Effects of Prohibition.

Effects of Prohibition.

Jacob Duncan

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The U.S. Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Upon being approved by a 36th state on January 16, 1919, the amendment was ratified as a part of the Constitution. By the terms of the amendment, the country went dry one year later, on Jan. 17, 1920. This amendment banned all alcohol in the U.S. That didn’t stop Americans from drinking though. When you tell someone they can’t do something, it only makes them want to do it more. While the ratification caused alcohol consumption to drop 80%, it did not record the illegal consumption or sale of alcohol. There were also many other negative effects. Organized crime started in America, a profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Prohibition provided a financial basis for organized crime to flourish. Also many Americans lost jobs as large scale alcohol producers were shut down. Also bars and saloons across the nation were closing left and right, except for the speakeasies. Businesses that sold alcohol illegally. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed on December 5, 1933, with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This clearly shows prohibiton does not help a country. It simply increases the opportunity for criminals to take advantage of the system. An estimated 3 billion dollars was made tax-free during this time. All of it in the hands of criminals. Bet the government wishes they had a piece of that. It also caused many Americans to live on the street. Either by getting arrested or losing their jobs or alcohol addiction. Since it was illegal, the price of alcohol nearly doubled. There was no inflation during this period, just the rise of price and no taxes paid to the government. Prohibiton still exists in America today. The main one right now is marijuana. Luckily Colarado and Washington state have started the sale of recreational marijuana. And 23 states and D.C. (the nations capital…) have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Yet, it still is illegal in the United States, which causes the shut down of many businesses people have invested their life into, even though their state says it is legal. Not to mention the arrests of millions of Americans. These people have drug charges on their records now despite it being legal in their state. I just hope by the time we are all out of college it will be legalized and sold recreationally nationwide. The government will make billions in taxes, people will stay out of jail, there will be a whole new market for jobs, and people will have access to marijuana for medical purposes or recreational purposes. What do you think about prohibiton?


Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcoh...
Prohibition agents destroying barrels of alcohol (United States, prohibition era) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)