December 13th 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY : Does a new ALP leader mean a new direction?

EDITORIAL: More Australian industries to be sacrificed

HONG KONG: Pro-democracy party triumphs in HK election

DRUGS: Parliamentary Committee recommends dumping Harm Minimisation

COMMENT: Internet porn's innocent victims

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Somnambulists at the wheel / West and rest / Knopfelmacher's view

LETTERS: Who's looking after NSW's water?

LETTERS: Cane farmers feel 'alienated'

LETTERS: Prohibition never works - says who?

LETTERS: The morning-after pill in schools

LETTERS: Tariff cuts and unemployment

LETTERS: Good counsel

MEDIA: The blindness of the affluent

TRADE: US-China exchange rate battle to affect Australian exporters

WTO: International trade policy: where to next?

BOOKS: AN AUSTRALIAN IN ASIA: Cities of the Hot Zone, by Greg Sheridan

BOOKS: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

BOOKS: The Fields of Coleraine, by Frank Gardiner

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Prohibition never works - says who?

by Neil E. Ryan

News Weekly, December 13, 2003

When moral and social issues grow out of control we are informed that "prohibition never works".

Yet look up any sizable encyclopaedia and we find that, even today, we enjoy benefits flowing from the prohibition era of the early decades of the 20th century.

Likewise today as a community we appreciate health and other benefits accruing from the progressive prohibitions applied to the use of tobacco.

Yet, paradoxically, we trumpet the mantra "prohibition never works" and proceed to decriminalise or legalise, social ills we assume we can no longer control.

"Once- upon-a- time" tobacco was deemed enjoyable and safe. Today, in spite of the multitudinous mental and health risks associated with cannabis, political elites are seeking its de-criminalisation, similarly, their sponsorship of heroin injection facilities.

Will we ever learn? After legitimising gambling, in spite of expanding social disintegration and criminal cunning, even the State Treasury has becoming addicted.

Brothels have been legalised but prostitution remains as uncontrollable as ever and even here, our State came close to managing its own.

Then, as a community, we have accepted promiscuity as a lifestyle choice. Yet with it, are the ever present health risks, economic penalties, social and family disintegration.

Sadly, governments no longer adhere to any comprehensive moral code by which either they, as legislators or the community, can judge our moral choices or their consequences.

Neil E. Ryan
Blackburn, Vic

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