…is to attack it with more government. Alcoholism was a terrible problem in the US by 1919, but the Volstead Act only made things worse. Before repeal, it got to where the government was responsible for killing tens of thousands of citizens with poison booze—a tactic repeated in the 1960s when poisons were sprayed on marijuana fields.
But, as usual, there were other unintended consequences. FDR was a brilliant politician who removed oldsters from the workforce with the bait called Social Security—freeing up millions of jobs for younger workers. Similarly, in 1933….
The repeal of the Volstead Act not only took the primary funding away from numerous gangsters, but also created thousands of new jobs at a time when they were desperately needed in the United States.
Always ask: Cui bono?
I’m currently watching a series on TV called “Drugs, Inc.” It shows how the illegal substance trade has changed in the last 80 years: It has gotten worse. Just as Prohibition created a livelihood for bootleggers, modern drug laws create thousands of “unskilled” jobs. And every vacuum created by government enforcement seems to get filled up pretty damn quick. The numbers—in dollars, in deaths, in total employees—are huge and getting bigger.
Personally, I see no solution for illegal manufacture and traffic of some really nasty things like methamphetamine and heroin. But surely, marijuana prohibition could be ended quickly, simply, and without much further damage if handled right. At least it would free up some jail cells. You don’t have to sit in jail to be punished these days – and every convicted pothead is costing us $35,000 a year.
But hey, police need more work and we need more police, right?
Always! That’s Murka.
The American Government Once Intentionally Poisoned Certain Alcohol Supplies, Resulting in the Death of Over 10,000 American Citizens
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