City Manager C. O. Sherrill Cincinnati, Ohio
THE National Prohibition Act (The Volstead Act) passed October 28th, 1919, became effective on January 16th, 1920.
Since that act was passed all the states, except five-- New York, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada and Montana --have passed enforcement acts under the concurrent authority of the 18th Amendment.
The Amendment has been operative for almost nine years and notwithstanding the open or veiled opposition to prohibition by a large part of the press and many leaders of public thought, there has been a considerable measure of success in decreasing the drinking of liquors, as indicated by the almost total absence of drunken persons on the streets of our cities, and by the tremendous decrease in withdrawals of liquor from bond since the Amendment went into effect. While there is a great deal of surreptitious drinking, particularly by the young of the wealthier classes, it must be conceded even by the enemies of prohibition that, on the whole, the drinking habit has been greatly reduced, with a resultant raising of the standard of living of the American laboring classes.
The evil resulting from inefficient enforcement is not so much the amount of drinking being done (except in several large cities where local authorities make no effort to enforce the law) as in the contempt for all the laws of the land by part of the press, by a small percentage of the public, particularly the young of the well-to-do classes and by bootleggers. It is this contempt of law that must be replaced by enforcement and observance of the prohibition laws and the 18th Amendment.