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The Man Who Turned Off the Taps

The 18th amendment to the US constitution which prohibited alcoholic beverages was largely the work of one man: Wayne B. Wheeler.
How does one begin to describe the impact of Wayne Bidwell Wheeler? You could do worse than to begin at the end, with the obituaries that followed his death, at 57, in 1927—obituaries, in the case of those quoted here, from newspapers that by and large disagreed with everything he stood for. The New York Herald Tribune: “Without Wayne B. Wheeler’s generalship it is more than likely we should never have had the Eighteenth Amendment.” The Milwaukee Journal: “Wayne Wheeler’s conquest is the most notable thing of our times.” The Baltimore Evening Sun had it absolutely right and at the same time completely wrong: “Nothing is more certain than that when the next history of this age is examined by dispassionate men, Wheeler will be considered one of its most extraordinary figures.” No one remembers, but he was.

Wheeler was the hardest-working lawyer and political organizer the Anti-Saloon League had ever seen. Read about how he manipulated the politics of so many cities and states that the federal government was no match for him. Link

Look at the problems currently caused by alcohol in the 21st century. This century, in which are are so aware of the dangers and effects of alcohol and alcoholism, we still have alcohol involved in fifty percent of all driving fatalies, seventy-five percent of domestic violence incidents, half of all murders, and so on, down the list.

So imagine what it was like a century ago, before this modern awareness, before treatments and support groups. Imagine the devastation alcohol was causing then... murder, accidents, child abuse, suicides, fires, and more.

Suddenly an outright ban sounds like a reasonable response.
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"Suddenly an outright ban sounds like a reasonable response." - How nice. I should be banned from drinking alcohol because someone killed someone else while drunk? Thanks. Now I know why the USA isn't as free as it used to be...

"Smart man, especially considering since he's from Ohio." - Say that in Ohio and see what happens.

How about this: alcohol has been consumed by the public for a LONG time... thousands of years. There has been no breakdown of society in that time because of alcohol. Alcohol doesn't make people bad; it just makes them uninhibited. So, the problem isn't this drink, it's the people who are drinking it.

I'll continue drinking my alcohol until people like the above posters convince the politicians that I'm somehow harming myself and others. At that point we will have another prohibition, and we'll be repeating history.
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Today is 4/20. We still put people in jail for doing something that doesn't directly harm anyone. All these people getting killed in Mexico, and languishing away in jail are victims of prohibition.
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hey -bob-, wait a second, maybe these guys are on to something, I never knew you could just ban something or outlaw behavior to make it go away. We should probably outlaw crime so it goes away.
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Perhaps if the first poster had actually read the article--
Prohibition created an environment conducive to creating and supporting organized crime. Law abiding citizens became criminals (and made professional criminals wealthy)because they wanted a beer or a martini. There were probably as many people killed in alchohol related incidents AFTER Prohibition as before it.

But then, you'd also have to add in the gangland murders caused by criminal syndicates fighting each other for control of illegal liquor distribution. Prohibition also caused a sharp rise in homemade liquor. Much of it, highly toxic containing methanol.

It also closed hundreds of small local breweries out of business. When prohibition was repealed, the few remaining breweries gained control of a nationwide market.

If you live in a state such as Washington or Utah, you have to buy liquor in a State owned and operated store paying state-set prices.
We are seeing something similar in the drug cartel wars in Mexico and Central America. There is big money to be made smuggling illegal goods into the United States.

And the illegal pot growers in California are opposing legalization, because it will drive the prices down and run the growers of California's largest cash crop out of business.
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Is it not interesting though how alcohol has been made for thousands of years throughout human history, across a vast number of cultures and societies. Even monkeys have been observed to take fruit, hide it till it ferments, just so it can get drunk off of it. You can ban all you want, but you won't get very far. If a species on this planet decides it wants to get piss drunk, it will.
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As I enjoy my meal of cheese, crusty bread and wine I am happy to live north of the frontier, to have been raised to be aware of the risks of alcohol abuse and been able to enjoy a glass of wine with my family since I was around twelve.

Nothing is ever perfect anywhere but I wouldn't want bigotry interfering with my freedom. Which seems to be a growing concern down in the US.
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Yes! Ban it all! Put the cart before the horse! SAVE THE CHILDREN!!! - sarcasm off -

When the world wakes up and starts punishing people for their actions rather than accusing the chemicals they imbibe, we will be in a much better place. I get that people have problems, but it's a people problem, not a drug problem.
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