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Word Count: 845
In the 1970s the drug issue was a very controversial subject just as it is today and there were many arguments presented In his argument Gore Vidal maintains a mocking pessimistic attitude towards the opposition as he argues for the legalization of marijuana However the purpose of his argument in fact has little to do with the marijuana issue per say it is mostly a way to capture his readers attention as he laments American culture and all that is wrong with it His argument is not flawless neither is it extraordinary nonetheless Vidal manages to capture the readers attention and more importantly he is able to persuade his reader that he is right In the first paragraph of his article Vidal asserts It is possible to stop most drug addictions in the United States within a very short time Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost As a way of capturing attention Vidal could not have used a better technique He gives the impression that he is saying something dramatic when in reality through the use of weasel words such as possible most and very short time he is not really defining what he truly means He also oversimplifies his argument when he claims simply make all drugs available andlabel each drug with a precise description of what effect -good or bad- the drug will have on whoever takes it Within this assertion there is the hidden assumption that people will read labels and make a rational decision However history has proved that wrong - take tobacco for instance It is now legal and readily available to those 19 years and older and the packages are clearly labeled with Surgeon General warnings and graphic pictures describing the bad effects that smoking produces Nevertheless has that stopped people from smoking No Just because people are given free choice does not mean that they will choose wisely no matter how much information
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