It’s a practical matter.
Sheldon Richman’s piece at Reason goes more into the policy and history of the wet-dry county divide than I care to.
The problem with the “local control” side of the debate is that the odds are stacked overwhelmingly in favor of the status quo.
If a county wishes to vote on whether to change from dry to wet (or vice versa), Ark. Code Ann. § 3-8-205 (a)(1) requires that a petition be submitted by 38% of the registered voters in the county. If a county wishes to change from dry to damp,** however, the petition need only be signed by enough registered voters to equal 15% of the votes cast in that county in the previous gubernatorial election.***
Essentially, the state legislature has made it incredibly easy for voters to decide to go from dry to damp, but incredibly difficult to go from dry to wet. Thirty-eight per cent of the registered voters in the county is essentially the signature of every voter who plans to vote in favor of the change.
And, of course, opponents of the statewide preemption (and Saline County’s petition to go from dry to wet) are rent-seeking county line liquor stores whose business will suffer when their neighboring counties are no longer dry.
It’s Baptists and Bootleggers all over again.
*Yes, it looks odd, but “Arkansas’s” is the correct possessive form.
**”Damp” counties forbid the sale of alcohol over the counter, but allow the sale in “clubs” for on-premises consumption.
***Ark. Code Ann. § 3-9-206 (a)(2).
The War on Drugs, on the other hand, turns 40 on Friday.
NPR points out (H/T Uncle) that the spending on this unwinnable war is unjustifiable; the Obama administration disagrees.
Gary Johnson agrees, and said, “In my view, in terms of individual liberties and fiscal responsibility, opposition to the drug war is perfectly consistent with true Republican Party values.”
I don’t know if ending the drug war and decriminalizing the various currently illegal drugs would affect crime rates; my gut feeling is that they would go down, much like bootlegging (mostly) ended with the repeal of Prohibition.
I do know that at this point, continuing the drug war is merely throwing good money after bad; thinking that we have to continue fighting against the scourge of illegal drugs because of how much we’ve spent is merely falling prey to the sunk cost fallacy.
The money we’ve wasted in the War on Drugs is gone forever. We can’t get it back.
What we can do is stop spending more money on it, immediately.
It’s not much, but it would be a good start towards reining in the government and reclaiming our civil liberties; how many of them have been sacrificed already due to the war on drugs?
Yes, I know the title looks wrong, but trust me: it’s not.
Baccano! is a 16 episode OVA series based on a series of light novels; it’s set during Prohibition, and follows the intersecting adventures of a few different mafia families, non-mafia bootleggers, cultists, and immortals.
You read that right. Several of the characters drank (whether knowingly or unknowingly) the brew of alchemists, the grand panacea, and if there’s one thing the roaring 20s and 30s didn’t need, it’s a bunch of immortal mafiosos, crooks, and bootleggers.
It makes for an entertaining (if bloody) show, though. The cast is large, and because it jumps back and forth through time (sometimes several times each episode), it’s hard to keep track of who’s who and exactly when and what is going on, but if you can get past that, it’s worth the watch.
If that’s too much work for you, though, you can always just listen to the opening music. It’s as jazzy as Tank!
Then the first step ought to involve reining in the ATF; they’ve done more than their fair share of getting guns across the border themselves.
Calderon has complained about what he sees as attempts by the US to meddle in Mexican domestic policy; that’s quite the statement, considering that not even a year ago he addressed Congress and told them they ought to reenact the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban.
The root cause of the violence at the Mexican border is the illegal drug trade; we had the same problems (violence-wise) during Prohibition, and it turns out that prohibition still isn’t effective.