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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the legacy of Prohibition and prohibitory policies for twentieth-century U.S. alcohol and drug policy. It traces twentieth-century alcohol and drug policy from nineteenth-century antecedents through the Harrison Act, National Prohibition, the Marijuana Tax Act, the Boggs Act, and the regulatory regime established during the War on Drugs in the closing decades of the century. The chapter demonstrates how federal agencies tasked with enforcing drug legislation, notably the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Administration, both emerged from and furthered prohibitory policies. It concludes that alternatives to the current War on Drugs, such as decriminalization or legalization, have been hampered by the historic investment in prohibitory policies.

Keywords: Prohibition, Harrison Act, decriminalization, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, legalization, War on Drugs

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