I know in South Africa one of my main complaints is that our violent crime rate is massive and yet so much resource is spent on curbing drug usage. In fact helicopters are used to burn the weed plantations in the hills of Lesotho and KZN. This seems silly to me since not only is it a waste of police resources but often it is the only income the people there have. It should be legal and taxed because many poorer nations could make a fortune legally supplying good quality regulated substances.
We do have an interesting situation here at the moment though where some people have been crushing up anti-retroviral HIV meds, mixing them with amphetamines and getting wasted. Its called Wunga and is at least partially legal but has been implicated in a string of execution style family murders in rural KZN.
i've seen plenty of heroin addicts in my short life, who became no more than a shadow of a human being- animals who would do anything -ANYTHING - for another dose.
i've also seen people's brains turn to mush, their memory completely erased because of marijuana. i personally stopped smoking pot because i realized my memory was beginning to get damadged. people don't realize the price they're paying in exchange for a good time, and wake up when it's already too late.
HOWEVER, when presented with the question of legality, i think what most people actually think of is- "should there be no more drugs in the world?" we outlaw things in the hope they will cease to exist.
if that were true, i would be in favor. but that's not the case. outlawing something has nothing to do with extrerminating it from existance. actually- in most cases it makes it worse. turning a blind eye to things we don't like only makes them grow,and fall under the management of criminals.
drugs should be legal.
Huge taxes would increase illegal sales. That has been a conundrum with North American cigarettes for decades. Tobacco companies conveniently "lose" entire shipments of cigarettes, which then end up on native reserves being sold tax-free for a quarter of the 'approved' market value.
Taxes also never discouraged poor people from smoking cigarettes. In fact as awareness and taxes were going up, it's the educated and financially well-to-do who reduced their smoking, not the poor.