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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Lessons Learned About Prohibition

I happened to watch the 3-part Ken Burns PBS documentary in recent days simply entitled "Prohibition."  It's quintessential Burns.  And therefore I recommend it to everyone who has an interest in our history.

And an interest in our present.

If you understand how the federal government tried - and failed - to stop people from drinking booze in the 20's and early 30's, you know how the government's war on marijuana is going - and going to to end.

I read things like this - "Feds crack down on Calif. pot" - and wonder if "the feds" don't have something better to do.

And - big picture - what those feds thought they accomplished.

A significant percentage of America will be breaking "the law" today.  And they'll be enjoying doing it.  A law that, therefore, serves no purpose.

Give it up.  Make it legal.  Take the mystique out of it.  And let the federal government do what it's better equipped to do.

- - -

Oddly, I read this New York Times article about Burns's documentary in which its columnist, Neil Genzlinger,  comes away with a lesson learned too.  A lesson he'd have a tough time defending, if you ask me.

Prohibition, to most of us historians, proved to not prohibit anything.

To Genzlinger the lesson learned is this: It's a matter of "extremism that sabotages itself by refusing to compromise."   Read John Boehner and his conservative friends.

Say What?