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should alcohol be banned throughout europe

alcohol misuse is of epidemic proportions throughout the UK.
Should people be encouraged to look at natural forms of relaxation rather than filling up with alcohol and "getting mad with it,"

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    Jan 18 2014: Banning is the only thing that should be banned.
    • Jan 20 2014: Very well said and true. Let freedom ring! Compete instead of repeat.
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    Jan 18 2014: Absolutely, it worked out extremely well when we did it in the US.

    Whenever the government takes away liberties from it's citizens it always has unintended consequences.

    Not the least of which will be an increase in crime. In the case of the drug trade it has resulted in extreme violence in Mexico. A huge increase in the cost of incarcerating people who would otherwise be free. A drop in economic output. People dying from unregulated alcohol poisoning. And I'm sure many other consequences.
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    Jan 17 2014: The 1920's were the most crime-ridden period in the United States, due to the rise of gangs and organized crime. And that was due to the prohibition of alcohol.

    http://www.albany.edu/~wm731882/organized_crime1_final.html
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/a-centennial-history/fbi_and_the_american_gangster_1924-1938
    http://library.thinkquest.org/04oct/00492/Crime_Rate.htm
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-157.html

    Whatever the answer to alcohol abuse is, prohibition is NOT it.
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      Jan 17 2014: I'd like to add that this goes for ALL drugs, not just alcohol.
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        Jan 17 2014: I agree. The current incarceration rate in the US is about 8 times what Europe's is, and about half of those are drug-related.
      • Jan 17 2014: Not exactly.

        The problem is that for the reasons I explained above, a trained monkey could produce alcohol in a basement. Therefore, enforcement isn't going to be effective.
        With certain other drugs however, enforcement could work a lot better.

        Its a trade off between funding organized crime (determined largely by how effective the enforcement is), and the health hazards legal, and therefore widespread, drugs would have on the population (determined by the drugs themselves).
        There's an argument to be had for legalizing the milder drugs like marijuana, but for the harder stuff like cocaine or heroine, lets just say there's a good reason they're illegal.
  • Jan 20 2014: Prohibition did not work in the US - it probably will not work in the UK. How to solve this problem? not sure
  • Jan 19 2014: No.
  • Jan 18 2014: Not sure it would be a good idea but it would make for great reality TV.
  • Jan 18 2014: Of course not. Banning would only stimulate the appearance of organized crime around alcohol. If you want people to be better invest in education.
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    Jan 17 2014: I don't believe anyone should impose their morality upon another mature adult. The real problem is why do they need to escape.
  • Jan 17 2014: The Americans tried something similar in the last century, and there is much to be learned from their attempt--namely "here's what not to do".

    The problem is with alcohol, is that unlike other drugs like say, cocaine, you can pretty much make the stuff in your basement without any special equipment or training. Anything from grain to fruit (things you absolutely cannot ban or even overly regulate the sale of) will do as raw materials, and a trained monkey can probably be taught to do it. Now, unless you know what you're doing, the result is pretty much rotgut, but without legal competition, it'll sell just fine in the right circles.
    Plenty of types of alcoholic drinks also don't require much in the way of cooling or other special treatment, and will be abundant in neighboring countries without prohibition, which means plenty of smuggled drinks over the border.

    So essentially, alcohol will still be produced and available in large quantities. The difference is, it won't bring in any tax revenue, it'll overtax the legal system with minor offenders, will have no regulation to mitigate its health hazards (like say, methanol levels), and organized crime will be able to make an absolute killing out of it.

    Prohibition only really works in countries like Saudi Arabia, whose population largely shuns alcohol for social and religious reasons. In short, when the dryness is self enforced, and practically speaking, the anti-alcohol laws are mostly a formality. That's not exactly the situation we have in Europe.
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    Jan 31 2014: Alcohol- I've not heard much good about it. It's mostly present around parties and social events, but comes most into the limelight as the cause of disastrous accidents and behavior. I've also heard it's used for some medicinal/healing purposes. Banning it would be a rather huge and slow campaign, as it is way too much incorporated into the culture already.
    One cannot simply ban alcohol. A lot of things have been tried with laws to ban them, but people still come up with ways to use/obtain them. Same case with alcohol. If it was to be banned, people would protest and that would be the end of that. What could be done is to educate the people more in their negative/harmful aspects, maybe distract them with some better/safer substance, or simply try to kill/minimise the need they have to go to alcohol for consolation. People would still go to alcohol, but they'd be less and perhaps a little wiser.
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    Jan 30 2014: Defenitely alcohol should be banned throughout the world not only europe. Because alcohol only will get temporary happiness.
    • Jan 30 2014: Bans like that only institutionalize criminality even further. This is the thing that fascist goons never understand. The tighter you try to crush humanity, the harder we will push back. Only a fascist goon would want to ban alcohol AGAIN. It was already tried. It failed, miserably, and by the end of it, organized crime had become much stronger.
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    Jan 27 2014: If you tell a child not to touch an empty socket of a lamp shade, what do you think he/she will do? If you tell a child not to play with matchstiks, will he/she listen?

    The only way to prevent children from touching empty sockets or playing matchsticks is not to have empty sockets and matchsticks at all. Adults are older versions of children.
    • Jan 27 2014: Are you saying that we should take alcohol away from Europe then?
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        Jan 28 2014: Hello ED,

        There will always be some people who will misuse or abuse marijuana, heroine, cigarettes, and alcohol ... for as long as these items are available.
        • Jan 30 2014: Prohibition was tried before. The only result was the strengthening of organized crime and widespread contempt for a government that was sliding into fascism.
  • Jan 25 2014: I agree with Krisztian 100 per cent. Alcohol is the symptom not the cause. However, we should not miss the point that if a child is educated in a society where a damaging substance is considered the light in the darkness, it is complicated to persuade them that overuse lead to darkenss. It's interestingly argued that alcohol in moderation has no noxiuos impact on health, but even improve it in some cases. As a matter of fact, It's not correct to compare alcohol to drugs, on the other hand a parallel between alcoholism and drug addiction is appreciable. So how can we handle a situation like that? Too much to be treated like a drug, too little to be treated like a medicine. Oh my God! Too much is the answer! In order to attempt the problem properly, let me put it this way : if overdrinking is the normality, we have to change this idea in children's mind, therefore we may aspire for a future environment where "too much" is banned, nothing else.
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    Jan 24 2014: .
    Yes.
    Alcohol makes INVALID HAPPINESS that hurts us.
    .
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    Jan 21 2014: what would your ban consist of?

    One idea I like for relaxation is to dance anywhere, any time, with or without music. I like to dance in line at the grocery store (well, I keep my feet in one place, but move my upper body and stomach like belly dancing), or while sitting at the computer. Here is a video I made about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olHbo8IFOoI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUZvDZdiqgpIOyXgi-lZVBgg Here is another dance idea video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R8j7eKwhXg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUZvDZdiqgpIOyXgi-lZVBgg

    I do remember reading that people enjoy alcohol and drugs because they enjoy feeling a little differently from how they feel sober. But you know, I don't know that I've ever talked to anyone about why they use alcohol or drugs, I'm going to keep that in mind as a question if the topic comes up.
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    Jan 21 2014: how about offering people lives that worth living? how about promoting personal responsibility and freedom to act, to make a difference in your life, to aspire for things? how about not putting everyone in bondage, regulating every aspect, putting people on rails, behind fences, choking their creativity, reducing them to plants or cattle? how about treating people like people? how about not giving people the choice between the status of a servant or ever warring power hungry politics? how about not sending the message "calm down, everything is taken care of" and then being surprised that people don't give a damn anymore, and just turn into partying and self-destruction?

    how about realizing that alcohol is not the cause, but the symptom?
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    Jan 21 2014: Think about it, over 60 million? on two islands. What do you think. Nutty Pom syndrome. We're trying to stop you guys invading my country and there's nothing down here Lol.
  • Jan 21 2014: Do you all drink alcohol?
    • Jan 21 2014: Has nothing to do with it.
      Look at what happened when the Americans tried banning the stuff in the 20's. Not only was the ban ineffective, but it also sparked a dramatic increase in organized crime.

      Its just not realistic to ban a substance you can ferment in your basement using every day materials.
  • Jan 21 2014: Among most of the "addictive" substance, alcohol is probably the least harmful one. Furthermore, the alcohol is contained in many beverages used by many people that it's very difficult to control. Alcohol is also used in cooking, medicine and even as an sterilization agent. And as many comments here said that virtually any homeowners could make alcohol in their basement. And the use of alcohol by humans has a long history started when man had cultivated grain for food. So it has always been very difficult to ban alcohol, as compared with other narcotics or addictive substances, or even behaviors like gambling; formal or informal (e. g. market speculation, etc.)
    Furthermore, one could reasonably "dry" him/her self up with a little will power. Also many, like myself, never get addicted even when I did drink a lot when I was young, but I rarely drink alcohol now.
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    Jan 20 2014: I've heard that drinking red wine with appropriately quantity on a regular basis is very good for women's complexion and health, so I guess if it's banned, you'd lose some beautiful and healthy women as well as some romance. :))))
  • Jan 18 2014: It cannot work, consider abolition in the US during the 1920's this was a great failure. Consider now how a change in attitude on smoking has changed general attitudes and the number of people who now smoke. In countries like Australia, the UK and the US the number of people who smoked at the height of the trend may have been around 40%, now its maybe 20% a vast reduction. This same approach may work for alcohol as well.