Issues/Drug Legalization term paper 5421

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Just say no? This is not exactly the philosophy that the vast majority of the United States population tends to follow. Drugs have become a routine aspect of everyday life in the United States. Neither a gigantic metropolis nor a minute town have gone without feeling the everlasting effects of drugs. Drug use has always posed a major dilemma for America to overcome. The banning of illegal drugs takes many back to the days of the Prohibition problems involving the banishment of alcohol. Prohibition obviously did not work in the 1920's, and some modern day people feel that making drugs legal would solve the constantly rising drug problem. In his article Facing up to Drugs: Is Legalization the Solution?, Pete Hamill presents both sides of the argument very thoroughly. Using tremendous techniques in both writing and in major points, the author persuades the reader to give a great deal of consideration to the author's belief that legalization is the answer to America's drug problem.

In delivering his points to the reader, Hamill effectively makes good use of internal structure. Initially, the point of view utilized in this article exhibits an interesting way that the reader can personalize himself with the article. The constant use of "I" in the article lets the reader know that the author has had first hand experience with the drug issue. The first person point of view also reinforces the fact that this article is completely based on the ideas and beliefs of Hamill. In addition, playing a key role in this article, the audience remains convinced via the effective techniques in writing. In general, this article reaches out to everyone in the United States, and possibly the rest of the world. However, this article targets powerful individuals, and those in the government who can make an impact on the drug world. This illustrates the whit of Hamill in that he discreetly makes a statement to high ranking officials. Most importantly, the tone in which the author reveals with dignity gives a sense of truthfulness to the reader. The author overall writes seriously, but with a touch of sarcasm here and there. Adding to the seriousness, the author's realistic approach to the situation on drugs tells the reader that the author means every last bit of what he is saying.

Although numerous internal writing techniques remain evident, some of the major points that Hamill illustrates in his article prove very effective. First of all, the author states that the war on drugs cannot be won. It seems an inconceivable task to derail the drug suppliers who plague the street corners in America (514). If the government eliminates one drug cartel's base, then the suppliers will just find another location to distribute their goods because of the enormous amount of money involved in drug smuggling (514). These ideas further illustrate how difficult the drug problem is to control. Furthermore, many people wonder what may have happened had alcohol remained banned in the United States. The Prohibition laws, banning the use of alcohol in the 1920's, took away one of America's most prized possessions (516). It is brilliant for the ideas of Prohibition to be resurrected by Hamill in this instance. Since drugs are constantly in demand, Hamill believes, as do others, that prohibiting the use of illegal narcotics today poses the same problem that banning the use of alcohol did in the 1920's (516). Lastly, Hamill's proposal for legalization gives a reasonable amount of hope for his plan to succeed. The author's plan calls for a ten year experiment in which marijuana, not a hard drug, would be the first drug to be legalized and sold in liquor stores (517). As the years go on, more drugs, harder drugs, would be legalized, and it is estimated that billions of dollars in revenue would be collected as a profit (517). The author gives a thorough outline of his plan which reveals his devotion to making a drastic impact on society.

Internal and external writing tactics, along with major points, make Hamill's Facing up to Drugs: Is Legalization the Solution? an extremely persuasive article. Items such as tone and point of view provide for a very powerful argument. Prohibition remains a valid refutation for legalizing drugs in the United States. Evidently, drug use is high in America, and that it will not change anytime soon; therefore, according to Hamill, the demand for drugs can only be dealt with by the legalization of the drugs. The plan that Hamill presents for legalization contains many possibilities that may hold the answer to the drug problem that plagues America. Ultimately, it remains impossible to please everyone, so that makes the decision on the legalization of drugs that much more difficult.

An Analysis of Facing up to Drugs: Is Legalization the Solution?

Thesis: Using tremendous techniques in both writing and major points, the author persuades the reader to give a great deal of consideration to the author's belief that legalization is the answer.

I. Writing techniques

A. Point of view

1. Use of "I"

2. Illustrates first hand experience

B. Audience

1. Everyone in general

2. Targets powerful people

C. Tone

1. Serious

2. Realistic

II. Major points

A. War on drugs

1. Suppliers

2. Hard to destroy drug ring

B. If alcohol had remained banned

1. Prohibition

2. Drugs in demand

C. Proposal for legalization

1. Ten year experiment

2. Billions in revenue collected

An Analysis of

Facing up to Drugs: Is Legalization the Solution?

Robert Brown

1/12/97

Bell 7

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