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Why was the 18th Amendment necessary?

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posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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On January 16, 1920, the 18th Amendment went into effect. For fourteen years alcohol manufacture, sale, and transportation was prohibited. Even before the 18th Amendment was ratified, about 65 percent of the country had already banned alcohol. In 1916, seven states adopted anti-liquor laws, bringing the number of states to 19 that prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages.

With the trend in the states’ being anti-alcohol already, why did Congress need to amend the constitution in order to pass legislation prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the U.S.? This was not necessary for the federal government to recently take control of many substances, including drugs and tobacco.

My interpretation of the constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate such substances. What do you think?




posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 11:28 AM
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My own feeling is that it was pushed to stop American Farmers from manufacturing their own fuel.
Early model cars and other vehicles could run on alcohol by adjusting the ignition timing via an adjustment made on the dash, an adjustment they had to make every time they started the engine anyway.
I think Standard Oil and the others wanted to make sure everyone had to buy fuel from them, and run on their fuel exclusively.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by Dogdish
 


Hit the nail on the head.

Its the same reason why wacky tabaccy is illegal today. Not only did Mr. big oil didnt like it but the cotton industry didn't like it ither.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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reply to post by taderhold
 


if you find the prohibition of alcohol history interesting, you would be even more interested to investigate the conspiracy and reasons of the prohibition of cannabis - the plant that produces THC, the cure for cancer among other things.. and the other cannabis plants that produce hemp fibers and hemp oil fuels.

unfortunately my thread discussing how THC cures cancer was deleted and 'coincidentally enough' shortly after the whole forum for alternative substances on ATS was closed, after much bullying by mods and failure to justly impose rules and regulations at ATS.com - but that's another story. so you'll have to look elsewhere for that conspiracy material, and if you bring your findings to ATS, regardless how true or interesting they are you should be careful in posting because ATS will not tolerate it, even within it's own rules and regulations.

as for the prohibion of alcohol, interestingly enough someone already commented on the idea that it could have been used as a cheap fuel source, i find this to be a much lesser conspiracy within the truth as much cheaper and more efficient fuel sources are avaliable and worth prohibiting by the government that wishes to make war for oil in foreign lands.

prohibition created a black market that was unregulated and made lucrative sources of income for criminals as well as rising crime and violence in general, thus it was ended. anyhow, no one really stopped drinking, people can make their own alcohol, and so they did! enough said by myself though haha it's a great subject thanks for the post



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by indigothefish
 


You make good points, but there's nothing cheaper than free.
Farmers could make it from spoiled grains, fruits, all sorts of materials.
What if their new gas stations weren't as popular because so much of the US was rural?
What if some enterprising farmers banded together and formed a co-op? Or decided to open their own "gas" stations...

Edit to add: some of the impetus for creating a "futures market", the commodity exchange, was supposedly so the farmer would have some protection during bad years, was it not?
edit on 4-12-2011 by Dogdish because: thought of something else


Edit again:



My interpretation of the constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate such substances. What do you think?


I think you're probably right.
edit on 4-12-2011 by Dogdish because: OP question.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 02:56 PM
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With the trend in the states’ being anti-alcohol already, why did Congress need to amend the constitution in order to pass legislation prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the U.S.? This was not necessary for the federal government to recently take control of many substances, including drugs and tobacco.

My interpretation of the constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate such substances. What do you think?


The Constitution gives Congress the right to pass laws governing "interstate commerce." If a good is banned in some states but allowed in others, an interstate commerce will develop which is legal in one state and illegal in another. To play the devil's advocate, a nationwide ban was necessary to avoid interstate conflict.

In reality, prohibition was an attempt to suppress minority communities. Recent European immigrants tended to congregate in taverns and beer gardens. Prohibition made it more difficult for Irish, Italian, German and Polish immigrants to socialize and organize politically. Wine is necessary for both the Catholic and Jewish sacraments; by making wine illegal, the right of these communities to practice their religion was infringed. It cannot be a coincidence that the most celebrated bootleggers had names like Capone, Kennedy and Lansky!



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 03:08 PM
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To answer the question one has to understand that plans are long term, very long term, for the control of the population. Much of what was done then, was put in place for today by those who really control things.

The prohibition did two things. First it eliminated all the "local" players in the sale of booze. When it was repealed, a few corporate entities were given the keys to the lucrative booze business. The easy way to wipe out a competitor is to legislate them out of business, then, when enough time has passed, legislate yourself right into business.

The second thing it did was create a system where booze could be sold to the common man as a way of life, thereby creating an instant, but less destructive opiate of the masses. A heroin addict is useless as a worker, but a three a night beer drinker is great - he'll stay suppressed enough to "enjoy" his work without complaining.

The reason this process was needed is that human consciousness was destined to take a gigantic leap forward in the coming years. Those who control the planet were not keen on the event putting them out of control should the population at large suddenly find their masters unworthy of their worship. So at the time, the monetary system was established, perpetual war, religious intolerance was exaggerated, and booze was made synonymous with relief from the dread of daily life. Football was added to the US consciousness as a way of making war acceptable, the booze helps solidify the programming.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 03:45 PM
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Good responses so far. However, I want to know why the politicians in 1920 felt they needed to amend the constitution as opposed to the politicians that used the courts and the Commerce Clause to control substances today.

edit on 4-12-2011 by taderhold because: Clarification.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by DJW001

With the trend in the states’ being anti-alcohol already, why did Congress need to amend the constitution in order to pass legislation prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in the U.S.? This was not necessary for the federal government to recently take control of many substances, including drugs and tobacco.

My interpretation of the constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate such substances. What do you think?


The Constitution gives Congress the right to pass laws governing "interstate commerce." If a good is banned in some states but allowed in others, an interstate commerce will develop which is legal in one state and illegal in another. To play the devil's advocate, a nationwide ban was necessary to avoid interstate conflict.

In reality, prohibition was an attempt to suppress minority communities. Recent European immigrants tended to congregate in taverns and beer gardens. Prohibition made it more difficult for Irish, Italian, German and Polish immigrants to socialize and organize politically. Wine is necessary for both the Catholic and Jewish sacraments; by making wine illegal, the right of these communities to practice their religion was infringed. It cannot be a coincidence that the most celebrated bootleggers had names like Capone, Kennedy and Lansky!


I like your closing, but have issues with the opening. The confusion is understandable though.

The interstate commerce clause has, like a good many others in the constitution, been grossly misinterpreted and essentially become a blank check for the government to interject into effectively any aspect of life - obviously completely contrary to its specified intent when looking further into the words of the framers on this and related subjects.

It's been awhile since I've been able to find the original site I saw it posted on, but the best breakdown I've seen on the interstate commerce clause clarifying the actual intent can be read here at the AR15 forums currently.

Take care.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by taderhold
Good responses so far. However, I want to know why the politicians in 1920 felt they needed to amend the constitution as opposed to the politicians that used the courts and the Commerce Clause to control substances today.

edit on 4-12-2011 by taderhold because: Clarification.

Simple enough answer there - they knew & effectively acknowledged that the constitution and the clauses used as such today gave no such power, and that a constitutional amendment was the only valid (yet completely failed) recourse to address the issue. Otherwise, the federal government has no authority on this issue.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 
So, how do they currently justify prohibition of marijuana, for instance, without an amendment to the constitution. The Tenth Amendment states;"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.." Thus the DEA does not have the express power to prohibit the use of marijuana. It should be the province of the states. The Tenth Amendment is the reason why politicians at the turn of the 20th century were compelled to ratify the 18th Amendment in 1919 to prohibit alcohol. Again, can someone please provide a rationale as to why the Commerce Clause allows marijuana prohibition now without a constitutional amendment?



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by taderhold
 

So, how do they currently justify prohibition of marijuana, for instance, without an amendment to the constitution.

Properly? They don't, quite simply.


The Tenth Amendment states;"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.." Thus the DEA does not have the express power to prohibit the use of marijuana. It should be the province of the states.

*waves hand* Hello...choir here. You're utterly correct, then entire Controlled Substances Act is an overstepping of federal authority, and quite contradictory both internally and when weighed against a whole host of other substances not on a federal blacklist. Heck, I even had a thread moved to the old alt. subs forum some time back then disappeared when that went away, talking about the DEA wanting to have their cake and eat it to - allowing Big Pharma a special exemption not extended to anyone else in contravention of their own classifications.


The Tenth Amendment is the reason why politicians at the turn of the 20th century were compelled to ratify the 18th Amendment in 1919 to prohibit alcohol. Again, can someone please provide a rationale as to why the Commerce Clause allows marijuana prohibition now without a constitutional amendment?

Good luck getting a valid argument here - let me know if I miss something noteworthy (especially as the commerce clause can't even validly apply to anything remotely along these lines, SCOTUS be damned...).

Enjoy the rabbit hole.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by taderhold
My interpretation of the constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate such substances. What do you think?


My interpretation of the constitution says that congress and 2/3 of the states can do whatever they want. They can abolish the constitution, they can ban alcohol, they can rewrite the first ten amendments or the ten after that. It's a living document. It can be erased, it can be edited or it can just sit idly by waiting for someone else's interpretation to dictate how our laws should be written. Slavery was constitutional for some time, so were sodomy laws and for a short time so was the 18th amendment.

The constitution gave the utmost power to the federal government at the time. Yes, that's right, the constitution was written to give more power to the federal government.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by taderhold
reply to post by Praetorius
 
So, how do they currently justify prohibition of marijuana, for instance, without an amendment to the constitution. The Tenth Amendment states;"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.." Thus the DEA does not have the express power to prohibit the use of marijuana. It should be the province of the states. The Tenth Amendment is the reason why politicians at the turn of the 20th century were compelled to ratify the 18th Amendment in 1919 to prohibit alcohol. Again, can someone please provide a rationale as to why the Commerce Clause allows marijuana prohibition now without a constitutional amendment?



The constitution does not give the government power to ban drugs or alcohol. They needed an amendment to ban alcohol. In order to ban drugs they needed a treaty. Treaties over rule the constitution. They got a treaty and that is why the ganja is allowed to be banned. It is also why Obama has to raid legal medical stores. It is a treaty obligation and he has no choice.

What I can't understand is how they can ban bath salts and K2. Thy have zero authority for that. I think they forgot how to milk the system in order to appear legit. They no longer care and just do things like they want and feel the constitution is a piece of toilet paper.
edit on 4-12-2011 by Ookie because: added more info



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:41 AM
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reply to post by links234
 
Wrong on so many levels.

The framers were quite clear on the intent of the constitution being a limitation of federal authority/power, and emphasized its limitations as quite clearly being the few enumerated powers in article 1 section 8, and the very few others scattered throughout.

Their various other communications at that time (anti/federalist papers, personal correspondences, ratification arguments, etc.) clarified this easily, in addition to strictly enforcing a narrow interpretation of the involved clauses as otherwise there was no need to even mention the enumerated powers since they are thrown out the window - as well, the 9th & 10th amendments are pretty clear on emphasizing that the majority of powers and responsibilities were given directly to the people and the various states.

In summation, I believe Jefferson addressed the points best, as usual:

"In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."



"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction."


There is no point in having a constitution if such imposes no noticeable restrictions in the first place, and the idea of a "living document" is only valid so far as the requirements for amendment as specified in the document are followed - requiring either a constitutional convention or valid approval through congress. Legal machinations or vacuous arguments should be held as obviously invalid.

Be well.
edit on 12/5/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by Ookie
 

The constitution does not give the government power to ban drugs or alcohol. They needed an amendment to ban alcohol. In order to ban drugs they needed a treaty. Treaties over rule the constitution. They got a treaty and that is why the ganja is allowed to be banned. It is also why Obama has to raid legal medical stores. It is a treaty obligation and he has no choice.

Exactly what treaties are you referring to? This all began primarily with the Tax Stamp Act and then essentially codified with the Controlled Substances Act, neither involving treaties or treaty obligations. I'm not aware of us having any related treaty obligations with another country, requiring us to have such policies in place (although we ARE in the habit of exporting these failed policies).

An amendment would have sufficed well enough, but with the debacle that was the 18th amendment and the results of alcohol prohibition, I doubt they could ever muster it since the proof was in the pudding.


What I can't understand is how they can ban bath salts and K2. Thy have zero authority for that. I think they forgot how to milk the system in order to appear legit. They no longer care and just do things like they want and feel the constitution is a piece of toilet paper.

Because they have every bit as much authority to handle those as they do everything else addressed by the CSA and the various schedules classifications. The DEA and involved groups merely has to add a substance to one of the most restrictive schedules, and it can be handled exactly the same as cannabis or the others. I'm not sure you understand how the CSA and our current prohibitionary policies have been implemented. There are no treaties or valid actions involved for ANY of it, and they're all handled via the same pretense of authority & processes.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 


Prior to the constitution we had the articles of confederation. Which gave almost no power to the federal government. It set rules for the federal government but no mechanism to enforce those rules or to carry them out (establishing the army, paying national debt, etc.). So the constitution was written to replace the ineffective articles of confederation, given a specific purpose of allowing the federal government the ways and means of running the country. Greatly expanding the role the federal government played in the new countries domestic affairs.

This notion that the constitution was written for the specific purpose of limiting the government completely ignores the 12 years prior to its ratification and the power it subsequently gave to the federal government. The 10th amendment has, numerous times, been considered superfluous and unneeded, both by the framers and by the supreme court.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by taderhold
 


There were a multitude of reasons, all of which sounded good on the surface... But failed in epic fashion, which is why it was repealed...

The mob gained greater influence because of prohibition. ...and in all likelihood, alcohol consumption didn't decrease an iota. My grandmother worked in a speakeasy during the height of prohibition, and the stories she told me lead me to believe that, at least here in the northwest, alcohol consumption was at least the same as before Prohibition.

The fuel thing, as well... Though the speakeasy/illegal booze thing is more dramatic.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by links234
reply to post by Praetorius
 
Prior to the constitution we had the articles of confederation. Which gave almost no power to the federal government. It set rules for the federal government but no mechanism to enforce those rules or to carry them out (establishing the army, paying national debt, etc.). So the constitution was written to replace the ineffective articles of confederation, given a specific purpose of allowing the federal government the ways and means of running the country. Greatly expanding the role the federal government played in the new countries domestic affairs.

This notion that the constitution was written for the specific purpose of limiting the government completely ignores the 12 years prior to its ratification and the power it subsequently gave to the federal government. The 10th amendment has, numerous times, been considered superfluous and unneeded, both by the framers and by the supreme court.

Fair enough, that, and a good answer as I was not considering the prior government of the colonies. Agreed - insofar as the constitution sought to build upon the failures of the Articles of Confederation, it was an expansion of power - thus leading to the powers enumerated in the constitution which are few in number and necessary to address prior lack in the articles.

Regardless, we have long since moved well past the enumerated powers, and clearly far from the stated intents of the framers who did seek to impose limitations on the power of the federal government, and the reservation of most autonomy for the states and the people - even if this did expand the powers of government here beyond what it was previously, granted.

As to the 10th amendment - also true, with qualification. It *should* be able to be rightly considered superfluous as the constitution and the discussions of its framers were effectively clear on what it allowed and it didn't, but unfortunately even the additional safeguards of the 9th and 10th amendments didn't prove sufficient to keep our politicians from twisting the intent to give themselves more and invalid power and influence over the rightful province of the states and the people. They should have been an unnecessary statement of the obvious and prevented much overreaching, but even if those in power have weaseled around all these restrictions, I'm still quite glad they are there for posterity along with the other thoughts of those who gave us the constitution so that we might one day hold accountable the people who have essentially given themselves a blank check of power not intended.

Thanks, friend - star for clarifying that for me.
edit on 12/5/2011 by Praetorius because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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I started this thread in an attempt to discover if there were any like-minded "ATSers". As a young child, my uneducated father always emphasized the importance of the U.S. Constitution to me. It was not until many years later that I began to understand that importance.

My original interest was focused on the "Bill of Rights" and its guarantee of personal freedoms. Years later I realized that the initial goal of the "framers" of the U.S. Constitution or any of the state constitutions, for that matter, was to "structure" the government. And, contrary to what some have posted above, the "framers", while establishing the federal government, were very concerned about limiting its power.

During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution.
The "framers" did not want or intend for the central government to be more powerful than the states or the individual citizens.

I suspect that we, U.S. citizens, either through ignorance of our constitution and/or complacency, have allowed our leaders to usurp our constitution, whether deliberate or not, thereby rendering it virtually useless today.


The constitution gave the utmost power to the federal government at the time. Yes, that's right, the constitution was written to give more power to the federal government.
I do not accept the assertion that the constitution was written to give the federal government more power.

As stated above, it was written to "structure our federal government" and assign power to the appropriate entities in a manner which would prevent too much power from being centralized in Washington DC. Many state legislators were so concerned that the "Bill of Rights" was added shortly after the states ratified the constitution.

They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
How have we gotten to our current state of politics where our federal government is taking more and more control over almost every aspect of our lives? I contend that it is primarily ignorance and the fact that most of us do not care about liberty as it was envisioned by the "Founding Fathers".

Surely our great country is doomed if we do not revolt against the current trends and replace the current style of government with a constitutional one.





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