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Reply #115


Response to grantcart (Reply #98)

Tue Dec 20, 2011, 11:00 PM

115. FDR and the End of Prohibition

Last edited Sat Jan 7, 2012, 12:54 AM - Edit history (1)

During the election campaign, FDR made one unequivocal speech endorsing repeal. Otherwise, both candidates successfully avoided the issue, despite- or perhaps because of- their having taken opposite positions. "Politics is the art of changing the subject," observed Walter Mondale many years later.

When the only thing standing in the way of repeal was the election of FDR, thousands of "wets" and hundreds of "wet" organizations moved unambiguously behind the Democrat. The message was clear: Roosevelt meant repeal, and repeal meant Roosevelt.

People wanted both, and Roosevelt triumphed in the election. The Number of "wets" in Congress grew significantly. In the nine states, voters passed referenda repealing the state prohibition laws.

This is when the VCL stepped forward and took on the remarkable leadership and responsibility for which they were so uniquely equipped. It required no particular insight into the nature of democracy to know that when the weight of public opinion demanded repeal of Prohibition, Prohibition would be repealed


The VCL served the same purpose as various groups now who lobby for the repeal of prohibition of cannabis.

Oh, but let's just see what FDR himself had to say:



The number of states that have now legalized medical marijuana is analogous to the number of states that repealed alcohol prohibition.

FDR was inaugurated on March 4, 1933. On March 13 he called for the repeal of prohibition. He signed the Harrison-Cullen Act on March 23 - legalizing alcoholic beer and then noted, " I think this would be a good time for a beer."

He dealt with the banking crisis in his first week, CALLED FOR THE REPEAL OF PROHIBITION IN HIS SECOND WEEK, and went on to work out the New Deal with huge public support.

The repeal of prohibition came about on Dec. 5th - Congress did that, but FDR claimed full credit for the same. He popularity increased with the repeal of prohibition.

He started as a "dry" but moved to a "wet" in order to gain the nomination from the Democratic Party. Repeal of prohibition was an economic spur. Yet fewer people drank after the repeal of prohibition than before - prohibition increased the use of alcohol, increased crime, glutted the courts, cost millions in law enforcement.


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