Drugs by Gore Vidal (Summary and Reflection)

A discussion on the pros and cons of legalizing illegal drugs – that is what being tackled in Gorge Vidal’s essay entitled Drugs. Vidal stated his ideas on how fast could drug addiction end, only if the Government of the United States of America would sell, label the price and give a definite description of the effects of using it. He dissents the misconception of people that when someone tries to use an illegal drug, it would lead to a continuous addiction after; which never really happened to him. He confided that he had tried it once, and he affirmed that this piece of information must be told to people in a very sensible way. It could be a mix of exhortation and warning to others once it was legalized, yet this matter doesn’t merely suggest vesting an absolute freedom. Somehow the idea bothers him, resulting to more drug addicts in the future if ever it was implemented. But as always expected; the countless possibilities that there would always be an alcoholic and drug addict people never die. Worse is, the more they are forbidden from things they like to do make them want those things more; as if the government has never learned from the past attempts of prohibition and repression. Therefore, the idea of legalizing those drugs was like transforming lead into gold – impossible to happen because both Mafia and Bureau of Narcotics would wither moneyless. At such, he believes that fighting drugs is nearly as big as a business of pushing them.

I have once read the famous quotation from Edith Hamilton that goes: The more the flame is covered up, the hotter it burns. What is for forbidden to do, the more a person becomes dare devil to do so. In relation to his essay, never in my wildest imagination had I thought of legalizing such drugs that could draw someone to addiction. This idea would never solve or at least help fight against the conundrum. More likely, it would just add fuel to the fire. But if there is one thing that awe me, that is the irony and hypocrisy of the government for this dire issue. To be honest, a total abstinence of drug addiction will never happen in reality. There is always money for those drugs patronized by people (most especially the rich ones). Therefore, they are no imbecile to let both of their party go dead. They need one another to survive. The only difference is the chiasmus of without the Bureau of Narcotics, Mafia could operate; but without Mafia, Bureau of Narcotics would not exist. Sad to say, even if it’s hard to accept, Gore Vidal is right for sharing his knowledge about the nasty agencies we have.  What I have on my mind after reading his essay is to look for the positive side of our government. I believe human governments have flaws since we are not impeccable. Maybe the most sensible answer to this issue is right education to everybody. People who use such drugs somehow lack knowledge, and therefore if they would be educated, bigger chance that they will not dare to use and even try it once.


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