February 9, 2012

Pro-Prohibitionism

We all know that Prohibition was the worst idea of all time, but some Indian tribes disagree, and with good reason. Like most aboriginal peoples who weren't exposed to alcohol until the last few hundred years, they haven't had time yet for evolution to develop genetic defenses against the effects of firewater. (Along those line, in the Book of Genesis, you can read about early scandals caused by the Patriarchs Noah and Lot getting falling down drunk, but alcoholism seems to have become less of a problem as the Bible goes on.)

So, some American Indian tribes try to keep alcohol off their reservations. For example, in 2001 I played golf on the lovely Barona Creek course on Barona Nation land northwest of San Diego. When we were done, our foursome stopped to get a beer in the clubhouse, but only non-alcoholic beers were for sale. Then I wandered through the adjoining casino, which also was Dry. That's impressive: keeping gamblers sloshed is standard operating procedure in most casinos, but the Barona Indians apparently were so averse to having liquor on their reservation that they passed up this sizable revenue source. The other Indian casino I've been to, San Miguel in San Bernardino, had small bars inside the casino, but the casino didn't seem to push drinking much. I bought a beer and the bartender talked my ear off for five minutes because he was bored and I had been his only customer for about a half hour.

The huge Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota is officially Dry, I believe, but right over the reservation / state border in Nebraska a few yards away are giant white-owned liquor stores with inebriated Indians from the reservation lying around all over the place dead drunk. From the AP:
LINCOLN, Nebraska — An American Indian tribe sued some of the world's largest beer makers Thursday, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota said it is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation, where alcohol is banned. 
The lawsuit names Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MIllerCoors LLC and Pabst Brewing Company as defendants. 
The lawsuit says one in four children born on the reservation suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The average life expectancy is estimated between 45 and 52 years, the shortest in North America except for Haiti, according to the lawsuit. The average American life expectancy is 77.5 years. 
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Nebraska also targets four offsite beer stores in Whiteclay, a Nebraska town that despite having only about a dozen residents sold nearly 5 million cans of beer in 2010. Most of its customers come from the reservation on the town's border.
Leaders of the tribe blame the Whiteclay businesses for bootlegging on the reservation. The lawsuit alleges that the beer makers supplied the stores with "volumes of beer far in excess of an amount that could be sold in compliance with the laws of the state of Nebraska" and the tribe.

I don't know about the legal case, but I think the tribe has a strong moral case that these liquor stores should be shut down.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Google Street View definitely confirms there are just (probably drunk) Indians randomly chilling around tiny Whiteclay: http://g.co/maps/gtzhs

Hunsdon said...

Direct action. Alcohol's flammable, the res is presumably a hop, skip and a jump away, and staties don't have jurisdiction on the res. This is not a policy recommendation, just an observation.

Of course, John McCain (Sen.-Anheuser Busch) would probably want to send the redskins to Gitmo.

cold calculations said...

Stiff selection pressure ==> faster evolution. Are you sure limiting alcohol would do the tribe as a whole a favor in the long run?

David K said...

This graphic novel series is pretty good about life on the Indian rez:

http://www.amazon.com/Scalped-Vol-1-Indian-Country/dp/1401213170/

Of course it goes in for shock and sex and grit, it isn't a documentary, but the guy did his research. This first one I think, ends in a liquor store getting burned down.

rightsaidfred said...

All Reservations are famous for having a nearby town(s) or bar(s) that sell an outsized amount of alcohol. If not Whiteclay, then probably somewhere farther down the road, with more drunk driving accidents along the way.

Anonymous said...

prohibitions can work - certainly restricting pub hours and liquor sales helped keep the alcohol consumption and drunkenness down - it usually has to go hand in hand with powerful temperance movement -usually religious based- England cleaned up its gin problem pretty well - the damage from the 60s is still eating at its fabric and I, like peter hitchens fear it won't be the methodists but Islam that cleans it up this time.

Libertarians who want drugs legalized are idiots - a republic requires a sober, industrious chaste and temperent population -that is why i suspect that libertarianism is really a stealth left wing movement- simply 'freeing' anything that tears at the fabric of western civilizatoin but ignoring huge damaging gov. regulation like affirmative action.

Anonymous said...

In the Australian outback a perenial battle wages between interventionists/prohibitionists, who are 'realists' as we would understand the term here, and their critics, who accuse them of paternalism, neo-colonialism, etc.

Standard left-right positions are often blurred in this argument. The need for paternalism is so obvious; yet the very obviousness of the need is so confronting for blank-slaters that they tend to lash out angrily.

Gilbert Pinfold.

Defeated said...

I wonder if American Indians have a resistance to smoking related illness, considering how long the drug has been in their culture.
Government is always attacking reservations that sell cigarettes. Maybe they should let them sell their cigarettes and use the profits toward alcohol related illness. But the government is anti-Indian. It's not too hard to make a historical case for that.

Mac said...

"We all know that Prohibition was the worst idea of all time, but some Indian tribes disagree, and with good reason"

I don't want to restore Prohibition, but I liked Steve's wording there. To a degree, Prohibition did work.... alcohol consumption went down, hospitals recorded less patients being treated for cirrhosis etc.
It's not that Prohibition didn't work, as todays Great and Good intone. It's that the costs came to outweigh the benefits in many minds.

"Libertarians who want drugs legalized are idiots - a republic requires a sober, industrious chaste and temperent population -that is why i suspect that libertarianism is really a stealth left wing movement"

Someone once described Libertarians as "rich liberals who hate being taxed.

Anonymous said...

It's not that Prohibition didn't work, as todays Great and Good intone.

It "worked" and didn't "work" according to population.

Among many Protestant communities, who tended to push for it relative to the Catholics, it did work just fine.

It didn't work in communities comprised of ethnic Catholics with strong alcohol traditions, or in communities with mafias willing to subvert the law.

Anonymous said...

To cold calculation
Stiff selection pressure won't weed out alcoholics in a coddling social welfare system where everybody lives long enough to reproduce and the alcoholics even get a head start on making the new babies.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious: did millenia of booze availability decrease the affected populations' susceptibility to booze addiction only or to all addictive behaviors?

Anonymous said...

Pro-personal responsibility...

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a number of comments on this and other conservative blogs taking shots at libertarians. I suppose this is a reaction to Ron Paul as many neocons hate, hate, hate him. Right whiskey?

My question to these folks is how do you feel about Classical Liberals, the guys who founded the nation? It seems that Libertarians, especially paleoliberatarians, are the closest ideologically to the Classical Liberals of any group today. So if you believe the Libertarians are bad, do you feel the same toward Classical Liberals?

Also, we all know there is a divide among conservatives such as neocons, paleocons and others. And no one would lump Bill Kristol in the same camp as Pat Buchanan. Do you realize that such divisions also exist in the libertarian community?

Shawn said...

I agree that the owners should shut those stores down. The downside to prohibition though is that future generations of Indians will never be able to really handle their alcohol...

Defeated said...

Smoking is being prohibited by degrees - very big degrees. Alcohol goes up in price at about cost of living increases.

We need a bright guy to sort through all he politicized data to determine which is worse.

Throughout my youth, all of my most life threatening and embarrassing behavior can be attributed to drinking. It is a wonder I'm alive. I'm not ashamed. There are millions out there like me.

I'm a smoker. You all know the case against me.

Drinking leads to fights, vandalism, car accidents, web based pornography, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, stupid tweets(texts, emails), dangerous Jackass stunts, date rape, poisoning....the list goes on and on. Did I forget reckless gambling, absenteeism?

All of these could happen on your first day of college. Now, how dangerous is second hand smoke? Maybe the puritanical Indians are right.

Anonymous said...

@anon 8:04 I suppose this is a reaction to Ron Paul as many neocons hate, hate, hate him. Right whiskey?
I like Ron Paul. I hate 'reason magazine' libertarians - the go on and on about legalizing drugs, homo rights, ignore affirmative action and other issues - its like wall streets selective free markets.

They also have no understanding, like lefties, that you can't create a 'society' -or in their case a 'group of individuals' based on abstract ideas.


In other words, darling, they don't get Edmund Burke, sunshine.

ziel said...

My question to these folks is how do you feel about Classical Liberals, the guys who founded the nation?

I think it's safe to say that we paleos are definitely down with the guys who founded the nation: neutral foreign policy, a federal government with defined powers, limited government locally, and the franchise restricted to propertied men over 21. Yeah, the founders definitely rule in paleoworld.

beowulf said...

So if you believe the Libertarians are bad, do you feel the same toward Classical Liberals?

Yes, they took freedom of contract a little too far (no, 9 year olds do not have a constitutional right to work in textile mills, sorry). Any other questions?

Great Google Street View link. It would prove Steve's theory convincingly if the driver of that minivan straddling the lane was passed out at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the Canadian High Arctic for 4 years. In many Inuit communities, various degrees of prohibition are enforced. From what I saw, I became extremely skeptical of prohibition as a way of controlling the negative behaviour of alcohol abuse.

One of the most stringently regulated communities is Eskimo Point, on the west shore of Hudson Bay. There is a complete ban on all alcohol there. A story I heard from one of the nurses who worked at the nursing station there was that the year after alcohol was banned, birth defects skyrocketed. Why? Because, instead of drinking a lot of hard liquor while pregnant, pregnant Inuit women sniffed gasoline and ate Lysol instead. An unintended consequence of banning booze.

In Hall Beach, further up the Hudson Bay coast, controls on booze are less stringent. There is an alcohol committee in town that decides on who can import booze and who can't. Needless to say, the biggest drunks make it their business to get on that committee. Public choice theory in action!

While I was stationed in Baker Lake (close to the geographic center of Canada), controls were less stringent. People could drink what they wanted, but no booze was allowed to be sold in town. You had to import it. I remember the guy who worked at the town's gas station. In spite of the comparative availability of alcohol, it didn't stop him from being high as a kite all the time on unleaded.

Canadian Cincinnatus said...

My name and url address for the previous comment (on the Canadian arctic).

Anonymous said...

Am I the only living American left who thinks that Prohibition was a good idea?

I'll have a glass of wine or a beer on occasion, but I could happily live without either. If you consider the deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving, and the health and family problems caused by alcohol itself, then the costs of this freedom are very high.

Unfortunately, we all suffer when a few people cannot or choose not to control their own behavior, regardless or how well we behave ourselves.

Of course, the law-abiding suffered during Prohibition as a result of the era's criminality. Whether alcohol is legal or illegal, the
public falls victim to the terrible behavior of a few.

Incidentally, most of those in the generation that came of age during Prohibition never did take to drinking, even after it was made legal.

Peter A said...

So why do indigenous Mexicans not seem to have as much trouble holding their liquor? Or was alcohol in some form already known to the Aztecs/Mayans/Olmecs?

Steve Sailer said...

Pre-Columbian alcohol:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulque

MC said...

We've got dry Eskimo (pardon, "Alaska Native") villages up here in Alaska too.

Reg C├Žsar said...

It "worked" and didn't "work" according to population.

Among many Protestant communities, who tended to push for it relative to the Catholics, it did work just fine.

It didn't work in communities comprised of ethnic Catholics with strong alcohol traditions...
--anonymous

Prohibition is basically Islam. If Protestants can't stand up to their own nagging harridans, how will they ever stand up to the Mohammedans? (And don't tell me about France-- they haven't been Catholic in centuries.)

Most of those "ethnic Catholic communities" had strong responsible alcohol traditions. Unfortunately, the largest such group didn't, and the rest of us get tarred with the same broad green brush.

Georgia Resident said...

Well, unless we're going to absolutely forbid Indians from leaving their reservations, or forbid anybody from selling within driving distance of a reservation, I don't really see how one can enforce such a selective prohibition. After all, during general Prohibition, liquor was shipped in from Canada, or made by independent entrepreneurs (read: moonshiners). The problem with prohibition is that it often leads to people turning to more dangerous alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Libertarians who want drugs legalized are idiots - a republic requires a sober, industrious chaste and temperent [sic] population -that is why i suspect that libertarianism is really a stealth left wing movement- simply 'freeing' anything that tears at the fabric of western civilizatoin [sic] but ignoring huge damaging gov. regulation like affirmative action.

Actually, many of us are just tired of the "culture wars" and the constant accusations that the War on Drugs are the product of "White racism," "paternalism," "institutional racism," and Whites' general malevolence. If people want to use drugs, fine. Not my problem. I can finally stop hearing from the media, from Black, Hispanic and Jewish groups, from Hollywood, and from the Left that the War on Drugs are part of the systemic oppression of the Black Man by what media darling Susan Sontag called "the cancer of human history:" "the White race." I support -- on medical grounds -- legalizing medical marijuana (under appropriate controls), expanding access to narcotics for people with cancer, AIDS, etc, and even regulating marijuana like alcohol. But, to atone for my unearned White skin privilege, I am in favor of ending the entire "racist" War on Drugs. People can smoke all the crack and shoot all the heroin they want and pay for it with sex, money, gold, whatever. Not my problem; their increased healthcare costs will be offset by lower Social Security and Medicare outlays when they fail to reach age 65.

We also refuse to engage in paternalistic "cultural imperialism" by telling the Native Americans what they can and cannot drink. To borrow a phrase from pro-choice groups, "Their body, Their choice." If they want to purchase beer with their money, they should be allowed to purchase beer with their money. As long as they drink it in private, there is no compelling state interest in regulating their behavior. Why should young White college students be forced to sit and listen to rants as to how paternalistically keeping Native Americans from buying alcohol is "yet another collective crime of Whiteness?" (I remember listening to interminable anti-White rants on this subject in college.)

If you want to have an abortion and help remove your genes from the gene pool, well, its "Your body, Your choice." No "White male patriarchy" should be accused of standing in your way.

If you want to eat a diet consisting only of twelve triple bacon cheeseburgers, six super-sized containers of French Fries, and a gallon of soda each day, so be it. It is "Your body, [it is] Your choice." When the Clinton and Bush (43) administrations tried to promote a healthier diets, the Left carried on as to how it was an exercise in "White privilege," "male privilege," and "cultural imperialism" for "Whites" to tell women and People of Color how to eat. A womyn (sic), after all, knows what is best for their body. O.k. If someone wants their triple bacon cheeseburgers, they get their triple bacon cheeseburgers. Treating their ensuing health problems will help keep many people employed, at least until their premature death from heart disease, diabetes, etc. And I don't have to read articles about how all White people are racist because someone was unable to buy their triple bacon cheeseburgers.

Aaron B. said...

I'm all for personal responsibility, and it's probably true that if people want alcohol, they're going to get it whether it's across the street or in the next town or in the bathtub.

But I'd also think there has to be a special place in Hell for the kind of person who sets up a liquor store right outside a community of people known to be unable to handle it. We know that for American Indians, far more than for other people, alcohol means dissolution and even death. Do they also build stores across from places where AA meetings are held, and go hand out coupons on the street when the meetings are over? Sheesh.

JSM said...

If liberals had any decency, they'd use some tiny portion of Head Start spending to research a genetic treatment for Indians' alcoholism.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a preventable tragedy.

Mr. Anon said...

"The huge Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota is officially Dry, I believe, but right over the reservation / state border in Nebraska a few yards away are giant white-owned liquor stores with inebriated Indians from the reservation lying around all over the place dead drunk."

The Feds should encourage the white liquor store owners to sell their businessess to Koreans and Pakistanis. Then they would be diverse, and everything would be okay.

Anonymous said...

I, like peter hitchens fear it won't be the methodists but Islam that cleans it up this time.

What the Native American movements need, and will likely get, is a Pol Pot like leader who will eliminate the alcohol problem completely.

SGOTI said...

"Drinking leads to fights, vandalism, car accidents, web based pornography, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, stupid tweets(texts, emails), dangerous Jackass stunts, date rape, poisoning....the list goes on and on. Did I forget reckless gambling, absenteeism?"

So in other words, life is no fun without booze?

The Anti-Gnostic said...

They might be able to handle weed, 'shrooms or peyote better, particularly if their use is regulated by a shaman and combined with an ascetic warrior ethos.

But I guess that debate is outside the bounds of polite discourse.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone given any though to the link between bottle-feeding babies and later development of alcoholism?

If more women breast-fed their babies (and otherwise mothered them in a loving contactful way) there would be less alcoholism, and less obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, gallstones, and the like.

But no, the communistic taboo still lingers, that breast feeding is somehow "primitive" and has no place in modern society, or that it's somehow "inconvenient" to modern women, or that is somehow "spoils" or effiminizes babies. If you want convenient or unspoiled kids, get an abortion instead.

Black Sea said...

If the liquor stores immediately on the reservation border are shut down, it'll have two effects.

1. increased drunk driving accidents.

2. increased economic opportunity for reservation residents doing a little bootlegging from the next-nearest liquor stores.


If you repeat this process until the liquor stores are inconveniently distant from the reservation, you'll probably see:

3. increased consumption of "Montana Gin."

Other than effect number two, which rewards entrepreneurship, I don't see much benefit.

Paul Mendez said...

Google Street View definitely confirms there are just (probably drunk) Indians randomly chilling around tiny Whiteclay: http://g.co/maps/gtzhs.

LOL! I've just wasted the last 10 minutes taking a virtual drive down scenic Nebraska Rt. 87.

No Name said...

This is why in the Old West, laws were passed against selling liquor to Indians. It was well known they couldn't handle their liquor.

Of course, that was "racist".

FredR said...

I thought it was interesting that in Frum's review of Murray's "Coming Apart," he sarcastically suggested that Murray look up the Temperance Movement to see how successful elite moralizing can be. Although Prohibition obviously looks like an over-reach, my understanding is that Temperance had about a century of success to its name by that point. Perhaps it's unfair to credit Temperance with the dramatic reductions in alcohol consumption over the 19th century, but certainly it doesn't look like such a failure.

Or there was that recent new york times book review (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/books/review/Oshinsky-t.html?pagewanted=all) that pointed out how alcohol consumption went down during prohibition, and stayed down.

Frum is a smart guy, and sort of a historian, so how come he seems ignorant of this history? Have we forgotten about the effectiveness of temperance because it was bound up in an assertion of WASP majority-culture dominance?

Anonymous said...

The Turning Stone casino (Oneida Indian tribe) in upstate (Verona) New York was dry when it opened in the early-mid '90s. It has since expanded/included resort-type amenities (hotels, golf course), so alcohol sales have been added, but not without disputes regarding sovereignty issues.
Forbes

FredR said...

For instance, Temperance is a big part of the "ethnocultural" interpretation of the 19th century, found in books like Kleppner's "The Third Electoral System." Ethnocultural historians see temperance as struggle for cultural dominance by anglo-protestants against the encroachment of immigrant (german, Irish, etc.) cultures.

Dahinda said...

My uncle was an alcoholic and there was a bar at the end of the block that he lived on and a liquor store about two blocks away. He should have been able to sue these places! He spent most of any money that he made at them!

Kylie said...

"To borrow a phrase from pro-choice groups, 'Their body, Their choice.' If they want to purchase beer with their money, they should be allowed to purchase beer with their money."

I like "Their body, their choice" so long as the consequences of the damage their choices do to their bodies aren't paid for out of my taxes.

No Name said...

Prohibition actually worked. Alcoholism and the diseases it causes actually went down when it went into effect.

It should be noted that there was no real enforcement of the law against drinking alcohol, it just drove it underground.

It probably would have succeeded except for the lawless Big City Jews and Catholics who saw it as a chance to make money by selling/using booze on a large scale AND were willing to kill each other over the profits.

Anonymous said...

Most of those "ethnic Catholic communities" had strong responsible alcohol traditions.

Most of these communities were Southern European, with good genetic resistance to alcohol.

Unfortunately, the largest such group didn't, and the rest of us get tarred with the same broad green brush.

This particular group was northern European, was is not?

Anonymous said...

JSM said...
If liberals had any decency, they'd use some tiny portion of Head Start spending to research a genetic treatment for Indians' alcoholism.

Finally, someone is on the right track!

Gene therapy is the answer, to give everyone the same alcohol resistance genes as Southern Europeans, and save the human race untold suffering.

But only freaks, libertarians, and transhumanists would go for it. Nearly everyone else is some sort of bio-luddite who can dredge up all sorts of silly superstitious excuses why a plan like this is BAAAADDDD.

Leaders of Native Americans and other alcohol-susceptible races will say that gene therapy is cultutral imperialism and genetic racism. Others will say that it's against nature, against God, or that it promotes sin, laziness, and bad character.

Anonymous said...

Prohibition what was gained on the swing was lost on the roundabout.

Cirrhosis went down but was replaced by those who were exposed to CH4O and the problems that caused.

Svigor said...

All I know is I now feel an almost overwhelming urge to eat a double bacon cheeseburger (triple burgers are just a bridge too far, I think).

Whiskey said...

Temperance movements tended to die out, several times during the 19th Century, and saloons were basically awful, all-male places of very dubious character, and generally destructive. Catholic-run bars and beer gardens were of course another story.

Alcohol has benefits pre-industrialization/clean water-sewage. Watered down it kills lots (not all) bacteria, acts as a pain reliever, a social lubricant for awkward, shy/introverts who are good with technology/objects but not people, and so on. This is one of the reasons people drink it. Used IN MODERATION it can aid digestion, relieve muscle spasms, and provide relaxation in otherwise somewhat tense social events.

Like genes for malaria resistance, it has a cost, but the benefit outweighs the costs mostly.

Timothy O'Leary said...

To all you people who think Prohibition was such a roaring success, I absolutely agree. You know, it was just like the case with today's comparable prohibition of drug use. That's been a great success, too, right? Nobody gets addicted to the stuff, because it's illegal, so none is available, and there's not the least possibility that the illegal sale and consumption of the stuff could have any adverse consequences in, say, the slums, or that the need of junkies to get money to feed their addiction with could have any bearing on crime statistics. And certainly there aren't any costs associated with trying to enforce the laws against drug use or incarcerating large numbers of people for violating the prohibition in one way or another. Oh, and let's not forget that there couldn't conceivably be any spill-over affects in foreign countries from Americans' addiction to drugs that have been prohibited for decades. Undoubtedly, there are numerous stray heads in Mexico that confirm thet complete absence of any side effects abroad.

Yes, it's perfectly clearly that Prohibition is an easily enforced policy that has only beneficial effects, without any negative consequences at all. Let's impose one again on alcohol and let the good times roll!

Jacob Roberson said...

Britain has some success with gun restriction. Australia with invasive species. Indian reservations with fire water. Never gets beyond "some" though.

And don't even bother trying at the scale of America.

Libertarian said...

Conservatives have the same blind spot re. alcohol and Drug control as liberals have with gun control.

Anonymous said...

Prohibitionism was bad for New Germania, but probably good for other demographic groups, and that was likely the failure of the prohibition side: to impose this policy equally on everyone.

Defeated said...

"Gene therapy is the answer, to give everyone the same alcohol resistance genes as Southern Europeans, and save the human race untold suffering"

Gene therapy seems extreme. Creating a drug like Chantix seems more plausible. A friend says that he is not sure what else it has done to him, but after taking it, you could blow smoke in his face and he doesn't get the slightest urge.

Anonymous said...

I think this informal study of how different ethnic groups have different genetic and cultural defenses against alcohol can also be applied to Drugs (TM).

Someone here brought up tobacco, and hinted that American Indians were more "tobacco-proof" than white europeans (the opposite of alcohol).

My thesis is that white Europeans have strong natural defenses against mild psychedelics (hemp), or strong ones in small doses (mushrooms), but not svery strong ones (LSD, mescaline) or high doses.

White Europeans evolved with alcohol, mushrooms, hemp, and poppies - but not coca, "soma", or peyote. Through most of history, the authorities, crown and church, kept silent about shrooms and pot even when they blathered about alcoholic temperance. The first anti-psychedelic campaigns were the brainchild of the protestant churches, not the Catholic one, in the "anti-narcotic" panics of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Unlike (say) Mesoamericans, or South and East Asians, whites had trouble handling the strong psychedelics, which led to another backlash, in the 1960s, against the mild ones. Media machines such as the Reader's Digest, Chicago Tribune, and the Hearst-owned newspaper oligopoly loved to print stories about clean-cut boys taking acid, freaking out, burning down churches, and murdering others and themselves. Thes stories did have a grain of truth, like those of the Crazy Indians and fire-water.

LSD in particular was an artificial product similar - but not the same - as natural mescaline and peyote. It was no wonder it led to bad trips, psychoses, and incidents such as ones mentioned above. Establishments all over the world banned LSD for personal and scientific use.

The War Against DRUGS, esp. hemp, was also fueled by the powerful anti-industrial-hemp lobby (Hearst, DuPont); and the fact that the general public tarred hemp with the same brush as LSD and heroin and cocaine. The fact that heroin and cocaine are pharmacologically closer to alcohol than they are to cannabis never occured to anti-hemp propagandists and their hypocritical sheep, many of whom are closet alcoholics.

Defeated said...

It is a strange world. If you light a cigarette in a methodone clinic, the staff will call the police.

Try to find the out of print book, Smoking: The artificial passion. It is the only unbiased book I've ever read on the subject. Before the term ADHD became commonplace, it explains how nicotine aids concentration. It also pose the question, why do people understand drug use which causes euphoria, but they can't understand an addiction which makes one feel a little better all the time.

Smoking represses feelings; other drugs amplify them. I wish there was a smoker's state. BO could be the governor.

I am ambivalent about most drugs. In theory legalize them all. But when some parolee is whacked out on the subway and you see the passengers quietly inching towards the exits, I lose my libertarian tendencies.

Anonymous said...

on topic: peter hitchens has a great article about drugs (read his blog)
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2012/02/fairly-depressing.html

Roger Chaillet said...

Why no mention of "Hispanics" and alcoholism?

http://www.topix.com/forum/news/immigration/T2NUB1R0NAGUG3DU9

I remember working near the med school here in town. There was a Mexican bar just a few blocks south of campus. Drunks would be staggering around outside the bar at 5 PM.

Anonymous said...

The War Against DRUGS, esp. hemp, was also fueled by the powerful anti-industrial-hemp lobby (Hearst, DuPont); and the fact that the general public tarred hemp with the same brush as LSD and heroin and cocaine.

I agree with the part about industrial hemp. It is something that could finally give America an advantage WRT China and India.

Anonymouse said...

"But no, the communistic taboo still lingers, that breast feeding is somehow "primitive" and has no place in modern society, or that it's somehow "inconvenient" to modern women, or that is somehow "spoils" or effiminizes babies. If you want convenient or unspoiled kids, get an abortion instead."

What are you talking about? This is the worst strawman argument I've ever seen. The La Leche League is HUGE these days, and women who don't breastfeed their kids (usually lower class women) are practically burned at the stake by activists. Standard political opinion is very much pro breast feeding.

Anonymous said...

I'd sooner see alcohol made illegal than illicit drugs made legal.

TGGP said...

I wouldn't take Frum seriously at all as an historian (he's actually a lawyer by education). In part of his review of Murray he claimed that lower wages resulted in higher birth rates in the malthusian era. No, it was the opposite and hence the iron law of wages.

Doug1 said...

To a degree, Prohibition did work.... alcohol consumption went down, hospitals recorded less patients being treated for cirrhosis etc.

I saw a documentary on prohibition on PBS that said the exact opposite of both those things were true. Alcohol consumption went up, and there were a lot more medical problems related to alcohol during prohibition often due to low grade alcohol or it being mixed with the wood grain variety.