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

The abuse of illegal drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health, not of criminal justice

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/17/2010 Category: Health
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,173 times Debate No: 13695
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




This is the current LD resolution, therefore I ask that whoever accepts this be either aware of how to debate ld, or preferably, actually be a current or former ld debater.

Whoever accepts this MUST BE COMMITTED AND FINISH THE DEBATE. I dont like to use caps, however, only 25% of my opponent have actually finished the debate. As this is for practice, i ask that my opponent post arguments for every round.

First round will be for intros, questions, etc.

Round 1 pro: This.
Round 1 con: Intro
Round 2 pro: Aff case
Con cross examines pro in comments, max 8 questions.
Round 2 con: Neg case, refutes
Pro asks con questions, max 8.
Round 3 pro: Attack/rebuild, 5500 characters or less
Round 3 con: Attack, rebuild, voters
Round 4 pro: Attack con voters, give own. 3000 characters or less
Round 4 con: Forfeit to maintain LD format, or post anything that isn't an argument.

I wish con good luck, and hope for a fun and helpful round.


I'm a policy debater, but I'll take on your challenge. My value will be life, and my value criteria will be justice.
Debate Round No. 1


Awesome, because my case is very policy oriented anyway. Good luck.

I affirm.

For clarity I offer the following definitions:

Abuse: improper, incorrect, or excessive use; misuse (World English Dict.)
Illegal drug: A habit forming stimulant or narcotic substance (such as alcohol, cannabis, nicotine) which produces a state of arousal, contentment, or euphoria.
(Business Dictionary)
Treat - to deal with a matter (Merriam Webster)
Ought: Indicating desirability (Merriam Webster)
Public health: One of the efforts organized by society to protect, promote, and/or restore the people's health (Austrailian Health Dictionary)
Criminal justice: A generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is investigated, arrests made, evidence gathered, charges brought, defenses raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered, and punishment carried out. (Legal Dict.)

I offer the value of safety, defined as freedom from danger or harm. Safety must be paramount because with no safety there is no life.

Many risks of drugs in the status quo stem from the fact that drug dealers are the primary distributors of drugs. This leads to instability in our current drug market because actions by illegal drug dealers amplify the damage caused by the drugs. Therefore the best way to maximize safety in our resolution is through the criterion of the pharmaceutical regulation of illegal drugs. Regulation creates the ability to acquire drugs legally without the dangers of a criminalized system.

Contention 1: Public health solves for overdose

A: Overdose accounts for the vast majority of all drug related deaths. The definition for abuse is to use wrongly or improperly. Obviously overdose is the main way to misuse not only illegal drugs but drugs in general. Because drugs are illegal, use of them is forced underground. In this environment drug users do not have ready access to information on how much substance to take, and so, often resort to a guessing game as to how much substance to put into their body. American Centers for Disease Control reports "Of the 44,727 deaths attributed to illegal drug use, 22,735 were caused by accidental heroin overdose..., while another 15,551 died from accidental cocaine overdose. That is a total of 38,286 over 86 percent of all deaths due to illegal drugs. One has to wonder how greatly this number of accidental deaths could be reduced if the people using the drugs had products of known quality and dosage to work with. "

This causes users to become abusers by misusing the drug. BetterHealthChannel reports that illegal drug overdose causes long term depression and weakened immune system, in addition to immediate defects such as vomiting, fatigue, internal bleeding, or death.

Sub point B: Public health solves for overdose. Through decriminalization we will be able to focus less on throwing people in jail and more on solving the harms of drugs. My criterion makes the specific quantity of a drug that should be taken readily available to everyone. This info would be publicized greatly as to make sure everyone is fully educated on dosage amounts. Alan Jones explains, "It could be argued that the likelihood of harm would be reduced even further by a regulated industry which restricts supply, provides warnings to consumers and monitors the content of what is sold." In short, a public health stance will all but eliminate the vast majority of illegal overdose cases, thus solving for the main cause of drug abuse.

Contention 2: Public health solves for drug additives

Sub point A is adulterants. Drugs in a criminalized market are often adulterated which yield dangerous results, Melanie Gordon explains "You also dont know what other substances have been mixed in with the drug. Often drug dealers mix an illegal drug with another substance so that they can have more product to sell. For example, a dealer might mix cocaine with talcum powder, sugar, or even another cheaper drug. If you use illegal drugs you simply cannot be sure of what substances you are putting into your body."
(Drug interactions: protecting yourself from dangerous drug, medication, and Food contamination page 15)

Drug scope reports that these adulterants make the purity of street drugs vary to a startling degree, causing the purity of street drugs to average between 34 and 78%.

Impact: When the drug purity varies so greatly, we once again run a high risk of taking the incorrect amount. If we guess that we should take x amount of the drug, but the purity ends up being much greater than previously thought, then once again it causes overdose and misuse. If somebody takes too little of the drug in regards to purity, then they take more and more and more which also leads to overdose. Thus, the impurity of drugs in an illegal market is one of the things thats causing them to be so deadly.

Sub point B is Contaminants. Drugs in a criminalized world are susceptible to poisonous additives. Elisabet Kaa explains, "Identification of potentially dangerous substances contaminating illicit drugs is important because these substances might be more toxic than the drug itself. For example, cocaine adulterated with atropine [6] or phenytoin [7] are examples of dangerous mixtures sold on the drug market."

Another example is paracetamol toxicity, Paracetamol, more commonly known as acetaminophen, is a popular over-the-counter painkiller, but it is also a commonly used adulterant by drug dealers. However, it reacts very strongly with other powerful substances such as illegal drugs. Its also very easy to overdose on it because drug dealers do not regulate the amount they put into their substances. Even a slight overdose as a result of this causes low blood pressure, low blood sugar, internal bleeding, and most commonly, liver failure. Link: Christian Lindholst continues. "Our study concluded that paracetamol was the third most common adulterant used in illegal street drugs, being present in 62% of the substances and 97% of heroin" (The Open Forensic Science Journal, 2009, Study of European drug market). Thus is the problem of illegal drugs in a criminalized market.

Sub point C: Public health solves these issues.

Under my regulation policy, each class of drugs have similar or identical levels of additives, and thus identical levels of purity. Poisonous additives will not be added, in contrast to the way they are in our criminalized world. Thus the dangers the vast levels of purity and contaminants causes are nonexistent in the affirmative world.

In short, overdose is the cause for 86% of all illegal drug related deaths, and adulterants account for another nine percent. This means that 95% of all deaths from illegal drugs are preventable through a public health approach. Its for these reason I urge an affirmative ballot.


Drugs are mostly found in Impoverished cities. Her View is Bad.

Nicholson '05
The first condition that must be met regards the characteristics of the target group. If a specifically targeted policy is to succeed, the target group must be readily identifiable to both the mass public and to political elites and must hold a marginal position in society. This condition may seem redundant in light of our focus on deviants; but even among negatively perceived groups, some are more marginal than others. Groups that are subject to "value laden" stereotypes, those that lend themselves to clear cut assumptions about right or wrong, are more likely to provide decision makers with policy rationales. Mucciarioni (1995) argues that value-based stereotypes can be the most important factor in determining the allocation of state resources. Furthermore, sociologists suggest that stereotyping is a subtle and dynamic process, producing a hierarchical ordering even among groups generally perceived positively or negatively.

B. Blaming has two implications:

First it Masks the Need for Structural Reforms Meaning that the Aff Advocacy will Inevitably Fail
Larry Cata Backer '93
Third, acceptance of the status quo in the United States requires the acceptance of the existence, value and immutability of income inequality, and of the notion that a person has the right to the substantially undisturbed enjoyment of the fruits of his or her labor. n63 These are also ancient concepts. n64 As a consequence, some people will always have less than others -- perhaps substantially less. And, among those with substantially less, there likely always will be people whose income will be insufficient to purchase life's necessities. We style these people "poor," whether we measure the insufficiency of their income by reference to some absolute determinant (for instance, a "poverty line") or as a percentage of some calculable median or medium standard of living below which the quality of life is deemed inadequate. n65 The poor, therefore, make up a necessary element of a stable social and economic order. n66 Who are those at the bottom of the scale of income inequality? For those who accept the static vision, the people at the bottom of the economic and social ladder are life's losers, social and economic deviants who could not or would not conform their behavior to our generally prescribed socio-economic norms. They are those who found it unnecessary to seek, obtain and hold a job or to properly arrange their personal affairs to avoid the burdens of pregnancy, drug addition and the like. It follows inevitably under such a view, that the poor are deemed primarily responsible for their own miserable condition; indigence is produced not by the social or economic system, but by the deviance of the poor. n67 The necessary punishment for deviance is poverty. This is another sense in which the static vision accepts as fundamental the notion that poverty is substantially ineradicable. Stasis assumes that every generation will have its share of losers. Extreme income inequality is the most visible evidence of this difference between winners and losers. As such, poverty is necessarily status based. The incentive, then, is to favor passivity. A passive orientation permits alleviation of the conditions deemed offensive, without a care for the reform of society or its economic basis, as the practical expression of the acceptance of stasis. Alleviation of deprivation requires a system of poor relief to do little more than to provide such material things as will increase the standard of living of the recipients to a level deemed acceptable by the donor, be it an individual, entity, or the state. In this guise, the notion of the need for aid as a relational concept is ancient in Western culture. n68 But even this status-based notion, in a world of substantial resources, is meant to be open-handed. n69 It requires nothing of the recipient other than that the person be in need.

Stanley '09
As we have seen, one view of the poor is that they are to blame for their economic deprivation. From this perspective the system is good, but flawed people fail. This emphasis ignores the social organization that oppresses them. Michael Parenti has criticized those who ignore the system as victim blamers. "Focusing on the poor and ignoring the system of power, privilege, and profit which makes them poor, is a little like blaming the corpse for the murder."

Royce '09
A structural perspective implies a unique conception of the poverty problem. Poor people lack money, of course, but they also lack power, and this is the more fundamental issue. Poverty persists in large part because the ability to call the shots -- to make economic and political policy, to allocate costs and rewards, and to control the flow of information and ideas -- has become increasingly concentrated at the upper end of the class system, leaving poorer Americans all the more marginalized and vulnerable. Under normal circumstances, today's poor do not have the resources or leverage to demand higher wages and better working conditions, to influence political leaders and government policy, to alter the cultural discourse and imagery, or to eradicate barriers to mobility caused by discrimination, segregation, and social exclusion. Poverty is not just a matter of income; it is also a matter of power. And no theory of poverty and inequality can be taken seriously if it fails to bring power fully into the picture.

Second, it perpetuates debilitating stigmatization.
Stigma constructs the poor as less than human, victimizing even natives.
Tropman, 98
If my visitors are astonished at the supermarket, they are struck dumb by the pet-food aisle. As one guest said, "How can you have a whole aisle of dog and cat food, and have such hostile attitudes toward the poor. You treat aniļæ½mals better than people."1 America's thinking about the poor revealing and becomes an indirect observation on teh central core values of Art"It becomes what Barbara Tuchman (1978) called "A Distant Mirror."
"Hate" may be too strong a word. But then again, it may not. It has a lot of synonyms: abhor, aversion, disgust, antipathy, rancor, malevolence, to name a few. And none of these words seem terribly out of place when applied to the poor. If "hate the poor" is a bit of hyperbole, it cetainly points in the right direction. Better to err in the direction of the problem than to cover it up. If we do not hate the poor, we certainly act as if we do.
How does hate work? Stigma, of course, is the first answer. What are the intellectual constructs that allow for the poor.

Dehumanization is the root cause of nuclear war and genocide – reducing some people to objects is the first step to justifying atrocities.
Berube '97
Assuming we are able to predict who or what are optimized humans, this entire resultant worldview smacks of eugenics and Nazi racial science. This would involve valuing people as means. Moreover, there would always be a superhuman more super than the current ones, humans would never be able to escape their treatment as means to an always further and distant end. This means-ends dispute is at the core of Montagu and Matson's treatise on the dehumanization.

C. Alternative
Royce '09
We need to change how we think about poverty in the United States. We need to shift the focus from the characteristics of the poor to the
Debate Round No. 2


I waited as long as possible for my opponent to answer cx questions. He did not.

Onto his case.

My opponent offers the value of life and the criterion of justice, yet he never mentions them whatsoever in his actual case. I win the value/criterion debate by default since he never links any of his arguments to the framework.

He also never attacks my case at all. He simply copied and pasted a bunch of quotes. If he wanted to use his case to attack mine, he should have explained how it does so; he doesn't. I win the aff by default due to a lack of clash.

The only thing that leaves is his case/kritik. It seems to be about drugs being primarily found in poor areas, then gives you a bunch of quotes saying targeting the poor is bad.

1. I do not target any one group. My pharmaceutical regulation policy is available to everyone over 18, it is not limited to being rich or poor. That would be ridiculous.

2. The Backer card on point B claims social services to the poor are used rather than trying to actually improve the economy. This has nothing to do with the resolution or my case, as neither one mentions social services whatsoever.

3. His Stanley 09 card talks about blaming the poor for their poverty being wrong. But since the link to blaming the poor is targeting them, and has already been disproven, this has no merit in this round.

4. His Royce 09 card claims that we need to address power imbalance to prevent poverty. I asked my opponent in CX how this supports his position at all, and he did not answer. Thus, go ahead and assume that this card has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

5. The Berube card states dehumanization leads to...nuke war? My opponent needs to give you actual reasoning and examples in order for this point to make any sense.

In short, my opponent does not debate the topic and instead runs this kritik, which I'm sure 90% of people on this site had no idea what its trying to say until I summarized it. He never even mentions the words "life" and "justice" in his case so he loses the value and criterion debate. He never attacks my case, and needs to explain in his next round how half of these cards have anything to do with criminalizing drugs.

Thank you, and vote pro.


BlackNovice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


BlackNovice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Superboy777 8 years ago
lol forfeit
Posted by BlackVoid 8 years ago

5. How does the Royce power imbalance card support your position?
Posted by BlackVoid 8 years ago

1. Could you finish your Alternative card up here?
2. Where in the actual quote of the Dehumanization -> Genocide card does it mention nuke war and genocide, outside of its title? Or, could you just summarize how dehumanization leads to nuke war in your own words?
3. At the point where I don't offer my regulation policy exclusively to the poor, do I avoid all the "poverty stigmatization"?
4. If we blame the poor for their own poverty as you supposedly claim, then why do we offer all the programs to raise food and money for them as we do?
5. What does the Royce power imbalance card support your position?
Posted by BlackVoid 8 years ago
My apologies for forgetting cx. I've put it in.

I do understand your point about speech length. So since in a real debate the NC is 50% longer than the AR, I will reduce my max limit for the AR in this debate to 5500 characters.

"Summary" is just a term I used since shootmisslaup was using it. I know how voting issues actually work.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
Also, I'm not sure why having just a summary in the final speech is necessary or effective. Oftentimes you end up missing some pretty important points when you don't respond to them specifically.
Posted by Nails 8 years ago
Just for the record,
(A) your format doesn't allow for cross-x, and
(B) your format gives the aff a huge advantage (3 speeches vs. 2). This is usually checked back by the fact that neg speeches are longer, but presumably both the aff and neg get to make full use of the word limit, since you haven't indicated otherwise. Either (i) give the neg one more rebuttal, or (ii) prepare accordingly to reduce the word limits of the aff.
Posted by BlackVoid 8 years ago
Thats pretty much right. but in round 7, the aff doesn't refute everything, they just refute the neg summary and give their own summary.

However, and I'm not trying to be rude at all, I'd prefer to debate someone who has done this a few times. I'm having this round so I can get more ideas as to how strong and experienced debaters at my upcoming tournament will attack my case.
Posted by shootmisslayup 8 years ago
oh yeah my source was wikipedia :P
Posted by shootmisslayup 8 years ago
hey there i'm interested in your debate but i've never debated in an LD format before. I looked it up and I was wondering if this was the correct format:

1)The Affirmative reads a pre-written case
2)The Negative asks the Affirmative questions
3)The Negative (almost always) reads a pre-written case and (almost always) moves on to address the Affirmative's case
4)The Affirmative asks the Negative questions
5)The Affirmative addresses both his/her opponent's case and his/her own. This speech is considered by many debaters to be the most difficult
6)The Negative addresses the arguments of the previous speech and summarizes the round for the judge
7)The Affirmative addresses the arguments of the previous speech and summarizes the round for the judge
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 8 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60