There may be some heavy duty drugs that should not be on the street at all, but for the most part what we need to do is take away the criminal punishment for just having on one's person a small amount of an innocuous drug such as pot and concentrate on regulation.
Alcohol is a much more pervasive drug that produces a substantial amount of violence, but we as Americans refuse to have it criminalized. We spend an extraordinary amount of money and resources to supposedly keep people from hurting themselves. We find ourselves squashing the liberties of law abiding individuals and criminally prosecuting people for taking substances we deem "inappropriate for society". Evidence supports the notion that drug use would not extraordinarily increase with decriminalization, but violence and the cost of law enforcement would decrease substantially.
People should be held accountable based on what they do on drugs, not for simply possessing or using them. And for those on the "No" side, decriminalization =/= legalization. Learn the difference. I am however, in favor of legalization because making it illegal creates a black market that allows gangs and cartels to profit off and become stronger. Prohibition does not work.
Those against drug possession simply don't understand what other options are available and their benefits.
Not only should drugs be decriminalized but they should be legalized and monitored by the government. The reason America has a drug problem (and many other problems associated with the drug business) is because of their illegality. We allow foreign, and even domestic, groups to abuse people. They will always find ways to get drugs into the country but if the US were to legalize and allow the sale of harder drugs then we will at least control the flow of drug trafficking. This will reduce gang activity (who survive off drug incomes), violent crimes, and, most importantly, deaths. Improperly cut drugs are almost always responsible for people dying or becoming violent. The US, in creating stable and undiluted, drugs can do two things. First, they can monitor those who have drug problems and provide support. Second, they can stop these backyard chemists designing all sorts of new terrors.
Obviously all of this would need to be heavily monitored, and even controlled for the much harder substances, but with proper planning and funding we could generate profits while reducing crime and poverty.
All it does is lock people in prison for years for something that they're doing to their own bodies. We're basically spending millions of taxpayer dollars every year finding, charging, and housing millions of non-violent offenders.
Look at all the harm that tobacco and alcohol does, yet both of them are perfectly legal. It seems to me to be crazy to have those two legal and be putting people in prison for ten and twenty years for things that aren't that much more serious.
Decriminalizing drug possession would be akin to opening Pandora's box. Though voters have made marijuana legal in some states, there are far more harmful drugs that should never be on the ballot. For example, heroin and cocaine are highly addictive and dangerous drugs. The production of these drugs has corrupted many countries in South America as well as the Middle East. While some people argue that decriminalizing drugs forces more oversight on the production side, it also would make them more accessible. Our society would nose-dive if these drugs were easy for anyone to obtain.
Why the hell would anyone think this is a good idea? Drugs are harmful! Sure, marijuana has been proven not to be, but what about heroin, cocaine, LSD, and all of that other awful stuff? If it's suddenly legal to have any of the stuff that is very harmful and very illegal, what's going to happen? A lot of problems. This is easily one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard, congratulations.