IN MARKET economics here.
If the state were a rational actor (note the conditional mood), legislators would take note of the observed phenomenon and conclude, “If we wished to end — and win — the war on drugs, perhaps legalization might be the saner option.”
So much of the current problem being dealing with the massive amounts of cash and consequent power the black market generates with no end in sight, you see…
Wait a minute! How do you “win” in that sequence of events.
Oh. You saw how I palmed that card, didn’t you? Yes. I assume that illegal reducing drug usage is indeed a desideratum of the program and conclude that one may accomplish that in a single stroke by eliminating whole classes of drugs which do no more harm than more ordinary substances.
But what about the ones that do?
Thorny problem, innit? The issue is that you have to actually do some work, which most politicians appear unwilling to approach. That is, one would have to parse the various drugs available and separate them on the basis of their toxicity. Doing so without bias appears difficult and is thus avoided. I prefer to bias my actions toward liberty and therefore would prefer to see more-toxic substances more generally available, rather than those less toxic be banned, thus creating all of the pathologies of black markets, which inevitably follow on governments proscribing things.
And I offer as the basis of a thought experiment the notion that the more-general, legal availability of gentler substances, such as marijuana, might tend to exert market forces toward diminishing demand for and consumption of more deadly ones such as crack and meth, while, at the same time, freeing up large portions of the law enforcement industry for policing those more-toxic substances.
Just a notion.