|1nc - regulation
Legalization is legal regulation – decriminalization is removing an activity from the status of criminal law
EMCCDA, 1 - European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction,
“Decriminalisation in Europe?: Recent developments in legal approaches to drug use” November 2001 http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index5734EN.html)
Concept and Definition of Decriminalisation
Decriminalisation. Decriminalisation takes away the status of criminal law from those acts to which it is applied. This means that certain acts no longer constitute criminal offences. With regard to drugs, it is usually used to refer to demand; acts of acquisition, possession and consumption. Following decriminalisation, it still is illegal to use, possess, acquire or in certain cases import drugs, but those acts are no longer criminal offences. However, administrative sanctions can still be applied; these can be a fine, suspension of the driving or firearms licence, or just a warning. In contrast, legalisation is the process of bringing within the control of the law a specified activity that was previously illegal and prohibited or strictly regulated.
Related to drugs, the term is most commonly applied to acts of supply; production, manufacture or sale for non-medical use. Legalisation would mean that such activities, and use and possession, would be regulated by states’ norms, in the same way that it is legal to use alcohol and tobacco. There can still exist some administrative controls and regulations, which might even be supported by criminal sanctions (e.g. when juveniles or road traffic are concerned). From a legal point of view, any form of legalisation would be contrary to the current UN conventions.
Violation – the aff decriminalizes – it doesn’t regulate the sale or trafficking of marihuana
Voting issue for negative ground. The legalize/decriminalize distinction is the sole topic generic that exists on a massively aff-biased topic – being able to access core literature controversies are vital to a reasonable expectation of preparedness
Legalize spec – 1nc
The word “legalize” in the plan is functionally meaningless
Boire, 95 - Richard Glen Boire holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of California Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. (Entheogen Law Reporter - quarterly newsletter produced by attorney Richard Glen Boire in the 1990s, Issue 7, https://www.erowid.org/library/periodicals/journals/telr/telr_7.pdf)
On the date of his speech, Solomon introduced HR 1453 which would amend the federal tax code to deny tax exempt status to any organization "if any portion of the activities of such organization consists of promoting the legalization of any controlled substance." I have long argued that the term "legalization" means very different things to different people, and' hence is vague to the point of being incomprehensible absent specific details of the plan. What is not unclear, however, is Solomon's intent to censure those with opposing viewpoints.
Voting issue - the aff is pointless – how to legalize is far more important than whether we should – it structures all negative ground
Kleiman, 13 - Mark Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy in the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He teaches courses on methods of policy analysis, on imperfectly rational decision-making at the individual and social level, and on drug abuse and crime control policy (Mark, “How to legalize cannabis” 12/25, http://www.samefacts.com/2013/12/drug-policy/how-to-legalize-cannabis/)
Debating whether to legalize pot is increasingly pointless. Unless there’s an unexpected shock to public opinion, it’s going to happen, and sooner rather than later.
The important debate now is how to legalize it. The results of legalization depend strongly on the details of the post-prohibition tax and regulatory regimes. In the current situation, continued prohibition might be the worst option. Full commercial legalization on the alcohol model might well be the second-worst. But that’s the way we’re heading.
I’m preparing an essay about designing a post-prohibition regime. After the jump is a set of topic sentences and paragraphs for sections of that essay, not yet in a well-defined order. (UPDATE: Numbers inserted to facilitate comments.)
Substantive comments are welcome. Rant and snark will be ruthlessly zapped.
1. We probably should legalize cannabis. Prohibition is now breaking down. $35B/yr. is a lot of money to give to criminals, and no one has a plausible plan to shrink the illicit market under prohibition. Even where “medical marijuana” has degenerated into system when anyone can buy a user license from a crooked doctor, the voters still like it. Arguably, prohibition was worth trying. But it’s time to go home.
2. Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Cannabis legalization will reduce criminal revenue, intrusive enforcement, arrest, incarceration, and disorder around illicit markets, and enhance personal liberty, consumer choice, and respect for the law, and probably reduce bloodshed in Mexico. It might foster safer and more beneficial practices of cannabis use.
3. Legalization will certainly increase drug abuse, including heavy use by minors. Every adult is a potential source of leakage to minors. And if we insist on making minors consume illicitly-produced pot, we reserve 20-25% of the market for criminals. Much better to tolerate leakage and have a grey-market supply to minors like the current system that provides them with alcohol.
4. The polarized nature of the debate means that both sides wind up spending lots of time denying the obvious.
5. Good design tries to get as much of the advantages, and as little of the disadvantages, as possible.
6. The policies most likely to help control increases in drug abuse are taxation and other efforts to keep prices high, rules about consumer information (labeling and marketing), and “nudge” strategies to enhance consumer mindfulness.
7. It matters a lot whether, under conditions of legality, cannabis turns out to be a substitute for alcohol or instead a complement. Right now, no one knows the answer, which might not be the same for all parts of the population or the same in the long run as in the short run.
8. Analysis can help, but there’s no substitute for experience. The trick is not to get locked in to a set of bad policies. We need a process designed to learn from mistakes.
9. Neither “cannabis” nor “legalization” names its object with enough specificity. Lots of different things are legalization. Lots of different things are cannabis.