Prohibition Repeal

December 5th is the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment when the State of Utah became the final state needed to ratify the amendment and President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the Repeal of Prohibition by Presidential Proclamation 2065 in 1933.

In our time, the growing realization is that our new Prohibition, the war on drugs, is not working any better than the old Prohibition. A Los Angeles Times article from last week cites a report by the Brookings Institution that the war on drugs has failed. The LA Times article includes comments from an interview with former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo who supervised the Brookings report and says that the US war on drugs has failed and will continue to do so as long as it emphasizes law enforcement and neglects the problem of consumption. The report urges the US to expand drug prevention programs in schools and redirect anti-drug messages to young people by emphasizing health risks and further to enhance drug courts that will incorporate treatment into prosecution.

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition with an event at the National Press Club, a group of former police officers, judges, and prosecutors known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) issued a press release urging support of repeal of the new Prohibition. The press release has links to WeCanDoItAgain and its report Repealing Today’s Failed Prohibition.

Here is a video featuring members of LEAP:

The BLS Library has several items in its collection dealing with the topic of drug legalization including Federal Narcotics Laws and the War on Drugs: Money Down a Rat Hole by Thomas C. Rowe (Call # KF3890 .R69 2006).

Federal Drug Control: the Evolution of Policy and Practice, Jonathon Erlen, Joseph F. Spillane, editors (Call # KF3885 .F43 2004).