Heinlein once said in a book "In the end all forms of death could be considered 'heart failure'" after a Gestapo type tells the protagonist that the protagonist's elder friend had died of a 'weak' heart.
Disputin: "....but what most people tend to skate over is the fact that the criminal gangs only thrive because cocaine is illegal. Were a free market to operate, the likes of Tesco would drive the cost of production so low that there would be no profit in it for any middlemen, let alone drugs "barons"...."
I'm sort of with Disputin on this. Funny really, we just don't learn from Prohibition which was a largely altruistic movement (just like all our banners) unfortunately due to the law of unexpected consequences, making something difficult/expensive to acquire raises the price and gives rise to crime - almost certainly worse than the good intentions of the banners.
As I recall, before all the criminalization, the law regarding drug addicts was that they could obtain their supplies from their doctor as a requirement or palliative for their symptoms and thereby live a "normal" life. Unfortunately after criminalisation we set in train a most appalling situation of global crime and all that follows. Not to mention the addicts turning to crime to get money in order to feed their habits.