Should Drugs Be Legalised Article

1 January 2017

Juliette Hughes wrote an article for The Age newspaper about how she thinks drugs should be legalised. She used many different sorts of metalanguage techniques such as using expert’s opinion, appealing to people’s self-interest etc. Hughes is an ethicist; her point of view is from an ethical standpoint. Hughes used examples from history and scientific experiment. The intended audience is a mature audience, who are open minded about the legalisation of drugs. Hughes starts off by talking about cannabis and the effect it has. This leads to talking about drug users being criminalised and how she opposes.

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Hughes writes “whether we approve of the activity or not, it is not ethical to punish people for what they do to themselves. ” She is appealing to self-interest; it is making the reader think if they were punished for something that they choose to do to themselves. Hughes uses an appeal to hip pocket when she uses the example from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime have estimated the global drug trade is $US321 billion, she states that it will be a saving on money and social capital could be directed towards rehabilitation and support for families who are also affected by substance abuse.

She appeals to parents when she writes “Banning something only makes vulnerable young rebels think it’s cool” implying that the youth may be more attracted to forbidden fruit if it made them look more cool. She uses a historic example from when the US banned alcohol from 1920 to 1933, she explains how having prohibition only criminalised most of the population and entrench organise crime. She uses scientific experiments to support her point.

She uses a study done in 2005 by Dutch scientists which was published in the British Medical Journal, which showed that prescribing heroin made everyone win. She appeals to community values when she explains that the research shows the users had a better quality life and the community benefited from reduced crime. Hughes uses formal language throughout the article, using words such as “oxymoronic nexus. ” This adds to the point of view that Hughes is trying to get across.

Using formal language shows how serious she is about the topic and adds to the tone of the article which is serious and sophisticated. She does a small part of a rebuttal when she mentions drugs being used in sports, she writes “it is cheating and should be stopped. ” In conclusion, Juliette Hughes used a wide variety of metalanguage. Using appeals, historic examples, scientific examples and formal language, she was able to effectively get her point of view across to her intended audience.

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