Prohibition blues

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The parallels between the US prohibition of alcohol in 
the 1920s and 1930s and narcotics today are too numerous to mention except that the UK
allowed itself to drawn into the latter.

Both were profoundly 
counterproductive, leading to widespread flouting of the law, the vast enrichment of 
organised crime and countless user deaths through tainted 

Sadly, the failed tactics of 
prohibition acquired moral or even spiritual overtones which resulted in them being lifted clear of the sphere of rational debate.

In fact, what ended the “noble experiment” was the desperate need for tax income in the early 1930s so that the end of Prohibition was the silver lining of the Depression.

As your editorial (10 December) indicated, our real problems are “high and rising unemployment… the continuing squeeze… and another £27 billion of tax increases or spending cuts”.

Everyone knows the benighted Richard Nixon’s “war on drugs” is lost so may we hope financial realities will force the hand of our timid politicians and end this charade.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews