For the purposes of this concluding paragraph, I will not specificly take issue with anything Joc has said, but I will have a few final words about the topic at hand.
Let me ask you, Joc and the judges, why is marijuana illegal? For thousands of years it has been considered sacred by many tribes, cultures and religions...famously the Hindu and Rastafarian people. In the early 19th century it was used as a pain killer, until the development of such drugs as aspirin. Even now it is used by cancer patients, people suffereing from glaucoma, and people suffering from chronic pain, as a natural alternative to things like morphine.
Marijuana isn't the evil thing that it has been portrayed to be. I am going to throw an idea out in the open now. Maybe the worse thing about marijuana is that it IS illegal. There is no one regulating what goes into it, or how it is sold. If we devoted some money to properly organizing an agency for the sale, production, and regulation of marijuana, think how much safer things would be.
I cannot see any reason why marijuana is illegal, when alchohol is legal. Granted, they are different, but if anything, alchohol's intoxication is worse...that is, you have less control over what you are doing then when stoned. When people want to get stoned, they don't get stoned to the point of passing out, or staggering around and throwing up. If we wanted that, we would get drunk. Smoking marijuana is more...spiritual. When stoned, we are more calm, relaxed, peacfull, open-minded...how many cases do you hear of stoner fights? Now think about the number of drunk fights and accidents you hear about.
I would like to draw your attention to a list of "Principles for Responsible Cannabis Users"... taking, once again from NORML's site.
I. Adults Only Cannabis consumption is for adults only. It is irresponsible to provide cannabis to children.
Many things and activities are suitable for young people, but others absolutely are not. Children do not drive cars, enter into contracts, or marry, and they must not use drugs. As it is unrealistic to demand lifetime abstinence from cars, contracts and marriage, however, it is unrealistic to expect lifetime abstinence from all intoxicants, including alcohol. Rather, our expectation and hope for young people is that they grow up to be responsible adults. Our obligation to them is to demonstrate what that means.
II. No Driving The responsible cannabis consumer does not operate a motor vehicle or other dangerous machinery while impaired by cannabis, nor (like other responsible citizens) while impaired by any other substance or condition, including some medicines and fatigue.
Although cannabis is said by most experts to be safer than alcohol and many prescription drugs with motorists, responsible cannabis consumers never operate motor vehicles in an impaired condition. Public safety demands not only that impaired drivers be taken off the road, but that objective measures of impairment be developed and used, rather than chemical testing.
III. Set and Setting The responsible cannabis user will carefully consider his/her set and setting, regulating use accordingly.
"Set" refers to the consumer's values, attitudes, experience and personality, and "setting" means the consumer's physical and social circumstances. The responsible cannabis consumer will be vigilant as to conditions -- time, place, mood, etc. -- and does not hesitate to say "no" when those conditions are not conducive to a safe, pleasant and/or productive experience.
IV. Resist Abuse Use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users.
Abuse means harm. Some cannabis use is harmful; most is not. That which is harmful should be discouraged; that which is not need not be.
Wars have been waged in the name of eradicating "drug abuse", but instead of focusing on abuse, enforcement measures have been diluted by targeting all drug use, whether abusive or not. If marijuana abuse is to be targeted, it is essential that clear standards be developed to identify it.
V. Respect Rights of Others The responsible cannabis user does not violate the rights of others, observes accepted standards of courtesy and public propriety, and respects the preferences of those who wish to avoid cannabis entirely.
No one may violate the rights of others, and no substance use excuses any such violation. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis, responsible users will adhere to emerging tobacco smoking protocols in public and private places.
Adopted by the NORML Board of Directors February 3, 1996 Washington, DC
Judges, I want you to read through this with an open mind. I want you to think to yourselfs "Is Marijuana as bad as they say?". Hopefully, you will see that it really isn't that bad.
I want to thank Division Bell and the many others whom suggested this topic. I want to thank Lottie and AztecInca for organizing this, and most importantly, I want to thank Joc. Joc, it's been an honour debating you, and I wish you the best of luck.
Off to you, Joc!
Too / FarGone TooFar_Gone TooFa/ rGone TooFarG_one T_oo/FarGone Too/Far_Gone Too_Far_Gone
They're wearing steel that's bright and true
They carry news that must get through
They choose the path where no-one goes
Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:50 PM
I will concede that alcohol is worse than marijuana. That is hardly any reason to legalize marijuana. Does something have to be 'deadly' for it to be illegal? Marijuana isn't deadly, but legalizing it does open some doors I would just as soon keep closed. If you legalize marijuana you will be opening the door of legitimacy for the drug cartels. The government will tax the product and in effect will be 'profiting' from the drug cartels.
Marijuana must remain illegal. Perhaps decriminalized to the point where users are not given the same sentences as heroin users, but to legalize it is just a huge mistake. Once you open that door it can never be shut again. Consider when they made alcohol illegal in the US. They called it Prohibition and crime and death surrounded alcohol. Crime and death already surround marijuana. Once we allow it to be legal, and then we discover that it was a very bad idea...there will be no turning back.
Just consider this final point:
It is NOT a mistake to keep marijuana illegal.
It very well be a very big mistake to legalize it.
Thank you for listening. Thank you Too Far Gone for presenting an interesting argument for legalization. Thank you Lottie and Aztec for continuing this debate to its conclusion.
once i believed that starlight could guide me home
now i know that light is old and stars are cold
Practice Random Acts of Kindness, they return to you!
Posted 09 March 2006 - 07:07 PM
Ah! What! Oh its time to judge! Cool man where’s the ash tray I got a job to do fellas! Seriously good job both of you could have been a few more references on both parts but I felt you both spoke from conviction, and I don’t mean from the legal sense.
All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good people to do nothing.
Posted 11 March 2006 - 12:13 AM
It has come to the attention of Lottie, Jen and myself that generally when it comes to debate judging there are only three judges who always judge. Toofargone is one of those judges. So therfore I will be the third and final judge as I was once a debate judge.
There is no need for concern over lack of judges as soon there will be more appointed as the league section most definately will require a larger amount of judges.