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 minors. 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 States. 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? Yes. 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 users? 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 minors? 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) Jury, 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, blog.norml.org/2009/08/28/study-says-its-easier-for-teens-to-buy-marijuana-than-b eer/. Armentano, Paul. “Cannabis and Driving: A Scientific and Rational Review.” NORML, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 12 Sept. 2011, norml.org/library/item/cannabis-and-driving-a-scientific-and-rational-review. 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, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/07/31/marijuana-black-market/507417 001/. Johnstone, Scott, et al. “Five Years in: The Effects of Legalization in Colorado and Washington State.” Lift News, 14 Nov. 2017, news.lift.co/five-years-effects-legalization-colorado-washington-state/. Rahn, Bailey. “Here's Why Cannabis Legalization Doesn't Lead to Higher Teen Use Rates.” Leafly, 25 Aug. 2017, www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/heres-why-cannabis-legalization-doesnt-lead-to -higher-teen-use-ra. 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? Significance 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? Yes. 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 DUIs. 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 dangerous? 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.