The Legacy of Prohibition

A brief excerpt from the paper Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure, by Mark Thornton:

“Repeal of Prohibition dramatically reduced crime, including organized crime, and corruption. Jobs were created, and new voluntary efforts, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, which was begun in 1934, succeeded in helping alcoholics. Those lessons can be applied to the current crisis in drug prohibition and the problems of drug abuse. Second, the lessons of Prohibition should be used to curb the urge to prohibit. Neoprohibition of alcohol and prohibition of tobacco would result in more crime, corruption, and dangerous products and increased government control over the average citizen’s life. Finally, Prohibition provides a general lesson that society can no more be successfully engineered in the United States than in the Soviet Union.”

What motives drive people to adopt such measures? Many times, such oppressive laws set out lauded for their good intentions. But good intentions do not reality make. Moreover, I’ve noticed more and more religious motivations being cloaked in a “but we’re trying to do what’s best for you” wrapping. I’ll do what’s best for me, thank you very much. If I screw up, it’s my fault.

Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure


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