Education saves money, because of much less recidivism. Adulthood could start at 16 or 17, and that high school money saved could be allocated to 1 to 2 years of free college. Little useful for skilled jobs is learned in most poor public high schools. And it is easier to get college loans after passing 1-2 years of free college.
"Imagine if the government chased sick people with diabetes, put a tax on insulin and drove it into the black market, told doctors they couldn’t treat them, ... and then sent them to jail. If we did that, everyone would know we were crazy. Yet we do practically the same thing every day in the week to sick people hooked on drugs." - Billie Holiday, 1956.
The drug war is a religious war against a spiritual plant. That old-time religion, and their crusades.
Ronald Reagan, 1980 : "Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass, whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States, and we haven't begun to find out all of the ill effects, but they are permanent ill effects. The loss of memory for example." - Reaganism: Cannabis war, trickle-down economics, code-word racism, hate radio, mass incarceration.