COMPARE AND CONTRAST
Drugs have left our society striving to find a solution or ways to eliminate it. A controversial issue has been lingered on for years, whether drugs should be legalized or not. William Bennett and Milton Friedman are toe people who are aiming for the same goal; that is to eliminate drugs, crimes, and addicts, but yet, they have different approach on attacking this problem. They both have their agreements on the affect of drugs and yet their disagreements differ dramatically.
Milton Friedman, a Noble Prizewinner for his “monetary” and also an author of “Prohibition and Drugs”, believe that drugs should be legalized (pg. 931). Yet, his opponent William Bennett who have a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Texas and also have a law degree at Harvard and the author of “Should Drugs Be Legalized?” is total against legalizing drugs. I will compare and contrast the two author’s arguments.
They have very few agreements. Some agreements that they agree on are about the affect drugs have on people and society. They both agree that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society (pg.934). Also they agree that drugs are running the lives of many young people (pg. 934).
In “An Open Letter to Bill Bennett”, Friedman address Bennett mistake in failing to see the many problem drugs will create if drugs were to be legalized. One problem that Friedman points out is black marketing. He believes that by making drug legal, there will be sold in regulated stores and it will be easier to get access to.
On the other hand Bennett see by legalizing drugs there will still be black markets. If drugs were to be legalized then only those who are at the age can purchase drugs. The question is what about teenagers and children? Therefore there will still be black markets to cover those children.
Through Bennett and Friedman feels different about the decreases and increases of black markets, what they do agree on is, there will still be black markets regardless drugs should be legalized or not. They both also agree on that black markets creates
Bennett pointed out a fact about the reduction in drug using. From “The National Institute on Drug Abuses”, latest survey of current users shows a 37% decrease in drug consumption since 1985. Cocaine is down 50%; marijuana use among young people is at the lowest rate since 1972″ (pg.931). He’s proving here that ever since 1972, Americans have been fighting against drugs and he sees the progress.
Though Bennett acknowledged us with that fact, Friedman believes that decriminalizing is even more urgent than in 1972. He also believes that what had happened in the past can not be solved immediately, but it takes time. By postponing decimalization will only makes matter worse and it’s hard to keep track according to Friedman. Therefore legalizing drug is even in more demand.
This point leads us to Bennett point about drug ’s war. Bennett believes that if drugs were to be legalized it, we are surrendering. After the long hard fight, we should not surrender now. He suggested what we need for this fight is more citizens to be involve with this war.
Friedman see legalizing drugs does not what so ever equal to surrendering in this fight against drug addiction. He believes that by legalizing drugs is a precondition for an effective fight. He sees this as ” a chance to prevent sales to minors; get drugs out of schools and playgrounds; and save crack babies.” (pg.939). Not only they disagree on the point this, but also the consequences of this war differs greatly. Because Bennett see this war as fighting back with drug users, black markets, and crimes will not increase, yet on the other hand Friedman believes it will if we don’t legalize drugs.
One point they really disagree on was the role government has on society. Bennett believes that the government has the” responsibilities to craft and uphold that help educate citizens about right and wrong” (pg.938). In conclusion Bennett believes that government has the right to control drug users than to let it get out of hand.
“But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs.” This is what Friedman believes. To my understanding to this point that he introduce, he believes that government has not right to tell us to do something we are not in favor of. That we have any right to do anything we please as long as we are not affecting our neighbor. He did make this clear.
The main point that they agree on is that drugs have a very bad affect on society. Drugs create black markets, crimes, and addicts. They both have different point on the affect drugs have on society if drugs were to be legalized. The way they feel about the government role on its citizens also differs. After reading this whole argument I feel that their arguments are getting no where. Further in their arguments, they keep on making the same points. At one point I believe that Friedman were contradicting himself. One point I think that he is contradicting himself on page 933 he stated that if drugs were to be legal the inhumane activity would disappear. Yet on page 940, he said, “No doubt also there will be “a black market to undercut the regulated one”. How can one time he said by legalizing drugs there will no more black markets and yet at another time just to argue against Bennett he contradict himself? As for Bennett he stated a lot of points but he has no proof to defend his points. He does not point out any real evidence for the points he made. I agree with Bennett how he feels that the government has the right to regulate in what we do. I disagree with Friedman, how he says that the government should not be in the way of the citizen’s right as long as it is not affecting the society. Using drugs that causes other conflicts does affect our society. Drugs create crimes, drug addicts, and deaths. These issues affect our society greatly.