Re: @tim worstall @tapeador
Locking up people for what is basically the equivalent of being a bootlegger in the 30's (often selling substances that are perceptibly less harmful) or a speakeasy customer is not a good societal choice. It is expensive, it destroys families and communities and it makes rehabilitation and proper care difficult, since the problem one has is basically illegal.
The problem with drugs legislation is that it attempts to solve a medical problem (abuse and addiction) with legal means (repression and incarceration, sometimes for very long periods).
This is not the right solution, drugs should be legalized and controlled by the state. If someone wants to get high, let them do so. As long as they don't hurt anyone in the process, where is the problem? If they do start hurting people in the process (i.e, driving while intoxicated, acting unsociably) that is a different story and can be dealt with separately.
Money from drug sales would be better spent helping to educate people on the risks and benefits and helping some other people overcome their addiction issues with professional, medical help. Giving 500 billion USD to drug cartels is just stupid. The whole mess could be solved rather quickly (or at least brought under control) by legalizing, taxing and controlling drug use. There are multitudes of evidence that support these statements, just look at places like Colorado, Holland, Switzerland, and Portugual (and even the UK, which dabbled with legalised heroin programs for a while).