CreateDebate


Debate Info

22
28
Agree Disagee
Debate Score:50
Arguments:40
Total Votes:57
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Agree (22)
 
 Disagee (18)

Debate Creator

TERMINATOR(6778) pic



Cocaine and other illegal drugs ought not be legalized.

A week ago, I'd have disagreed.

A common response is that legalizing these drugs will end the underground market, which will lower the prices - reducing associated crime.

Soldiers during the Vietnam War were heavily addicted to some of these drugs. They say that the cause of the addiction was the cheap and widespread availability in Vietnam and neighboring countries.

Such drugs have well-known side-effects. Many will argue that people have a right to do with their body what they will - but these drugs take over the mind, which make users a danger to others.

A lawyer could easily argue that, seeing how the drug was legal and his client was well within his rights to use such a dangerous substance, the client was not guilty - indeed, that the law is at fault.

Others argue about taxes - how it will raise revenue.

My response is this: Does it really matter about the money? When did the American people sell their souls and become so greedy as to accept such a monstrosity.

Agree

Side Score: 22
VS.

Disagee

Side Score: 28

A week ago, I'd have disagreed.

A common response is that legalizing these drugs will end the underground market, which will lower the prices - reducing associated crime.

Soldiers during the Vietnam War were heavily addicted to some of these drugs. They say that the cause of the addiction was the cheap and widespread availability in Vietnam and neighboring countries.

Such drugs have well-known side-effects. Many will argue that people have a right to do with their body what they will - but these drugs take over the mind, which make users a danger to others.

A lawyer could easily argue that, seeing how the drug was legal and his client was well within his rights to use such a dangerous substance, the client was not guilty - indeed, that the law is at fault.

Others argue about taxes - how it will raise revenue.

My response is this: Does it really matter about the money? When did the American people sell their souls and become so greedy as to accept such a monstrosity.

Side: agree
3 points

I am going to agree to a certain extent that certain hard drugs (cocaine, meth, and heroin for example) should remain illegal, however I think that we need to end the prohibition of lesser drugs (such as marijuana). The first point that you gave about reducing crime is my main concern, because, as you said, you cannot put a price on human life. Literally thousands of people are killed each year because of the drug trade. In Mexico, drug cartels are in an all out war with the Mexican government. The death toll has been staggering, and even high ranking officials such as police chiefs and mayors have been killed; not to mention the effect this has had on corruption. Essentially what we are seeing is the same thing that we saw in our country during the prohibition of alcohol: a rise in organized crime because there is a tremendous amount of money to be made.

If we were to legalize some of the drugs that the cartels are making so much money off of, then there wouldn't be as much of a market and the cartels would see a serious drop in revenue.

As for your point about someone not being legally responsible for their actions because they were high, I think that the claim is a little ridiculous. Let's look at the laws concerning alcohol as an example. If someone kills someone for drunk driving, then they are in fact going to suffer more legally then had they been sober, and (correct me if I'm wrong) I am fairly certain that no one has successfully used the excuse of "I wasn't sober" as a defense.

Finally I would like to address the following part of your argument:

Many will argue that people have a right to do with their body what they will - but these drugs take over the mind

I agree that addiction is a serious concern when it comes to drugs, and therefore the law should not be designed to treat addicts as criminals, but as people who need help getting sober. This is what the emphasis of laws should be, on helping people, not sending them to jail for non-violent crimes. Systems that focus on treatment have been shown to be successful. Portugal is a great example. They decriminalized drugs, and saw a drop in both overdoses and the number of people infected with HIV. Those who were dealing and trafficking drugs were still jailed, but the addicts were treated for their addictions.

If you want to read more about Portugal's drug decriminalization, I have provided a link.

Supporting Evidence: Portugal's drug decriminalization (www.scientificamerican.com)
Side: Disagee
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

I'm curious as to why you think minor drugs such as marijuana should be legalized, while harder drugs should not, despite the fact that most of your argument for legalization would apply equally to both soft and hard drugs.

Side: agree
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

Is it just me or does your hypothetical argument sound much better supported than your actual counterargument, or was that intentional?

Side: Disagee
1 point

I don't see how increasing the supply of drugs in this country would make our current situation any better.

Side: agree
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
3 points

What about legalizing drugs would necessarily increase supply?

I was going to write a long reply, but andsoccer said it all very well.

But as to your point. It's been my limited experience that anyone who wants drugs at any time can get drugs easily, the illegality has not made them harder to get in the least I don't believe.

Do you have stats that say otherwise? I'm curious.

Side: Disagee
sirius(367) Disputed
1 point

"the illegality has not made them harder to get in the least I don't believe."- the fact that the government takes any illegal drugs away from the people they find them with somehow means there won't be less than if they didn't take them away?

"Do you have stats that say otherwise? I'm curious."- how could i have statistics on a hypothetical situation?

Side: agree

That's something that I've always thought, too.

Side: agree
gcomeau(536) Disputed
1 point

Ahem...

A week ago, I'd have disagreed.

...

That's something that I've always thought, too.

So, a week ago you thought drugs should be legalized but you've always thought it would be a bad thing? That's interesting.

Side: Disagee
1 point

legalizing these drugs will just make it easier for the imbeciles of america to get high and be a danger to others

Side: agree
1 point

The effect of certain drugs are negative to society's productivity so society should still make it illegal. This is for righteousness's sake as well as to reflect society's view towards destructive things.

Legalizing drugs won't solve many of the problems of society because people will still try and circumvent the law, rob, kill each other, etc...

Side: agree
1 point

People think that legalizing drugs will eliminate the smuggling of it. But consider this:

Legalizing drugs and then taxing it, effectively making it more expensive will not take away the smuggling side of it because instead of smuggling to avoid getting caught like before, people will now smuggle to avoid the tax so they can sell it cheaper than their competition.

It's the demand side of it that we should deal with, not the supply side.

Side: agree
1 point

People think that legalizing drugs will eliminate the murders in the trade, but people will always kill each other over money and power, this has nothing to do with the drugs trade.

People will kill each other to eliminate the competition in any lucrative trade, legal or not. Think about it, I'm a big distributor of cocaine and I usually kill my competition to protect my market share, now that it's legal what stops me from killing that same competition? I'd still have to protect my share of the market. But I hear you say: You can now use non-violent and perfectly legal means to compete. Any legal means to protect my market share exist both "before" and "after" legalization.

Look at the perfectly legal diamond trade. The perfectly legal gambling trade. Wherever money can be made easily, competition needs to be dealt with, or power needs to be gained, murders will occur.

Side: agree
1 point

Legalizing drugs increases tax revenue from it. How?

If people smuggle before to avoid getting caught, they'd still do it to avoid the tax!!! Except, now the penalty will be less if you get caught because it's not an illegal substance any more. The trade and its distribution channel will still be controlled by the same players with the same criminal mentality. They are stupid thugs who are out to make an easy and quick buck (get rich quick, instead of work hard), they don't know how to deal with problems the civilized way, they lack frontal lobe abilities.

Side: agree
1 point

I will vote for the legalization of hard drugs if society guarantees me one thing: that we will accept the zombification of certain members of society (who are genetically prone to self-destructive behaviors) and make them work for us somehow, as in a labor-camp where the payment for the labor is more drugs.

This will effectively provide us with cheap labor for any projects that society needs to work on. We'll also be able to control and look after them at the same time quite easily.

So in summary, we'll have a society where if you're rich enough to buy your own drugs for recreation purposes, then you can do that legally, but if you don't have any money, you can get the drugs freely by joining one of the labor-camps! Everyone's happy, people don't have to rob others to buy drugs any more and they can get as much as they want! If they overdose, we'll have rid ourselves of a bad seed, social Darwinism at its best!

Otherwise, let's continue the struggle of Good vs Evil and continue to outlaw drugs.

Side: agree
1 point

Legalizing drugs is like legalizing sucide and murder.Once addicted , it is hard to not take drugs.and though one might feel high,the side effects can kill.

Side: Agree
-1 points

Only fools do not understand human nature. If something is legal, OBVIOUSLY many more people will take it.

Every day we hear horror stories of what drug addiction does to people and their families. For any person to not care what drugs do to OTHER'S lives, not just the drug addict. The harm it does to society, to lost jobs, increases in welfare roles, children's lives ruined by parents addicted, etc. etc., then you are a total waste of intellect.

Side: Agree
1 point

Only fools do not understand human nature. If something is legal, OBVIOUSLY many more people will take it.

So if guns aren't legal, many fewer people will use it?

That's the argument I make with guns. Of course it should be legal, but controlled. Just like drugs. Legalize them, but control them. Take marijuana, for example. Right now, drug dealers are extremely happy to sell marijuana to those who are underage because it is the same risk as selling it to adults. But if it was legal to see to adults, they wouldn't sell them to children.

And yes, people getting drugs is a problem. But kids getting drugs is much more of a problem. And if it was legal for those over 18 in a controlled situation, it would be a whole heck of a lot better than the way we have it now.

Legalizing something isn't the same thing as endorsing it.

Side: Disagee

Sure, economic theories suggest that legalizing would eliminate black markets and cartels by lower prices.

However, that is not the only reason.

Some suggest marijuana use related deaths are higher than suggested statistical accounts, most deaths of any drug is caused by hack drugs, so if the substance is legal, hack drugs would be eliminated because these drugs are made to feed on the weak and desperate and everyone will have access to pure and quality product.

How would they raise revenue?

First, there would be legal producers and distributors.

Then, retailers would open legal businesses across the Nation, and the government would obviously receive sales tax and they would enforce a sin tax just like cigarettes and alcohol amounting to 8-10% on every ounce.

Then, the government could enforce the myriad of rules and regulations akin to tobacco and alcohol companies on how they can produce, distribute, and sell.

Plus, there could regulate any advertising and marketing. They would only have marketing towards the dangers of drugs as they already do.

Then they could enforce how it is consumed by what age requirements, certain times of the year or day. Then if they feel that it endangers others, they would enforce laws akin to drinking and driving.

Side: Disagee
TERMINATOR(6778) Disputed
1 point

As I said, drugs take over the mind. Big Lurch, a rapper, ate his friend when he was on PCP.

Side: agree
1 point

YET, Big Lurch still did it while it was illegal. The fact that drugs were illegal didn't stop Big Lurch from taking drugs. No disrespect to the victim, what is the difference between this and if it was legal. Tragic events happen every day.

Side: Disagee
1 point

Such drugs have well-known side-effects. Many will argue that people have a right to do with their body what they will - but these drugs take over the mind, which make users a danger to others.

Which is the case whether they are legal or not. The difference is if they are legal you can institute regulation governing their use to contain the effects. Make it legal to dispense and take the drugs with the highest degree of mind altering effect only in a supervised environment for example so nobody goes wandering off into traffic while they're under their influence. You can't exactly do that now.

A lawyer could easily argue that, seeing how the drug was legal and his client was well within his rights to use such a dangerous substance, the client was not guilty - indeed, that the law is at fault.

And the lawyer would lose since his client would have had to give consent to take the drug knowing it's effects before he was under the influence of the drug, and assume responsibility for the consequences. Yet another thing we can do if the drugs are legal but which is impossible if they are not.

Others argue about taxes - how it will raise revenue.

My response is this: Does it really matter about the money? When did the American people sell their souls and become so greedy as to accept such a monstrosity.

Yes... lowered instances of disease, lowered instances of adverse health effects due to low quality substances, reduced crime, less violence, higher economic prosperity, and people treated like adults and permitted to make their own decisions about their own bodies... monstrous indeed.

(To be clear, if the drugs were legalized I would ridicule anyone who chose to take them as a moron... but it would still be their choice.)

Side: Disagee
NVYN(289) Disputed
1 point

The difference is if they are legal you can institute regulation governing their use to contain the effects. Make it legal to dispense and take the drugs with the highest degree of mind altering effect only in a supervised environment for example so nobody goes wandering off into traffic while they're under their influence. You can't exactly do that now

Umm... people will take the drugs however they want to get the best effect. People self regulate this quite perfectly. Legal or not, people will continue to push the dosage to get better effects if they want, just because a law says they should take a certain quantity won't make them adhere to it if it doesn't give them any effects. Nobody wants to die, so if they overdose, it's accidental, a law will not stop them from taking more and more drugs if that's what they think will take to get them sufficiently happy. And the drug distributors have nothing to gain from a dead client. So making drugs legal won't do anything to govern their use. Keep them illegal.

Effects of drugs on illegal behaviors

Whether drugs are legal or not, effects are effects, people will still have to face the consequences of their actions. Taking an illegal substance then doing something illegal as a result will get you 2 criminal charges, not 1. If drugs are legal, then the crims will only end up with 1 criminal charge. That's bullshit. Keep them illegal.

Tax revenue

- Lowered instances of disease? People can just as easily avoid sharing needles now as when the drugs are legal, if they're stupid, drugs being legal won't make them smarter... in any case, it's got nothing to do with tax.

- Low quality drugs affecting health: Unscrupulous operators will still try and cheat the system for a quick buck, they will smuggle their crappy drugs in so they can sell them cheaply (tax free & free of quality control fees), avoiding the entire quality control system... again this has nothing to do with the tax revenue argument you're supposed to be rebutting.

- Reduced crime: crimes associated with drugs will still exist. Look at it this way, nice sportscars are legal, nice houses are legal, a beautiful computer is legal, but it doesn't stop crims robbing people to get the money to buy them. Drugs can be legal, but it does nothing to stop petty crimes like robbery and burglary. What about murders? Eliminating the competition can be done the legal way (lower price, better quality, etc...) and these marketing tools are available now. Murders in the trade are independent of the legal status of drugs. If you choose to kill off your competition then drugs being legal doesn't change your murderous ways.

- Less violence: How?

- higher economic prosperity: How?

- People treated like adults and allowed to do what they want with their bodies: People are free to destroy their bodies with drugs whether it's legal or not. Making it legal will signal society's acceptance that it's a good thing.

Side: agree
gcomeau(536) Disputed
2 points

Umm... people will take the drugs however they want to get the best effect.

Which is what the supervised dispensing and use environment would be for.

I have no idea how to respond to "if they do two illegal things they get charged with two illegal things but if they do one illegal thing they get charged with one illegal thing and that's bullshit" argument. Mainly because I cannot for the life of me figure out what the hell you think your point is.

Lowered instances of disease?

See regulation and supervised administration.

Low quality operators will still try to cheat the systemm.

Good for them. They currently however ARE the system. When they become the fringe that only the people too stupid to use quality assured regulated product go to their impact is drastically reduced.

Crimes associated with drugs still exist.

Crimes associated with alcohol still exist too. Now, look up "prohibition" and "organized crime" and devote a little thought to comparative LEVELS of crime.

Less violence: How?

See lower crime.

Higher economic prosperity: How?

See higher tax revenues.

And making it illegal for people to do something then pointing out they do it anyway is not arguing they are FREE to do it, please try not to be completely absurd.

Side: Disagee
1 point

This a manner of personal freedom. In America we pride ourselves with the fact that --more so than any other nation-- we stand up for the rights and liberties of the individual. How can we ,then, justify making cocaine and other illicit drugs illegal while at the same time alcohol and tobacco (both of which are arguably more just as, if not more, dangerous)? It's hypocritical to allow these substances while continuing the ban of these other drugs. Of course, I know these drugs are harmful; but that is no sole reason to ban something. If we banned everything that was dangerous there be no: automobiles, sports, guns, electronics, and hot beverages and foods. It's time to face it; people will do dangerous things, they can't be stopped. Why not legalize these drugs; then the government can both tax and regulate said drugs. The underground gang violence would diminish and people would be more open with their drug use making them more likely to go into rehab or get medical attention when they need.

It is not the government's business to regulate my body; it only needs to protect my rights from being infringed upon by other individuals.

Side: Disagee
1 point

The first step in dealing with a problem is having accurate information relating to the problem. Prohibition, by its very nature makes getting accurate information much more difficult. It's not like drug dealers will willingly submit their annual sales reports for inspection. How can you guarantee that a drug user will truthfully answer phone surveys conducted by a stranger (especially since many drugs increase paranoia), or that they even have a phone to answer? Basing rates on incident reports only tell us how many people are getting caught or ending up in the hospital, but millions of users avoid these extremes regularly. When you see an estimate of drug use in the US, ask yourself: how can this be accurate?

Further, do you think a drug dealer is going to be willing to take someone to the hospital if they OD in the dealer's living room? A legitimized dealer would be more willing do so, as would the friends of the person ODing.

If drugs are illegal, people are less willing to seek out counseling and treatment.

If people are going to continue to do something that may have long term health problems, they should be taxed so that the problem can pay for itself without draining taxpayer money from folks who don't use. And why should taxpayers be forced to pay for the WOD if it doesn't work?

For those who feel that people who commit crimes under the influence should receive an additional charge for drug use, simply think outside the box. Make use of the drug legal as long as no other crimes are committed at the time. Should the user break laws when under the influence, THEN you can charge them for their use. In a way, charging people for drinking and driving serves as a precedent.

To see the harmful societal effects of illegalizing a substance: research alcohol prohibition in the US during the early 20th century.

To assuage fears that legalization will automatically increase rates of addiction or use, see Portugal's most recent drug policies.

Side: Disagee
1 point

"A lawyer could easily argue that, seeing how the drug was legal and his client was well within his rights to use such a dangerous substance, the client was not guilty - indeed, that the law is at fault."

At best the lawyer could only claim his client had diminished responsibility for the crime, which would be correct. However if evidence is there to suggest the crime was in any way pre-meditated then there are no grounds for said diminished responsibility.(That is UK law at any rate, I expect it is much the same in the USA however).

Side: Disagee
1 point

1 thing i need to bring to your attention.

the coca leave has been chewed for over 8000 years by the inka people. coca consumption Has many great health benifits, but our country decides to "suggest" to Peru and Bolivia in 2008 to abolish or prohibit activities...such as coca chewing and tea drinking. What right should they have to tell people how to lead there lives.To be told whats right and whats not. WE CHOOSE weather or not to smoke a ciggerette. We choose weather or not to have a drink. Were choosing if we want to smoke a joint or blow a line, we all still know a way to get it. So honestly by the government telling us not to, there putting us in a more dangerouse sitiuation if we decide to. Honestly if you think about it, alchohols the most dangerouse of the bunch!

Side: Disagee

People are always going to have drugs. You cannot get rid of drugs. The difference is that if you legalize them, people will be going to rehab more often then prison.

Drugs should be legal and get treated like alcohol. Heavy laws to regulate the usage of them, but not a ban on them.

We should also make programs like AAA stronger, more forceful, more efficient, and mandatory in many cases. That way they'll actually cure people of bad drug habits without turning them into lunatics.

Lastly, if all drugs are legalized, they can taxed, distributed through safer channels, and therefore be safer and more helpful to society overall.

That doesn't make them good for you, but like I said: you cannot get rid of them.

Side: Disagee
1 point

I've always said that weed is not a drug only because ive never heard of someone dieing form weed whereas someone OD'ing off cocain.

Side: Disagee