One would have thought the United States of America have learned the lesson of making any recreational drug illegal after the debacle over Prohibition. It was clear from that horrible episode that prohibiting alcohol simply expanded the criminal gang element and put money in the pockets of such as Al Capone. Organized Crime reaped a bonus of unimaginable income and power that has never gone away since. While many of these crime gangs have evolved into semi-legitimate business such as banking, these organized crime businesses are still making huge amounts of income from laws that make even a (formerly) common weed an illegal substance.
Currently, drugs pour hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars into the economy of the underworld and a number of countries who are either not friendly or are being torn internally by the Drug Lords and their economic status which in some cases rivals the very economy of the government of their country.
To this economic ruin to our culture and society let us add the economic price we pay for trying (very, very unsuccessfully) to enforce these ridiculous drug laws. But wait! There's more! The economic ruin brought about by the courts doing what they must do with any law, penalizing wrong-doers, in this case, our fellow humans caught using, selling, transporting, growing, making, and so on, a large number of recreational and addictive drugs. Does this remind us of the days of "bathtub gin" and country whisky stills? Is alcohol any less addictive than these drugs? Is alcohol any less dangerous to our society?
Yes, drugs of the recreational and addictive type are dangerous to the individual. Yes, alcohol use and abuse costs our economy billions. With alcohol we have a heavy tax which returns a sufficient amount to defray the cost to our economy. That is, if it were actually used to help defray the problems alcohol causes. The government, however, simply sucks up the tax money from alcohol and tobacco without returning it in a proper manner to alleviate alcohol and tobacco harm. Money from such taxes is used for many other programs and most particularly to pay government salaries, government benefits to government employees, and many other government needs. Not the needs of the people, the needs of governing. A cycle shown from virtually all tax, fee, or other monetary sources the government can access. Remember Social Security? Absolutely sacrosanct and untouchable? You bet!
Legalize drugs and sell them in a manner similar to alcohol. Lots of taxes to feed the Fat Cats of our government, lots of people hired to inspect, control, and collect on the drugs sold. Safe drugs. Yes I know that sounds like an Oxymoron but certainly safer than the old country stills were when whisky was a backyard business and safer than the Columbian Gold being sold and grown under who knows what circumstances and chemicals. Safer than the "garage meth" currently all over the streets of America. Control? What a joke. Drugs grown under proper supervision, reasonably tested for impurities and graded for strength, drugs produced in clean, inspected laboratories, drugs sold and taxed with the money going to the American People rather than Columbian drug lords is what we need. And NEED is the appropriate word. Let us get this mess under control, release those imprisoned for use of drugs, reduce the sentence for sale of drugs, and get this blight on our society into a cultural controlled situation.
No one needs to lose their job. The current "enforcement" people can be retrained to supervise the production, growth, and sale of these drugs. Some drugs will probably always be so dangerous that they will need license for purchase and that's a good thing. However to try to eradicate a common weed and spend a countries life blood over such a thing must stop.