When Portugal transitioned abandoned their old punitive approach to drug policy in 2001 and decriminalized the possession of all drugs, many people were worried. But it quickly became clear that the impact was positive. Drug related diseases like HIV went down, overdoses went down, and the number of overall users did not go up. When they stopped treating drug use as a crime, the country was better equipped to handle its consequences. Read about it here.
We can learn a similar lesson in terms of our marijuana policy. By ending the destructive policy of marijuana prohibition, we can lower our prison population, make tax profits off of its sale, and regulate the consumption of the drug.