Of course there would be negative effects, but they would be small and not significantly different than they are now. The police could concentrate of minor using, and HAMMERING those selling or distributing to minors. Why would anyone have a reason to sell dope themselves, if it is legal for adults to buy. Once upon a time, people had stills in the hills, making moonshine. When prohibition ended, the stills went the way of the dinosaur, except for those making “shine” for themselves or friends. There was no profit in it, and the store products were superior.
Can the costs be compared at a societal level? And at a personal level?
I grossed $155,000 last year. $72,000 went to government at all levels on my behalf in 2010. I then got almost a $5G refund for a net of $67G, leaving me with $88G.
Now of that $67,000 which went to the government, how much went for the war on drugs? Police, courts, prisons, etc? I don’t know. But suppose it was 5,000 of the 67,000. (Certainly it was less than went to Entitlements, defense, education and ???).
The question is, would my life be better off If I had 88+5=93G to spend or invest rather than 88G? And would I be allowed to see that extra 5G or would it be swallowed up by some other government program leaving me with no more than before?
And on the other side, would my life and property be more at risk if druggies could now get their drugs legally? Would they be more or less likely to burglarize my house and car? Would they be more or less likely to endanger me driving under the influence?
And on the 3rd side, what would we do with all those extra police officers? Social Workers? Prison Guards? Would they have to find other jobs?