Who benefits from prohibition ?

Smugglers
Drugs are expensive because of their illegality. Heroin costs as much as aspirin to produce.

Drug dealers
Drugs are expensive because they are illegal. From purely financial point of view, it might be most profitable to sell as addictive and expensive drugs as possible, to ensure faithful clients. All dealers of illegal drugs do not neccessarily act in this way.

Organizations opposing illegal drugs.
Worse the problems related to drugs look like, and more these organizations seem to do against illegal drugs, more they get profits from donations and fundings. In the terms of financial profits and social power it might be most profitable for these organizations to convince people that problems related to illegal drugs are as extreme as possible, possibly even by ensuring that the problems actually are as bad as they possibly can be, and that they are doing something effective against these problems, possibly by actions that are visible and appear effective, but actually have as little effect as possible against these problems or even make them worse. To phrase it simply:
no drug problem = no pay for drug opposing organizations. Not all drug opposing organizations neccessarily act in these ways, but financial and social power motivations for this kind of behaviour exist.

Drug scarers.
These people get profits by lecturing in schools and like places about the horrors of drugs. More dangerous and vicious they claim the drugs to be, more important and neccessary they seem and more probably they will be hired to lecture again. If they do not make the illegal drugs sound frightening and serious threat they might soon have to find a new job. Not all people lecturing about the dangers of drugs neccessarily work in this way, but monetary profits and social power may motivate into this direction.

Advocates of totalitarian control state.
People who want to turn society into a totalitarian control state can use drug threat as emotion provoking justification for technical surveillance of citizens, reading private mail, doing home searches, listening of phone lines, arrests at will, restricting and observing the movements of citizens, censorship of media, limitations to freedom of expression and even forced medical examinations. Not all the instances with power neccessarily act in this way, but motivation to maximize and ensure the power in this way exists. To quote Thomas Jefferson (I think):
" Man who exhanges his freedom for safety is fool ".

Media.
Media gets emotion prowoking news from illegal drugs. Politician X drank a bottle of scotch is no news, but politician X smoke a pipeful of cannabis is a scandal.

Police.
Drugs are emotion prowoking argument police may use to demand more resources, funding and legal liberties. Worse the drug problem seems, more powerful this argument will be.
Thus from the view points of social power and and financial profits, it might be most advantageous for police to make the drug related problems seem as bad as is believable, while doing as drastic, thus visible, actions against drugs, that actually do as little as possible to remove the problems, or even possibly make the problems worse.
Police might also take bribes from drug dealers and smugglers, thus maximizing their personal profits.
To sum it up, police may get: All police do not neccessarily act like this, but economically and from the point of view of the social power, this might be alluring, especially since opposing organized crime can be personally dangerous to police and their families.
Some police might even let those drug dealers that pay bribes to police to operate without disruption, while busting and arresting competitors of these dealers (like those people that grow their own supplies of illegal drugs, for example: home growers of cannabis). Some customs officials might also be in situtations like described for police here.

Pharmaceutics producers.
Some producers of medicines gain profit, wether they intend it or not, from people buying their medicines for intoxication purposes. It could be speculated that if legal, possibly safer and/or more pleasant intoxicants were available, they would lose some of their profits.
Not all producers of possibly intoxicating medicines neccessarily think in this way, at least some of them seem to actually take actions to prevent using their medicines as intoxicants.
Also if opium, or poppies from wich opium can be grown, were legally available, factory produced (often more dangerous) painkillers might not sell as much.

Producers of legal drugs.
Not all drugs are suitable, or even enjoyable, to all people who want to get intoxicated. Producers of legal drugs might lose some of their clients for other drugs if they were available to the public. Not all producers neccessarily have this view into prohibition, some might actually start producing other drugs if they became legal.

Petrochemistry, Cotton producers and paper producers.
(In the case of cannabis only).
If large scale commercial cultivation of hemp became legal all these industries might have effective and more ecological competitor in hemp. Thus it is in the financial interests of these industries to ensure that any large scale production of industrial hemp will not be possible.

If you want that more people pay attention to these points of view, print this. Copy. Distribute (To cafes, advertising boards, give to people you know, distribute at festivals, etc.).

1997

Max Turunen.

Prohibition means police state.