The Instigator
Pro (for)
10 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Is the legalization of weed beneficial to the population

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,348 times Debate No: 36924
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Legalization of weed is an ever growing topic in society, especially with younger people.

I will debate why weed (specifically smoking marijuana) is more beneficial to the populace financially and improving the populations happiness, than keeping it illegal.

My opponent will debate the opposite.

The first round is for accepting the debate and establishing rules only.
The second round and third round are to debate (slight pun).
The fourth round is for a conclusion and optionally a feedback from my opponent.

I would like to point out that this is my first debate and I am a teenager.
So don't go too easy on me.

I'm looking forward.


I should like to oppose the motion and the legalisation of marijuana, taking the stance that it is bad for society and our population. For the purposes of this debate I shall refer to the populations of both the United Kingdom and the United States.

I, too, am looking forward to debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank you very much for taking on this debate and hope for it to be an interesting one.

I will start with my arguments that marijuana benefits the population financially, then move to it's laws that may be seen as drastic and finally it's health benefits.

Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in the United States.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services,
41% or 102 million Americans used marijuana and 15 million use it regularly (1).

According to CNBC, marijuana is a huge market that generates 40 billion dollars annually. If legalized, it could generate a 100 billion dollar business in the US (2).

Imagine the potential for new businesses, jobs and tax revenue. According to Cato Institutes (a think tank) if legalized America would gain 8,7 billion dollars in taxes, not to mention the billions of dollars saved regulating Marijuana (2). This could help the economy and therefore potentially improve the lives of many citizens.

Laws over marijuana can be drastic, compared to other countries.
In Switzerland, you would get fined for the possession of cannabis. In Holland it's a part of their culture but In 36 states of the US, you can be jailed for a whole year with possession (4). For a drug that is less addictive than coffee, that is pretty harsh.

Marijuana has been proven to have Health benefits (5).

Marijuana treatment can heal patients Glaucoma, an ocular disorder left untreated can lead to blindness.
This is the most well documented of all studies over health benefits with cannabis and there's been no study to disprove it.

Marijuana stops the neurological effects and muscle spasm of Multiple Sclerosis, an otherwise deadly sickness.

ADD and ADHD are better treated with marijuana, since the side effects of the otherwise used Ritalin are non-existent.

Alzheimer's can be prevented through Marijuana, according to the Scripp's Institute, since the THC blocks the deposits in the brain that cause the disease.

Cannabis can prevent cancer, reduce heart attacks by an amazing 66% and insulin dependent diabetics by a whopping 58% if consumed raw.

For now I will leave the facts standing to speak for themselves.
I'm keen of your counter arguments and hope to debate soon because school starts Monday.

(1) Over 100 Million Americans Have Smoked Marijuana -- And It's Still Illegal? | Alternet
(2) Marijuana Legalization Benefits Now Include Profit Potential For Wall Street Investors: Report
(3) Legalizing Marijuana Would Generate Billions In Additional Tax Revenue Annually
(4) FAQ Marijuana Cases 4.24.12.pdf
(5) Still Believe Nature Got It Wrong? Top 10 Health Benefits of Marijuana | True Activist


Firstly, even though cannabis may help economically, it doesn't mean we should legalise it. If we sold Nuclear Weapons to Cuba, North Korea and Iran we would make a lot of money, it doesn't mean we should do it. Making money out of poisoning others is sick, which is why I think we should ban tobacco as well as cannabis.

Your argument over the harsh punishments of the UK and the US over cannabis possession is stupid. Homosexuality will get you beheaded in Saudi Arabia, we shouldn't listen to other countries when it comes to making laws.

Your other points are about medicinal values of cannabis. In the case of Glaucoma, medicinal cannabis should be allowed in that case, as it does benefit society as a whole. But we need to be careful and regulate the market heavily. You say cannabis can reduce cancer. This isn't entirely true. Lung cancer it may well do if you smoke it EXCESSIVELY, but this will have other health hazards and it won't stop other types of cancer like skin cancer or ovarian cancer.

Cannabis should not be legalised, it will increase poverty due to its high addiction, similar to tobacco. Does a child need a mother who is there for them or a mother who is constantly high on cannabis. Cannabis has more of an effect on the body that tobacco does, by this, I mean the feeling of 'being high'. While being high isn't a bad thing, judgement is affected, as well as reaction times and other important bodily instincts. In areas where crime related to cannabis is high, so is violent crime and shop lifting. It may not be as bad as heroin or cocaine, but cannabis is still not good.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent very much for your swift reply,

I agree that we shouldn't sell nuclear weapons for economic gains but selling marijuana is a totally different thing.
Comparing a weapon that destroys whole cities, kills millions of people and poisons the environment, to a drug that makes you high is a bit too drastic.
Large parts of the population already consume marijuana, unlike nuclear weapons.
You can buy Marijuana anywhere in a city, nuclear weapons are behind vaults and well armed men.

You also say we would be poisoning our population?
Are you saying the population of Holland is poisoned? The population of California, Washington State or Colorado?
One also has to remember smoking Marijuana is a choice, nothing forced on anybody.

You claim my argument over the harsh punishments of marijuana is stupid. I guess that's your opinion and you're entitled to an opinion.

You seem to agree more or less about using marijuana for health benefits.
It is true that you would need to smoke excessively to have positive effects against cancer.
That is why I noted in my previous argument that you would need to consume it raw.
I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear enough.

The claim that cannabis has a higher addiction, similar to tobacco, is simply wrong.
Jann Gumbiner from Psychology Today explains that only 9% of marijuana consumers will develop an addiction.
This is tiny compared to tobacco (32%) or even alcohol (15%) (1).
Yes I didn't know this too but consuming weed is safer than alcohol.
Jann Gumbiner also points out that most people just try marijuana out and it has very few withdrawal symptoms then compared to tobacco (1).
Also note that between 1994 and 2007, there were 26 deaths due to marijuana in the US.
For smoking tobacco it is 440'000 deaths per year.

You seem to make the assumption that where there is a lot of crime it's due to marijuana.
Crime related to marijuana isn't as sever as you may think.
Only about 7.3% of offenders commit a crime with a gun, the lowest of any drug offenders and marijuana offenders are most likely to receive a reduced sentence due to their minimal role in a crime (2).
I would suggest that these are "dangerous neighborhoods" were crime is generally...high.
This is not necessarily because of Marijuana.

I thank my opponent for his time.



But the example of Nuclear weapons is in perfect proportion to cannabis. You cannot use the economical argument. We would make a lot of money from selling nuclear weapons, but it's bad so we don't do it. We would make a lot of money from selling cannabis, but it's bad so we don't do it.

Just because numerous people take cannabis, it is not a justified act. And, yes, the Netherlands are poisoned. You cannot have mothers and fathers bringing up their children whilst high on weed. It's disgusting! The effects on the brain are more severe than tobacco/nicotine.

Living in London, one is subjected to a spectrum of different people, the only people who smoke in public seem to be foreigners. Now, you say it's a choice to smoke, but is it much of a choice when you are walking through Green Park on a crisp Sunday morning only to be gassed by the Greek couple ahead of you? Or have to deal with Americans on the Tube who decided to get high before taking the Victoria line between Victoria and Green Park which is a bad idea in itself? It may be a choice to smoke it, but when your right to choice infringes on others' rights to life, to health and to not have to deal with idiots on public transport, then we have a problem.

"You claim my argument over the harsh punishments of marijuana is stupid. I guess that's your opinion and you're entitled to an opinion."
Yes, yes I do indeed. But it's your position to persuade me I'm wrong and you're right..otherwise this debate is just pointless.

9% of people developing an addiction is 9% too many. It's just another way for big companies to make money out of people. They'll probably add even more drugs to get even more people hooked on their nefariously concocted poison.

"Only about 7.3% of offenders commit a crime with a gun"
ONLY 7.3%...oh that's nothing! ARE YOU HAVING A BLOODY LAUGH?! 7% is a HUGE number of people. This is surely a point for me! Marijuana legalisation will never work in a country in which you are 'entitled' to own a gun AND smoke pot..why on earth do you Americans reckon this is 'beneficial to the population' as defined by the motion. You people are seriously confused if you believe in gun ownership and cannabis legalisation.

Please. At least give it some thought, first.

Thank you, kindly.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for your responds.

Nuclear weapons are not sold, even on the black market.
Marijuana you can buy practically everywhere. That is why it cannot be compared.
I hoped I had made that clear in the previous argument.

You say that we cannot have parents bring up their children whilst high on weed. I assume you mean, that this is a reason to ban weed.
I agree that it would be disgusting, that a child would be raised by constantly high parents but
what about the children that are raised with parents drunk or smoking tobacco the whole time. We would have to ban bear or tobacco to prevent this happening, We have learned from the Prohibition in the US, that that is a terrible idea.

I haven't found any study comparing marijuana and tobacco or marijuana effecting the brain stronger then tobacco.
I would like to see that article.

I'm assuming that with "smoking" you mean marijuana, then I'm surprised you see so many citizens smoking marijuana in public. If you mean "smoking" of tobacco then may I remind you this is a debate about Marijuana.

I too quickly assumed that saying my argument is stupid, was an opinion rather then an argument. Now your real argument there was, that we shouldn't listen to other countries when it comes to laws and you use the example of homosexuals heads being cut off in Saudi Arabia. That is exactly why we should listen, since there are laws like that in Saudi Arabia from people who don't listen.

I wanted to point about the 9% addiction, that it is safer to consume marijuana then alcohol since alcohol has a 15% addiction rate or tobacco with a 33% addiction rate.
Despite this alcohol and tobacco are legal drugs unlike marijuana. I know this is not pretty one way or the other but there is no world with no addiction. You have to be a realist in this. You can become addicted to work, to coffee, to music even to chocolate.

I'm sorry to mislead you with 7.3% of offenders commit a crime with a gun. This also accounts for offenders who at the time had a gun while caught with marijuana, not in the sense they shot at the police while high. In the US where there are 300 million firearms for 307 million citizens this is not surprising.

I love how you offend me and America of being seriously confused and go on with a thank you kindly.
I like your British humor.

I'd like to say this was a challenging debate.
I also hope you don't think of me as a pot head.
Thank you very much Henry.
By the way I'm Swiss.


But they CAN be compared when you use the economic argument!

And I think I might have said before that I believe tobacco should be outlawed too, why shouldn't it?

By 'smoking' I meant tobacco but the point was that if we were to legalise cannabis, I would be subjected to it when I'm in public.

Being addicted to work, coffee or chocolate (as dark is healthy) aren't bad, marijuana is.

I personally find 300million a shocking number of firearms and to legalise tobacco in the US would be a disaster.

Yes, British humour (NOTICE THE SPELLING) is THE best humour one can find. This debate has been as challenging for me as you, no I cannot imagine someone on being a pot head especially someone who is Swiss!

Thank you, kindly, once more. :)
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by SuperRobotWars 5 years ago
Bacon . . . That is all.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SuperRobotWars 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had no sources to back up his arguments which tended to hinge upon emotion rather than logic.
Vote Placed by bsh1 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had more direct and more comprehensive clash. Pro's sources were used well. Enjoyed the British humour.