Prohibition never worked – booze was still available, people were still drinking it, alcoholism was still prevalent. The only difference was that when prohibition was in place, there was a flourishing back market for booze, the treasury lost out on very significant tax revenues and people were unable to get help for their addictions.
The same arguments are now being made for drug use – the argument made in favor of decriminalizing drug use, states that in spite of there being strict laws for punishing drug users and dealers, illegal drugs have not become scarce – rather they are more freely available today.
In fact, the use of drugs such as heroine, which are highly dangerous to health, is increasing largely.
The fact is that criminals make huge amounts of money by smuggling illegal drugs and all the efforts of governments such as crackdowns, have basically been wastes of public money.
The argument in favor of decriminalizing drugs states that even if it is not possible to implement such a policy at once, people shouldn’t be prosecuted for small drug violations such as possession of small amounts of banned substances.
The oft cited example is that Portugal, the country that decriminalized drug use over 10 years ago. Not only does Portugal has the lowest rates of drug addiction of anywhere in Europe, but also the rates of drug addiction are actually falling, as are the prison populations of the country.
Even if one is firmly against legalizing drug use, it has to be admitted that the current system doesn’t work and there is a need to find another way that is based on a more scientific approach and is able to deal with the problem better.