Why Is Alcohol Legal in the Us

Doctors wrote about 11 million prescriptions a year in the 1920s, and the Prohibition Commissioner, John F. Kramer, even quoted a doctor who wrote 475 whiskey recipes in one day. It was also not difficult for people to write and fill out fake subscriptions in pharmacies. Of course, smugglers would buy prescription forms from fraudulent doctors and organize widespread scams. In 1931, 400 pharmacists and 1,000 doctors were involved in a scam in which doctors sold signed prescription forms to smugglers. Only 12 doctors and 13 pharmacists were charged, and the defendants faced a one-time fine of $50. The sale of alcohol in pharmacies has become such a lucrative open secret that it is verified by name in works like The Great Gatsby. Historians speculate that Charles R. Walgreen, famous Walgreen, grew from 20 stores to an astonishing 525 in the 1920s thanks to sales of medical alcohol.

About two-thirds of U.S. adults drink alcoholic beverages. Most consume them in moderation, meaning one or fewer standard drinks a day for women and two or less for men. Although alcohol is legal for adults, children and teens should avoid alcoholic beverages altogether. In general, people should also not start drinking alcohol because they think it could be good for their health. And adults who choose to drink should do so in moderation and understand the risks. Shortly after independence from the United States, the whiskey rebellion took place in western Pennsylvania to protest government taxes on whiskey. Although taxes were levied primarily to pay off the newly created national debt, it also received support from some social reformers who hoped that a “sin tax” would raise public awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol. [28] The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson`s Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed Alexander Hamilton`s Federalist Party, came to power in 1800. [29] In 2014, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Liquor Authority found that more than half (58%) of the city`s licensed liquor dealers sold alcohol to underage decoys.19 On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which legalized beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% (by weight) and wine with an equally low alcohol content.

5. In December 1933, ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. However, U.S. federal law still prohibits the production of distilled spirits without meeting numerous licensing requirements that make it impossible to produce spirits for personal use of beverages. [25] When prohibition was repealed in 1933, many smugglers and suppliers with wet sympathies simply turned to the legitimate liquor trade. Some crime syndicates have focused their efforts on expanding their racketeering to include the sale of legal liquor and other businesses. [97] Prior to the Eighteenth Amendment coming into effect in January 1920, many upper classes stockpiled alcohol for legal domestic consumption after prohibition began. They bought stock from liquor retailers and wholesalers and emptied their warehouses, lounges and club storage rooms. President Woodrow Wilson moved his own stock of alcoholic beverages to his residence in Washington after his term ended. His successor, Warren G. Harding, transferred his own reserve to the White House. [83] [84] Although it was illegal to produce or distribute “intoxicating beer, wine or other malt or wine spirits”, it was not illegal to possess them for their personal use.

This provision allowed Americans to possess alcohol in their homes and eat with their families and guests as long as it remained indoors and was not distributed, exchanged, or given to anyone outside the home. The nationwide prohibition of alcohol ended in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment. Some states have banned alcohol for decades, and to this day, many local restrictions are in place. Another deadly substance that was often replaced by alcohol was sterno, a fuel commonly known as “canned heat.” Forcing the substance through a makeshift filter, such as a handkerchief, produced a substitute for raw alcohol; However, the result was toxic, although not often fatal. [90] Some research suggests that alcohol consumption has decreased significantly due to prohibition. [4] [5] Rates of cirrhosis, alcoholic psychosis and infant mortality have also declined. [6] [4] [7] The impact of prohibition on crime and violence rates is controversial. [8] [9] [10] Nevertheless, he lost supporters every year he was in action, reducing government tax revenues at a critical time before and during the Great Depression. [11] As expected, the number of alcohol prescriptions has skyrocketed. A significant part of the planned stocks has also been diverted from their intended destinations by smugglers and corrupt individuals. Blue laws did not significantly restrict alcohol sales: from 1990 to 2004, restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales reduced beer sales by just 2.4 percent and alcohol sales by 3.5 percent. The “dry” movement experienced a revival in the 1880s due to intensified campaigns by the Woman`s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU, founded in 1874) and the Prohibition Party (founded in 1869).

In 1893, the Anti-Saloon League was formed and these three influential groups were the main proponents of the passage of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would ban most alcohol. In 2014, a national CNN poll found that 18 percent of Americans “believe drinking should be illegal.” [127] Relaxing alcohol laws can contribute to an increase in alcohol-related accidents and health problems. After New Mexico repealed its blue law banning the sale of alcohol on Sundays in 1990, the state had 29 percent more alcohol-related car accidents and 42 percent more deaths in those crashes over the next 10 years. Speakeasies were often unlabeled establishments or were located behind or below legal businesses. Corruption was widespread at the time and raids were frequent. The owners bribe the police to ignore their businesses or warn in advance when a raid was planned. In addition, many tribal governments prohibit alcohol on Indian reservations. Federal law also prohibits alcohol on Indian reservations,[118] although this law is currently enforced only in cases of simultaneous violation of local tribal liquor laws. [119] According to Washington State University, prohibition has had a negative impact on the U.S.

economy. Prohibition has resulted in the loss of at least $226 million per year in tax revenue for spirits alone; Supporters of the ban expected an increase in soft drink sales to replace money from alcohol sales, but that didn`t happen. In addition, “prohibition resulted in the closure of more than 200 distilleries, a thousand breweries and more than 170,000 liquor stores.” Finally, it should be noted that “the amount of money used to enforce prohibition began at $6.3 million in 1921 and increased to $13.4 million in 1930, nearly double the original amount.” [153] A 2015 study estimated that the repeal of prohibition had a net social benefit of “$432 million per year in 1934-1937, or about 0.33% of gross domestic product. The total benefit of $3.25 billion consists mainly of increased consumer and producer surpluses, tax revenues and reduced costs of criminal violence. [154] Despite this flexibility for states, Congress retains the power to use financial and tax incentives to promote certain alcohol policies, such as the legal drinking age. The Uniform Federal Drinking Age Act of 1984 sets the legal drinking age at 21, and every state adheres to this standard. Prohibition became highly controversial among medical professionals, as alcohol was often prescribed for therapeutic purposes by doctors of the time. Congress held hearings on the medicinal value of beer in 1921.

As a result, doctors across the country lobbied for the repeal of prohibition, as it applied to medical spirits. [68] From 1921 to 1930, physicians earned about $40 million in whisky revenue. [69] The Twenty-first Amendment does not prevent states from restricting or prohibiting alcohol; Instead, it prohibits the “transportation or importation” of alcohol “into any state, territory or property of the United States” “in violation of the laws set forth therein,” thereby allowing state and local control of alcohol. [116] There are still many counties and arid communities in the United States that restrict or prohibit the sale of alcohol. [117] To prevent smugglers from using industrial ethyl alcohol to produce illegal beverages, the federal government ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohol. In response, smugglers hired chemists who managed to restore the alcohol to make it drinkable.

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