75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition

Psychedelia, Politics, Liberty by Adam on 2008-12-05 05:09

On this day 75 years ago - Dec 5, 1933 - the 21st amendment was passed, repealing alcohol prohibition in the United States.

This was the end of a shameful era in American history. Fifteen years of alcohol prohibition had led to massive organized crime, rampant alcohol abuse, and physical harm done by black-market booze. David Hanson writes:

“Prohibition not only failed in its promises but actually created serious and disturbing social problems throughout society. This led to an increasing disillusionment by millions of Americans. Journalist H. L. Mencken wrote in 1925 that “Five years of prohibition have had, at lest, this one benign effect: they have completely disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists. None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. There is not less insanity, but more. The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished.”

The enthusiastic support generally given to prohibition by industrialists and business leaders had done much to prop up its support. But with the passage of time more and more business leaders became disillusioned with the consequences of the social experiment.”

In 2008, we find ourselves thirty years into a similar social experiment. This time, a prohibition of certain arbitrarily selected recreational drugs. The story is the same this time around: more drug abuse, more crime, more insanity.

The War on Drugs is perhaps the deepest rot in the legislative soul of America today. The laws and agencies when have been created to support it run counter to the most fundamental principles of human prosperity and liberty. I look forward to the day when we repeal this Prohibition as well.

2 comments per '75th Anniversary of the End of Prohibition'

  1. Sterling Camden says:

    Hear, hear!

  2. Joseph A. Nagy, Jr. says:

    I look forward to it as well, and it is slowly coming, but it is so deep rooted now that it’s going to be hard to gouge out. Especially when you have religious fundamentalists continuing to support this neo-prohibition (much like they did alcohol prohibition 75 odd years ago).

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