Legalization Debate

Discussion in 'Marijuana Legalization' started by Mr.Burnsalot, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. I have a debate with some people in my school coming up who are against marijuana and I would like to know some strong points to throw at them to win it.

    I know that what I'm supposed to do is look up negatives and have information to counter act anything they can say but I don't know where to start.

    So please help me on talking points I want to have so much information they can't win I also want a wirte an essay after just for fun.
  2. This is part of a pro-legalization speech I gave in my class. Please excuse any errors or if it sounds incomplete I could not locate the final copy on my computer. Hope it helps. If you want more specific information about reasons it should be legal or reasons it should not be illegal feel free to P.M. me.

    About 90 years ago, our country passed a constitutional amendment that was meant to end the use of alcohol among its citizens. Although the law was passed with good intentions the effect was disastrous. In less than a decade Chicago had become run by organized crime syndicates led by notorious gangsters such as Al Capone and Bugs Moran. In New York City there were an estimated 30,000 to 100,000 illegal bars called “speak easies.” The prohibition policy was so unpopular and ineffective that it was soon repealed and alcohol was once again legal, taxed and regulated. Today, I am going to speak to you about a very similar prohibition that was enacted over 70 years ago and still exists. The prohibition I am speaking about is that of cannabis. Cannabis prohibition refers to the strict federal illegality of both non-psychoactive hemp and psychoactive marijuana. Although cannabis prohibition may not seem like it causes harm to every American if we take a closer look we will see that it does. We will start by examining the deceptive tactics that led to cannabis becoming illegal and how that causes distrust and disrespect from the citizens to the government. Then we will look at how a “no tolerance” system ruins people’s lives and creates an unregulated black market. After that the financial and environmental harms will be presented. Finally, I will discuss what you can do to be active in ending this failed policy.

    To understand why anti-cannabis laws are so detrimental to core American values we must first look at how they were implemented. Prior to the 1930s cannabis had been legally used for around ten thousand years. In fact there was a law passed in Jamestown in the early 1600s that required farmers to grow cannabis on their plantations. According to the book History of Manufacture in the United States, before the U.S. adopted a national currency, hemp was legal tender and in many cases could be used to pay your taxes. In the early 1900s racial tensions began to build in regards to an influx in the population of Mexican-Americans. This was intensified when the Great Depression hit due to the scarcity of jobs and government funded welfare. Many of these immigrants often smoked ‘marihuana.’ As this racial prejudice began to build and build so did the public’s fear about the dangers of a minority under the influence of deadly reefer. In 1929 a Texas senator said, “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [referring to marijuana] is what makes them crazy.” In 1934 newspapers in the East and Southeast United States began running stories reporting that, "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." People and politicians really believed that smoking marijuana led to one becoming sex-crazed, extremely violent, uncontrollable and all the while the user had no idea they were acting this way. The so-called “gateway effect” we have today was totally different 70 years ago, in other words they thought heroin use would lead to marijuana use. They also believed that marijuana was in no way related to the well-known and useful hemp plant. This is due mostly to the deceptiveness and cunning of two very racist and very ambitious men, Harry J. Anslinger and William Randolph Hearst. Anslinger was named director of the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a division of the Treasury Department, in 1930. He knew that this job presented an excellent career opportunity because he could use his power to create an imaginary problem and then be the solution. He remained in his position for an unprecedented 32 years. Anslinger was the source of much of the anti-marijuana propaganda in the thirties. He is quoted saying “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.” The other man, Hearst, wanted cannabis illegal for reasons other than career advancement. There are two main reasons he wanted to see cannabis become illegal. First, he hated Mexicans because he had lost 800,000 acres of timberland to Pancho Villa. Second, reporting wild stories of crazy minorities using marijuana and murdering people caused panic and led to him selling more newspapers. Together, these two men began plotting out how to go about making cannabis federally illegal. Finally, in 1937 yellow journalism won over medical science with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act. This act made it illegal to possess cannabis without a specific tax stamp, the only catch, the stamps were never offered by the government. In over 10,000 years of recorded use, cannabis had never been prohibited by a nation until that day. It goes to show that sensationalized news stories, fearful population and unchecked politicians can lead to restrictions on even our most basic rights of liberty and pursuit of happiness. Patriot Act anyone?

    On January 30th of this year, Carol Silver, a San Francisco directing attorney sent in her letter of resignation. She can no longer do her job without feeling remorse and sorrow for those destined to go to jail. In the opening paragraph Carol says, “his or her incarceration is as a result of their own actions, but much more so as a result of a mistaken, unfair, and unjust set of laws which criminalize drugs in our society, based on the failed model of Prohibition of alcohol which we enacted and repealed.” She expresses her distress over cannabis in particular as she states, “when it comes down to it, he or she is in jail for possession of marijuana, a substance scientific evidence shows definitively to be less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. The most dangerous attribute of marijuana is the US criminal justice system.” She isn’t “just stoned” too. She has felt the pain of the convicted as she explains to a parent that their children have to be put into foster homes. According to Terry Nelson, a 30 year federal anti-drug agent, "40% of the 1.8 million prisoners have served time in a foster home.” This staggering number is due in part to the 1973 Rockefeller Drug Laws. The drug laws enforce draconian punishments for petty crimes, for instance “the penalty for possessing four ounces or more of marijuana or cannabis was made the same as that for second-degree murder: a minimum of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of 25 years to life in prison." Almost half of those prisoners I just mentioned are in jail for marijuana charges. Former police lieutenant Jack Cole believes that laws such as the Rockefeller Drug Laws are based on racial prejudice. He states that, “today, there are more American blacks in prison than there were slaves" and “there are about 3 times as many blacks and hispanics in jail as are in college.” Ex-Police Chief Norm Stamper feels the same way when he says, "the War on Drugs is the most disastrous, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery.” He may be right when you consider that the U.S.A. has only 5% of the world’s population yet we house 25% of the world’s prisoners. The more core issue of this problem is that even after locking all those people up the rates of marijuana production still continues to grow so you know it isn’t really slowing down production. Another problem caused by prohibition is the creation of black markets. By taking the product out of the hands of licensed stores and giving it to drug dealers we create more accessible drugs for children. Most kids in a high school could come up with some bud before some beer. So we continue to lock up non-violent drug offenders, ending their potential as human beings, and our children can still get their hands on an illegal substance easier than a legal one. Something is drastically wrong.

    Besides having our rights infringed on and our nation controlling around 7 million people with the criminal justice system, marijuana prohibition has quite a price tag as well. According to L.E.A.P., Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, this year the federal and state governments have spent a combined 17 billion dollars of your tax money on the Drug War. In the 90s, Texas built 1 university and 77 prisons. The Los Angeles Times reported, "a recent Harvard study revealed that ending today's failed prohibition would boost our ailing economy by at least 76 billion dollars." Can we justify losing out on all that money when our economy is in such miserable shape? At least we can say we have a policy that is tough on crime.
  3. well, go to and look at there "facts"

    then go to and look at there FACTS!

    then watch the union

    then smoke a joint.

    in most debates ive seen, people commonly cite:
    A. Addiction
    B. Brain Cell damage
    C. Laziness
    D. "gateway" theory
    E. Cancer! oh noes!
  4. ASA : New Study Explains How Pot Kills Cancer Cells

    cancer theory debunked
  5. Alright thanks and by the way that essay is kick ass thats like what I want to write I also am wondering if it's possible to have NORML club at a high school because I'll be a senior next year and would love to win one over on the school and have the club so everyone can be above the ignorance.
  6. You could also print them out copies of what someone else has written and ask them to read it. I just read this one off of this opengovernment website.
    Legalize Marijuana And Solve Many Tax Issues / Prison Issues - by IdeaScale
  7. #8 Laughing Grass, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2009
    some new things they are debating against weed is...

    1. potancy (their strongest argument here is these kids that smoke their first few times in their life and think they overdosed and run scared to the ER now)

    EDIT: I just remembered a debate I saw on the news and they made it seem like potency just jumped very dramatically then it really has. White widow is around 19% thc and won the cannabis cup in 1996. According to the anti-pot people on that debate, said it was around 8% or something that wasnt true.

    2. It will be sold to 4 year olds and/or kids will have easier access to it if legalized. (Gimmie a break, its easier to get now on the black market then beer. Legalization would cripple the black market for it and would slowly die off.)

    3. Violence (Dont know where they got this one, but its been used in debates on the news networks, guess they confused weed for beer)

    4. Crime would increase if we all turned into a "stoner nation". (I have heard that atleast twice used on foxnews.)

    I cant think of anything else, but basically learn how the person your debating debates. Figure out all the shit that person thinks is negitive or would use in a debate and do some reasearch on google so you can come back at them with facts. I dont know how serious this debate is for your school, but you might even print out supporting documents to show people you have the real facts. (Or atleast cite them)

    Like for example you can say, mayor west said in 1972 that weed does this that and the other...hope u understand what I mean. Hopefully you can make these anti-pot people see the light. Good luck bro!
  8. Look at above stickies

    norml has a list of studies

    search username: amsterdamage
    hes got alot of studies and well written opinions on here

    Ive taken part in a few school debates, and its honestly TOO easy to win. Marijuana has so much good behind it with very little consequence.
  9. watch the union and take notes on it. or just show the movie and ask them to refute the points made by the movie.
  10. All I can do here is echo what other have said. The Union is a great source.

    Please try and crush them into the dirt.

    Let us know how it goes.

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