Drug gangs muscle into new territory: Central America | McClatchy
There is one economy. Just one. That it is composed of legal and illegal sectors might as well be by design.
The legal part of the economy is much more complex, thus much more difficult to deal with, than the illegal part of the economy. When the legal economy declines you have to mortgage the future, start hot wars and apply complex, politically challenging programs to try to avoid depression.
It makes little sense to damage any part of the overall economy, especially at a time when the legal sector has been so severely challenged as of late.
In contrast to the legal sector of the economy (where you must have massive, complex and at least somewhat transparent bureaucratic programs to prop it up) the illegal sector of the economy is relatively simple to deal with.
Yes, you have to apply subsidies to the illegal sector of the global economy in order to bolster its contribution to the whole, because what's good for the illegal sector of the economy is good for the whole economy. Part of the genius of Prohibition is that it applies the required subsidy to the illegal sector of the economy at virtually no cost. The measly few billions in the budget for the ONDCP, for example, generate two or three orders of magnitude greater effect in the illegal sector of the economy, providing greater bang for buck than almost any other government economic program.
There are intangible social costs of applying such subsidies to the illegal sector of the economy, of course, but intangibles are essentially unquantifiable and therefore, as in other arenas like anthropogenic climate change, these not much weighted in such analyses.
The policy of Prohibition must be maintained in order to maintain the contribution of the illegal sector of the economy to the overall economy. This is especially true with marijuana because of its dominant role in the illegal economy.
How could it be otherwise?