The difference is that damaging or even defacing property is not justifiable, unlike drug use which doesn't necessarily have to violate another person's rights. Subcultures can and do change all the time. Graffiti as a subculture is badly dated and costly to do in time and money. It isn't good for the environment, either.
You're right...the hypocrisy of the "war on drugs" is bad enough, the wasteful futility that I referred to is just one thing wrong with it and definitely not the only.
Sorry, perhaps you don't understand where I'm coming from though.
Murder and rape are not intrinsic to certain subcultures, but graff and drugs are. This is why I compared the two (non-)issues. Now, don't get me wrong, even I will agree that some tagging crosses certain lines of propriety belonging even to proponents of graff, but the vast majority of graff isn't so damaging to actual physical property as much as to some people's sense of aesthetic. Much like bleak, blank walls are damaging to others' sense of aesthetic. Kind of like recreational drug use, in fact. Those that can never appreciate its benefits and beauty will always scream bloody murder at any perceived threat to their sense of what the world should be like. I can understand that not everyone will appreciate a nice piece in a back alley or on the side of a building, up above the street. Much like I don't enjoy the vast majority of American films, or most rock music.....and, yes, this IS a comparison in art forms.
I was just saying: we are truly wasting our time, money, and effort worrying about graff.
What's the rate of unemployment in Toronto these days? (I could continue but I know at least four of you will see this as the red herring that it is )