Craven, thanks for the clarification.
Phoenix: In an increasingly familiar trend; I agree with you completely.
I don't believe it is possible for the government to save people from themselves. I support the Baker act and other such provisions toward that end, but don't think limiting the masses' freedoms is justified in working towards that goal. I once read a paper called Love and Addiction http://www.peele.net/lib/laa1.html
that argued convincingly that there is little difference between Drug Addiction and Co-dependence. The paper cites literally dozens of studies that convincingly prove that "one man's poison is another man's cure". Some studies have even shown that doctors who use heroin, can be better adjusted and more productive than their sober counterparts (hard to believe, but convincingly illustrated).
Across the board legalization would indeed take the profit out of street dealing and eliminate the associated violence that comes with it. Those that would commit crimes to obtain money to buy drugs
already do. I would bet that no person reading this is more than 3 people removed from a source of every drug they want anyway. I challenge anyone to cite a study proving marijuana is more harmful than alcohol or Prozac, let alone Oxy-Contin. With good insurance and knowledge of requisite symptoms, there isn't much your average person can't obtain from their doctor. Statistically speaking, the dangers inherent in riding in an automobile dwarf the dangers associated with drug use. Consequently; the "we must protect people" argument is fatally flawed (pun intended).
If it is the children we are trying to protect; the results are laughable. Currently, I'd wager my kingdom that your average 15 year old has an easier time acquiring illegal drugs than those twice his age. Now, take a look at the same equation referencing the laws and campaigns designed to reduce the consumption of alcohol or tobacco by minors. These laws and campaigns have been proven effective.
I further believe that the taxation of these products would more than cover the cost of treatment for those who were interested. It fascinates me that the consensus of everyone I know, is in direct contrast to the policies of our land. Will we ever learn?