In my society ( America ) we have been living under the "war on drugs" for close to thirty years now... a war that targets the poor and sick while mostly ignoring the trail of money that leads to people who do not fall under the same scrutiny that most Americans do in the legal system today. Most people feel the drug boogy man if allowed to be legalized would hurt the country, leading to more people using drugs and falling out of society... but I feel it is the cost of drugs themselves, created by the black market, that leads to most of the violent crime that occurs in the drug world.
Many people I know are currently serving jail terms for possession of drugs. These people for the most part are no violent and were simply found with the substance in their vehicle... most of the mare repeat offenders and it is why they are in jail. A person wishing to use these substances is often described by doctors as self medicating.. and with the medical system the way it is.. where the costs are so high.. who can blame them?
Is the answer to put these people into boxes close the door and expose them to the horrors of prison?
A system I see working is one where drugs are legal, people buy them from stores... if they drive while intoxicated them much like alcohol they will be penalized under the law. Also like alcohol the user cannot use the substance in pubilc. If people wish to purchase a drug, drive home with it sealed, and then use it in their house they are simply hurting themselves.. maybe. Some drug use's harm is actually minimal, mainly marijuana. Those who wish to use a drug should have the right to, the same way someone who wishes to indulge in fatty foods can, or someone who does not wish to exercise.
When we get into the business of saying people cannot do things which could possibly harm themselves we go down a slippery slope. Already there are moves to control the food we eat... with new health care coverage it could be in the future that the government also has more of a role in deciding how you should treat your body. America seems so up on the idea of freedom, and freedom includes making choices that may be harmful. Removing choice is not true freedom, and frankly people still use drugs and have no matter what the penalty. Countries where heroin possession is punishable by death still have heroin addicts... even with the most supreme penalties people are still going to do these things.. by not legalizing them we create a black market, inflate the prices, force addicts to become poor to support their habit, clutter jails with non violent drug offenders, and do not get any revenue in terms of taxation.
If drugs were legal the taxes would pay for the treatment and more. When people wanted to come off of them they could, when people wanted to stay on them they also could without having to throw away financial responsibility. Me personally, I have found that opiates improve my quality of life. They make me feel well, help with pain, and help with constant acidic bowl movements that I have had since my gull bladder removal 10 years ago. Doctors are not willing to readily give out these drugs like people think. The government has cracked down on the drugs quite a bit and even some cancer patients have trouble getting the drugs. Ladanum and other opiates were sold over the counters in America, and the rates of addiction have grown since they were taken off, not declined.
The last advantage of the legalization of drugs would be purity control. Many substances on the black market are " you have no idea what you are getting" type things. Users have no clue what the substance is "cut" with, and have no idea of the potency of the drug. This is what leads to overdose. An addict who is used to taking 2 pills of his normal heroin which is 50% pure, gets a 90% pure batch and takes the same dose resulting in overdose. Manufacture in a control environment would eliminate this issue, yes people would still overdose but I feel those people will still overdose legal or illegal... I think the rate of overdose would be far less.
"BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!". Parents: would you rather have your children drink their first beer, which is regulated, controlled.. you know what is in it... from the liquor store down the street... OR would you rather have little Timmy drinking the beer I made in my bathtub and then shipped across the country. Little Timmy is going to try the beer no matter what you do, little Alice if she wants is going to try that heroin, or that marijuana.. the key here is HARM REDUCTION, not " well lets make it illegal and bury our heads in the sand".
Will this even happen.. no. Too many assholes like this one rule public opinion: