Who benefits from prohibition?

This question is crucial to anyone spending a single second in this blog.

I won’t make any specific case. It could be a teenaged female or a bottle of gin. What matters is it is considered illegal, somewhere, at some point in history.

And thus the question must be answered. Who benefits from prohibition? Who would be harmed if it was removed? Wouldn’t it make more sense to only mitigate damage instead of banning things?

I understand why someone would say opiates, for example, should never be legal, or at least not for recreational purposes.

However when I look at the painful fact that black markets and criminal organizations cover the requests of those who are affected by prohibition I wonder how useful it actually is.

Consider the following. In 1819 a man could ask for the hand of a woman age 14 in marriage and start a family with her if her parents approved. Turn to 2019 and we see high ranked public figures involved in human trafficking buying females under the age of 18 to satiate the natural male instinct they are forced to restrain.

In 1825 a man could go to any store and by a bottle of gin. In 1925 he would end up buying moonshine from some mobster who decided alcohol prohibition was the best thing to ever happen to him.

And all prohibitions have been performed for the sake of morality or the well being of “the people”.

Who actually benefits from keeping things forbidden though? I am pretty much sure it is not the people, since they are now subjected to criminal organizations exploiting them for profit.

But we know who does. Human traffickers, bootleggers, drug gangs. It is the criminals who gain from prohibition.