Friday, July 1, 2011

"From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the war on drugs is undermining civilization."

Most Americans have been told that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a great president and one of the most popular presidents of all time. However, most people — even most historians — do not know that the reason for his popularity was the repeal of Prohibition. He won the Democratic nomination for president at the 1932 convention by switching from being a Dry to a Wet (that is, by siding with repeal). The repeal of Prohibition was the most popular plank in the Democratic Party platform, and it was FDR's number-one issue and campaign promise. He made it his number-one priority when he was in office. (He also cut federal worker pay by 25 percent).

The results from repeal were both immediate and amazing. Taverns, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wineries reopened for business. Jobs were suddenly and noticeably available for the first time in years. The unemployment rate plunged from its historic high level of 25 percent. Crime and corruption sank, with the murder rate falling to its pre-Prohibition level in a manner of a few years. For politicians and government employees, repeal meant a new source of tax revenue and an end to budget cuts. Tax revolts, which had sprung up all across the country in opposition to government, sadly faded away. The people rejoiced that "Happy Days Are Here Again."

A similar opportunity lies in our future as the economic crisis continues to widen and worsen. We need to continue to learn and teach the real lessons of prohibition, some of which can be found in this free book. To unmask the true nature of government control and to demonstrate the superiority of individualism within a classical-liberal environment, we must make ending the war on drugs a priority.

- Mark Thornton: Why Legalize Now?

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