29 November 2010

Prohibition Anecdotes

Reason: Hit & Run | Jacob Sullum | David Katz, M.D.: I Don't Get It, So It Should Be Banned

Although The Huffington Post is ostensibly intended for adults, Katz's clueless condescension (and exclamation points!) would offend even a reasonably bright 11-year-old. It is enough to turn you against 'sanity and safety' once and for all. Unlike Katz, I do not have an M.D., but I do not think his assertion that anyone who dares to drink an Irish coffee or a rum and coke must be insane qualifies as a medical judgment. As evidence that drinking such a 'crazy' combination 'has an excellent chance of hurting you, and a fairly good chance of killing you,' Katz offers a single datum: an accident in which a 21-year-old who had been drinking Four Loko died after slamming her pickup truck into a telephone pole. He also falsely claims that Four Loko contains 'highly concentrated alcohol,' when in fact the product, at 12 percent alcohol by volume, is less potent than Chardonnay.
Is anyone else noticing a similarity between Four Loko and absinthe prohibition?

Jean Lanfray murdered his wife after having two glasses of the stuff with lunch, which contributed greatly to the moral panic against it, leading to its eventual century-long ban in Switzerland. Little reported was that his lunch also included seven wines, six cognacs, two brandies, and two creme de menthes.

Of course there are going to be incidents of people doing stupid shit after having Four Loko. But there are thousands of people doing stupid shit every day after having Miller Lite.  Why is this one particular, rare cause of stupid behavior more deserving of the public wrath than all the rest?

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