Recreational users of marijuana and psychedelic drugs generally pose no threat to society as long as they are using the drug in a controlled manner (i.E., not driving while intoxicated, not causing disorderly conduct). Drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines are extremely addictive and dangerous. However, I do not believe that making them illegal and prosecuting the war on drugs has made them any less so. I see it it as logically incongruous that a heroin addict is a criminal whereas an alcoholic is simply a sick person.
The amount of public treasure that is being used to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate people who are users of drugs is immense and completely wasted as long as these people are nonviolent ( and if they were violent, then we would be prosecuting them for violence, not drug use). I would rather see this money spent on treatment programs for drug addiction, education, healthcare, environmental protection and yes, even national defense.
To be completely clear, I am not excusing any criminal behavior that occurs under the influence of drugs (which is no different than how we currently deal with drunk driving or drunken brawling). I am also not condoning the use of any drugs. I am simply realistic enough to know that, along with gambling and prostitution, drug use will always exist in certain elements of human society. We need to be pickier about whom we pay to arrest and incarcerate.
One of the major arguments behind certain substances being illegalized is their purported deleterious health effects, despite medical data flat out stating that Psilocybin, LSD, and Marijuana are both less addictive and less physically harmful than legal alcohol and tobacco/nicotine. Additionally, these drugs are largely produced locally, and not by criminal cartels, unlike substances like Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine. However, enforcement of the criminal laws we have in place targets mainly users of Marijuana, who make up more around 50% of the 1.5 million drug arrests each year. Marijuana prosecution in particular has been a pointed threat to American privacy in the home, with many police using questionable methods to obtain search warrants such as tracking the sale of gardening supplies, using unreliable thermal imaging, and employing "snitches" in the form of transportation employees (like UPS workers) and ex-convicts or criminals. Ultimately, the illegality of substances gives more power to drug cartels by artificially raising their pricing, and makes the organizations associated with the selling of harder drugs (like the cartels) more likely to be involved in criminal acts as they are already outside the bounds of the law. In short: anyone with smidgen of logic and reason would see what a waste of time and effort the US war on drugs is, and the injustice it perpetuates on people whose only crime was the pursuit of happiness, in their own way.
The war on drugs is nothing more than an excuse for the United States to forward their imperialistic policies. It doesn't take much knowledge to come to the conclusion that in order to reduce the usage of drugs within a nation one should focus on consumption, not production. The United States solely focuses on production.
Just as mentioned in previous comments, every day we choose to do what we decide is best for us. Sometimes to do those things, we calculate the risks of what it might do to us in the short and long term. The fact that alcohol and cigarettes are legal yet a substance like marijuana, which is otherwise benign to the human body, is not, would mean that resources are being expended at a high rate to douse a non existent fire. The reason the war on drugs is failing is because things like meth amphetamine which is legitimately ruining lives is being compared to marijuana. We need to stop worrying about a few people getting the munchies and start worrying about the people selling sex to feed an addiction. Marijuana is no more of a drug than alcohol but is classed as a life destroying substance and this using up the time, money and other resources that could be used to get rid of real problems in the drug world like opiates, amphetamines and others.
I don't argue that recreational drug use is a good idea, but cigarettes and alcohol aren't either. Unprotected sex isn't good. Eating unhealthily isn't good. But all of them have some appeal to them- the user must think the risk is worth whatever they're getting out of it. Why should the government tell us that we can't risk our own health? We already do so every day by driving cars, eating candy bars, and numerous other activities that are not illegal but pose some sort of danger. We should be allowed to do what we want, so long as we are not harming others. Regulation may help to prevent this in the case of drugs. Maybe it would even boost the economy.
The war on drugs has been a miserable failure. They do not have the resources to stop the traffic of drugs. For every drug bust there are five more drug dealers that pop up. The system is a waste of money and it is backwards. Drugs should be legalized so we do not have to go through this pathetic government failure.
Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is one way to ease the burden of the war on drugs. Instead, we should find ways to fight illegal meth production and a huge prescription medication black market. There needs to be more of a focus on rehab those addicted to meth and prescription pain pills in addition to preventing those drugs from taking hold in the first place.
Nobody contests that drug addiction continues to be one of the major social problems facing the United States: methamphetamine use plagues many areas of the country, and heroin use is on the rise. The main substance that opponents of the war on drugs cite as proof of its failure is marijuana: not only is the possession of marijuana one of the least vigorously prosecuted drug crimes, but its legalization has shown zero positive effect on crime rates and it continues to be indicted in various crimes as a gateway drug. The opposition to the war on drugs seems to consist of 'marijuana is less bad than some other stuff.'