cultural landscape is littered with thenwreck and ruin of failed progressivism.nWhy not try for once getting thenfederal government and the liberal intellectualnclass and the pork-barrellersnout of the way and allow the healthynforces of state law and communitynopinion to work?nThe removal of the ban of law fromndrugs would at once undermine thenhuge profits and thus remove all thenimpetus and auxiliary criminality fromnthe trade. There is evidence that thenend of Prohibition was marked by andecline in the abuse of alcohol. Itncertainly put a dent in organized crimenand cynical scofHawing and the corruptionnof public officials.nOne of the many evils of Prohibitionnis that it accustomed our society tonthink of coercion by the federal governmentnas a solution to every problem.nThe great destructive experimentnwas ended by turning the matter backnto the states, where it should have beennall along. Why not try that in ournpresent situation? What have we got tonlose? Many states would prohibit mostndrugs. Others would regulate themnclosely. Surely all would vigorouslynprohibit their sale to minors, and withnreduced responsibilities they might, innfact, be able to do this job much moreneffectively than at present. And, ofncourse, all would continue to educatenon the evils of drug use, though there isnnot the least reason to think this doesnany good where direct personal experiencendoes not work.nThe supplies could be regulated,nlike alcohol, and taxed. We would havento be determined, of course, to punishnpeople who committed crimes whilenunder the influence of drugs, not forntaking drugs, but for the crimes theyncommit. It is just possible that we mightnachieve an amelioration of the situationnas great as can be hoped in an imperfectnworld. If not, one of the manynvirtues of states’ rights is that it allowsnfor learning and change and adaptationnthat the federal lummox has nevernbeen capable of. Possibly after a whilenour main “drug problem” will be tonprevent the liberals in Congress andnthe courts from making the habit intonan inalienable right and subsidizing it.nClyde Wilson is professor of history atnthe University of South Carolina innColumbia.nCONSERVATIONnPrometheus innOverallsnby William MuellernWhen my fellow lowan NormannBoriaug started what came to be callednthe Green Revolution, he had only thenbest of intentions for farmers. Usingnchemicals, farmers could be convertedninto superhuman producers able to supplynsociety with cheap and abundantnfood. In 1970 Boriaug won the NobelnPrize—a kind of trumpet sounding fornthe decade when chemical farming trulynshowed its stuff. But by the I980’s wenrealized that the Green Revolution wasna monster, an Eden severely contaminatednwith agrichemicals, eroded andnbarren of wildlife. Massive productionnalso spawned a farm policy that wasnenormously expensive and infinitely insane.nNow comes the biotechnical revolutionnin farming, which many feel willndeliver us from the sins of thenagrichemical age. Bioengineering alreadynhas or will soon: provide us withninexpensive food indefinitely, lower ourndependency on pesticides and syntheticnfertilizers, limit erosion by shrinking thenamount of land needed for farming, andnprovide foods that are convenient, nutritious,nand infinitely varied.nSounds too good to be true? There isna fair chance that it is. But first, a littlenmore on the positive potential of agriculturalnbiotechnology. Today, usingnmany techniques borrowed from medicalnbiotechnology, ag researchers arencloning, splicing, enhancing, and creatingnentire new species. The majority ofnthe work is a variation on traditionalnbreeding programs, borrowing traitsnfrom one variety or species and applyingnthat quality to another variety ornspecies which does not have it. Thennatural ability which allows some plantsnto retard weeds is being nurtured inncrops which today require herbicides.nThe abOity to fix nitrogen in legumes isnbeing grafted to all kinds of crops tonmake them self-sufficient fertilizer manufacturers.nDisease resistance is beingnbuilt into plants and animals. Climatentolerances are being built in, so thatnfruits, vegetables, and field crops can bengrown in parts of the country or worldnnnwhere it has never been possible to grownthem.nSome of these new combinations ofngenes would take decades or more forntraditional breeders to achieve in theirnlabs. Other crosses, where material fromndifferent species is used, could never benaccomplished without the new methods.nIt is as if the world’s natural processesnhave been sped up a millionfoldnand then delivered a bit of totally unexpectednEnglish topspin. We are limitednonly by our audacity and creativity innthe lab.nMost publicized have been the experimentsnto create “super” species:nsuper chickens, super hogs, super cows,ngiant tomatoes, watermelons the size ofnthe Nagasaki bomb. Certainly it isnamusing to think of chickens as big as anHonda walking about; but ag researchersnno longer laugh at such ideas. Therenis a great excitement at isolating traitsnand perfecting the ability to transfernthem to anything one wishes.nConsequently, those scientists whoncreate these plants and animals sometimesnlose their perspective on the effectsnof their creations on the agriculturalncommunity. Certainly, little attentionnhas been given to the quality of life ofnthe new organisms they create. Considernthat the first bioengineered animal tonbe patented is a mouse with a built-inncancer that makes it invaluable to medi-nDECEMBER 1988 j 53n