Did Prohibition Work: Did Prohibition Work?

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Michael Larkin Did Prohibition Work Prohibition is possibly one of the most memorable events in the history of the United States. The 18th Amendment and eventually the Volstead Act created the law that made it illegal to produce, sell and the transport of alcohol over .5%. Although to most it seemed like a good idea, prohibition promoted the likes of criminal entrepreneurs. Numerous government officials were apprehended in night-clubs and speakeasies but never punished. At the time prohibition was also separating the social classes and making issues for those less prominent in the community. Holes in the government’s plans were beginning to show through leading up to the 21st Amendment and the ratification of the 13th. Prohibition failed to limit consumption and was actually costing the US more than originally expected. However according to Dr. Jack Blocker’s article, “Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation” the claim that prohibition failed is actually false and failed only because voters became blinded by priorities over the Great Depression. With the amount of money being made on the illegal sale of alcohol was consumption really limited, or did Americans see a chance to overcome poverty and ratify the Amendment. Dr. Blocker is with the Department of History with Huron University and the University of Western Ontario. He has written numerous books on the Temperance Movement and Prohibition, along with several books about civil rights. His article was published in 2006 in the “American Journal of Public Health”. Dr. Blocker touches on several of his ideas and thoughts on National Prohibition, but keeps his main focus that the overall plan did work by limiting consumption and creating a better lifestyle for famili... ... middle of paper ... ...main point in arguing that National Prohibition worked was, “Prohibition lowered the per capita consumption.” This point is obvious but does not hold a lot of weight when it is an easy point because when you outlaw something, of course not everyone can get their hands on the product. Blocker also explains that prohibition would have been even more of a success if beer and a low alcohol content wine were legalized, but even with a low alcohol content people can still indulge and over do their initial drink. According to prohibitionfastfacts.com alcohol is associated with over 2.5 million deaths each year, causing numerous states to take measures limiting the intake or percentage of alcohol content. Oklahoma is one of just 4 states that limit the sale of cold alcohol to 3.2% by volume. So again this disproves Dr. Blocker’s theory on allowing a low grade alcohol.

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