Public Order Crimes
The U.S. government spends approximately $30 billion every year for drug enforcement. Over the last twenty years of the twentieth century it spent about $500 billion, money that could have been spent on many domestic programs. The government's success in its "War on Drugs" was quite limited, since a plentiful supply of illegal drugs was still available in 2004.
Proponents of drug legalization argue that banning drugs just creates a large network of manufacturers, traffickers, and distributors, all making enormous profits at the expense of U.S. citizens. They argue that the legalization of drugs, then regulating their distribution and sales by the government, is a much wiser approach.
Opponents argue there is evidence in other countries, such as Iran and Thailand, that cheap, available drugs produce an epidemic of drug dependent people whom the government must then care of. Some propose partial legalization, allowing the sale of small quantities of marijuana, as another option. The legalization of drugs in the United States is not likely in the near future since most Americans reject the idea.