Prohibition, the original prohibition, was first attempted by Congress well before the Constitutional Amendment was passed. The Supreme Court correctly told the Congress, they lacked the authority to ban the manufacture, sale, transportation or importation of alcohol, nor did they have the power to regulate sales or distribution. At worst, this was a State power.
So, the prohibitionists worked to pass an Amendment to the Constitution, becoming the first, and only prohibition on the people found in the Constitution.
Prohibition resulted in making outlaws of millions of Americans who had no intention of stopping drinking. It also put a great number of breweries, wineries and distilleries out of business. Many however went underground, producing products under hidden and adverse circumstances.
Since the prohibitionists could not tolerate the public ignoring the law, and thereby losing respect for authority, they kept increasing the jail sentences for manufacture, transportation, sale and possession of alcohol. They had created a tax on alcohol. This was a fictitious law, since the only legally made alcohol was for medicinal and chemical use, but the violation of possessing alcohol at any stage without having paid a tax on it, was a tax violation of a tax law. The U.S. Treasury Department was assigned to "collect the tax" on an now illegal substance, and bust those dealing in untaxed alcohol, so called Revenuers. This was the Bureau of Alcohol agents. They were tax collectors in force, as remember, the federal government cannot Constitutionally have a police force.
There was always a market for alcoholic beverages. But with prohibition, you now actually had an increase in use per capita, you also had a switching from beer to hard liquor as there was a greater potency (kick) with higher alcohol content per volume in hard liquor than in beer. You got more "drinks" out of a barrel of liquor that a barrel of beer, so the profit margin for selling alcoholic beverages was more worth the risk.
Those who participated were by definition criminals. Suddenly it became fashionable to hang out with criminals, and as the bootlegging criminals became more organized, the amounts of profits suddenly made bootlegging look very good indeed. Combine this with a public contempt for the law who were trying to suppress a publicly desired activity, and were often overtly taking bribes from bootleggers to look the other way, or even to facilitate the manufacture, sale and transfer of alcohol.
Organized crime led to the formation of gangs, who not having a court system to resolve disputes, resorted to the only option available for law breakers deadly violence.
Things got so bad, that juries started to refuse to convict many bootleggers, since they did not feel a crime had occurred. Eventually the government was forced to repeal the Prohibition Amendment.
But this left a federal agency with nothing to do. And you cannot simply eliminate a government agency.
So nine months later, the Bureau of Alcohol had their mission expanded to include tobacco (now taxed), firearms prohibition (machine guns, submachine guns, sawed off shotguns - all of which were now taxed) in new laws passed by CONgress in response to supposedly increased gang activity, and narcotics (also now taxed - and later moved to a new agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency) in response to "Negros getting high on marijuana and raping white women," according to CONgressmen, and post 9/11 explosives (then taxed, but BATF wanted to add that onto their name as it was already their mission and it looked good).
A ban on one drug, alcohol, was replaced by a ban on multiple drugs freely available and in use at the time (opiates, heroin and marijuana). This ban was not by Amendment, but by a simple Act of CONgress, who now had a slavering Supreme Court appointed by FDR eagerly willing to rubber stamp their bidding. Things have only gotten worse since.
All of the above increase in usage, potency, incarceration rates and sentences, contempt for the law, corruption of the legal system, and gang violence found under Prohibition are equally present under the new Prohibition: the Drug War.
Federal Drug Warriors are proud that they have driven the costs of drugs upward at rates one claims are 1,600% more than their true cost. This has led to enormous burglary rates in this country, and a somewhat less increase in robberies to support addicts habits. Which besides producing a large number of violated and traumatized victims, ultimately made the USA the world's number one incarceration rate per capita and in whole number, and an exorbitant increase in insurance claims and costs.
The government loves the Drug War of course. It gives them huge amounts of your money to wage a "war", they violate your rights without penalty, they have prestigious armies of workers to showcase to the voters, huge numbers of prisoners to show they are fighting crime (of their own manufacture!), they produce bogus victory statistics and claims on cue, produce squealers, finks and Quislings, and they expand their power over you. All by declaring a substance that for over a century in this country was legally available without undue social problems to now be illegal.
Re-Legalize ALL drugs, now. This will:
Dramatically reduce the number of people jailed in this nation, and reduce the court dockets, so real crimes of person and property can be dealt with, rather than these government manufactured crimes.
Dramatically reduce the amount of government corruption in the courts and police as a result of bribery. This will increase respect for the legal system in the eyes of the public.
Reduce the violent gang wars by allowing legal claims to be made in court for peaceful resolutions.
Make the drugs available safer in both product and distribution.
Allow overt treatment of addicts without penalty, and with less public prejudice.
Cease the criminal abuse of innocent people by ruthless, corrupt prosecutors, who use drug busts, even "legal" busts, for their own aggrandizement.
Reduce the public cost, and therefore taxes of the taxpayer, and increase the number of productive citizens - who are currently made into criminals.
Deny both Drug Kingpins and high ranking members of our own government the lucrative wealth they currently enjoy in producing and distributing these drugs.
Keep America out of foreign government business, especially in Latin America, where our interdiction is again creating anti-American sentiment and producing terrorists and violent anti-government insurgents amongst the drug producers.
We can terminate a hell of a lot of federal law enforcement, and save stolen taxpayer dollars, as well as reduce the prestige and enjoyment of a number of high ranking government toadies.
When seen in this light, the Drug War is a huge success ... for the government. It does not need to be fixed. It is working exactly as planned. It will never be won, and produces great government abuse of power, and government confiscated wealth. Suckers!
Please remember, I am not calling for the legalization of drugs. This is calling for the cessation of the CONgress, illegally taking the rights of Americans to put whatever intoxicating substance they choose into their own bodies. This is a right they have enjoyed for hundreds of years, even under the tyrannical King of England. This right was respected by the Supreme Court until the FDR era stacked the court with anti-Constitutional do goodie black robes who have persisted since. CONgress lacks the power to make law on this. You either own your body or you are a slave. Re-legalize drugs.