Debating “Rethinking Drugs”

Can you see both sides of an argument? Are you capable of advocating for a position that you don’t necessarily believe in? We have put together some useful resources for you to test your debating and analytical skills when it comes to “Rethinking Drugs.”


Here are some of the most relevant and fascinating motions related to “Rethinking Drugs,” collected from IDEA’s Debatabase. You’ll find suggested arguments for and against each motion that have been backed up by various sources. These are topics that may well turn up in either the team debate or extemporaneous speech components at the Grand Finals of the Budapest Forum 2014.

Instead of just surveying the arguments, try this exercise. Choose a motion and decide at random whether to argue for or against the motion. Take 15 minutes to think up three to five substantive arguments. Now click on the link and check out the arguments laid out for each side. Did you manage to think of everything? How could your arguments be stronger? What possible rebuttals could the opposing team have raised? What are some possible responses?

Legalising and banning:

Policing and regulation:

Harm reduction:


International affairs:


For more information on debating and youth advocacy strategies, you might want to check out these useful titles published by the iDebate Press:

  • The Debatabase book: An invaluable resource for debaters, this book provides background, arguments and resources on over 110 debate topics in areas as diverse as business, science and technology, environment, politics, religion, culture and education.  
  • Arguing for action: A guide for youth-led advocacy: Behind every move towards equality, human rights, and improving people’s lives, somewhere there is a great advocate at work. This manual is intended as a guide for young people who are thinking of taking on that challenge, on behalf of their peers and their communities.

    Debating “Rethinking Drugs”

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