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Should marijuana be legalized?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2013 Category: People
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 944 times Debate No: 39138
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
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I'll start by saying that the "War on drugs" has been a complete and utter failure which has cost the American people billion's of dollar's and countless lives lost. I'm not saying that you should be able to just walk down the street smoking a joint (much like you can't drink on the streets) but you should have the right to use it in designated locations such as cafes, bars, and your home.


I have no problem the actuality of marijuana. It seems that it can be very unharming" almost beneficial. The fact is though; it is very much a gateway drug. Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to more potent drugs to rid himself of the unwanted conditions that caused him to take marijuana in the first place.

I am not saying marijuana itself leads people to other drugs, but people take marijuana to get rid of unwanted feelings or situations. It doesn"t really help them, and just masks the problem while the user is high. When their high fades, the problem or situation returns sometimes even stronger than before. They may then turn to the stronger drugs because marijuana no longer "works".

This is then the definition of a gateway drug. Marijuana leads users to stronger, more dangerous drugs. 99.9% of cocaine users began first using a "gateway drug". Of course not everyone goes on to use harder drugs, some even quit using marijuana altogether. But some do turn to harder drugs. One study found that youth (12 to 17 years old) who use marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than kids who do not use pot, and that 60% of the kids who smoke pot before the age of 15 move on to cocaine.

Marijuana should not be legalized, it just leads to these more dangerous and harmful drugs.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree that most of the time marijuana can lead to other drugs, I myself started with alcohol first which lead to marijuana. The reason they start with marijuana is because alcohol is harder to get their hands on since its legal. What I mean by that is that a drug dealer is not going to waste their time selling a legal substance that can be bought in stores. Al Capone became so powerful because of the prohibition on alcohol all those years ago. By banning the substance they create an underground market that cannot be controlled or regulated thus making it far more dangerous. When I was a teen I could go get a bad of weed in ten minutes but alcohol was almost impossible to get unless an adult bought it for me.


"I agree that most of the time marijuana can lead to other drugs."

My opponent agrees with me that marijuana is a gateway drugs, and only leads to more trouble.

"The reason they start with marijuana is because alcohol is harder to get their hands on since its legal."

Then how come so many other teens are able to get their hands of legal substances like alcohol, tobacco chew, cigarettes, etc. and use/consume them regularly. Everyone should know about the wild parties some teens have, where there is alcohol and the like. And we know this is happening because these parties are busted at times by police. So how come they can get their hands on these great amounts of alcohol and other substances? It can be just as easy, if not easier, to aquire these items.

Also we need to address this subject as more than just teens. While teens are a percentage of drugs users, and more specifically marijuana users. There is plenty of people over the age of 21 that use marijuana and other drugs as well. Anything legal for them, last time I checked, is as easy to acquire as going to the shop and buying it.

"By banning the substance they create an underground market that cannot be controlled or regulated thus making it far more dangerous."

By banning drugs, we lower the number of users. Many people realize that drugs are illegal, and know they can get in huge trouble for getting involved. If drugs were legal, there would be a heck of a lot more people that used drugs. How does banning a substance make it more dangerous? In what ways does the substance change when it is banned? How does the substance know it is banned? Are you catching on here? A substance does not become more "dangerous" if it is banned, it still has the same effects.

"When I was a teen I could go get a bad of weed in ten minutes but alcohol was almost impossible to get unless an adult bought it for me."

That is not the case for everyone. I lots of cases it is easier for one to acquire alcohol. I know plenty of underage drinkers in my school, and it doesn't seem at that hard for them to get it as long as they have money. Around where I live, one wouldn't have the first clue as to where to get drugs. This is an example of the other extreme. So you cannot speak for everyone when you state weed is easier to get then alcohol.

1. Marijuana is a gateway drugs that only leads to other more dangerous drugs.

2. Marijuana itself is harmful. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.

Short term effects of marijuana:
  • Sensory distortion
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination of movement
  • Lowered reaction time
  • After an initial “up,” the user feels sleepy or depressed
  • Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)
Long term effects of marijuana
  • Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Growth disorders
  • Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body
  • Reduction of male sex hormones
  • Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information
  • Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Inability to understand things clearly
3. The effects of marijuana can be harmful to the user, as well as others. The long term effects of marijuana can be very harmful to the user. The short term effects can increase the risk of accident which could include harm to others.


Marijuana effects people's health negatively, harms school performance, increases risk of accident, and leads people other more dangerous drugs.

Yes, I agree with you in the fact that if marijuana was legal that it could be a good thing. A good thing in a sense there wouldn't be an underground crime market of selling and buying drugs, and more specifically marijuana. Marijuana is banned for a reason. It is too harmful to users and those around them, and is too much a gateway drug to be legal.
Debate Round No. 2


True there are many teens that manage to get their hands on legal substances but the point is the number of teens using marijuana is higher ( And in an attempt to come up with a legal substitute for marijuana they've created a new substance called Spice which is a drug with terrible side effects that are dangerously obvious, hence why it has been deemed illegal recently. And yes many people refuse marijuana because they dont want any trouble with the law and yet the US still spends over a billion dollars a year enforcing the prohibition. That is a drastic waste of our tax dollars that could be spent on far more pressing issues. People are dying because of the prohibition both "criminal dealers" and the officers trying to enforce impossible laws. We can't even stop illegal immigrants from crossing our borders and yet we're supposed to believe that we will magically be able to stop them from bringing marijuana with them since at least half of all marijuana comes from beyond our borders. Both law enforcement and legislatures alike are rapidly losing faith in the prohibition and many of the are calling for its legalization. ( and there are many many more with the same view.
You misunderstand my meaning when I said "By banning the substance they create an underground market that cannot be controlled or regulated thus making it far more dangerous." The substance itself does not become more dangerous but the people who traffic and distribute the drug do. For example the mexican cartel makes over a billion dollars a year from trafficking marijuana into the US. They are a very violent and lethal organization that does not want marijuana legalized. Are you catching on to what that means?
Your statement that marijuana has more carcinogens is completely unfounded and there are thousands of medical professionals that endorse its legalization.

Short term effects of marijuana:

Sensory distortion - (True)
Panic - (For those prone to anxiety True)
Anxiety - See above
Poor coordination of movement - (True)
Lowered reaction time - (True)
After an initial "up," the user feels sleepy or depressed
Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack) - Sleepy (for some yes) Depression (False) Increased risk of heart attack.... No one has ever had a heart attack from marijuana and if you have proof please provide some.

And there is also zero evidence present for all the long term effects. Marijuana is a plant that grows naturally, tobacco has a long list of proven carcinogens and nicotine added to establish "flavor" but also forms a physical addiction. Marijuana has zero addictive properties. You cannot overdose on it where people die everyday from alcohol poisoning. Ill save some for your next replay


Cristnogol forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Does that mean you forfeit the debate altogether?


No, it means I didn't post my argument for that round. Sorry about that I have been quite busy, but I should be able to finish the rest of debate rounds now.

So far my opponent has provided the following argument:

Marijuana should be legalized because that fact that it is illegal, causes the illegal market and cartels to thrive. My opponent supports this with facts on how much money we spend to fight the "War on Drugs" and tells how it is a waste of money and could be put to better use.

If we legalized marijuana it could lower the amount of money we spend each year on this "War on Drugs". It make sense in a way; if we just legalized it, then we wouldn't have to worry about preventing it. If one were to look more deeply into the effects of legalizing marijuana, they might think different.

1. So if enough people break the law, we should just make it legal? Just because people keep doing something illegal, does not mean we should just legalize it. Just making something legal doesn't make the situation better. Let's legalize marijuana so there's less crime. This can be carried out to other things (although this is extreme, it does prove my point); Let's just legalize murder, then there is less crime. This is the basic premise of legalizing something for there to be less crime/make the situation better/spend less money/etc is absolutely insane.

2. Marijuana does have effect you. You may not agree with my stated long term effects, so I will just talk about short term. Legalizing marijuana opens up a new door of _____ caused accidents. In a world where marijuana in now legal, those suffering from the effects of marijuana are very prone to accident. The sensory distortion, poor coordination of movement, lowered reaction time, sleepiness, etc are all dangerous effects that can cause a multitude of accidents. For example vehicular related accidents, industrial related accidents, etc. We would be also breeding new a generation of poorly performing students. Marijuana has been show to be directly related to negative performance in school.

3. Marijuana is a gateway drug. This statement in itself should be enough to keep marijuana illegal. I have already shown this in my arguments for round 1 and 2.

Once again, marijuana is illegal for a reason. No, it should not be legal.

Debate Round No. 4


Just because something is illegal doesn't mean it should be people could just have the wrong impression. Marijuana is an all natural plant used to treat over 230 illnesses...230!!! While its true that it can have temporary impairment there are no available statistics to show how many people get into accidents from smoking it. The number is literally so low that its not considered a major problem. You don't see commercials warning you of driving high on marijuana but you do see hundreds of them warning of the risks of driving drunk. When the illegality of a substance is called into question there needs to be a serious look at the pros and cons of it being illegal. These days both law enforcement and politicians alike are reconsidering the status of this substance. After all cigarettes kill over 400,000 people a year and yet they are still perfectly legal. Marijuana kills no one...literally. Cigarettes are filled with known carcinogens, they have a long list of hazardous chemicals purposely thrown into them. According to there were 9,878 drunk driving deaths in 2011. See the difference?
Some common ailments marijuana can alleviate are:
Nausea, head aches, pain, and anxiety. The videos I posted earlier in the debate enforce these facts

Now lets look at the side effects alcohol can cause:
Vomiting, head aches, aggression, blood toxicity, anemia (drunks bleed far more when injured because it thins your blood)

Get the picture? Alcohol and cigarettes have no medical use what so ever and yet they are legal. Alcoholism is one of the worst addictions to break and many people die from the withdraws. Marijuana has no withdraws at all.

Has anyone ever stopped to actually listen to the side effects of man made prescription drugs that are supposed to help us? Many of them are later to cause cancers and bring on a whole new set of symptoms that make the original issue look mild. Not one man made drug is safe and if you like I will have a list of legal drugs and the side effects they cause. Marijuana is illegal because 1. it has been falsely portrayed and 2. Big pharm companies cannot control this drug so they will therefore loose money when people decide they want to try a safer alternative. They can't stop people from growing this plant in the backyard so they will not profit from its usage.

To end this round I would ask that you present statistics on marijuana related deaths in your next argument. Meaning overdose, and driving accidents.


Cristnogol forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Cristnogol 5 years ago
I have no idea what happened last round. DDO was messing up for me and seemed like it was having server issues. I don't know if everyone else had that problem, but I did none the less. I had an argument for round 5, but there was issues and it wouldn't let me post.

Sorry about that, I couldn't really do anything :(

Last round was pretty much :

Marijuana is a gateway drug blah blah blah
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