“Despite pleas throughout the 1920s by journalist H.L. Mencken and a tiny handful of other sensible people to end Prohibition, Congress gave no hint that it would repeal this folly. Prohibition appeared to be here to stay — until income-tax revenues nose-dived in the early 1930s.”

Most of us tend to believe that an upswing in criminality due to alcohol prohibition in 1920s America was what killed the Prohibition experiment in the end. But according to some historians who have researched the phenomenon, it wasn’t the social misery caused by Prohibition that led to its downfall, but a cash-hungry government. There may be valuable lessons here for any anti-Prohibition movement. In the case of tobacco, where great efforts have been made to take the money from Big Tobacco and consumers in the form of high taxes and legal settlements, these are lessons that government may have already pondered carefully.



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