December 8, 2008

75 Years After Prohibition Repealed

We recently saw the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition in the United States. We know that Prohibition was an attempt by well-meaning Christians to legislate their version of morality. We also know that it did little good and was not to be tolerated by the people. What have we learned from this experience? Not a hell of a lot it seems.

I live in a "dry county." The small business owners conservatives claim to be so interested in helping repeatedly get this issue on the ballot. They want to repeal this lingering prohibition. Serving alcohol would be a boon to many of their businesses. It doesn't matter that this might help business because the local churches are able to mobilize voters who are all too eager to push their morality on others. They keep us dry.

Today, many call for ending another form of prohibition - the war on drugs. We recognize that this effort has been a dismal and expensive failure. But again, a large segment of our population believes that drugs are immoral and has no problem with criminalizing drug use.

I am not allowed to buy beer on Sundays or after 2:00 am. I must go to a liquor store to buy liquor because grocery stores in my state are not allowed to sell it. I am not allowed to posses even small quantities of marijuana.

These restrictions do not inconvenience me much, especially since I no longer drink alcohol. However, I am not particularly thrilled with my government wasting money to enforce such laws simply because some religious believers are willing to turn their preferences into commandments and laws they then impose on others.

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