See this story on The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal
Health care in America
See this show, "Sick around America" on this page or on Public Broadcasting (PBS) about health care in America, which follows the stories of several people through the system. The contrast between how health care, notably insurance, works in America, compared to all other developed countries, reveals just how utterly deplorable it is here. Spend a week in the hospital and lose everything you own to pay for it - is not an uncommon story. Insurance companies that filter out people who need health care the most, and the unconscionable practices of every player in the industry are shown for what they are. The real villain of it all is cost, of course. From soup to nuts, the whole system exists to feed itself like a giant pig. This isn't capitalism at work, where competition would make a difference, it's locked down territory where those in the system own it and aren't letting anyone else near it.
Just a fringe area to this are the administrative costs, which are double in America what they are in other countries. I'm aghast, knowing that a properly programmed computer system could make mince meat of administrative costs.
Alas, see Something is Rotten at PBS By Russell Mokhiber, for more in-depth analysis of this report.