The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Legalization of Cannabis

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,360 times Debate No: 58282
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Scientist have proved that the THC in Cannabis can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women as well as promote healthy brain functions as well as reducing chronic pain. So with that being said I believe that Cannabis should at least be legalized on the medicinal level if not the recreational level.


My opponent's argument is essentially this:

1) Marijuana is beneficial in many cases
2) Banning beneficial substances is bad
3) Therefore, marijuana should be legalized.

I agree with 2, however disagree with 1 (and therefore the conclusion).

Is marijuana good for you?

The legalization lobby which claims that marijuana is actually a beneficial substance are mistaken. In fact, the American Cancer Society has stated, "A number of reviewers have concluded that the scientific evidence does not support smoking marijuana as a medicine because of problems with dosing and the variable amounts of any one compound that might be delivered." They continue to look into the most extensive research project in the area, a 1997 report by the IOM. What the report found was that although marijuana can be an effective medicine in some cases, they found many drawbacks which easily overwhelm the possible medicinal purposes. They found that the effects on the immune system are dangerously unknown, and negativley affect movement and memory. Further, as marijuana has many active compounds, the report (summarized by the ACS) argued "it cannot be expected to provide precise effects unless the individual components are isolated". Further, although some researchers mantain the position that THC can reduce cancer growth, the ACS noted that "There is no available scientific evidence from controlled studies in humans that cannabinoids can cure or treat cancer" [1].

This has also been agreed upon by the National Cancer Institute, arguing that "No clinical trials of Cannabis as a treatment for cancer in humans have been found in the [PubMed] database maintained by the [NIH]."[2]

In fact, there is considerable research into the harmful effects of marijuana. Research has shown that smoking marijuana increases the rist of heard attack 4.8 times from what it would otherwise be. There have been possible links between marijuana and mental illness--including anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and schizophrenia symptoms becoming increasingly worse. Smoking marijuana while pregnant leads to a host of child deformaties, and doubles the risk of a drivers risk in being in an accident. Although marijuana may be less addictive than other substances, it has an addiction rate of about 9%, and near 17% for young users [3].

The case against marijuana legalization

1. Increased use

Legalization of drugs of any kind would lead to a substancial increase in use. Although many argue that medical marijuana, for example, has no effect on overall use, states with pro medical marijuana laws have much higher use. Overall, marijuana use has been falling for a long period of time. However, states with pro-medical marijuana laws have seen much less of an decrease than states with anti-marijuana laws [4].

Many have claimed there is little proof that legalization would lead to increased use, but this is an incorrect statement. A study by the non partisan RAND corporation has found that legalization would lead to a significant rise in drug use. The study found that drug costs would decrease--as they would not be high due to prohibition--and the decreased price, as basic economics assumes, would increase use. They proved both of these assumptions as correct in their data: drug prices would fall, and use would increase [5].

Medical marijuana may seem to be a red herring in this debate, but I assure you it is not. Legalization of medical marijuana would lead to decreased price as well as increased access. Research by the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that allowing marijuana for medical use would lead to a substancial increase in marijuana use. For example, for those 21 and older, the increased probability in use would increase 16%, increase of use 12-17%, and an increase in marijuana dependency/addiction of 15-17%. The increased use is primarily seen in those over 21 (who would have access to the drug for medicinal purposes) [6]. The increase for those over 21 years of age who would have access to the drug agrees with the hypothesis that lax laws would lead to increased use.

Many animal expiriments actually provide an interesting place to research. When rats were given unlimited amounts of cocaine, they kept consuming until they died. And obviously, then it was harder to access or restricted, fewer died. This then hints that restricting the use of drugs would lead to decreased abuse. Further, during the decade that 11 states decriminalized marijuana use, use tripled among adolescents, doubled for adults, and quadrupled among older adults. Each year, there are 8,000 people sent to the emergency room for marijuana abuse. Imagine the substancial increase in costs from legalization, assuming that the number of 8,000 increased to 16,000 or more. The economic costs would be enormous [7].

2. Increased cost to society

1) Drugs cause harm to society
2) Legalization increases drug use
3) Therefore, legalization would lead to increased cost of society

This line of reasoning is further supported by a study which noted that legalization would lead to an increased amount of time spent in the hospital. As one report argued, "this study took place in a London borough where it saw a 40% to 100% increase in the hospitalization of men due to hard drugs after marijuana was legalized" [8]. In fact, the study further argues that policing policies of marijuana actually significantly impact public health, for the better [9]. Further, the head of Emergency Room of Denver's largest hospital says he has seen a substancial increase in people in the ER due to marijuana [10].


--> Marijuana does not have significant positive qualities
--> Marijuana legalization leads to increased use
--> Legalization of marijuana increases the cost to society by increasing hard drug ER visits (due to increased drug acceptance, and decreased hard drug prices as well [5]), and an increase in ER visits due to the drug itself.

Debate Round No. 1


Master_Debater_7976 forfeited this round.


get shrekt
Debate Round No. 2


Master_Debater_7976 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Forte 7 years ago
A whole two sentences from Pro. How, ummm, convincing....
Posted by 16kadams 7 years ago
How come every link ends up broken...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.

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