and gives the impression that cannabis use leads to harder drugs, depression and other negative qualities typically associated with 'lower-class' people. Also, when somebody smokes cannabis he/she wonders: 'if they have lied to me about this-what else are they lying about!?'. And they would not be foolish to think such things, ecstasy and LSD for example are much less harmful and dangerous than alcohol, and its not at all crazy to want to experience that conscious level at least once in your life. I guarantee that most of the good music we have been blessed with would not have been had those individuals not used drugs, at least it would not have been the same. The founder of apple smoked weed his whole life and still smokes a joint a day (don't know how true that is). Sorry I when of topic then, maybe that was a little inappropriate lol, right, back to serious debate. Immersing yourself in a sub culture of drug taking and law breaking is the reason people get onto harder drugs. Cannabis is NOT a gateway drug. NO WAY, much evidence supports this if you look at the more recent articles, not that there was any evidence to prove otherwise in the first place!


incredebater forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by missmedic 6 years ago
When anything is made illegal the control of it is put in the hands of criminals. And it's tax free.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by STALIN 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Close debate. Couldn't decide!

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