The War on Drugs is as they say a War on the American People.
It is also a war that is largely fought to benefit cronies. Parts of law enforcement, the prison complex, Pharma, and most importantly and maybe most tragically the drug cartels, benefit from the conflict. One could throw in some of the banks too.
All because of a deep puritanical streak in the American consciousness that has been exploited for political power and financial gain.