I'd support marijuana legalization across the board. But I'd actually be for illegalizing gambling again; we legalized it here in Missouri and it's turned into this huge undefeatable lobby that can seemingly exempt itself from any state or local laws it wants. I don't think anyone predicted that outcome when we were debating the wisdom of legalizing it years ago. Plus it seems to only have a downside, few win, lots lose and many blow their SS check and spend the rest of the month in the pawnshops. Doesn't seem constructive to me.
In the UK, gambling is strictly regulated. Bookies can't 'just' open anywhere, they have to apply to the local council for a betting licence. And all gambling is taxed too, either at the point of stake or after payout, (naturally most punters choose stake). On the horses it's (and has been for years) 10%. There was a move (and heavily lobbied) in the last government to have 'super casinos' in parts of the UK, in the large cities. But it was dropped because the respective cities' populations didn't want them.
It isn't to say we don't have the addicted gamblers who have lost everything, their homes, jobs, families and self respect, and every time a new way of gambling comes on stream (online poker being one) there are the anti gambling lobbyists giving there views and the inherent dangers.
All addictions start from the first step. I'm told that heroin is in actual fact very difficult to get addicted to, because the first few times taking it can result in profuse vomiting and cramps. Tobacco on the other hand can be instantly addictive: and it's a fair argument to say if it was discovered today, it would be made illegal by almost all countries. The tobacco industry is a massive lobby, and although governments pay lip service to the obvious and irrefutable harm it can do, they get lot of revenue from it, so can't be too onerous. The UK had a phase of pushing for plain cig packets, backed by all the medical bodies and a great deal of cross party MP's.
The PM just happens to have as an advisor an ex employee of one of the tobacco companies, and the PM (Cameron) is reported to have had something like thirty meetings with representatives from the tobacco industry, and less than half that from the health lobby. It shouldn't come as any surprise that the proposal to have plain packaging was quietly dropped from the agenda: This is in spite of the tobacco lobby insisting that branding makes no difference to encouraging kids or anyone else to take up smoking..funny that eh?