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Gore Vidal’s Essay, “Drugs” Mainly Discusses His Opinions Of Who

1140 words - 5 pages

Gore Vidal's essay, "Drugs" mainly discusses his opinions of who is to blame for America's drug problems. He states that drugs exist in the means they do because of the United States government. Because our government makes drugs illegal, it only makes people want them more. Vidal states that the government has learned nothing from prohibition in the past, referring to prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and how many problems it caused. Vidal's solution for America's drug problems is to simply legalize drugs and to label them with a description and the effects of each drug."Don't say that marijuana is addictive or dangerous when it is neither" (Vidal). This statement is not a fact. Most people know that marijuana is addictive, especially if they have friends or loved ones who smoke marijuana regularly. The National Institute on Drug Use (NIDA) states that, "While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, when a user begins to seek out and take the drug compulsively, that person is said to be dependent or addicted to the drug. In 1995, 165,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse, showing they need help to stop using the drug" ( Also according to the National Institute on Drug Use marijuana use leads to other drug use. "Long-term studies of high school students and their patterns of drug use show that very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana. For example, the risk of using cocaine is 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. Using marijuana puts children and teens in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs. So there is more of a risk that a marijuana user will be exposed to and urged to try more drugs" ( So how can marijuana not be dangerous if it can lead to use of other drugs that are extremely dangerous such as "speed"? Marijuana can also affect driving and lead to car accidents. "In one study conducted in Memphis, TN, researchers found that, of 150 reckless drivers who were tested for drugs at the arrest scene, 33 percent tested positive for marijuana, and 12 percent tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine. Data have also shown that while smoking marijuana, people show the same lack of coordination on standard "drunk driver" tests as do people who have had too much to drink" ( This would be enough to persuade anyone that marijuana is both addictive and can be extremely dangerous.Most young people smoke, drink, etc. as a way to rebel. This could play one of the key factors in today's large population of young marijuana users. Granted, it is logical to assume that in the stipulation that drugs were made legal that the younger people may not use drugs as much. Nonetheless kids will still find a way to rebel, and...

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