Fanatics Then, Fanatics Now

Believe it or not, there was once an attempt to ban root beer in this country. The concoction was invented by a Pharmacist from Philadelphia, Charles Elmer Hires, in 1875, after having consumed a drink called "root tea" on his honeymoon.

Though he liked the tea, Hires did not like its medicinal purpose -- it was a laxative -- so he set out to recreate the taste without the unwanted effect. And so root beer was born.

Unfortunately, an organization around at that time, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, wasn't too happen about this development. Why? Because the drink had the word "beer" in its name.

The WCTU never once offered to test the drink for alcohol content. Instead these fanatics called for a nationwide ban.

When Hires's sales started dropping he had the drink tested himself. Turns out it had the same alcohol content as half a loaf of bread.

Of course, we have our own fanatics around today. The difference is they're much better armed, and they listen to our phone calls and read our emails. They're every bit as ignorant as the nut jobs who ran the WCTU, but even more dangerous.

According to this story, an organic farm outside of Arlington, Texas, was raided by SWAT team because these boobs with badges couldn't tell the difference between a pot plant and a potato patch. "They handcuffed the farm's residents and confiscated tons of their crops (blackberries, okra), only to discover that what they were convinced was cannabis was actually organic fruits and veggies."

Eventually Americans rejected the alarmism, ignorance and fanaticism of groups like the WCTU and their allies. As a result, we got Amendment 21 to the US Constitution. We're long past needing a re-think on our ridiculous War on (Some) Drugs, and the ignorant, fanatical thugs we've empowered to fight it. We're due for Amendment 28.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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