Here's how it works. If you overdose, and you go to ER you're forced to admit you did something illegal. Many people would rather die than face a life of humility that's unfairly associated with being a junkie. Not to mention overdoses would be less likely if everything was legal and properly labeled.
Same thing with addiction. Removing stigma and legal consequences associated with being a drug-addict will help many people seek help if they need it. How many people do you think are too afraid to go the doctor and admit they have problems, considering drug use is illegal and stigmatized? A lot.
I think it's a matter of creating a minority and punishing the fuck out of that minority. Being a drug-addict right now is like being gay or black hundreds of years ago.
Being an addict is not a fucking choice. It's a grueling mental torture accompanied by physical torture that's relieved with a consumption of a particular substance.
When you're addicted to opiates and you use, it's not because you want to rebel against the world. At that point it's about PLEASE STOP THE FUCKING PAIN. Mental and physical pain, violent diahrrea, puking, being unable to sleep for days.. basically all your natural painkillers are gone and everything is pain. All of that can be ceased with a hit.
The fact that anyone thinks it's okay to throw these people in jail sickens the fuck out of me. And you know what, I don't fucking care. Some of the best minds used heroin, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain. Wanna throw them in jail or fuck with them to the point of suicide (as with Cobain)? Go ahead. "Drug warriors" are like a grown-up version of bullies punching a sick kid.