The presumed justification for the special legal treatment of drugs is that drug use causes substantial harm both to drug users and to society generally. The prohibition of drugs is assumed necessary to reduce the consumption of drugs and thereby reduce the ills caused by drug consumption. Miron explains that many of the harms typically attributed to drug use are instead due to drug prohibition.
Miron J. Drug Prohibition. In: Newman P The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law. London: The Macmillan Press ; 1998. pp. 648-652.
Miron J, Weil DN. The Genesis and Evolution of Social Security. In: Bordo M, Goldin C, White E The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century,. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, ; 1998.