Prostitution and drugs are prohibited by law because they are thought to be harmful to society. People are imprisoned for participating in these markets even though we know this does not diminish demand. Since the demand for sex and drugs has always been and will always be, I see prohibition as more harmful and oppressive than the activities themselves.
One argument in favor of prohibition might be that de-criminalizing amounts to endorsement. We don't to give the impression that our society promotes these activities. A response to this concern might be, then why are tobacco and alcohol legal?
The case of alcohol is interesting because America tried prohibiting alcohol. My understanding of the effects:
- People who wanted to drink turned to the black market or made their own.
- The black market funded organized crime.
- Standards of quality and purity dropped.
So I think it's obvious that prohibition has the opposite effect.
Do you think de-criminalizing an activity amounts to endorsing that activity?