Something needed to be done to mask the taste of bootleg alcohol that could include ingredients ranging from dead rats to wood tar.
As cannabis is legalized in Canada and parts of the United States, it's worth looking back on the public health impact of the repeal of alcohol Prohibition in the U.S.
History has shown that prohibiting popular intoxicants spurs illegal and sometimes excessive use. Ontario municipalities taking up Doug Ford's offer to ban local retail weed sales should take note.
Canada's craft beer industry is exploding. But antiquated regulations stemming from the years of the temperance movement is preventing big acquisitions by larger brewers.
The unique role of the temperance movement in US history might explain why, when it comes to Americans' tastes, bland beer is still king.
There is strong evidence that cannabis is useful for treating a range of conditions. Legalising small-scale cultivation is a start to helping those in need.
The decision to smoke should be left up to people themselves, not the generations that came before them.