The Prohibition Of Intoxicating Substances

1786 Words Nov 5th, 2014 8 Pages
The prohibition of intoxicating substances is an issue that Americans have wrestled with since 1920; when liquor’s status as an end-of-the-day treat became that of an illegal poison. The prohibition of alcohol was brought about by advances in the fields of medicine that revealed the various detrimental effects of overconsumption. During the 14-year period of time between 1920-1933, known as “Prohibition,” local illegal alcohol establishments, or “Speakeasies” exploded. A government commissioned report concluded, “the number of speakeasies throughout the United States ranged from 200,000 to 500,000,” (Lee, 68); meaning that the government’s goal to hamper the demand for alcohol was not effective. The alcohol-based boycott of the 30s and 40s is a good historical model of modern-day drug prohibition. Just like with alcohol during its tenure of illegality, the flow of drugs is not being stopped simply because of the laws and policies in place barring trafficking, sale, and consumption. Just like with alcohol during its’ prohibition years, a black market is thriving on sales of illegal substances, that in turn puts money in to the pockets of criminals. From the 1.5 billion dollars that the federal government allocated to combat drugs in 1985, the amount has risen to an unprecedented 17.7 billion in 2000 (Office of National Drug Control Policy). When you pair that statistic with the findings that the percentage of the population 12 years or older that consume drugs has risen from…
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