Argument: War on Drugs helps hold down usage
John Hawkins. "In defense of the drug war." Human Events. January 25th, 2007: "the fact that drugs are illegal is certainly holding down their usage. Just look at what happened during prohibition.
Per Ann Coulter in her book, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)": "Prohibition resulted in startling reductions in alcohol consumption (over 50 percent), cirrhosis of the liver (63 percent), admissions to mental health clinics for alcohol psychosis (60 percent), and arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct (50 percent)." -- p.311
That's what happened when alcohol was made illegal. However, on the other hand, if we make drugs legal, safer, easier to obtain, more societally accepted, and some people say even cheaper as well, there would almost have to be an enormous spike in usage.
Certainly that's what happened in the Netherlands where "consumption of marijuana...nearly tripled from 15 to 44% among 18-20 year olds" after the drug was legalized."