Neo-Prohibitionists

NEW: America's Dumbest Drinks Laws

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In honor of Repeal Day, we released a new drinks report! Earlier this year, our DrinksReform team put out a call for readers to send us examples of the craziest, whackiest, most nonsensical alcohol laws they could find. We scoured the Internet, interviewed industry players, and combed through state legal codes to find the “worst of” when it came to booze laws across the country. Today, we debut the culmination of that effort, a new report titled “America’s Dumbest Drinks Laws.”

That’s right, we picked the 12 dumbest drinks laws in America and ranked them. We’ll let you read the report for the full rankings, but we wanted to pass along one happy note: The “winner” of the #1 worst alcohol law—a 1834 federal law that banned Native Americans from distilling on tribal grounds—was recently relegated to the dustbin of history. A bill repealing this outdated and offensive law passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and is headed to the President’s desk.

R Street’s Kevin Kosar and Jarrett Dieterle wrote the first article in any mainstream outlet about the Native American distilling ban when they penned an op-ed earlier this year in the New York Times calling for the law’s repeal. We like think to think that we get results at the R Street Institute, and we’re proud that the law we targeted as the #1 worst alcohol law in the country has officially been eliminated.

Now, onward to #2 and #3! (Looking at you, North Carolina and Indiana …)

Check out the full report here—and prepare to be outraged! For a more condensed summary of the report, Dieterle wrote a Repeal Day piece for the Washington Examiner about it.

Additional media coverage for the report:

The Neo-Prohibitionists Rise Again

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Even though it’s been over 80 years since Prohibition was officially repealed, the desire to ban alcohol consumption has not been totally eradicated. According to NewYorkUpstate.com, the New York Prohibition Party has been officially re-established with the goal of “abolish[ing] the alcohol industry” in New York state:

They believe all alcohol -- beer, wine and liquor -- should be banned. It's the major long-term objective for the people behind a newly reorganized political party in New York.

They belong to the appropriately named New York Prohibition Party. Founded in 1869, it went dormant in the 1940s, about a decade after the end of America's big experiment with national Prohibition.

In 2017, a small group of true believers set out to re-establish the state party. They followed in the footsteps of a re-emerging national Prohibition Party, the oldest continuously operating third party in the country.

The ultimate goal "is to establish a lasting prohibition of the manufacture and sale of alcohol, to abolish the alcohol industry, and to establish a teetotal culture," party officials said in a set of answers to emailed questions from NYup.com…

Read more here.