It was one of the surprise outcomes of the November 6th election—passage of ballot initiatives that legalize recreational use of marijuana. But how far can, and should, this trend go? Or are they a sign that we're going off a kind of cliff (and not the fiscal kind)?
Supporters of these measures, who have been working at it for years, have brought a whole stash of arguments to the party: that legalization respects the privacy of the user; that it creates a source of tax revenue; that it will undermine the criminal superstructure supporting the Mexican drug lords – and nobody likes them.
Triple win, right? Well, in another stroke of superb and fortuitous timing, we're going to be able to put those arguments to the test on Wednesday night, when we mount our long-planned IQ2US debate on this motion: “Legalize Drugs.” And to be clear, the intent of this motion goes beyond marijuana, to include the liberalization of laws that govern a much wider range of narcotic substances.
Triple win? How about these counter arguments: legalization will create more drug users; a hopped-up driver behind the wheel of a speeding car is not simply exercising his right to privacy; drugs and crime always go together, because drugs and addiction always go together.
Not so simple, is it? Which is why it's a debate. Join us. Bring your brain. And keep it clear.
John Donvan, Moderator
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates