Friday, November 09, 2012

Bathtub Beer and the Constitution

Whether you are crying in your beer or downing a few in celebration, the following event at the National Constitution Center might be of interest:

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution produced many of the same ills plaguing drug prohibition today – huge economic costs of enforcement, the criminalization of otherwise law-abiding citizens, loose border control, and the growth of criminal trafficking groups and wide-spread corruption.  Are there lessons from Prohibition and its repeal that can help us understand what's at stake in today’s “war on drugs”?  How does the Prohibition era inform contemporary debates about the federal government’s role in our daily lives?  Daniel Okrent, bestselling author and curator of the Center’s world-premiere exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, will join Christopher Bracey, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at George Washington University Law School, to discuss the parallels between Prohibition and the nation’s evolving drug policies, including the bootleggers of the 1920s and the drug syndicates of today.  The program will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 6:00 p.m.
Admission to the program is $10 for non-members, $7 for members, students and teachers, and FREE for 1787 members.  Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 215.409.6700 or online at
In addition, guests are invited to join Philly Beer Week’s Bathtub Beer Fest being held at the Center the same evening.  Participants will enjoy samples from over 20 participating breweries, access to the American Spirits exhibition, and a special meet-and-greet with Daniel Okrent for $45.  More information about Bathtub Beer Fest is available at
In 17 states and the District of Columbia, medical marijuana is legal – and several states, including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, will be voting in the coming days on ballot measures to legalize it for non-medical uses.  Could legalizing and taxing marijuana provide income needed for health care, schools, and basic government services, the same way the 21st Amendment did by repealing Prohibition? 

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