F. L. Johnston Justice of the Peace, Newport, Ohio
THE fullest meaning of the prohibition laws as they have been enacted, and all they mean to our nation and our citizens, was not fully understood by the masses.
Proponents expected too much at once, while opponents offered no help to make it effective. The result seems to be general dissatisfaction with conditions as they exist today.
When prohibition became effective nine years ago, the gigantic task of drying up the nation was vested in the Treasury Department of the United States. There was no precedent by which standards of enforcement could be measured. It was new and untried, and there had to be worked out methods and plans which might be most effective.
These moves on the part of the Treasury Department were to a great extent stalemated by opponents of the law who devised means and methods to overthrow and defeat the Treasury programs.
The court decision in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was later affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States, whereby the authority of mayors and justices of the peace was reduced to the point where they could do little except to certify offenders to the higher courts, was a serious handicap to enforcement.
The responsibility for enforcement must be transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of Justice. This may at a glance seem rather revolutionary, but the ends will justify the means. Offenders against the law would rather combat the police department of any city than