Since the "War on Drugs" began, there has been no decrease in recreational drug use. People will always use drugs recreationally, legally or not.
Prohibition has criminalised large sections of the population unnecessarily (arguably, this is why it was introduced). It has driven the supply of drugs underground, where they cannot be tested for composition, strength and purity.
Police action against the suppliers of drugs has led to an escalation of crime, as dealers take increasingly aggressive and exploitative measures to protect their "business".
Drug manufacturers, in order to outwit the law, have created new and more potent compounds to replace established drugs. These new drugs are easier to misuse.
It's pretty clear that the War on Drugs has not only failed, but it has made matters worse. It's time this dangerous policy was stopped.
Instead, currently illegal drugs could be controlled, much like alcohol and tobacco. You buy your drug, you know what's in it and how much to use — unlike at the moment, where you don't know how strong it is, what it's mixed with, or even if it is what they said it is.
You instantly remove the revenue stream from the big drug dealers. It's that simple. Think about that for a minute. Think about the amount and types of crime that are generated by these people. Think about the time the police and social services spend dealing with this crime and its effects.
Is there a catch? People would argue it's a bad thing to make drugs more easily available, as more people might use them — although there is no evidence to support this. At least they would be protected by regulation.
There would have to be education and support systems in place to handle the transition. People will have to educated out of the mindset that drug users are bad people.