Alcohol and cannabis prohibition
4 min

Cannabis And The Lessons Learned From Alcohol Prohibition

4 min
Legislation News

The lessons learned from alcohol prohibition will help clear the way for sensible management of legal marijuana. People will always be people and people enjoy their vice.


Hindsight always views prohibition as a failure. Alcohol, cannabis and prostitution, for example, have been and are to this day prohibited in different states around the world.

Where vice is prohibited an illegal underground invariably appears to cater to people, simply being the gloriously flawed beings they are. Black markets breed crime, poor personal and civic health, increase arrests, create the need for prisons and sequesters large amounts of money to individuals rather than to everyone via taxes and public works programs.

Where vice is reasonably administered like any other human endeavour, there is less crime, better personal and civic health, fewer arrests, lower prison populations and more taxable revenue streams. Just look at the multi-billion dollar legal cannabis industry in Colorado. Every individual benefits and criminals are not made from average every-day people.

There are lessons to be learned from the failures of alcohol prohibition. This is a unique chance to get things legally right for the smooth running future of the cannabis industry. Globally legal cannabis will be a multitrillion-dollar industry, yes folks, trillion. This revenue stream can do so much good rather than murderous cartel bosses having gold toilet seats and cupboards full of cash.


It is very difficult to broach the subject of what can be learned from alcohol prohibition by those interested in cannabis law reform. Prohibition at all is a subject that itself needs intensive debate, no matter what is being prohibited.

Talking about prohibition is to talk about sovereignty over your own body and your mind. About what you are told you can and can't do with your own person by third parties whose moral certitude usually lies in the barrel of a gun.

Prohibition and vice squads go hand in hand. What kind of sick society unilaterally decides what a particular section of that society can and can't do while creating special law enforcement agencies to deal with them?

The alcohol/cannabis comparison seems so forced. It is quite sure that the original intent was to highlight that the laws governing each should be similar. But the hysterical media has led Joe Public to believe that the incapacitation from intoxication is also similar, which every cannabis aficionado knows is a fallacy.

Alcohol vs Cannabis

Which clown was it that first made the comparison to alcohol? Someone needs to solve the quantum paradox, invent a time machine, go back to there and then and advise that individual to compare cannabis to something much more appropriately innocuous, say coffee or tea, but certainly not alcohol. It would sure save us all a lot of tap dancing today trying to untangle an argument that shouldn't even really exist. In the near future, cannabis prohibition will be viewed as a historical absurdity.

Thanks Harry Anslinger, you dick.

Okay. Rant over.


The fledgeling steps of across the boards' legalisation for cannabis are being taken in several states and countries around the globe. Encouraging statistics to show that rather than legalisation bringing about cannageddon it is generating tonnes of legal revenue via taxes and licensing while organised crime is taking a real beating. Court time is freed up not having to process marijuana misdemeanours and otherwise perfectly law-abiding citizens no longer run the risk of besmirching their name with frivolous prosecutions.


Evidence now exists from states where cannabis is well managed that there is a reduction in opiod painkiller addictions and overdoses by up to 25%. Doctors report prescribing noticeably less opioid painkillers when they are allowed by law to prescribe cannabis. Where it is legal to grow your own marijuana plants a self-medicating revolution is taking place. The healthful and beneficial effects of gardening indoors or out while producing their own medicine are helping people break the expensive chain of painkiller addiction with a positive mental attitude and no compromise in analgesic efficiency.


It's no joke. Marijuana is big business baby. Five hundred five pound plant farms by the dozen. Indoor automated hybrid sun/artificial light cannabis growing factory warehouses. Uncountable boutique and home growers. High tech extractors producing hundreds of litres of oil or kilos of shatter and wax per day. All to fill a widening void of cannabis demand.

Cannabis Money

The emerging cannabis industry is wrestling the public's hard-earned money from the hands of international drug cartels and putting it into government coffers as a tax for public projects. The rest is profit like any other business and goes into the bank accounts of local business people, the growers, dispensary owners and couriers, who spend that money locally again. Mexican drug cartels, for example, can rely on weed for 30% of their revenue. Considering this is a rapidly expanding multi-billion dollar industry, legal cannabis really makes good economic sense.


Legal cannabis creates jobs. Legal cannabis opens a multi-billion dollar revenue stream that when clandestine goes to the black market and unscrupulous cartels. Legal cannabis generates an income on several levels.

Prohibition, on the other hand, has a number of costs apart from the billions of dollars it takes to fund and manage the personnel needed to pursue people who apart from using or growing cannabis are otherwise perfectly good law-abiding citizens.

Prohibition often sees a rise in the use of harder drugs that are easily made in a domestic kitchen from regular and inexpensive household products. "Dry" states and towns are experiencing an Ice epidemic that threatens to decimate a whole generation. The social cost of prohibition is too great.


Having to prove anything where cannabis is concerned is an aberration and a classic study in the power of social engineering. It is prohibition that is the historical speedbump and should in all reality need to prove itself. Every time a claim of cannabis usefulness is made proof needs to be provided. Which takes time, lengthening the decriminalization process. With cannabis being so useful its own effectiveness works against legalization. While a thousand field trials are carried out, for medical efficacy, fibre and seed processing and for tax or licensing models to be tested. Cannabis, a tried and trusted friend to humanity for thousands of years, languishes. So evilly executed, so clever and long reaching.

Unquestioned in its usefulness, like wheat or sugarcane, cannabis was just part of the background of everyday life. Whereas the prohibitionists only appeared in the 1940's. They were federally backed bullies who to this day still cannot prove just one thing without spinning off into hyperboles. That cannabis is dangerous. They simply can't do it.

Listing the benefits of cannabis law reform and of cannabis, in general, can be a documentation of the history of human kind, how they liked to party and how they liked to medicate. Cannabis has always been there, unlike prohibition. So shine on all you crazy diamonds, keep on blazing and a special shout out and kudos to those on the forefront braving the bureaucratic shit-storm so that we may smoke free.


  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

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