A local person, Heather Thomas, wrote a plaintive letter to the editor
a week or two ago. She complains that the person who robbed her with a
weapon was only getting probation. Why is this person getting probation?
Well, the county jail is full, and if we want to put anybody else in jail,
we have to pay another county to jail them.
So, somebody has to get probation, and we
can't be letting
the non-violent drug offenders get probation. So criminals walk the
streets while druggies whose only crime is trying to change their mental
state (or help somebody else do that) are getting a free vacation in jail.
Attempting to put all the drug dealers in jail is simply not possible. There is a demand for their job function, so the only effect of jailing somebody who has taken on that job is to create a job opening at a higher pay rate.
The War on Drugs is a War on Economics. You can ignore economics if you want. You can even fight economics. But economics is going to win every time.