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Marijuana Should Be Legalized

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,622 times Debate No: 27299
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




First, I want to thank whoever it is that has accepted my challenge. My only rule is that there is no name calling or being rude. I will respect your opinion and you should in return respect mine. With that stated, I will begin my reasoning on why marijauna should be legal.

1.) Money
In the USA, over 2.3 million people were incarcerated over marijuana related charges. It costs the federal government over $5 billion dollars just to put these men and women behind bars, most of which, are nonviolent. The bad thing is this amount is steadily increasing. At this moment in time, the spending has increased over 127% is some states. And with the population of prisoners growing over time it is expected to keep on the rise. By legalizing marijuana, this spending would decrease monstrous amounts and save the country and states millions of dollars if not billions. Also, by allowing the use of weed, the government could tax it and make a profit off of it.

2.)Health Benefits and Facts
In addition to the profits of marijuana, there are other things that would benefit from legalizing the drug. The health benefits. Its already been proven to help cancer patients and even prevent some types of cancer. Some examples are Prostate Cancer and Lung Disease. Furthermore, smoking, vaporizing, and consuming marijuana relieves the pain of people with HIV's, Arthritis, Migraines, Tourettes and OCD, and IBS and Crohns Disease.
The drug has shown to prevent Alzheimer's and Epilepsy. But most importantly, it treats a number of ailments including Glaucoma, Depression, Hepatitis C, Morning Sickness, and ADD and ADHD.

Marijuana isn't like other drugs that just decrease the health of people. Unlike others, its not something a person can overdose on and in any case in much safer than alcohol and cigarettes.
Speaking of alcohol, many people assume that being high is the equivalent of being drunk. This misconception is highly inaccurate. Being high actually puts a person in a calm, focused, and creative state of mind. Officials worry that legalizing it will cause more car accidents, but because of the chemicals in weed, you tend to be more alert,. Thus, you're better off being high while driving than being completely sober.

3.) Famous People Who Smoked and What They Benefited to Society
The other side effect of weed is creativity. If it wasn't for marijuana, then much of the art, music, and books we read today would not have ever been made. William Shakespeare is a prime example. And due to the focus aspects of it, many of the geniuses of today's society and past might not be or have been in the place they are and were. Presidents smoked weed.Barack Obama was an avid smoker when he was younger and George Washington owned a marijuana farm. Michael Phelps, the man who has the most Olympic gold medals in all of history has smoked. Famous Actors and Politicians frequently smoke such as Michael Bloomberg, Montel Williams, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another of the world most famous authors is a "pothead", Stephen King. The man who gave you Iphone's and Macs and Ipod's smoked weed.(Steve Jobs) Joan of the Arc thought of her war strategies when high. Smoking weed has benefited society in so many ways!

This concludes my argument. In summary, legalizing marijuana would make money for the government, it provides many health benefits, and much of what we have now is a result of people smoking weed. Thank you!


This argument is riddled with faulty 'conventional wisdom'.

  1. 1. Money
    If your basis for claiming something shouldn't be done is that it costs too much then consider the following statistics:
    1. a. The US military spends 2 Billion dollars a day [1]. 5 billion of annual expenditure seems like chump change in comparison. Yet, nobody says that we should disband the military because it costs too much.
    2. b. American’s spend 2 Billion dollars annually on chewing gum. So the cost of imprisoning prisoners is the amount of money spent by Americans on chewing gum in 3 years.

These are to put the figure of 5 billion into perspective. It may seem like a huge amount, but it doesn’t compare to our spending on some other things.

  1. 2. I will concede that according to this ( article, marijuana has shown to have positive effects on patients suffering from the mentioned diseases. Yet that does not mean that it should be legalized. Some statements in my opponents argument are blatantly false. Quoting articles [2]:
    1. a. Cannabis smoke contains thousands of organic and inorganic chemical compounds. This tar is chemically similar to that found in cigarette smoke and includes many of the same carcinogens (Cancer causing substances). Cancer causing chemicals in cannabis smoke have been found in amounts 50% higher than those found in tobacco smoke.
    2. b. People involved in the study which claimed that marijuana is not as harmful as cigarettes smoked up to 1 joint daily for 7 years, or 1 joint weekly for 20 years. This is upper limit of the amount smoked by test subjects, not an average or mean value. The reader would agree with me that a lot of addicts can easily smoke more than one joint a week.
    3. c. The debate is not between whether marijuana is better or worse than alcohol. he British Medical Journal recently indicated that "Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
    4. d. Looking towards famous personalities that have used marijuana is again faulty logic. The list named by my opponent is not an exclusive list of successful people. In some cases, weed may have nothing to do with their achievements (What does President Obama’s old weed habit have to do with his becoming president?). The claim that it makes people more creative is also wrong. Cannabis is often considered an atypical, unique and sometimes paradoxical psychotropic due to its vast and sometimes contradictory array of effects. The subjective experience induced by using cannabis can be considered stimulatory and yet also sedative or depressant. So it may or may not have an uplifting effect.

Thus far, my arguments have mostly been a rebuttal of yours. The fact that there seems to be no good reason to legalize a drug means that there is no need to legalize it. For every one successful person to consume marijuana there may be ten others whose lives have been destroyed by it. Looking to successful celebrities and their drug habit for inspiration is like saying everyone should snort cocaine just because XYZ did.




Debate Round No. 1


By reading your debate, I have found that you're arguments are irrelevant and false.

1. The military isn't a valid debating point because we need the army to protect us. You cannot compare weed to a military. The point is, keeping weed illegal is just adding to a deficient. Its necessary to spend that much money on the military in order to keep our nation safe. But spending $5 billion a year just to keep marijuana smokers from smoking is illogical and a waste of money.
2. The second point made also isn't valid. I am speaking of government spending, not a citizens personal money. I doubt its the government that spend $2 billion dollars a year on gum.

No, 5 billion isn't much to some of the governments spending on other programs, but at a economic crisis such as this one, we need cuts wherever we can get.

1. There are carcinogens found in every type of smoke. The difference between cigarettes and marijuana is that you can vaporize or bake marijuana rather than smoke it like a cigarette. But if smoking weed has over 50% more carcinogens then why do tobacco smokers have 20-fold increased risk of lung cancer and cancer of the neck and head than regular marijuana smokers?

2. Your second point shows no relevancy to anything mentioned in my argument.

3. You are correct, it is not between whether its better than alcohol. Never did I mention that it was. According to a test done by NORML, smoking marijuana has mild effects on how the driver drives and " individuals under the influence of cannabis tend to be aware of their impairment and try to compensate for it accordingly, either by driving more cautiously or by expressing an unwillingness to drive altogether."

4. The point in showing the list was not to say that you can credit all of their success to smoking marijuana but rather prove that smoking marijuana did not cost them their future as perceived by today's society. And yes, you can credit some peoples work and success to their consumption of marijuana. Joan of the arc is a prime example as well as William Shakespeare.

In all, my opponent has made no real points as to why weed should remain illegal. Instead, he or she has only tried and failed to prove my argument wrong.


The military and the spending on chewing gum are simply statistics to put the figure of $5 billion into perspective. My point was that it may seem like a hug amount, but given the amount of money spent by people and governments on other issues, we should be able to muster this kind of spending to combat drug use.

Pro’s comparison of marijuana to tobacco and alcohol detracts from the issue at hand. Pro attempts to make a case for legalizing marijuana by ‘proving’ that it is less harmful than other substances. But just because it is healthier than something doesn’t ipso facto mean that it is absolutely healthy.

The second point was a comment on the scope of the sample space on the study that stated marijuana to be less harmful than cigarettes.

As I stated in my previous argument, marijuana impairs your ability to drive. Whether or not this impairment is as severe as that caused by alcohol is not the subject of debate. It is unsafe to drive after consuming cannabis. Saying that it is less dangerous is not a condition to legalize it.

I would like to add that while I am not discrediting the study by NORML, it is after all a pro marijuana lobby. I urge you to provide statistics by neutral and unbiased sources who conduct studies only with scientific intent.

Quoting your initial argument:
“If it wasn't for marijuana, then much of the art, music, and books we read today would not have ever been made”

“And due to the focus aspects of it, many of the geniuses of today's society and past might not be or have been in the place they are and were”

Pro is definitely attributing a large part, if not all, of some people’s success to marijuana. While marijuana may not have cost some people their future, you cannot, from this statement, conclusively say that it will not adversely affect anyone else.

Pro has merely re-iterated its old argument shedding the points that it could not contest.

Keeping something illegal sends a strong moral message. In my opinion, keeping it illegal helps prevent a vast majority of youth from trying and becoming addicted to it simple because it is easy enough for them to ‘try’ it.

Even when marijuana is sold for medicinal purposes, it is easy enough for people to obtain a license for almost any and all ailments.

Some studies also suggest that marijuana may serve as a gateway drug to ‘hard’ drugs such as cocaine, in which case legalizing marijuana could lead to rampant drug use.

Debate Round No. 2


As I stated in my last argument, no, 5 billion isn't much compared to other programs, but it's still a waste of money. Taxpayers like you and I are paying to keep mostly peaceful people incarcerated over marijuana charges. The point is, instead of losing five billion on prohibiting marijuana, why not make money off of it by distributing and taxing it. If we just stopped wasting this money, we could put it towards something better for the country and paying off our debt to china.

Prohibiting the use of marijuana does nothing to help the country. To buy marijuana, all you have to do is have money. If the government were to legalize its use, then a citizen would have to be 21 to buy it from a distributer, meaning it would be harder for teenagers to get it. That's why teenagers like it so much, because it's easily available. If the government wanted to lower its use, the they should provide educational programs that tell the truth about marijuana rather than D.A.R.E. cops, like they do for alcohol. In summary, the government is taking the wrong path in the use of marijuana and by making it illegal, its made even more available to youth.

There was one point I left out from previous arguments and thats the religious aspects of its use. Just like the Christian and Judaism religion who drink wine on certain events, there are other religions that rely on the use of marijuana. Hindus, Rastafarian's, and Buddhist use marijuana in their religion. It is true that there should be limits to the first amendment's religious freedom; such as religious sacrifices. But marijuana does not harm society and therefore, because of religious reasons, should be legal. Otherwise, its a denial of a persons first amendment rights.

I would never be for driving while high. It's always better to be on absolutely nothing behind the wheel than to have drugs in you system. But, over 11,000 people die in car crashes over something that is legal to consume, which is alcohol. I'm not saying that it should be made legal just because alcohol is legal, its simply a fact. And many people who are high know not to get behind the wheel anyway.

Thank you very much for debating with me on this issue.


viraj.mahesh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ThePoliticMan 5 years ago
Resonse to Pdog: There wouldent be craziness in the streets, the last time i read up on this you need over 1 ounce of weed to be incarcirated by the law. poeple may also be calmer due to the effects it can have. I support the legalization of it, we can focus on the more importent things other than a couple of people wanting to get high. Over 750,000 people were arrested for the simple possession, and use of it. thats a waste of space for the more deadly targets of the police force.
Posted by pdog 5 years ago
that is true but if it was legalized there would be craziness's in the streets
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