Prostitution should be legal. Now. Immediately.
Will it? Of course not. That will take decades. Even Democrats don't want to touch that issue. Now, when I say prostitution I mean between consenting adults. If someone is a minor, than no. They can't consent. if someone is being forced into it, than they are a victim and the police should use all resources to imprison the creeps abusing her.
But between consenting adults, than yes, there shouldn't be a sex police. Let's look at this logically. Sex among consenting adults is perfectly legal. Well, in some states less than a decade ago it wasn't if you were gay, but the extremists in the anti-sex movement haven't made it illegal yet again. Capitalism is legal (sometimes with safeguards for things like safety), along as you don't sell something that is illegal.
For example, cocaine is illegal, so it is illegal to have or to sale. While the drug war is bad policy, at least there is some logic to that. Prostitution though is strange because it is the only thing that is legal to do but that is illegal if done for money. No other thing I can thing of is like that. Geroge Carlin said the same thing, but used language, I am sure I can't use in an examiner column.
What about a young woman who dates or marries a man old enough to be her grandfather, that isn't a form of prostitution? What about a date where a man buys a woman dinner, is that in anyway a form of prostitution, even if no sexual act comes of it. What if the woman realizes she isn't going to date the guy next time, but stays to eat the meal? Should she have cuffs put on her?
Those who favor these laws often bring up harms whose cause is in reality the laws themselves. For example, child prostitution is created by having no legal and regulated outlet of prostitution allowed in the vast majority of the U.S. So, unethical pimps who have no qualms in using 13 year olds as prostitutes fill the void.
One cop I saw in a video stated that street prostitutes often have criminal connections they can investigate. Of course they do, because making it illegal will create those connections. If you make popcorn illegal than those who sell popcorn will have criminal connections.
I am under no illusion that prostitution laws will be reformed because in reality they are religious laws. They are almost solely the religious beliefs of the majority. It is the belief that prostitution is against a god's law and so society and the government should lock up people who do just that. It is the same mindset (still actually enforced sometimes) that have created laws against adultery.
Simply, it isn't the government's business who you have sex with, along as you are both consenting adults. If the government is worried about street prostitution, fine, than don't outlaw outlets that don't involve it. Don't outlaw brothels or massage parlors that have prostitution. Ensure that everyone involved is a consenting adult and they use contraception. It is simply harm reduction, something every public policy should utilize but unfortunately, doesn't.