Back in December, I wrote a piece for US News about the long shadow of Prohibition. In it, I noted that today's destructive alcohol culture stems in large part from the repeal of Prohibition: When Americans repealed the 18th Amendment, lawmakers at all levels built a cumbersom legal fence between Americans and alcohol, all but guaranteeing that generations to come would demonize drink.
Great example of what I meant is unfolding now in Iowa (where I live). Iowa guy owns winery. Decides he'd like to use his talents to make beer as well. Sorry, the state says. No can do. Back in 1933, state lawmakers "protected" Iowans from the evils of alcohol by forbidding residents from working in more than one alcohol-related industry at a time.
Those controls are so strict . . . that they have been interpreted to mean that if a husband drives a beer truck for a distributor, his wife can't work in a grocery store or tavern where beer is sold at retail.
In this specific case, the director of Iowa's Alcoholic Beverage Division says that
The fear . . . is that cross ownership would lead to excessive promotion, creating too much public intoxication. The bans were extended to family ties and to employment situations, he said, to make it clear that even indirect ties would not be allowed.
You can read the entire article here. Read it and, ya know, weep......... Got any dumbass laws you'd like to publicize? Send 'em my way.