Alcohol Prohibition didn’t work.
Prohibition of marijuana and other drugs actually failed in much worse ways than alcohol prohibition did.
I don’t always agree with The Economist, but about this I do:
it’s time to end the failed War on Drugs and ramp down the
expensively bloated U.S. prison system.
Uncle Sam Will Enforce Prohibition,
Our September 22nd 1923 issue examined the impact of America’s
experiment with alcohol prohibition. The newspaper encourages a
similarly liberal approach to drug control today.
We wrote: “A law is not necessarily a good or wise law because
it aims at doing something which is desirable. If it is impossible
of strict administration, it will not only fail in its object, but,
what is far more serious will bring both law, legislature and
executive into open contempt.”
Winston Churchill famously said America would always do the right
thing after exhausting the alternatives. The right thing in climate
policy for all the big countries is a carbon tax, which is simpler
and less vulnerable to fluctuations in emissions than cap-and-trade
schemes. For years, such a tax has been a non-starter politically.
But as the alternatives are tested to destruction, it deserves to be
looked at again. Current environmental policies will not keep the
rise in global temperatures to below 2°C—the maximum that
most climate scientists think safe. A carbon tax, if stiff enough,
could. Big polluters should assume that such a tax will one day
arrive, and start planning for it now.