Prohibition Vs War On Drugs

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 15 times

In the nineteen twenties America was embroiled in a dark age, borne of a dangerous brew of politically minded churches, overly ardent politicians, and public apathy. The "dark age" of prohibition, one of America's greatest blunders, bears striking resemblance to the modern "War on Drugs." These two abridgments share not only similar aims, and methods, but were borne of similar circumstances, by similar forces.

Studies by eminent doctors and scientists, from Dr. Samuel Allentuck, to Mr. Herbery Asbury, have come to the conclusion that both prohibition, and the "War on Drugs have been brought about by overly zealous politicians. Most say that the politicians had a fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific facts regarding the issues they legislated.

Many politicians, including future president Warren Harding supported prohibition publicly, while privately abhorring it (Asbury). They saw that the increased consumption of alcohol ("increasing" from 7.1 Gal. Absolute alcohol per capita in 1810, to 2.5

Gal. in 1910 (Lender, Martin Appendix)) leading to families in which fathers were abandoning their families for the bottle (Lender, Martin 107).

Politician's views were also skewed by false "science." During the early part of this century, numerous "scientific" studies concluded such things as "inebriate and moderate drinkers are the most incapable of all persons to drive a motor wagon" (Lender, Martin 108). These "studies" lead to politicians making ill informed decisions with regard to alcohol.

Drug law has been formed by many of these same forces. Misunderstandings of science, and political ambition have been as influential in the shaping of the "War on Drugs" as they were in shaping prohibition.

Scientists around the world have written volumes and volumes on the effects of marijuana. All of them point to one thing. Marijuana has negligible if any harmful, long-term side effects.

The Report of the Indian...