Last year I remember seeing a State (can't remember which) put a bill up to legalize marijuana, and use the taxes to fund rehabilitation clinics. This seemed like an excellent way to lower the crime rate and improve people's quality of life. Personally I feel that drug abuse/addiction is what leads to users committing crimes that negatively impact themselves and their communities. This comes from my viewing friends fall down the hole that is heroine, meth, and cocaine specifically. For those that become addicted, the drug becomes necessary to their daily survival. As use increases, they begin getting fired from their day jobs. This causes them to go on unemployment, and that isn't enough money to provide them with clothes, food, shelter, AND drugs. The addiction puts the body's desire for drugs above these first three which is what qualifies it as a disorder in the DSM-IV. Without legal employment they turn elsewhere to get the drugs. They steal, whore themselves, or many times attempt to sell drugs to support their own habit. They usually sell the drugs THEY THEMSELVES are looking to get high with, and this can create a three step process: First, they sell more drugs than they use and make a bit of money; then, they begin using just as much as they are selling and only break even; then they begin using MORE than they are selling and find themselves in bigger trouble than when they started. This behavior does not occur because the user failed to see their actions were illegal, or didn't know they risked jail time or fines. It occurred because of abuse ending with addiction. With so many people addicted to these drugs it would make sense to help people fight the addiction first, but rehab is NOT cheap or 100% effective. Narcotics Anonymous provides a fantastic free support group, but higher success rates are found when someone enrolls in a multi-week in-patient program, followed by time in a sober living complex FOLLOWED by Narcotics Anonymous meetings. So what's stopping people from enrolling in these programs? Two major things: an inability to recognize the addiction, and the money required for the program. Rehab clinics are incredibly expensive, and so is sober living. While some hospitals do offer 1 week programs for detox it doesn't help prepare the addict to return to their previous situation and avoid the drugs that hurt them in the first place. Legalizing marijuana with taxes that go to rehab clinics could be a major step to improving many people's quality of life by releasing them from the strangle hold of addiction, and thereby reduce selling of the drugs, thefts to gain the money to purchase, and self prostitution. The idea that legalizing marijuana could actually help the "war on drugs" will seem odd the the people in charge, but why not consider the possibility? Of course this post is all speculation on my part, but it's based on my own personal experiences in the drug community. I guess it could only be proven if a state took a chance and then had the results monitored by multiple groups. I don't know if this has been brought up before, and I'm sorry if it's a reposted argument, but I had to get it off my chest. Jails don't help addicts, showing them we care enough to help does.