Newsbrief: Dinosaurs Walk the Earth as Prohibition Party, Independent Candidate Demand Return of Alcohol Prohibition 10/15/04

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Even as drug prohibition is undergoing a sustained, if glacially-paced, final assault, the ghosts of prohibition past continue to stir. At least one miniscule and aging political party and one independent congressional candidate are calling this year for a return to alcohol prohibition. While they are the last vestiges of a once-powerful alcohol temperance movement, they represent an enduring tendency in American political culture, one that remains strong when it comes to banning drugs other than alcohol.

Our side won the fight against alcohol prohibition.
(Repeal Prohibition campaign car photo appears courtesy
Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.)
The Denver-based Prohibitionist Party (, which apparently consists of a handful of aging anti-alcohol agitators, is again fielding presidential and vice-presidential candidates this year. Earl Dodge and Howard Lydick are running on a platform opposed to commercial pornography, the "radical homosexual agenda," abortion, illegal immigration, welfare, and, of course, drugs and alcohol. But they are not just "antis." The Prohibition Party supports states' rights, limited government, and campaign finance reform, the party web site declares. As for its core issue, the party is adamant: "We will strengthen and enforce laws against the sale of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and illegal drugs," says the party platform. The party opposes the legalization of "anti-social drugs" like LSD and marijuana, the platform adds.

The Prohibition Party is the nation's third-oldest political party, having run presidential candidates in every election since 1872, but reached its peak of influence in 1919, with the passage of the Volstead Act enacting alcohol Prohibition. In recent years, the party faithful split over the leadership of long-time party head and perennial candidate Dodge, so this year there are actually two prohibitionist tickets on the presidential ballot. The Concerns of the People (Prohibitionist) Party will split the miniscule prohibitionist vote.

Meanwhile, alcohol prohibition lives as well in the breast of independent Rhode Island congressional candidate Dorman Hayes Jr., according to the Providence Journal. In an interview last week, Hayes told the Journal he supported a return to Prohibition. "I would support a new Volstead Act and a return to Prohibition," said Hayes. "It might sound crazy to some, but if you look objectively at the issues, it makes sense. What percent of highway fatalities are alcohol related?" said Hayes. "How many children are being hurt by alcohol and drugs?"

Hayes, who carries around a manila envelope stuffed with photocopies of 1920s Congressional Record entries lauding Prohibition, also supports banning tobacco. Hayes has run for office numerous times, sometimes as a Green Party candidate, and was a one-time Ralph Nader supporter, but broke with Nader over his call for legalizing some recreational drugs. "Nader has been a disappointment to me on the issue of drugs," said Hayes. "I think drugs are a big problem in our society."

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Issue #358, 10/15/04 A Message from the Executive Director on What DRCNet is Planning After Election Day and Why We Need Your Help | Now You See It, Now You Don't: The Amazing Vanishing DEA Pain FAQ | Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative Appears Headed for Victory | Second Medical Marijuana Initiative Faces Tough Fight in Oregon | Medical Marijuana on the Local Ballot in Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Columbia | DRCNet Book Review: "Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China" by Frank Dikotter, Lars Laaman and Zhou Xun (Oxford University Press, $35.00 HB) and "Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon" by Barbara Hodgson (Greystone Press, $14.95 PB) | Newsbrief: VP Hopeful John Edwards Makes Methamphetamine a Campaign Issue | Newsbrief: AMT, Foxy Methoxy Permanently Placed on Schedule I | Newsbrief: Congress Votes to Double US Troops in Colombia | Newsbrief: European Drug Think Tank Rips US on Afghan Opium Policy -- No "Plan Afghanistan," Please, Says Senlis Council | Newsbrief: Dinosaurs Walk the Earth as Prohibition Party, Independent Candidate Demand Return of Alcohol Prohibition | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | This Week in History | Administrative Assistant: Part-Time Job Opportunity at DRCNet | The Reformer's Calendar

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