In part because, as a public school teacher, I know what legalization will bring. The dealers will lose legal-age customers. Oh, Noes! What's an enterprising Scumbag to do?
Move down in age, and target the younger ones - who will NOT be able to partake harmlessly without penalty. You're not cleaning up the problem, you're just moving it to a new demographic.
Raconteur Report agrees - click here to read the perspective of a nurse on this 'victimless crime'.
He may go a little far with the punishments. But, they have to be made severe enough that the prospect of being caught is a deterrent.
No, it's not victimless. The poor kids that grow up in a house with an addict are some of the most wretched victims. Society hasn't the guts to pull them out of there, except for a few. By the time the social workers stop falling for the tearful "I'm going to change my ways, don't take my kids!" line, the kids have been damaged by their parents' crap, and are less likely to be adoptable.
What I think?
Pull them out the first time for 6 months. Return is based on both a clean urine/blood sample AND a job. Not school - a job.
The second time, put them up for adoption. All parental rights severed for good. Do NOT let the grandparents take them - in many cases, they're the ones whose failed parenting contributed to their kid's screwups. With that threat, grandparents will work harder to keep that kid straight.
This all started when Elite, monied, connected parents found their kids were drug users. They could not bring themselves to cut them off from support if they continued using, nor to allow them to face the legal consequences of their acts.
So, they started this 'victimless' idea. They argued for leniency in the courts, publicly-paid-for rehab centers (more like hospitals, really, with amenities and soft-spoken people to tell the addict that it wasn't his fault), and misdemeanor status for first offenses (and further offenses), or 'only a user, not a dealer' offenders.
It largely worked - for them. They kept their kid out of the system, managed to use their money to deal with the health, legal, and addiction problems, and often managed to get little Courtney or Kurt back on track eventually.
For the less wealthy, less connected, it was a disaster. For them, for their families, for their neighborhood. They used in public, had to deal to afford their own drugs, and screwed up their own, formerly stable, but poor, neighborhoods. Multiple generations were screwed up, intellectually, academically, culturally, morally, and religiously. Those are the kids that are scoring at the bottom of the scale, often turning to drugs themselves, and often sexually exploited by the lowlifes coming and going from their homes, or others in their neighborhood who took advantage of their parentless situation.
Today's addicts? More of them are now driven by doctor-facilitated pain meds, then refusal to prescribe more, because "you'll get addicted'.
Get addicted? They ARE addicted. And, it's the medical establishment, AND the drug companies that profited from their addictions, that has a responsibility - morally and legally - to clean up the mess they made.
One year of serious addiction treatment for any addict that wants it, including clearing up their legal messes, as much as can be done.
After that carrot, the stick. jail time - 2-5 years, NOT to be forgone because of expensive lawyers or another round of treatment. Yes, they will have a record. After 5 years of clean living on the outside, they can apply to have it wiped out, and restore their voting rights, ability to work around kids, etc.
That 'clean living' thing? Includes alcohol use, ANY further rehab visits, and any violent crime.
Second time, they're incarcerated for a decade or more.
Third time, life.
It's tough love, guys. It's the only thing that's worked. Consequences, no acceptance of their B$, and a willingness to have them face the mess they've made of their lives, and the people they've hurt.