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Debate Topic - Recreational Marijuana ought to be legalized nationwide

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2019 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,102 times Debate No: 120649
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
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Marijuana/Cannabis - A drug that is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.
Recreational Marijuana - A method of usage in which the psychoactive effects of the drug are used to induce an altered state of conciousness for pleasure by modifying the perceptions; feelings; and emotions of the user.

My position on this topic will be that I will be advocating for the recreational use of cannabis to be legalized nationwide. Whoever feels that they want to take me up on this debate can leave a comment below.
The first round will be acceptance. The rest of the rounds will be structured as to the wishes of each debater.
There is only one rule that will be set in stone for this debate -

    • No language that is foul/slanderous should be hurled at the opponent on a personal level. Keep it professional.



I accept the challenge. I will be rejecting the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis nationwide.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent and wish him the very best of luck in this debate.
I shall now present my case.

Case One - The problem with illegalized marijuana

In many countries across the world we can see that marijuana usage (not just in a recreational sense) is illegal and anyone caught utilizing marijuana can be punished by local law. Now the nature of this law is mainly to prevent the abuse of a psychoactive drug which is shown to be addictive and harmful if used excessively and in the wrong conditions. However this often doesn't happen.
If we look at the facts (see source one) the five most powerful drug cartels in the world operate in Mexico and Colombia. Two countries where the usage of recreational marijuana is illegal but unenforced by local law. This law paving way for drug cartels to take control presents a number of problems I will illustrate as follows -
One - This has a rapid and dangerous butterfly effect on the governement and public service departments in the country. Mexico's cartel problem has paved way for massive drug rings to form. The money generated from drug rings allows for the financing of other criminal activities. Notably some of these examples include human trafficking, Bribery and corruption in the police force and the government (which allows them to cover up murders and gang-related attacks) and international smuggling. And these figures are on the rise. In Mexico crime rates have soared over the past three years. 28. 5% increase in violent robberies. 14. 3% increase in intentional homicide and 13. % increase in business robberies. The report has also attributed this increase due to the increasingly militarized tactics used by the perpertrators, A trait commonly associated for thugs under the payroll of drug lords.
Two - The youth will be more exposed to drug usage more than if it was legalized. The simple fact is that drug dealers and drug lords do not care about the market they are supplying to. Their goal is simplistic and very focused. And that is to simply maximize profit and maintain discretion while doing so. It's very clear that in many developing countries across the world (notably India) enforcability of drug laws is extremely difficult and many members of the youth find themselves exposed to the influence of the widely accessible black market.
Three - As hinted in problem one, The strength of the drug cartels in some countries will present incredible problems in another country. Because of the financing behind smuggling rings other countries that have also illegalized marijuana laws will find themselves at risk of massive influxes from the black market. This presents in itself a serious problem for the economy and social welfare. Almost all the negative externalties will be passed on and there will be widespread social chaos caused as a result for no tangible benefit for anyone other than a third party supplying illegal marijuana.
Hence, By legalizing marijuana it allows a number of remedies to follow suit. It weakens the power of drug cartels and allows the government to have a stronger grip in tackling internal problems such as corruption and external problems such as the crime rate. While drug cartels specialize in the supplying of drugs other than recreational marijuana, That particular drug itself generates a bulk of the revenue for cartels as its widespread popularity and psychoactive effects are a huge selling point for the drug. Second, It allows the government to properly monitor the process in which legal recreational marijuana is distributed amongst the populace. This allows the government to prevent it from falling into the hands of the youth (as drug dealers will be considerably less inclined to partake in the business due to the fall in the profit margin) and better safeguard them from the psychoactive effects at a young age.

Case Two - The similarities of alcohol and tobacco usage

Now we're all well aware of the fact that recreational marijuana is only but one of the many things that alter behaviour and cause addiction upon consumption. Alcohol and tobacco are among these. The only difference being that alcohol and tobacco are legal in most parts of the world while marijuana is not. Not only that, But alcohol and tobacco have actually been seen as comparitvely more dangerous in case studies. One such case study (source three) has shown that alcohol and tobacco exposure was proven to be a higher risk factor than marijuana. One such example out of this is the fact that overconsumption of alcohol can potentially be fatal. Howver on the flipside, Overconsumption of marijuana is not known to be fatal on its own. The smoking of pure tobacco cigarettes on the other hand has been shown to be a greater factor to influence the growth of cancer cells and risk other diseaes catching on in comparison to marijuana. The hemp plant in itself has medical benefits. And smoking unfiltered marijuana is not known to cause any notable health effects that can compare to the effects brought on by tobacco usage.
Thus we enter a legal loophole. Given that the effects of alcohol and tobacco are perceivably more harmful, It should be only natural that if it was so bad that marijuana had to be illegalized then alcohol and tobacco ought to follow suit. But given that's not the case and probably never will be in most countries, It should only be expected that marijuana is not made the exception simply because of its classification as a 'psychoactive drug'.

Case Three - The economical benefits of legalization

As most of us are already aware our governments love to tax us every day of our natural lives. They tax us on housing. They tax us for infrastructure development. They tax us to maintain the judicial system and public services. They tax us to finance their annual budget and to appreciate the currency.
And of course, They also tax us on the products we buy. The money the government already makes from alcohol and tobacco taxes is quite notable to say the least. In the United States (see source four) $18 billion dollars was collected from tobacco taxes in 2015 and $16 billion was collected from alcohol taxes in that same year. This money goes into the annual budget. It goes into schools, Infrastructure, Hospitals, The works. And the reason is this possible is because the government monitors the sales of alcohol and tobacco through legal vendors. This does not happen with recreational marijuana due to the fact that it's illegal. And all the revenue generated from it goes into the black market and not into the economy at all.
Hence the equation is simple. There are incredible economical benefits that can be derived from legalizing recreational marijuana but there are absolutely no economical benefits derived from keeping it illegal. If anything, We're spending more money simply trying to enforce the law by keeping it illegal which often does not work at all in stopping the spread of the drug. Instead of allowing the black market the power of selling the drug, Keep it in the hands of the government. At the bare minimum, The profit margin from legal sales will be incredibly useful in many other aspects of society.

In my argument I've laid forward three main principles to support my case that recreational marijuana should be legalized -
One) Drug cartels profit immensely of illegalization laws which negatively impact society and the crime rate.
Two) Alcohol and Tobacco (both legal utilities) have evidentely been showed to be a great deal more harmful on personal health and yet their status has not been changed simply because they are not labelled as 'drugs'. (This has mainly been the case why many medical practioners have suggested that marijuana isn't really a 'drug' because there are no known effects of usage that cause serious problems on health)
Three) The economical benefits of a taxation scheme will not only help rack up revenue for the government to use on society but also help the government monitor the flow of marijuana sales in their own country. It's hard to argue that it would rather be better that we leave the hands of the drug to be sold by black market forces than the government.

With that, I hand my floor open to my opponent to present his own case. Thank you.
Sources -
https://deserthopetreatment. Com/drug-abuse/cartels/
https://www. Garda. Com/crisis24/news-alerts/113791/mexico-gang-violence-escalates-in-mexico-city
https://www. Ncbi. Nlm. Nih. Gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234/
https://www. Urban. Org/policy-centers/cross-center-initiatives/state-local-finance-initiative/state-and-local-backgrounders/cigarette-and-alcohol-taxes



I thank my opponent for allowing me to participate in this debate, And I wish him the best of luck.

Case One - The Spiraling Abuse of Gateway Drugs

Marijuana is a gateway drug. Gateway drug (definition by Google): "a habit-forming drug that, While not itself addictive, May lead to the use of other addictive drugs. " Using marijuana at any age can be dangerous as it can lead you to believe that you do not get easily addicted to drugs. Using marijuana can be dangerous because the users of cannabis often proceed to more dangerous drugs like cocaine, Heroin, Opioids, And many other addictive and deadly drugs. Using marijuana is also terrible for the youth because the brains of children are not fully developed. Kids are much more susceptible to drug abuse and addiction because the areas of the brain associated with memory, Learning, Judgment, Decision-making, Risk-taking, Reward, Emotion, And stress are still maturing. 53% of people addicted to marijuana as adults started using it as teens. That is a startling fact. It has also been proven that those who use pot are more likely to hang around sellers and users of other drugs. When spending time with people who value drugs, One can only hold out so long before the peer pressure gets to them and they try the deadly substances. Marijuana can also lead to the idea that all drugs are okay, Which is not a fact. It is arguable that marijuana alone is not very harmful (though I disagree), But it can lead to the use of other illicit drugs that could eventually cause death.

A study about the drugs that people tried first showed some fascinating information. The percentage of people that use alcohol first is 68. 1%. The portion has only increased by 1% since the 1960s. However, Marijuana use has gone up rapidly since the 60s. It has gone up over 10%, Quickly replacing the use of tobacco. Thankfully, The percentage of opioid usage as a person's first drug has always been quite low and is continuing to decrease. Cocaine use has spiraled in states that have legalized marijuana, Even for children as young as twelve. There is also data that proves that 92% of heroin users first used marijuana. This is increasingly worrisome evidence that cannabis is, In fact, A gateway drug and can lead to dangerous drug abuse problems.

Case Two - Dangers of Marijuana

Marijuana is a drug, Which means that no matter what is used to prevent it, Using marijuana will be dangerous. Like all drugs, It comes with short term side effects, But also long term side effects. Using marijuana isn't always dangerous, But because of the large number of people that use it, Many people are admitted to the hospital every day with marijuana side effects. Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is the number one reason users of pot are sent to the ER. CHS is an effect of long-time marijuana usage. Synthetic marijuana is also extremely dangerous. It is engineered to be over one hundred times stronger than natural cannabis. You can even experience epileptic symptoms [seizures], Which can be deadly. It is common that seizure patients bite off their tongues (just a fun fact).

There are many different short-term side effects associated with over-using (or even just using) marijuana. These include:
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Severe anxiety, Including a fear that one is being watched or followed (paranoia)
  • Bizarre behavior, Seeing, Hearing or smelling things that aren’t there, Not being able to tell imagination from reality (psychosis)
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of sense of personal identity
  • Lowered reaction time
  • Increased heart rate (risk of heart attack)
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Problems with coordination (impairing safe driving or playing sports)
  • Sexual problems (for males)
  • Up to seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections
  • than non-users (for females)

As terrible as that may seem, There are even worse long term effects that come with excessive use of marijuana. These include:
  • A decline in IQ (up to 8 points if prolonged use started in adolescent age)
  • Poor school performance and a higher chance of dropping out
  • Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks
  • Lower life satisfaction
  • Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
  • Potential development of opiate abuse
  • Relationship problems, Intimate partner violence
  • Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying
  • Financial difficulties
  • Increased welfare dependence
  • Higher chances of being unemployed or not getting good jobs.

One: The legalization of marijuana will lead to the excessive use of other, More dangerous drugs. These drugs may even be legalized one day.
Two: Marijuana is a dangerous plant. It has both long term and short term effects. These can jeopardize one's life and relationships.
Debate Round No. 2


Moving on to my rebuttals -
Rebuttal One - The 'Gateway Drug Theory'

The argument my opponent has brought up is a sound theory. Yes, Marijuana can prove to be a potential gateway to more addictive and otherwise more dangerous drugs because of the effects it can have on the youth (although the latter is less likely because most marijuana users don't actually go into harder drugs. However I am here to present that there is a bigger picture to the gateway drug theory -
The effect it has in a society where marijuana is illegal -
As I have shown in my numerous sources in the previous argument there are a huge number of negative repercussions that follow by illegalizing marijuana. One of those repercussions that I mentioned was the effect it had on the youth. As I have already stated before, The youth are far more susceptible to marijuana usage in a society where it is illegal. Drug dealers and black market suppliers do not care about their supply markets. And ideally they market it to youth members because those members of society are most likely to experiment with drugs due to their curious nature and peer pressure. As a matter of spoken fact, Even an extract from my opponents argument in his second round confirms this -
"It has also been proven that those who use pot are more likely to hang around sellers and users of other drugs. "

This is exactly my point. These facts are not limited to societies where marijuana is legalized at all. In fact, It is more prominent in areas where it is illegal or otherwise hard to acquire. In a report published by John Hopkins from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, He has stated that 25% of all students from grades 9 to 12 have been offered, Sold, Or given illegal drugs on school property. Hence we can conclude that there is a widespread problem about the unmoderated stream of illegal drugs that falls in the hands of adolescents. 42% of high school seniors in Maryland that were included in the report stated that they acquired marijuana through friends or relatives. If you aim to limit marijuana usage amongst the youth, You need to start by taking away the profit margin that older drug dealers gain from exploiting the youth in your average high school.

In addition, The illegalization of marijuana has had a negative social effect on the youth in that it pegs the curiosity of adolescents who wish to take risks and ignore the dangers and warnings of society to not take marijuana. Legalizing it can improve this by promoting a more drug positive outlook on the nature of marijuana and how its effects can be beneficial and harmful if misused. There's a certain guarantee that a more psychologically positive approach towards this will mitigate the gateway drug issue and the legalization of marijuana will further strain the market that drug dealers are using to exploit children.

Rebuttal Two - The Dangers of Marijuana

There are a couple of problems with my opponents underlying points regarding the dangers of marijuana.
One, The long term implications that my opponent has suggested are very opache and vague. While there are long term drug effects on the human body due to addiction (however these effects are considerably less dangerous than the effects of harder drugs or even alcohol) the long term effects my opponent has listed are not entirely true. Relationship problems, Antisocial behaviour, Increased welfare dependence and so on that fall under these categories are due to many factors. There's no single fact that states that marijuana causes all of these things on its own or even because it is being used at all. Most of these issues you can find are more frequent with alcohol users and those that are suffering with actual disorders. These additional factors that have been omitted by my opponent in his round prove that there's an overexaggeration by my opponent's hand as to the dangers of marijuana. (Which is why I invite him to present some more evidence on this)

Two, As I have stated before the effects of harder drugs have far more considerable effects on the health of drug users. And as I showed in the evidence I listed in the previous round, The supply of these drugs are largely funded by the illegal marijuana trade. A trade which is incredibly profitable due to their status as an illegal drug. While we can't ignore the implications of marijuana entirely, It should be noted that as a society presented with the dangers of choosing between two evils, Most of us would gladly choose the lesser one. And in this case that lesser evil is marijuana.

And finally, There is a considerable argument to state that the government can play a more active role in the filtration of marijuana in a country once it has been legalized. The dangers of marijuana will then be less likely to be presented in individual cases because the government can enforce an active policy plan to monitor the purchases and usage of drug users in a given territory. This of course will be completely invisible in a country where it is illegal and drug abusers are less likely to open out about their addictions due to the fear of legal repercussions due to drug possession and drug misuse.

And with that, I hand my floor over once again to my opponent. Thank you.

Source -
https://www. Ncbi. Nlm. Nih. Gov/pmc/articles/PMC2871399/ (John Hopkins)


I have been extremely sick over the last few days (and still am). I, Sadly, Cannot post an argument this round. Next round, However, I will try to post an extra-long debate in hopes to compensate for this unfortunate turn of events.
Debate Round No. 3


That is indeed unfortunate. Get well soon!

PS : Maybe some marijuana might be good medicine for you at this time. Heuheuheh.


Thanks for the get well wishes! I think it worked :)). However, Due to family problems, Challenging work, And life in general, I only have time to rebuttal your original arguments and not discuss your rebuttal. My apologies.

The problem with illegalized marijuana) While it is very problematic for people to use illegal marijuana, It is much safer for the country to try to put a stop to marijuana in general instead of letting people's use spiral out of control. It is true that marijuana usage illegal can be a lot more dangerous, But if a stop is put to marijuana EVERYWHERE, Illicit and legal, It will be much safer than using legal marijuana ever could be. I also agree that the youth is put at extreme risk because the suppliers of illegal marijuana do not care who they are supplying to, But it is evident that the youth will try to get marijuana even if it is legalized. The problem of children using marijuana can only be solved by teaching kids how WRONG drugs are, At least for the developing brain. It may be easier to control drugs if they are legalized, But it also supports drug usage heavily if the government backs it. The effects of drug usage are immeasurable in some cases, And legalizing it will just boost the number of people smoking.

The similarities of alcohol and tobacco usage) I understand that alcohol and tobacco usage is similar to marijuana usage, But that does not in any way shape or form make marijuana okay. Studies have shown how awful alcohol and tobacco is for your brain and body unless used in moderation. Personally, I have decided to use no drugs of any shape or form as I understand the risks you have stated that come with all drugs. This may not be the right choice for everyone, However, And I mean no insult to those who have decided to drink, Smoke, Or use marijuana. Also, There are many excellent medical benefits of marijuana. However, This debate is for/ against recreational marijuana, Which is entirely different and much more dangerous. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug, Yet alcohol can be too. It has merely become the culture to accept alcohol, And it is slowly becoming okay to smoke pot as well.

The economical benefits of legalization) I am of firm belief that taxes are significant for our society. I believe even more strongly in the safety of my community's citizens. One cannot expect to give money that comes from hurting themselves. In a sense, Yet completely different, Getting money from people's possible overdose of drugs is the same as getting cash for someone fracturing a bone. This is wrong and in some cases even horrendous to think about. People are being resuscitated in ambulances all for the money given to what? - Improving parks? Of course, Developing the area is essential, But the money should be gathered some other way. Illicit drugs are even worse because people are overdosing for nothing, But that does not make using drugs okay. While extreme measures must be taken to convince this generation that drugs are, And always will be, Wrong, It is worth it if the kids grow up to be functioning members of society. If they spend all their college savings on drugs, You may miss out on an engineer, Or doctor, Or judge.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by emm2423 3 years ago
Citations: (wouldn't let me put links here either. . . )

Gateway Drug Theory- Center On Addiction
Does Marijuana lead to the Use of Other Drugs? - Very Well Mind
Marijuana Use By Teens- Very Well Mind
Replacing One Addiction With Another Will Not work- Poppet
American Addiction Centers
Here Are the Most Common Ways Weed Sends People to the Hospital- Vice
Marijuana Facts- Drug-Free World
Posted by emm2423 3 years ago
Alright, Thanks!
Posted by EverlastingMoment 3 years ago
Did you just post your argument? There's a glitch sometimes if you put in the source links. Just put the name of the source and the website instead of the link.

Or just post the source links in the comments. That'll solve it.
Posted by emm2423 3 years ago
I'd love to debate this with you, But I do not have the rank criteria. Sorry :(
Posted by EverlastingMoment 3 years ago
@Bazza Feel like taking it up?
Posted by Bazza971234 3 years ago
I would like to say that recreational marijuana should stay illegal and stay illegal these are the long term effects and short terms why you should be aloud it
Short-term memory problems
Severe anxiety, Including fear that one is being watched or followed (paranoia)
Very strange behavior, Seeing, Hearing or smelling things that aren"t there, Not being able to tell imagination from reality (psychosis)
Loss of sense of personal identity
Lowered reaction time
Increased heart rate (risk of heart attack)
Increased risk of stroke
Problems with coordination (impairing safe driving or playing sports)
Sexual problems (for males)
Up to seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections
than non-users (for females) 22, 32 & 33
Decline in IQ (up to 8 points if prolonged use started in adolescent age)
Poor school performance and higher chance of dropping out
Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks
Lower life satisfaction
Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
Potential development of opiate abuse
Relationship problems, Intimate partner violence
Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying
Financial difficulties
Increased welfare dependence
Greater chances of being unemployed or not getting good jobs.

Also the fact the increase risk of crime since you don"t know what your actually doing so crime rate would be up and I do agree with medication marijuana.
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