Washington (December 5) – On this very day in 1933, repeal legislation ended Prohibition. Yet, 85 years later, alcohol continues to be subjected to a host of nonsensical, onerous and sometimes downright-silly restrictions.
In a new policy paper, R Street Director of Commercial Freedom and senior fellow, Jarrett Dieterle and 2018 policy intern, Daniel DiLoreto examine 12 of these ridiculous laws.
In explaining each, the paper points out that Americans are far from free when it comes to drinking. Rather, in the aftermath of the passage of the 21stAmendment, states and localities filled the regulatory void left by the federal government. The result was a strange mix of temperance advocates, progressives and religious leaders leaving their mark by way of these terrible rules.
The authors add: “In one way or another, all of these [laws] have nonsensical rationales—and, in some cases, downright offensive ones. While it’s to be expected that governments might want to institute at least some laws governing the sale and consumption of alcohol, the true goal should be to protect public health and safety. Too often, however, laws like the ones featured here use safety as a pretext, when, in fact, the real rationale is protectionism (or worse).”