To me, it seems more like a form of tyranny where people are imprisoned for no good reason. The marijuana example seems to be an excellent one. Pot-heads don't run around robbing, raping and murdering. They're pretty harmless.
The ones you know. I can say that knowing a wide range of them that some do, and their actions support other such crimes even if they don't do them directly. And the idea that there's no long term detrimental effect? I can also say that knowing a wide range of them, that's complete BS. I'm not one that's against legalization- heck, the legalization and regulation of 'recreational drugs' would be the biggest blow the so-called War on Drugs could achieve. Just look at the end of prohibition for an example. But I'm under no illusions that weed is any better (or any worse) than any other drug. It's the use of them that causes the problem.
I can certainly appreciate that any drug is destructive in one way or another. I should have compared pot to speed or heroin there. That would have been a better example.
However, that's neither here nor there.
I know that pot is certainly better to use than a lot of other drugs. Heroin, meth, coke and a few others are simply far worse in every way imaginable. I've watched people's lives be ruined by heroin. (I've also seen people that have managed heroin and emerged from it.) But really, if we want to be purely objective, alcohol causes more damage than pot or acid (or psilocybin, etc.).
Coke, crack, meth, heroin and others like those -- they are the drugs that are simply so purely destructive that they just can't be used (by most people). I qualify that because there is a very, very small portion of the population that can actually use (not ABuse) those kinds of drugs and not have any serious problems. I know that I'm not one of those people.
I certainly wouldn't group pot and heroin in the same class though. They are worlds apart.
I think you're right about legalization being the best thing that the war on drugs could do.
Wow. This is really way off track now~!