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Happy Repeal Day

Posted by Richard on December 5, 2008

Today is the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment, the repeal of alcohol prohibition. That's certainly an occasion worth toasting!

In today's Wall Street Journal, Ethan Nadelman, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, argues that it's also an occasion we should learn from:

The Americans who voted in 1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.

The change from just 15 years earlier, when most Americans saw alcohol as the root of the problem and voted to ban it, was dramatic. Prohibition's failure to create an Alcohol Free Society sank in quickly. Booze flowed as readily as before, but now it was illicit, filling criminal coffers at taxpayer expense.

When repeal came, it was not just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today: That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was intended to banish.

Read the whole thing. If you agree, donate a few bucks to the Drug Policy Alliance

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