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Insightful weekly commentary on news & current events from economist Antony Davies and political scientist James R. Harrigan.

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January 15, 2020

The 18th Amendment was ratified a century ago, beginning the United States’ fourteen-year experiment with prohibition. An Amendment was needed because the Constitution did not give the federal government the power to ban alcohol. Yet, today, the federal government bans recreational drugs and puts medicinal drugs under the control of the FDA. But, the Constitution also doesn’t give the government the power to regulate drugs. Either the 18th Amendment wasn’t necessary a century ago, or federal drug controls are unconstitutional today.

TITLE: Prohibition and Constitutional Constraints

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About the Hosts


James R. Harrigan is Managing Director of the Center for Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona, and the F.A. Hayek Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also co-host of the Words & Numbers podcast. Dr. Harrigan was previously Dean of the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and later served as Director of Academic Programs at the Institute for…

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Dr. Antony Davies is the Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at FEE, associate professor of economics at Duquesne University, and co-host of the podcast, Words & Numbers. Dr. Davies authors monthly columns on economics and public policy for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has written a book on understanding statistics, published by the Cato Institute, and has co-…

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