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Constitutional amendment banning drugs


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Is there a specific reason why the US had to have a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol in the twenties, but no such amendment exists in banning illegal drugs today.


Registered Member
The way I understood it prohibition was borne out of the temperance movement which had its beginnings in the early part of the 19th century. That movement culminated into the passage of the Volstead Act and the ratification of the 18th amendment, which prohibited the sale of alcohol. Even though that was the case, the government's ability to control the sale of alcohol was very poor (although it did succeed in reducing the consumption of alcohol). Due to its increasing unpopularity, both the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act were repealed in 1933. Today the government addresses drug abuse mainly through regulation and international treaties. The Controlled Substance Act is the U.S. federal policy with governs the regulation of the manufacture, trafficking, sale and possession of certain substances. Its implementation is in concurrence with the United Nation's Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs -- and international treaty designed to prohibit the production and supply of certain narcotics. Because the CSA is in compliance with the treaty it is law of the land and suffices as the authority to regulate, prohibit and enforce illegal drugs, their production, sale, and possession.
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Registered Member
Well it failed horribly when they tried to ban alcohol, why would they try it again? We've already made drugs illegal and it isn't working out too well. It creates huge criminal activity and empowers criminals. Just like in the 20s and 30s when prohibition was in enacted.


Well-Known Member
The thing about Constitutional Amendments is that they're very hard to get through. Recently in America, it would appear that many politicians are simply ignoring the constitution altogether, that's probably why they don't see the point in trying to pass a constitutional amendment. I think that the government just doesn't bother with them anymore. The last amendment was passed in 1992 (27 - compensation for congress), 20 years seems like a really long time to not have any more amendments when a few new ones are clearly needed.

Going back to what you said though, they're already illegal, being an amendment does not make something more illegal than it already is. (Although it does make it permanent and therefore much more difficult to change.)

Anyway, an amendment banning illegal drugs sounds good in theory, but honestly what good would it do? They're already illegal and there's already a black market in place for all of them. I would certainly like for everyone to stop using illegal drugs, but that doesn't seem like a reality that is reasonable considering the circumstances.
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Problematic Shitlord
It was a bunch of religious hustlers that wanted to 'clean up America', essentially. Of course they failed to realize that the easiest way to build criminal empires is to remove things from society that many people want, in this case, booze. Because of it, the mob flourished and people began dying in large numbers thanks to bathtub gin and mafia dealings.

Hopefully it means that we learned a lesson that banning something so broadly is just going to create criminal superpowers and bring more harm than good. It also meant that no matter how hard they try, people were going to find ways to get what they wanted or achieve the 'high' they desired.