More About Legalizing Drugs
This was inspired by an hysterical antu-legalization rant in the IMDB board for Traffic.
After the end of Prohibition, lots of alcohol dealers took their money and went into legitimate businesses. Some of them created Las Vegas as we know it today. Many of them continued with illegitimate businesses as well, but there was no longer growth in their ranks as there was until 1933. Gang control was a big deal in the 20s and early 30s, but you don't hear much about it in the late 30s through the 60s. Gangs started being a big deal again after the War on Drugs started in 1972.
Legalizing alcohol did not turn us into a nation of alcohol addicted zombies; legalizing drugs will not turn us into a nation of drug addicted zombies. I did many drugs when I was in junior high, but I never did heroin or cocaine, because I knew the truth about those drugs, and I figured I probably couldn't handle them.
So today I might smoke pot once or twice a month if it were legal. I only do alcohol a little more than that anyway. Drug usage might go up or it might stay the same, but it certainly won't produce a nation of zombies. Most people have good sense and know better than to get themselves in deeper than they can handle, even when they are teenagers. A lot of people just don't feel the need to do drugs at all.
Most importantly, when drugs are legalized, the kind of ruination of lives depicted in movies like Traffic will end. People won't get killed, lose their belongings, or become social pariahs just because their spouse or their child or their friend is involved in drugs.
Bad stuff like some of the things depicted in Trainspotting or Requiem For A Dream will probably still happen. Bad stuff happens anyway. But that is exactly why bad stuff won't happen to most people, at least not because of drugs. Because most people don't ever want to even come close to taking the risk of ending up that way.
But at least, for those people who can't handle drugs, when drugs are legalized the social hysteria surrounding them will be gone, and there will be billions of dollars freed up, of which only a tiny fraction will be necessary to treat them if they feel they need it.