Should we legalize dope? For the longest time, I thought yes. After all, Barack Obama has smoked it, Michael Phelps has done it. They've turned out alright.
Seriously, I've always said there would be much less violence on the streets (of the United States and in Mexico), the government could tax it (and use that money to regulate its' toxicity) and we'd all be better off. When you read stories about the brazen drug smugglers, you realize there is no drop in stateside demand, it seems like the drug war will never end.
But, then I had a conversation with a friend who teaches national security and she told me something instructive. She said if you legalize pot, the drug cartels will still fight over cocaine, acid or any other illegal narcotic. Gangs will still fight over legal products such as the illicit trade in pirated movies or the "tax-free" cigarettes you find in some cities.
In other words, there always will be, just as there always has been organized groups who trade in the underground economy. That's not going away - ever.