The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Drug Legalization

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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,507 times Debate No: 21576
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Resolution: Within the United States, all illegal drugs are now legal.

The first round is for acceptance.


I accept this.
Debate Round No. 1


Point 1: Legalizing drugs would lower the prison population and help the court system.

"Of 31,346 sentenced prisoners in federal institutions, drug law violators were the largest single category, 9487.""Removing the 9487 drug inmates would leave 26,472. Of those, 7200 were in for assault, burglary, larceny-theft, or robbery. If the proportion of such crimes that is related to drugs is 40 percent, without drug laws another 2900 persons would never have made it to federal prison. The inmates who remained would be left in a less cruel, degrading environment. If we repealed the drug laws, we could eventually bring the prison population down comfortably below the prison's rated capacity."[1] The people who take the drugs are not really the criminals, they are the victims.

If we removed these people from the prisons, we could be able to make room for people who belong in prison.

"Since drug legalization would significantly dimish crime by the eliminatation of drug and drug-related crimes, the legislation would remove tens of thousands of cases from the court dockets across the continent, enabling the remaining cases to move sooner and faster. Prosecutors would have more time to handle each case; judges could return to real law and render more thoughtful and realistic opinions."[1]

If we took away almost 25% of all court cases off of the curcuit, the court system could function more quickly and more efficiently because their would be fewer cases.

Point 2: Legalizing drugs would save thousands of lives.

"The considerable police efforts now expended against drug activity and drug-related crime (1/3 to 1/2 of resources) could be redirected toward protecting innocent people from those who would still commit crime in the absence of drug laws. The police could protect us more effectively, since police could focus resources on catching rapists, murderers and the remaining perpetrators of crimes against people and property."[1]

If we legalized drugs, that would allow thousands of more cops to react to emergency situations that would protect more people. Also, there are cops's lives lost fighting the drug war and other people getting caught in the crossfire.

"Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead. Violence was common in the alcohol industry when it was banned during Prohibition, but not before or after."[2]

Thousands die each year from the effects of getting drugs. If we legalized them, the black market would collapse and very few would ever be killed.

Point 3: Drug gangs and cartels would be eliminated.

"Legalizing drugs would eliminate this huge income source from under organized crime. Smugglers and pushers would have to go legitimate or go out of business. There simply wouldn't be enough other criminal endeavors to employ them all. Drug users would buy from reputable manufacturers at a much lower price. A user's habit could be supported with honest work because high drug prices would be eliminated. Drugs that kill and blind people would disappear. Users of legal drugs would have the right to their day in court, if a drug manufacturer is negligent. No such rights exist today."[1] Legalizing drugs would eliminate cartels, which would save additional lives both in Mexico and here.

I will have more arguments later. I haven't had much time lately.




C1. Drugs are unhealthy, legalizing will increase drug use

When it comes down to it, my opponent is asking the government to officially sanction something which can cause direct irreparable harm to the human body. Let's take a look at one drug my opponent wants to legalize Heroin. Heroine has both short term and long-term effects. In the short-term it suppresses the central nervous system causing "cloudy" mental function. Users breathe at a slower rate which can sometimes lead to respiratory failure. Long-term use can lead to the infection of the heart lining and valves, liver disease, kidney disease, pulmonary complications, skin infections, physical and mental dependency, and even death (1). The United States cannot tolerate the use of drugs, such as heroin, which cause this much damage to the human body. Furthermore, in the 1970s, Alaska and Oregon decriminalized the use of marijuana, in these states the use of marijuana doubled almost overnight (2). Drug use will go up if the United States legalizes all illegal drugs.

Legalizing will increase drug use. Between 1979 and 1992, drug use was dropping exponentially. When Bill Clinton was elected president he slashed to office of Drug Control Policy by 80%, dropped the war on drugs from 3rd priority to 29th out of 29, and cut the number of ships and aircraft responsible for drug interdiction 50%. Then, drug use by children ages 12-17 increased 106% as a direct result. My opponent mentions the prohibition as a complete failure, but, as a public health standard it was a success. During the prohibition alcohol use declined 30-50%, deaths from cirrhosis fell, between 1911 and 1929, from 29.5 deaths per 100,000 to 10.7 deaths per 100,000, alcohol psychosis fell from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 per 100,000, suicides decreased 50%, and alcohol related arrests DROPPED 50%. Prohibition was an ACHIEVEMENT when it comes to the field of public health.

C2. Legalizing will increase crime

If drugs were to be legalized naturally the government would regulate and tax the creation and selling of these drugs. This means the price would increase substantially. Remember a 10% increase in the price of heroin correlates with "an increase of 3.1 percent total property crimes in poor nonwhite neighborhoods." Armed robbery jumped 6.4 percent and simple assault by 5.6 percent throughout the city." (3) If the price increases crime increases, and the price will increase if the government is allowed to regulate and tax drugs. Even all the empirical evidence points to this conclusion: in 1976, California decriminalized the use of marijuana, arrests for DUIs rose 46% for adults and 71.4% for minors (2). Patrick Murphy, a court appointed lawyer for 31,000 abused children in Chicago states "more than 80 percent of the cases of physical and sexual abuse of children now involve drugs. There is no evidence that legalizing drugs will reduce these crimes, and there is evidence that suggests it would worsen the problem" (2). Furthermore, "Even if drugs were legalized some restrictions still would be necessary. For example, restricting the sale of legalized drugs to minors, pregnant women, police, military, pilots and prisoners would be necessary but would still provide a black market niche. Pro-legalizers contend that government could tax drugs, thus off-setting the social costs of abuse. But history proves that efforts to tax imported drugs like opium created a black market. Earlier this century Chinese syndicates smuggled legal opium into this country to avoid tariffs." (2) Drugs will not reduce crime but, will in fact increase crime.

C3. Legalizing Drugs violates international law

In 1961, the United States was present at the Single Convention on Narcotics. This was an international treaty to PROHIBIT the production and supply of drugs. The United States signed this treaty along with 180 other countries. (4) Later, the United States signed another treaty known as the Convention on Psychotropic Substances; this prohibits the production of drugs such as LSD and Ecstasy. (5) The United States cannot simply legalize drugs because doing so violates several treaties with foreign powers. The United States cannot simply violate any treaty it feels like. Should the United States violate international law for nothing but detrimental effects? No.

C4. Increased Government intervention and court spending

a)Government regulations
The government will do what they did with alcohol and tobacco they will attempt to regulate who can buy drugs (as in how old), who can distribute and create them, they will create health standards and more health codes regulating the distribution of these drugs, etc. Legalization leads to more government control not less. Even with these regulations drugs still are extremely dangerous.

b)Increased lawsuits
Who will be manufacturing these drugs now? Companies of course. If you have two competing companies you will have lawsuits. This means more court time will be wasted, not less.

c)Increase campaign corruption
Look at tobacco lobbyists? Do you think drug lobbyists would not do the exact same thing?

C5. Would not end illegal trafficking or any violence
The United States would regulate drugs and make it more difficult and more expensive for people to obtain them. Those excluded will turn to the black market. The United States will not destroy the black market, rather the United States would force the black market to change its "focus group". Instead of selling and trying to get college students to buy drugs maybe they change and attempt to sell mainly to younger children. Even if you accept the argument that it would destroy the black market let's think of it another way why not legalize robbery? Then robbers do not have to sneak around and maybe harm someone because they are scared. This would reduce deaths. This is ridiculous.


R1. Lower prison population

"Of 31,346 sentenced prisoners in federal institutions, drug law violators were the largest single category, 9487."

According to "Princeton University Professor John Dilulio […] only 2 percent -- i.e., 700 -- of those in federal prisons were convicted of pure drug possession. They generally committed other and violent crimes to earn a sentence." (2) It would not have that much of an impact. Furthermore, "70 percent of current inmates were on illegal drugs when arrested and, if drugs become cheaper, violent crime could reasonably be expected to increase" (2). So you want to INCREASE prison populations not decrease them.

"The people who take the drugs are not really the criminals, they are the victims."

So why not reform the system and open up more rehabilitation centers instead of legalizing harmful substances? Most addicts also commit other crimes.

"If we took away almost 25% of all court cases off of the curcuit, the court system could function more quickly and more efficiently because their would be fewer cases."

You may decrease the number of pure drug related charges but, you increase the amount of crime. You will have more crime so more cases.

R2. Save lives
This entire point is irrelevant as crime would increase, thus harming and killing more people. Use of dangerous substances would increase thus, harming and killing more people.

R3. Drug cartels

My opponent has not proven the drug cartels would just disappear. "Even today, there is ample crime based on the legal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. For example, organized crime smuggles cigarettes from states with low tobacco taxes into those with high taxes, and such activities are accompanied by violence against legal suppliers." (2) There will still be violence. And the cartels would not just disappear. They would adapt.

Debate Round No. 2


Ron-Paul forfeited this round.


I was hoping for a debate...but, I'll give my opponent another round.
Debate Round No. 3


Ron-Paul forfeited this round.


alright once again...
Debate Round No. 4


Ron-Paul forfeited this round.


hoping for a debate...and got this....thank you Ron-Paul (sarcasm)
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
hopefully not a forfeit...
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
16k, Portugal reformed their entire criminal justice system to decriminalize drugs giving people therapy after they have been arrested. This resolution calls for legalization which means the criminal justice system will never be involved in any Portugal the criminal justice system is involved.
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
this does not make sense...people do not use drugs for the express purpose of committing a crime

This would be a better resolution. Resolved: Within the United States, all illegal drugs are now legal.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: much like the candidate the pro is representing, Ron Paul started off strong and with hope but in the end he never came close to winning.....