Good Morning Gentle Readers,
In 1921 my favorite Grandma's fiance was machine gunned in a firefight with the Fibbies at the Canadian border. His crime? Importing intoxicating liquors from Canada. Grandma kind of wondered why he hadn't been around for several days until she read the story in the paper. Surprise. Twelve years later, on December 5, 1933, the 18th Amendment was repealed and importing liquor no longer carried an informal death sentence.
Prohibition also decimated the wine industry in California, pushing the evolution of high quality wines out for a half century and changing forever our cultural views toward alcohol. Many wineries collapsed with the end of the market for legal wine. Sacramental wine simply wasn't profitable. Others replanted wine grapes with juice grapes that resulted in a glut of low quality grapes that far outlasted the demise of Prohibition. Still others, like the Mondavis, grew Zinfandel and shipped the grapes back east to Italian Catholics who were permitted to make their own wine for sacramental purposes.
After nearly four decades of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars and 37 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses, our confined population has quadrupled making building prisons the fastest growing industry in the United States.
Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs.
- We have the constitutional right to do so. How many forms of pleasure are guaranteed by the Constitution? None, unless you’re one of those who get an inflated sense of ego from holding a firearm or speaking in public. Me, I’m going to stick with alcohol.
- It’s at the right time. Conveniently located about halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, at a time when we’re probably not with our families, the Fifth of December represents a great time to get together with friends and celebrate our constitutional rights.
- Repeal Day doesn’t exclude. Are you an American, or are you located in the United States? Congratulations, you’re invited to join our party! Sorry, gay leprechauns, but Saint Patrick’s Day is off limits. Being French on Cinco de Mayo is about as cool as being British on the Fourth of July. But December Fifth is a day that’s open to anyone!
- It’s easy! There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.
For the record, TWC doesn't smoke dope or do drugs and I don't want my kids doing drugs either. As a parent, I'll do a better job keeping them off the nose candy than any drug warrior has to date. Without torching the Bill of Rights.