Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.

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Resolved: The continuation of current U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America will do more harm than good.

I don’t know that I could have thought of a more boring topic. This will quickly devolve into repetitive, monotonous debating with student reiterating the same facts over and over again. The resolution also provides you with the framework you need, so it doesn’t give students much room to come up with creative insightful arguments. It isn’t even worth complaining to the NFL anymore. They have demonstrated their incessant desire to put out terrible topics. With that in mind, let’s start the analysis 😛


Continuation – This means to continue something i.e. not stop it. I don’t see any abuse potential or crafty definition approaches with this one. It’s straightforward

U.S. anti-drug policies in Latin America – Debaters will need a very intimate understanding of these policies. They will need to know the specific laws and initiatives that are in place and the particular content of those law. An historical knowledge of past policies and lessons learned in Latin will also be integral to a student’s ability to effectively debate the point.


So here’s the thing about this resolution, you are only permitted to use the framework of a cost benefit analysis i.e. you have to state the harms and benefits of these policies, and you have to argue that one outweighs the other depending upon which side you’re on. If you are on the Con, you must argue either that the policies do more good than harm, or that the good and harm are equal.

Impacting explicitly will be crucial for this resolution. It will not be acceptable to just list out harms and benefits. The debater needs to argue that one outweighs the other.

As a result, instead of doing a framework analysis, I’m going to talk about some potential harms and benefits you can discuss.


1. Illegal Immigration – There is a demonstrable link between drug policies and illegal immigration. Some argue that these policies promote such immigration, while others argue that it mitigates it. Nobody, however, talks about whether illegal immigration is a harm or a benefit. So do your due diligence and look up some studies that correlate anti-drug policies and illegal immigration. Be sure to talk about the actual impact of illegal immigration and whether or not it is a harm or a benefit. There is an argument to be made that illegal immigration has a positive impact on the United States.

2. There Is No Benefit – Some experts contend that there really isn’t a point. The U.S. is dumping money into a bottomless pit. As U.S. drug agencies try to enforce their policies, cartels become more innovative. They are entrenched within society, giving them a distinct advantage over U.S. enforcement. Governments are unwilling to cooperate with us because of widespread corruption. The tide cannot be stemmed, so why bother have the current vigorous policies that we do?

3. Life Cost of Law Enforcement – Drug enforcement requires a tremendous commitment from law enforcement agents involved in the processes. Often times, one operation can require a decade of embedded commitment. These policies have led to an incredible loss of life from law enforcement without yielding any comparable benefit.


1. Reduction of Drug Influx Into U.S. – Anti-drug policies have demonstrably led to a decrease in drugs crossing our borders. Trade and sale in the United States has decreased. This has had positive economic effects as well as a decrease in drug related violence in high drug traffic areas.

2. More Jobs in Law Enforcement – The mere existence of these drug policies requires a large number of people. These openings provide opportunities for many people, particularly in a time when jobs are scarce. This is a good counter to the point which comments on the commitment required by law enforcement. Some people are looking for such a commitment that lends itself to consistent and reliable income.

3. The Benefit of Existence – The policies exist, which in itself is the largest benefit. The resolution proposes a discontinue of the current policies, which would be far more catastrophic. So whatever costs we have incurred need to be absorbed because the harms of discontinuing the policies would be much worse.

I know I didn’t have much for this topic, but there really isn’t much to talk about. As I mentioned, the arguments will be repetitive, and because of the advent of popular briefs, the evidence will likely be repetitive as well.

Good luck!


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