I used to say we should make our drug laws more permissive so long as we can find a way to make our culture more restrictive about drug use. Now I think we should make our drug laws more permissive regardless, and we should do so as soon as possible.
The damage done from our drug laws outweighs even the worst-case scenario of heroin being sold in brightly colored packaging next to Tic-Tacs and Milky Way bars at the grocery store checkout, with every pop music icon and movie star encouraging kids to try it.
The longer we keep drugs illegal, the worse the problem will get because the drug cartels are using their drug money as a platform from which to diversify their holdings. If we legalized drugs tomorrow we could pull the rug out from under them before they have time to become competitive in other areas.