"I challenge you: Name for me a single government program which has accomplished its intended objectives, rather than the opposite... which has not done more harm than good." ~Milton Friedman
The war on drugs has been such an unmitigated cluster-fuck that it can only be tackled in chunks, so we begin with the greatest drug of all time… C2H5OH, aka “Mr. Walker’s Amber Restorative” aka… Alcohol… Yes, alcohol is a drug; official side effects include: mysterious bruises, headaches, crime, vomiting, adventurous sexual exploits, and the best Goddamn stories of your life.
Think of alcohol as reversion therapy… The more you drink, the younger you act: The first couple rounds turn you into a chatty teenager; a few more and you're a giggly 12-year-old. Then, before you know it, you're naked, rolling around on the ground, covered in your own piss and shit, babbling like an infant (and for fucks sake, whatever you do, don't drink yourself to pre-birth or you'll experience what's known as "dying of alcohol poisoning").
However… for the sake of argument, let's imagine you somehow disagree with that glowing review. If booze really is, as Dr. Simpson called it, "The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems." What should be done? Would the Government simply passing a law to officially ban alcohol make things better or worse?...
Thankfully, there's no need to speculate... many, many years ago, a number of douchebags met in a big marble building, got some nice-ass paper and decreed: No one in America shall drink of the devil’s brew ever again... And because the Government has magical powers, it worked swimmingly and everyone lived happily ever after...
Prohibition was supposed to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America... Hilarious. Instead: Murders skyrocketed, prisons filled up, and Budweiser was replaced by Scarface and his Tommy Gun wielding band of recently unemployed bouncers (who surprisingly didn’t pay taxes at the full corporate rate… or at all).
United States murder rate (Cato Institute). Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933:
As for “Improved health and hygiene”… (Assuming you don’t count “being murdered by a gangster” as an official health effect)
Total expenditures on distilled spirits as a percentage of total alcohol sales:
former light drinkers pussies who simply abstained altogether during prohibition lost the proven health benefits of a daily glass of wine. Whereas heavy drinkers kept right on pounding the sauce, but switched almost entirely to hard liquor.
Now in case you haven’t heard… a shot of backwoods White Lighting -- distilled in stolen barrels by a guy who has literally never owed a pair of shoes -- is worse for you than a Corona. No one's ever drank themselves to death on Woodchuck.
At this point you might be saying "Yeah but... at least people drank less, that’s something." Well, -- and this is actually the most important lesson to come out of prohibition -- they really didn't. The Government told Americans to stop drinking, and Americans told the Government to go fuck itself.
Per capita consumption of alcoholic beverages (measured in gallons of pure alcohol):
Prohibition wasn't some "noble experiment" as is often proclaimed by bow-tied douchebags who yearn to suck the Government's cock. It got people killed, it ruined lives, and worst of all, it laid down the precedent that you're not a sovereign individual... Your body’s not really “yours”, the Government co-owns it and has a say in how it's run. Once you agree to that, there's nothing they can't do.
Prohibition didn't just hurt people, it failed miserably. Why?... For the same reason every prohibition will always fail... straight economics. Supply and demand. If there's a demand for booze and you reduce its supply, something very simple happens... its price increases, profits raise, and those large profits entice new firms into the market. The tighter you crack down on the supply, the more profitable breaking the law becomes. That's why no "war on drugs" can ever be "won", the harder you fight it, the more profitable you make it. You can't save people from themselves by force... Everyone should have learned that a long time ago.