“Have the big pharmaceutical companies produce legal drugs, and minimize the risk of them being instantly or strongly addictive.”
That’s a tricky proposition. For most drugs, the “high” produced, and the addictiveness of the drug are directly linked. I don’t think this is a chemical issue so much as it is a psychological issue, since you see the same phenomenon when the exact same drugs are delivered by methods of varying effectiveness. For example, snorting cocaine is less addictive than smoking cocaine, not because of any chemical difference in the drug, but just because smoking it delivers the drug more effectively to the brain, producing a more immediate and powerful high.
The consumers want the “high”, but if the “high” itself is addictive, regardless of what chemical produces it, then you won’t be able to design a drug that produces a “high” that isn’t addictive. You can produce a drug that is addictive but doesn’t produce much of a high, such as tobacco, or methadone, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
I agree with you that it is tricky. However, as it is, by having turned the production of drugs completely over to the cartels, there is no incentive for them to moderate their product so it is not as addictive. Who, except somebody completely lost to drugs would smoke paint thinner and turpentine, amongst the key ingredients for meth? The cartels are completely happy to turn out instant addictives like crank or crocodile.Crocodile, by the way is so damaging that users can literally watch their arm rot to bone, but users literally cannot stop.
If we did legalize, and regulate drugs, most users would also moderate their use because they would buy it from legal sellers. A few won’t, but the few are lost no matter what we do. We could handle the few hardcore drug users easier, if we weren’t so diffused trying to stop all drugs.