This Week’s Mtg: Lessons Of Prohibition, Past and Future (11/11/10)

Linda’s idea, and a timely history topic, I think.  Prop. 19 may have failed, but:  

  1. Supporters of 19 are saying it was a moral victory that the prop came as close as it did to passing, given that last Tuesday’s turnout was so high among the elderly and so low among the young and the entire political establishment was against the thing;
  2. As part of the effort to defeat make the measure less attractive to voters, Schwarzenegger reduced the penalty for pot possession  in CA from a misdemeanor to a mere infraction.  One analyst I read said the number of people going to prison for pot possession may actually go up because more people may end up in jail for failing to pay their $100 fines/tickets than currently get prison for misdemeanor pot use!

So, discussing our brief 1920-33 experiment with the 18th Amendment is still relevent, I imagine.  Another reason is that we can discuss the Progressive movement more broadly, since prohibition was one if its signature successes — and failures.

I won’t have much of an opening, since I’ve done so many lately.  I’ll just give 3 minutes on when this all happened and a few basics.  If anyone wants me to later, I’ve read a bunch on the Progressive movement and can explain how prohibition fits into the movement’s worldview and illustrates its virtues and its flaws.

Not too many links this week:

Finally: “Prop 19, the California proposition to legalize marijuana, lost. The proponents are all so sad today. If only there were some substance that could make them laugh again.”         –   Jimmy Kimmel



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