American Prohibition, 1920-1933, & the War on Drugs

Ken Burns documentary on American Prohibition, 1920-1933.  The 18th Amendment ratified prohibition and the 21st Amendment repealed it in 1933 under FDR.

in 1920 when Congress ratified the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors. Prohibition proved difficult to enforce and failed to have the intended effect of eliminating crime and other social problems–to the contrary, it led to a rise in organized crime, as the bootlegging of alcohol became an ever-more lucrative operation. In 1933, widespread public disillusionment led Congress to ratify the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition.  

Understand, too, that prohibition of alcohol still exists in the United States in some counties and states, called Dry Counties or Dry States with some limiting their prohibition to Sunday.  


Here is an excellent interview of Ron Paul, of the RonPaulInstitute, where he denounces U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions’ federal fiat to tell Americans what they can and what they can’t put in their bodies.  h/t to Robert Wenzel at TargetLiberty.

1. The Economics of Prohibition, Mark Thornton, 1991.  Here at the Mises Institute’s Amazon page too

2. Prohibition and the Socialist Ideal, Ludwig von Mises, excerpted from Mises’ Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and for Tomorrow, delivered as a speech in 1958 in Argentina.  
3.  The Special Interests Behind Marijuana Prohibition, Mark Thornton, 2016.  

Steve Kubby’s foreword to Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto demonstrates that the state has no moral purpose for enforcing marijuana prohibition. Rather, the state is actively covering up the fact that marijuana is not highly dangerous and marijuana has well-established benefits.

Maybe not highly dangerous, but certainly not healthy for you either.  Cigarette smoke challenges the vitamin C stores already in your tissues, which is why smokers need to take a little extra C.  And pot also makes people irritable. They’re not the most patient folks, but the articl is interesting to show who and how marijuana, like any other commodity is sold to Americans as a demon drug.  As to addition . . . of marijuana or any other drug, check this out

4.  Prohibition Caused the Greatness of Gatsby, Mark Thornton, 2013.
5.  The Roots of Drug Prohibition in America, Chris Carlton, 2017.
6.  Why We Must End Heroin Prohibition, Mark Thornton, 2017.
7.  The Economics of Prohibition, Mark Thornton, 2006. 
8.  Gun Control: Fashionable Prohibition for Modern Lawmakers, Ryan McMaken, 
9.  The New Deal and Prohibition, Albert Jay Nock, 1936. 
10.  The Real Reason for FDR’s Popularity, Mark Thornton, 2010.

All presidents worry about their popularity. They try to bolster it through impassioned rhetoric, free stuff for influential voting blocs, new programs that cost billions, dramatic photo ops, and of course wars to unite the country behind their valiant leadership. In most all cases, they choose means of gaining popularity that come at the expense of liberty.

It is Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his first 30 days, he did more to bring liberty to Americans than any president since Thomas Jefferson repealed the Alien and Sedition Acts.

Roosevelt was inaugurated on March 4, 1933. After dealing with the banking crisis and the budget during his first week on the job, on March 13 he called on Congress to repeal Prohibition. On March 23, he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized the sale in the United States of beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent.

He wasted no time: he signed it one day after Congress passed it. He said with great élan, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

Only then, on March 16, did FDR begin to work on his New Deal agenda. Then he had the wind at his back. It was a dramatic beginning to the end of one of the greatest legal calamities in American history: the hated Prohibition embodied in the 18th Amendment, which had been in effect for 13 violent years.

11.  Guns, Drugs, and Booze: The Bipartisan Support for Prohibition, Andrew Syrios, 2015.
12.  Prohibition and the Income Tax, Justin M. Ptak, 2007.
13.  The Moral Incoherence of  Drug Prohibition, Ryan McMaken, 2016.
14.  Gun Prohibition Increases the Demand for Guns, Audrey D. Kline, 2013.
15.  The Consequences of Prohibition (of Knives), Ryan McMaken, 2015.
16.  Pietism and Prohibition, from Murray Rothbard’s The Progressive Era, 2017.
17.  Prohibition Not Appetite Is the Problem, Joe P. Cochran, 2014.

1. The Dogma of Drug Prohibition: Neither Your Life Nor Your Death Belongs to You, William Norman Grigg, July 8, 2014.
2.  Marijuana Prohibition Derangement Ruins Young Lives, Will Grigg, December 19, 2016.  

1.  Alternatives to the Police State, Will Grigg, 
2.  Prohibition and Plunder: The Respectable Racketeers of Malheur County, Oregon, Will Grigg, Friday, June 27, 2014.
3.  More from William Norman Grigg on Prohibition.
4.  Will Grigg on Civil Forfeiture.