The war on drugs has been a failure. Everyday, newspapers carry headlines of crimes committed by drug dealers, or by by drug addicts needing money to buy drugs. Rational people know that the solution to the drug problem is to legalize drugs and have governmental control over their sale. Prohibition did not work against alcohol and it does not work against marijuana, cocaine, crack, and heroin. Legalization is the only way to stop drug-related crime and the only way to stop the proliferation of addicts.
With drug-related crime on the rise, more and more people ar speaking out for legalization as a more practical solution to the drug problem. Gore Vidal, whom some have called America's finest living essayist, is one of them. He believes that it is possible to stop drug addiction in the United States in a very short time (Vidal 382). The way to do this is to make all drugs available and sell them at cost. Each drug would be labeled with a precise description of what effect--good or bad--the drug will have on the user. This must be done with total honesty. For example, according to Vidal, it should not be stated that marijuana is addictive or dangerous, because most people know it is not. However, drugs like heroin and "speed" are dangerous and addictive and should be labeled as such (Vidal 382).
While Vidal has tried every illicit drug and liked none of them, disproving the popular theory that "a single whiff of opium will enslave the mind," he believes many drugs are bad for certain people to take and they should be told why in a sensible way (Vidal 383). According to Vidal, if reasonably sane people are warned about the bad effects of some drugs, most will choose not to become drug addicts.
Of course, some people will choose to become drug addicts, just as some people will choose to become alcoholics. Gore Vidal answers this argument by stating that the Bill of Rights gives a person the right to do what he wants...