Prohibition works so well, doesn’t it?

Bihar, where prohibition is in force, suffered a shock when three persons died after consuming spurious alcohol near Patna and seven boozers were arrested from a posh hotel in the State capital.

According to police, three friends consumed spurious liquor in the Rakabganj area near Patna on Tuesday night and when their condition deteriorated they were admitted to a local hospital where they died.

7 thoughts on “Prohibition works so well, doesn’t it?”

  1. Depends on the definition of ‘works’. If it prevents most people drinking, and kills those who dare to defy it, it ‘works’ both ways. Remember, Prohibitionists are fanatics.

    Alcohol was deliberately poisoned in the US during Prohibition. Killing heretics was perfectly fine, even Godly.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    Rob – “Depends on the definition of ‘works’. If it prevents most people drinking, and kills those who dare to defy it, it ‘works’ both ways. Remember, Prohibitionists are fanatics.”

    It does depend on what you mean by works. In the last days of the USSR Gorbachev banned alcohol and it does seem to have improved the health of the nation.

    But it is absurd to say all prohibitionists are fanatics. People are people and support all sorts of causes for all sorts of reasons.

    The question is whether the Bihar ban has to be 100% effective to be worthwhile. I tend to support the consumption of alcohol whatever it does to the health of the nation. Even if it is bad for us. But I can accept reasonable people can reasonably disagree.

  3. One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

    If you count the number of people killed or seriously injured from alcohol-related accidents, how does Bihar fare? If they have fewer deaths than comparable states, prohibition is clearly working. I’d hazard a guess that alcohol consumption is lower because it’s less readily available, thus achieving another explicit goal (less drinking). As Rob points out above, prohibition also works in achieving other less explicit goals.

    The better question (and one which you’ve asked before) is whether the higher number of deaths is a price worth paying for the valuable and pleasurable right to drink alcohol.

  4. In most societies alcohol drinking evolved as a method of having something clean to drink. Has Bihar coupled their alcohol prohibition with ensuring a universal clean water supply?

  5. Blimey a libertarian blog and people are ambivalent about whether people should be allowed to drink alcohol. I feel like pouring myself a stiff one, if the readers of this blog think that’s OK.

    BTW getting away from the whether we should have the right to drink alcohol, and talking about harm, there is plenty of evidence that in anything but large amounts alcohol consumption has a protective effect on cardiovascular health. Thus lives are saved. Only recently repealed by the Queen of illiberality Theresa May.

  6. “There have been apprehensions that Bihar could witness a hooch tragedy any day after prohibition came into effect on April 5.”

    At least tragedy was used appropriately in this case. The fatal flaw of those who died was alcohol so for the timing being the grammar nazis are kept at bay.

    Virtually everywhere prohibition has been tried it has failed. The people of Bihar will see interesting times thanks to this.

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