Championship Debate. Justin Oldham v Semper Fortis: Drugs are Illegal, mmmkay?

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posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 12:42 AM
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This debate's topic will be an issue which has been very controversial and problematic in the past. ATS terms and conditions prohibit discussion of illegal activity, and yet some illegal activities can and should be discussed in appropriate contexts. I believe that in this Championship Debate that two of our finest will provide an expert demonstration of how this subject can be handled intelligently and appropriately.

As I said, this is the Championship Debate. The winner of this debate gets the pennant, and becomes exempt from all narcotics laws... unless of course Justin wins, because he will be supporting Narcotics laws in this debate and that would just be a ridiculous prize.


There it is gentlemen. Go for it.

The topic for this debate is "The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Justin Oldham will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Semper Fortis will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


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Closing posts may not be any longer than 3,500 characters.

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Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate. Limited grace periods may be allowed if I am notified in advance.


Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.


[edit on 13-9-2007 by The Vagabond]




posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 09:35 PM
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Proposition: “The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the proposed argument for this debate is simple and to the point. Marijuana can be abused. That’s why we actively enforce the laws which limit its possession, sale, and use. This debate turns on that one very precise point: the need for regulation.

Please take note of the fact that we’re not here to discuss the complete and total ban of this plant and its harvested substances. Any attempt to portray the legislative and legalistic history of American law and governance as a campaign to totally block the use of this plant for positive social purposes would be misleading and dishonest. We’re here to talk about rational limits, and the logical reasons for them.

During the course of this discussion, I’m going to show you why it is that we’ve learned to regulate marijuana. I’ll provide you with a short history of America’s experience with marijuana, and what we’ve learned about it…the hard way. I’ll introduce you to the essential medical and biological factors that make this drug harmful to households and individuals when misused. Once you’re familiar with this history and the documented negative effects of marijuana, you’ll understand why it is so heavily regulated.

In his opening statement, my colleague will try to convince you that marijuana is harmless. You should be prepared to hear marijuana referred to by several different names--Marijuana, Mary Jane, Weed, Jay, Joint, Chronic, Blunt, Fatty, Roach, and a few other things we can’t print here because this is a family-oriented web site. He may even try to spin a creative yarn about the origins and merits of cannabis culture.

The myths and legends associated with casual drug use have been woven in to the tapestry of our society. My colleague is likely to assure you that this is a drug that can’t be abused. He’ll strike quickly in an attempt to disprove the known fact that marijuana use often leads users to later consume harsher and more powerful drugs. He may even be bold enough to suggest that marijuana-related crime is actually brought on by poverty instead of the need to feed an addiction. Please, hear him out. In his own words, he’ll either be forced to concede my points or have no choice but to counter my observations with philosophy.

Federal and State laws are quite specific when it comes to the manufacture, sale, and distribution of any harmful substance. It’s in the nature of our Republic to allow the individual States some leeway when it comes to possession and use of substances, like marijuana, which may have some legitimate medical applications. It’s the necessity for that regulation that you need to keep in mind. If marijuana was legalized to the point of granting unrestricted access, we should expect nothing less than individual personal harm and national distress.

Like any addictive substance, marijuana can be harnessed for the greater good, or it can be unleashed and allowed to ravage our society. If he should argue to the contrary, my opponent will merely reinforce what you already know. We have chosen (wisely) to keep this temptation at arm’s length. To do anything less would be morally and ethically “wrong.”



posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 09:40 PM
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"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Semper’s Opening

In this debate I will show you were Marijuana is no more harmful to an individual or society then alcohol, which is perfectly legal.

I will also show you were the current illegality of Marijuana is tied to corporate and political gains and corruption.

I will show you where throughout most of history, Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes and this continues today.

At the end of this debate, I will convince you that Marijuana should be legalized for the betterment of society, the individual and finally for economic and medical reasons.

I will draw upon numerous resources not the least of which will be my years of experience working in a Uniform Narcotics Division. My personal experiences will be used mainly to illustrate a point and not for conjecture or analysis as my valued opponent will not have the use of such a resource.

Marijuana

The historic legality, or rather illegality of Marijuana, is a fairly recent event in the history of this great nation. It was only in 1910 when Mormons came back from visiting Mexico and using the plant, that the Church instituted sanctions against the use of Marijuana and initiated the first laws against the use of Marijuana in 1915. The state of Utah at that time, automatically “enshrined” church doctrine into law and thus the illegalization of Marijuana was to begin.

Other states followed suit and the original laws all were targeted at Mexican Americans due mainly to the “bad blood” left over from the Mexican American War.

The racial background behind making the plant illegal did not stop in the western states. As the plant grew in popularity, it migrated east with Jazz and more profoundly ridiculous suppositions of the effects of using Marijuana. These would include:

Causing violent behavior
“Creating” Assassins
Influencing Negroes to look Whites in the eye
Causing Negroes to look at White women

As you can easily see, one of the original reasons for making Marijuana illegal in the United States was racially motivated.

Marijuana has a proud and useful history.

The production of Hemp for clothes, rope, and other “War” requirements was deemed so important that there were Laws enacted in Virginia requiring farmers grow it or be jailed. These and other similar laws continued for almost 200 years.

The medicinal history of “Cannabis” dates back to 2727 BC in China.
Now all of a sudden it is discovered to have medicinal properties here in the good ol’ United States of America.

Marijuana is mentioned in: Hindu Sacred Texts, Persian Sacred Texts, Ancient Roman Medical Texts, the Jewish Talmud and many Arabic texts as well.

On and on throughout history the use of Marijuana in it’s many and varied forms is established as a societal norm and there are no direct, historical texts that relate any mass addictions, dangers or negative societal impacts due to the use of Marijuana in any of it’s manifestations.

Now for modern history.

The use of Marijuana is a subject that has been debated in our honored statehouses and the congress all through our history.

Harry J. Anslinger, the father of the DEA, was ambitious and after being named the director of that new section of the Treasury Department tasked with dealing with the then “new” taxation of Opiates and Cocaine’s, decided that there was needed a more prolific substance to further justify his position. He came after Marijuana; and calling upon the prejudices of the day, began the illegalization of Marijuana on a National scale. They were under the Treasury Department at that time as it was considered beyond the scope of the Federal Government to institute laws against the use of a natural grown substance. Go figure!

His justification for making Marijuana illegal? The same old song and dance.

Direct quotes from Mr. Anslinger:


"There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others."

"the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races."

"Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death."

"Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."

"Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing"

"You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother."

"Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."
Why is Marijuana Illegal


The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 to the 1975 Compassionate use program to the 1988 DEA Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, finding that Marijuana does indeed have an established medical use and should be reclassified as a prescription drug, the fight over the legalization goes on.
History of Marijuana


As we progress through this debate, I will show you how there is evidence of massive political and corporate corruption involved in keeping Marijuana illegal and thus highly profitable.

I will also show you were some of the same old prejudices are still in effect in keeping Marijuana illegal.

Thank You

Semper



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 08:44 PM
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First Statement:

The simple fact of the matter is that humans are prone to abuse marijuana. As predicted, my opponent would have you believe that it’s harmless. He’s even gone so far as to equate it with tobacco and alcohol. The crux of his argument for easy access is that governments and the media have “vilified” marijuana use while corporations have “unfairly” exploited its medicinal properties.

Any of this sound familiar? It should, because my opponent's total argument comes almost verbatim from the "Drug War Rant," published by Salon dot-com in 2003. We're not here to debate the past misdeeds of politicians, self-serving bureaucrats, or unethical journalists. As predicted, my opponent's only hope in this matter is to distract you with these histories in an attempt to make you feel sad for the poor misunderstood plant that could bring happiness to millions...if we allowed it.

A group of Mormons did leave Utah in the early 1900s. They departed because the State had outlawed polygamy. They went to Mexico, where they encountered marijuana. Unable to resist its effects, they brought it back with them to Utah when they got homesick. It shouldn't surprise anyone that it was outlawed in 1914. Its medicinal benefits were quickly overshadowed by its more pernicious purposes. They didn't ban a healthy product. They outlawed a social scourge.

America's experience with opiates and other addictive substances in the 19th century can best be described as "tragic." By the time we'd celebrated our first one hundred years as a nation, our political and social leaders had learned...the hard way...that addictive substances are not to be trifled with. Nor are they to be tolerated without limitations. If the society is to survive, they must be regulated. Access to them must be restricted.

Now that you've seen what my opponent's line of reasoning will be, let's look at some of the more recent and relevant facts. This isn’t a matter of race. There is no yellow journalism involved. It’s not a corporate conspiracy. It boils down to a protection of the society, which as been initiated due to past experience..

Marijuana is regulated solely because of the potential for its abuse. It’s worth noting that Federal and State efforts to create laws which restrict the misuse of this plant have been half-heartedly enforced, and no more effective than those laws and enforcement efforts which attempt to prevent the misuse of alcohol and tobacco.

There is a definite moral basis for restricting access to addictive substances. Being an experienced Narcotics Officer, my opponent is familiar with the criterion for addiction. Why would we (in good conscience) not make an effort to prevent harm to our society? Here in the 21st century, we know that marijuana-related crime is a problem. It would be unethical to terminate even a poorly enforced effort to curb the mis-use of this drug.

You can't make ammends for past social problems by unleashing new social problems on a society that isn't prepared for the sonsequences of those misguided actions. Our society suffers due to marijuana abuse now, with some law emforcement in place. How much more would we suffer if this drug were to be decriminalized?

My opponent has little choice but to convince you of the social efficacy of his cause. We can harness this drug for the greater good, thanks to regulated pharmaceutical practices. We've already proven that, as a society, we can't resist the temptations of alcohol, tobacco, and fast food. If we abandon even the smallest effort to curb our addictions, we'll have nobody but ourselves to blame.



posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:50 PM
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"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Semper Reply 1

First allow me to respond to my esteemed opponents opening remarks


We’re here to talk about rational limits, and the logical reasons for them.


No my friend, we are here to discuss, ILLEGALITY and STRICT Enforcement. Perhaps “Rational use” can be a topic for another debate.

I believe that we need to debate the topic that was given to us and not alter it to fit our agenda


we should expect nothing less than individual personal harm and national distress


So it is your contention that if Marijuana was legalized and controlled like alcohol, we would suffer National Distress? I would love to hear more on this


Like any addictive substance


Please provide proof that Marijuana is as addictive as Tobacco or Alcohol


marijuana can be harnessed for the greater good


Thank You, Exactly my point


We have chosen (wisely) to keep this temptation at arm’s length. To do anything less would be morally and ethically “wrong.”


As we have alcohol, tobacco and gambling? The one thing that history has shown us, is that to attempt to legislate morality is a disaster.
Who decides it is Ethically wrong? You? Who decides it is Morally wrong? You?




Marijuana is far less dangerous than either Alcohol or Tobacco.

50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning
400,000 deaths each year attributed to tobacco

The prestigious European Medical Journal, The Lancet, reports that “The smoking of Marijuana, even long term, is not harmful to health”
Marijuana Laws

My opponent’s attempts at “softening” the debate using terminology designed to continue the perpetration of the supposed “evils” of Marijuana is all to common.

Terms such as these:

Myths
Legends
Marijuana related Crime (?)

Are all designed to further remove the public from the truth about Marijuana; the truth that it is far less harmful than other far less regulated substances.

Answering my Opponents 1st Reply:


The simple fact of the matter is that humans are prone to abuse marijuana


Proof?


They didn't ban a healthy product. They outlawed a social scourge


So you advocate the Church dictating legislation?


that addictive substances are not to be trifled with


You have still not proven Marijuana is any more addictive than many substances that are not illegal


Marijuana is regulated solely because of the potential for its abuse


Again, Proof?


we can't resist the temptations of alcohol, tobacco, and fast food


Your kidding, right?
You are equating Fast Food to Alcohol and Tobacco and Marijuana?



Corruption

Enforcing Marijuana laws costs the tax payer approximately 10 BILLION dollars a year, causing the arrests of 786,000 citizens each year!

That is more than the total number of arrests for violent crimes COMBINED!

How many violent crimes go unsolved? How many more would be solved if there was 10 billion more dollars to investigate them?

88% of those arrested were charged with simple possession. Total 696,000

30% Nineteen or younger

About Marijuana


According to an FBI agent I spoke to three years ago, on 9/11 the FBI had about 1,100 agents looking for terrorists," Wooldridge said. "They also had 2,400 agents helping the DEA bust drug dealers and their labs

Rense

Where is the logic in that?

Prohibition breeds corruption.

Simple fact, the more illegal, and the longer it is illegal, the more valuable a substance becomes on the “Black Market”

It is estimated that approximately 5 billion dollars each year could be gained by the government if Marijuana was taxed and controlled like Wine

Marijuana Prohibition is a Multi-Billion Dollar Business for drug traffickers, other countries, organized crime and street dealers; all of which will cease once Marijuana is legalized.


We save lives, create a new tax base and save BILLIONS of dollars just by legalizing and instituting controls on a substance that Americans have shown in large numbers, they are going to use anyway.

My opponent is using hyperbole and supposition to convince you of the direction my debate is taking

That is completely unnecessary.

My stance is clear.

The legalization of Marijuana will save Billions of dollars
Actually MAKE money for the government

MOST IMPORTANTLY

SAVE LIVES

How many have lost their lives in the enforcement of the prohibition of this most natural substance?

Headlines

Four RCMP officers killed in Marijuana Raid
CTV

Though not the US, this illustrates very well the lives lost enforcing these ridiculous prohibitions

Google it for yourself, the pages are full of officers that have given their lives to apprehend someone with a 20 dollar bag of Marijuana

Save Lives
Save Money
Increase the manpower used to fight terrorism

The positive effects of the legalization of Marijuana are tremendous

Thank you

Semper



posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 07:01 PM
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Second Statement:

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to take a moment of your time to clarify a few points. Contemporary law enforcement is predicated on the notion that the majority needs to be protected from a small number of people and things that would do it harm, if left unchecked. As he advocates for the legalization of marijuana, my opponent is advocating for a reduction in the protections that now serve us so well.

His recanted argument now turns on the notion that we'd be saving money and lives if we stopped trying to limit access to addictive substances. While its true that we've haven't done a very good job of regulating addictive subtances, the timeline demonstrates that where marijuana is concerned, we've been ever-so-slowly learning our lesson when it comes to this addictive drug.



That’s why we regulate marijuana. That’s the legal fact of the matter in this case. According to the terms of the proposition for this debate, regulation by law…and the enforcement of that regulatory law…is necessary. My opponent would have you believe that there is no such “necessity.” He argues that marijuana should be treated like alcohol and tobacco, which are both poorly regulated classes substances which have done great harm to our soicety.

There is an academic argument in circulation which suggests that the drug problem is just too big for us to handle. The simple truth is that our nation has experienced a long history of drug abuse, and we're only just now learning to slow and combat the problem. Should we give up because its too hard? I think not.

A casual survey of the most popular addictive substances which our culture has tasted reveals that we're not as serious as we could be about stopping hteir abuse. Even if we did grant some truth my opponent's claim, these troubles don't go away just because we tax them and sell them in bright shiny wrappers.

Marijuana is currently one of many regulated substances, and it should remain that way. It's one of many drugs that our society must limit its access to. We know this stuff is more addictive than alcohol and mainstream tobacco products. If we do not curb our baser impulses, we'll get the social misery that we deserve.



posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 10:29 PM
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"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Semper Reply 2

My experienced opponent continues to use such terms as “Addictive” and “Drug” with impunity and in such a casual way as to continue to insulate the reader from the truth.

Let us examine his post.


notion that the majority needs to be protected from a small number of people and things that would do it harm


Problem:

A recent Zogby poll suggests that a “majority” now believes that Marijuana should be legalized and controlled the same as alcohol.

Zogby


His recanted argument now turns on the notion that we'd be saving money and lives if we stopped trying to limit access to addictive substances


My argument stays the same.
My opponent has yet to “Prove” his allegations of the addictive nature of Marijuana. That is because he can not, not with any substance. Marijuana is no more addictive than many other substances, both natural and manmade that are currently not only legal, but readily available.

My opponent apparently can not explain why Marijuana is singled out for illegality over these other substances.


The Timeline demonstrates that where marijuana is concerned, we've been ever-so-slowly learning our lesson when it comes to this addictive drug.


My opponents own source is an amalgam of historical inconsistencies.

Example
1951-56, Stricter Laws
1970, Repeal of mandatory sentences, NORML Founded
1972, Shafer Commission recommends legalization; Nixon Stops the Commission.
1986, Mandatory Sentences AGAIN
1996, Medical use in CA

My opponents own source is an on again off again history of indecisiveness and is indicative of the ridiculous nature of the illegality of Marijuana.


like alcohol and tobacco, which are both poorly regulated classes substances which have done great harm to our society.


Agreed!
In fact I posted several statistics that PROVE that alcohol and tobacco are both vastly more harmful.
So the question remains as to why Marijuana is illegal and they are not.
The very substance of my argument.


we're not as serious as we could be about stopping their abuse


Again, I find that I must ask if you are serious?

The facts are clear and I have stated them in my last post. Our expenditure in the so called “War on Drugs” is in the 10’s of BILLIONS of dollars. The cost in lives can not be estimated.

I have shown you where we are using more manpower to combat the fictitious “evils” of Marijuana than we are fighting terrorism.

How much more serious does my opponent wish us to get?


We know this stuff is more addictive than alcohol and mainstream tobacco products


I have clearly proven it is not. Check my links.



All the pomp and circumstance my opponent is throwing your way, is just that; pomp and circumstance without real substance and contrary to common sense.

Although I have supplied you with several reasons why Marijuana should be legalized, and I will furnish more as the debate progresses; it is really all about common sense. Remember that as you read my words review my links and check my sources. I am providing you with proof, not just opinion.



Marijuana and Racism and Bigotry:

Some recent quotes:

1992: “Marijuana is ten times more dangerous than 20 years ago.” —Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton (Who did not inhale?)

1986: “Marijuana leads to homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and therefore to AIDS.” —Carlton Turner

1985: “Marijuana use makes you sterile.” —Reagan Administration

1974: “interferes with reproduction, disease resistance, and basic biological processes.” —Daily Oklahoman, 11-19-74

1948: “Marihuana leads to pacifism and Communist brainwashing.” —Anslinger, before Congress

1973: “Marijuana increases breast size in males.”
UCCS


It goes without saying that not one of those quotes is based in any scientific fact. They are however, sadly illustrative of the hypocrisy present in the so called War on Drugs.

The facts are simple and clear,


Seventy years later over 700,000 Americans, including Willie Nelson, are arrested each year for the simple possession of an herb that when scientifically tested has proven to be harmless compared to alcohol and tobacco. In all 11 states that have had a chance to vote on legalizing the medical use of marijuana, the voting public has approved it over the objections and interference of the federal authorities.

In today’s world nearly everyone knows someone who has smoked pot. Should we send 20 to 30 million Americans to jail because the state and federal governments cannot admit a mistake has been made?
QC Times



Even though my opponent continues with opinion and conjecture, I will continue to supply you with fact and evidence.

Thank you

Semper



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 02:41 AM
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Third Statement:

My position might sound like some of the pro-establishment things you don’t like to hear. Let’s assume just for a moment that you’re…right. Let’s have a look at the nuts and bolts of the argument laid out by my opponent for free and easy access to marijuana.

1. Do we really save money by de-criminalizing an addictive substance? Bear in mind that once you’ve opened this legal and legislative door, you can’t close it ever again. The law that makes it possible for you to buy marijuana will in time make it possible for you to buy…other things.



Text If the number of drug abusers doubled or tripled, the social costs would be enormous.
Source.

The billions we spend now reduce crime, and to a lesser extent, the rate of addiction. If you reduce the role of…Narcotics Officers…you remove the deterrents from our society which have—however poorly—prevented us from experiencing the full effects of drug-related crime and a correspondingly higher rate nation-wide addictions.

2. Do we really save money by making it easier for people to buy and use addictive substances that are known to have long-term health risks? Bear in mind that our current national health care situation can’t cope with the needs with we have right now.



TextThe economic impact of drug abuse on businesses whose employees abuse drugs can be significant. While many drug abusers are unable to attain or hold full-time employment, those who do work put others at risk, particularly when employed in positions where even a minor degree of impairment could be catastrophic; airline pilots, air traffic controllers, train operators, and bus drivers are just a few examples.
Source.

The billions we spend on health care right now would not be sufficient to cope with the increased demands that a drug-dependent society would create. Bear in mind that we would need to consider some very radical measures—like nationalized heath care—if we wanted to meet even a small portion of this new demand on medical services.

3. Will we really spend fewer dollars if we make it easier for people to easily acquire addictions that the vast majority can’t break? Bear in mind that increased drug use will also lead to an increase in drug-related death. More drug users will result in more deaths, and let’s not forget that we’ll need more police, doctors, firefighters, and lawyers to compensate for all of the many impacts these “freedoms” will have on our society.



TextDrug use and drug addiction in America will increase substantially. Do we want our commercial pilots, heart surgeons, teachers, police officers and legislators to be incapacitated or impaired while carrying out their job duties? If drugs were legalized, workplace drug use restrictions would become moot.
Source.

This isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. We can’t stop “all” of the drug threat, but it is in our best interests to stop “some” of it. In this came, “some” really is better than “none.” We COULD de-criminalize alcohol. We COULD stop regulating tobacco. Bear in mind that each of these “freedoms” would come with steep health care costs.

4. Are we ready for bigger government? The “Nanny State” might be capable of caring for a larger percentage of non-productive drug users. Bear in mind what this would mean for the average tax payers. Is this a “freedom” that we want the majority to pay for?

If we could afford to “absorb” these excesses…we would. The simple fact is that our affluence has put many things within easy reach. Not all of them are good for us. Are we willing to trade increased drug use for a bigger government? That’s exactly what we would need to take up the slack as more and more people entered the welfare system due to their inability to work…because of what they’d claim as incurable drug addiction.

5. Is it really going to be “cheaper” to allow increased drug use? Bear in mind that both short-term and long-term health care costs are on the rise. Legalization would mean increased drug use, which would mean more injuries and illnesses resulting from drug-inspired behaviors and activities.



legalization seems like a very expensive policy indeed. And who will foot the bill? Either common citizens will through taxes for government aid programs, or through increased insurance premiums.
Source.

The concept of free will is sacred to Americans. We value our freedom of choice. Trouble is, we don’t always make good choices. Our partially effective drug enforcement programs are proof of that. Even if all we can hope for is “some” regulation, it’s still better than “very little" or even “none.” We’ve been feeling the effects of substance abuse ever since this country was founded. We’ve learned from many mistakes. Our wisdom tells us that things like marijuana need to be regulated.

Legalization doesn't make the drug dealers go away. If anything, it rewards the criminal cartels who make and distribute marijuana, cocain, and other drugs that would easily, cheaply, and legally find their way in to our homes in larger amounts.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 10:34 AM
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"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Semper Reply 3

Answering my opponents 3rd statement


de-criminalizing an addictive substance


Again I remind you that you have yet to show your alleged “Addictive” properties of marijuana. At least in so far as it is more than alcohol.


The law that makes it possible for you to buy marijuana will in time make it possible for you to buy…other things.


That makes no sense at all. Repealing the law that made alcohol illegal did not allow us to buy Marijuana, Cocaine or Heroin. You’re simply wrong here.


The billions we spend now reduce crime, and to a lesser extent, the rate of addiction


I have clearly shown you where this is not true. I have provided link after link of evidence that indicates just the opposite. I appreciate that you have an OPINION, but the facts are the facts.

Look here:


Among the winners, as in all wars, are those who profit financially: the traffickers involved in the $450 billion per year drug trade; the corporations and financial institutions laundering the estimated $250 billion in drug money that flows through the US economy each year; the prison industry, which now employs more people than any Fortune 500 company except General Motors and generates an estimated $40 billion per year; the corporations that rely on cheap prison labor for both manufacturing and billing operations. And so on.
Among the losers, certainly, are our inner-city African-American and Hispanic communities, along with the police, drug dealers, and innocent bystanders killed in action. Certainly the 400,000 prisoners of the drug war sitting in jail or in prison or awaiting trial, more than 100,000 of them for mere possession
Deaths from drugs have never been higher. In 1996, they numbered 14,843, more than double the drug-related deaths reported in 1979

Yes Mag

I hate taking up space in a debate with long external quotes, but apparently more proof was needed.


Do we really save money by making it easier for people to buy and use addictive substances that are known to have long-term health risks


I have supplied ample proof that Marijuana is safer than many other legal substances so this is simply an untrue statement.


Bear in mind that increased drug use will also lead to an increase in drug-related death. More drug users will result in more deaths


I have also provided a lot of proof that even EXTREME use of Marijuana does NOT create the risk of overdose. Again, your statement is incorrect.


We COULD de-criminalize alcohol


It is my friend


If drugs were legalized, workplace drug use restrictions would become moot.


Work place alcohol restrictions work just fine


Legalization doesn't make the drug dealers go away


Why not?
I have not seen any alcohol pushers on my corner lately.

My opponent’s fears and allegations of an increase on tax payers in the event Marijuana is made legal, have been thoroughly covered in my debate. I have shown you where BILLIONS of dollars would be saved and BILLIONS more would enter the TAX base as revenue from the legal sale of Marijuana.
Not only would the tax burden lessen, we could actually have billions more to use in our fight against Terrorism.
We could use the money for treatment centers to assist those that are actually addicted to drugs we should be concerned about. Cocaine, Methamphetamine and Heroin

More poignantly, my opponent’s links and his argument have now begun to include VERY harmful and addictive narcotic substances. His links are in reference to Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin. NOT Specifically Marijuana.
This is a scare tactic as Marijuana does not fall within the same category, and it should not.

This is a debate about Marijuana. Don’t allow my opponent to confuse the issue.



More information:


The study found that arrests for marijuana account for nearly all of the increase in drug arrests seen during the 1990s. The report also found that one in four people in state prisons for marijuana offenses can be classified as a "low-level offender," and it estimated that $4 billion a year is spent on arresting and prosecuting marijuana crimes.
Washington Post


The numbers just keep getting more and more horrendous.
People are still going to jail for minor possession while those convicted of violent criminal offensives are being released at alarming rates.

Simple physics are in play here. There is a finite amount of space in the prisons, more and more individuals are being arrested for possession of a substance that is NOT AS HARMFUL as alcohol, and something has to give. So what is happening is that violent offenders are getting reduced sentences so that we have room for those convicted of possession of Marijuana.

Society is becoming more and more dangerous BECAUSE of the war on Marijuana. Not the opposite as my opponent would have you believe.

The money we save and the money we make by legalizing Marijuana would be far better served fighting truly harmful drugs. Cocaine, Heroin and Meth.

Read the facts I have provided for you.


Thank you

Semper



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 06:35 PM
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Closing Statement:

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the end of our presentation. You’ve seen both sides of a very difficult argument. As expected, my opponent has shown you a case for social injustice and philosophical divergence. That’s all he’s got. The proponents of legalization would have you believe that the costs to society would somehow be LESS if we de-criminalized marijuana and other addictive substances like it. They go so far as to say that your own life would be easier if they had their freedoms to indulge their tastes for excessed that we’d all have ot pay for.

Americans are known for their excesses. We eat too much. We drink to much. As a society, we can’t resist the allure of instant gratification. Our best compromise so far has been the current body of law that is being enforced today. It’s true that polcing agencies all across the country don’t have enough money or manpower to do a more effective job, but the simple truth is that we’re not ready to pay for a more effective effort. That would require more taxes per person than we want to collect.

Legalizing drugs wouldn’t put the criminal cartels out of business. It would reward them, and increase their profits, while making it easier for vulnerable men, women, and children at all levels of our society to taste and become addicted to products they might easily afford. Those who couldn’t afford even the cheapest of these government sanctioned addictions would resort to crime. We don’t have enough police on the streets now. How could we possibly cope with this negative aspect of personal freedom?

That’s right. I said it. Freedom has a down side. As a society, all of us would be obligated to pay for the ‘damages’ caused by an irresponsible minority. Federal, State, and Local governments would be forced to expand in order to accommodate the drug users who chose not to work. Job-related accidents would require increased health care costs. Those who couldn’t work any more because of an addiction they couldn’t break would have to be taken care of at public expense.

There would be those who would want to break their cycle of addiction. Some would be able to pay for that therapy. Most would have to rely on government. Workplace drug testing would certainly be necessary. Insurance companies would demand it. Employers would have to find ways to bear the costs. All of us would pay higher rates for health care, auto coverage, and home owner’s protection. For some, “drug addiction” would become a legal defense, which would only serve to make things worse for a crippled legal system that would be already over-burdened by costs it couldn’t recover.

Some laws can be easily changed. They can be amended, suspended, or revoked. Others, like our current narcotics laws, can’t be brought back once repealed. If we do this ,there is no coming back. Our individual freedoms to “get high” still exists under the current legal compromise Those persons who want to be a burden on society…can do so. Drug legalization would be the largest government approved dis-incentive in the history of our country.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that Federal-level politicians would be happy to take charge while the rest of us “tuned out.” The potentials for government corruption would be “awesome,” and who knows? They might get along quite nicely with the people who run the various syndicates would then ask for the legalization of harsher drugs (concaine, herone, crack, etc.), gambling, prostitution ,and other forms of human trafficking.

THiS is why marijuana must remain regulated.



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 08:15 PM
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"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

Semper’s Closing

In this debate I have supplied you with evidence that Marijuana is no where near as harmful as alcohol and tobacco, both of which are perfectly legal

I have presented facts that clearly show you we are losing the “War” on Marijuana and it is costing billions of wasted dollars

I have additionally shown you where legalizing Marijuana will produce billions in revenue we can use to support far more important concerns

I have given you the “dirty little” racist history of the illegalization of Marijuana

I have presented more facts that clearly show the lives that would be saved if Marijuana was made legal

The corruption involved in the illicit Marijuana trade has been placed before you

The prison systems role in all of this has been shown and the number of lives ruined by simple possession charges

In point of fact, I have proven to you that the reason for the illegality of Marijuana and its strict enforcement is NOT because it is harmful to individuals and society, it is due to a refusal to give up the narrow minded past

I have PROVEN that it is the illegality and strict enforcement that is in fact harmful to both individuals and to society

In doing this, I have researched and presented you with links and external sources that not only supports this position, but enforces this proof

My opponent has given you his opinion

As interesting as that may be, it does not PROVE his position in anyway

My opponent has provided links, but those links all discuss the use of really dangerous drugs and not the topic of this debate

My opponent has additionally attempted to obfuscate the debate by telling you what I was going to present, to no avail

Not once in this debate has my opponent PROVEN the evils of Marijuana, neither the addictive nature he suggests, the societal ills or justification for the billions being wasted

My opponent would have you believe that legalization would increase illegal profits, even though that makes no sense what so ever

My opponent has even suggested that the legalization of Marijuana would increase criminal behavior. I have no idea where that comes from

So this debate has come down to facts versus opinions

The facts are

1. Marijuana is not as harmful as other perfectly legal substances
2. The so called war on drugs has a history of corruption
3. Billions could be saved if Marijuana was made legal
4. Billions more would be made by the government if Marijuana was made legal
5. Countless lives would be saved if Marijuana was made legal
6. Countless more would not be ruined

Regardless of how any of you feel about Marijuana, the facts are clear

The title of this debate is this:

"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society".

I have proven that the illegality is due to a refusal to “let go” of a narrow minded past

I have proven the strict enforcement is a product of corruption

"The Primary Reason for the Illegality of Marijuana and Strict Enforcement thereof is that Marijuana is harmful to individuals and to society"???

I have proven it is not

Thank you

Semper



posted on Sep, 16 2007 @ 09:55 PM
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Good show gentlemen. Your fate is now in the hands of the judges.



posted on Sep, 18 2007 @ 09:30 AM
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The judges have spoken.
The winner, and new ATS debate champion is...

Semperfortis!!!



Justin totally loses it here. The links either back up sempers statements in round 1 or deflect away from mj into coc aine, heroin or tobacco. The last 2 links are the killers here as neither establish mj as addictive and yet in his last statement, he says they are;


We know this stuff is more addictive than alcohol and mainstream tobacco products.


Hitting the link shows no such statement. In fact, it rates mj as less addictive than caffeine

The debate spirals down from there. I'd be willing to carry on with this, but it would be senseless.




Justin fails miserably to successfully bolster his argument with any facts whatsoever. It's almost painfully obvious that his heart is not with his position and that he would have preferred it to be the other way around.

semperfortis, on the other hand, is consistantly correct and augments his position with effective links and sound arguments.



After reading this one, I've got to give it to semperfortis.

semperfortis was spot on, provided plenty of information that Justin did not even attempt to refute. And I think Justin's biggest downfall was his continued effort to assume how semperfortis would approach this debate, and inform us how he thought his opponent would progress through this subject. All the while he talked about his opponent, he failed to address his own stance.

This was a little more lob sided than I expected.



Talk about your all-time classic smack-downs. I never expected either of these two to get very far ahead, but Justin just wasn't himself. His links contradicted him, he refused to engage on the issues and persisted in dismissing cogent arguments and proceeding as if he had won exchanges that never really even took place.

Semper on the other hand was firing on all cylinders. He made good use of history, which was crucial to establishing the primary reason that marijuana is illegal and strictly enforced against. Both debaters at times lost sight of the fact that the topic didn't explicitly require them to endorse or oppose legalization, but semperfortis was closer to the mark.



Look at the stars. Look at Justin's links. Look at the history of racism and pseudoscience that semperfortis demonstrates on the anti-mj side. No contest. Semperfortis wins.





In the final I have to give the nod to Justin. Both sides did an excellent job all the way through the debate and should be proud of thier performances. I would not want to face either in this format.



[edit on 18-9-2007 by The Vagabond]





 
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