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Sample Negative Case

Negative Case
Topic:Legalization of Marijuana
I. Opening Statement (N1 2-3 minutes)
Over the years, Cannabis has gained numerous false conceptions. However,
legalization has begun, the ball is rolling, and it is time to stop blaming policy and accept
the evidence. In the twelve US states where recreational marijuana is legalized,
recreational use by teens has gone down. In places where the buying and selling of the
drug is regulated, like California today, less people are buying illegally, and more are
using legal businesses that are closely monitored by the government, adding billions to
the economy. Responsible adults. Cancer patients. Anxiety sufferers. These are the
types of profiles that make up a majority of all California marijuana users. It is time to
educate ourselves on the positive effects of the drug on hundreds of thousands of
people. It is time to stop spreading these false preconceptions. Jury members, let’s get
one thing clear; alcohol is the most dangerous impairing drug when it comes to driving.
My opponents will tell you about all the cases of DUIs involving marijuana, but don't let
that fool you. Legalization is fresh, especially in California making the accumulation of
evidence minimal. Along with this, there is no legal separation between a DUI involving
marijuana and a DUI involving marijuana and alcohol in the majority of reports, leaving
little to no evidence supporting the claim that marijuana alone is causing accidents and
DUIs. Education is key to safety when it comes to dealing with substances, so let’s get
educated together and observe the statistically insignificant effects of marijuana on
driving performance. Legalization is the future, and the future is now.
II. Direct Examination (N2 5 minutes to attack one or two stock issues)
Having heard the affirmative case, do you see any issues?
Answer: Yes.
And with what specific stock issue do you see an issue?
Answer: solvency
What is the issue?
Answer: Keeping Cannabis legal for adult recreational use reduces access to
Is it safe to assume that the illegalization of marijuana will therefore increase
access to minors?
Yes, that is an accurate prediction.
Can you explain?
Answer: Yes, A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse at Columbia University discovered, “Teens between the ages of 12 and
17 say it’s easier to get marijuana than… beer or prescription drugs. That
number is up 37 percent from 2007” (Armentano). In 2007, cannabis was an
illegal substance and alcohol was legal for recreational use in the United
So an illegal substance was more easily accessed than a legal yet regulated
substance, is that correct?
Yes, that is correct.
If teens found marijuana easier to obtain than alcohol at that time, in your
opinion, does the regulation of these substances necessarily mean that more
underage or illegal practices will occur?
Answer: No, in fact, quite the opposite. In 2017, USA Today published a
projection of black market sales of marijuana based on past to current trends
in the market. They estimated that by 2021, illegal marijuana sales will
decrease by $24 billion over five years (Hughes).
Can you link the policy change to a decrease in teen access?
Yes. A survey called Monitoring the future has polled over 40,000 students
since 1996, measuring the percent of 12th graders that use marijuana at
different frequencies. In 2012, across the board, there began a downward
trend in use that continued through today (Rahn). This is at the same time
period when legal recreational use first debuted in Colorado and Washington.
Are there any other studies that back this evidence up?
Numerous. In 2017, a think tank working for Washington’s state legislature
produced a report based on survey data from the state’s Department of
Health that showed overall decreases in youth cannabis usage rates. The
study polled students in grades six, eight, ten, and twelve and decreased
usage by students in all four grade levels was discovered. They report,
“students in the tenth grade responded at a 17 percent usage rate in 2016,
compared to rates of 18 percent in 2006, and 20 percent in 2010. Similar
decreases in teen usage were observed in Colorado, with 21.2 percent
reporting usage in 2015, down from 22 percent in 2011” (Johnstone).
Do you believe that teens could be getting marijuana from legal businesses
such as medical cannabis clubs?
No. The aspects of this agency are in effect closely monitored by the
Department of Consumer Affairs, which contains a new Bureau of Medical
Marijuana Regulation. BMMR has many policies including strict license
privileges and no criminal histories (MPP).
To recap, the percent of underage users of illegal cannabis is decreasing. Is
that correct?
Answer: Yes, that is correct.
If the jury chooses to keep current policy in tact, is frequency of teen use
projected to continue to reduce to levels lower than those recorded when
Cannabis was illegal?
So to summarize, maintaining a regulated system in California for the
recreational use and sale of marijuana will lessen the availability of the drug to
minors. Is that correct?
Answer: Yes, that is correct.
Thank you.
I have no further questions.
III. Cross Examination Preparation (5 minutes).
One possible attack question from opposing counsel would be:
How do you know that this black market profit would have come from sales
taking place in California, and not other states that also contain marijuana
How would you answer the above question? Be sure to include evidence.
California contains the most Cannabis users nationally over any other state.
In 2016, Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Services Administration
found that throughout California, on average 15% of people over the age of
12 use marijuana monthly, higher levels than any other state at that time
(Danish). The same year, canopy, canna-business accelerator in Southern
California, published an analysis of the legal marijuana market. The industry
analysis states, the adult market in California is expected to grow 50% in
three years (Gomez).
A second possible attack questions from opposing counsel will be:
Could teens buy from legal users who buy legally and then proceed to sell to
How would you answer the above question? Be sure to include evidence.
Yes, technically any legal user has the capacity to sell to minors, but the facts
remain. Less teens are smoking marijuana and at less frequent rates. We
face the same risk with youth access to alcohol, but the results of Columbia
university’s study show; it is easier for teens to get substances that are illegal
than it is for them to get substances that are regulated and legal (Armentano).
Therefore, facing this risk and maintaining legalization has more benefits to
teens than harm.
IV. Closing Statement (N2 2-3 minutes)
Part 1: Template (1-1:30)
Created the day of.
Part 2: FInal Emotional Appeal (1-1:30)
When we are older and have children we do not want them exposed to the amount of
marijuana on the streets and through the black market. With this legalization of
recreational marijuana, this can help every teen in America be different and not fall into
the trap of the illegal market of marijuana. Imagine marijuana being banned again this
will have a more negative than positive effects on society. Crime will go back up, the
black market sales will skyrocket, and the out teenagers Will be Maureen drain into
buying the drugs off the street rather than in recreational dispensaries. All of these
things can be avoided if we just keep the drug legalized so It will not be a detrimental
problem in our society. Thank you
Sources Cited
Armentano, Paul. “Study Says It's Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer.”
NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform, 28 Aug. 2009,
Armentano, Paul. “Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review.” NORML,
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 12 Sept. 2011,
Gomez, Eric. “Author.” Canopy San Diego, canopysd.com/author/eric/.
Hughes, Trevor. “Marijuana's Legalization Fuels Black Market in Other States.” USA
Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 Aug. 2017,
Johnstone, Scott, et al. “Five Years in: The Effects of Legalization in Colorado and
Washington State.” Lift News, 14 Nov. 2017,
Rahn, Bailey. “Here's Why Cannabis Legalization Doesn't Lead to Higher Teen Use
Rates.” Leafly, 25 Aug. 2017,
Back up attack (This is just for you to see. Not required.)
Having heard the affirmative case, do you see any issues?
Answer: Yes.
And with what specific stock issue do you see an issue?
What is the issue?
There is no conclusive evidence that shows the legalization of marijuana is
directly causing more DUIs.
Can you elaborate on this attack?
NORML, a site dedicated to investigating and reforming marijuana laws states
bluntly, “Unlike alcohol, which is known to increase drivers' risk taking
behavior and is a primary contributor in on-road accidents, marijuana's
acute impact on psychomotor skills is subtle and its real-world impact in
automobile crashes is inconclusive” (Armentano).
Do you have proof that marijuanas real-world impact on automobile
crashes is inconclusive?
Colorado serves as a model to California when it comes to recreational and
medical marijuana, and their DUI numbers have increased since marijuana
legalization. Do you have any evidence that this is unrelated to the drug?
In 2017, Colorado held a statewide campaign to curb DUIs and arrested 10,359
people during twelve enforcement periods, increasing the number of patrol
cars during holidays and public events that may correlate with increased
frequency of DUIs. In 2016, over 7,000 people were arrested during
enforcement periods. Their numbers show the strategy was successful, and
this campaign is therefore a major contributor to Colorado’s increase in
Is it possible that DUIs increased in the first place due to legalization?
There is no evidence supporting this claim, let me explain. Although marijuana is
proven not the same as alcohol in terms of impairment and effects, when it
comes to driving, they are considered the same under the law. Colorado’s
“Drive High, get a DUI” policy has existed long before legalization. Under
the law, drivers with 5 nanograms or more of THC per mL of blood in their
system qualities them for a DUI. DUIs were not categorized by type of drug,
as it all falls under the same law, and there was no required separation of
DUIs with marijuana involving alcohol and those not involving alcohol.
Therefore, it is impossible to estimate the number of strictly marijuana
related driving incidents before legalization.
You are rendering Colorado DUI statistics inconclusive due to an involvement of
alcohol in an unknown number of cases involving alcohol, is that correct?
Yes, that is correct.
Is there any other evidence supporting this claim?
Yes. Since legalization, marijuana is the third most widely used recreational drug
in the nation behind alcohol and tobacco and remains the most widely used
illicit drug in states it is illegal. It is also the most readily detectable drug and
can stay in your system days after use, long after effects have worn off.
Both of these facts contribute to the large number of DUIs involving
marijuana, but do not prove that marijuana directly causes more motor
vehicle crashes or DUIs.
To summarize, because the drug is detectable longer than its effects remain and
because there is a massive number of marijuana users, a large number of DUIs is
to be expected, is that correct?
Yes, that is correct.
Would you say that driving under the influence of marijuana is especially
Statistically, is is about as dangerous as driving as a 60 year old compared to a
35 year old, and to say the least we haven’t banned all elderly from driving
for a reason - there is too little risk to induce policy change.
Can you elaborate to the jury how dangerous driving under the influence of
marijuana is?
There have been numerous studies that prove marijuana causes no more than
acute impairment and psychomotor skills. In fact, the United States National
Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA) conducted a study (in 2010) and
discovered that there was essentially no difference in the driving
performances of their subjects after marijuana use. In fact, unlike alcohol,
individuals under the influence of the drug tend to be aware of their state
and compensate accordingly by driving much more cautiously or not driving
at all. I'm not saying that there is not a risk, but it is statistically insignificant
in comparison to the risks that other legal drugs cause, especially alcohol.