Prohibition Party Reignites Anti-Alcohol Campaign In New York

By Victoria Kim 10/26/18

The state party is focused on pushing back on New York’s flourishing alcohol industry.

Woman holding touch pad with no alcohol symbol

Seems like alcohol prohibition didn't die with the 21st Amendment. In fact, support for the idea is alive and well in New York state, where a small group of prohibitionists are reigniting the fight for temperance.

The Prohibition Party of New York (established in 1869) has been dormant since national prohibition—the ban on the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages—ended in the United States in 1933. But the group reemerged in 2017 with a small membership, led by state party chairman Jonathan Makeley of Amherst.

“The motivation for re-establishing our state party organization was to have a positive influence on the condition of our state. To promote good government based in moral principle, ethical public service, and policies to advance the public well-being,” the NY Prohibition Party said to “To promote temperance, to advance policies to deal with the problem of alcohol in our society, and to advance other reforms to help build a better future for the people of New York state.”

The state party believes that the common anti-prohibition narrative is perpetuated by myths that are “not historically accurate.” For example, the party believes that instead of being a failure, prohibition succeeded in drastically cutting drinking rates and decreasing crime in the U.S.

The state party is particularly focused on pushing back on New York’s support for its alcohol industry.

According to NYup, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York has cut fees and regulations for breweries, wineries and distilleries amounting to millions of dollars, which has allowed the number of alcohol producers in the state to double since 2012.

“Gov. Cuomo is perhaps the worst governor on alcohol issues that our state has had since Herbert Lehman (New York’s governor when Prohibition ended in 1933). His support for the alcohol industry is unethical and has harmed the people of New York,” says the state party.

It’s also the New York Prohibition Party’s goal to encourage New York towns to stay “dry” or “partly dry” (having some restrictions on alcohol use/sales). Currently there are 8 completely dry towns and 36 more that are partly dry.

And in addition to ending pro-alcohol policies in New York, the state party also supports more substance abuse prevention efforts and to “expand education on the harms of alcohol and the benefits of teetotalism (complete abstinence from alcohol).”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr