Look how well that worked out for drugs.
After prohibition of alcohol ended it took decades for per capita consumption of alcohol to reach previous levels. Public health improved in several respects.
Locking people up for small amounts of marijuana sure destroyed demand for marijuana oh wait...
"Oh wait" indeed
The idea that our nation’s prisons are overflowing with otherwise lawabiding people convicted for nothing more than simple possession of marijuana is treated by many as conventional wisdom.
But this, in fact, is a myth—an illusion conjured and aggressively perpetuated by drug advocacy groups seeking to relax or abolish America’s marijuana laws. In reality, the vast majority of inmates in state and federal prison for marijuana have been found guilty of much more than simple possession. Some were convicted for drug trafficking, some for marijuana possession along with one or more other offenses. And many of those serving time for marijuana pled down to possession in order to avoid prosecution on much more serious charges.
In 1997, the year for which the most recent data are available, just 1.6 percent of the state inmate population were held for offenses involving only marijuana, and less than one percent of all state prisoners (0.7 percent) were incarcerated with marijuana possession as the only charge, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). An even smaller fraction of state prisoners in 1997 who were convicted just for marijuana possession were first time offenders (0.3 percent).
The numbers on the federal level tell a similar story. Out of all drug defendants sentenced in federal court for marijuana crimes in 2001, the overwhelming majority were convicted for trafficking, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Only 2.3 percent—186 people—received sentences for simple possession, and of the 174 for whom sentencing information is known, just 63 actually served time behind bars.