|I've been to a bunch of breweries, wineries, and distilleries in recent years, and one topic that always gets mentioned by the owner or tour guide is Prohibition. I can't help but wonder at all the people who lost businesses and livelihoods because of a stupid misguided attempt to legislate morality. Certain liquor producers were able to stay in business by selling "medicinal" alcohol or sacramental wine, which is such an obvious farce, it amazes me anyone allowed it to happen. What's interesting is that even Scottish tour guides mention Prohibition because the global demand for Scotch whisky decreased measurably as a direct result.
I think any sane person can admit these days that Prohibition was a resounding failure. It not only didn't lastingly decrease demand, it created an immediate de facto black market. It's such a stain on our country's more recent history, that I sort of feel a sense of embarrassment for it. We allowed some religious blowhards to enact legislation to limit the rights of all citizens. I wish I could say we collectively learned from this experience, but we didn't, e.g. drug laws and marriage equality. Restricting other people's personal rights in the name of one group's religious beliefs is pretty much always bad. #sociology