Those using the experience of Prohibition to bolster legalization arguments usually misrepresent the actual history. Violent crime committed by organized crime hardly “disappeared” after Prohibition ended. The deaths of Bugsy Siegel, Sam Giancana, and Jimmy Hoffa all are examples of mob murders after 1933. The degree violence did decline was as much due to lucky Luciano establishing the Commission in 1931, two years BEFORE Prohibition ended, then the end of the ban on booze. By giving all bosses an equal say friction between factions decreased.
After 1933 the mob turned to other rackets to make even more money than they did during the 1920s. Unions and gambling were two big favorites. Where will the drug cartels turn their attention when drugs are legalized?
Another overlooked reality is that the consumption of liquor was never illegal during Prohibition. Only production, distribution, and selling of booze was a crime. America was part of a history of alcohol consumption that was thousands of years old. No such tradition of drug use exists. At best we can go back one hundred years in this country, though in reality it's been about half that time that people have been indulging in large numbers.
In 1933 the nation was a country with a more homogeneous population, with intact families and social morays that worked against rampant alcohol abuse, though of course problems existed as they always had. No such factors are in play today. Drug use will expand, and the cost to treat addicts will rise.
The experiences of other countries where drugs have been “legalized” is also often not accurately reported. Spain and Italy has legalized the use of cocaine and heroin. Those two nations have the highest rates of both drug use and overdose of all European countries. In Great Britain, methadone programs have been found to be ineffective. Going back even further in time, one can look at China, where by 1900 ninety million people were addicted.
I am sympathetic to the idea of legalized drugs, but at the same time I strongly maintain that such a move will not magically solve all drug related problems. Worse, it will hasten the drive for socialism as more addicts, particularly those of protected groups, will need a “stronger safety net.”
Be careful what you wish for. It may not turn out exactly how you imagined it.
-—I am sympathetic to the idea of legalized drugs, but at the same time I strongly maintain that such a move will not magically solve all drug related problems——
There are pluses and minuses that reasonable people can disagree over. Overall, I think decriminalization is preferable. Intelligent debate is difficult, because people on both sides tend to dismiss reasonable counter-arguments.