On this day in 1920, one of our Nation's greatest governmental blunders took place. The production, importation, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages was prohibited. This lead to moonshine, speakeasies, and exploding bottles of homemade hootch. It also lead to rampant crime surrounding the black market activity that sprang up. Thankfully, people came to their senses and repealed the constitutional amendment in 1933. Since alcohol was no longer illegal, the criminal activity resulting from its prohibition disappeared virtually overnight.
I am reminded of our decades-long "War on Drugs." Are we not essentially in the same situation? Drug addiction is more effectively treated as a medical problem than as a criminal one. Check out the Issues in Science and Technology article, which refers to a RAND Institute study about crime and cocaine use.
Thanks to foodreference.com for the tip.