More Booze, Less Meth
No, the title isn't a modern adaptation of the old Miller Lite beer ad (for you younger readers, the slogan was Tastes Great, Less Filling). It is my concise summary of a recent study from the University of Louisville. As described in a Washington Post article (click here to read it), dry counties in Kentucky had much higher rates of methamphetamine related crimes and lab seizures than moist or wet counties. What's a moist county? It is where the county only allows alcohol sales in certain areas.
Besides the tragic human and financial costs associated with meth, what really amazes me about this study is this -- residents of a state (ok, technically a commonwealth) that is the source of so much great bourbon can't purchase the product legally. Talk about breaking bad.
The situation depicted in the study isn't just a Kentucky thing. For example, the article describes a prior study showing drug related deaths decreased in Texas counties that changed from dry to wet. I'm not calling for unregulated alcohol sales and irresponsible drinking. Far from it. To paraphrase a quote in the article, I'm just saying that prohibiting alcohol can lead to much worse things. So everyone say it together -- more booze, less meth!