In an effort to substantially decrease illegal drug use, should the gov. focus more on the suppy side or the demand side of the problem?
Either way is going to be very difficult, but I would say thw we have been concentrating more on the supply side and have little to show for it. So I think we ought to concentrate on the demand for a while.
Specifically, I think that we ought to have more programs to get people off drugs (and maybe more programs available to for at-risk kids so they are less likely to get into drugs). I think that if we severely reduced the demand for drugs, then the supply would be irrelevant. As it is, we try to stop the supply, but there's so much demand that the suppliers have a huge incentive to get their drugs in here somehow (submarine, for example!!).
I think from a government point of view that it would have to be the supplies that make the supply and bring it into the country or produce it in the country. Once the supplies dwindle the prices will go up and we may see an increase in crime but if society is ever going to end the problem they would have to shut down the supply source.
Honestly, the goal alone would be impossible so the government has to look at the issue holistically and address the demand in terms of the users as well. Drug addiction is very powerful and difficult to overcome. If a person loses one type of drug he or she often uses a replacement until he/she can regain access to the preferred drug.