Battle # 3: Marijuana should be legalised-Counterpunch to IIFT Delhi’s opening argument (For the motion) by MDI Gurgaon (Against the motion)

Quoting the first paragraph sent by our worthy opponents,

6th of November 2012 , 10th December­­______________  legalize Marijuana respectively.

I think intuitively our prediction of your opening line of the article was bang on, and our opening line serves as an apt counter punch to what you have written. I mean seriously just because Saudi Arabia and Iran are oppressive to women we need to follow suit now. Yes learn from others and pick up the things that are justified. Please refrain from taking the onus upon yourselves to justify something as harmful as Marijuana as good.

 

In reply to the argument that our opponent has posed as a case for legalisation of marijuana – the rationale behind how prohibition of marijuana increases the risk of violence. On the contrary, we have already put down data, backed by research that prohibiting marijuana usage can in fact lead to more emotionally stable individuals especially the youth, who are less likely to indulge in random acts of violence. In fact substance abusers, who develop immunity to gateway drugs like marijuana, seek harder drugs like cocaine and LSD, which puts them in a highly unbalanced mental and emotional state. This is a potent threat to society.

 

The conundrum of taxation and regulation, can be solved by the simple query we have already risen i.e. how do you regulate? How do you decide how much is enough? Are there going to be prescribed dosages? Also, does the regulation work in the case of already legalised cigarettes and alcohol? Also, it has been simply proven that the health and social costs incurred due to substance abuse hugely offset the tax revenues collected by means of legalisation. Refer to point number three in our article where we have mentioned the the social costs that would be incurred.

 

Prohibition of Marijuana ____________ spreads the risk of contracting diseases like AIDS ____________________________________ profit for illegal traffickers

We spent a good part of my day hopping from websuite to website doing one google search to another just to find a credible enough source that connects Marijuana and Aids in a significant way. We mean seriously of all the things that cause AIDS I never knew prohibition of Marijuana was one of them. We wished they had justified it further.

 

The comparison of marijuana with guns, really? Yes guns kill people, well so do road accidents, so the next argument up should then that cars too have a rather fatal effect on humans. And yet, you can openly buy, carry, and even “lend”; a “weapon” that routinely makes its way into schools, and actually kills a number of children each year because of negligent driving. But oh the unfair trade practices!! You get caught with a couple of grams of marijuana, and you will be thrown into jail. The comparison introduced is bemusing. We too do not support legalisation of carrying arms. And what logic allows us to support another flawed legislation because one is already in place?

 

We as proponents of legalizing ___________________ from AIDS and other diseases

There are three examples given, glaucoma patients, cancer patients and AIDS patients. As far as my understanding these people are not healthy, and marijuana in prescribed doses may help them. But legalizing marijuana for the mass because it alleviates the Cancer and AIDS patient a bit (Mind you, it doesn’t cure or prevent any of these diseases), is it a valid argument. According to my crude research most of Marijuana users are neither suffering from AIDS, nor from cancer and are definitely not glaucoma patients. And moreover, a study shows that Marijuana causes leukemia, so the conclusion drawn here is, lets smoke pot, get cancer and then smoke more pot to help us during cancer chemotherapy. A big round of applause, please.

 

Extending the argument for the innocent marijuana as harmless recreation, I am assuming it is probably followed by cigarettes and alcohol as the next two harmless candidates. Well but why not the good ol’ television which is a more harmless form of recreation, or playing a sport which is ever the more and munching popcorn in a movie theater probably the noblest of them all?

To conclude we would like to state that facts can be twisted in different ways to validate someone’s assumptions. But that does not justify legalising marijuana as this can lead to people demanding legalization of more lethal substances. We need to draw a line somewhere and stop, let us stop at marijuana so that the debate of legalising cocaine never arises in future.

 

This is a submission for the second round of The great Indian B-school debate, 2014.

MDI, Gurgaon

Team Ruskin

Vinti Narula

Debayan Roy

Comments

2 comments

zetroll

Oh look! There is a spark of reason from where all that judgment flows. Along with the irony of mention the exact same countries we’d use to describe their perspective. There’s this uncanny resemblance, between how Saudi Arabia processes logic, and how our esteemed opponents go about it. Like how, some of the most pro human rights, and most progressive countries are considering the legalization of marijuana, so of course lets draw a senseless, meaning less connect to some of the most vehemently dogmatic, human rights-stomping and generally-dismissive-of-human-choice-regimes in the world. Because, you know, they’re both countries. I must commend the senseless prudish generalization & exaggeration that my opponents so consistently display, whether it’s drawing equals between holding a honest discussion looking at world trends & systematic denial of human rights, or guilelessly implying how marijuana users turn in to cocaine users. Because, of course,a better part of 2.5% percent of the world population is addicted to cocaine, right?
(“About 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consume cannabis (annual prevalence) compared with 0.2% consuming cocaine and 0.2% consuming opiates” – WHO)

zetroll

In reply…a potent threat to society.

Sigh. You might not consider our opinions worthy of your notice, but pray at least do us the honour of once reading through them before start the whole song & dance routine. We’ve already conclusively address the gateway drug point, but no matter, for your benefit –
“Many people mistakenly believe that marijuana use precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use. In fact, most drug use begins with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, making nicotine and alcohol the two most common drugs of abuse. Evidence indicates marijuana is usually not the first substance abused before more dangerous illicit drug experimentation.
A study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of School Health has concluded that the theory of a gateway drug is not associated with marijuana, but rather one of the most damaging and socially accepted drugs in the world, alcohol.”
– Constance Scharff, Ph.D. is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center

Also, I’d love to address “already put down data, backed by research” , but clearly we mean different things by already put down. Not that we qualify our data being “backed by research”, since that’s the only kind of data you ought to use, but hey, you’re allowed some slack on crusades right?