I'd take a legal and regulated enterprise over an underground and unregulated any day. I too used to think that legalization will only lead to more drug problems, until I realized I wasn't looking at the big picture- a war that is being lost, a legal system that targets the innocent, these certainly have got to go.
The only ground I can think of to argue that its a bad idea is that we've grown used to the current system and possession of small amounts are often unenforced by local police, and that trying to undo the damage of so many decades may be futile.
It is becoming more and more apparent that the majority of all drugs negative effects have been severely dramatized and that current research and experience have clearly over stated the dangers associated with a vast majority of drugs. Here is a list of a few drugs and the supporting research for each. Not all drugs or research are posted.....
Marijuana: Once shown to cause insanity, lack of ones ability to control themselves, a gateway drug and much more ( for example http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/the-harmful-effects.html) . Now research/experience state otherwise (example here http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2012-11#)
Crack/cocaine: Was largely over demonized by the anti drug hype of the 80s and was claimed to be one of the most addicting substances in existence. Here's a newer study that shows otherwise : http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2013/11/04/everything-youve-heard-about-crack-and-meth-is-wrong/
Methamphetamine: Widely viewed as the worse of the worse," Most addicting, destructive, make you do all sorts of horrible things " drug out there. While allot of research, experience, and hindsight do show that these negative consequences can occur, there is also a surprisingly large amount of this drug being prescribed to treat ADD, ADHD, sleep disorders and obesity. Though many of the drugs are not "Methamphetamine" they are however "Amphetamines" and there are FDA approved, prescribed "pure methamphetamine (relatively speaking pure)" medications that exist today (such as Methodise and Desk's). Here's a post addressing some of these things as well as talking on the study performed (possibly the same as the Crack study but ill post it anyway) http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/methamphetamine-facts
Ecstasy: Again said to be a horrible and dangerous drug. Can kill on first try and just as meth causes permanent brain damage. Again, a study suggesting otherwise : http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/feb/19/ecstasy-harm-brain-new-study
My point being, most of the "facts" about drugs are not fact, on the contrary over dramatized hype to create fear in the population and are backed by evidence and studies that were either flawed or entered into with a predetermined opinion on the studied substance. The media and government agencies did such a well job of this that even today it is accepted as a fact that Meth, crack, Heroin, etc are all proven to be extremely fatal even from the first use, while studies now are showing otherwise. This in itself is a good reason to allow study and further research into these chemicals.
Point 2, A majority of drug related prosecutions are entirely possession based meaning no other crime was being committed other than possessing the drug in the first place. Though this contradicts that idea that for a crime to be committed there must be a victim i must sadly say that this is the world we live in today.
Point 3, Prohibition hurts the economy and the population. It hurts the economy by putting a strain on funds that could be used in other places than fighting drugs, incarceration, etc. It also eliminates all possibility of a tax or licensing system to be implemented to create revenue.
It's a waste of taxpayer dollars to arrest, try and convict people who are doing nothing more than growing a certain kind of plant that the government doesn't approve of. This manpower would be better spent on going after violent criminals, such as murderers, rapists, carjackers, child molesters, etc. I say if there's no victim, it's not a crime.
As many other voters have said, organized crime would drop, because a major source of income (money=influence) for gang leaders comes from drug sales. Honestly, it's a perfect business for them: once you get hooked, you stay hooked, and there's no competition from companies.
In addition to organized crime losing, at least in part, its steady grip on our cities, drug users will be safer. They can get the help they need without being criminalized at the same time. Those people deserve that help.
If you're a psychopath who cares only about money (Patrick Bateman?) then legalizing drugs will create new products and new competition, which stimulate the economy. As I said earlier, the gang leaders get money from drugs, so you can do the same.
Prison rates will go down, saving even more money as it costs a lot to keep men locked up, guarded, and fed, as it seems. Less people will be imprisoned and a lot of imprisoned men will be released (who were arrested for drug use.)
Legalization of drugs is very controversial topic. However, I see a lot of advantages of legalization. Firstly, it would be easier for government coordinate and regulate drug business. Moreover, this trade could make considerable amount of money. Secondly, It would be easier to destroy organized crime, because organized crime groups and their business is directly connected with drugs. Last but not least, thank of government regulations, drugs would be high quality without any additional substances.
Easier regulation, much more income over time, empty the jail cells of all the non-violent criminals, and honestly, who's to tell us what a "good" life is and what a "bad" life is? Doing drugs may not be YOUR thing that pleases you, but it just might be to another individual. First off, what person do you know right now that as soon as all drugs are legalized, will go out and OD asap? Probably none... And secondly, what drug user do you know that actually follows laws??
If we were to legalize and tax drugs then we would see a decrease in violent drug related crimes. We would also see an increase in tax revenue across the board. This is why I think it would be very beneficial to legalize drugs and for us to start taxing drug sales.
Just because they are legal, doesn't mean more people will use them. All that legalizing the drugs would do would make them more controlled and safer. Instead of spending so much money on throwing people in jail for drug offenses we could be putting that money toward drug education. People are going to get their drugs whether or not they are legal. Making them legal will just make the drugs safer. It's not like if they were legal they would be free. It simply doesn't make sense to keep them illegal when the US could make millions of dollars taxing them.
If the government allowed for drugs to be legal than it would be easier to regulate the drugs and they could even make money. Right now the government is wasting tons of money to try and prevent these substances from getting into the country and are not really making a dent. If they legalize it than it would improve on both sides.
If the legalization of drugs were to ever happen we might as well quit trying to live now. It is like Marijuana is legal now in Washington and Colorado but the tax amount on it is so high that it is double to triple the amount of street prices . How many people do you think are breaking the law now to get high. Make the government pay for treatment programs and help these people . It would save the nation billions of dollars every year as apposed to sending them to jail. Think smarter not harder.
The last thing this country needs are illegal drugs, such as cocaine, meth, etc, to become legalized. These drugs cause enough problems as it is, not to mention have ruined lives, so personally, I feel these drugs becoming legal one day, could only lead to more and more problems down the road.