I highly recommend this article on the history of the war on drugs, why it is wrong, and what we can do differently.
So, Leigh noticed all this and started to think: Well, I went into this in order to bankrupt the drug gangs. What she realizes is that the drug war actually transfers this whole industry to the drug gangs. It’s what keeps them in business; they depend on it. They’re depending on it so much that at the start of the drug war, they actually bribed the narcotics agents to introduce it, as I explain in the book.
So she said that if you genuinely want to bankrupt the drug gangs, what you have to do is go back to where we were earlier in the 20th century and where many countries have gone, like Switzerland, and take the trade out of the hands of armed criminal gangs and give it to doctors and pharmacists instead. By the way, that does not mean a crack aisle in CVS. No one wants that — legalization has a very different meaning. It’s very important to understand what the kind of legalization that people like Leigh and people in Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are in favor of actually means.
What we have at the moment is anarchy: unknown criminals selling unknown chemicals to unknown users, all in the dark. Legalization is a process for extending regulation to this currently anarchic situation. That means different things for different drugs, and we don’t have to invent anything new. We have the structures of regulation in place. I can’t just go into CVS and buy strong sleeping pills. I have to get them from the doctor. You would extend that form of regulation that has happened in Switzerland. I have seen it in practice, and it works remarkably well.