I've been pleasantly surprised to have a civilised discussion with someone on Facebook. He makes the points that the ban hasn't worked and illegal drugs aren't controlled for quality; if legalised they can be controlled and the tax used for education and medical treatment; drugs have always been around and shouldn't be in the hands of ruthless dealers who will sell to anybody; we should legalise, regulate, educate and tax.
Fair points, well made.
"The PTB have quietly abandoned any serious attempt to tackle the trade over the last 40+ years, partly because they, their pals and sons and daughters indulged themselves, so we don't know what might have happened if they'd got a grip instead.
"And drugs used to be taken in a socially controlled context - e.g. the old men past work sitting under the Tree of Idleness in Kyrenia. Even here not so long ago, pub landlords were supposed to manage drunkenness.
"It's not just the physical harm aspect - alcohol is plenty bad too - though the way drugs get to us also involves harm (perhaps a phial of victim blood should be attached to every baggie, as a reminder?) - it's that with young people, it's like tying their legs together at the start of the hundred-yard dash, so that if and when they're ready to start a career they're years behind their contemporaries. There's lots of youngsters struggling against it - I've known at least one teenage Asian lad (re)turn to Islam in an attempt to get himself off what he called "bud, Bu-ddha"; unfortunately the meditation disc he was given to listen to segued into a Jew-hatred harangue once the trance was well on...
"But there's big money to be made in this, as well as tax, so I expect it can't be stopped.
"People cite Prohibition in the US as though it was a failure - it wasn't (and it didn't forbid drinking alcohol - only commercialising it.). It was repealed because the Depression had set in and the government needed money, plus the brewers and their workers saw an opportunity to better their fortunes."
And now that our government is strapped for cash, here we go. Please, not Mr Branson, though.