The fact is that illegal drug users quickly become inured to an anti-social lifestyle, which makes them more likely to engage in criminal behavior and less likely to seek effective solutions to their problems.
I can understand the desire of those in society not to want to legitimize drug use, but those same people should accept that they are driving away many who could be saved from "hitting bottom."
I have spent years working with alcoholics and drug addicts. None ever stop drinking or using until it stops working. Most don't stop then.
There's no difference in that regard between illegal and legal drugs. It's a chimera to think that we could suddenly bring drug users into the light with legalization.
The problem is simple, most alcoholics and drug users DON'T WANT TO STOP USING. What they want most is keep using without the consequences. And they have great abilities to convince themselves that this time, it will be different--no consequences. It has absolutely nothing to do with legal or illegal. Drug users are not stupid. None of them think they will be thrown in jail for seeking treatment. The fact is, most don't want treatment.
And, legalization just doesn't change that the tiniest little bit. It may even defer the time they have to stop. My observation is that alcoholics come into treatment older than illegal drug users. That may be that alcohol takes longer to do it's job. But it may be that the illegality of drugs creates have-to-stop situations faster.
Uhh, going to jail qualifies as "hitting bottom".
many who could be saved from “hitting bottom.”