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Failure of War on Drugs

He relies on the audience's sense of values (that it is undesirable to be in a drugged state, that selling and using drugs are crimes and crime is undesirable, that corruption of public officials is undesirable), but he carefully avoids the contrary value---that the legalization of drugs flies in the face of the moral code of the nation. These general and specific weaknesses and failings in Carter's argument make it unlikely that he has persuaded many readers to favor legalization.

Carter's argument that the illegality of drugs and the accompanying "war" on drugs leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials is typical of the essay in terms of both its effectiveness and its fallacies:

Al Capone would have been proud of the latitude that bootleggers were able to buy with their payoffs of constables, deputies, police chiefs, and sheriffs across the state. But . . . Prohibition-era corruption . . . was penny ante stuff compared with what is happening in the United States today. From Brooklyn police precincts to Miami's police stations to rural Georgia courthouses, . . . sheriffs, other policemen, and now judges are being bought up by the gross (9).

Worse, drug money "is also buying up banks, legitimate businesses and, to the south of us, entire government


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Failure of War on Drugs. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:28, October 24, 2014, from
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