Monday, June 21, 2010


Sometimes the "cure" doesn't help at all but makes things worse. Prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. was one such (perhaps) well-intentioned attempt to make life better through more laws, more regulations, more police powers, more courts, and more jails. It failed. It made society more violent. It made treatment for alcoholism even harder to get. It penalized people who did not abuse alcohol. The only people who benefited were the police, courts, lawyers, and politicians.

Today, alcohol is a legal drug, while many others remain under the same federal prohibition (only without the legitimacy of a constitutional amendment). An argument can be made that the drug problem can better be handled in the way Portugal is doing than by filling up jails and spending billions of dollars to do so.

Personally, I think the most dangerous addictive drug out there is government. Once people are hooked, it's next to impossible to wean them off - whether they are addicted to the welfare state of the left or the warfare state of the right. But the Portuguese have demonstrated that it is possible to get off the government fix and approach social problems without resorting to the high of the police state.

Maybe its time to think outside the box a little bit and start limiting rather than expanding government. It might be worth a shot. What we've been doing for the past 80 years isn't really working.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

This is fantastic and wonderful.

James Sarver said...

"The only people who benefited were the police, courts, lawyers, and politicians."

I see your point, but what about the massive infusion of cash into organized crime? I would contend that prohibition turned loose coalitions of thugs into well oiled (and funded) organizations that were able to then diversify and survive the end of prohibition. They still plague us today.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear James:

I think you're absolutely right abut that! It was a lapse on my part not to mention that. Black markets inflate prices and create a market for criminal enterprise. Thanks for pointing that out!

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Eric:

I'm afraid most Americans will shrug it off and say that America is not Portugal, and somehow if something is done in Europe it is, by definition, wrong.

Paul said...

"yesterday's villains are todays victims" -- we (progressives) like everything else about Europe; why not decriminalization of drug possession?