You know, in heated discussions it’s not terribly unusual. That is, for a person on the losing end of a debate resorting to red herrings, straw man arguements or even pulling statistics out their butt. It’s almost like death throes or something; where the soon to be departed gives a few useless kicks before lying there defeated and growing cold.
But that normally happens in a real time “face-to-face” discussion. I must wonder why an individual would feel the need to misinform, in some last ditch effort to win allies, when pressure isn’t an issue.
Especially when in today’s world, where a few mouse clicks can confirm or discount an individuals claims. I suppose the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine figured no one would bother. Hey, if you read it in the paper then it must be true, right?
Following is my LttE questioning said president.
In a Los Angeles Times article appearing in The Columbian (7/29/14), Pot: U.S. sees profound cultural shift, Stuart Gitlow, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine is quoted thusly, “When you look back at Prohibition, what you see is that per-capita use of alcohol during Prohibition dropped by more than 50 percent; as a result of that, alcohol-related deaths dropped considerably as well. Prohibition was an enormous public health success.”
This is where the adage about not believing everything you read fits.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, alcohol related deaths increased during that period from 1 per 100,000 in 1920 to 4 per 100,000 in 1928.
Also, crime was rampant during that period as is indicated by this quote from Henry Hilfers, the president of the New Jersey State Federation of Labor (before the Senate May, 1926), “The Volstead Act has been the direct result of creating more crime in the State of New Jersey than there ever has been before.”
Shame on Gitlow for perpetuating a falsehood. Alcohol prohibition was an abysmal failure. I’m rather bemused it appears nothing was learned from that catastrophe.