I thought everyone was responsible for their actions when intoxicated, hence the harsh penalties of DUIs, and the police gunning down crackheads that are even slightly buzzed out, even though PCP (the drug that turns people into naked violent super-monsters) has been out of favor for decades.
But if we did allow for recreational cocaine products and heroin products, we could regulate them. Make sure they were clean under the FDA, require warnings as per smoking and clearly visible addiction treatment vectors.
Part of the problem has been our treatment of addicts as pariah ever since the Reagan administration. I remember the transition of attitude in the early 80s when we started practicing zero tolerance, and users that wanted to be rehabilitated were driven underground.
Excessive recreational drug use is invariably self-medication, and yes, we have a long history of using drugs to cope with stress, and then the society allowing for elevated stress to match the tolerance, hence our illusion that two adults can work full time (each!) and raise a healthy family and sustain a home and still have time for recreation. No. They can't.
In fact, I wondered about that, and I wonder if it's possible for the courts to issue a special dispensation license for small amounts of contraband: the stuff that gets away.
Is there any contraband out there in which a small amount that is decriminalized by such a dispensation will make a critical amount of difference (say, a few kilos of plutonium)?
On the other hand this could set up a situation where law enforcement officers intentionally do illegal searches to willfully create decriminalized drugs, for a share of the take. But that smacks of cops selling drugs and guns out of the precinct backdoors, which is done anyway.
Considering our ridiculous conviction rate in the US, why would you consider an acquittal or a conviction by US courts to be any indicator of anything, except maybe whether or not a suspect has friends in the courts?
Would you trust the acquittal of a police officer charged for the murder of a suspect on the field?
The dependence of trickery (rather than ironclad evidence) to convict more demonstrates how the prosecution is less interested in seeing justice done, and more interested in packing penal facilities with bodies.
So yeah, my statement still stands: since there is considerable cause to doubt conviction assures actual guilt, all our prisoners convicted by our justice system are in fact political prisoners, convicted because someone doesn't like them, or they just got unlucky.
Sure, some are guilty, but we haven't determined that at all through the US system of justice, and now we may never be able to make that determination.