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Should recreational marijuana be legal? Show more Show less

Following a public outcry over the case of Billy Caldwell, a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy who was prohibited from bringing back a life-changing supply of cannabis oil from Canada, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has now been made legal in the UK. Unsurprisingly this has re-ignited the ongoing question: should we legalise the recreational use of cannabis?

No, cannabis should only be used for medical purposes. Show more Show less

The drug isn't valuable to society outside of medical use.
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Marijuana has negative health effects

Marijuana has been linked to numerous health problems, and should not be sanctioned by the state.
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Context

The Argument

Using marijuana has been linked to numerous negative health outcomes, such as mental health issues, cardiovascular problems, and lung problems.[1] Additionally, roughly one in ten marijuana users become addicted.[2] The government should not legalise a substance that can cause these issues and therefore sanction further damage to public health.

Counter arguments

While marijuana may be linked to negative health effects, they are incredibly minor compared to certain substances that are already sanctioned by the state. Both alcohol and tobacco are addictive, and in the U.S. alone thousands of people die per year from both alcohol poisoning[3] and smoking tobacco.[4] It does not make sense to continue to prohibit a drug with significantly less negative health incomes than alcohol and tobacco on the basis that it is negative for public health.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Marijuana has significant negative health effects and so should not be sanctioned by the state.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The health drawbacks of marijuana are far lesser than some other drugs which are sanctioned by the government.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/cannabis-the-facts/
  2. https://www.debatingeurope.eu/focus/arguments-legalising-cannabis/#.XisTsxf7TBI
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-poisoning-deaths/index.html
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm

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This page was last edited on Monday, 27 Jan 2020 at 17:21 UTC