Thoughts on Prohibition

With the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1920, the production, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States was prohibited. This was widely supported by the American public as people believed that alcohol was the major cause of most personal and social problems. Prohibition was seen as the solution to the nation’s poverty, crime, violence, and many other problems.

Alcohol consumption fell at the beginning of Prohibition, but it subsequently increased. As alcohol became more dangerous to consume, organized crime arose and corruption of public officials was rampant.

Prohibition removed a significant source of tax revenue and greatly increased government spending. Many drinkers switched to opium, marijuana, cocaine, and other dangerous drugs.

Pretty soon politicians as well as the public realized that the great “experiment” was a colossal failure, and the law was eventually repealed.

If government, or any other power takes away something the people want, for whatever reason, it usually backfires.

Keeping alcohol away from young Americans before they are 21 is another example. Youth in many other countries grow up with alcohol accessible at the family table. This way they learn quickly and early and often under parental supervision how to handle and control alcohol. The mysteriousness of the substance is removed. It’s just not that big a deal. Binge drinking by juveniles, as it occurs in America, is rare in such societies, and by the time kids turn 21, alcohol is just not that interesting. Americans just get started with their experimentation at that age.

American kids can’t drink alcohol until they are 21. But they can go to war, kill and get killed. This just makes no sense.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Prohibition

  1. Mordanicus and West — hear, hear!
    Prohibition apparently brought us the Kennedy Dynasty through the wealth amassed then — rum running from Canada was daddy Joe Kennedy’s schtick.

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