*Prohibition of alcohol, that is.
Prohibition was a disaster, and no one regrets that it ended. The press has taken some notice of this, with varying degrees of perceptiveness. Earlier this week, Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann nailed the parallels between prohibition of alcohol and current marijuana policies.
Amazingly, this morning's San Francisco Chronicle splashes a Prohibition repeal story across its front page and fails to even consider any possible echo in current policies. "When booze became illegal, gangsters took over the booze business, and it became fashionable to break the law," reporter Carl Nolte writes. Uh, does this sound familiar at all? Hello?
And in yesterday's Los Angeles Times, columnist Patt Morrison considered taxing marijuana like alcohol, but -- misled by a RAND Corp. researcher -- gets nearly everything wrong. She writes that "teasing out marijuana's health effects and associated costs is almost impossible," when in fact marijuana is arguably the most-studied drug on the planet, and researchers have consistently found any harmful health effects to be far less than tobacco and alcohol. And she assumes that "more people would smoke it regularly if it were legal," though a recent World Health Organization study found no reason to believe that's true.
Meanwhile, on AlterNet, MPP executive director Rob Kampia gives his thoughts on the two prohibitions.