I think the one thing that everyone learned from the days of prohibition was that if the public wanted a particular product they will find a way to obtain it. Prohibition created a black market that created violence and inferior if not down right dangerous products. So why have we been doing the same with marijuana? The war and drugs and prohibition of marijuana has lead to one of the most expensive and dangerous blunders the United States government has ever created. First off it works the same way the prohibition of alcohol did in the early 20th century. The product has been outlawed but there is a huge demand for the product, thus the rise of the cartels. These entities provide the product that the public wants, but does so by any means including murder, kidnap and extortion. It creates a climate that endangers not only the intended buying of the product but also innocent bystanders that wanted nothing to do with the process. As the entities are nameless and faceless they do not face the scrutiny of the public as a corporation would so they are free to put out inferior and even dangerous products without any real repercussions. Its the same principle as banning abortions; you cannot ban abortions, you can only ban safe abortions. Same goes for marijuana or any other product that is in huge demand, it can be banned but they will find a way to obtain it legal or not. So by banning it, you are only banning safe marijuana. The cartels do not care what is in the product or they only care about getting their money, and its not like the customers have a way to hold them accountable. There is no way of really telling the true cost of fighting the cartels, but in the extra border securtiy, countless trials and incarceration it is well into the hundreds of millions if not billions. Speaking of money the prohibiotion also costs tax payers a huge sum of money. Between the hours of paperwork that police officers have to deal with for small amounts of marijuana, to the costs it takes to put those people in front of judges, the prohibition is a huge burden on the tax system that is greatly unneccessary for most of these victimless crimes. Plus not only would money be saved in those forms, but with legalization, it can be taxed and thus money earned. Its truly a win-win. The people that want the product get it, in a safe manner. The citizens that do not, get lower crime rates from the elimination of a dangerous market, and the tax generated from it can be used to improve their communities. The end of a federal prohibition on marijuana seems to be gaining steam, and who knows maybe it will end soon. Then maybe…just maybe, America can smoke its way out of debt.