Points: 4

All drugs should be legal

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 1 vote the winner is ...
Tiwaz
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender
Points: 7
Description
It's a political argument, so I think BoP should be shared toward the ultimate goal of a resolution. At which point, voters can give argument point based on who's resolution was closer to their initial claim. Con is welcome to deny this and argue for an organic development of the BoP instead.
I'm not picky.
Good luck!!
Round 1
Published:
Thank you to my opponent for accepting the debate. 

I will be arguing this as a political resolution.  So our goal for this debate will be to see who's solution to the issue ends up being better.  If it is a combination.  Then voters will have to decide for themselves who put more into the solution or if it was equal or neither really supported it, etc.. Let's begin. 

My starting solution will be to legalize all drugs.  I will hold this position for as long as my opponent doesn't change my mind. 

Here are my reasons. 

1.  Drugs only cause self harm. 

This is the biggest point for me.  A person who does drugs is making a person decision in respect to their body autonomy.  The act of using a drug in of itself, is not an immoral act.  Now some people might say that self harm is wrong, but that's not an absolute and we have to look at individual situations.  Lets take a look. 

A) Suicide.  

To the best of my knowledge, suicide and the next situation I bring up, are the only forms of self harm that are recognized to be illegal in most countries.  Suicide is the act of immediately ending or attempting to end one's life.  People who attempt suicide often have mental health issues that are so severe, that the person cannot function properly.  In some cases.  There are not huge mental health issues, but rather lesser ones like depression and this combined with life pressures, often leads to suicide. 

B) Self Mutilation

This is the act of destroying your body in some way.  I think this situation gives us the most insight into our issue.  Pretty much any form of self harm amounts to some form of self mutilation, with the exception of mental harm.  Now the thing that helps us here is that not every form of self mutilation is illegal.  Furthermore, many of these forms are accepted by society.  So using this, we can establish a good standard for a norm in relation to drug use.  So to the best of my knowledge, the only time self mutilation is illegal is when you cause dangerous bodily harm that would require IMMEDIATE medical treatment.  Such as cutting yourself, or chopping off your own limb.  Now one might say "wait, don't gender confirmation surgeries apply to that category"  excellent question and yes they do.  So now we need to ask ourselves, why aren't those illegal?  Now some people might not agree with those surgeries.  But there are analogous examples as well such as plastic surgery, and certain surgeries that involve the removing or changing of bodily organs. 

What we ultimately discover when we look at this is that when a doctor is doing the "mutilating" we don't have as much problem with it because there is a professional there to make sure that the person's immediate safety isn't at stake, even though the surgery in question might cause later self harm unintentionally. 

I think what this tells me is that society and the legal system seem to have a great deal of tolerance for "slow self harm".  That is things that might potentially be harmful down the line, but aren't an immediate threat to you right now. 



C) Conclusion.  

After looking at this.  It becomes clear to me that if we can hash out the nuances of drug use, we should be able to categorize it based on these standards.  Currently, I believe that most, if not all drugs, would fall into the category of "slow self harm"  and I have a precedent by which to say that we "ought to let drugs be legal like cigarettes and other forms of slow self harm" 



2.  Drugs are a medical issue. 

I don't think anyone would deny this unless they thought I was double talking, so I'll clarify.  when I say drugs are a medical issue.  I'm not saying they can't also be a criminal issue sometimes because they can.  For instance, there might be times where drug use during a trial might affect the outcome of the trial due to the circumstances it caused. 

What I'm really saying here is that whether or not there are times when drugs COULD be a criminal issue, They can still ALWAYS be a medical issue at the same time. 

I think it is fair to say that drug addiction is self evident in our society.  With that said, we need good ways to fight this addiction.  This means we need to invest some of our public resources into fighting this problem.  It wouldn't be a handout but rather an investment.  If we can lower drug use, then we can spend less money on the problem in the future.  If we ignore it, it will climax and force us to spend money on it anyway.  I say we take the initiative and stamp it out before it spreads any further. 



3.  The drug war interferes with medical treatment. 

This will probably end up being the crux of my initial position. It is my belief that the states involvement in drug issues makes drugs worse.  Prisons are one of the best place to develop a drug addiction.  Nobody is surprised to hear this.  We see it on the news all the time.  Gangs start drug rings.  CO's try to manage it but generally fail and sometimes they get in on the action themselves.  So if we want to fight drugs, wouldn't make sense to isolate drug users from non drug users in prisons?  

I propose that if we had state drug rehab facilities, we could lower drug use in the prison population.  The prisons is the last place we want drug use because a prisoner who gets released is far more harmful as a drug user than the law abiding citizen who quietly smokes pot in their basement. 

Another problem is that the state has historically been horrible about sentencing drug users.  The 12 step program is just horrible and it's the biggest solution that courts use.  It's even worse for atheists who get sentenced, but I'll avoid that for now because this isn't a god debate.   The point is, that we should be trying to find the most cutting edge form of court ordered rehabilitation and the dogmatic implication of the 12 step program is keeping us from this goal. 

I would now like to hear my opponent's response to what I've said and we can begin to hash out details towards a solution. 


Published:
I will dedicate the first round for clarification of my position. I will attempt to stick to political arguments without veering too much into the tangential philosophy. I will be arguing that most drugs should be illegal; and technically, I could focus on one of them due to the title but that wouldn't be very interesting.

My premises

Most drugs are addictive chemicals and block psychological inhibitory systems.

Fairly straight forward.

Drugs cause harm to more than the individual.

Drugs harm isn't exclusive to the individual any more than suicide or mental illness.

Most drugs and addictive chemicals are immoral.

Following the prior 2 premises I believe they could be considered 'immoral' by most standards of morality. 

Acknowledgement

It is my belief that the state doesn't have to jail people who are guilty of an offense. Specific to drugs, I believe we should force rehabilitation and psychiatric assistance in those shown to be clinically addicted. Jail time should be reserved specifically for dealers and gangsters.

Round 2
Published:
Excellent 1st Round.  Let's Move to rebuttals. 

Most drugs are addictive chemicals and block psychological inhibitory systems.
I would like to add that not every drug is mental.  A lot of drugs affect the physical aspect as well.  But this statement is correct. 

Drugs cause harm to more than the individual.
Drug use itself does not harm other people.  The act of selling drugs does not necessarily harm other people because it's no different than selling cigarettes or alcohol which are legal drugs. 

The only thing that hurts people is their actions while they're on drugs.  If the person uses the drug responsibly, there won't be any issue.  Furthermore, if a person commits an illegal act while on drugs, we can already arrest them for that illegal act and it was not their drug use that caused the crime, but rather their irresponsible use.  So instead of arresting people for drug use, we should be arresting them for drug misuse at the worst. 

Drugs harm isn't exclusive to the individual any more than suicide or mental illness.
I don't think mental illness should really apply to this argument because it's something that is out of somebody's control and we're talking about behaviors here. Agreed?

As for suicide, it is the same thing that I said about drugs.  The act of suicide in of itself is not harmful to anybody else. 

Except in the rare exception that somebody jumps off a building and lands on somebody.  For this case, I would say the same thing I said about committing a crime while on drugs.  The person did not commit suicide responsibly, so if for some strange reason they lived, they should be prosecuted for it.   

Most drugs and addictive chemicals are immoral.
They're only immoral if you're against slow self harm.  Most people are not.  Most people are okay with alcohol and cigarettes, so there is no reason to hold other drugs to a different standard.  Even if people don't like drug use, those same people also probably think arresting them is not the solution.  It's a medical issue.  We can't help what people do to themselves because they have 24/7 access to their body and we don't.  

It is my belief that the state doesn't have to jail people who are guilty of an offense. Specific to drugs, I believe we should force rehabilitation and psychiatric assistance in those shown to be clinically addicted. Jail time should be reserved specifically for dealers and gangsters.
To the first statement, if there is no crime, then the court should not be involved in the first place.  The very fact that you want people not to go to jail for it reveals that you don't actually think it's a crime.  I don't agree with your about dealers and gangsters have nothing to do with this debate so let's leave them out of it. 

If drugs were legal, dealers wouldn't even exist anymore, so if you want dealers in jail so badly, then why not get rid of them by legalizing drugs?  Then we'd have dispensaries with strict regulations.  Furthermore,  If we made drugs illegal.  The dispensaries wouldn't sell every drug because some would get more popular and they would restrict their "menu" like a restaurant would.  So this would even lower the amount of drugs used because if we made drugs exclusive in the dispensaries via the will of the market, people will gravitate more towards the popular drugs by default.  Furthermore, people are more likely to kick a drug addiction if they don't get arrested or sentenced in any way.  Forced rehab generally doesn't work and makes the problem worse.  People need to be ready for rehab of their own free will. 

Would you court order somebody to go to the dentist? 

How about the doctor? 

I could focus on one of them due to the title but that wouldn't be very interesting.
You could do this, but keep in mind that we're aiming for a resolution here, So excluding one drug does not win you the debate, You have to prove that your solution will ultimately work better than mine.  So if you exclude one drug, then I just exclude that drug and My solution was closer than your solution.  I made this very clear in the description of the debate. 
Published:
Definitions

Psychoactive Drug: "Psychoactive Drugs are chemical substances that act on the central nervous system to alter mood, perception, behavior, and/or consciousness. These drugs include sedatives, stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates, and psychiatric medications. " [1]

Stimulants: "Stimulants are drugs that arouse or excite the nervous system and speed up bodily processes. " [2]

Sedatives: "Sedatives are drugs or medications that act as depressants and slow down functioning of the central nervous system." [3]

Opiates: "Opiates are depressant type drugs that are derived from opium. Typically opiates are used to relieve pain and create a euphoric state of consciousness." [4]

Hallucinogens: "These are psychedelic ("mind-manifesting") drugs that distort perceptions and produce sensory images (i.e., hallucinations) although there are no sensory stimuli that should produce such images." [5]

Stipulations

I will not be arguing against drugs with discernably little detrimental effect (e.g., coffee).

As you've rightly pointed out, many drugs are not psychoactive. I will be arguing against the legality of most psychoactive drugs, as the majority of them have severe consequences when used recreationally (such as addiction). [6]

Rebuttal

"Drug use itself does not harm other people.  The act of selling drugs does not necessarily harm other people because it's no different than selling cigarettes or alcohol which are legal drugs. "
- Drug use harms both the immediate social environment, [7] and the society as a whole [8].

- Why do you believe that selling these two things specifically does not harm other people? The cigarette is the single most deadly artifact to ever exist, and alcohol consumption is certainly not doing us any favors.

"The only thing that hurts people is their actions while they're on drugs.  If the person uses the drug responsibly, there won't be any issue.  "
- Recreational drug use makes people more likely to be complicit, if anything this supports my side.

- It's impossible to use a drug (like cigarettes) responsibly, the very act of smoking or drinking implies a lack of prudence.

"As for suicide, it is the same thing that I said about drugs.  The act of suicide in of itself is not harmful to anybody else.
Except in the rare exception that somebody jumps off a building and lands on somebody.  For this case, I would say the same thing I said about committing a crime while on drugs.  The person did not commit suicide responsibly, so if for some strange reason they lived, they should be prosecuted for it.  "
- I'd rather not discuss this topic further, I don't know why I specified it.

"They're only immoral if you're against slow self harm.  Most people are not.  Most people are okay with alcohol and cigarettes, so there is no reason to hold other drugs to a different standard. "
- I am going to hold alcohol and cigarettes to the same standard. Whether the majority of people believe it's acceptable or not is irrelevent to me as they're simply reflecting current cultural norms. Alcohol is immediately harmful, as are cigarettes. 

"To the first statement, if there is no crime, then the court should not be involved in the first place.  The very fact that you want people not to go to jail for it reveals that you don't actually think it's a crime.  "
- Should we abolish comunity service and house arrest? It seems to me many crimes don't warrant jailtime, the doesn't make them less criminal in nature.

"If drugs were legal, dealers wouldn't even exist anymore, so if you want dealers in jail so badly, then why not get rid of them by legalizing drugs?  Then we'd have dispensaries with strict regulations.  Furthermore,  If we made drugs illegal.  The dispensaries wouldn't sell every drug because some would get more popular and they would restrict their "menu" like a restaurant would.  So this would even lower the amount of drugs used because if we made drugs exclusive in the dispensaries via the will of the market, people will gravitate more towards the popular drugs by default.  Furthermore, people are more likely to kick a drug addiction if they don't get arrested or sentenced in any way.  Forced rehab generally doesn't work and makes the problem worse.  People need to be ready for rehab of their own free will. "
- Legalizing drugs wouldn't get rid of the dealers. It would just shift the power dynamic of the countries further to the top of the ladder than it ever has been before. All of this by making the rich the dealers of the drugs.

- Addiction adds a new level to this 'hypothesis,' in this hypothetical future, if dispenseries stop selling some drugs for monetary gain we'd be in the exact same position we are now. The only difference is the problem would be unsolvable due to a lack of legislation against harmful substances.

"Would you court order somebody to go to the dentist? How about the doctor?"
- Sure, if their teeth were posing a significant threat to the people around them. Likewise, I would require them to go to the doctor to receive vaccinations.

"You could do this, but keep in mind that we're aiming for a resolution here, So excluding one drug does not win you the debate, You have to prove that your solution will ultimately work better than mine.  So if you exclude one drug, then I just exclude that drug and My solution was closer than your solution.  I made this very clear in the description of the debate. "
- The title of the debate was: "all drugs should be legal," in order to counter this statement I could simply state one drug which is incredibly dangerous and justify it being illegal. But that isn't interesting, so I proposed we specify parameters and types of drugs. 

Sources




Round 3
Published:
To respond to your argument. 

What would you specifically count as psychoactive drugs? 

What is your case for specifically excluding them? 

Wouldn't people do drugs even if they're illegal? 

Doesn't making drugs illegal have it's own inherent harm by creating illegal drug dealers? 

Wouldn't it be better to treat it as a medical issue? 

Wouldn't a drug addict have better chances of getting clean out in the world with the potential to work and make money and get clean rather than being in jail? 

Don't you think we can come up with a better solution than using the criminal justice system in this case? 

If so, what it is.? 

Your Floor? 
Published:
Reiteration

I believe the treatment of drugs under the law should be reformed, but most should remain illegal.

You specified in the description BoP would be shared. I remind you of this because you haven't met yours. We've agreed to specify most drugs rather then all drugs, so you should be attempting to prove most drugs should be legal.

It seems you haven't made any specific arguments and instead asked me several questions. Therefore, I will dedicate the next section to a response to those and clarification rather then rebuttal.

Response

What would you specifically count as psychoactive drugs?

- Anything fitting the source (1) definition, it isn't really a matter of personal opinion. There's a great many objective standards in pharmacology.

Wouldn't people do drugs even if they're illegal?

- Even if they do, making it illegal offers us a method to provide them assistance.

- Yes, and people will continue to murder if it stays illegal, that doesn't mean we should privatize the police force.

Doesn't making drugs illegal have it's own inherent harm by creating illegal drug dealers?

- It certainly does under the current system, and there's a possibility that the future culture could become callous and uncaring towards those who are drug-addicted
under mine. I'm not going to pretend my plan is perfect, but it's better than having no legal standing and too much.

Wouldn't it be better to treat it as a medical issue?
- I believe I said as much when I proposed psychiatric assistance to those clinically addicted. Other solutions could also be proposed to teach the disadvantaged and
addicted work-ethic and instill a positive outlook.

Wouldn't a drug addict have better chances of getting clean out in the world with the potential to work and make money and get clean rather than being in jail?
- Possibly, but they'd require direction and disincentive at minimum for that to be true.

Don't you think we can come up with a better solution than using the criminal justice system in this case?
- It is my firm belief that we don't have to abandon a preexisting system. There are many ways to improve our current situation without throwing drug-addled communities into the wind.

Conclusion

Certainly we should not be jailing drug-addicts and that is not my argument. I'm an advocate for both legal reform and illegal drugs at the same time; we are doing a tremendous disservice to these communities by assuming middle-ground isn't possible.

Round 4
Published:
The reason I asked those question was to get to the heart of why you think it's illegal.  The truth is, that drug use being illegal does not fit into other things that we've made illegal.  

My problem is that I think you want drugs to stay illegal only because it's the norm.  You admit yourself that it's a medical issue.  You admit that making it illegal has inherent risks, but you ignore what that implies.  So you agree with every reason for making it legal, and yet you seem to tacitly want it to be illegal because you want to hang on to some idea that this just HAS to be a good idea. 

The fact is that historically, America did not fight drugs and did just fine.  Prohibition was the great reminder that you can't stop people from hurting themselves. The drug war has made the same mistake as prohibition and the bootleggers are still here.  History has repeated itself.  

Our society has created a new wave of Al Capones.  We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and go with what actually works. 


I would urge you and the voters to ponder upon what the purpose of jail is.  What the purpose of calling something a crime is. 

Jail is to protect society from dangerous people, it is not a form of drug rehab.  Crimes need victims, you cannot be a victim of yourself because it's 100% censual. 


You're wrong that I can't argue for all drugs.  Arguing for all drugs supports all lesser resolutions.  You haven't given me much reason to step down to a lower resolution because you're not acknowledging that you can have what you want in a compromise.  You admit the truth of things I say and then double talk and say that you still want to keep your position. 

The fact is, if you made drugs legal, all of the people that you still want arrested under your view will still be arrested, so what's the problem? 

I implore you to consider the fact that you're married to this tradition of considering drugs immoral.  Is it for biblical reasons?  I don't mean to make this biblical, but I don't think god condemns drug use. 



I implore you to look at this without your worldview for a moment to better empathize with the drug users and even the dealers sometimes and I think when you pull yourself back in and really think about it, you can realize that we can both get what we want here. 



Your floor. 
Published:
Conclusory points

1. Drugs cause harm to more than the individual

I provided sufficient evidence of addictive drugs’ negative socioeconomic impact; I also provided sources to support this assertion that drugs cause harm to more than the individual.  

2. Criminalization doesn’t equate to jail or prison time for addicts

Fairly straight forward point, but I believe addicts are unlikely to change unless provided both a motivator and deterrent.

3. Drugs are immoral

I’m not sure why this was made a point of contention when it’s clearly the case. Self-harm is not moral by any viable standard, so drawing a comparison between the two only proves the immorality.

4. Decriminalization would be harmful

I don’t know if I specifically addressed this in the debate, but decriminalizing drugs would incentivize further corporate monopoly. The most important people, the disadvantaged and addicts, would be left behind and alienated in this radically libertarian approach.

Summary

I do not know what the future of drug control will look like, but I believe the legal system and social systems will need to work in tandem to create a drug-free country. I’m no idealist, certainly not a utopianist, but I believe gradual changes to the legal system will have better results than radical disavowal.  

Added:
--> @Tiwaz
It happens. I lost a daily chess match for an online tournament the other day because I went 3 days without checking it and the guy happened to move fast after spending 2 months taking 3 days per move. I was super sad about it. But it's cool because I still won the tournament round, lol
Instigator
#8
Added:
Cross-examination of both my opening arguments and my conclusory arguments is welcome.
Contender
#7
Added:
Wow, I forgot I accepted this debate to be honest. Good thing I remembered like an hour before the timer.
Contender
#6
Added:
--> @Tiwaz
Duly noted
Instigator
#5
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
https://www.huxley.net/ - author was named Aldous Huxely, Brave New World is a fictional dystopian novel. Very interesting read, I assume, since I haven't read it.
Edit: Holy shit I'm tired, I'm going to sleep after I respond to Killshot.
Contender
#4
Added:
--> @Tiwaz
No I haven't, what's it about?
Instigator
#3
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Have you ever read "brave new world"? It's quite interesting.
On another note: I wrote all my sources and formatted my response around APA-style citations then realized that wasn't required.
Contender
#2
Added:
--> @Tiwaz
I won't be able to post for this right away because I'm jumping off at least a few hours. I will make sure this debate is my first priority when I get back though. Thanks for the acceptance!!
Instigator
#1
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
It’s hard to boil this down to the issues that are specifically different between the two sides.
Both sides appear to acknowledge that jail time shouldn’t necessarily be set for drugs, that misusing drugs cause social harm and harm above the level of individuals (such as crimes).
Con appears to be arguing for a scenario with illegal drugs and less harsh penalties - and pro appears to be arguing for the same but with drugs legal.
Both sides need to clearly demonstrate to me what bad things will happen if drugs are legalized (con), or what bad things happen with drugs being illegal that won’t happen if drugs are legal (pro).
To start off with: Con almost completely nulifies every benefit pro listed by agreeing that drugs - whilst remaining legal - should not be treated as harshly.
Pro specifies that legalization would eliminate dealers - and that harmful drugs wouldn’t be sold by dispensaries - a point that con points out would likely not eliminate dealers. Con clearly show the harm here - that lack of appropriate legislation may hinder the states ability to response in these cases.
Con elaborates on specific harms by showing a social impact of drugs, and impact to those around them - but this appears to be an implicit argument that having the drug illegal eliminates these harms: which he didn’t support. Con could have argued that drugs remaining illegal would reduce their use and impact - but he didn’t. I don’t believe pro disagrees with the harms con outline , but feels this is misuse and should not be treated as a legal issue. A part of his case is arguing that being illegal gives the ability to offer assistance and deal with the problem.
This wasn’t the sum of what was said, but there was a lot of talk of morality, whether drugs harm the individual or a wider group, and others that I don’t feel we’re particularly useful in eliminating harm.
Given that both plans were almost the same, the main elaborated difference here was that in cons plan, the illegality is used to provide help, and target drug dealers. Pros argument that dealers would be eliminated was well undermined by con.
The criteria for this debate appears to be who has the better plan. As the plans are mostly for the same, I feel the additional benefits con listed were *just* enough to make it seem like a better plan, and to effectively demonstrate a clear harm of pros plan. As a result, while I could have potentially awarded this as a draw I think dealer aspect, and the aspect around forcing treatment raised by con were sufficient to tilt the needle his way.
Arguments to con. All other points tied.