Is the War on Drugs the same as Prohibition?

The Prohibition of Alcohol

Prohibition is a well-known period in the history of the US. The production and sale of alcohol was banned in the US in 1920, with the obvious desired result of reducing drinking. Of course, as we all know, people didn’t stop drinking during prohibition. It’s true that the total amount of alcohol consumed was reduced, but one of the main side effects was that organized crime increased greatly, as criminals took over as suppliers of alcohol. When the Prohibition law was repealed in 1933, two of the main arguments of those who opposed Prohibition was that legalizing alcohol would increase tax revenue collected by the government and reduce the power of organized crime.

The Prohibition of Drugs?

Is the prohibition of alcohol similar to the laws that outlaw drugs today? Some people say that the effects are similar. Do you think that making drugs legal would reduce the amount of crime connected with drugs and allow the government to tax and regulate sales? Watch the video above, and leave a comment telling us what you think – do you agree with the arguments for legalizing drugs? Why or why not?

5 Responses to “Is the War on Drugs the same as Prohibition?”


agnieszka says:

April 18th, 2012 at 18:11

I’m not sure that the prohibition of alcohol is similar to the laws that outlaw drugs today. I’ve doubts if making drugs legal would reduce the amount of crime connected with drugs, maybe in USA but in Poland I’m not sure.
Naturally it would allow the government to tax and regulate sales, what would increase state incomes so the money could be used in better
way than just on fighting with drugs dealers and gangs as it’s happen recently.
Not to mention the common role – that banned things are just more desirable.
I take into account all this arguments. But to be
honest I’m still afraid of more pessimistic scenario that may happen – the influence of drugs on our mind and health and in the longer period of using on our genes so also on the next
generation of unborn babies. Specially when easily available stuff are more often chemicals than natural intoxicating herbs.
Basically legalizing drugs is possible and could also have plenty of good aspects but it’s necessary to think in more global way.
Changes need to include more fields: education of children and youths, widespread campaign, or regular quality control of recipes by experts.



Marta Kubicz says:

April 23rd, 2012 at 17:42

My answer would be straightforward, but now after seeing the video I am hesitating. For me the main argument behind legalising drugs is the possibility of reduction of organised crime. I think that the government object to that plan because thay are afraid of increasing the usage of drugs by people.
In my opinion the situation after legalising drugs in Portugal is very interesting. I think that other countries will never know what would happen if they don’t try to do the same.



Tommy says:

May 4th, 2012 at 13:58

Hi Marta and Agnieszka,

It’s certainly a difficult topic, and it’s hard to say that one way is the best considering the complications. Thanks very much for sharing your ideas on this difficult topic.



Asia says:

July 2nd, 2012 at 21:56

This program shows that there is no easy solution in this case. Every country has got this problem and so far there is no perfect solution. Besides, every nation has its own culture and different attitude so you cannot say that the ban or legalisation would cause the same reaction or side effect as in the other country. I agree that selling alcohol as well as drugs should be controlled by some kind of police oraganisation but I am rather against legalizations of drugs. I also think that producents of alcohol should donate organisations which helps alcohol addicts.



Tommy says:

July 4th, 2012 at 10:32

Hi Asia,

Thanks for your comment on this topic. That’s definitely a good point about different attitudes and cultures in different countries. You can’t say that something that works in one country will work in another, and that’s probably what makes it such a complicated problem.


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