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This nOde last updated February 26th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
(7 Cauac (Rain) / 7 K'ayab (Turtle) 69/260 - 220.127.116.11.19)
1. The act of prohibiting or the condition of being prohibited.
2. A law, order, or decree that forbids something.
3. a. The forbidding by law of the manufacture, transportation, sale, and possession of alcoholic beverages. b. Prohibition. The period (1920-1933) during which the 18th Amendment forbidding the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages was in force in the United States.
Prohibition, legal ban on the manufacture and sale of intoxicating drink. By extension, the term also denotes those periods in history when such bans have been in force, as well as the political and social movements advocating them. Some countries have for centuries forbidden even the moderate use of fermented drink. In the West, however, efforts to ban the consumption of alcohol have been a relatively recent phenomenon.
Prohibition in the United States
In England and the American colonies during the late 1700s many people believed a close relationship existed between drunkenness and the rising incidence of crime, poverty, and violence. They concluded that the only way to protect society from this threat was to abolish the "drunkard-making business."
In the Women's War, which broke out in 1873, thousands of women marched from church meetings to saloons, where with prayer and song they demanded that saloonkeepers give up their businesses. By 1900 millions of men and women were beginning to share this hostility toward the saloon and to regard it as the most dangerous social institution then threatening the family. The Anti-Saloon League of America (ASL) effectively marshaled such people into political action. By 1916 many states closed the saloons and prohibited the manufacture of any alcoholic beverages. In 1919 Congress ratified the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibited "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors." To enforce the 18th Amendment, Congress passed the National Prohibition Act, also called the Volstead Act, in 1919. This law defined the prohibited "intoxicating liquors" as those with an alcoholic content of more than 0.5 percent. The Prohibition began in January 1920.
Prohibition in Other Countries
At this point in history, most Protestant nations had come to regard drinking as a social evil. The British government limited the sale of alcoholic drink to a few early evening hours. In Sweden, where the movement had been strong since the 1830s, the government abolished both the profit motive and the competition from the liquor traffic after 1922 by nationalizing it. In 1919 the Finnish government banned the sale of any drink of more than 2 percent alcohol. Canada outlawed the sale of liquor in all provinces.
The End of Prohibition
Many people felt that Prohibition distorted the role of alcohol in American life, causing people to drink more rather than less; that it promoted disrespect for the law; that it generated a wave of organized criminal activity, during which the bootlegger (one who sold liquor illegally), the speakeasy (an illegal saloon), and the gangster became popular institutions; and that the profits available to criminals from illegal alcohol corrupted almost every level of government.
In the late 1920s more and more Americans supported a repeal of the Prohibition. Many Americans felt that enforcement of Prohibition laws was futile. Others felt that a new society was emerging in which the protection of the family from alcohol was perhaps less urgent than the expansion and protection of individual freedom. This disillusionment with Prohibition occurred in every country that had earlier attempted it.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s in the United States people argued that Prohibition deprived people of jobs and contributed to economic stagnation. The political campaign for repeal was largely the work of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment (AAPA), a nonpartisan organization whose members feared that through Prohibition the federal government might permanently compromise the tradition of individual freedom. In 1933 Congress passed the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th Amendment and lifted Prohibition.
Consciousness and the Subconscious
The unconscious is the ocean
of the unsayable, of what has been expelled from the land of language,
removed as a result of ancient prohibitions.
Italo Calvino (1923-85), Italian author, critic. "Cybernetics and Ghosts," lecture, delivered in Turin, Nov. 1969 (published in The Literature Machine, 1987).
"Prohibition... goes beyond
the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by
legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition
law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was
- Abraham Lincoln Dec.1840
February 5th, 1933 - prohibition of the drug alcohol is lifted. 1.5 million barrels of beer are drunk that night.
War on Tobacco May Be Funding Terrorism
On July 31, 2000 federal officials indicted 18 people for allegedly smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina, where cigarette taxes are low, to Michigan, where smokers are hit with a 75-cents-per-pack tax.
Cigarette smuggling might sound like small potatoes, but each truck of black market smokes brings in an estimated $10,000 in profit. And prosecutors charge that some of the smugglers were using their profits to purchase computers, night-vision gear and global-positioning systems for a Lebanese terrorist group.
None of this should surprise anyone. Alcohol Prohibition was the birth of organized crime in America - Prohibition was like a government grant to Al Capone and his contemporaries. The Drug War has provided billions of dollars to assorted thugs and terrorists in the U.S. and abroad.
And now... the emerging War on Tobacco may be funding anti-U.S. terrorism. When will the government ever learn that prohibition not only doesn't work, it creates all sorts of nasty accompanying problems?
(Source: Cato Institute Daily Commentary by Deroy Murdock)
Corporations choose the drugs for you:
"Let us declare nature to be legitimate. All plants should be declared legal, and all animals for that matter. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous."
-- Terence McKenna--
currently the lines drawn regarding what you are legally allowed to take into your own body is along two fronts:
one is the nature and the reason for taking it. if it is to relieve pain, meaning bringing back up and sustaining a "productive" (meaning able to be subservient to the meal ticket wage slavery known as labor) mode, it is legal and encouraged (e.g. stimulant known as caffeine, which is actually paid for by companies to facilitate production). if it keeps one from being productive, it is then deemed "harmful". marijuana is physically not harmful. brain cells do grow back (according to recent science findings), and being stoned is fairly harmless. in fact, it is more harmonious to one's fellow humans than alcohol will ever be. if, on the other hand, one decides to get "elevated" (i.e. "high") than a "normal" level of production, that is not acceptable either. for some reason, the only acceptable emotion you are allowed to express is one of being on downers. if someone is serious, or intent, or efficient, or depressed, then you are considered "normal". if you walk around with a smile on your face for no reason, or express loud joy, then "you are on something".... for some reason, you are not allowed to elevate yourself. you are not allowed to "act like a child". it is labeled insanity or drug intake.
the second reason is the economy, and business. legal drugs might have a drastic effect on current operations of drug traffic in beer, tobacco, fuel, etc. hemp is illegal for what reason? george bush's parachute in world war II was made of hemp. what was "reefer madness" propaganda all about? why are ego inflated chemicals like cocaine imported eagerly by our government? why are natural entheogens - mushrooms, mescaline, etc. - not even alllowed to be studied? well, simply that there is no money in it. but there is money in prisons. free labor. slave labor. for possessing a joint.
i personally equate alcohol as a crap drug, much in the line of nicotine and heroin (two of the worst). the worst possible combination is someone going against illegal drugs, and at the same time having "the occasional drink". this line of thinking is abhorrent. if you drink wine or coffee, you are a druggie, just like the rest of us. that morning cup o' joe is a STIMULANT that alters your behavior in the productive work world. once leisure is allowed, legally, to be enhanced by drugs of choice, designer and natural, then it will be consistent. alcohol prohibition does not work. most people want to get wasted. there is nothing wrong with this idea. the only question is a matter of choice, of the type of high you want be, and being liable for your actions when you are on something.
drugs are a medical matter. if one is hooked on a substance, it is a health hazard. there are many potential dangers of ingesting substances you can buy in the local supermarket. if you are stupid enough to consume rat poison because it gives you a buzz, that's your choice. shoot up. do some lines. but you should be accountable for your actions while on them... me, i'm sticking to things that facilitate something positive. caffeine helps me in certain situations, guarana in others. ecstasy has created some beautiful friendships that have lasted beyond the drug experience. acid and mushrooms, well, i'm sure we've all had transcending experiences in one form or another that's self-explanatory. my only chemical addictions are nicotine and caffeine. the former is something i want to change. the latter is totally fine by me. cannabis doesn't interest me. it's another day by day social drug that doesn't make me social (makes me go to sleep). there is no way i'm touching speed, coke, heroin, alcohol, crack, etc. but i will die for your right to do whatever the fuck you want. - @Om* 11/20/99
all athletes should take whatever technological enhancements necessary to better the opponent. if you eliminate the options for the technology of chemicals, then you have to be consistent and outlaw certain other technological aid like shoes, braces and protective gear. if they end up looking like freaks or endangering their own health, what business is it of mine to stop them? i want to see people run two minute miles. - @Om* 4/28/00
another important factor to remember is that the concept of prohibition is extremely new. less than a hundred years ago this idea was implemented on societal scales. religions have always tried to suppress ways of getting high because it took away from their own business of getting people spiritually high (and profiting from it). of course, it never worked and priests of all faiths (esp. monotheistic) are usually counted on to express their drug and sex needs into very destructive channels. the ratio of child molestation for example, within monotheistic faith service, is ridiculously high compared to that of societies with healthy attitudes towards drug intake and sexual outtake. prohibiting spiritual outlets to combat is also not the answer, as it has the same effect. i think what is required is patience. the more freedoms we gain away from destructive religious institutions, the more likely that society as a whole will gently, slowly, drift towards the idea of legalizing chemical intake and trusting the individual. - @Om* 2/15/00
current prohibition of entheogens:
[...] the act of conscious self inspection creates more conscious people which create a more conscious society which erodes the possibility of the poisonous and toxic effects of idelogy. this is what psychedelics were, and are about in terms of their social position, and their legal position in society. Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerened that you may jump out of a third story window... psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally lay down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong, and government and society spend a lot of money educating you into being a loyal worker, consumer, debt payer and citizen. So if anarchy is to have a meaning, and i think it is the great future for human society because what it means is only responsible human beings can exist in an anarchistic society. To the degree that people are responsible, we WILL have anarchy, and the reason America, I believe, historically has been so successful, is because it's really a place where you can almost get away with anything... if that is lost, if monolithic ideologies throw a damper on that, then cultural momentum will pass to other cultures. In fact, to some degree I already see this coming. We had a conversation with a prominent politician recently and he pointed out that Japan is now the leading western country. This indicates a cultural crisis of some depth for the ideals of the American constitution.
- Terence McKenna - _Nature Is The Center Of The Mandala Part 2_ MP3 (32k)(44:12)
Each year in the United States
over 400,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses
over 150,000 people die from alcohol-related illnesses (this does not count driving-related deaths)
over 100,000 people die from prescription drugs
Tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs are, of course, all legal.
And yet, in the same time frame, the number of deaths from cocaine, crack, and heroin combined was only 8,000. What is even more revealing is that there has not been a single marijuana-related death in this country in the last 50 years! What is wrong with this picture? Arresting 1.6 million citizens each year for using substances that are orders of magnitude more safe than their legal alternatives looks very gulag-like.
The war on drugs is not a war on substances; it's a war on states of mind. Entheogens are not illegal because a loving government is concerned that you're going to hurt yourself by smoking pot or tripping in your bedroom. Entheogens are illegal because they make you question authority. They break down socially constructed fables and cleanse the doors of perception. They make you question the wrongs of society in a fundamental way, making you dangerous. You're like Neo in _The Matrix_ (vhs/ntsc) (1999) when all of the illusions of reality have been irrevocably stripped away.
- Josh Wickerham
Ask any DEA agent today what his biggest problem is and he will most likely tell you that it is the use of MDMA by affluent white children at raves. As any honest scientist or doctor will tell you, there are no serious medical consequences that follow from intelligent use of MDMA. Yet our corporate owned and controlled media, including Trojan horse outfits like MTV, are trying to convince people that MDMA causes holes to develop in human brains. As you already know, these reports are worse than mere misstatements. They are bald-faced lies. Thankfully there are websites, such as Erowid and the MAPS site, where you can go to learn the truth about MDMA.
What is it about this substance that has the power elite so concerned? Maybe it is nothing more than intellectual laziness, for it is much easier to believe the lies of government shills who make a good living from their bogus science than it is to dig up the facts for yourself. Our leaders, however, may also recall the secret research the government did on MDMA during the cold war. In these studies, over 800 compounds were tested as chemical and psychological warfare agents. When they got to MDMA they quickly discounted it for the reason that using MDMA turned their test subjects into pacifists. No wonder our government is afraid of it! After all, how can a military empire survive if its citizens are pacifists?
- Lawrence hagerty - _Psychedelic Thinking and the Dawn of Homo Cyber_
"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln (1809-65),
Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives
The Drug War cannot stand the light of day. It will collapse as quickly as the Vietnam War, as soon as people find out what's really going on. — Joseph McNamara, former Police Chief, Kansas City and San Jose, and Fellow, Hoover Institution
After all, what is the vision of a Drug-Free America? Millions in prison or slave labor, and only enthusiastic supporters of government policy allowed to hold jobs, attend school, have children, drive cars, own property. This is the combined vision of utopia held forth by Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, William Bennett, Daryl Gates and thousands of other drug warriors. News media and "public interest" advertising tell us this is the America for which all good citizens yearn.
— Richard Lawrence Miller - _Drug Warriors and Their Prey: From Police Power to Police State_, p. 191.
Covert government by defense contractor means corrupt wars of conquest, government by dope dealer. When the world's traditional inebriative herbs become illegal commodities, they become worth as much as precious metal, precious metal that can be farmed. ... Illegal drugs, solely because of the artificial value given them by Prohibition, have become the basis of military power anywhere they can be grown and delivered in quantity. ... To this day American defense contractors are the biggest drug-money launderers in the world.
— _Drug War: Covert Money, Power and Policy_, p.318.
In America the "war on drugs" is big business. Lots of people make a lot of money from it — police, judges, lawyers, probation officers, prison guards, companies that build prisons, companies that provide "security", hand gun manufacturers and many others — including those supposedly "rogue" elements in the government itself (which are hardly "rogue" if they originate from the highest levels of government) that import heroin and cocaine to supply both the inhabitants of urban ghettos and the inhabitants of corporate boardrooms (more cocaine goes up the noses of affluent whites than of poor blacks). This is one reason why development of a saner drug policy is so difficult in the U.S. — there are too many people in positions of power profiting from prohibition.
Peter Meyer in _Time_ magazine 10/20/1997
Renowned Psychiatrist Loren R. Mosher Resigns from the American Psychiatric Association in Disgust
"This is not a group for me. At this point in history, in my view, psychiatry has been almost completely bought out by the drug companies. The APA could not continue without the pharmaceutical company support of meetings, symposia, workshops, journal advertising, grand rounds luncheons, unrestricted educational grants etc. etc. Psychiatrists have become the minions of drug company promotions. APA, of course, maintains that its independence and autonomy are not compromised in this enmeshed situation."
Prohibition was the period between 1919 and 1933 in the United States when the manufacture, purchase, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited by the Eighteenth Amendment (ratified January 16, 1919) and the Volstead Act (passed October 28, 1919). Prohibition began on January 16, 1920 when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect, but it was abolished on February 17, 1933 by passage of the Blaine Act. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed later that same year with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment.
Prohibition also referred to that part of the Temperance movement which wanted alcohol made illegal. Advocates of prohibition were called Prohibitionists. They had some success even before national prohibition; in 1905 three American states had already outlawed alcohol, by 1912 it was up to 9 states, and by 1916, legal prohibition was already in effect in 26 of the 48 states. After the repeal of the national law some states continued to enforce prohibition laws; Oklahoma, Kansas, and Mississippi were still "dry" in 1948. Mississippi, which had made alcohol illegal in 1907, was the last state to repeal prohibition, in 1966. While there are still some dry counties and communities in the United States, in practice this now means little more than that people wishing to buy alcohol must drive some moderate distance to do so.
While national Prohibition did much to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages by Americans, they were still widely available at speakeasies and other underground drinking establishments, and many people kept private bars to serve their guests. Even many prominent citizens and politicians later admitted to having alcohol during Prohibition. This dichotomy between legality and actual practice led to widespread disdain for authorities, who were all assumed to be hypocrites. Mockery took many forms, including the popular Keystone Kops films. There were exceptions to this public scorn such as the activities of Eliot Ness and his elite team of Treasury Agents nicknamed The Untouchables and the New York City prohibition agent team of Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith, known collectively as simply Izzy and Moe. For these exceptions, Ness' honesty and flair for public relations and Izzy and Moe's more eccentric methods attracted considerable media attention.
It also presented lucrative opportunities for organized crime to take over the importation ("bootlegging"), manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Al Capone, one of the most famous bootleggers of them all, built his criminal empire largely on profits from illegal alcohol.
With alcohol production largely in the hands of criminals and unregulated clandestine home manufacturers, the quality of the product varied widely. There were many cases of people going blind or suffering from brain damage after drinking "bathtub gin" made with industrial alcohol or various poisonous chemicals.
On such points as these the modern "War on Drugs" has been compared to Prohibition. Critics of the drug war argue that when you attempt to prohibit an item which people want you can never really get rid of it, so you only make it more profitable while creating crime and contempt for law-enforcement organizations.
The term prohibition is also used to refer to other laws banning the sale and consumption of alcohol, in particular, local laws that have the same effect. The 21st amendment, which repealed nationwide prohibition, explicitly gives states the right to restrict or ban the purchase and sale of alcohol; this has led to a patchwork of laws, in which alcohol may be legally sold in some but not all towns or counties within a state.
"Laws to suppress tend to strengthen what they would prohibit. This is the fine point upon which all the legal professions of history have based their job security."
- Bene Gesserit Coda - _Dune_ by Frank Herbert
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