Because of me living in foreign countries for 4 years now, I have the opportunity to experience Big Brother states first-hand. From time to time me and my family exchange packages by mail. Almost every package has been opened at customs. The mail from Europe to Japan seems to get special attention, as the Japanese customs have opened every single package that I received. They even open the wrappings of what’s inside the package, probably to make sure that no drugs are smuggled. How sick is that? They destroy the privacy of every single person on this world, but still they don’t get it done to end drug trade.
That is because markets are more powerful than most states can ever be. Even the communists didn’t completely kill markets, for many black markets still existed then. Even if we (as the world) try to kill drug trade by draconian measures, the trade off against the lost freedom wouldn’t look good. Do we have to give up a large stake of our freedoms just to get some people off drugs? They will instantly search and find something else that kills them anyway.
You can read a very nice explanation of the economics of drug trade here in this excellent interview with the economist Kevin Murphy, a star in his profession.