Anti-Gnostic writes in the comments on my own site:
It’s not that the War on Drugs creates criminals (other than as a marginal phenomenon). It’s that the War on Drugs puts the trade in the hands of criminals. If drugs were the root cause, college campuses would be filled with the same kinds of violent turf battles, gun fights, beheadings, etc. When was the last time anybody had to risk their life buying marijuana in a criminal ghetto?
The War on Drugs needs to be ended in order to deprive criminals of their funding. Criminals have very few sustainable talents outside of violence and intimidation. We’ve legalized gambling, enabled payday/pawn/title loans, and nobody’s getting kneecapped anymore. We’ve decriminalized alcohol and enacted sunshine laws for municipal government. (We also started handing out municipal contracts to “minorities” instead of guys whose last names end in vowels, but that’s another thread). What are all the guidos doing now? They’re on disability and telling their higher IQ offspring to go into real estate or outside sales, which is a hell of a lot better than beating up shopowners and hijacking trucks.
My main concern would be that legalization might wind up unleashing the full power of American marketing and logistics on selling drugs. Walmart could sell drugs a lot cheaper than drug dealers can.
By way of analogy, in making loansharks more or less obsolete over the last generation, did we unleash the subprime bubble? Angelo Mozilo was a lot better at promoting high interest loans than Rocky Balboa's old boss was.
This need for a legal but semi-crippled market for dangerous drugs doesn't seem like an impossible problem to solve, just a difficult one.