The fifth of December
The violent season and rot
I see no reason why the violent season
Should ever be forgot
Forgive my bad poetry, but we all ought to remember the thirteen-year violent season and the tainted bathtub gin that alcohol prohibition wreaked in this country. Because of Prohibition, bootlegging became a profitable undertaking for criminal syndicates who used those massive profits to build their organizations and turn US city streets into war zones. This Friday, December fifth is Repeal Day, the 75th Anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition through the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933. I will, of course, be celebrating with a few pints at my favorite alehouse the J. Clyde and encouraging folks to help eliminate the last vestiges of Prohibition here in Alabama by supporting Free the Hops! The good folks at Imbibe Magazine have put together a list of Repeal Day celebrations around the country and here’s a roundup of other repeal day events and links. Also, be sure to check out the man behind Repeal Day, Jeffrey Morganthaler, who has a bevy of cocktail recipes for you to try out and will be tending bar along with my friend Jacob Grier at the Cato Institute’s Repeal Day Policy Forum, which you can watch or listen to online, if, like me, you won’t be in DC tomorrow.
Sadly, though alcohol Prohibition has been mostly done away with (though some state and local regulations effectively continue partial prohibition), our decades-long failed experiment in drug prohibition seems like it will last forever. With drug prohibition comes the same consequences as alcohol prohibition, only magnified as a result of the length of the drug war. We see the same violence perpetrated by large criminal syndicates in disputes over distribution territories, an increase in non-violent offenders filling up our prisons, tainted or varying potency of drugs leading to unnecessary death, the continued erosion of our constitutional civil liberties and the attendant militarization of our local police forces, all in the name of protecting us from plants. Read this latest piece by my friend and former colleague Radley Balko and ask whether continuing drug prohibition makes any sense. Also, the good folks at LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) have put together a website to contact your elected representatives and let them know that you support ending the just as misguided policy of drug prohibition in this country.
Lets not end on a sour note though, this is a time for celebration! Raise a glass on Repeal Day to celebrate the end of Prohibition and the freedom that entails. Here’s a period video courtesy of The Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans to raise your spirits (no pun intended, but left anyway:):
Previous Repeal Day coverage.