In Making Case For Drug Prohibition, Obama Administration Claims Alcohol Prohibition Worked

capone3

If history doesn’t support your agenda, then change history. That’s how the Soviets did it.

In reaction to the almost comical viral videos this week of Congressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) grilling the DEA chief Michele Leonhart over her agency’s marijuana policies, Republic Report took a look at the DEA’s official policy papers on the subject.

We found that the agency released a report along with a police union in 2010 detailing the many reasons why we should celebrate America’s experience with alcohol prohibition. A section devoted to “Popular Myths About Drug Legalization” claims that alcohol prohibition was wildly popular and that the ban on alcohol consumption had nothing to do with the spread of the mob.

Here’s a screenshot from the report. It really has to be read to be believed:

Alcohol prohibition failed because Americans never really wanted to stop drinking alcohol. After watching the cost of enforcement skyrocket, and alcohol-related crime along with the, the nation finally came to its senses.

And while organized crime existed well before alcohol prohibition, those syndicates were put on steroids when given the opportunity to service the largest black market that had ever existed in the country to that date.

The simple truth is that prohibition is failed policy. Where there is demand, there will be supply. Where there is prohibition there will be a black market, the blood ramifications of which will be far less than the problems related to legalization.

To quote Thomas Jefferson, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

By the way, anyone wanting to access some in-depth knowledge of what really happened during the prohibition days (and not the government-revised version) I recommend Ken Burns’ recent documentary on the subject. It’s free to watch for Amazon Prime customers.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Wesbutte

    You can’t fix permanently stupid.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Rob’s ignoring how prohibition reduced the debauchery of a majority of Men and teen boys, who were often drunk and misbehaved.  That epidemic was greatly reduced after prohibition.

    • Thresherman

      And of course that justifies all the organized crime and murder that resulted from Prohibition.

      • Neiman

        I am guessing that blaming the criminals and murderers is beyond your comprehension? Prohibition did not cause these things, the weakness of men/women for alcohol/stimulants and other base lusts were the real cause, yours and my ancestors; and criminal minded crud just took advantage of the opportunities, while most of the killings and acts of violence were against each other, which does not cause me any sadness.

        • Dawolf74

          So, if the government suddenly declared writing on paper a felony, you would be all for that?

          Do you know that adherence to law as a form of morality is considered one of the lowest forms of morality, right next to fear of punishment?

          You do realize you are arguing the lowest common denominator and not a very good one?

          Why is wanting a drink of alcohol a weakness? I think blind worship of authority is weakness, so that makes you an abject weakling and coward in my book.

          • Neiman

            I really get tired of such stupidity!

            I am in favor of a government “of, by and for the people,” understanding that they will occasionally be moved by emotion and commit errors, but are also capable of correcting their mistakes as in Prohibition. What you seem to prefer is the tyranny of the State.

            Whom do I blindly worship?

            I served in the Marine Corps during Vietnam, I served as a police officer and led an emergency medical rescue team; so, I think my record is anything but cowardly, having risked my life for my country and my neighbors more times than I can count. How about you?

          • brycen

            in other words, you bombed villages full of innocent children, arrested people for victimless crime and stood around and barked orders as other people saved lives?

          • Neiman

            Actually, I have risked my own life trying to save others, with some success alone and as part of a team. I take some modest sense of satisfaction in those meager efforts.

            I have never arrested anyone for a victimless crime.

            I have no shame if wearing the uniform of my country and doing what had to be done in defense of our country and my buddies around me. Collateral damage, including loss of innocent life is a fact of life in war, usually because as in Vietnam and in Islamic countries, the cowards on the other side hide among innocent civilians, even launching strikes from villages wherein children lived. It is an ugly, but necessary part of routing an enemy.

          • SusanBeehler

            Depends on if it was toilet paper or wall paper or linen paper!

    • mickey_moussaoui

      “the debauchery of a majority of Men and teen boys”, lol where did you cut and paste that from?

      As if the the OWS movement and liberalism in general are not full of debauchery in general. You are such a douche and you don’t see it, and that’s the funny part.

    • Dawolf74

      First off, legislating morality is stupid, as morals change, but government bureaucracy resists change.

      Ex – Slavery, perfectly legal, the overwhelming majority of US citizens wanted to get rid of it, we had to fight a war and spend the next 100 years working for equality to be observed by the government. Why?

      Next, define debauchery? One mans debauchery is another mans relaxation, go live in your religious enclave if you want, but keep your nose out of my business.

      I actually read quite a bit and know some old people, not a darn thing was reduced by prohibition except access to legal alcohol and the number of people incarcerated/prosecuted for their own life choices.

      Cite your sources for the “epidemic of debauchery” because I can’t find it.

  • Neiman

    Ah, Rob refers us to a liberal, historical revisionist, filmmaker for the “facts”about Prohibition.  His social/moral liberalism knows no bounds, he’d make a deal with the devil to support his amoral/immoral views. Wait a minute, he already did, that is what atheism is all about.

    Rob cannot stand the fact that society has a solemn responsibility to impose reasonable restraints on aberrant human behavior when such behavior is destructive of people or society as a whole. When his liberty denies me or my family the right to be free from his amoral or immoral words and actions and when we “the people,” you know those “people” that this country is supposed to be “by, of and for;” decide some human behavior must be restrained, then surely in a free society that majority has a right to impose such restraints.

    Granted, restraining the actions of humans engaged in aberrant, immoral behavior can also be an excuse for tyranny and an enemy of liberty. Yet, if we are to survive as a nation, the people must be trusted to, as they did in overturning Prohibition, to see their errors and change course, if we cannot trust the people, then we are lost before we start.

    • Conor Nugent

      So I suppose Iran, where the majority restricts what it considers to be aberrant behaviour, is a free society?

      Don’t be ridiculous.

      • Neiman

         I do suppose you are a moron, when you cannot tell the difference between a free society and one living in tyranny.

        • Deep_Thinker

          So essentially you advocate slavery.

          • Neiman

             What?

        • Mike

           Please enlighten us, do.

          Frankly, and no one is going to like this, but if you are talking about day to day business, the Middle-East(at least the un-occupied part) is objectively more “free” than the US.

          Let’s say you want to make and sell bread-which place will have less red tape? Must you even look it up?

          Purchase a firearm? (the Arab countries make the US look like a Brady convention when it comes to guns.)

          Who has drones patrolling their own people?

          Who has the highest prison population in the world?

          Who celebrates torture?

          Who gave the captain of a warship that needlessly shot down a civilian airliner a medal?

          I don’t think you are a moron, but I do wonder if you realize which of the two social examples you provided most closely represents modern “America”?

          I hope you ponder the matter.

          • Neiman

             What?

  • Awfulorv

    The writer of this balderdash was extremely unwise to not include an appeal for Obama campaign funds at the bottom of the report.  Expect his head to roll down the White House steps, or join Bushes head on a pike in the Rose Garden.

  • Awfulorv

    As to the picture of Big Al. I sure wouldn’t want to be the recipient of too many of those stares…

  • Spartacus

    I’m curious to see R108’s take on this. He seems to favor prohibitionist ideas.

  • Roy_Bean

    To say that prohibition was the sole cause of organized crime would be to say that the tax on alcohol was the sole cause of NASCAR.  Criminal organizations exist all over the world and will continue to exist whether drugs are legal or not.  Organized crime really shouldn’t be a big factor in deciding if drugs should be legal. 

  • dalaibama

    (by the way, i just ‘liked’ hannity’s post above)

    Rob said-

    “Alcohol prohibition failed because Americans never really wanted to stop drinking alcohol.”

    Sorry…not true. Perhaps over the years the pro alcohol groups became more vocal and more organized, but  when this prohibition passed, it was ratified  and wholly supported by 36 states (and would have been by more if it was needed). 

    http://www-tc.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/media/photos/S5702-lg.jpg?101220111134AM

    It may have had all kinds of unintended consequences that led people to break the law but it WAS wanted by the common man. Case closed

    • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

      I would say that Rob’s statement was loose and figurative.  Perhaps more like “An insufficient number of people wanted to stop drinking alcohol badly enough, while a significant minority (?) were highly motivated—or perhaps vice versa. My experience with the Temperance people is that they were made up of a significant number of whack-jobs.  They even went into grade schools to preach.  I heard one of these harangues as a child.  It was completely unintelligible to me, not having had any experience whatsoever to relate it to. Remember, prohibition hit the wine and beer industries very hard (it wasn’t just hard liquor that was involved), which is unforgivable.  Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass why Prohibition was repealed, I’m just glad that it was.

      • Awfulorv

        Along those lines, and secure in the belief I’ve found the funniest man on the internet, I’d like to introduce you all to David Thorne and his brand of humor. Start with “missing Missy”, but they’re all great.

        • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

          Thank you.  As a one-time publisher with a graphic artist wife, this was a real hoot..

      • dalaibama

        “They even went into grade schools to preach.”  
        Ah…the times when the first 150 years or so of America Culture was such that Christian values and morals were taught by the School, AND by the teachers.

        Of course, it is different now. 

        http://coffeeandsleeplessnights.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/california-public-school-preaching-islam-in-the-classroom-aclu-nowhere-to-be-found/ 

         

        • Mike

           A suggestion: Saudi Arabia.

    • Mike

       The paper you have listed has, just under its mast, the slogan-” A Saloonless Nation and a Stainless Flag.” Hardly impartial. Case lost.

  • SigFan

    Prohibition certainly curtailed alcohol consumption, but only among those who were willing to abide by the law.  There will always be people for whom the law is little more than an inconvenience or speed bump between themselves and their preferred behaviors and habits. And if that percentage is statistically large enough the problems created by their disregard for those laws are far in excess of the benefits.  The same can be said with our current drug laws.  I am not in favor of legalization and would not use drugs myself if they were legal.  However, our current methods and laws are failing.  I don’t profess to have a clear answer to the problem, but we need to change our current laws and find something that works.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q2HSJNL6QOTUSCESHO7AVFBJGY roberth

    CONTROL BRINGS POWER. POWER CORRUPTS WANTING EVER MORE POWER. CONTROL MECHANISMS ON THE MASSES CREATE POWER AND CONTROL. WAKE UP ZOMBIFIED BY THE MASS MEDIA,  SHEEP !!!!    MARIJUANA CURES AND PREVENTS MORE THAN 150 DISEASES INCLUDING SOME CANCERS. ONE ACRE CAN PRODUCE MORE ETHANOL THAN 10 ACRES OF MONSANTO, GENETICALLY MUTATED, STERILIZATION CAUSING CORN.  IT WOULD STOP GLOBAL WARMING, AND ! STARVATION.   IT IS NON ADDICTIVE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY ZERO SIDE EFFECTS.  POVERTY WOULD BE ELIMINATED FROM THE PLANET. PERIOD………. WAKE UP AND START ASKING THE ‘RIGHT’ QUESTIONS???? LIKE MAYBE,……… WHY IT IS REALLY ILLEGAL ???????????THE GLOBAL OWNERS WOULD HAVE A VERY HARD TIME CONTROLLING YOU, IF YOU COULD LIVE QUITE NICELY AT PEACE WITH YOUR OWN ABUNDANCE AND HEALTH………. KIND OF COUNTER PRODUCTIVE TO THEIR MASTER PLAN…… THEY HAVE STOLEN EVERY ASSET ON THIS PLANET,  AND NOW IT IS TIME TO CULL THE HERD……

    • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

      ……is that…..

      you…….

      ………7point62…..?

    • SusanBeehler

      Typing in caps is out of style and should be prohibited.

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