Monday, April 02, 2012

Prohibition still exists, mainly in the rural South

Prohibition is still alive and well in some rural parts of the U.S., even though the national law banning alcohol sales was repealed in 1933, Brian Wheeler of the BBC reports for his worldwide audience. The 21st Amendment handed alcohol regulation to the states, and many places voted to keep the ban in place. There are more than 200 "dry" counties in the U.S., and many others where cities and towns allow only beer or have voted to go "moist," allowing alcohol sales only in restaurants. "The result is a patchwork of dry, wet and moist counties stretching across the South," Wheeler reports. (BBC map)

The rough economy has "accelerated the march of alcohol, and in recent years many communities that have been dry for decades are opting to end prohibition, for fear of losing business to their wet neighbors," Wheeler writes. He traveled to Williamsburg, Ky., near the Tennessee border, where a recent vote ended a ban on alcohol sales in restaurants. "I hope that we can move into the 21st Century and take advantage of a lot of the things that other communities have," local lawyer Paul Croley told Wheeler. "It is time to wake up and realize that our standard of living can be as good as our neighbors." It's a big mind-set shift from five years ago when the ban was upheld by 130 votes. (Read more)

No comments: