In 1979 I was trying to sell insurance. It was garbage insurance. I had just graduated College and had been told that this was the way to advance my degree and win fame and fortune. Unfortunately this insurance company wanted me going door to door and trying to convince farmers, cops, watermen and their friends to buy the insurance. It was a lousy product, I'm a lousy salesman, but I enjoyed meeting people. At least I'd sometimes get a meal from the salt of the earth types I was selling to. One experience I had while selling the garbage over in Calverton was that I met a woman after work in a bar, and she invited me to a police party. The police were throwing a party in the name of a man with a name similar to a famous actor. The man had been hurt in a car chase and was paralyzed waste down. The party was to raise funds to help him out. Sounded good to me. I was broke, and it would be cheaper than spending my little bit of money in a bar. So I went.
I don't remember much except I did drink a little more than I should (two beers is more than I should) and got sick. And the people. I met the hurt cop. Lots of Maryland State Troopers, the local volunteer firemen, and their groupies and relatives. They were doing all sorts of things I would never do at a party; Cocaine, smoking pot, drinking, not sure what else. And I was impressed by the notion that these were just regular people. Doing everything society as a whole was doing. And everything they were paid to arrest people for doing. I suspected they had their supplies from the evidence room. I quit my job soon after and the girl I took to the party broke up with me (I think) I know she stopped answering my phone calls. So I never went to another party where there were so many cops, except maybe a few given by one of my X's relatives. He was a retired cop.
But what I did learn is that we aren't fighting drugs by arresting people and throwing them in jail. I also went to NA meetings and AA meetings and there would be cops there. Cops get addicted too. I found out that the only thing that jail seems to do is to punish folks who get caught. It doesn't stop them from doing drugs or stop the pain. Most of the people I met at that time who were doing hard drugs like heroin, Methadone, or similar got addicted due to back pain. Some of them were cops injured in the line of duty. Cutting off those drugs sent them to the black market and all of them found their moral and legalized stressed by the difficulty of paying for such drugs. It is rare that a drug addict like Rush Limbaugh can support his habit legally. Most of them throw away vast sums of money that enrich both police chiefs and criminal syndicates alike. Drugs are a huge industry partly because our people are so sick, but also because they are illegal and the risk premium on their sales is so high the industry creates millionaires. They'll tell you "it's just business" -- and they mean it.
Prohibition is corrupting our country more than the drugs and alcohol do.