Drug Policy Alliance

Former Drug Czar Advisor Paul Chabot: Alcohol Prohibition "Actually Worked"


Last Friday former Drug Enforcement Administration analyst and current member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Sean Dunagan debated former ONDCP advisor and Coalition for a Drug Free California founder Paul Chabot on The Young Turks. The segment is worth watching for a couple of reasons: Dunagan does a good job of modeling sensibility, and Chabot's zealotry is sort of hilarious. But best of all is Chabot's assertion, at just after the six-minute mark, that alcohol prohibition "actually worked." 

Chabot's ONDCP resume, according to his website, reads as follows: "Paul…was selected for the Nation's prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship Program working for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He was promoted to White House Senior Advisor for Law Enforcement, Justice and Drug Control Programs. During his nearly 6-years in the White House, he completed two rotational assignments, one with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles targeting methamphetamine production and one later with the U.S. State Department Office of Inspector General, assessing counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics programs."

Via Steve Elliott

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  1. Actually, you could say that it is using some twisted logic. If you start with the premise that the results of today’s drug war are considered a success, then obviously the same results of organized crime, violence, and criminalization of non-violent people that occurred during Prohibition 1.0 must have been a success as well.

    1. That is the mentality that often comes when trying to justify the sunk costs of a war. In 2007 GWB said the real problem with the Vietnam war was that the US pulled out. Someone like Chabot has invested a lot in the WOD and it would take a lot of cognitive dissonance for him to ever accept that what he was doing was doing more harm than good.

  2. Thanks for giving us the timestamp, Riggs. I can’t stand those shouting head shows.

    But yeah, that is an incredibly bold statement. And by “bold”, of course, I mean retarded.

  3. My grandfather’s cousins ran a moonshine operation during prohibition. The last one of them just died a few years ago at 92 and he was still making moonshine. I loved the stuff.
    According to him there was no discernible effect from prohibition on the amount of alcohol usage. They easily sold every drop they could make. There was a great increase in the amount of gunplay involved however. One of his uncles was shot off the back of his horse in a moonshine war with a competing distiller.
    Chabot is either an idiot or a liar, probably both.

    1. Important, respectable people–the kind who wear suits and ties to work–need to start saying stuff like this whenever he appears in public. They should say it calmly and matter-of-factly but they should say it Every. Single. Time.

      1. Agreed.

  4. In one sentence Chabot says the WOD is working because drug use is down. In the next sentence he says THC concentration is up so the WOD is even more important.

    1. This is what they’re all about – the fear of altered states. If health concerns were the reason, they would be glad that it takes a lot less inhalation of smoke to get the same amount of high. THC is not a carcinogen. This is just another form of puritanism. It’s part of the god damn state religion.

      I believe in Barack Obama, maker of heaven and earth, and in Trayvon Martin, his only begotten son, conceived by the DNC, born of the Main Stream Media…

    2. Indeed. He also used as an example that the San Fran parks are full of drug users, parents are scared to take their kids there. It’s almost as if he forgets that the parks are that way now, when drugs are in fact illegal. So what purpose is the ban serving? The lack of self-awareness here is kind of staggering.

      1. The lack of self-awareness here is kind of staggering.

        But an absolute requirement of company yes-men.

  5. Yeah, it “worked”.
    We got vastly increased organized crime, Joe Kennedy and his hateful brood plus the FBI out of it.
    What’s the problem?

    1. and the worst of those is our political “royalty”, the Kennedy clan, who beloved poster John once, rightly I think, called white trash.

    2. It was so effective it had to be repealed. By Constituional amendment, no less! That’s supposed to be hard to do.

  6. I’m surprised the CA GOP didn’t want him to run for even higher office.

  7. I don’t care what Paul’s credentials are. The guy is a complete douche.

  8. If your goal is increasing the power of the state, I think that both alcohol and drug prohibition could be said to have “worked.”

    Otherwise, both sucked for the average person.

  9. hey, as far as the Kennedy Clan is concerned prohibition worked.

    1. Obviously, his brain is fried.

    2. I’ll suck your dick for a dime bag! Thank God I got off the herb, the addiction just about killed me. Fuck, I had a harder time kicking my caffeine habbit. Someone better shut down the coffee dispensaries… no knock raid at Starbuck’s… Fuck yeah!

  10. Anytime I hear that something “worked” without any attempt at a moral context, I posit that the Kennedy assassination worked, as it achieved its goal of removing a sitting president through use of firearms.

    1. Even by those standards, the WOD didn’t work. Kennedy’s assassination attempt succeed in killing him as intended. WOD has failed to meet any of it’s intended goals.

      1. I thought the intended goal was to put a lot of citizens in prison for no good reason. By that measure, it’s been a great success.

  11. I’ve got an ad up:


    Leaders in Behavioral Health care

    Marijuana Addiction?

    You can stop.

    We can help

    1. Haha yes, livingsober dot com is sure to be a favorite of the H&R commentariat.

      1. I’ve got another one:

        support Sheriff Joe’s effort to take our country back.

        SheriffJoePettition dot com

  12. assessing counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics programs

    So somebody who honestly, or even dishonestly, believes Prohibition worked was also responsible for figuring out how well counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics worked. If thsi doesn’t explain the futility of government action, I’m not sure what does.

  13. it would take a lot of cognitive dissonance for him to ever accept that what he was doing was doing more harm than good

    Well, he *could* try psilocybin, if it were legal.

    1. Psilocybin may cause dogs to talk, but it could never get you to *that* level of cognitive dissonance.

  14. Linked to testicular cancer, schizophrenia, and depression? Yeah, it decreases the symptoms of each of those. What a disingenuous lying piece of cop shit that guy is.

    1. What a disingenuous lying piece of cop shit that guy is.

      Hey now! That’s uncalled for! The guy may be a lying sack of shit, he may be a giant douche and a turd sandwich all rolled into one, he may even be a complete and utter idiot unable to recognize the difference between success and failure in the War on Drugs, but to associate him with the cops?!? That’s uncool, dude! Uncool!

      1. Ummm … he said he was a cop.

        1. Even so, unless he’s wearing a uniform and carrying a badge, you don’t make such a low accusation against somebody! Seriously, that’s worse than calling somebody a Nazi just because they say they’re a Nazi!

  15. I love the vague insinuation at the end that you’re not really American if you don’t support Prohibition. It’s all about kneeling before the State and sucking like a Hoover.

  16. Some gems from their website

    The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University reports that for every $1 in tax revenues collected for alcohol and tobacco equates to $8.95 in social costs…

    1. We knew pot could provide relief. But that doesn’t mean it is medicine

    2. Correlation and causation

      America has the highest high school drop out rate of all industrialized nations (President Obama). Nationally, one-third (1.2 million kids) drop out. Preventing abuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs is no longer an option, but a necessity, if we are to retain our standing as a nation.

    3. WTF?

      Alcohol, tobacco and drugs (ATOD) are the root cause of almost all the social and economic problems of California, yet they are largely ignored.

      1. Come on scruffy… the prohibitionists don’t have the facts on their side. They’ve had to make shit up from day one.

        It’s just now they have had the courage to completely disassociate themselves from reality.

    4. Externalities are real money!

    5. I see the Loch Ness monster has also been affected by inflation. Bastard used to only ask for $3.50.

  17. Some intellectual disfunction

    Mexican cartels and criminals are causing incredible ecological and environmental devastation in our National Parks and Forests.. No one is safe, neither man nor beast. To protect their valuable crop they kill anything that can eat, steal or destroy the crop including deer, bear and other wildlife. even people who haphazardly trip across the plantations.

    1. Neither man nor beast is safe from the prohibitionist gang either…

  18. The douchebag isn’t even a real cop! From his campaign website:Paul has over 15-years of law enforcement experience; serving as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department …

  19. He looks really high.

  20. Actually, I’ve heard this old saw about prohibition working a couple of times. Once complete with statistics on cirrhosis of the liver and other factoids (I have since seen claims that those numbers are as phony as the heart attack ones after a smoking ban).

    The whole foundation of most “public health” agitation seems to be founded on a variant of the “prohibition worked” meme.

  21. The guy is seemingly traumatized as a result of whatever experience he had that involved rehab. He had to be either a casual stoner and his parents or school overreacted to the situation, or he was so fucked up with pot that he really did need some kind of help. In the latter case, chances are slim that pot was the root of the problem- there would have had to be something going on with his life at that time, but I’m sure his professional “helpers” focused purely on the pot.

  22. Imagine if the Federales were unionized back in the days of Prohibition.

  23. Yeah, dickhead? And how many of those kids going through “Marijuana rehab” are doing it because they got caught with a joint, and drug/alcohol “outpatient treatment” (a class, really) was part of their court-ordered probation?

    What a fuckwit.

  24. If this is what passes for a “Senior Advisor” on drug policy to Presidents, you almost have to feel pity for Presidents. Almost. For a brief moment.

  25. I was in 6th grade- I needed a topic for my term paper. My aunt said how about Prohibition? I had never heard of it but I trusted her, so I read about it, become intrigued, and apparently in the preparation of that one paper, as a child I learned more about economics and unintended consequences than this fool ever got out of his “dissertation”.

  26. lol thats pretty funyn when you think about it.


  27. Read his bio, this guy sure was busy for the last 15 years – Deppity Sheriff, Parole Board, Navy Officer, Pentagon, White House, USC Police, Congressional intern, got a BA, MA, PhD, lecturer at USC, writing books, articles, got married, had three kids in 5 years, and that’s just scratching the surface. Whew!

    And he did it all without amphetamines!!!

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