In William J. Bennett’s argument, Drugs: Should their Sale and Use Be Legalized, he tries to persuade the readers that drugs should not be legalized. He goes on to explain the national drug policy and the intellectuals that by and large are against it but have little to contribute to the matter. The argument like he says is a little one sided, there is a whole lot to say about the national drug policy and very little to say about the intellectuals.
In his essay he explains both sides of the argument but it is more of his own opinion, and he tends to jump around a lot with different ideas. When he does actually give some factual evidence, he does not explain it well enough or give a good point on the subject. Bennett does however give some resources about media types; Times, Harper’s magazine, the newspaper, even talk shows are not adequate sources of information. When he talks about some of the intellectuals, he just lists them not giving any quotes or any real statistics at all.
Even though when Bennett is talking about the intellectuals ha talks about them as an overall opinion, but it would make the speech more convincing to have a couple references. Bennett does cover a lot of good points in his arguments. Trying to locate the source of the drug problem, maybe an inner city problem, poverty, could be racism or some other social decline in our society. Bennett’s opinion on the intellectual consensus that the drug problem in America is absurdly simple, and easily solved; and that the drug problem in America is a lost cause, is that it’s a contradictory proposition and is false.
If drugs were legalized Bennett thinks many matters in our society will be worse off. If drugs were sold at a local convenient store would they be taxed, if they were then a black market would always come into play. If they were sold really cheap, then drugs could be bought with the allowance of a middle school kid. Crime would not be eliminated by legalizing drugs with the research that most drug criminals were into crime well before they were into any drugs.
Crime would still continue, to pay for everyday living needs of criminals. So what would happen when drugs are legalized? The drug use would go up considerably, increasing work related accidents, hospitals packed with more drug related emergencies than ever before. Transportation accidents increased, lowered work productivity, kids will be trying and doing drugs making a higher dropout rate, increased pregnancies and pregnant women doing drugs and having premature babies and defects.
Bennett’s point on this is “who benefits and who pays? ” With costs for treatment, social welfare and insurance we end up paying for it. Bennett does interview a few individuals to try and get some opinions on the matter. In New Mexico he spoke to Rudy Chavez, Jack Candelarla and police chief Sam Baca about putting together a youth program to help keep kids off the street and away from drugs. Unfortunately this failed but then they set up a police station right in the heart of the drug problem on the streets.
Together the police station and the residence in the area wanting to clean up the streets cleared the area making it safe for there kids to walk on the streets without fear. Then the youth center became successful doing what it is supposed to do. He also has been traveling around the country observing the drug problems in communities. He found that there are problems like these all over the country. Most communities don’t want to just stand and do nothing as this epidemic inclines. They want to fight back, take back there communities, and win.
I agree with Bennett’s overall argument, from his essay I think his solution to the drug problem is to not legalize drugs but try to maybe build more police stations in places that need them or more youth programs to clean the streets up. His opinions are great but still they are his opinions and he should have used more actual facts and included more experts into the matter who have great points and information to support his opinion. He also could have came up with perhaps another solution to the drug problems maybe another aspect of what just as a citizen could do to make a difference.