The simple fact is drug prohibition kills more people than drugs alone ever could. All prohibition does is line the pockets of black market operators, creates deadly violence and puts dangerous, adulterated, unregulated drugs on the street.
On this note, there were actually no deaths recorded from MDMA use until it was illegalized, at which point it became one of the riskier drugs to take for all kinds of reasons. There are all kinds of similar stories and it's a shame we never bothered to work out better ways to deal with the perceived threat of drugs.
I don't necessarily agree with you regarding total legalization because I believe that introducing drugs to a society whose occupants have very little personal responsibility regarding them would go pretty horribly wrong, but I do agree that education is a much better solution to such problems than banning things.