Yesterday, December 5th, 2013, marked the 80th anniversary of the end of, what is commonly referred to as, the “Prohibition Era”. I was reminded of this anniversary while listening to Dr. Albert Mohler’s daily podcast called “The Briefing”. Dr. Mohler referred to a story from The Huffington Post about the past prohibition of alcohol and pointed toward a discussion on how it’s time to seriously end the prohibition on other drugs as well. Mainly marijuana.
Regardless of where you stand on these issues, I’m sure you would affirm that alcohol and marijuana have had a major impact on our culture. I have had several conversations in the recent past concerning the legalization of marijuana and it’s comparison to alcoholic beverages. Some I’ve talked to think it would be a good idea to legalize all illegal drugs. Their argument tends to point to the gangs and related activities during the alcohol prohibition era, and how the repealing of Prohibition drastically minimized this gang activity.
One of the factors of post-Prohibition I’ve often wondered about is how long did Prohibition affect the culture even after the law was repealed? What were the alcohol consumption levels in the post-Prohibition world? I found a comment to address this very question after the Huff Post article and Dr. Mohler refers to it in his podcast. I quote the comment below:
So one wonders why the 18th amendment was ever passed. At least part of the reason was because drunkenness was such a problem, which led to domestic violence. Hence, many women were very much against alcohol consumption.
The amendment wasn’t a complete failure. Alcohol consumption levels dropped precipitously and were not reached again until the early 70’s.
Even after repeal, this amendment made a huge difference in people’s lives. So when seen in this light, it casts a different shadow on whether illegal drugs should be legal.
I also found another article by Dr. Jack S. Block in 2006 on public health that kind of endorses the statement from the above commenter. Believe me, I am not a “teetotaler” but it does give me food for thought on alcohol and it’s impact on our lives and culture. Again, regardless of your opinion on this issue, it makes for great discussion material. Please comment below.